Mongolians are an old civilisation. Chinese historians confirm the existence of Mongolian tribes from the 10th century. At that period, Mongolians lived East Central Asia and North Manchuria. Legends tell that the forefathers of Mongolian people are Grey Wolf and Beautiful Hind, but the first Mongolian man recognised is Bodonchar; he lived around the 970's.
His descendants became the kings of Mongolian people, but it was only a title. Several clans and tribes had their own leader. As any national divided entity, Mongolians knew a regional political system. In Central Asia, the power belonged to the Jurchen dynasty. The Jurchens used to attack nomads in order to keep them far from borders.
The Mongolian kings defended their territory, with no success, because of the separation of many clans. In 1162, Temuujin, who later became Genghis Khan, was born from Yesugei, a relative of the Mongolian khan. When he was 10 years old, the Tatars who were enemies, poisoned his father. Later, all his relatives gave up his family, so that Yesugei's two widows had to live alone with six young children. The oldest was Temuujin, and he quite quickly became important. When he reached 20, he managed to gather a group of partisans who followed him faithfully.
In 1185, the great assembly of the Mongolian nobles proclaimed Temuujin khan of Mongolia, and gave him the name of Genghis. Even if the important lords recognised Genghis, he had to face up to a great opposition and to military actions. He suffered from defeats and probably went into exile. After his exile, he found only a few supporters. Around 1193, Genghis assumed again the role of leader of Central Asia. He defeated his enemies and beat his rivals. Then he began to unify the Mongolian tribes in one single Mongolian nation.
In 1206, the great assembly of the Mongolian leaders elected Genghis as khan of Mongolia. This time, nobody was opposed to him. 1206 is the year of establishment of the Mongolian state.
Genghis Khan instituted a codified law to replace nomadic habits. He reorganised army, taxes, and state administration. He also introduced the Mongolian alphabet, derived from the Uyghur writing.