During the thirteenth century, the Mongol empire dominated Eurasia through the conquests of Genghis Khan and several of his descendants. His territorial conquests allowed for the establishment of trade routes across great distances. This merger of lands permitted the Mongol empire to become an agent for the exchange of ideas and goods on an international scale. There were multiple causes that motivated the Mongols to connect the great nations of the time, including desires for luxury trade items and knowledge.1 After the Mongol's trading network was founded, it slowly began to spread throughout the empire and began to cause major changes in the economies of areas such as China and Europe, as well as shaped what would become the modern world in the process. .
After conquering the Silk Road, a network of trade networks that connected East, South, and Western Asia with Europe, Genghis Khan realized how important it had become to his empire, seeing how much easier travel was for his soldiers. He then came up with the idea that he could use the Silk Road to have merchants and spies travel along the roads to inform him about enemy plans.2 In order to ensure the merchants' survival, he assigned soldiers to patrol the Silk Road, in order to keep bandits away.3 Because of this action, merchants were now able to travel safely, even if they were carrying precious items such as silk and jade.4 Genghis was proud of his success, but realized that not only did he create a way to gain information on his enemies; he also inadvertently created an effective trade route to Mongolia. Wanting to utilize his new creation to its full extent, Genghis spent money to make trade routes more accessible, knowing that good roads led to fast travel. This included widening paths, clearing thick bushes, and constructing bridges.5 Thanks to these advances, other people including artists, craftspeople, tax collectors, census takers, judges, master builders, musicians, and scholars also started using the Silk Road.