Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Qing, the Last Dynasty of China
The Jurchens (“Nuzhen” in Chinese pinyin romanization) were a Tungusic people who inhabited parts of northeast China and North Korea. Around the 11th century, part of the Jurchens migrated to the Yellow River basin. Those who remained were made up of three divisions: Haixi, Jianzhou, and Yeren. In the early 17th century, the remaining Jurchen tribes were unified under the leadership of Nurhachi (1559–1626). He organized them into “Eight Flags,” which were at once both an administrative system and a military confederacy. In times of war, then, the men readily and easily formed companies and battalions. Otherwise, they lived as trans-humans, engaged in pastoralism and small-scale gardening. Nurhachi was their leader and the supreme commander of the confederacy. In 1616, Nurhachi founded an empire at Mukden (Shenyang) and proclaimed himself emperor. In one sense, this was the birth of the Qing Dynasty, though not yet in name. At the same ...