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(reign title, Hung-wu). Born 1328 in Anhwei Province; died 1398 in Nanking. Chinese emperor from 1368; founder of the Ming Dynasty.
Chu Yüan-chang was the son of a landless tenant farmer. As a boy he became a Buddhist monk. In 1352 he joined the insurgent detachment of the wealthy townsman Kuo Tsu-hsing, who had raised a rebellion in Central China against the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. In 1355, Chu Yüan-chang became the main leader of a patriotic uprising in that region (seeRED TURBANS REBELLION OF 1351–68). He united most of Central, East, and South China under his authority by annexing territories under the control of other rebel leaders, and in January 1368, Chu Yüan-chang proclaimed himself emperor. In the same year his forces took control of Tatu (Peking), which was the capital of the Yuan Empire, and overthrew the Mongol dynasty.
During the reign of Chu Yuan-chang, a number of measures were adopted in order to restore the economy of the country, especially agriculture, and to correct the widespread abuses of the civil service apparatus. Massive repression was directed against all who expressed dissatisfaction with the new dynasty.
REFERENCESBorovkova, L. A. Vosstanie “Krasnykh voisk” v Kitae. Moscow, 1971.
Svistunova, N. P. Agrarnaia politika Minskogo pravitel’stva vo vtoroi polovine XTV v. Moscow, 1966.
N. P. SVISTUNOVA