World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hong Taiji

Qing Taizong Wen Huangdi
Khan of the Later Jin dynasty
Reign 20 October 1626 – 15 May 1636
Predecessor Nurhaci
Successor None
(Assumed imperial dignity)
2nd Emperor of the Qing dynasty
Reign 15 May 1636 – 21 September 1643
Predecessor Tianming Emperor
Successor Shunzhi Emperor
Born (1592-11-28)28 November 1592
Died 21 September 1643(1643-09-21) (aged 50)
Burial Zhaoling
Spouse Jerjer, Empress Xiaoduanwen
Bumbutai, Empress Xiaozhuang Wen
Harjol, Consort Chen
Issue Hooge
Fulin, Shunzhi Emperor
Full name
Posthumous name
Emperor Yingtian Xingguo Hongde Zhangwu Kuanwen Rensheng Ruixiao Wen (in 1643)
Manchu: Genggiyen su hūwangdi
Temple name
Qing Tàizōng
House House of Aisin Gioro
Father Nurhaci
Mother Empress Xiaocigao

Hong Taiji (28 November 1592 – 21 September 1643), sometimes written as Huang Taiji and also referred to as Abahai in Western literature, was an 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 his people from Jurchen to Manchu in 1635, as well as that of the dynasty from Later Jin to Qing in 1636. The Qing dynasty lasted until 1912.

Because his father Nurhaci did not assume an imperial title while alive, Hong Taiji is sometimes considered to be the first Qing emperor, but because Nurhaci was posthumously awarded the imperial title, Hong Taiji is usually called the second emperor of the Qing.


  • Names and titles 1
  • Consolidation of power 2
  • Ethnic policies 3
  • Expansion 4
  • Government 5
  • The change from Jin to Qing 6
  • The banners status 7
  • Death and succession 8
  • Legacy 9
  • Family 10
    • Ascendants 10.1
    • Consorts 10.2
    • Sons 10.3
    • Daughters 10.4
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • Works cited 13
  • Further reading 14
  • See also 15

Names and titles

It is unclear whether "Hong Taiji" was a title or a personal name. Written (Hung Taiji) in Manchu, it was borrowed from the Mongolian title Khong tayiji.[1] That Mongolian term was itself derived from the Chinese huang taizi 皇太子 ("crown prince", "imperial prince"), but in Mongolian it meant, among other things, something like "respected son".[2] Alternatively, historian Pamela Crossley argues that "Hung Taiji" was a title "of Mongolian inspiration" derived from hung, a word that appeared in other Mongolian titles at the time.[3] Early seventeenth-century Chinese and Korean sources rendered his name as "Hong Taiji" (洪太極).[4] The modern Chinese rendering "Huang Taiji" (皇太極), which uses the character huang ("imperial"), misleadingly implies that Hong Taiji once held the title of "imperial prince" or heir apparent, even though his father and predecessor Nurhaci never designated a successor.[5]

"Hong Taiji" was very rarely used in Manchu sources, because they observed a taboo on the personal names of emperors. In redacted documents, Hong Taiji was simply called the "Fourth Beile" or "fourth prince" (duici beile), indicating that he was the fourth ranked among the eight beile Nurhaci had designated from among his sons.[6] However, an archival document rediscovered in 1996 and recounting events from 1621 calls him "Hong Taiji" in a discussion concerning the possible naming of Nurhaci's heir apparent, a title that the document refers to as taise.[7] Tatiana Pang and Giovanni Stary, two specialists of early Manchu history, consider this document as "further evidence" that Hong Taiji was his real name, "not being at all connected with the Chinese title huang taizi".[7] Historian Mark Elliott views this as persuasive evidence that Hong Taiji was not a title, but a personal name.[2]

Western scholars used to refer to Hong Taiji as "Abahai", but this appellation is now considered mistaken.[8] Hong Taiji was never mentioned under this name in Manchu and Chinese sources; it was a mistake first made by Russian clergyman G.V. Gorsky and later repeated by sinologists starting in the early twentieth century.[9] Giovanni Stary states that this name may have originated by confusing "Abkai" with Abkai sure, which was Hong Taiji's era name in the Manchu language.[10] Though "Abahai" is indeed "unattested in Manchu sources", it might also have derived from the Mongol word Abaġai, an honorary name given to the younger sons of hereditary monarchs.[11] According to another view, Hong Taiji was mistakenly referred to as Abahai as a result of a confusion with the name of Nurhaci's main consort Lady Abahai.

Hong Taiji was first Khan of the Later Jin and then Emperor of the Qing dynasty, after he changed its name. His title as Great Khan was Bogd Khaan (Manchu: Gosin Onco Hūwaliyasun Enduringge Han). His reign names, which were used in his lifetime to record dates, were Tiancong 天聰 ("heavenly wisdom"; Manchu: ᠠᠪᡴᠠᡳ ᠰᡠᡵᡝ Abka-i sure) from 1627 to 1636, and Chongde 崇德 ("lofty virtue"; Manchu: ᠸᡝᠰᡳᡥᡠᠨ ᡝᡵᡩᡝᠮᡠᠩᡤᡝ Wesihun erdemungge, Mongolian: Degede Erdemtü) from 1636 to 1643.

Hong Taiji's temple name, by which he was worshipped at the Imperial Ancestral Temple, was Taizong 太宗, the name that was conventionally given to the second emperor of a dynasty.[12] His posthumous name, which was chosen to reflect his style of rule, was "Wen Huangdi" 文皇帝 (Manchu: šu hūwangdi), which means "the culturing emperor" or "the emperor of letters".[13][nb 1]

Consolidation of power

Hong Taiji was the eighth son of

  • Dennerline, Jerry (2002). "The Shun-chih Reign". In Peterson, Willard J. Cambridge History of China, Vol. 9, Part 1: The Ch'ing Dynasty to 1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 73–119.  
  • Dupuy, R. Ernest; Dupuy, Trevor N. (1986). The Encyclopedia of Military History from 3500 B.C. to the Present (2nd Revised ed.). New York, NY: Harper & Row, Publishers.  
  • Fang, Chao-ying (1943). "Fu-lin". In Hummel, Arthur W. Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912). Washington:  
  • Gong, Baoli 宫宝利 (ed.) (2010). Shunzhi shidian 顺治事典 ["Events of the Shunzhi reign"] (in 中文). Beijing: Zijincheng chubanshe 紫禁城出版社 ["Forbidden City Press"].  
  • Grupper, Samuel M. (1984). "Manchu Patronage and Tibetan Buddhism During the First Half of the Ch'ing Dynasty". The Journal of the Tibet Society (4): 47–75. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2014. 
  • Miyawaki, Junko (1999). "The Legitimacy of Khanship among the Oyirad (Kalmyk) Tribes in Relation to the Chinggisid Principle". In Reuven Amitai-Preiss and  
  • Pang, Tatiana A.; Giovanni Stary (1998). New Light on Manchu Historiography and Literature: The Discovery of Three Documents in Old Manchu Script. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.  
  • Rawski, Evelyn S. (1991). "Ch'ing Imperial Marriage and Problems of Rulership". In Watson, Rubie S.; Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 170–203.  
  • ——— (1998). The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. Berkeley: University of California Press.  
  • Roth Li, Gertraude (2002). "State Building before 1644". In Willard J. Peterson (ed.). Cambridge History of China, Vol. 9, Part 1: The Ch'ing Dynasty to 1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 9–72.  
  • Schirokauer, Conrad (1978). A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.  
  • Stary, Giovanni (1984).  – via   
  • Wilkinson, Endymion (2012). Chinese History: A New Manual. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center.  
  • Zhao, Erxun 趙爾巽; et al. (1927). Qingshi gao 清史稿 [  

Further reading

  • di Cosmo, Nicola (2004). "Did Guns Matter? Firearms and the Qing Formation". In Lynn A. Struve (ed.). The Qing Formation in World-Historical Time. Cambridge (MA) and London: Harvard University Press. pp. 121–166.  

See also

  • Daily life in the Forbidden City, Wan Yi, Wang Shuqing, Lu Yanzhen. ISBN 0-670-81164-5.
  • Qing imperial genealogy(清皇室四譜).
  • Qing dynasty Taizong’s veritable records《清太宗實錄》
  • Royal archives of the Qing dynasty (清宮档案).
  • Samjeondo Monument
Hong Taiji
Born: 28 November 1592 Died: 21 September 1643
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor(/Khan) of Qing empire(/Later Jin)
Succeeded by
Shunzhi Emperor

Works cited

  1. ^ Rawski 1998, p. 50 ("probably a rendition of the Mongol noble title, Khongtaiji"); Pang & Stary 1998, p. 13 ("of Mongolian origin"); Elliott 2001, p. 397, note 71 (Khong tayiji was "quite common among the Mongols, from whom the Jurchens borrowed it").
  2. ^ a b Elliott 2001, p. 397, note 71 (Khong tayiji as "meaning loosely 'Respected Son'"); Miyawaki 1999, p. 330 (derivation from huang taizi and other meaning as "viceroy").
  3. ^ Crossley 1999, p. 165, note 82.
  4. ^ Crossley 1999, pp. 164–65.
  5. ^ Pang & Stary 1998, p. 13 (""Nurhaci never assigned him to such position"); Crossley 1999, p. 165 ("this ['imperial prince', 'heir apparent'] is certainly not what his name meant"); Elliott 2001, p. 397, note 71 ("Huang Taiji" gives the "mistaken impression that he was a crown prince").
  6. ^ Crossley 1999, p. 164.
  7. ^ a b Pang & Stary 1998, p. 13.
  8. ^ Stary 1984; Crossley 1999, p. 165; Elliott 2001, p. 396, note 71.
  9. ^ Stary 1984, pp. 298–99.
  10. ^ Stary 1984, p. 299.
  11. ^ Grupper 1984, p. 69.
  12. ^ Wilkinson 2012, pp. 270 and 806.
  13. ^ Crossley 1999, pp. 137 and 165.
  14. ^ ed. Walthall 2008, p. 148.
  15. ^ Wakeman 1985, p. 203
  16. ^ The Cambridge History of China: Pt. 1 ; The Ch'ing Empire to 1800. Cambridge University Press. 1978. pp. 64–.  
  17. ^ a b The Cambridge History of China: Pt. 1 ; The Ch'ing Empire to 1800. Cambridge University Press. 1978. pp. 65–.  
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Dupuy & Dupuy 1986, p. 592
  19. ^ Wakeman 1985, p. 204.
  20. ^ Wakeman 1985, p. 205.
  21. ^ a b c Schirokauer 1978, pp. 326–327
  22. ^ Oxnam 1975, p. 38; Wakeman 1985, p. 297; Gong 2010, p. 51
  23. ^ Dennerline 2002, p. 74
  24. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 71.
  25. ^ Dennerline 2002, p. 78.
  26. ^ Fang 1943, p. 255.
  27. ^ Wakeman 1985, pp. 313–315 and 858.
  28. ^ a b c Rawski 1998, p. 132.
  29. ^ Rawski 1991, p. 176.
  30. ^ Rawski 1991, p. 174 (sister pair); Rawski 1998, p. 132 (Jere as Bumbutai's aunt).
  31. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 5270 (2nd and 3rd daughters) and 5273 (8th) in ch. 166 ("Tables of princesses" 公主表); and p. 8901 (dates and successive ranks) in ch. 214 ("Biographies of consorts" 后妃傳).
  32. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 5271 (4th daughter), 5272 (5th and 7th), and 8903 (dates and ranks).
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h Zhao et al. 1927, p. 8904.
  34. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 5269 (1st daughter) and pp. 8904–5 (sons).
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i Zhao et al. 1927, p. 8905.
  36. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 5272 (6th daughter), 5274 (9th daughter), and 8905 (rank and name of consort).
  37. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 5274 (10th daughter), 5275 (13th daughter), and 8905 (name and rank; son).
  38. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 5276 (14th daughter) and 8905 (rank).
  39. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 5275 (identity of daughter) and 8905 (rank of consort).
  40. ^ a b Zhao et al. 1927, pp. 8904-5.
  41. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, p. 8903.
  42. ^ a b Rawski 1998, p. 145.
  43. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5269.
  44. ^ a b Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5270.
  45. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5271.
  46. ^ a b c Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5272.
  47. ^ Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5273.
  48. ^ a b c Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5274.
  49. ^ a b Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5275.
  50. ^ a b c Zhao et al. 1927, p. 5276.


  1. ^ Hong Taiji's complete posthumous name was much longer:
    • 1643: Yingtian xingguo hongde zhangwu kuanwen rensheng ruixiao Wen Emperor (應天興國弘德彰武寬溫仁聖睿孝文皇帝)
    • 1662: Yingtian xingguo hongde zhangwu kuanwen rensheng ruixiao longdao xiangong Wen Emperor (應天興國弘德彰武寬溫仁聖睿孝隆道顯功文皇帝)
      • Longdao xiangong 隆道顯功 ("prosperous way and manifestation of might") was added
    • 1723: Yingtian xingguo hongde zhangwu kuanwen rensheng ruixiao jingmin longdao xiangong Wen Emperor (應天興國弘德彰武寬溫仁聖睿孝敬敏隆道顯功文皇帝)
      • Jingmin 敬敏 ("reverent and diligent") was added
    • 1735: Yingtian xingguo hongde zhangwu kuanwen rensheng ruixiao jingmin zhaoding longdao xiangong Wen Emperor (應天興國弘德彰武寬溫仁聖睿孝敬敏昭定隆道顯功文皇帝)
      • Zhaoding 昭定 ("illustrious stability") was added
  2. ^ Most sources give the date of Hong Taiji's death on September 21 (Chongde 崇德 8.8.9); however others give the date as September 9.[23]
  3. ^ Date of birth: 12th month of the 6th year of Chongde, that is, sometime between 1 and 29 January 1642. Death: 12th month of the 43rd year of Kangxi, that is, sometime between 27 December 1704 and 24 January 1705, inclusively.


  1. State Princess Aukhan (敖漢)(1621–1654); married Bandi of the Mongolian Borjigit clan in 1633.[43]
  2. State Princess Wenzhuang (靖端長公主), personal name Makata (馬喀塔) (1625–1663); married Eje of the Chakhar Mongols in 1635. In 1661 Eje died and Makata married Eje's younger brother Abunai.[44]
  3. State Princess Jingduan (靖端長公主) (1628–1686); married Jitate of the Mongolian Borjigit clan in 1639.[44]
  4. State Princess Yongmu (雍穆長公主), personal name Yatu (雅圖) (1629–1678); married her cousin Birtakhar in 1641.[45]
  5. State Princess Shuhui (淑慧長公主), personal name Atu (阿圖) (1632–1700).[46]
  6. State Princess (1633–1649).[46]
  7. State Princess Shuzhe (淑哲長公主) (1633–1648).[46]
  8. State Princess Yong'an (永安長公主) (1634–1692).[47]
  9. Ninth daughter (1635–1652).[48]
  10. Tenth daughter (1635–1661).[48]
  11. State Princess Duanshun (端順長公主) (1636–1650).[48]
  12. Twelfth daughter (1637–1678).[49]
  13. Thirteenth daughter (1638–1657).[49]
  14. Princess of the second rank Kechun (和碩恪純長公主) (1642–1704/5).[50][nb 3] Born to Ordinary Consort (庶妃) Hilei 奇壘 of the Chahar Mongols; married Wu Sangui's son Wu Yingxiong 吳應熊 in 1653.[50] Wu Yingxiong, who lived in Beijing, was executed after the Three Feudatories rebelled in 1673.[50]

Whereas Nurhaci's daughters had been called gege (which then meant "young lady"), in 1636 Hong Taiji declared that imperial daughters would henceforth be named "state princess" (Manchu: gurun gungju; Chinese: 固倫公主).[42] This system was followed with few exceptions until the end of the dynasty.[42]


  1. Hooge 豪格 (1609–1648), born to Successor Consort of the Ula Nara clan.[40]
  2. Loge 洛格 (1611–1621), born to Successor Consort of the Ula Nara clan.[40]
  3. Lobohoi 洛博會 (1611–1617), born to First Consort of the Niohuru clan.[33]
  4. Yebušu 葉布舒 (1627–1690), born to Ordinary Consort Yanja.[35]
  5. Šose 碩塞 (1628–1655), born to Side-chamber Consort of the Yehe Nara clan.[35]
  6. Gose 高塞 (1637–1670), born to Ordinary Consort Nala.[35]
  7. Cangšu 常舒 (1637–1699), born to Ordinary Consort Irgen Gioro.[35]
  8. Unnamed eighth son who died young (1637–1638), born to Harjol, who was then Consort Chen of Guansui Palace.[33]
  9. Fulin 福臨 (1638–1661), born to Bumbutai, who was then Consort Zhuang of the Yongfu Palace and later became Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.[41]
  10. Toose 韜塞 (1639–1695), born to Ordinary Consort of unknown clan.[35]
  11. Bombogor 博穆博果爾 (1642–1656), born to Namuzhong, who was then Noble Consort of Linzhi Palace.[33]
A portrait of Hong Taiji's ninth son Fulin in adulthood, after he had become the Shunzhi Emperor.


  • Jere or Jerjer (哲哲; 1600–1649), daughter of Manggusi (莽古思), a Khorchin Mongol prince (beile) of the Borjigit clan; she arrived at the palace in 1614, was officially made empress in 1636, and became empress dowager when Hong Taiji died in 1643; she is known posthumously as Empress Xiaoduanwen; she gave birth to Hong Taiji's 2nd, 3rd, and 8th daughters.[31]
  • Bumbutai (布木布泰; 1613–1688), niece of Jere and daughter of Jaisang, a Borjigit of the Khorchin Mongols. She was presented to Hong Taiji in 1625 and made Consort Zhuang of the Yongfu Palace (永福宮莊妃) in 1636; she became Empress Dowager in 1643 when her son Fulin (Hong Taiji's 9th son) became the Shunzhi Emperor; she is known posthumously as Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang; in addition to her son, Bumbutai also had three daughters, Hong Taiji's 4th, 5th, and 7th.[32]
  • Harjol (海蘭珠; d. 1641), also a daughter of Jaisang, and older sister of Bumbutai; she arrived in the palace in 1634, was named Consort Chen of Guansui Palace (關睢宮宸妃) in 1636, and is known posthumously as First Consort Minhui Gonghe (敏惠恭和元妃).[33] She was much loved by Hong Taiji, who declared a general amnesty when their son was born in 1637, but their son died a few months later before he was given a name.[33]
  • Namuzhong (娜木鍾; d. 1674), a Khorchin Mongol of the Borjigit clan; was named Noble Consort of Linzhi Palace (麟趾宮貴妃) in 1636; Namuzhong previously served as a primary consort of Ligdan Khan (林舟汗), the last Borjigin khan of Mongolia to die with the title of Khagan, and held the title Great Consort Nangnang (囊囊大福晋) .After his death, the Khan's successor Ejei Khan surrendered to Jurchen forces. Namuzhong married Hong Taiji after the surrender of Chahar, and was given the posthumous title of Great Noble Consort Yijing (懿靖大貴妃); gave birth to one son (Bombogor) and to Hong Taiji's 11th daughter. Namuzhong also bore Ligdan Khan a son, Abutai (阿布奈; d. 1675), who was informally adopted by Hong Taiji and made a Prince of the First Rank under the Qing dynasty.[33]
  • Batemazhao (巴特瑪璪; d. 1667), also of the Mongol Borjigit clan; Batemazhou served as a secondary consort of Ligdan Khan and was married to Hong Taiji at the same time as Namuzhong. She was named Virtuous Consort of Yanqing Palace (衍清宮淑妃) in 1636 and is posthumously known as Virtuous Consort Kanghui (康惠淑妃); did not give birth.[33]
  • First Consort, Hong Taiji's first wife, daughter of Prince Eidu (弘毅公額亦都) of the Niohuru clan; gave birth to one son (Lobohoi).[33]
  • Successor Consort of the Ulanara clan; gave birth to two sons (Hooge and Loge) and one daughter (Hong Taiji's first).[34]
  • Side-chamber Consort Yehe Nara (葉赫那拉), who gave birth to one son (Šose).[35]
  • Side-chamber Consort Zaru-Borjigit (扎魯特博爾濟吉特), who gave birth to two daughters (Hong Taiji's 6th and 9th).[36]
  • Ordinary Consort Nara (納喇), who had one son (Gose) and two daughters (Hong Taiji's 10th and 13th).[37]
  • Ordinary Consort Hilei (奇壘), who gave birth to Hong Taiji's 14th daughter.[38]
  • Ordinary Consort Yanja (顏扎), who had one son (Yebušu).[35]
  • Ordinary Consort Irgen Gioro (伊爾根覺羅), who bore Hong Taiji one son (Cangšu).[35]
  • Ordinary Consort of unknown clan, who had one son (Tose).[35]
  • Ordinary Consort of unknown clan, who gave birth to Hong Taiji's 12th daughter.[39]
A portrait of Bumbutai, mother of Hong Taiji's ninth son Fulin, painted between 1636 and 1643 when her title was "Consort Zhuang of the Yongfu Palace." She is better known by her posthumous title of Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.

In 1636 Hong Taiji reformed the titles of his wives, who had all until then been called fujin (福晉).[28] From that year on, there would be one empress (huanghou 皇后) and seven kinds of consorts: Imperial Noble Consort (huangguifei 皇貴妃), Noble Consort (guifei 貴妃), Consort (fei 妃), Concubine (bin 嬪), Worthy Lady (guiren 貴人), Palace Woman (changzai 常在), and Responder (daying 答應).[28] Yet ten of Hong Taiji's fifteen wives—one "first consort" (yuanfei 元妃), one "successor consort" (jifei 繼妃), two "side-chamber consorts" (cefei 側妃), and six "ordinary consorts" (shufei 庶妃)—are known by the titles that his father Nurhaci had used to refer to his own harem.[28] Hong Taiji's five primary wives were all from the Borjigit clan of the Khorchin Mongols, "the earliest Mongol allies of the Manchus."[29] Two of them (Bumbutai and Harjol) were sisters, and both were nieces of Jere, who had been married to Hong Taiji in 1614 and became his empress in 1636.[30]




As the emperor, he is commonly recognized as having abilities similar to the best emperors such as Yongle, Emperor Taizong of Tang because of his effective rule, effective use of talent, and effective warring skills. According to half historian and half writer Jin Yong, Hong Taiji had the broad and wise views of Qin Shi Huang, Emperor Gaozu of Han, Emperor Guangwu of Han, Emperor Wen of Sui, Emperor Taizong of Tang, Emperor Taizu of Song, Kublai Khan, the Hongwu Emperor, and the Yongle Emperor. His political abilities were paralleled only by Genghis Khan, Emperor Taizong of Tang, and Emperor Guangwu of Han. In this sense, Hong Taiji is considered by some historians as the true first emperor for the Qing dynasty. Some historians suspect Hong Taiji was overall underrated and overlooked as a great emperor because he was a Manchu.


Hong Taiji died on 21 September 1643 just as the Qing was preparing to attack Beijing, and the young Shunzhi Emperor became the first Qing emperor to rule from that new capital.[27] That the Qing state succeeded not only in conquering China but also in establishing a capable administration was due in large measure to the foresight and policies of Hong Taiji. His body was buried in Zhaoling, located in northern Shenyang.

Death and succession

Before Hong Taiji was emperor, he controlled the two White banners. Upon Nurhaci's death, Hong Taiji immediately switched his two White Banners with Nurhaci's two Yellow Banners, which should have been passed on to Dorgon and his brothers. As emperor, he was the holder of three banners out of eight. He controlled the Upper Three Banners or the Elite banners which at the time were the Plain/Bordered Yellow Banners and Plain Blue Banner. Later the Plain Blue Banner was switched by Dorgon to the Plain White Banner as the third Elite Banner. At the end of his reign, Hong Taiji gave the two Yellow Banners to his eldest son Hooge. Daisan, who was the second son of Nurhaci, and his son controlled the two Red Banners. Dorgon and his two brothers controlled the two White Banners and Šurhaci's son Jirgalang controlled the remaining Bordered Blue Banner.

The banners status

The dynastic name Later Jin was a direct reference to the Jin dynasty founded by the Jurchen people, who ruled northern China from 1115 to 1234. As such, the name was likely to be viewed as closely tied to the Jurchens and would perhaps evoke hostility from Chinese who viewed the Song dynasty, rival state to the Jin, as the legitimate rulers of China at that time. Hong Taiji's ambition was to conquer China proper and overthrow the Ming dynasty, and to do that required not only a powerful military force but also an effective bureaucratic administration. For this, he used the obvious model, that of the Ming government, and recruited Ming officials to his cause. If the name of Later Jin would prove an impediment to his goal among many Chinese, then it was not too much to change it. Whatever the precise motivation, Hong Taiji proclaimed the establishment of the Qing dynasty and also changed his name to Chóngdé in 1636.[18] The reasons for the choice of Qing as the new name are likewise unclear, although it has been speculated that the sound – Jin and Qing are pronounced similarly in Manchu – or wuxing theory – traditional ideas held that fire, associated with the character for Ming, was overcome by water, associated with the character for Qing – may have influenced the choice. Another possible reason may be that Hong Taiji changed the name of the dynasty from (Later) Jin to Qing in 1636 because of internecine fraternal struggle and skirmish between brothers and half brothers for the throne. According to Taoist philosophy, the name Jin has the meaning of metal and fire in its constituent, thereby igniting the tempers of the brothers of the Manchu Royal household into open conflicts and wars. Huangtaiji therefore adopted the new name of Qing 清, the Chinese character of which has the water symbol [3 strokes] on its left hand side. The name, which means clear and transparent, with its water symbol was hoped to put out the feud among the brothers of the Manchu Royal household.

In 1635, Hong Taiji changed the name of his people from Jurchen (Manchu: Jušen) to Manchu, or Manju in the Manchu language. The original meaning of Manju is not known and so the reasons for its adoption remain opaque. There are many theories as to the reason for the choice of name but two of the most commonly cited are its sounding similar to the Manchu word for "brave" and a possible connection with the Bodhisattva Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, of whom Nurhaci claimed to be an incarnation.

The change from Jin to Qing

When Hong Taiji came into power, the military was composed of entirely Mongol and Manchu companies. By 1636, Hong Taiji created the first of many Chinese companies. Before the conquest of China, the number of companies organized by him and his successor was 278 Manchu, 120 Mongol, and 165 Chinese.[21] By the time of Hong Taiji's death there were more Chinese than Manchus and he had realized the need for there to be control exerted whilst getting approval from the Chinese majority. Not only did he incorporate the Chinese into the military, but also into the government. The Council of Deliberative Officials was formed as the highest level of policy-making and was composed entirely of Manchu. However, Hong Taiji adopted from the Ming, such institutions as the Six Ministries, the Censorate and others.[21] Each of these lower ministries was headed by a Manchu prince, but had four presidents, 2 were Manchu, 1 was Mongol, and 1 was Chinese. This basic framework remained, even though the details fluctuated over time, for some time.[21]


Huang Taji's plan at first was to make a deal with the Ming dynasty. He originally did not want to conquer China, in fact the people who encouraged him invade China were his advisors Fan Wencheng, Ma Guozhu, Ning Wanwo, who were all Han Chinese.[19] If the Ming dynasty was willing to give support and money that would be beneficial to the Qing's economy, the Qing Dynasty in exchange would not only be willing to not attack the borders, but also admit itself as a country one level lower than the Ming dynasty; however, since all the Ming Court officials were reminded of the Jin Empire during the Song dynasty, the court heavily refused the exchange. Huang Taiji rejected the comparison, saying that "Neither is your Ming ruler a descendant of the Song nor are we heir to the Jin. That was another time."[20] This ultimately forced Huang Taji to take the offensive.

In 1636, Hong Taiji invaded Joseon Korea (see the Second Manchu invasion of Korea), as the latter did not accept that Hong Taiji had become emperor and refused to assist in operations against the Ming.[18] With the Joseon dynasty surrendered in 1637, Hong Taiji succeeded in making them cut off relations with the Ming dynasty and force them to submit as tributary state of the Qing Empire. Also during this period, Hung Taji took over Inner Mongolia in three major wars, each of them victorious. From 1636 until 1644, he sent 4 major expeditions into the Amur region.[18] In 1640 he completed the conquest of the Evenks, when he defeated and captured their leader Bombogor. By 1644, the entire region was under his control.[18]

Hong Taiji started his conquest by subduing the potent Ming ally in Korea. February of 1627 his forces crossed the Yalu River which had frozen.[18] In 1628, he attempted to invade China, but was defeated by Yuan Chonghuan and his use of artillery.[18] During the next five years, Hong Taiji spent resources in training his artillery to offset the strength of the Ming artillery. Hong Taji upgraded the weapons of the Empire. He realized the advantage of the Red Cannons and later also bought the Red Cannons into the army. Though the Ming dynasty still had more Cannons, Hong Taji now possessed the cannons of equal might and Asia's strongest cavalry. Also during this time, he sent several probing raids into northern China which were defeated. First attack went through the Jehol Pass, then in 1632 and 1634 he sent raids into Shanxi.[18]

Hong Taiji recognized that Ming Han Chinese defectors were needed by the Manchus in order to assist in the conquest of the Ming, explaining to other Manchus as to why he needed to treat the Ming defector General Hung Ch'eng-ch'ou leniently.[17]

The belief in the Buddhist faith by the Mongols was viewed with disdain and thought to be destructive to Mongol identity by Hong Taiji in private, Hong Taiji said "The Mongolian princes are abandoning the Mongolian language; their names are all in imitation of the lamas.", although Hong Taiji patronized Tibetan Buddhism in public.[15] The Manchus themselves like Hung Taiji did not personally believe in Tibetan Buddhism and did not want to convert, in fact the words "incorrigibles" and liars" were used to describe Tibetan Buddhist Lamas by Hung Taiji,[16] however Hung Taiji patronized Buddhism in order to exploit the Tibetans and Mongols belief in the religion.[17]

He continued the expansion of the state in the region later known as Manchuria, pushing deeper into Mongolia and raiding Korea and Ming China. His personal military abilities were widely praised and he effectively developed the military-civil administration known as the Eight Banners or Banner system. This system was well-suited to accept the different peoples, primarily Chinese and Mongols, who joined the Manchu state either following negotiated agreements or military defeat.


A mass marriage of Han Chinese officers and officials to Manchu women numbering 1,000 couples was arranged by Prince Yoto and Hongtaiji in 1632 to promote harmony between the two ethnic groups.[14]

During his reign, Hong Taiji started recruitment of Han ethnicity officials. After a 1623 revolt, Nurhaci came to mistrust his Nikan (Han) followers so Hong Taiji began their assimilation into the country and government. He realized that they would remain the majority and the Manchus would still be the minority, which meant that to control the Han people, they would need to live together or else the Qing dynasty would become a repeat of the Yuan dynasty, the demise of which was in part due to its rulers losing touch with the people.

Ethnic policies
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.