Li Shanchang (Chinese :李善長; pinyin :Lǐ Shàncháng; Wade–Giles :Li Shan-ch'ang; 1314-1390) was the founding chancellor of the Ming dynasty. Deemed the recognized leader of the West Huai (Huaixi) faction, and given first rank among the six dukes in 1370, it is said that Li was the Emperor Hongwu's closest comrade during the war (against the Yuan dynasty), and greatest contributor to his ultimate victory and thus establishment of the Ming Dynasty. Deeply trusted by the Emperor, Hongwu consulted Li on institutional matters, but became "bored with Li's arrogance" in old age.
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.
Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.
Wade–Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade, during the mid-19th century, and was given completed form with Herbert A. Giles's Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892.
Li "planned the organization of the six ministries, shared in the drafting of a new law code, and supervised the compilations of the History of Yuan , the Ancestral Instructions and the Ritual Compendium of the Ming Dynasty." He established salt and tea monopolies based on Yuan institutions, eliminated corruption, restored minted currency, opened iron foundries, and instituted fish taxes. It is said that revenues were sufficient, yet the people were not oppressed.
The History of Yuan, also known as the Yuanshi, is one of the official Chinese historical works known as the Twenty-Four Histories of China. Commissioned by the court of the Ming dynasty, in accordance to political tradition, the text was composed in 1370 by the official Bureau of History of the Ming dynasty, under direction of Song Lian (1310–1381).
A doubtful classicist at best, and yet a skillful draftsman of legal documents, mandates, and military communications, the History of Ming biography states that his studies included Chinese Legalist writings, a statement made of no other individual among more than three hundred others. Most of his activities seem to have supported Hongwu Emperor's firm control of his regime. Mainly responsible for ferreting out disloyalty and factionalism among military officers, he used a reward and punishment system reminiscent of the Han Feizi, and may have had a kind of secret police in his service. At times he had charge of all civil and military officials in Nanjing.
The History of Ming or the Ming History is one of the official Chinese historical works known as the Twenty-Four Histories. It consists of 332 volumes and covers the history of the Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1644. It was written by a number of officials commissioned by the court of Qing Dynasty, with Zhang Tingyu as the lead editor. The compilation started in the era of the Shunzhi Emperor and was completed in 1739 in the era of the Qianlong Emperor, though most of the volumes were written in the era of the Kangxi Emperor.
The Hongwu Emperor, personal name Zhu Yuanzhang, was the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty.
The Han Feizi is an ancient Chinese text attributed to foundational political philosopher, "Master" Han Fei. It comprises a selection of essays in the "Legalist" tradition on theories of state power, synthesizing the methodologies of his predecessors. Its 55 chapters, most of which date to the Warring States period mid-3rd century BC, are the only such text to survive intact. Easily one of the most important philosophical classics in ancient China, it touches on administration, diplomacy, war and economics, and is also valuable for its abundance of anecdotes about pre-Qin China.
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Li's import into Legalist statecraft and prognostication theories originally left him an educated, yet marginal figure in Dingyuan County until his recruitment by the Emperor Hongwu, who was passing through the area with his army. Li discussed history with him, namely, the qualities of the founding Han Emperor Gaozu of Han, and the emperor invited Li to take over the secretarial and managerial duties of his field command. He proved able and energetic, often staying behind to transfer army provisions. He was given first rank among officers with the titles of Grand Councilor of the Left and "Dynastic Duke of Han". Comparisons between the Emperor Hongwu and Gaozu became a theme of the Ming Court and it's historians.
Dingyuan County is a county of Anhui Province, China. It is under the administration of Chuzhou city.
Emperor Gaozu of Han, born Liu Bang (劉邦), was the founder and first emperor of the Han dynasty, reigning from 202 – 195 BCE. "Gaozu of Han" is his temple name, meaning "The High Ancestor of Han". Liu Bang was one of the few dynasty founders in Chinese history who was born in a peasant family.
One history holds that, after the navy in Chaohu surrendered to the emperor, Li urged ferrying the soldiers to capture the southern area of the Yangtze River. Then Li gave an advance notice to prevent the army from violating the military discipline. The duplicates of his notice were plastered everywhere in the occupied city, Taiping. Consequently, the troops garrisoned there in an orderly fashion.
Chaohu was formerly a prefecture-level city and is now a county-level city in central Anhui province, People's Republic of China. Situated on the northeast and southeast shores of Lake Chao, from which the city was named, Chaohu is under the administration of Hefei, the provincial capital, and is the latter's easternmost county-level division.
The Yangtze or Yangzi, which is 6,300 km (3,915 mi) long, is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. Its source is in the northern part of the Tibetan Plateau and it flows 6,300 km (3,900 mi) in a generally eastern direction to the East China Sea. It is the sixth-largest river by discharge volume in the world. Its drainage basin comprises one-fifth of the land area of China, and is home to nearly one-third of the country's population.
Dangtu County is one of three counties under the jurisdiction of the prefecture-level city of Ma'anshan in the southeast of Anhui Province, China.
The emperor asked Li to assume responsibility for administrative affairs in 1353,granting him overall institutional authority long before codification work started. Li's petitioning Emperor Hongwu to eliminate collective prosecution reportedly initiated the drafting. Hongwu ordered Li and others to create the basic law code in 1367, appointing him Left Councilor and chief legislator in a commission of 30 ministers. Hongwu emphasized the importance of simplicity and clarity, and noted that the Tang dynasty and Song dynasty had fully developed criminal statutes, ignored by the Yuan dynasty. Li memorialized that all previous codes were based on the Han code, synthesized under the Tang, and based their institutions on the Tang Code .
The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China spanning the 7th to 10th centuries. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty. The Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day.
The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The Song often came into conflict with the contemporary Liao and Western Xia dynasties in the north. It was eventually conquered by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass.
The Yuan dynasty, officially the Great Yuan, was the empire or ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. It followed the Song dynasty and preceded the Ming dynasty. Although the Mongols had ruled territories including modern-day North China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style, and the conquest was not complete until 1279. His realm was, by this point, isolated from the other khanates and controlled most of modern-day China and its surrounding areas, including modern Mongolia. It was the first foreign dynasty to rule all of China and lasted until 1368 which ended in Ming dynasty defeating the Yuan dynasty, the rebuked Genghisid rulers retreated to their Mongolian homeland and continued to rule the Northern Yuan dynasty. Some of the Mongolian Emperors of the Yuan mastered the Chinese language, while others only used their native language and the 'Phags-pa script.
Following the drafting of the code, Li personally oversaw any new stipulations,including a system of fixed statutes made to combat corruption. He joined with Hu Weiyong against Yang Xian, another chancellor. Their efforts contributed to Yang's death, making Li the most powerful figure next to the emperor at the court in 1370. He quarreled with the great classical scholar Liu Bowen, causing the latter to resign from public office.
In old age and extremely rich, he retired as the emperor's distaste grew for his arrogance, but would still be called upon to deliberate military and dynastic affairs. Other councilors fared worse; Guangyang, remembered his carefulness, generosity, honesty, uprightness and seriousness, was demoted several times. A lack of division of powers between the Emperor and his councilors apparently resulted in conflicts, and the grand councilors (four total) gave up on state affairs, following prevailing affairs or doing nothing. Appointed to right councilor, Li gave himself over to drinking. He was ultimately implicated in 1390 in a decade-long conspiracyand purged along with his extended family and thirty thousand others. The accusations against him would be memorialized as absurd fabrications, recognized as such by the Emperor Hongwu. He was executed largely on the basis of his supposed awareness and non-reporting of treason. The post of councilor (or prime minister) was abolished following their execution.
Fajia or Legalism is one of Sima Tan's six classical schools of thought in Chinese philosophy. Roughly meaning "house of Fa", the "school" (term) represents some several branches of realistic statesmen or "men of methods" foundational for the traditional Chinese bureaucratic empire. Compared with Machiavelli, they have often been considered in the Western world as akin to the Realpolitikal thought of ancient China, emphasizing a realistic consolidation of the wealth and power of autocrat and state, with the goal of achieving increased order, security and stability. Having close ties with the other schools, some would be a major influence on Taoism and Confucianism, and the current remains highly influential in administration, policy and legal practice in China today.
The Chinese statesman Shen Buhai was Chancellor of the Han state under Marquis Zhao of Han for fifteen years, from 354 BC to 337 BC. A contemporary of syncretist Shi Jiao and Legalist Shang Yang, he was born in the State of Zheng, and was likely a minor official there. After Han conquered Zheng in 375 BC, he rose up in the ranks of the Han officialdom, dividing up its territories and successfully reforming it. Though not dealing in penal law himself, his administrative innovations would be taken into "Chinese Legalist" statecraft by Han Fei, his most famous successor, and Shen Buhai's book most resembles the Han Feizi. He died of natural causes while in office.
The Jianwen Emperor was the second emperor of the Ming dynasty in China. His personal name was Zhu Yunwen (朱允炆). The era name of his reign, Jianwen, means "establishing civility" and represented a sharp change in tone from Hongwu, the era name of the reign of his grandfather and predecessor, the Hongwu Emperor. His reign did not last long: an attempt to restrain his uncles led to the Jingnan rebellion. The Jianwen Emperor was eventually overthrown by one of his uncles, Zhu Di, who was then enthroned as the Yongle Emperor. Although the Yongle Emperor presented a charred body as Zhu Yunwen's, rumours circulated for decades that the Jianwen Emperor had disguised himself as a Buddhist monk and escaped from the palace when it was set on fire by Zhu Di's forces. Some people speculated that one of the reasons behind why the Yongle Emperor sponsored the admiral Zheng He on his treasure voyages in the early 15th century, was for Zheng He to search for the Jianwen Emperor, who was believed to have survived and fled to Southeast Asia. Some historians believe that the Jianwen Emperor had indeed survived and escaped from Nanjing, but the official histories of the Ming dynasty were modified later during the Qing dynasty to please the Manchu rulers.
Wu wei (無爲) is a concept literally meaning "without exertion". Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period, and Confucianism, to become an important concept in Chinese statecraft and Taoism, and was most commonly used to refer to an ideal form of government including the behavior of the emperor. Describing a state of unconflicting personal harmony, free-flowing spontaneity and savoir faire, it generally also more properly denotes a state of spirit or mind, and in Confucianism accords with conventional morality. Sinologist Jean François Billeter describes it as a "state of perfect knowledge of the reality of the situation, perfect efficaciousness and the realization of a perfect economy of energy", which in practice Edward Slingerland qualifies as a "set of ("transformed") dispositions ... conforming with the normative order."
The battle of Lake Poyang (鄱陽湖之戰) was a naval conflict which took place 30 August – 4 October 1363 between the rebel forces of Zhu Yuanzhang and Chen Youliang during the Red Turban Rebellion which led to the fall of the Yuan dynasty. Chen Youliang besieged Nanchang with a large fleet on Lake Poyang, China's largest freshwater lake, and Zhu Yuanzhang met his force with a smaller fleet. After an inconclusive engagement exchanging fire, Zhu employed fire ships to burn the enemy tower ships and destroyed their fleet. This was the last major battle of the rebellion prior to the rise of the Ming dynasty.
Liu Ji, courtesy name Bowen, better known as Liu Bowen, was a Chinese military strategist, philosopher, statesman and poet who lived in the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties. He was born in Qingtian County. He served as a key advisor to Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty, in the latter's struggle to overthrow the Yuan dynasty and unify China under his rule. Liu is also known for his prophecies and has been described as the "Divine Chinese Nostradamus". He and Jiao Yu co-edited the military treatise known as the Huolongjing.
The Embroidered Uniform Guard was the imperial secret police that served the emperors of the Ming dynasty in China. The guard was founded by the Hongwu Emperor in 1368 to serve as his personal bodyguards. In 1369 it became an imperial military body. They were given the authority to overrule judicial proceedings in prosecutions with full autonomy in arresting, interrogating and punishing anyone, including nobles and the emperor's relatives.
Xu Da (1332–1385), courtesy name Tiande, was a Chinese military general who lived in the late Yuan dynasty and early Ming dynasty. He was a friend of Hongwu Emperor, the founder and first ruler of the Ming dynasty, and assisted him in overthrowing the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty and establishing the Ming dynasty. He was also the father of Empress Xu, who married the third Ming ruler, the Yongle Emperor.
Jiao Yu was a Chinese military officer, philosopher, and writer of the Ming dynasty under Zhu Yuanzhang, who founded the dynasty and became known as the Hongwu Emperor. He was entrusted by Zhu as a leading artillery officer for the rebel army that overthrew the Mongol Yuan dynasty, and established the Ming Dynasty. As a senior adviser and general, he was later appointed to the venerable and noble status of the Count of Dongning. He edited and wrote a famous military treatise that outlined the use of Chinese military technology during the mid 14th century based on his military campaign of 1355 AD. However, descriptions of some gunpowder weapons in his treatise derive from Song Dynasty materials on battles against the Khitans, Jurchens and Mongols. His Huolongjing, translated as the Fire Drake Manual, contains descriptions of fire arrows, fire lances, grenades, firearms, bombards, cannons, exploding cannonballs, land mines, naval mines, rockets, rocket launchers, two-stage rockets, and various gunpowder solutions including poisonous concoctions.
Zhu is the pinyin romanization of four Chinese surnames: 朱, 祝, 竺, and 諸. It is alternatively spelled Chu in the Wade–Giles romanization system, and Choo.
Hu Weiyong was the first chancellor of the Ming dynasty, from 1373 to 1380. Hu was a main member of Huaixi meritorious group. He was well known as the central character of the case which named after himself, it caused about thirty thousand of deaths. Besides, his biography topped the Biographies of the Treacherous Courtiers, History of Ming.
Founding Emperor of Ming Dynasty is a Chinese television series based on the life of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. Directed by Feng Xiaoning and starring Hu Jun as the emperor, the series was first aired on CCTV in China in 2006.
Chuanqi Huangdi Zhu Yuanzhang is a Chinese television series based on the life of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. Starring Chen Baoguo as the emperor, the series was first broadcast on CCTV in mainland China in 2006.
House of Zhu, also known as House of Chu, was the imperial family of the Ming dynasty of China. Zhu was the family name of the emperors of the Ming dynasty. The House of Zhu ruled China from 1368 until the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644, followed by the rule as the Southern Ming dynasty until 1662, and the last Ming princes, the Prince of Ningjing Zhu Shugui and Prince Zhu Honghuan (朱弘桓) held out until the annexation of the Kingdom of Tungning in 1683.
The Ming Ancestors Mausoleum is the first imperial mausoleum complex of the Ming dynasty, and a cenotaph located north of the former Sizhou City, Yangjiadun, in present-day Xuyi County, Huaian City, by Hongze Lake, north of Huai River Jiangsu Province, China. It was built by Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty, in 1385, for his great-great-grandfather, great-grandfather and grandfather. It is also the actual burial site of Zhu Chuyi, Zhu Yuanzhang's grandfather.
Li Jinglong (1369–1424), nickname Jiujiang, was a Ming dynasty general. He was the son of Li Wenzhong, the nephew of Zhu Yuanzhang through Zhu's older sister. During the Jingnan Campaign, he supported the Jianwen Emperor against the Prince of Yan.
Events from the year 1368 in China.
The Hongwu Tongbao was the first cash coin to bear the reign name of a reigning Ming dynasty Emperor bearing the reign title of the Hongwu Emperor. Hongwu Tongbao cash coins officially replaced the earlier Dazhong Tongbao coins, however the production of the latter did not cease after the Hongwu Tongbao was introduced. The government of the Ming dynasty placed a greater reliance on copper cash coins than the Yuan dynasty ever did, but despite this reliance a nationwide copper shortage caused the production of Hongwu Tongbao cash coins to cease several times eventually leading to their discontinuation in 1393 when they were completely phased out in favour of paper money. In the year 1393 there were a total of 325 furnaces in operation in all provincial mints of China which had an annual output of 189,000 strings of cash coins which was merely 3% of the average annual production during the Northern Song dynasty.