The area of present-day Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu state, the Xianbei state, the Rouran Khaganate, the Turkic Khaganate and others.
The Khitan people, who used a para-Mongolic language, founded a state known as the Liao dynasty (907-1125) in Central Asia and ruled Mongolia and portions of the Russian Far East, northern Korea, and North China.
In 1206, Genghis Khan was able to unite and conquer the Mongols, forging them into a fighting force which went on to create the largest contiguous empire in world history, the Mongol Empire. After the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty in 1368, the Mongols returned to their earlier patterns of internal strife. Buddhism in Mongolia began with the Yuan emperors conversion to Tibetan Buddhism; however, the Mongols returned to their old shamanist ways after the collapse of their empire and it wasn't until the 16th and 17th centuries that Buddhism reemerged.
At the end of the 17th century, what is now Mongolia had been incorporated into the area ruled by the Manchu-led Qing dynasty. During the collapse of the Qing in 1911, Mongolia declared independence but had to struggle until 1921 to firmly establish de facto independence and until 1945 to gain international recognition. As a consequence, it came under strong Soviet influence: In 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was declared, and Mongolian politics began to follow the same patterns as Soviet politics of the time. After the Revolutions of 1989, the Mongolian Revolution of 1990 led to a multi-party system, a new constitution in 1992, and a transition to a market economy.
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