Nurhaci's entry Spoiler : Nurhaci History Nurhaci was a Jurchen chieftain who rose to prominence in the late 16th century in Manchuria. Nurhaci was part of the Aisin Gioro clan, and reigned from 1616 to his death in September 1626. Nurhaci reorganized and united various Jurchen tribes (the later "Manchu"), consolidated the Eight Banners military system, and eventually launched attacks on Ming China and Joseon Korea. His conquest of Ming China's northeastern Liaoning province laid the groundwork for the conquest of the rest of China by his descendants, who founded the Qing dynasty in 1644. He is also generally credited with ordering the creation of a written script for the Manchu language. Names The meaning of the name Nurhaci in the Manchu language is "the skin of a wild boar". Regarded as the founding father of the Qing dynasty, he is given the customary temple name of Taizu, which is traditionally assigned to founders of dynasties. His name is also alternatively spelled Nurgaci, Nurhachi, or Nu-er-ha-chi (the last of these simply the transcription of the Chinese characters used to write his name). Nurhaci was the last chieftain of the Jianzhou Jurchens and First Khan of the Later Jin dynasty. His title in Manchu as Khan was Geren gurun-be ujire genggiyen Han ("Brilliant Khan Who Benefits All Nations"). His regnal name was Tianming, in Mongolian Tengri-yin Süldetü. It means "The Emperor of Heaven's Mandate." He was given a posthumous name in 1736, the shortened form of which was "Emperor Gao". Early Life Nurhaci was born in 1559. Being a member of the Gioro clan of the Suksuhu River tribe, Nurhaci also claimed descent from Möngke Temür, a Jurchen headman who lived some two centuries earlier. According to Chinese sources, the young man grew up as a soldier in the household of the Ming dynasty general Li Chengliang in Fushun, where he learned Chinese. He named his clan Aisin Gioro around 1612, when he formally ascended the throne as the Khan of the Later Jin dynasty. In 1582, Nurhaci's father Taksi and grandfather Giocangga were killed in an attack on Gure (now a village in Xinbin Manchu Autonomous County) by a rival Jurchen chieftain, Nikan Wailan ("Nikan Wailan" means "secretary of Chinese people" in the Jurchen language, thus his existence is suspected by some historians.) while being led by Li Chengliang. The following year, Nurhaci began to unify the Jurchen bands around his area. In 1584, when Nurhaci was 25, he attacked Nikan Wailan at Tulun (today a village in Xinbin too) to avenge the deaths of his father and grandfather, who are said to have left him nothing but thirteen suits of armor. Nikan Wailan fled away to Erhun, which Nurhaci attacked again in 1587. Nikan Wailan this time fled to Li Chengliang's territory. Later, as a way to build relationship, Li gave Nikan Wailan to Nurhaci, who beheaded him immediately. With Li's support, Nurhaci gradually grew his strength in the following years. Unifying the Jurchen Tribes In 1593, an alliance of nine tribes composed of Yehe, Hada, Ula, Hoifa, Khorchin, Sibe, Guwalca, Jušeri, and Neyen attacked Nurhaci and were defeated at the Battle of Gure. From 1599 to 1618, Nurhaci sets out on a campaign against the four Hulun tribes. He began by attacking the Hada in 1599 and conquering them in 1603. Then in 1607, Hoifa was also conquered with the death of its beile Baindari, followed by an expedition against Ula and its beile Bujantai in 1613, and finally the Yehe and its beile Gintaisi at the Battle of Sarhu in 1619. In 1599, Nurhaci gave two of his translators, Erdeni Bagshi and Dahai Jarguchi, the task of creating a Manchu alphabet by adapting the Mongolian script. In 1606, he was granted the title of Kundulun Khan by the Mongols. At the Battle of Sarhu Nurhaci defeated a four pronged Chinese offensive intended to capture his capital of Hetu Ala by concentrating his forces in one column at a time. In 1616, Nurhaci declared himself Khan and founded the Jin dynasty (aisin gurun), often called the Later Jin in reference to the legacy of the earlier Jurchen Jin dynasty of the 12th century. He constructed a palace at Mukden (present-day Shenyang, Liaoning). The "Later Jin" was renamed to "Qing" by his son Hong Taiji after his death in 1626, however Nurhaci is usually referred to as the founder of the Qing dynasty. In order to help with the newly organized administration, five of his trusted companions were appointed as his chief councilors, Anfiyanggū, Eidu, Hūrhan, Fiongdon, and Hohori. Nurhaci captured Liaoyang in 1621 and made it the capital of his empire until 1625. Only after he became Khan did he finally unify the Ula (clan of his consort Lady Abahai, mentioned below) and the Yehe Nara clan, the clan of his consort Monggo. Nurhaci chose to variously emphasize either differences or similarities in lifestyles with other peoples like the Mongols for political reasons. Nurhaci said to the Mongols that "The languages of the Chinese and Koreans are different, but their clothing and way of life is the same. It is the same with us Manchus and Mongols. Our languages are different, but our clothing and way of life is the same." Later Nurhaci indicated that the bond with the Mongols was not based in any real shared culture, rather it was for pragmatic reasons of "mutual opportunism", when he said to the Mongols: "You Mongols raise livestock, eat meat and wear pelts. My people till the fields and live on grain. We two are not one country and we have different languages." Challenging Ming China and Death In 1618, Nurhaci commissioned a document entitled the Seven Grievances in which he enumerated seven problems with Ming rule and began to rebel against the domination of the Ming dynasty. A majority of the grievances dealt with conflicts against Yehe, and Ming favouritism of Yehe. In 1621, Nurhaci started the construction of a new palace for his Later Jin dynasty's capital in Mukden. Nurhaci led many successful engagements against the Ming Chinese, the Koreans, the Mongols, and other Jurchen clans, greatly enlarging the territory under his control. The first capitals of the state established by Nurhaci were Fe Ala and Hetu Ala. Han Chinese participated in the construction of Hetu Ala, the capital of Nurhaci's state. Defectors from the Ming side played a massive role in the Qing conquest of the Ming. Ming generals who defected to the Manchus were often married to women from the Aisin Gioro clan while lower-ranked defectors were given non-imperial Manchu women as wives. Nurhaci arranged for a marriage between one of his granddaughters and the Ming general Li Yongfang after Li surrendered Fushun in Liaoning to the Manchus in 1618. The Han prisoner of war Gong Zhenglu (Onoi) was appointed to instruct Nurhaci's sons and received gifts of slaves, wives, and a domicile from Nurhaci after Nurhaci rejected offers of payment to release him back to his relatives. Nurhaci had treated Han in Liaodong differently according to how much grain they had, those with less than 5 to 7 sin were treated like chattel while those with more than that amount were rewarded with property. Due to a revolt by Han in Liaodong in 1623, Nurhachi, who previously gave concessions to conquered Han subjects in Liaodong, turned against them and ordered that they no longer be trusted and enacted discriminatory policies and killings against them, while ordering that Han who assimilated to the Jurchen (in Jilin) before 1619 be treated equally as Jurchens were and not like the conquered Han in Liaodong. By May 1621, Nurhaci had conquered the cities of Liaoyang and Shenyang. In April 1625, he designated Shenyang the new capital city, which would hold that status until the Qing conquest of the Ming in 1644. Finally, in 1626, Nurhaci suffered the first serious military defeat of his life at the hands of the Ming general Yuan Chonghuan. Nurhaci was wounded by the Portuguese-made cannons in Yuan's army at the Battle of Ningyuan. Unable to recover either physically or mentally, he died two days later in Aiji Fort; in present-day Da'aijinbao Village, Dijia Township, Yuhong District, Shenyang) on 30 September at the age of 68. His tomb is located east of Shenyang. Post-Death The details of Hong Taiji's succession as the Khan of the Later Jin dynasty are unclear. When he died in late 1626, Nurhaci did not designate an heir; instead he encouraged his sons to rule collegially. Three of his sons and a nephew were the "four senior beiles": Daishan (43 years old), Amin (son of Nurhaci's brother Shurhaci; 40 or 41), Manggūltai (38 or 39), and Hong Taiji himself (33). On the day after Nurhaci's death, they coerced his primary consort Lady Abahai (1590–1626)––who had borne him three sons: Ajige, Dorgon, and Dodo––to commit suicide to accompany him in death. This gesture has made some historians suspect that Nurhaci had in fact named the fifteen-year-old Dorgon as a successor, with Daishan as regent. By forcing Dorgon's mother to kill herself, the princes removed a strong base of support for Dorgon. The reason such intrigue was necessary is that Nurhaci had left the two elite Yellow Banners to Dorgun and Dodo, who were the sons of Lady Abahai. Hong Taiji exchanged control of his two White Banners for that of the two Yellow Banners, shifting their influence and power from his young brothers onto himself. According to Hong Taiji's later recollections, Amin and the other beile were willing to accept Hong Taiji as Khan, but Amin then would have wanted to leave with his Bordered Blue Banner, threatening to dissolve Nurhaci's unification of the Jurchens. Eventually the older Daishan worked out a compromise that allowed Hong Taiji as the Khan, but almost equal to the other three senior beiles. Hong Taiji would eventually find ways to become the undisputed leader. Judgment of History In his conquest of parts of Northeastern Ming ruled territories, Nurhaci helped create the foundation for the later Qing Dynasty, whose rulers were his descendants. Among the most lasting contributions Nurhaci left his descendants was the establishment of the Eight Banners, which would eventually form the backbone of the military that dominated the Qing Empire. The status of Banners did not change much over the course of Nurhaci's lifetime, nor in subsequent reigns, remaining mostly under the control of the royal family. The two elite Yellow Banners were consistently under Nurhaci's control. The two Blue Banners were controlled by Nurhaci's brother Shurhaci until he died, at which point the Blue Banners were given to Shurhaci's two sons, Chiurhala and Amin. Nurhaci's eldest son, Cuyen, controlled the White Banner for most of his father's reign until he rebelled. Then the Bordered White Banner was given to Nurhaci's grandson and the Plain White was given to his eighth son and heir, Hong Taiji. However, by the end of Nurhaci's reign, Hong Taiji controlled both White Banners. Finally, the Red Banner was run by Nurhaci's second son Daišan. Later in Nurhaci's reign, the Bordered Red Banner was handed down to his son. Daišan and his son would continue holding the two Red Banners well into the end of Hong Taiji's reign. Bannermen entry Spoiler : Bannerman (Manchu Banner Cavalry) The Eight Banners were administrative/military divisions under the Qing dynasty into which all Manchu households were placed. In war, the Eight Banners functioned as armies, but the banner system was also the basic organizational framework of all of Manchu society. Created in the early 17th century by Nurhaci, the banner armies played an instrumental role in his unification of the fragmented Jurchen people and in the Qing dynasty's conquest of the Ming dynasty. As Mongol and Han forces were incorporated into the growing Qing military establishment, the Mongol Eight Banners and Han Eight Banners were created alongside the original Manchu banners. The banner armies were considered the elite forces of the Qing military, while the remainder of imperial troops were incorporated into the vast Green Standard Army. Membership in the banners became hereditary, and bannermen were granted land and income. After the defeat of the Ming dynasty, Qing emperors continued to rely on the Eight Banners in their subsequent military campaigns. After the Ten Great Campaigns of the Qianlong Emperor, the quality of banner troops gradually decreased, and by the 19th century the task of defending the empire had largely fallen upon regional armies such as the Xiang Army. Over time, the Eight Banners became synonymous with Manchu identity even as their military strength vanished. Initially, Nurhaci's forces were organized into small hunting parties of about a dozen men related by blood, marriage, clan, or place of residence, as was the typical Jurchen custom. In 1601, with the number of men under his command growing, Nurhaci reorganized his troops into companies of 300 households. Five companies made up a battalion, and ten battalions a banner. Four banners were originally created: Yellow, White, Red, and Blue, each named after the color of its flag. By 1614, the number of companies had grown to around 400. In 1615, the number of banners was doubled through the creation of "bordered" banners. The troops of each of the original four banners would be split between a plain and a bordered banner. The bordered variant of each flag was to have a red border, except for the Bordered Red Banner, which had a white border instead. The banner armies expanded rapidly after a string of military victories under Nurhaci and his successors. Beginning in the late 1620s, the Jurchens incorporated allied and conquered Mongol tribes into the Eight Banner system. In 1635, Hong Taiji, son of Nurhaci, renamed his people from Jurchen to Manchu. That same year the Mongols were separated into the Mongol Eight Banners. Between 1637 and 1642, the Old Han Army, mostly made up of Liaodong natives who had surrendered at Yongping, Fushun, Dalinghe, etc., were organized into the Chinese Eight Banners. The original Eight Banners were thereafter referred to as the Manchu Eight Banners. Although still called the "Eight Banners" in name, there were now effectively twenty-four banner armies, eight for each of the three main ethnic groups. Among the Banners gunpowder weapons, such as muskets and artillery, were specifically wielded by the Chinese Banners. During the Boxer Rebellion, 1899–1901, 10,000 Bannermen were recruited from the Metropolitan Banners and given modernized training and weapons. One of these was the Hushenying. Many Manchu Bannermen in Beijing supported the Boxers and shared their anti-foreign sentiment. The Manchu Bannermen were devastated by the fighting during the Boxer Rebellion, sustaining enormous casualties during the war and subsequently being driven into desperate poverty. By the late 19th century, the Qing Dynasty began training and creating New Army units based on Western training, equipment and organization. Nevertheless, the banner system remained in existence until the fall of the Qing in 1911, and even beyond, with a rump organization continuing to function until the expulsion of Puyi (the former Xuantong emperor) from the Forbidden City in 1924. At the end of the Qing dynasty, all members of the Eight Banners, regardless of their original ethnicity, were considered by the Republic of China to be Manchu. Green Standard Army entry Spoiler : Green Standard Army The Green Standard Army was the name of a category of military units under the control of Qing dynasty China. It was made up mostly of ethnic Han soldiers and operated concurrently with the Manchu-Mongol-Han Eight Banner armies. In areas with a high concentration of Hui people, Muslims served as soldiers in the Green Standard Army. After the Qing consolidated control over China, the Green Standard Army was primarily used as a police force. The original Green Standard troops were the soldiers of the Ming commanders who surrendered to the Qing in 1644 and after. Their troops enlisted voluntarily and for long terms of service; they usually came from the socially disadvantaged, and remained segregated from Chinese society, partly because of the latter's deep anti-military bias during the late Ming period, and partly because they were paid too poorly and irregularly to marry and support a family. The Qing relied on the Green Standard soldiers, made out of defected Han Chinese Ming military forces who joined the Qing, in order to help rule northern China. It was Green Standard Han Chinese troops who actively military governed China locally while Han Chinese Bannermen, Mongol Bannermen, and Manchu Bannermen who were only brought into emergency situations where there was sustained military resistance. From the 18th century onwards, the Green Standard Army served primarily as a gendarmerie or constabulary force, designed to maintain local law and order and quell small-scale disturbances. However, it also contributed the bulk of forces dispatched in major campaigns. The Green Standard Army was extremely fragmented, with literally thousands of large and small outposts throughout the empire, many with as few as twelve men. It was divided into garrisons of battalion size, reporting through regional brigade generals to commanders-in-chief in each province. Governors and governor-generals each had a battalion of Green Standard troops under their personal command, but their primary duties lay in the judicial and revenue areas rather than coping with invasion or rebellion. During peacetime, it was rare for one officer to command more than 5,000 men. Strictly speaking, the Green Standard Army was not a hereditary force, although the dynasty directed its recruiting efforts primarily at sons and other relatives of serving soldiers. Enlistment was considered a lifetime occupation, but it was generally very simple to be reclassified as a civilian. A system of rotation was used for Green Standard troops in frontier areas. In Kashgaria, troops of the Green Standard from Shaanxi and Gansu had to serve for three-year tours of duty, later increased to five years, then returned home.