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how did the Manchus conquer the Ming dynasty


The Manchus conquered the Ming dynasty after a series of battles, which started in April 1618, the leader of the Manchurian region Jurchen issued several grievances against the regime of the Ming dynasty.  The grievances raised were of dire consequences and since the Ming leadership refused to address them, the Manchus leader, Nurhaci decided to declare himself the leader of the Qing Dynasty. However, the battle started immediately on the northern border which resulted in several internal rebellions, famine as well as economic arrest which severely affected the Ming dynasty.  Therefore, the Manchus defeated the Ming dynasty to take control of their territory to form the Qing dynasty. Despite its tiny numbers,  the Manchus had a superior warrior. The Ming Dynasty had internal problems, and the intermarriage between Manchus’ women and Ming soldiers who defeated the Manchus made Manchus defeat the Ming Dynasty. It allowed the Manchus leader to understand the strategic operations of the Ming dynasty and therefore, the Ming could not defeat them on the battlefield. Manchus leader Nurhaci also applied a divide-and-rule policy to conquer the Ming Dynasty.

In the early days, the Ming Dynasty was very strong until later in 1614 when it was involved in a leadership tussle, which made it weak. The leadership fight to inherit the leadership of the Ming Dynasty weakened its military and also divided its warriors. According to Haw and Tonia (2009), WanLi wanted his third-born son to inherit the leadership of the Empower, and failure to achieve his wish made him withdraw his support. This left the Ming Dynasty divided with shrinking military and economic prowess. The tussle for leadership positions exposed the Dynasty and made other people from outside the Ming Dynasty utilize the rift to penetrate their soldiers making the military weak to fight the enemies. Therefore, when Manchus attacked the Ming Dynasty, there were several divisions with each group refusing to support the government in fighting the invaders.   It, therefore, made it possible for Manchus to capture Ming territory and establish the Qing Dynasty easily without much resistance.

Nurhaci, the leader of Manchus, applied a divide-and-rule policy to assert his authority and conquer the Ming Dynasty. After defeating the Ming Dynasty, he employed Mongolia to the Qing Dynasty, which allowed him to establish a strong administration and rule the new dynasty without difficulty. As stated by Zheng (2010), Manchus used leaders from the areas that he had conquered to administer services. Leaders from different religious groups such as Muslims and Buddhists were given positions, making it possible for the Qing dynasty to be established without much resistance. Manchus leader Nurhaci strategically allocated resources and formed an inclusive government with other people who helped Manchus during the war to ensure that he faced minimal resistance within his territory as he fought with the Ming Dynasty’s remaining soldiers.

Even though Manchus was a small territory with less population than the Ming dynasty, it had superior warriors, making them run over the Ming dynasty’s army faster. According to (), the Manchus dynasty had numerous trainings, which made them more prepared for battles than the Ming dynasty warriors. The Manchus leader Nurhaci sent young men to the forest for training as they gathered fruits and hunted for food. In return, they became highly skilled and could easily battle Ming warriors. Most soldiers who were fighting for Manchus were from the Ming dynasty and therefore, they understood the strength and weakness of the Ming dynasty‘s soldiers which gave them an advantage and therefore, made it possible for Manchus to win over several territories until it ran over the leadership of the dynasty.  According to Haw and Tonia (2009), the defectors from the Han Chinese formed a larger portion of Manchus soldiers, which gave Nurhaci an advantage over the Ming Dynasty.  Most Han soldiers adopted Manchus names and married their women to create confusion so that they could help the Manchus gather intelligence and fight the Ming Dynasty to form the Qing Dynasty. To establish a strong foundation and remain relevant for a long,

Manchus lived in Great Walls, covering their houses and making it difficult for the Ming to penetrate the walls. This gave the Manchus more advantages; therefore, they could resist any attack from their warriors. They used the Chinese style of war to continue covering territories until they reached Beijing. The fall of Beijing made it possible for the Manchus to establish the Qing Dynasty (Spence & Wills, 1979.). The Manchus had a strategic advantage on the battlefield and they could easily drive away the Ming warriors to other locations. Besides having a well-trained and united military, the Manchus leadership gathered information that could allow them to launch a strategic attack against the Ming’s weak and demoralized soldiers.

Most importantly, the corruption and mismanagement of the Ming dynasty left many people unhappy and divided.  According to Haw and Tonia (2009), by the 16000s the Ming dynasty had become so weak and corrupt, and therefore, it could sustain a battle with recharge Manchus which was determined to extend its territory. Manchus easily entered the Ming dynasty and drove to Beijing. This gave Manchus power to defeat the Ming and establish the Qing Dynasty (Haw & Tonia, 2009).  It is stated that because of corruption the people of Ming did not trust the regime and this made some of their soldiers pledge allergies to Manchus which assisted them in toppling the regime of Ming so that the Qing could be established (Zheng, 2010).

The Manchus defeated the Ming Dynasty because, by the time of the attack, it was suffering from several natural calamities that made it weak. The natural disaster hit the Ming territory as a punishment for bad ruling, making its people suffer. According to Szczepanski (2017), the fiscal turmoil and Silk Road collapsed, making it impossible for trade to continue between them and the West. This led to the collapse of the trade which was a key economic activity for the region and therefore, it escalated the economic trouble, resulting in poverty hence, several people got demoralized (Szczepanski, 2017).  The Yellow River flooded a larger part of China, which made it impossible for the people to cultivate it. It brought famine and another disease that made the people lose trust in the leadership of the Ming Dynasty and therefore, it made it possible for the regime to exist by the time of invasion by the Manchus Dynasty, the people were ready to champion their destiny and start a new life.

In conclusion, the Manchus defeated the Ming Dynasty because of the trouble that the leadership established over a long period. It is evidence that the Ming Dynasty was weak and corrupt, and this made many of its soldiers defect to Manchus and helped the leadership of Manchus to stash the Qing Dynasty with a promise of reward in the military. And because of superior warriors, Manchus could easily fight Ming soldiers and take over their territories without much resistance. Finally, the fall of Beijing made it possible for Manchus to drive easily to Beijing to establish Qing Dynasty.


Haw, S., & Tonia, E. (2009). The Diary Of A Manchu Soldier In Seventeenth-Century China. , 4-45.

Spence, J., & Wills, J. ( 1979.). The Manchu-Chinese Relationship: 1618-1636. New York: Yale

 University Press, , 13-45.

Szczepanski, K. (2017). The Fall of the Ming Dynasty in China, 1644. , 2-15.

Zheng, H. (2010). Snapshot of an Empire: The Manchus (Qing). , 5-15.



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