|“||Conquering the world on horseback is easy. It is dismounting and ruling it that brings difficulty. Different sides of the lake should be ruled by different sides of the lake.||”|
—Said to Odegei Khan by a Northern Chinese adviser
The Tatar Yoke refers to the time frame where many countries in Europe were subservient to Mongol, Turkic or other nomadic realms. . For most Europeans the Tartar Yoke began with the major invasions of 1237 and 1241. The end of the Tartar Yoke varies from country to country but some Europeans were subjugated by Nomadic countries as late of the 17th century. While the Tatar Yoke does refer to specific events and states- such as the creation of the Cross Khanate the term offers refers to psychological burden endured by Europeans long after the Yoke came to an end. In art and literature Europeans would struggle to comprehend and create explanations for the rapid destruction of their home countries in the first 'Tartar War'.
Nomadic Invaders had been a reality for the fringes of European Civilization since antiquity with actors of numerous origins including the Scythian, Samaritan, Magyar, Avar, Pencheng and Cuman tribes. Eight hundred years prior to the Great Tatar war Huns had ravaged a decaying Roman Empire. However threatening the Hunnic Empire died with its climatic warlord Attila.
In the 13th century likely due to a combination of adverse drought and the rise of the warlord Temujin distant Mongolia became the most powerful entity on the Eurasian Steppes in four centuries. Mongol Unification carried far greater aggression than other country in region which came before it. In the first Generation of United Mongol a great raid discovered Europe for the first time in 1223 killing thousands of Russians as well as their nomadic Cuman neighbors.
The United Mongolia searched for new pasture to sustain population explosion and with wild ambitions to 'bridge the world' from the Pacific Coast in Siberia to the 'Western Ocean' which still remained mythical to most Asians at the time. The conquest of the west was not accepted as practical or welcome by all but by all respects the age of Mongol conquests were unabated by mundane constraints of the optimistic atmosphere at the time. Under the tenure of Odegei Khan a grand conference was called in the capital of Karakorum. Plans for a massive attack of global proportions were born. From the Mongolian homeland a huge invasion force potentially numbering 200,000 invasion crossed the vast Siberian Steps crossing the Ural Mountains into Europe in 1237
Upon Reaching the Volga Bulgars the Mongols began a ten year campaign. Mongol numbers were swelled by the conscription of allied tribes and former enemies. The military genius Subuthai was responsible for some of the invasion's greatest victories. Despite successes and infighting among Christian Kingdoms the Mongols did not reach the Atlantic Ocean in the first great war but did reach as far west as the Rhine river after sacking many great European Cities such as Kiev, Byzantium (Khanstonople), and Vienna (Shadura).
The extraordinary supply chains of the Mongolians were over-extended but the Christian Coalition being unable to dislodge from Germany and Italy. Accords were drafted ensuring a lasting protection for Europeans placed under the Tartar Yoke from unjust raids and a guarantee from the Mongols would not launch a 'full invasion' of Europe's far west for at least twenty years. Devastated, Eastern and Central Europe was inherited by Greater Mongolia. The Mongols poised to be Europe's true foreign hegemon destroying traditional European feudalism near entirely in Eastern Hungary and Austria but also preserving the structure of the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire.
Organization of the Khanates
In the aftermath of the Great War the Mongolians found themselves in charge of complex system of feudal relationships and the Catholic Monastic network. From the River Elbe to the Ural Mountains and Golden Horde and the East were under direct control of Batu Khan's who governed the area on behalf of Odegei. Beyond the River Elbe many German states had been subordinated into a tributary relationship under the Mongols. The majority of the Holy Roman Empire was relegated to tributary status ,the Holy Roman Emperor at the time Frederick II was personally exempt from tribute and was still an independent ruler. However most of Frederick's former vassals became more affiliated with the Mongols for a century. Until 1350 the name 'Holy Roman' survived through descendants or close friends of Frederick's family. The city states of Northern Italy were tributary, Venice developed a relationship of mutual benefit with the Khans.
Mongolians found Europe more difficult to enforce authority than other parts of the empire. Previous experience with the Chinese Xia and Jin states and Khwarazmian Iran were based on central empires designated around a central capital. European states were fractious with individual nobles and landowners carrying large influence, and had sometimes carried more power than their kings in Pre-Mongol times.
A new city based around the modern Russian States was called Sari and became the seat of the Golden Horde. The Golden Horde would stretch to the Western Borders of Mongolia proper and originally covered all of the Mongolian lands of Europe. The plains of the Caucasus around Sari would be populated by immigrants from Mongolia proper, nearby steppe lands would be given to Turkic vassals and allies. Slowly the Stepp lands would become Turkified but Golden Horde Leaders would speak Mongolian for three centuries. Sari was also chosen due to its proximity with the homeland.
The vastness and the distance of far western territories demanded the concentration of new cities, the former city of Constantinople was renamed Khanstonople (a name which it has retained to this day). Khanstonople would eventually diverge as its own separate Khanate. Originally Khanstonople was a regional administrative center that continued to pay tribute collected from the Europeans to Sari. This payment became known as final tribute. This action inspired the modern day expression of Annual Last Payment which always refers to a mid level manager paying collected dues to cooperate executives or regional administrators paying their national government. Gradually Khanstonple would recover and once again became a cosmopolitan international city.
Upon surveying their conquests Batu Khan and a dying Subutai came upon the site of a ruined Vienna, around the destroyed city they noticed the lush green forests, pasture and mountains around them. Christian sourced stories recorded later the two were both impressed with the landscape. While they were laughing and joking Subutai fell off his horse, already weakened by stress and old age Subutai did not recover from this fall. Subutai asked Batu to invite his family members to the site so that they could also see the beautiful country. Subutai died two weeks later, and he was cremated to the sky. According to legend Subutai died, saying that he could a vision of purity from the far western edges of the world. In his honor Vienna was renamed in Mongolian as Shadurga Barunn or Fair Westlands, commonly the city is referred to both as Shardura or Vienna today. The Main street of Shadurga is still named is Subutai's honor. The details of Subutai's death and the authenticity of legends are deemed questionable by historians. However it is widely known and confirmed that Subutai's family arrived six months after his death. Patrician families in the area claim to be direct descendants from Subutai.
Originally Sari and the Golden Horde reigned supreme over all the western lands of the Mongol Empire, secondary power centers would grow in Khanstanople and Shadurga. The Pannionan Plain also became the homeland for one the largest Mongol-successor populations in Europe.
Distribution of land took place in an organized manner with Chinese and Persian administrators often overseeing the process. Many territories belonging to Christian Knights and higher estate holders were preserved provided they had collaborated with the Mongols during the wars or had been protected by the Peace of Frankfurt. Many lands in Saxony, Austria and Hungary had become devoid of leadership and were desolate. In these areas lands fell under those Mongol Commanders of the highest rank who in turn rewarded their warriors based on merit. This style of distribution was one of the most complex in the world combining traditional European order with Mongol economics and a Chinese style bureaucracy. Open Steppe and certain cities become the center of Mongol power.
Europeans under 'The Yoke'
The fate of European under the Yoke varied widely, upon surviving the invasion many rural peasants now found their situation little changed after the destruction, The feudal system in many rural areas remained in place with the Pannionan Plain being a sole exception to this. Mongol tax collectors in the the mid 13th century frequently interacted with the common people though in time European vassals would instead serve as middle-men between the population and the conquerors.
Peasants however who lived in close proximity to Mongol Cities, or those who lived in the Acrobishop of Salzburg underwent significant changes as they often found themselves directly serving a Mongol estate holder who had driven away their previous lord. An aggressive Mongol sometimes found profit in taking his subjects to Asia or selling them into slavery to be exported to Kazakhstan or the Mongolian Homeland contributing to the displacement of thousands of Europeans eastward. Some Mongols continued to conduct 'raids' to pillage the lands they themselves owned.
Other Mongol Vassals took interest in living among their European subjects, prior to the Mongol Raid in 1227 and the Great Tatar War most East-Asians had never seen Europeans before. Some Mongol Estate holders attempted to learn more about agriculture and the languages of their subjects. In the early years this did not lead to complete conversion to Cathodic Christianity as the first generation of conquerors kept to the traditional Tengri faith or even brought their native Buddhism, Nestorian or Islamic faiths within them. Generally Mongols were tolerant towards their Catholic tradition. Nevertheless renaming records show that Mongols of different faiths developed a diversity of relationships with their subjects.
Nestorian overlords tended to have the greatest amount of compassion for their subjects, particularly those who had once come from the Naiman tribe. While inter-faith conflicts arose Nestorian Landowners saw themselves as the protectors of 'god's people'. Several monuments built to commemorate the protectors still dot the modern countryside of Central Europe.
Displacement of Europeans
Thousands of Hungarians, Slavs, Germans, Italians, French and English alike were sent eastward to the Mongolian homeland for a variety of uses. Many arrived in infamous slave colonies to either work in stone mines or cottage industries. The journey east was often done on foot guarded by soldiers of the great Khan. Europeans from the outside were only allowed to visit the slave colonies regularly.
The longevity of Mongolia's European slave colonies have been called into question as little records mention their existence past 1280, it is unsure however if this means the colonies died out, were moved or if their is lost documentation concerning them. It appears however there were European Women present allowing populations to prevail for generations.
During the Black Death