Zhu Yuanzhang First Ming Dynasty Emperor

Zhu Yuanzhang was founder of the Ming Dynasty, the one dynasty that endured
for so long (1368-1644), considering the fact that it was established by a
commoner. The reason Ming Dynasty and itsfirst emperor Yuanzhang occupy
special place in Chinese history is because this was one of the only lonely
two dynasties to have been formed by a landless peasant. It is not everyday
that commoner emerges from nowhere, overthrown powerful rulers of the time,
establishes his own dynasty that endures for three long centuries. But
Yuanzhang managed to achieve this colossal feat and thus his name went down
in Chinese history as a competent emperor, second commoner only after Liu
Yuanzhang’s rise to fame and power was simply unprecedented in history.
Born to a very poor family in Anhui province in 1328, Yuanzhang was
orphaned at a very young age. Since he practically lacked a family, he
joined Buddhist monastery and became a monk during his teen years. In bad
times, he even resorted to beggary but it appears that fate had something
big in store for him. This young man joined the quasi-religious movement to
overthrow the Mongols who had been created havoc in the country and quickly
shot to position of leadership. He conquered Nanking in 1367 and attacked
Beijing the very next year, defeating Mongols and establishing the famous
The overthrow of Mongols and YUAN Dynasty are recorded in history as major
events that spurred series of successes for Yuanzhang and gave peasants the
courage to rise against the elite and their ruthless ambitions. But it is
important to understand that Mongol defeat was not an independent
occurrence. It was actually a culmination of a series of small peasant
uprisings that had been occurring in various parts of the country. Peasants
were living in wretched conditions and they revolted against Mongols in
small but effective uprisings. However this gave Yuanzhang the opportunity


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