The dynamic, nomadic hordes, the invading calvary forces which had periodically flooded both the East and the West in previous centuries declined in energy in the 17th century. A desire for fur drew the Russians deeper and deeper into the area and they reached the Pacific coast in 1649. The southern and eastern regions were controlled by China. Only the western portion of Mongolia (now called “Outer Mongolia”) remained independent from Russian and Chinese control. While the Manchu Ch’ing dynasty was busy suppressing southern rebels, eastern Mongols known as Tatars and Khalkas stormed northern China in 1675. Even though the eastern Mongols were pushed back by the Manchu emperor, another Mongol chief, Galdan, invaded from Central Asia. The old Uzbek areas northeast of the Caspian were now called the land of the Kalmuks and Kazakhs. In Tibet, the Potala Palace stood atop a mountain, rising 700 feet above the town of Lhasa. Although this was started under construction in the 7th century, most of it was built between 1645 and 1694 to be the winter palace of the Dalai Lama.


The Potala Palace (Source: Wikimedia)


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