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Later Jin (Manchu: ᠠᡳ᠌ᠰᡳᠨ
; Möllendorff: aisin gurun; Abkai: aisin gurun[2]; literally: "Gold State"; 1616–1636) was a khanate established by the Jurchen khan, Nurhaci in Manchuria during 1616–1636, and was the predecessor of the Qing dynasty. In 1616, Nurhaci declared himself to be the khan of the Jurchen nation and adopted the name of the former Jurchen Jin dynasty (1115–1234) for this newly established state, which is now usually called "Later Jin" (Chinese: ) by Chinese historians. The son of Nurhaci, Hong Taiji, after he conquered the last Khagan Ligdan Khan in Inner Mongolia, renamed this khanate as "Great Qing" (Manchu:ᡩᠠᡳ᠌ᠴᡳᠩ
, tr. Daicing Gurun; Chinese: ), which later became a Chinese dynasty for nearly three centuries after its conquest of China proper. The Later Jin existed for 21 years and was ruled by two khans.

Jin State

or ᠠᡳ᠌ᠰᡳᠨ

Aisin gurun
Later Jin (后金) c. 1626 in light green
Later Jin (后金) c. 1626 in light green
CapitalHetu Ala; Tungking; Mukden
Common languagesJurchen (renamed Manchu after 1635), Mongolian, Chinese[1]
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
• 1616–1626
• 1626–1636
Hong Taiji
Historical eraImperial era
• Established
CurrencyChinese coin,
Chinese cash
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ming dynasty
Northern Yuan
Qing dynasty
Today part of China
Later Jin
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaningLater Gold State
Manchu name
Manchu scriptAmaga Aisin Gurun
RomanizationAmaga Aisin Gurun



Rise of Jianzhou JurchensEdit

The Jurchen people had traditionally lived in Manchuria, and were then divided into three tribes, the most powerful of which was called Jianzhou Jurchens during the Ming dynasty, living around the Changbai Mountains. In order to attack and suppress the remnants of the Northern Yuan dynasty, Ming Taizu 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. Mentemu, commander of the Jianzhou Wei, was killed. The Jianzhou Jurchens were forced to move southwards, and finally settled at Hetu Ala.

Establishment of the KhanateEdit

Nurhaci, a Jurchen Khan, promoted the unification of the Jurchen 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 he renamed as the Manchus, completing the establishment of the new state in 1616. This marks the start of the Latter Jin period.


Jurchen cavalry charging Ming infantry in the battle of Sarhu.

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) with the Ming and subsequently declared war. 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 Latter 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 khan of Later Jin to be the emperor of Great Qing empire. One of the Yuan Dynasty's jade seal has 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 after the defeat of the last Khagan of the Mongols, Hong Taiji renamed his state from "Great Jin" to "Great Qing" and elevated his position from Khan to Emperor, suggesting imperial ambitions beyond unifying the Manchu territories, and marking the formal end of the Latter Jin period.


Dorgon (1612–1650)

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 Manchu nation.

In 1644, peasant rebels 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 Prince Dorgon, who defeated the rebels and seized the capital.


  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