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Manchus


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A nomadic people who conquered China and established the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. Previously vassals of the Ming, their base was north of the Liaodong Peninsula in Manchuria (north-east China). After 1582 their chief, Nurhachi (1559–1626), made alliances with neighbouring tribes, built a strong castle, and imported Chinese technicians and advisers. Everyone – tribesman, captive, serf, or slave – was registered under a distinctive banner, making possible an efficient system of taxation and military control. In 1616 Nurhachi took the title of emperor and in 1625 made Shenyang, renamed Mukden, his capital. When he died he had built his bannermen into a nation. His son, Abahai, campaigned extensively in Korea, Mongolia, and northern China. Twice he attacked Beijing. He ordered his people to call themselves Manchus, a name of obscure origin, and in 1636 proclaimed the Da Qing (Great Pure) dynasty. Eight years later Nurhachi's grandson became the first Qing emperor of China. While the Manchus adopted many aspects of Chinese life, they remained segregated from them, intermarriage with Chinese was forbidden, and they had separate quarters in all Chinese cities. During the 19th century segregation began to break down and in the 20th century they have merged into the mass of the Chinese people.

Subjects: World History — Military History.


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