By Dr. D.Dashpurev

In 1991, Mongolia celebrated the 80th anniversary of its first revolution for national independence. This revolution was mil an ordinary freedom struggle against Manchu-Chinese dominance, as the official communist historians described it before “Perestroika” and democratization in Mongolia. In fact, it was a beginning of the first period of the Mongolian National Revival Revolution. This view on Mongolian Revolution of 1911 was officially announced only by the start of democratic processes in Mongolian society.

The political changes occurred in Mongolia in March, 1990. Official and non-official press published a lot of material on this revolution. In this process, the one side interpretation based on Russian Marxist understanding had been changing. According to this theory, the Mongolian Revolution of 1911 was a historical outcome of a long time Mongolian arat’s struggle against Manchu-Chinese domination. Of course, this understanding has some real basis, it is not enough. Recently, some Mongolian historians have discovered the real history of patriotic struggle of Mongolian progressive feudal lords and patriotic political authorities against Manchu-Chinese dominants. This political struggle has its historical foundation and beginning already from 1755-1757’s Amarsanaa-Chingunjav struggle against Manchu dominants over Mongolia. In this struggle, the Mongolian leader Bogdo the 2nd, had participated. After the suppression of this struggle, Bogdo the 2nd was executed secretly by Manchu dominants, but the Mongolian patriotic feudal lords continued their political resistance till 1911 revolution. I remember very well this historical legend, winch had been told from the old generation to the younger generation secretly as an important part of the Mongolian traditional family education. It is proclaimed that Manchu-Chinese dominance pursued the policy of the aggression over the Mongols. The legend’s content:

After the fall of the Mongolian struggle against Manchu dominance in 1755-1757, the Manchu emperor had organized a special ceremony for the Mongol princes in Beijing. The ceremony continued till mid-night. All the princes were very tipsy. Suddenly the Emperor’s messenger interrupted their ceremonial party and told the audience that he would show the Emperor’s presents and opened big silk curtain before them. There was a corpse of Shadar Wang Chingunjav who was killed by the Manchu despotically. All Mongolian princes were deeply surprised at it and were afraid of the Manchu Emperor’s present. Then the Emperor’s messenger told them: “If you do not like the Emperor, the same would happen to you also”.

This legend of Mongolian princes have never been forgotten which is being told from generation to generation with the association not to forget it. It is also told that if you happen to get good time please fight for the liberation of Mongols from the dominance of Manchu-Chinese.

The Mongols and the Mongolian feudal lords have continued with patriotic consciousness and traditions against the Manchu-Chinese domination. For example: from the 18th century till 1930s, Wang Chingunjav’s Khotgoido Khoshiu and its feudal lords had continuously organized every 1 and 3 years festivals to celebrate the death of lord Chingunjav as military symbols under the name of “Suld Tsengeeh” for religious reasons(l).

The other important form of occasion against Manchu-Chinese dominants would be to pursue struggle in Bogdo Gegegen’s Palace.

The political struggle by Mongolian progressive patriotic feudal lords against Manchu-Chinese dominants clear us from political occasions around Bogdo Jebzundamba Khutugtu as a religious leader of the Mongols. Jebzundamba Khutugtu’s (Jabzandamba Hutagt) reincarnation supported Mongolian nationalistic lords. He was executed by the Manchu officials. If he had supported Manchu dominant politics over Mongolia, then Khutugtu would have been secretly executed by Mongolian patriotic lords. This secret political struggle has continued till the 8th Jebzundamba Khutugtu (2), who was a Tibetan by birth and a son of one of Dalai Lama’s officials in Lhasa. Mongolian high lords, who lived around Bogdo, had always educated and brought up young Bogdo by Mongolian nationalism and patriotism. This political endeavor has resulted in good division of one time. This was because the 8th Bogdo had real interests in political independence of Mongolia. But until recently, in Mongolian history, the 8th Bogdo have been exhibited as a political body having struggled against Mongolian indepen­dence. However, the real role of 8th Bogdo in the struggle for Mongolian independence has been acknowledged in the works of Lattimore Owen, Dilav Khutugtu Jamsranjav, Onon Urgunge, Walther Heissig and so on. Some Mongolian Scholars have written several short articles highlighting the 8th Bogdo’s role in the struggle for independence in Mongolia.

His struggle for Mongolian independence against Manchu-Chinese expansion had begun in the last decades of the 19th century. His resistance against Manchu-Chinese Policy had followed after the signification policy of Manchu-Chinese dominance in Mongolia. The danger of Chinese infiltration increased in the quarter of the nineteenth century.

In 1860, the Chinese government allowed the Chinese to settle on the eastern border of the Khalha Mongols, in the Kharbin area.

In 1878, this permission was extended to include the territory of the eastern Mongolian princes.

In 1880, an official mission for the Mongolian territories was opened. This also alarmed the Mongols of northern Mongolia (5). The 8th Bogdo Gegegen Jebsundamba Khutugtu was well aware of the development. Because, with the help of the religious embellishment and imagery, the Bogdo Gegegen incited his flog more openly against the Chinese in 1889, 1892, 1900 and 1901 by his circulars under the name “Lunden”. These circulars and other letters of the Bogdo Gegegen had influenced the common people. They knew that their spiritual overlord also hated the Chinese and Manchus.

On the other hand, the Bogdo Gegegen along with the Mongolian patriotic Princes were trying to find political way for the Bogdo Gegegen sent his secret messages to the Russian Tsar in 1900 (6) ( Dilav Khutugtu mentioned in the memories that the Bogdo Gegegen sent his messages in 1895) (7). In this messages, he sought Russian supporters for the Mongolian independence against the Manchu-Chinese dominants. The Bogdo Gegeen’s message was prepared very secretly which only a few Mongolian high feudal lords knew. Among them who knew it were the Bogdo Gegegen’s Mongol Teacher Yonzon Khamba and Da Lama (The High Lama) Badamdorji. The Mongolian high feudal lords received positive replies from the Russian Tsar.

After this secret contact between them and the Russians, the influence of Russians increased in Outer Mongolia from time to time. During this period, several Russian expeditions were organized in Mongolia. This also led Russian trade in this country. By this time the Tibetan Dalai Lama XIII entered the Outer Mongolian border and had reached Urga (the capital of the Outer Mongolia) in 1904. His arrival in the Outer Mongolia of course had a political aim with the sole purpose of the Tibetan independence from Manchu-Chinese Empire (8). Because after two secret meetings with the Bogdo Gegegen he visited the Wangiin Khuree (now the Centre of Bulgan aimag) by the invitation of Ching Wang Khando Dorji (1870-1915) who’s grandfather like him viewed the Chinese unfriendly. Beijing to Tibet. But with his accompanied Ching Wang Khando Dorji’s lovely son, who was only 17 years old and unfortunately this young prince had been executed with the permission of the Manchu-Chinese authorities in Beijing. Ching Wang Khando Dorji arrived in hurry to Beijing but he could not rescue his son from the danger and he received from the Manchu-Chinese authorities only his son’s head in a plate in 1906. After his coming back to the Outer Mongolia Ching Wang Khando Dorji had attended more and more activities, involved in the struggle for the Mongolian Independence against the Manchu-Chinese dominants(9). He had begun acti­vely by contacting the Russians and other Mongolian patriotic princes. Besides Ching Wang Khando Doiji, among the Mongolian patriotic princes and the progressive feudal lords had occupied important places Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren (1X78-1919), Da Lama Tserenchimed (1872-1914), Tushmel Haisang (from the Inner Mongolia) and so on.

The Mongolian high feudal lords and princes along with the Bogdo Gegegen had been discussed in the context of Mongolian independence right from the last of the XIX century. Among them Sain Hoyon Khan Namnansuren and Ching Wang Khando Dorji supported the Russian protection (lO), though Da Lama Tserenchimed not only the Russian protection but if possible, Japan’s protection also (ll) by the way, there was no conflict among them on the issue of Mongolian independence because all these Mongolian high feudal lords and Bogdo Gegegen were keen to establish the independence of Mongolia.

By this time the Tsarist Russia had been actively interested in the Central Asia, particularly in the Outer Mongolia, l min the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century, Russian had organized several scholar’s expedition in Mongolia, through Tibet and Shinjiang. Russian trade participation particularly increased steadily step by step in the Outer Mongolia. As a consequence, it led Russian expansionist poli­tics to the Central Asia in which Mongolia was the important part of this geopolitical area in Asia. To Russian Far East Asia would have been impossible without the Mongolian area, which considered Tagnu Tuva Mongol, Buryat Mongol, Outer Mon­gol, Inner Mongol and sinking Urdur Mongol. Had Russia lost the Far East, for example, under the Japan’s Control, the Great Russia would have lost its route into the Pacific World. It is clear, therefore, as to why Russia and Japan did not have common understanding about Inner Mongolian problems in 1907 in their treaty after the Ruso-Japanese War from 1905 to 1907. Such a scenario clearly reveals that the Outer Mongolian struggle against Manchu-Chinese domination was useful for Russian geopolitics. It is the reason why the Tsarist Russia supported the struggle of the Mongols against Manchu-Chinese Domination.

The Russian Consul in Ikh Khuree (the capital of the Outer Mongolia during this time) wrote to the Russian Government that if Russia did not support the struggle of the Mongols against the Manchu-Chinese Dominance, this country have found its other supporters among the great powers and they would occupy positions in Mongolia (12).

The Tsarist Russia supported the Mongolian struggle in concrete political conditions. This became clear from the beginning of the First Mongolian revolution for independence in 1911.

In the spring of 1911, Mongolian leaders had decided to begin the struggle for national independence against the Manchu-Chinese dominance and for this they decided to seek support from Russia. The Mongolian leaders had chalked out two-phase programme; the first, to establish independence of Mongolia, and the second, to unite the Mongols under the Mongolian independent Government (13).

The Tsarist Russian Government supported only the auto­nomy of the Outer Mongolia; if possible under the dominance of Russia, but that was not possible then under the Chinese common control with Russian activity in this country. Russia had an ambition to establish its full dominance in Mongolia in future, particularly, in the Outer Mongolia. Such a political programme of Russia was so clearly visible just after the victory of the first Mongolian revolution for national independence in 1911.

As a result of revolution, the Mongolian independent Government was established in November, 1911. Just after the Revolution, the Mongolian Government pursued the policy of liberating their country from the clusters of Chinese military forces. The independent Mongolian Military forces succeeded in liberating the Outer Mongolian territory like Khovdo and Ulaangom in 1912. By this time, the Chinese new Government of Yuan Shih Kai sent several telegrams to the Bogdo Khan to frighten the Mongols by the Chinese military might. The Bogdo khan’s Mongolian Government easy time replied resolutely asserting the determination for Mongolian Independence.

The officials of Mongolian Government had asserted that the Mongols and the Chinese had existed along with other nations under the Manchu dominance for a long time. But in 1911 the Mongolian and the Chinese both were liberated from I lie Manchus through their struggle for national independence. So in the future the Mongols and the Chinese would exist as two independent neighboring countries (14).

At several occasions, the Chinese Government tried to frighten the Bogdo Khan’s Government. In the official commu­nication from China, the government mentioned that China could send its military force to Mongolia which would be consi­derably large, out-numbering the entire Mongol population. In response to such letters from China the Bogdo Khan told Mr. B.Tserendorj that of course there was too much hair on a man’s head, it must be cut of by only one knife. Please you will reply like that (15). It was a reality that the Mongolian Military Force had liberated the whole Outer Mongolia in 1912 and had conti­nued its liberation war in the Inner Mongolia successfully during 1913. Particularly Mongolian Military patriotic leaders like Khatan Bator S.Magsarjav (16), Manlai Bator J.Damdinsuren(17), Zorigtu Bator E.Togtokh Taiji(18), Yalgun Bator L.Sumiya Beis(19) and others had actively attended in this liberation movement in the Inner Mongolia during 1913. Their forces had conquered over the Chinese military forces several times. The Mongolian liberation movement was halted only by Russian and Chinese diplomatic pressures on the Government of the Bogdo Khan. This was the reason why not only China but oven Russia did not want Mongolian unity. This position was made clear by Russia itself at the time of the Russian- Mongolian Agreement in 1912.

During the negotiation on Agreement, The Minister of interior Affairs, (who was important: one among the others) Da Lama Tserenchimed, refused to concede to Russian diplomat and his representative, P.Y.Korostovech, had seriously discussed the provision of the Agreement with Da Lama Tserenchimed and they realised that there was lack of common opinion on some articles of the agreement. P.Y.Korostovez reported it to the Russian authorities in Moscow. Subsequently, after this denunciation the Russian Ambassador, Krupenskii, in Beijing (China) demanded the official letter from the Bogdo Khan to remove Da Lama Tserenchimed from his post. Also, the Russian consul, (in the Outer Mongolia) Mr. Liyuba, tried to get this demand of the Russian Government executed. After all these developments, the Bogdo Khan assigned Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren, by the Prime Minister of the Mongolian Government, and the agreement between Mongolia and Russia was signed on 2nd November, 1912 in Ikh Khuree (the capital of Mongolia).

Through this agreement Russia had tried to confirm its domination under the name “Protectorship” which was given to Russia by the secret agreement between Russia and Japan in 1912. The Mongolian political leaders inquired (20) about this secret agreement. Just after Ikh Khuree’s agreement with Russia, the Mongolian Government sent its representative headed by Da Lama Tserenchimed to Japan. Unfortunately the Russian Consu­late in Kharbin did not allow them to go to Japan.

After this mission the Mongolian Government tried to restrict Russian intentions in Mongolia. But this was not realised for the reason of which urban Russia and China. On the other hand, Russia and China had discussed the Mongolian problems in Beijing during this period. As a result of then- secret meeting in Beijing the Sino-Russian Declaration was signed in 1913. The Mongolian Government however announced that Mongolia would not accept this document as official and of real value (2l).

The two neighboring, the Great powers, Russia and China, after a long discussion (this meeting continued for more than 8 months) with Mongolia, ignored independence of  Mongolia in 1915, just after five years of the first Mongolian revolution for national independence.

The people of Mongolia and the Government Bogdo Khan tried to continue national independence. For political reasons, they killed by poisoning the Mongolian patriotic leaders like (Minister of the Interior Affairs) Da Lama Tserenchimed in 1914, Ching Wang Khando Dorji, Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1915, Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren - the Prime Minister in 1919. Such political terrors committed on Mongolian patriotic loaders are enough to demonstrate that the first Mongolian involution for national independence was accomplished by the leaders. It also exhibits that their patriotic struggle for the first Mongolian revolution for national independence had deeply influenced the history of the Mongols and their society. It means that the Mongolian revolution in 1921 was closely connected with the revolution in 1911. Some important historical facts, showed straight connection between these revolutions for national independence of the Mongols, are elaborated for wider understanding.

Firstly, it is well known the Bogdo Gegegen personally informed to this people the Mongolian revolutionary intention was to seek support from the communist Government of Russia for the struggles of the Mongols against Chinese Occupation. Also now, it is well known, that the Bogdo Gegegen and some Mongolian high feudal lords and political leaders had discussed about political contacts with communist Russia for the sake of the struggle for national independence. These historical materials have come to light only after the start of the democratization process in Mongolian society (22).

Secondly, among the participants and leaders of the involution in 1921 there were many of them who were leaders and participants in the revolution of 1911. The important perso­nalities among them were Khatan Bator S.Magsarjav, Zorigt Bator E.Togtokh Taij, Yalgun Bator L.Sumiya Beis, Jun Wang Shirnendamdin, Dilav Khutugtu, Jalhanz Khutugtu, Khicheengui Said Tserendorji and so on(23).

At the time of the Mongolian revolution of 1921, Russian communists had actively influenced the Mongolian revolutio­naries and it was because of them that some communist revolutionary tasks in their party were incorporated programme. In spite of these communist revolutionary aims, they continued their struggle for national independence and unity of the Mongols.

S.Danzan’s group in particular, among the revolutionaries participated for the aims of the first Mongolian revolution for national independence 1911.

One of the leaders of the revolution 1921, S.Danzan, who was the chairman of the MPP Central Committee, had organised a conference in the capital (Niislel Khuree) for party members in the spring of 1922(24). In this conference he presented a paper on “How to unite the Mongols and how to strengthen the foundations of the independent state”. In this paper he focused on the inter-connection between the problems of independence of the country and the unification of the Mongols. The idea was to achieve in the first Mongolian revolution in 1911 and also was followed by the most of leaders of the revolution in 1921.

The ideal of Mongolian unity had been tried to be realised by Kh.Choibalsan when Mongolian military forces joined war against Japan in 1945. But this problems was decided by the Great powers at the Crimea. Problems of the Mongolian unity were never discussed in Mongolia after 1924, when it was declared as an independent republic of the Mongolian people. Even the Mongolian historians did not study this problems with careful attention, by ideological commitment and political rea­sons.

A meaningful history dealing with the period between the first Mongolian revolution and the present day democratization process of Mongolian society has not been studied so far. We, however, do not want to disregard the well-known and successful studies of distinguished scholars like Onon Orgiinge, Latinmore Owen, Ram Rahul, Sh.Sandag and so on(25). When the Mongolian archive materials were published (26), particularly after the beginning of democratization process of Mongolian society, this problem was discussed openly and widely in the press. It is a matter of great satisfaction to remark that first of all the MSDR (Mongolian Social Democratic Party) officially announced and supported the view that the historical events of 1911 in Mongolia were directed towards the national indepen­dence in the history of Mongols (27). Recently, some Mongolian scholars have written about this event as the revolution for national independence and put forward to call it as the Mongo­lian revolution for national independence.

Now no one can question this view on academic grounds on Mongolia. This one important aspect for an understanding of this issue. The aspect is about the sense of national unity of the Mongols among the common people.

Real facts and events in the present day Mongolian society how that a sense of national unity consists of the non-political understanding, creating the intimacy between the Mongols.

If, in the future, the demand for the rights of autonomy of the Khalmic Mongol, the Buryat Mongol and the Tagnu Tuva are raised, the real contacts between the Mongols would increase although the Mongols in China have different social conditions.

In this short paper, unfortunately, we have not analysed the problem of the Mongolian unification as an important aspect of the first Mongolian revolution’s aftermath. In my opinion this problem demands a special academic study at this juncture.





  1. Purev O. “Shidar Wang Chingiinjav” Ardyn erkhe. 2 October 1990. N°37.
  2. He was born in Tiben in 1870 and was brought from his Tibetan home in 1873 to Urga (the capital of Mongolia), for the seat of the Jebzundamba Khutugtu.
  3. Walther Heissig. A lost Civilization. The Mongols redisco­vered. London. 1966. p. 173.6. S.Idshinnorov and G.Tserendorji “Jebzundamba Khutugtu” Unen. 16 June 1990. N°143.
  4. Dilav Khutugtu, “Ar Mongolyn...” Zaluuchuudyn Unen, 1990.
  5. T.Tomorkhuleg. “VIII Jebzundamba Khutugtu yamar hun baiv” (who was the 8th Jebzundamba Khutugtu) Utga zohiol, urlag. 6 April 1990. No 15, Ulaanbaatar.
  6. Baatar. Ching Wang Khando Dorji. Unen. 17 February 1990. №,... Ulaanbaatar.
  7. S.Idshinnorov, Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren, Unen. 1990. A.Dashnyam, Khalhiin Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren, Khodolmor, 11 January 1990. N°5, Ulaanbaatar.
  8. T.Tomorkhuleg, Da Lama Tserenchimed, Khodolmor. 7 December 1989. Ulaanbaatar. B.Davaasuren. Da Lama Tserenchimed. Unen, 31 March 1990. Ulaanbaatar.
  9. B.Kotovich’s personal archives, Ulaanbaatar 1972.
  10. Mejdu Narodnye Otnoshenie V epohu Imperialisma (International relations in epoch of imperialism) Part 3, vol.3 (in Russian) Moscow.
  11. Materials of the Bogdo Khan’s Archives. The Central Archives (The special parts), Ulaanbaatar.
  12. R.Sugarsuren. Ardyn Khatan Baatar, Unen, 20 Jan. 1990. №17. Ulaanbaatar. L.Jamsran Undesnii erkhe choloonii Manlai Baatar, Unen. 24 July 1991. N°97.
  13. S.Bat-Yunden, Manlai Baatar, Unen. 3 Feb. 1990. №29. Ulaanbaatar.
  14. Ch.Ganbaatar. Togtokh Taiji. Unen. 28 April 1990. 101. Ulaanbaatar.
  15. S. Idshinnorov and G.Tserendoij, Lavariin Sumiya, Unen. 20 March 1990. №67. Ulaanbaatar.
  16. Mejdu Naradnye otnoshenie V epohu imperialism (international Relation in epoch of Imperialism) part 3, vol.2. p.58 (In Russian) Moscow.
  17. From the Mongolian Prime Minister Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren’s announcement in the meeting with the Russian Authorities in Sankt-Petersburg in 1913.
  18. From the Mongolian Prime Minister Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren’s announcement in the meeting with the Russian Authorities in Sankt-Peterburg in 1913.
  19. S.Idshinnorov and G.Tserendoij. Jun Wang Shirnendamdin, Unen, 2 August, 1990. №180, Ulaanbaatar. D.Dash. Khicheengui Mergen said. Ardyn erkhe. 9 May 1990. Ulaanbaatar.
  20. D.Dash. Soliin Danzan, Ulaanbaatar, 1990. p.26.
  21. Lattimore Owen. Nationalism and Revolution in Mongolia, New York, 1955. Onon Urgunge and Derrick Pitchatt. Asia’s first Modem Revolution, 1989, Ram Rahul, Mongolia In-tween China and the USSR, New Delhi 1989, Sh.Sandag. Mongold Manchiin noyorhalyg ustgaj, undesniihee tusgaar togtnolyg sergeen tunhanglasan (Mongolia abolished Manchu Dominant and the proclaimed its national independence Ulaanbaatar 1971.
  22. Archives document: Mongolyn ard tumnii 1911 ony undesnii erke choloo, tusgaar togtnolyn tuluu temtsel. Ulaanbaatar, 1982.
  23. Political report of the first congress of the Mongolian social democratic party, March 31, 1990. Ulaanbaatar.
  24. L.lamsran, Tsag tsagaaraa baidaggui (The time is changing) Unen, 25. May 1991. №124. Mongolyn Tsagaagchin gahai jiliin huvisgal (The revolution of 1911) Ardyn erkhe.11 Oct. 1991. №190.



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