Jiashen Incident

  (Redirected from Battle of Beijing (1644))

The Jiashen Incident (simplified Chinese: 甲申之变; traditional Chinese: 甲申之變), also known as the Battle of Beijing, took place between February and April 1644 in the areas surrounding Beijing, and was fought between forces of the Ming dynasty and the Shun dynasty. It eventually resulted in the collapse of the Ming dynasty. Remnants of the imperial House of Zhu, whose regime is known as the Southern Ming dynasty in historiography, would continue to rule parts of southern China until 1662.

Jiashen Incident
Part of Ming–Qing transition
Fall of Beijing to Li Zicheng in 1644.png
20th-century illustration showing Li Zicheng's army burning and looting Beijing
DateFebruary 1644 – 25 April 1644
Result Ming dynasty overthrown;
Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide;
Shun dynasty occupied Beijing
Ming dynasty Shun dynasty
Commanders and leaders
Chongzhen Emperor  Li Zicheng
250,000 (excluding 100,000 reinforcements) 1,300,000
Casualties and losses
40,000 killed (included 25,000 Jinyiwei agents);

Li Zicheng led his rebel army to attack the Ming capital Beijing from two directions (north and south). The eunuch official Du Zhizhi (杜之秩) ordered the Ming forces defending Beijing to open the city gates and let Li Zicheng's army in. After the fall of Beijing, the last Ming ruler, the Chongzhen Emperor, died by suicide by hanging himself on a tree near the Forbidden City. No actual battle was fought in Beijing itself as the rebels marched into the capital unopposed, and even after occupying Beijing, the rebels did not face any resistance. Li Zicheng's short-lived Shun dynasty would be subsequently defeated by forces of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, which would go on to rule China proper until its fall in 1912.

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