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The Career of Genghis Khan

The Career of Genghis Khan 

An Outline of History – By H. G. Wells. ( The Career of Genghis Khan )

In the passage from the essay, “The Career of Genghis Khan”, in “The Outline of History”, H. G. Wells giving an account of the career of this great Mongol conqueror, says that, The mongol raids were the last worst of all the nomadic raids upon the civilization of the East and West.

The Career of Genghis Khan

The settled societies of civilization and the wandering tribes of nomadians existed side by side in history. Each had a distinctly separate way of living, entirely all its own. By and by, civilization grew better organised and more and more wide spread. At the same time, the nomads become more and more intelligent, mobile and armed.

The nomads are not civilized, it is true, Nevertheless, they are a people specialized and specializing in a particularly peculiar way, exclusively their own.

Nomadians and Civilization

Civilization and nomadism have affected and influenced one another from the earliest times. After a certain period of greatness and glory,civilization, more often then not, begins to show signs of decay. Affluence leads to dissipation in luxury. Debts grow. The people grow as slaves of the rich and powerful. Convictions weaken. Worn out principle, exhaust energy and stunt growth.

At last, when the rot sets in too deep, nomadians descends upon with all the fury thunder of a terrible storm and demolishes the entire sluggish structure of civilized society so that the world may have a chance to build it again on fresh, healthy foundations.

The onslaught of mongol nomadians in the thirteenth century, was one such raid, the last and perhaps the worst of its kind. It was, no doubt, a relentless force of destruction for the civilized world of its period. But at the same time, in one way or the other, it had beneficial effects as well.

Very little is known about the history of the mongols before the close of the twelfth century. We first meet them in the country lying to the north of China, This also happened to be the homeland of Huns and Turks, who also belonged to the same ancestors or racial origin as the mongols. The mustered under a single chief. The dynamic leadership of his son, Genghis Khan extended their power and influence with terrific vigor and lightening speed.

The eventful life of Genghis Khan and his successors astonished the world, but it astonished the mongols even more. In the twelfth century the mongols were nothing more than simple tribes of nomads. They were subject to the Kin, the then conquerors of north-east China. A horde of nomadic horses, they lived in tents and fed themselves on mares milk and meat. They hunted and kept herds for food. They moved to the north in summers as the snow melted, and to the south in winters. Always wondering in searching of pastures they lived after the custom of vast grasslands in the steppes of the north. They revolted against the kin.

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What is History?
History is a kind of research or inquiry, i.e. an investigation to find out facts. Every historian would agree to this statement.

As such, history and science belong to the same kind of knowledge. Both are a kind of research or inquiry in their own way.

Science consist of forms of thoughts by which it asks questions and tries to answer them. There are some important facts about science which we much know and understand. It is a common belief that science collects known facts and arranges them in suitable groups. But this is only one of its many aspects.

Basically, science seizes upon unknown things and tries to discover them. If playing patience with known facts does not give answers to our question, it is not scientifically valuable. It can be scientifically valuable only when it serves as a means towards the inquiry and discovery of unknown things and which we wish to inquire and discover. This is the essential end and purpose of science.

In this way, science begins from the knowledge of our ignorance. It starts from an understanding of our own lack of knowledge. Only when we known fully well that we do not know a particular thing, we fasten upon it and try to know it. This particular unknown thing may be the origin of parliament, the causes of cancer, the chemical composition of the sun, the way to make a pump work without the help of human or animal energy. Thus unknown thing turn into known facts and science grows.

Science, is finding things out. In much the same way, history also is finding thing out. History, therefore is a science.

What is the Object of History?

All sciences differ from one another. One science finds out thing of one kind another science finds out things of another kinds. Likewise, history finds out register or things that have been done. In other words history finds out past actions of human beings who lived in the past. This statement gives rise to a large variety of questions. Conflicting views are expressed about many of them. As such they may be answered in a large variety of ways. nevertheless, history all along remains the science of register. It is always an effort to find out answers to questions about past activities of human beings who lived in the past. No one can refute this statement. No one can prove it wrong.

How Does History Proceed?

In other words it means how is the procedure or method which help history grow from age to age.

Obviously, the growth of history depends entirely upon the interpretation of evidence. To be more explicit, interpretation of evidence is the explanation of the full meaning and significance of the evidence in question.

History Evidence

In the case of history evidence made of a number of things which we meet here and there, now and then, taken up together. These we may call documents. These documents, or rather historical documents to be more exact are of such a nature that if history studies them, it finds answers to its questions about past human actions. A large number of questions can be asked about the characteristics of evidence and the ways to interpret it. Needless to say, these questions are much too early and out of the place to ask at this junction. However, they may be answered in many different ways. But the procedure or method of history remains basically composed of interpretation of evidence, all the same . By no stretch of imagination can there be any two opinions about this statement among historians.

Lastly, What is History For?

This is perhaps the toughest question of all the four. It will be difficult to answer them. One will have to cover a wider field to find an answer for the questions. Various aspects of history will have to be taken into account. At the same time, various other aspects of a rather general nature will have to be taken into account as well. When we say that something is ‘for’ something, we mean that there is a marked difference between the two which distinguished one from the other as separate. The truth of this statement can be explained by simple logic.

If we distinctly separate things. We clearly see that A is the thing which is good for B, while B is the thing for which A is good. Obviously the two are not the same. Instead, they are rather different. Here I give the answer to the question and hope that the answer will be accepted by all historians. however, I believe that it will lead to a host of hard questions. The answer is “History is for human self-knowledge, In other words this means that history helps man to know and understand himself, most of us think that the we know ourselves, the better it is. Self knowledge always stands us in good stead.