From the Mongols to the Ming Dynasty: How a Begging Monk Became Emperor of China, Zhu Yuan Zhang

From the Mongols to the Ming Dynasty: How a Begging Monk Became Emperor of China, Zhu Yuan Zhang

From the Mongols to the Ming Dynasty: How a Begging Monk Became Emperor of China, Zhu Yuan Zhang

From the Mongols to the Ming Dynasty: How a Begging Monk Became Emperor of China, Zhu Yuan Zhang

Synopsis

A beggar, an itinerant monk, leapt to greatness during a tumultuous epoch and went on to found the Ming Dynasty of China (1368--1644). As a destitute peasant with nothing to lose, he started a local rebellion; success built on success. Defeating local warlords, Zhu Yuan Zhang conquered all the southern part of China, then sent his army north and took the rest. By unifying many Chinese lands, he brought peace and prosperity after a long period of tumult. He is honored with the temple name of Ming Taizu, Grand Ancestor of Ming.

Excerpt

This book is about Zhu Yuan Zhang, Emperor Taizu of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history. a dirt-poor peasant, he was struggling to survive under the abusive rule of the foreign Mongolian rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).

In 1344 when he was seventeen years old, a great famine struck Fengyang area (now Fengyang, Anhui Province), Zhu Yuan Zhang’s home, and there were acute epidemics. His father, mother, elder brother and younger brother died. He was so poor that he did not have a small plot of land to bury his father. He could not find anything to eat, so he became a monk in a temple. Soon there was no more food in the temple, either. He had to go out to beg for food as a monk, a wandering mendicant.

Under the corrupt rule of the Yuan Dynasty, the Chinese people lived in great suffering. Uprisings broke out everywhere. Zhu Yuan Zhang joined the rebel forces under Guo Zi Xing in Haozhou (in Anhui Province).

Zhu Yuan Zhang was a man of great talent and bold vision. Very soon he established his own army. in 1356 he and his army crossed the Yangtze River and took Jinling (now Nanjing, Jiangsu Province). He had many good generals under his command such as Xu Da, Chang Yu Chun, Deng Yu and Hu Da Hai. Zhu Yuan Zhang’s aim was to save the people from suffering. He prohibited his troops from looting and burning houses and killing civilians. This led many capable men such as Liu Ji, Li Shan Chang and Song Lian to join him.

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