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Back to Mongolia 

 

Mongolia's History and Background

During the 15th century, Mongolia was torn apart with dissension and strife.  With the rise of Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th century, a Living Buddha would be named.  It was the son of the Mongol khan of Urga (Ulaanbaatar).  Although the Qing Dynasty had dominion over Mongolia, the ruling groups of the country were the Buddhists and the Mongol aristocracy who were allies at this time.

When Mongolia declared it's independence from China during the 1911 Chinese revolution, the Living Buddha still ruled.  By 1920, a puppet government was established by a Russian general but the next year the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party began a government, with help from Russian Communists, that usurped the general and those who supported him.  When the last Living Buddha died in 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was established, but was not recognized by China until 1946.  Due to Mongolia's alliance with Russia, when China separated itself from Russia, trade relations were greatly reduced between China and Mongolia.  Russia's influence in Mongolia remained strong through the 1990's.

In January 1992, a new constitution was instituted by Ponsalmaagiyn Ochirbat, Mongolia's president.  In 1993, a new treaty was signed by Boris Yeltsin, Russia's president and Ochirbat, and that same year Ochirbat was reelected as president.  With all the changes involved with reforming to a free-market system, the economy floundered.  High inflation and unemployment caused President Ochirbat to lose the 1997 election to Natsaglin Bagabandi.  Bagabandi had promised slower economic reforms and increased social services.

 

The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAAN they established a huge Eurasian empire through conquest. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and in the late 17th century came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing and a Communist regime was installed in 1924. The modern country of Mongolia, however, represents only part of the Mongols' historical homeland; more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China than in Mongolia. Following a peaceful democratic revolution, the ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. The MPRP won an overwhelming majority in the 2000 parliamentary election, but the party lost seats in the 2004 election and shared power with democratic coalition parties from 2004-08. The MPRP regained a solid majority in the 2008 parliamentary elections but nevertheless formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party. In 2010 the MPRP voted to retake the name of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), a name it used in the early 1920s. The prime minister and most cabinet members are MPP members.

 


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