Li Tzu-cheng

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Li Tzu-cheng

Li Tzu-cheng (lē dzo͞o-chŭng), 1605–45, Chinese rebel leader who contributed to the fall of the Ming dynasty. With the help of scholars he organized a government in S Shanxi prov., proclaimed a new dynasty, and sought popular support by giving famine relief and spreading songs and stories lauding his heroic qualities. By 1643 he held much of Hubei, Henan, and Shaanxi provs., and in 1644 he captured Beijing, finding the last Ming emperor dead by suicide. Advancing to Shanhaiguan, a strategic pass on the Great Wall, Li confronted the Ming general Wu San-kuei. Rather than surrender to a Chinese rebel leader, Wu preferred to collaborate with the Manchus. Li was driven from Beijing, and within a year he was killed and his forces were crushed. The new Manchu Ch'ing dynasty rewarded Wu with an independent satrapy in Yunnan and Guizhou provs.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Li Tzu-Ch’eng


Born 1606; died 1645. A leader of the Peasant War of 1628–45 in China. The son of a peasant.

Li Tzu-ch’eng served as a postal courier. Joining the insurgents at the beginning of the war, in 1636 he became head of the peasant army that became the main force of the antifeudal movement in the north of the country. In 1644, in the city of Sian, he was proclaimed emperor. On Apr. 25, 1644, his troops occupied the imperial capital, Peking. Feudal lords in alliance with enemies from outside, the Manchus, forced the rebels out of North China. Li Tzu-ch’eng perished in the south of Hupeh Province.


Simonovskaia, L. V. Antifeodal’naia bor’ba kitaiskikh krest’ian ν XVII v. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The reader may be left wondering why Zhang Xianzhong was picked but not Li Zicheng, why neither Kang Youwei nor Liang Qichao are included, and whether Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping were the only two important people worthy of being considered in the entire history of People's Republic of China from 1949 to now.
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The play includes additional scenes that describe the ferociousness and moral decadence of Li Zicheng [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1606-45) and his rebels, who overthrew the Ming dynasty.
In the spring of 1644, the rebel forces of Li Zicheng, the self-styled "New Prince of Shun," surrounded the Ming capital in present-day Beijing and threatened to attack unless the emperor of China agreed to negotiate.
On one level, this admirable book by Roger Des Forges, a historian at the State University of New York at Buffalo, can be read as an extended background study of the uprising of Li Zicheng and the fall of the Ming.
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Li Zicheng of Wuyuan is a relative of my wife, who did not consider several hundred miles too far to come and condole with me at Suzhou.
Here, the recipient, Li Zicheng, and the artist's late wife have become of no account, and what matters instead is the intimate revelation of selfhood on the part of the artist.
Yet nowhere in the inscription does Wen call Li Zicheng his friend (a term I will come back to), and we therefore need to look again at the status of this relative.