The Shun dynasty (simplified Chinese: 顺朝; traditional Chinese: 順朝; pinyin: Shùn cháo), officially the Great Shun (simplified Chinese: 大顺; traditional Chinese: 大順; pinyin: Dà shùn), was a short-lived dynasty that existed during the Ming–Qing transition in Chinese history. The dynasty was founded in Xi'an on 8 February 1644, the first day of the lunar year, by Li Zicheng, the leader of a large peasant rebellion.
|Status||Short-lived dynasty of China|
(1644 – June 5, 1644)
|Religion||Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion|
• Established in Xi'an
|February 8, 1644|
• Proclaimation as Yongchang Emperor
|June 3, 1644|
• Fall of Beijing
|June 5, 1644|
• Emperor Li Zicheng killed
|Currency||Chinese coin, Chinese cash|
|Today part of||China|
Li, however, initially went only by the title of King (王), not Emperor (皇帝). The capture of Beijing by the Shun forces in April 1644 marked the end of the Ming dynasty, but Li Zicheng failed to solidify his political and military control, and in late May 1644 he was defeated at the Battle of Shanhai Pass by the joint forces of Ming general Wu Sangui who shifted his alliance to the Qing dynasty after the fall of the Ming dynasty, with Manchu prince Dorgon. When he fled back to Beijing in early June, Li finally proclaimed himself the Yongchang Emperor of the Great Shun and left the capital the next day after setting the palace ablaze and ransacking the government offices. He may have intended to resume his Imperial claims later on by proclaiming his accession in the Forbidden City. After the death of the Emperor, Shun remnants joined with the Southern Ming in Nanjing, while continuing to refer to Li as their "deceased emperor". The Shun dynasty ended with Li's death in 1645.
After the Shun was created, Li Zicheng ordered the soldiers to kill the Ming remnants still existing in Beijing. This resulted in strong rebellions from the forces of the Southern Ming. In addition with the Shun ministers constantly fighting for power, the dynasty effectively lasted less than a year.