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Contest for the Southern Capital between the Liao, Song and Jin Dynasties
Hit: 2006-7-19 18:01:34
The age-old minority Jurchen (女真) nationality lived in the northeast of our country. The minorities Sushen (肃慎) and Mohe (靺鞨) were originally related to the Jurchen minority. During the Liao Dynasty, the clan of Jurchen nationality living close to the Liao territory was called Civilized Jurchen (熟女真) and the one faraway was called Barbaric Jurchen(生女真).  The latter preserved more of the habits and customs of their own nationality. The Liao rulers had been adopting the persistent policy of discrimination and oppression against the Jurchen nationality and plundering them of their money and wealth. The Liao rulers set up bazars in places near the Jurchen tribes, such as the city of Ningjiangzhou (southeast part of the Fuyu County in the province of Jilin now) in order to make best of the business chance to snatch everything valuable from the Jurchen people. This was referred to as “hunting the Jurchen ”. The Liao emperors had a craze for hunting, especially for swans. Therefore, they were in need of a kind of falcons named Haidongqing in Chinese pronunciation, which grew mainly in the Jurchen region. As a result, the emperors of the Liao Dynasty, especially the last emperor, Tianzuo, frequently sent emissaries with silver medals, the so-called “silver emissaries” to demand the falcons by force. These emissaries not only tyrannized the Jurchen people and robbed them of their properties, but also demanded them Jurchento proffer beauties for fun and pleasure. All these provoked the fierce resistance of the Jurchen people against the Liao Dynasty.

In 1114 AD, that is, in the fourth year of Tianqing period of the Liao Dynasty, the Jurchen chieftain, Wanyan Aguda (完颜阿骨打) led his people to revolt, and took up the city of Ningjiang and then defeated the Liao troops decisively at the place of Chuhedian(present southwest of Zhaoyuan in the province of Heilongjiang). On New Year’s Day (in the traditional Chinese calendar) of the year of 1115 AD, the Jin kingdom was officially established. His dynastic title was the Great Jin and the reign motto was “Shouguo”. After the establishment of the regime, the Jurchen minority on the one hand launched a full-scale attack on the Liao Dynasty, and on the other hand, with the Song Dynasty, assigned the treaty which was historically called “League on the Sea”.The league stipulated that the Jin troops manage to capture the Liao Central Capital and the Song troops the city of the Liao Southern Capital, and that the troops of both sides not go beyond a certain pass prescribed; The extermination of the Liao Dynasty resulted in the reoccupation of the sixteen prefectures by the Song Dynasty and the yearly tribute of money formally given to the Liao Dynasty by the Song Dynasty now flooded into the Jin Dynasty.

The “League on the Sea” was an expedient treaty to converge upon the Liao Dynasty between the Song and the Jin dynasties. The extermination of the Liao Dynasty made the problem of immediate border stand out and the warfare between the two sides became unavoidable. In November of the year 1125 AD (that is in the third year of the period of Tianhui of the Jin Dynasty and in the seventh year of the period of the Song Dynasty), the Jin troops attacked the Song Dynasty in two routes of east and west. The troops of the first route headed by Wanyan Zongwang defeated utterly the Ever-victorious Troops led by Guo Yaoshi, and detained Caijing, Perfect of Yanshan Prefecture and the Transport Commissioner Liu Yihao, who surrendered at last. The district of Yanshan was pocketed by Jin. Followed by this, the Jin troops marched smoothly southerly across the Yellow River dangerously approaching the capital of Song, Bianliang(present-day city of Kaifeng).

In the first year of the reign of Jingkang, the Jin troops captured the city of Bianliang and turned more than three thousand people including the two emperors of Huizong and Qinzong, the imperial clansmen and the bureaucrats into prisoners. In the meanwhile, the Jin troops plundered the ceremonial utensils, religious articles, books, garments and craftsmen back to their home. The two emperors of Huizong and Qinzong were enjailed in the Fayuan Temple in the city of the Yan Capital. The Northern Song Dynasty passed away. In 1127 AD, the son of the Song emperor Huizong, throned in the city of Guide, and later moved the capital to the city of Lin’an. This is referred to the Dynasty of Southern Song. It followed that a confronting situation of the Southern Song Dynasty vs the Jin Dynasty was in shape in the Chinese history. Quite a few relics of the Song Dynasty were found from the tombs and sites of the Liao and Jin dynasties in the present-day Beijing area. We can draw safe conclusion that the Beijing area played a significant role in the intercommunion between the north and the south in terms of economy and culture and that the economic development in the Beijing area benefited a lot from the commercial exchange between the

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