By Cindy Jenson-Elliott

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During that meeting, which took place in 1206, the group elected him Genghis Khan, which meant Emperor of All Men, and gave him the power to set the course of Mongol conquest. He set his sights on lands far beyond his borders—to China—and built up an enormous army. At its height in 1207, the Mongol army numbered a quarter million. The Mongol military was divided into units of highly disciplined soldiers working on campaigns that varied from short term to long term and short distance to long distance.

Test takers sat in tiny private kiosks that were locked and sometimes marked with a seal to prevent anyone from entering or exiting during the exam. The Chinese had always been concerned with cheating. In the Han Dynasty, leaders tried to keep cheaters from knowing test questions by having each candidate shoot through a list of questions with a bow and arrow. The questions their arrow pierced were the questions they would have to answer. Bias was also a concern. Tang Dynasty examiners tried to prevent bias by covering the candidate’s name on the examination paper before it was graded.

Surviving the literary holocaust were books on technical subjects such as agriculture, which the emperor and his legalist advisers determined were too important to burn. 35 Gaozu instituted two other routes to employment in the government. One of these, called search and recommend, encouraged government officials to nominate upright citizens to serve in the government as civil servants. Another path to government jobs revolved around recruitment of filial citizens. Filial piety, or devotion to parents and superiors, was one of the most important Confucian doctrines.

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Ancient Chinese Dynasties by Cindy Jenson-Elliott

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