Later Jin (1616–1636)

Last updated
Jin State

or ᠠᡳ᠌ᠰᡳᠨ

Aisin gurun
Ming Mo Qing Xing .jpg
Later Jin (后金) c. 1626 shown in light green
Status Khanate
Common languages Jurchen (renamed Manchu after 1635), Mongolian, Chinese [1]
Government Absolute monarchy
Hong Taiji
Historical era Imperial era
 Enthronement of the Tianming Khan
 Proclamation of the Seven Grievances
 Annexation of the Northern Yuan
Currency Chinese coin,
Chinese cash
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Jianzhou Jurchens (tribal principalities)
Blank.png Ming dynasty
Blank.png Northern Yuan
Qing dynasty Blank.png
Today part of China
North Korea
Later Jin
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 後金
Simplified Chinese 后金
Literal meaningLater Gold(en) State
Manchu name
Manchu script ᠠᠮᠠᡤᠠ
Romanization (Amaga) Aisin Gurun
History of China.png
History of China
Neolithic c. 8500 – c. 2070 BCE
Xia c. 2070 – c. 1600 BCE
Shang c. 1600 – c. 1046 BCE
Zhou c. 1046 – 256 BCE
  Western Zhou
  Eastern Zhou
    Spring and Autumn
    Warring States
Qin 221–207 BCE
Han 202 BCE – 220 CE
  Western Han
  Eastern Han
Three Kingdoms 220–280
  Wei , Shu and Wu
Jin 266–420
  Western Jin
  Eastern Jin Sixteen Kingdoms
Northern and Southern dynasties
Sui 581–618
Tang 618–907
  (Wu Zhou 690–705)
Five Dynasties and
Ten Kingdoms

Liao 916–1125
Song 960–1279
  Northern Song Western Xia
  Southern Song Jin Western Liao
Yuan 1271–1368
Ming 1368–1644
Qing 1636–1912
Republic of China on mainland 1912–1949
People's Republic of China 1949–present
Republic of China on Taiwan 1949–present
Part of a series on the
History of Manchuria
The locations of Jurchen tribes in 1600s.jpg

The Later Jin (1616–1636) was a dynastic khanate in Manchuria ruled by the Jurchen Aisin Gioro leaders Nurhaci and Hong Taiji. Established in 1616 by the Jianzhou Jurchen chieftain Nurhaci upon his reunification of the Jurchen tribes, its name was derived from the former Jurchen-led Jin dynasty which had ruled northern China in the 12th and 13th centuries before falling to the Mongol Empire (China's Yuan dynasty). In 1635, the lingering Northern Yuan under Ejei Khan formally submitted to the Later Jin. The following year, Hong Taiji officially renamed the realm to "Great Qing", thus marking the start of the Qing dynasty. The Qing subsequently overran Li Zicheng's Shun dynasty and various Southern Ming claimants and loyalists, going on to rule an empire comprising China proper, Tibet, Manchuria, Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Taiwan until the 1911 Xinhai Revolution established the Republic of China.



Historians debate whether the official Chinese name of the state was "Jin" ( , Jīn), "Later Jin" ( 後金 ,Hòu Jīn), or both. Either describes it as a continuation or successor to the Jurchen Jin state established by the Wanyan clan in 1115. The Manchu form of the name was ᠠᡳ᠌ᠰᡳᠨ ᡤᡠᡵᡠᠨ (Aisin Gurun), [2] meaning simply "Golden State".


Rise of Jianzhou Jurchens

The Jurchen people had traditionally lived in Manchuria and were then divided into three tribes, the most powerful of which during the Ming dynasty was called Jianzhou Jurchens, living around the Changbai Mountains. In order to attack and suppress the Northern Yuan dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor sent military commissions to gain control of the Jurchen tribes in Manchuria. The Ming government divided the Jianzhou Jurchens into three wei (a military subdivision during the Ming dynasty), collectively known as the "Three Wei of Jianzhou". The leaders of the Jurchen tribes were usually chosen as commanders of the wei.

The northern tribe Wild Jurchens were strong at that time, and attacked the Jianzhou Jurchens. Mengtemu, commander of the Jianzhou Wei, was killed. The Jianzhou Jurchens were forced to move southwards, and finally settled at Hetu Ala.

Establishment of the Khanate

Nurhaci, a Jurchen khan, promoted the unification of the Jurchens living in Manchuria at the beginning of the 17th century. He organized "Banners", military-social units that included Jurchen, Han Chinese, and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Jurchen clans into a unified entity (which was renamed "Manchu" in 1635 by Hong Taiji), completing the establishment of the new state in 1616. This marks the start of the Later Jin dynasty.


Nurhaci, originally a Ming vassal, took a hostile attitude towards the Ming for favoritism and meddling in the affairs of the Jurchen tribes. In 1618, he proclaimed his Seven Grievances (nadan amba koro; 七大恨) which effectively declared war on the Ming dynasty. He occupied Fushun, Qinghe (清河) and other cities before retreating. The death of the Ming Vice-General Zhang Chengyin (張承蔭) during the Battle of Fushun stunned the Ming court. In 1619, he attacked the Yehe (葉赫) in an attempt to provoke the Ming. The Ming responded by dispatching expeditionary forces led by Military Commissioner Yang Hao along four routes to besiege Hetu Ala. In a series of winter battles known collectively as the Battle of Sarhū Nurhaci broke three of the four Chinese Ming armies, forcing the survivors and the fourth to retreat in disorder. This caused the power sphere of the Later Jin to extend over the entire eastern part of Liaoyang.

Relocating his court from Jianzhou to Liaodong provided Nurhaci access to more resources; it also brought him in close contact with the Khorchin Mongol domains on the plains of Mongolia. Although by this time the once-united Mongol nation had long since fragmented into individual and hostile tribes, these tribes still presented a serious security threat to the Ming borders. Nurhaci's policy towards the Khorchins was to seek their friendship and cooperation against the Ming, securing his western border from a powerful potential enemy. [3]

The unbroken series of military successes by Nurhaci came to an end in January 1626 when he was defeated by Yuan Chonghuan while laying siege to Ningyuan. He died a few months later and was succeeded by his eighth son, Hong Taiji, who emerged after a short political struggle amongst other potential contenders as the new khan.

Although Hong Taiji was an experienced leader and the commander of two Banners at the time of his succession, his reign did not start well on the military front. The Jurchens suffered yet another defeat in 1627 at the hands of Yuan Chonghuan. As before, this defeat was, in part, due to the Ming's newly acquired Portuguese cannons.

To redress his technological and numerical disparity, Hong Taiji in 1634 created his own artillery corps, the ujen cooha (Chinese: 重軍) from among his existing Han troops who cast their own cannons in the European design with the help of defector Chinese metallurgists. One of the defining events of Hong Taiji's reign was the official adoption of the name "Manchu" for the united Jurchen people in November 1635. In 1635, the Manchus' Mongol allies were fully incorporated into a separate Banner hierarchy under direct Manchu command. Hong Taiji conquered the territory north of Shanhai Pass by Ming Dynasty and Ligdan Khan in Inner Mongolia. In April 1636, Mongol nobility of Inner Mongolia, Manchu nobility and the Han mandarin held the Kurultai in Shenyang, recommended the khan of Later Jin to be the emperor of the Great Qing empire. One of the Yuan dynasty's jade seals was also dedicated to the emperor (Bogd Sécén Khaan) by nobility. When he was said to be presented with the imperial seal of the Yuan dynasty by Ejei Khan, Hong Taiji renamed his state from "Jin" to "Great Qing" and elevated his position from Khan to Emperor, suggesting imperial ambitions beyond unifying the Manchu tribes, and marking the formal end of the Later Jin period.


This was followed by the creation of the first two Han Banners in 1637 (increasing to eight in 1642). Together these military reforms enabled Hong Taiji to resoundingly defeat Ming forces in a series of battles from 1640 to 1642 for the territories of Songshan and Jinzhou. This final victory resulted in the surrender of many of the Ming dynasty's most battle-hardened troops, the death of Yuan Chonghuan at the hands of the Chongzhen Emperor (who thought Yuan had betrayed him), and the complete and permanent withdrawal of the remaining Ming forces north of the Great Wall.

Hong Taiji died suddenly in September 1643 without a designated heir. His five-year-old son, Fulin, was installed as the Shunzhi Emperor, with Hong Taiji's half brother Dorgon as regent and de facto leader of the Qing dynasty.

In 1644, Shun forces led by Li Zicheng conquered the Ming capital, Beijing. Rather than serve them, Ming general Wu Sangui made an alliance with the Manchus and opened the Shanhai Pass to the Banner armies led by Dorgon, who defeated the rebels and seized the capital. Remnants of the Ming imperial house remained in control of southern China as the Southern Ming dynasty.

See also

Related Research Articles

Qing dynasty Former empire in Eastern Asia, last imperial regime of China

The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The multiethnic Qing empire lasted for almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China. It was the fourth largest empire in world history in terms of territorial size.

The Manchu are an ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria derives its name. They are sometimes called "red-tasseled Manchus", a reference to the ornamentation on traditional Manchu hats. The Later Jin (1616–1636) and Qing dynasty (1636–1912) were established and ruled by Manchus, who are descended from the Jurchen people who earlier established the Jin dynasty (1115–1234) in China.

The Jurchen is a term used to collectively describe a number of East Asian Tungusic-speaking peoples who lived in the northeast of China, later known as Manchuria, before the 18th century. They are largely continuous with the Manchus of later history. Of obscure origins, different Jurchen groups lived as hunter-gatherers, pastoralist nomads, or sedentary agriculturists. Generally lacking a central authority, and having little communication with each other, many Jurchen groups fell under the influence of neighbouring dynasties, their chiefs paying tribute and holding nominal posts as effectively hereditary commanders of border guards.

The Eight Banners were administrative and military divisions under the Later Jin and the Qing dynasty of China 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.

Hong Taiji

Hong Taiji, sometimes written as Huang Taiji and formerly referred to as Abahai in Western literature, was the second khan of the Later Jin and the founding emperor of the Qing dynasty. He was responsible for consolidating the empire that his father Nurhaci had founded and laid the groundwork for the conquest of the Ming dynasty, although he died before this was accomplished. He was also responsible for changing the name of the Jurchen ethnicity to "Manchu" in 1635, and changing the name of his dynasty from "Great Jin" to "Great Qing" in 1636. The Qing dynasty lasted until 1912.

Later Jin invasion of Joseon

The Later Jin invasion of Joseon occurred in early 1627 when the Later Jin prince Amin lead an invasion of Korea's Joseon kingdom. The war ended after three months with the Later Jin establishing itself as sovereign tributary overlord over Joseon. However Joseon continued its relationship with the Ming dynasty and showed defiance in solidifying its tributary relationship with the Jurchens. It was followed by the Qing invasion of Joseon in 1636.

Aisin Gioro

Aisin Gioro was the Manchu ruling clan of the Later Jin dynasty (1616–1636), the Qing dynasty (1636–1912) and, nominally, Manchukuo (1932–1945). The House of Aisin Gioro ruled China proper from 1644 until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911–1912, which established a republican government in its place. The word aisin means gold in the Manchu language, and "gioro" is the name of the Aisin Gioro's ancestral home in present-day Yilan, Heilongjiang Province. In Manchu custom, families are identified first by their hala (哈拉), i.e. their family or clan name, and then by mukūn (穆昆), the more detailed classification, typically referring to individual families. In the case of Aisin Gioro, Aisin is the mukūn, and Gioro is the hala. Other members of the Gioro clan include Irgen Gioro (伊爾根覺羅), Šušu Gioro (舒舒覺羅) and Sirin Gioro (西林覺羅).

The Jianzhou Jurchens were one of the three major groups of Jurchens as identified by the Ming dynasty. Although the geographic location of the Jianzhou Jurchens has changed throughout history, during the 14th century they were located south of the Wild Jurchens and the Haixi Jurchens, inhabiting modern-day Liaoning province and Jilin province in China. The Jianzhou Jurchens were known to possess an abundant supply of natural resources. They also possessed industrial secrets, particularly in processing ginseng and the dyeing of cloth. They were powerful due to their proximity to Ming trading towns such as Fushun, Kaiyuan, and Tieling in Liaodong, and to Manpojin camp on the Korean border.

Battle of Ningyuan

The Battle of Ningyuan was a battle between the Ming dynasty and the Jurchen Later Jin in 1626. The Jurchen Later Jin had been waging war on the Ming for several years, and their leader Nurhaci had deemed Ningyuan to be a suitable target for his attack, in part due to advice from a Chinese defector, Li Yongfang. Later Jin failed to take the city and Nurhaci was wounded in the assault, dying eight months later. The Ming emerged victorious, marking a temporary resurgence of the Ming army after an eight-year-long series of defeats.

Nara clan Manchu clan

Nara is a clan name shared by a number of royal Manchu clans. The four tribes of the Hūlun confederation (扈倫四部) – Hada, Ula, Hoifa and Yehe – were all ruled by clans bearing this name.

Mongolia under Qing rule

Mongolia under Qing rule was the rule of the Qing dynasty over the Mongolian steppe, including the Outer Mongolian 4 aimags and Inner Mongolian 6 leagues from the 17th century to the end of the dynasty. "Mongolia" here is understood in the broader historical sense. The last Mongol Khagan Ligden saw much of his power weakened in his quarrels with the Mongol tribes, was defeated by the Manchus, and died soon afterwards. His son Ejei Khan gave Hong Taiji the imperial authority, ending the rule of Northern Yuan dynasty then centered in Inner Mongolia by 1635. However, the Khalkha Mongols in Outer Mongolia continued to rule until they were overrun by the Dzungars in 1690, and they submitted to the Qing dynasty in 1691.

This is a family tree of Chinese emperors from the Mongol conquest of 1279 to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912.

Northern Yuan dynasty Former empire in East Asia

The Northern Yuan was a dynastic regime ruled by the Mongol Borjigin clan based in the Mongolian Plateau. It operated as a rump state after the collapse of the Yuan dynasty of China in 1368 and lasted until its conquest by the Jurchen-led Later Jin dynasty in 1635. The Northern Yuan dynasty began with the end of Yuan rule in China proper and the retreat of the Yuan remnants led by Toghon Temür to the Mongolian steppe. This period featured factional struggles and the often only nominal role of the Great Khan.


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 as the founding Khan of Later Jin from 1616 to 1626.

Transition from Ming to Qing

The transition from Ming to Qing,Ming–Qing transition, or the Manchu unification of China from 1618 to 1683 saw the transition between two major dynasties in Chinese history. It was the decades-long conflict between the emergent Qing dynasty (清朝), the incumbent Ming dynasty (明朝), and several smaller factions in China. It ended with the rise of the Qing, the fall of the Ming and other factions, and the unification of Outer Manchuria, Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan under the Qing Empire.

Identity in the Eight Banners considers the subject of how identity was interpreted in China prior to and during the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1644–1912). China consisted of multiple ethnic groups, primarily Han, Mongol and Manchu. Identity, however, was defined much more by culture, language and participation in the military until the Qianlong Emperor resurrected the ethnic classifications.

The Battle of Dalinghe (大凌河之役) was a battle between the Jurchen Later Jin and the Ming dynasty that took place between September and November 1631. The Jurchens besieged and captured the fortified northern Ming city of Dalinghe in Liaoning. Using a combined force of Jurchen and Mongol cavalry, along with recently captured Chinese artillery units, Jurchen leader Hong Taiji surrounded Dalinghe and defeated a series of Ming reinforcement forces in the field. The Ming defenders under general Zu Dashou surrendered the city after taking heavy losses and running out of food. Several of the Ming officers captured in the battle would go on to play important roles in the ongoing Manchu conquest of China. The battle was the first major test for the Chinese firearms specialists incorporated into the Jurchen military. Whereas the Jurchens had previously relied primarily on their own Eight Banners cavalry in military campaigns, after the siege of Dalinghe the Chinese infantry would play a larger role in the fighting. Unlike Nurhaci's failed siege at the Battle of Ningyuan several years prior, the siege of Dalinghe was a success that would soon be replicated in Songshan and Jinzhou, paving the way for the establishment of the Qing dynasty and the ultimate defeat of the Ming.

Qing dynasty in Inner Asia Historical territories of the Manchu-led Qing empire

The Qing dynasty in Inner Asia was the expansion of the Qing dynasty's realm in Inner Asia in the 17th and the 18th century AD, including both Inner and Outer Mongolia, Manchuria, Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang.

Manchuria under Ming rule

Manchuria under Ming rule refers to the domination of the Ming dynasty over Manchuria, including today's Northeast China and Outer Manchuria. The Ming rule of Manchuria began with its conquest of Manchuria in the late 1380s after the fall of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, and reached its peak in the early 15th century with the establishment of the Nurgan Regional Military Commission, but the Ming power waned considerably in Manchuria after that. Starting in the 1580s, a Jianzhou Jurchen chieftain named Nurhaci (1558–1626), began to take control of most of Manchuria over the next several decades, and the Qing dynasty established by his son would eventually conquer the Ming and take control of China proper.

Chahar-Jurchen War

The Chahar-Jurchen War was a military conflict waged between the Chahar Mongols and the Jurchen Later Jin dynasty and several other Mongol groups from 1619 to 1634.


  1. Hong Taiji mediator wood letter card,have three languages of Manchu,Mongolian and Chinese. Chinese Economy (in Chinese). 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  2. Manju i Yargiyan Kooli (滿洲實錄). Zhonghua Book Company, p. 283.
  3. Bernard Hung-Kay Luk, Amir Harrak-Contacts between cultures, Volume 4, p.25