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I determined to make my government a sort of elective monarchy. The grand khan was to be chosen by the votes of all the other khans, who were to be assembled in a general convocation for this purpose whenever a new khan was to be installed.




THE RULES or “Ikh Yassa”



Any person who should cause himself to be proclaimed grand khan, or who should in any other way attempt to assume the supreme authority without having been duly elected by the other khans, will suffer death.

The country is to be divided into provinces, over each of which a subordinate khan will rule as governor. These governors were, however, to be strictly responsible to the grand khan.

Whenever summoned by the grand khan other khans are required to go at once to the capital and render an account of their administration, and to answer any charges which had been made against them. Whenever any serious case of disobedience or maladministration is proved against them they were to suffer death.



I reorganized the army on the same or similar principles. The men were divided into companies of about one hundred men each, and every ten of these companies was formed into a regiment, which, of course, contained about a thousand men. The regiments were formed into larger bodies of about ten thousand each.

Officers of all grades were appointed to provide and store arms in magazines under the care of the officers, ready to be distributed to the command of these troops, and arrangements were made for having supplies of arms and ammunition delivered to the men whenever they should require.



I also made provision for the building of cities and palaces, the making of roads, and the construction of fortifications, by ordering that all the people should work one day in every week on these public works whenever required.

Although the country over which this new government was to be established was now at peace, I was very desirous that the people should not lose the martial spirit which had thus far characterized them.  



I also made laws to encourage and regulate hunting, especially the hunting of wild beasts among the mountains; and subsequently I organized many hunting excursions myself, in connection with the members of my court and the other great chieftains, in order to awaken an interest in the dangers and excitements of the chase among all the khans. I also often employed bodies of troops in these expeditions, which I considered as a sort of substitute for war.

I required that none of the natives of the country should be employed as servants, or allowed to perform any menial duties whatever. For these purposes the people were required to depend on captives taken in war and enslaved. One reason why I made this rule was to stimulate the people on the frontiers to make hostile excursions among their neighbors to supply themselves and the country with slaves.

The right of slave property thus taken was very strictly guarded, and very severe laws were made to enforce it. Without permission from his master, it was forbidden, on pain of death, to harbor a slave, or give him meat or drink, clothing or shelter. The penalty was also death if a person meeting a fugitive slave neglected to seize and secure him, and deliver him to his master.

Every man could marry as many wives as he pleased, and his female slaves were all, by law, entirely at his disposal to be made concubines.

A great importance was attached to the ties of relationship and family connection among my pastoral provinces. Two families could bind themselves together and make themselves legally one, in respect to their connection, by a fictitious marriage. These were arranged between children who had previously died. The contracts were made just as if the children were still alive and the ceremonies were all duly performed. After this the two families were held to be legally allied, and they were bound to each other by all the obligations which would have arisen in the case of a real marriage.

This custom is still continued to the present day. The people think, it is said, that such a wedding ceremony, duly solemnized by the parents of children who are dead, takes effect in the world of spirits, and that thus their union, though arranged and consecrated on earth, is confirmed and consummated in heaven.

In addition to these special enactments, there were the ordinary laws against robbery, theft, murder, adultery, and false witness. The penalties for these offenses were generally severe.

The punishment for stealing cattle was death. For petty theft the criminal was to be beaten with a stick, the number of the blows being proportioned to the nature and aggravation of the offense. The offender could, however, if he had the means, buy himself off from this punishment by paying nine times the value of the thing stolen.

In respect to religion I declared that there was but one God, the creator of heaven and earth, and it acknowledged him as the supreme ruler and governor of all mankind, the being “who alone gives life and death, riches and poverty, who grants and denies whatever he pleases, and exercises over all things an absolute power.”

This one fundamental article of faith was all that was required. For the rest, I left the various provinces and tribes throughout my dominion to adopt such modes of worship and to celebrate such religious rites as they preferred, and forbade that any one should be disturbed or molested in any way because of his religion, whatever form it might assume.


Next post;  #64    The Central Meeting Place; Dilon Ildak