Without World War I, does Mongolia ever actually acquire its independence?

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Without World War I, does Mongolia ever actually acquire its independence?

Post by Futurist » 07 Jul 2020 22:33

I have an alternate/speculative history question here for everyone, but especially for @Stephen_Rynerson: Without World War I, does Mongolia ever actually acquire its independence?


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Re: Without World War I, does Mongolia ever actually acquire its independence?

Post by Lucid » 14 Jul 2020 02:10

According to the TheFreeDictionary's Encyclopedia, which itself cites The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, within "The Russo-Mongolian Agreement of 1912 on Recognition of the Autonomy of Outer Mongolia, Russia recognized the autonomy of Outer Mongolia, pledged to provide assistance to preserve the autonomous system it had established (art. 1). The government of autonomous Mongolia pledged to grant Russian subjects in Mongolia a number of privileges, which were enumerated in a protocol appended to the agreement. The agreement stated that 'other foreign subjects will not be granted in Mongolia more rights than those that Russian subjects enjoy there.' In 1913 the government of China also recognized the autonomy of Outer Mongolia."

Later, the 1915 Treaty of Kyakhta did much of the same.

So why didn't Russia push for more gains? Russia did not want to make China an enemy, did not want to get dragged into a possible war over a weak Mongolian buffer state due to Pan-Mongolism and Chinese claims over Outer Mongolia, wanted to lower the count of Chinese troops on the Mongolian border with Russia, and wanted to protect Russian people and economic interests in Outer Mongolia. All of this was done through the two treaties. Without the Russian Civil War, I assume the Russian Empire would continue it's usual policy and no warlord would dare test them. Perhaps later on a united China could contest the Russians and have Outer Mongolia stripped of it's autonomy. Tuva, however, would probably be lost to the Russians permanently as a continued protectorate and likely eventually annexed.

So how did Mongolia attain independence? In 1919 the Chinese (Beiyang government under Minister of War Duan Qirui) decided to occupy Outer Mongolia due to the Japanese-backed Buryatia pan-Mongol movement, Duan Qirui seeking an easy victory to boost his reputation after a bloody standstill in Hunan during the Constitutional Protection War and outrage during the May Fourth Movement when Japan recieved Shandong in the Treaty of Versaillies, but most importantly the Russian Civil War which left Mongolia without Russia as its protector. With White Forces retreating into Manchuria in 1921, The White Russian Asiatic Cavalry Division under Roman von Ungern-Sternberg would choose to instead expell the Chinese from Outer Mongolia and restore the Mongolian theocracy under Bogd Khan. Later that year, Sternberg would go on to invade east Siberia. Sternberg would lose and the Soviets would invade Tuva and Mongolia, establishing their respective satellite states. Tuva would be annexed in 1944 and is part of Russia today. Mongolia would achieve it's total independence with the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Fun Fact: Bogd Khan was born as Agvaanl Uvsanchoijinyam Danzan Vanchüg.

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