Shun dynasty

Last updated on 25 August 2017

The Shun dynasty (simplified Chinese: 顺朝; traditional Chinese: 順朝; pinyin: Shùn cháo), or Great Shun (simplified Chinese: 大顺; traditional Chinese: 大順; pinyin: Dà shùn), was a short-lived dynasty created in the Ming-Qing transition from Ming to Qing rule 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.

Li, however, only went 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 mandate; in late May 1644, he was defeated at the Battle of Shanhai Pass by the joint forces of Ming general Wu Sangui and Manchu prince Dorgon. When he fled back to Beijing in early June, Li finally proclaimed himself Emperor of China and left the capital in a hurry. 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.

Generals and Ministers

  • Niu Jinxing (牛金星), Chancellor
  • Gu Jun'en (顧君恩), staff
  • Li Yan (李岩), staff
  • Song Xiance (宋獻策), staff
  • Liu Zongmin (劉宗敏), general
  • Yuan Zongti
  • Tian Jianxiu
  • Hao Yaoqi (郝搖旗), general
  • Li Guo (李過), general
  • Gao Jie (高傑), general
  • Lady Gao (Gao Guiying) (高氏), Li Zicheng's wife and general

Further reading

  • Wakeman Frederic (1981). "The Shun Interregnum of 1644", in Jonathan Spence, et al. eds. From Ming to Ch’ing: Conquest, Region, and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century China. Yale University Press.
Preceded by
Ming dynasty
Dynasties in Chinese history
1644
Succeeded by
Qing dynasty

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