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, 1559–1626, Manchu national founder. He consolidated the Manchu tribes under his control and founded the administration that later ruled China as the Ch'ing dynasty (1644–1912).
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Born in 1559; died in 1626. Manchu (Jurchen) chieftain. In 1583, Nurhachi became the leader of a tribe of Chien-chou Jurchen in the northern Liao-tung Peninsula. He was a nominal vassal of the Chinese Ming Empire. By 1616 he had united the Jurchen tribes and formed a military-state organization known as the Eight Banners, which played a major role in his conquests. In February 1616, Nurhachi proclaimed himself han (emperor), founding the Late Chin (Hou Chin) dynasty. Nurhachi had stopped sending tribute to the Ming Empire and had begun to invade its borders in 1609, and in 1618 he launched a series of successful campaigns against the empire, seizing a number of cities. In 1626 he was defeated by the Ming general Yuan Ch’ung-huan during an attack on the city of Ning-yüan. Under Nurhachi’s successor, Abahai, the dynasty was renamed Ch’ing (1636) and the Jurchen came to be called Manchus.