It is said that the first humans appeared in Mongolia almost 700 thousand years ago. Many powerful tribes--the Huns, Sianbi, Rourans, Turks, Uyghurs, and Kidani--began their conquests in Mongolia. This area is also home to the greatest conqueror ever known: Genghis Khan. Originally named Temujin, Genghis was born in 1162. He spent most of his life uniting local tribes to form a single powerful nation. In 1206, he succeeded in forming the Mongol Empire. Ever since, Genghis has been recognized as "Khan" (Mongolian for "king") by the Mongolian Council Leaders. Genghis and his successors created one of the largest contiguous empires in human history. It stretched from Central Europe to the Sea of Japan and from Siberia down to Indochina, including India, the Iranian Plateau, and the Middle East. This empire survived until 1368 when Togoon Tomor, the final ruler during the Mongol Yuan dynasty, fled power. Over the next three centuries, Mongolia suffered a serious social crisis. The Khaan lost political power, and local leaders separated from traditional authorities. Some formed their own lines of monarchy, while the rest of Mongolia dissapated into the East and West countrysides. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Qing Dynasty was replaced by the Republic of China. During this shift in power, Outer Mongolia proclaimed independence from China in December 1911. However, this new freedom was short-lived. Just four years later, it was again an autonomous region of China. Eventually, Mongolia was able to regain its independence. With the support of the Bolsheviks, Mongolia again separated from China in 1921. Then, in 1924, Mongolia officially became a republic. After declaring "freedom," the country remained a satellite state of the Soviet Union until the early 1990s. Mongolia's first democratic elections were held in July of 1990 and 1992. Once Mongolia adapted a new Constitution, the country experienced dramatic democratic and economic changes.