The designations "Inner" and "Outer" Mongolia (Nei Menggu 内蒙古, Wai Menggu 外蒙古, in Mongolian Dotuɣadu Mongol and Γadaɣadu Mongol, in Manchu Dorgi Monggo and Tulergi Monggo) are stemming from a political issue in the early 17th century, when part of the Mongol tribes—those living in the eastern and southern parts of the steppe—submitted to the Manchus, while the other part—roaming in the northern steppe zone—remained independent for half a century more.
The Mongol tribes of Inner and Outer Mongolia during the Qing period. Note that the borders of the two territories were not fully identical to the modern state of Mongolia and the Autononous Region of Inner Mongolia. During the Qing period, Outer Mongolia extended farther to the northwest (today's Russia and Kazakhstan), and Inner Mongolia included territories today belonging to the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Gansu, and the Autonomous region of Ningxia. Mongol tribes were also living in Xinjiang, Qinghai (Kökö Nur), Tibet and Heilongjiang. Click to enlarge.
The oldest line of the Borjigid expired in 1669 with Burni, a grandson of Ligdan Qan. Carefully planned marriage policy, along with certain cultural affinities, allowed the Manchus to gain dominance over the tribes of Inner Mongolia. Yet as early as 1635, the Manchus came into possession of the old seal of the Mongol Great Khans. This was the chance for Hong Taiji, khan of the Manchus (name change from Jurchen to Manchu in 1636), to adopt the title of emperor and of Great Khan. Forty-nine dignitaries of Mongol tribes attended his enthronement. Their 24 tribes (ayimaɣ, in Chinese bu 部 or buluo 部落) were reorganized in six leagues (čiɣhulɣan, in Chinese meng 盟) and 49 banners (qosiɣun, Chinese qi 旗) which would eventually constitute the population of Inner Mongolia. In the beginning, the tribe leaders retained their power, but soon became seal-holding functionaries of the Qing government.
|Jerim League (Zhelimu Meng 哲里木盟)
|Qorčin (6 banners)
|Du'erbote 杜爾伯特 (Borjigid clan)
|Josutu League (Zhuosutu Meng 卓索圖盟)
|Joo Uda League (Zahowuda Meng 昭烏達盟)
|Aru Qorčin (1)
|Alu Ke'erqin 阿嚕科爾沁
|Left-Wing Qalqa (1)
|Ka'erka zuoyi 喀爾喀左翼
|Silinggol League (Xilinguole Meng 錫林郭勒盟)
|Ulanjab League (Wulanchabu Meng 烏蘭察布盟)
|Dörben Keüked (1)
|Sizi buluo 四子部落
|Right-Wing Qalqa (1)
|Ka'erka youyi 喀爾喀右翼
|Yeke Joo League (Yikezhao Meng 伊克昭盟)
Apart from the six leagues with forty-nine banners, the remaining Čaqar tribes, organized in eight banners, were directly subordinated to the Manchu rulers, as a punishment for their siding with Ligdan. These Banners (not to be confused with the Mongolian Banners inside the Eight Banner system) were designed in imitation of the Manchu Banners, with plain and bordered colours. There were also more Čaqar tribes in Inner Mongolia, residing over the four imperial pasturelands (muchang 牧場) Šangdu, Mingɣan, and the Left and Right Wing, the two banners of the Tümed from Köke Qota (Guihuacheng Tumote 歸化城土默特, dissolved in 1763), as well as the banner of the Alaša (Alashan 阿拉善) and that of the Edsine-Torgud (Ejina Tu'erhute 額濟納土爾扈特) - the last two were known as the two banners west of the Great River Bend (Taoxi er qi 套西二旗).
From 1638 on, Manchu-Mongol relations were regulated by the Court of Colonial Affairs (lifanyuan 理藩院)—some authors call it "Colonial Ministry". In the same year, the "Outer" Mongols established regular diplomatic relations with the Manchu empire. In 1688, the khan of the Western Mongols, Galdan (1632 or 1644-1697), invaded Outer Mongolia, and exerted so much pressure on the Mongols that the Lama "bishop" of Outer Mongolia, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu (Tib. rJe-bcun dam-pa Qutuqtu) Öndör Geɣen Dsanabadsar (1635-1723), suggested to request support from the Manchus, rather than from Russia. Three years later, the dignitaries of the Eastern Mongols were received by the Kangxi Emperor 康熙帝 (r. 1661-1722) in Doluɣan Naɣur (Dolon Nor) and declared their submission under the Manchus. From then on, Outer Mongolia was a protectorate of the Qing empire.
Unlike in earlier times, when boundaries between the tribes were not fixed, the Qing bureaucratized the administration of Inner Mongolia and did not allow the Mongolian tribes to trespass the boundaries of the lands assigned to them. The most important reason for this measure was to prevent the rise of one powerful leader who tried to gain dominance over other tribes and create a federation. Banners were subdivided according to the traditional socio-military system of the Mongols into "arrows" (sumun) and regiments (jalan). Heads of Mongol Banners were Banner Princes (jasaɣ, Chinese transcription zhasake 扎薩克) who reported directly to the Qing emperor and submitted annual tributes. Princeship was interitable, but inheritance required confirmation by the Qing emperor. Other members of the traditional Mongol nobility were given ranks according to the nobility system of the Qing, with ten grades ranging from Qošoi čin vang to that of tayiji of the 4th grade. Noblemen other than the Banner Princes had no political functions. The Leagues, which only served administrative and judicial purposes, were administered by League Heads (čiɣulɣan-u daruɣa) selected from the respective League and appointed by the emperor. Disputes were settled during conferences which were held every three years.
The Court of Colonial Affairs had six departments, three of which were responsible for Inner Mongolia, the first one (Qiji qinglisi 旗籍清吏司) with general administrative matters (borders, household registration, ennoblement, alliances, courier stations, military recruitment), the second (Wanghui qinglisi 王會清吏司) with the reception of visitors and tributes, salaries and gifts, and the third (Lixing qinglisi 理刑清吏司) with judicial matters.
The Lifanyuan also included schools for translation from and into the languages Tibetan, Mongolian, and Russian. The Tibetan School (Töbed surɣaɣuli) was of great importance because Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism) occupied a central role in the life of Mongols, also in a political sense. The Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, a "Mongolian Dalai Lama", who resided in Urɣa (Urga, Kulun 庫倫, today's Ulan Bataar), had great influence on political decisions. The Kangxi Emperor therefore summoned a high Lama, the Janggiya Qutuγtu (Changkya Khutukhtu, Tib. lCang-skya Ho-thog-thu, Ch. Zhang-jia hu-tu-ke-tu 章嘉呼圖克圖) Ngawang Losang Chöden (Tib. Ngag-dbang bLo-bzang Chos-ldan, Ch. A-ban Luo-sang Qu-dian 阿班羅桑曲殿, 1642-1714), to the court in Beijing and promoted him to a position only fourth to the Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama and the Jebtsundamba. His successor, Changkya Rölpé Dorjé (Tib. lCang-skya Rol-pa'i rDo-rje, Ch. Zhang-jia Ruo-bi duo-ji 章嘉若必多吉, 1717-1786), was an eminent diplomat in the Qing relations with Mongolia, Qinghai, and Tibet. The summer residence of the Changkya Khutukhtu was in Dolon Nor (the winter residence was in Songzhu Monastery 嵩祝寺 in Beijing), and he therefore became the spiritual head of Inner Mongolia, as a counterpart to the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu in Outer Mongolia.
During the war against the Oyirad khan Galdan, Inner Mongolia was the centre of military activity, but in later campaigns against the Western Mongols, Inner Mongolia remained undisturbed, and therefore experienced a peaceful period in the 18th century.
Of particular importance was the visit of the 6th Panchen Lama (Panchen Erdeni) Lobsang Palden Yeshe (Tib. Blo-bzang Gpal-ldan Ye-shes, Ch. Luo-sang Ban-dan Yi-xi 羅桑班丹益西, 1738–1780) in Beijing in 1780. He travelled across Inner Mongolia and so demonstrated the unity of worldly and religious rule as it was created between the Qing court and the Gelugpa school of the Lamaist tradition. Thereafter, the interest of the Qing rulers in keeping up these intensive cooperation with the Lamaist clergy diminished.
The 19th century was a period of social, cultural and economic deterioration of Inner Mongolia. While the Qing dynasty was occupied with the problems of diplomatic and economic relations with Western countries and with numerous rebellions in China proper, its grip on the colonies hardened.
The gap between the class of nobility and the clergy on the one hand and the common people on the other widened. The difference between commoners and bondservants of the nobility (qamjilɣa) and those of the monasteries (šabi) blurred, and people who had formerly paid taxes to the Qing state, came under the spell of landowners and nobles who financed their luxurious lives and the construction of monasteries by exploiting the peasant or nomad population. The winners of this development were Chinese traders and craftsmen who profited from the marketing of Chinese goods and the construction work in the cities of Inner Mongolia. The one or other consumer financed his indulgence by transferring to Chinese merchants the right to levy taxes.
Quite a particular aspect in the social development of Inner Mongolia was the custom to spend at least part of the life in a monastery. Around 1900, there were more than 1,000 monasteries in Inner Mongolia, and between 30 and 65 per cent of the male population were monks (Kämpfe 1986: 427).
While it was in earlier times forbidden for Chinese to settle down in Inner Mongolia, the Qing did not longer care to enforce this regulation in the 19th century (as they did open Manchuria for Chinese settlement), so that more and more Chinese settlers arrived—a tendency wakening up a new nationalist sentiment among the Mongols. Research has shown that the social problem in Inner Mongolia in the 19th century was not "class struggle" between exploiters and exploited, but a hatred of the poor against the sinification of the nobility. Around 1900, an urban proletariat emerged in the cities of Kalgan (today's Zhangjiakou 張家口, Hebei) and Guihua (today's Huhehaote 呼和浩特, in modern Mongolian pronounced Hohhot). Impoverished peasants and nobles joined in rebellious societies like the "Circle" Movement (Duɣuyilang), and in 1861, a rebellion of nomads and Chinese settlers targeted at landowners and Chinese merchants. The 1911 Revolution in China made things even worse for Inner Mongolia.
The tribes of Outer Mongolia (Qalqa, a term referring to both the region and the tribes) decided in 1691 to accept the suzerainty of the Qing empire. The reason for this decision was the threat by the Western Mongols under Galdan Khan. Yet his fate also shows that the loyalty of the Mongols was directed towards individual leaders, and not to a nation or the institution of khanate. For this reason the emergence and downfall of great leaders (Ligdan, Esen) of the steppe rarely resulted in the creation of a long-lasting empire. The only ties uniting all Mongolian tribes was the common descent of the nobility from Činggis Qaɣan, and the religion of Lamaism.
The tribes of the Qalqa were organized in four khanates, whose leaders were called (inheritable titles) Tüsiyetü Qan, Sayin Noyan Qan, Sečen Qan, and Jasaɣtu Qan. Related to them by descent from the Borjigid family was the religious head of Qalqa, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu.
|The Four Qalqa Khanates
|Sečen Qan (20-23 Banners)
|Residing in Kerülen Bars Qota
|Ka'erka Chechen Han bu 喀爾喀車臣汗部
|Tüsiyetü Qan (20)
|Ka'erka Tuxietu Han bu 喀爾喀土謝圖汗部
|Sayin Noyan Qan (24, incl. 2 Oyirad-Ögeled Banner)
|Ka'erka Saiyin Nuoyan bu 喀爾喀賽因諾顏部
|Jasaɣtu Qan (19, incl. 1 Oyirad-Qoyid Banner)
|Ka'erka Zhasaketu Han bu 喀爾喀札薩克圖汗部 (+ Huite 輝特)
|Tannu Uryangqai (9)
|Tangnu Wulianghai 唐努烏梁海
|Altai Uryangqai (7)
|A'ertai Wulianghai 阿爾泰烏梁海
|Altai Naɣur Uryangqai (2)
|A'ertai Nao'er Wulianghai 阿爾泰淖爾烏梁海 or A'ertai Nuo Wulianghai 阿爾泰諾烏梁海
|Dörbed (14, and 2 Qoyid Banners)
|Du'erbote 杜爾伯特 (+ Huite 輝特)
|Oyirad from Kobdo (1)
|Kebuduo Elute 科布多額魯特部
|New Torɣut (2)
|Xin Tu'erhute 新土爾扈特部
|New Qošod (1)
|Xin Heshuote 新和碩特部
|Mongols in Xinjiang
|Old Torɣut (10)
|Jiu Tu'erhute 舊土爾扈特部
|Middle-Route Qošod (4)
|Zhonglu Heshuote 中路和碩特部
|Mongols in Qinghai (Kökö Naɣur)
|Qinghai Elute 青海額魯特
|Qinghai Heshuote 青海和碩特部
|Qinghai Huite 青海輝特部
|Qinghai Chuoluosi 青海綽羅斯部
|Qinghai Tu'erhute 青海土爾扈特部
|Qinghai Ka'erka 青海喀爾喀部
|Mongols in Manchuria
|Heilongjiang Elute 黑龍江額魯特部
|Heilongjiang Du'erbote 黑龍江杜爾伯特部
Apart from these organized "Outer Mongolians", Mongolian persons lived as Mongols of the Eight Banners (Baqi Menggu 八旗蒙古), the Inner Mongolian Čaqar of the Eight Banners (baqi Chaha'er 八旗察哈爾), the Mongolian Banner troops in Xinjiang (Xinjiang zhufang baqi 新疆駐防八旗), the Eight-Banner Čaqar in Ili (Yili Chaha'er baqi 伊犁察哈爾八旗), the Eight-Banner Oyirads in Ili (Yili Elute baqi 伊犁額魯特八旗), the Oyirad banners in Tarbagatai (Ta'erbahatai Elute qi 塔爾巴哈臺額魯特旗), the Eight-Banner Mongols in Dam, Central Tibet (Damu Menggu baqi 達木蒙古八旗), the 39 Mongol tribes in Hor, Western Tibet (Huo'er sanshijiu zu 霍爾三十九族), and the Eight-Banner Mongols troops of the Hölün Buyir (Huolunbei'er 呼倫貝爾, i.e. [Qaɣu]čin Barɣu 陳巴爾虎 and Sin-e Barɣu 新巴爾虎) in Heilongjiang.
Outer Mongolia was threatened by two sides, first the Oyirads, whose ruler Batur Qung Tayiji (d. 1653 or 1665), a descendant of Esen, and his son Galdan (d. 1697), several times invaded Qalqa, and second, the Russian empire which pushed towards Central Asia and the Far East.
The trouble in Outer Mongolia began with the murder of the Jasaɣtu Qan by people from the Tüsiyetü khanate. Continuing quarrels provoked the invasion of Galdan, head of the Dzunghars, with 30,000 men in 1688. He annihilated the army of the Tüsiyetü Qan. The latter and the religious head of Outer Mongolia, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, fled to the Inner Mongolian tribe of the Sünid, and decided to ask the Qing emperor for protection. Religious and cultural ties suggested such a step, while an alliance with the Russians would not promise much help. Moreover, the Qing empire was at that time negotiating on border trade with Russia anyway—the eventual Treaty of Nerchinsk (in Manchu Nibcu, in Chinese known as Nibuchu tiaoyue 尼布楚條約) from 1689. It regulated the sovereignty over territories along the rivers Argun and Amur. This treaty was followed in 1727 by that of Kyakhta, in Chinese Qiaketu tiaoyue 恰克圖條約. This treaty fixed diplomatic relations, the northern border of Outer Mongolia (but not that of Eastern Turkestan, the eventual Xinjiang), and opened the caravan trade delivering Chinese tea to Russia.
The Qing offered the Qalqa refugees pastureland, but planned to liberate their homeland from Galdan in order to bring them back. When Galdan left his winter quarters in Kobdo (western part of today's Mongolia) in 1690, he was confronted with the rebellion of his nephew Tsewang Arabdan (1643-1727), but also had to continue his fight against remaining Qalqa tribes. The Kangxi Emperor launched an attack against him, and Galdan was defeated by Prince Fuciowan's (Fuquan 福全, 1853-1703) artillery in the battle of Ulan Butung (today's Chifeng 赤峰, Inner Mongolia). The Emperor received the Qalqa nobles and proclaimed the integration of Outer Mongolia into the Qing empire.
Galdan invaded Outer Mongolia once more in 1695. This time, the Kangxi Emperor decided to command the campaign in person. His army consisted of 100,000 troops and marched in three columns. In June 1696, the Emperor and Fiyanggū (Feiyanggu 費揚古, 1645-1701) reached the banks of River Kerülün and became aware that Galdan had fled to the west. Scarcity of supply prevented the Qing troops from further pursuing the enemy, barring a small contingent of elite troops, which met Galdan in battle at Juun Modun (close to present-day Ulan Bataar) a week later. Galdan escaped with 1,000 men, but refused to surrender. In Spring 1697 a third campaign was in preparation, but Galdan decided to commit suicide.
The relations between the Qalqa tribes and the Qing empire were first regulated in 1789 with the promulgation of the code Menggu lüli 蒙古律例, which was refined in 1817 by the Lifanyuan zeli 理蕃院則例. The Outer Mongolian Bureau (Dianshu qinglisi 典屬清吏司) of the Lifanyuan organized internal borders, ennoblements (fengjue 封爵), internal alliances, courier stations (yidi 驛遞), military organization (junlü 軍旅), religious aspects (also of Tibet), the pasture rights (of the Čaqar), and internal and external trade. The Outer Mongolian Reception Bureau (rouyuan qingli si 柔遠清吏司) was responsible for visits and salaries of, and presents to the Qalqa Princes and nobles (jasaɣ vang gung 扎薩克王公). Judicial matters were regulated by the Judicial Bureau (Lixing qinglisi).
The Qing retained the organization of the Qalqa into four Leagues and 86 Banners, which were controlled by Banner Princes. The latter were supervised by a League Leader (jasaɣ, Chinese zhasake 札薩克) selected and appointed by the emperor, and were from 1781 on hereditary, even if each succession required the confirmation by the Qing court. The Banner Princes were obtaining a salary paid by the Qing, and were thus more or less officials of the Qing empire. In comparison with Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia retained a much higher grade of autonomy, and did not experience problems with Chinese merchants or settlers. On the other hand, the Qalqa had much to contribute to the Qing wars, while the nobility of Inner Mongolia had the chance to rise to high offices in the central administration of the Qing empire.
The Qalqa were responsible for the more than 70 courier stations in their territory, the protection of the border to Russia and the western border in the Altai Range, the supervision of imperial pastures and the flocks grazing on them, and of the fields around Kobdo on which military supply was cultivated. The postal stations alone required an amount of 3 million horses a year (Veit 1986b: 499). The Qalqa army consisted of 169 cavalry squadrons with 150 troops each (ibid.). Young men served in turn, and were ordered to use the traditional weapon bow and arrow, and not the musket. Qalqa troops participated in the long-lasting war against the Dzunghars from 1718 to 1739, and in the second war, which included campaigns against the turmoils in Eastern Turkestan, from 1754 to 1759. The first Dzunghar war required four million horses and about ten thousand troops per League (Veit 1986b: 453).
After the death of Galdan, his nephew Tsewang Arabdan took over command, and then his son Galdan Čering (d. 1745). In 1718, a cousin of Tsewang Arabdan, Čeringdondub Senior, occupied Lhasa. Two years later, Tibet was liberated. The Qing troops were commanded by the oldest son of the Kangxi Emperor, Prince Injy (Yinti 胤禔, 1672-1735, after 1722 called Yūnjy, in Chinese Yunti 允禔), and the generals Funinggan (Funing'an 富寧安, d. 1728), Furdan (Fu'erdan 傅爾丹, 1683-1753), Siboo (Xibao 錫保, d. 1742), and Yan-xin 延信 (1673-1728). In the following decade, only minor clashes occurred. The foremost Mongolian commander of this period was Čering, a brother-in-law of the Yongzheng Emperor 雍正帝 (r. 1722-1735). His sons Čenggünjab and Čebdenjab held important posts in the military administration of Outer Mongolia. In 1731 and 1732, Čering repelled Dzunghar invasions under Čeringdondub Senior and Junior. Between 1734 and 1739, the Qing negotiated with the Dzunghars and fixed the border in the Altai Range.
The next war broke out as an internal conflict between the leader of the Dzunghars, Dawači (d. 1759), and the khan of the Qoyid, Amursana (1723-1757). The latter asked in 1754 to become a subject of the Qing, his tribe received grazing grounds in Outer Mongolia, and he was made a military commander during the short war against Dawači. This last Oyirad khan of the Dzunghars was detained in Beijing, where he died. Amursana thereupon desired to become great khan of the Dzunghars, and tried to conspire with some of the Qalqa leaders, like Činggünjab from the Jasaɣtu Qan League who warned Amursana to flee before he would be arrested.
The ensuing campaigns against Amursana were commanded by Bandi 班第 (1664-1755), Hadaha 哈達哈 (d. 1759), and Jaohūi (Zhaohui 兆惠, 1708-1764) over the imperial troops, and Sangjayidorji and Čebdenjab over the Mongolian contingents. In 1756 Amursana was defeated and escaped to the Kazakhs who lived on Russian territory. At the same time, Činggünjab rebelled against the Qing regime. A year later Amursana died from smallpox, and Činggünjab's rebellion failed, and he was executed. The Qianlong Emperor 乾隆帝 (r. 1735-1796) appointed loyal Mongol leaders for the administration of Outer Mongolia, among others, Čenggünjab as military governor of Uliyasutai (Wuliyasutai jiangjun 烏里雅蘇臺將軍), and convoked the Qalqa nobles to confess their treason and swear loyalty to the Qing. The military governors controlled Outer Mongolia, Tannu Uryangqai, and Kobdo.
The Qing carried out an ethnical cleansing in Dzungharia, scattered the surviving families into the four winds, and resettled other tribes in the northwest, for instance, Čaqar families. The Qianlong Emperor also saw to it that future reincarnations of the "national" figure of Outer Mongolia, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, were only Tibetan persons without ties to the Mongol nobility. In this way, a possible leader for future rebellions would not emerge.
The 19th century was in Outer Mongolia characterized by economic and political stagnation. In 1860 the first Russian consulate was opened in Urga, as one requirement of the Treaty of Aigun (Aihun tiaoyue 璦琿條約) from 1858. Like Inner Mongolia, Qalqa was also visited by Chinese merchants who directly bought local products and shipped them to China. In earlier ages, the Mongols had brought their products to Chinese border markets. Chinese merchants also sold Chinese products in Outer Mongolia, often enough by giving credit to their customers. In many cases, whole Banners became economically dependent from Chinese merchant houses. The Qing government tried to impose strict regulations on Chinese merchants, for instance, the prohibition to purchase real estate, or to marry Mongol girls, but to no avail. The social outcome was similar to that in Inner Mongolia, with impoverishment, increasing banditry, and the emergence of an urban proletariat in the few cities. Some of the bandits, like Toroi Bandi (d. 1904) or Toɣtaqu Tayiji (d. 1922), became popular heroes.
Yet not all nobles were corrupt or profligate. Among the positive examples is Hetsu Vang Toɣtaqu Törü (1797-1887, also called To Wang), who was highly educated, wrote books on administration and economic policy, promoted industries, founded schools, and stimulated the arts. He also recognized that the clergy profited immensely from tax-exemption, and brought forward measures to re-organize and "purify" cleric life.
In mid-1911, a delegation from Outer Mongolia arrived in Sankt Petersburg, asked for Russian support of more autonomy inside the Qing empire, but the Revolution changed all options, and Russia voted for Mongol autonomy. On December 30, 1911, the Republic of Mongolia was founded.