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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


“The Wuqiao Mutiny 吳橋兵變”: An Important Fuse for the Ming-Qing Cataclysm

Vol. 42 No. 1   03/2012    


“The Wuqiao Mutiny 吳橋兵變”: An Important Fuse for the Ming-Qing Cataclysm


Huang, Yi-long  









Key words

Ming and Qing history, military history, Wuqiao Mutiny 吳橋兵變, Kong Youde 孔有德, Sun Yuanhua 孫元化  


        In the eighth month of the fourth year of Emperor Chongzhen’s 崇禎 reign (1631), Huang Taiji 皇太極 (1592-1643) led an attack on the Dalinghe Castle 大凌河城 outside the Great Wall. Four months later, the army of Kong Youde 孔有德(c.1604-1652), who had acted under the orders of Sun Yuanhua 孫元化 (1581-1632) and protected Dalinghe Castle, revolted against the Ming in Wuqiao County and subsequently surrendered to the Manchus. This mutiny was outwardly triggered by a conflict between a soldier and the local people caused by a seized chicken. Although it started with a seemingly trivial incident, the mutiny at Wuqiao had a butterfly effect and caused significant impact on the dynastic transition between the Ming and Qing dynasties.  
        This paper illustrates the historical significance of the Wuqiao Mutiny in the hope of calling more attention to this event in the research of Ming-Qing history. It provides a thorough examination of the cause and course of the Wuqiao Mutiny, as well as analyzing how the Han families of Liaodong
遼東, including that of Kong Youde, Geng Zhongming 耿仲明 (?-1649), Shang Kexi 尚可喜 (1604-1676), and Wu Sangui 吳三桂 (1612-1678), rose to power after this military revolt. These families started out as local military forces, but entered the political power core of the Qing government, and eventually lost their power after Kangxi Emperor 康熙皇帝 quelled the Rebellion of the Three Feudatories 三藩之亂 (1673-1681).



Author: Huang, Yi-long
Genre: Article
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