Mongolia: A Nation in Transition OLONCHIMEG DORJPUREV
For a thousand years before Christ, in the eastern part of the north-eastern Asiatic steppe belt, nomadic tribes of Mongol horsemen lived on cattle breeding and hunting. The fi rst great confederation was the Xiongnu, organized in 209 B.C. The Xiongnu were such a persistent threat to the Qin Dynasty in China that the Chinese began work on a massive fortifi - cation-the Great Wall of China (Szczepanski, n.d.). Mongolia’s fractious tribes were united and the Mongol Empire was founded in 1206 A.D. by Genghis Khan. He and his successors conquered most of Eurasia, including the Middle East and Russia. The Empire continued until 1368 when the Yuan Dynasty, ruled by the Mongols, collapsed. At the end of the 17th century, most of Mongolia had been incorporated into the area ruled by the Manchu Qing Dynasty. During the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence, and in 1921 the people’s revolution won. The Mongolian People’s Republic was proclaimed in 1924 and it remained a socialist country until 1990. Since the peaceful democratic
revolution of December 1989, the country has been undergoing a transition to a democracy upholding human rights, a multi-party political system and a free market economy, as declared by the new Constitution of May 1990.