* Da Chu (1127) * Da Qi (1133–37)
* v * t * e
* Battles: Jingkang * Huangtiandang * De\'an * Yancheng * Caishi * Tangdao
Map showing the Song-Jurchen Jin wars
The JIN–SONG WARS were a series of conflicts between the Jurchen
Jin dynasty (1115–1234)
Surprised by the news of an invasion, the Song general stationed in
Taiyuan retreated from the city, which was besieged and later
captured. As the second Jin army approached the capital, Emperor
Huizong of the Song abdicated and fled south. A new emperor, Qinzong ,
was enthroned. The Jurchens began a siege against
Kaifeng in 1126, but
Qinzong negotiated for their retreat from the capital after he agreed
to pay a large annual indemnity. Qinzong reneged on the deal and
ordered Song forces to defend the prefectures instead of fortifying
the capital. The Jin resumed their war against the Song and again
Kaifeng in 1127. The Chinese emperor was captured in an event
known as the
The Jurchens tried to conquer southern China in the 1130s, but they
were bogged down by a pro-Song insurgency in the north and a
counteroffensive by the Song generals
The wars engendered an era of technological, cultural, and demographic changes in China. Battles between the Song and Jin brought about the introduction of various gunpowder weapons . The siege of De\'an in 1132 was the first recorded use of the fire lance , an early ancestor of firearms . There were also reports of battles fought with primitive gunpowder bombs like the incendiary huopao or the exploding tiehuopao, incendiary arrows , and other related weapons. In northern China, the Jurchen tribes were the ruling minority of an empire that was predominantly inhabited by former subjects of the Northern Song. Jurchen migrants settled in the conquered territories and assimilated with the local culture. The Jin government instituted a centralized imperial bureaucracy modeled on previous Chinese dynasties, basing their legitimacy on Confucian philosophy . Song refugees from the north resettled in southern China. The north was the cultural center of China, and its conquest by the Jin diminished the international stature of the Song dynasty. The Southern Song, however, quickly returned to economic prosperity, and trade with the Jin was lucrative despite decades of warfare. The capital of the Southern Song, Hangzhou, expanded into a major city for commerce.
* 1 The fragile Song–Jin alliance
* 2 War against the Northern Song
* 2.1 The collapse of the Song–Jin alliance
* 2.2 First campaign
* 2.3 Second campaign
* 2.3.1 Second siege of Kaifeng
* 2.4 Reasons for Song failure
* 3 Wars with the
* 3.1 Southern retreat of the Song court
* 3.1.1 The enthronement of Emperor Gaozong * 3.1.2 The move south
* 3.2 Da Qi invades the Song * 3.3 Song counteroffensive and the peace process * 3.4 Treaty of Shaoxing
* 3.5 Further campaigns
* 3.5.1 Prince of Hailing\'s campaign
* 3.5.2 Song revanchism
* 3.5.3 Song–Jin war during the rise of the
* 4 Historical significance
* 4.1 Cultural and demographic changes * 4.2 Gunpowder warfare
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 6.1 Citations * 6.2 Bibliography
THE FRAGILE SONG–JIN ALLIANCE
The Jurchens were a Tungusic-speaking group of semi-agrarian tribes
inhabiting areas of northeast Asia that are now part of Northeast
China . Many of the Jurchen tribes were vassals of the Liao dynasty
(907–1125), an empire ruled by the nomadic Khitans that included
most of modern
In 1114, the chieftain
Because the land routes between the Song and Jin were controlled by
the Liao, diplomatic exchanges had to occur by traveling across the
Bohai Sea . Negotiations for an alliance began secretly under the
pretense that the Song wanted to acquire horses from the Khitans. Song
diplomats traveled to the Jin court to meet Aguda in 1118, while
Jurchen envoys arrived in the Song capital
Kaifeng the next year. At
the beginning the two sides agreed to keep whatever Liao territory
they would seize in combat. In 1120, Aguda agreed to cede the Sixteen
Prefectures to the Song in exchange for transfer to the Jin of the
annual tributary payments that the Song had been giving the Liao. By
the end of 1120, however, the Jurchens had seized the Liao Supreme
Capital, and offered the Song only parts of the Sixteen Prefectures.
Among other things, the Jin would keep the Liao Western Capital of
The joint attack against the Liao had been planned for 1121, but it
was rescheduled for 1122. In February 23 of that year, the Jin
captured the Liao Central Capital as promised. The Song delayed their
entry into the war because it diverted resources to fighting the
The quick collapse of the Liao led to more negotiations between the
Song and the Jin. Jurchen military success and their effective control
WAR AGAINST THE NORTHERN SONG
See also: History of the
Song dynasty § Jurchen invasions and the
THE COLLAPSE OF THE SONG–JIN ALLIANCE
Barely one month after the Song had recovered Yanjing, Zhang Jue
(張覺), who had served as military governor of the Liao prefecture
of Pingzhou about 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Yanjing, killed the
main Jin official in that city and turned it over to the Song. The
Jurchens defeated his armies a few months later and Zhang took refuge
in Yanjing. Even though the Song agreed to execute him in late 1123,
this incident put tension between the two states, because the 1123
treaty had explicitly forbidden both sides from harboring defectors.
In 1124, Song officials further angered the Jin by asking for the
cession of nine more border prefectures. The new Jin emperor Taizong
(r. 1123–1135), Aguda's brother and successor, hesitated, but
Wanyan Zonghan and
Before they could invade the Song, the Jurchens reached a peace
agreement with their western neighbors the Tangut
In November 1125 Taizong ordered his armies to attack the Song. The defection of Zhang Jue two years earlier served as the casus belli . Two armies were sent to capture the major cities of the Song.
Siege Of Taiyuan
The western army, led by
First Siege Of Kaifeng
Meanwhile, the eastern army, commanded by
Fearing the approaching Jin army, Song emperor Huizong planned to retreat south. The emperor deserting the capital would have been viewed as an act of capitulation, so court officials convinced him to abdicate. There were few objections. Rescuing an empire in crisis from destruction was more important than preserving the rituals of imperial inheritance. In January 1126, a few days before the New Year , Huizong abdicated in favor of his son and was demoted to the ceremonial role of Retired Emperor . The Jurchen forces reached the Yellow River on January 27, 1126, two days after the New Year. Huizong fled Kaifeng the next day, escaping south and leaving the newly enthroned emperor Qinzong (r. 1126–1127) in charge of the capital.
Kaifeng was besieged on January 31, 1126. The commander of the
Jurchen army promised to spare the city if the Song submitted to Jin
as a vassal; forfeited the prime minister and an imperial prince as
prisoners; ceded the Chinese prefectures of
With little prospect of help from afar arriving, infighting broke out in the Song court between the officials who supported the Jin offer and those who opposed it. Opponents of the treaty like Li Gang (李剛; 1083–1140) rallied around the proposal of remaining in defensive positions until reinforcements arrived and Jurchen supplies ran out. They botched an ambush against the Jin that was carried out at night, and were replaced by officials who supported peace negotiations. The failed attack pushed Qinzong into meeting the Jurchen demands, and his officials convinced him to go through with the deal. The Song recognized Jin control over the three prefectures. The Jurchen army ended the siege in March after 33 days.
Almost as soon as the Jin armies had left Kaifeng, Emperor Qinzong reneged on the deal and dispatched two armies to repel the Jurchen troops attacking Taiyuan and bolster the defenses of Zhongshan and Hejian. An army of 90,000 soldiers and another of 60,000 were defeated by Jin forces by June. A second expedition to rescue Taiyuan was also unsuccessful.
Accusing the Song of violating the agreement and realizing the weakness of the Song, the Jin generals launched a second punitive campaign, again dividing their troops into two armies. Wanyan Zonghan, who had withdrawn from Taiyuan after the Kaifeng agreement and left a small force in charge of the siege, came back with his western army. Overwhelmed, Taiyuan fell in September 1126, after 260 days of siege. When the Song court received news of the fall of Taiyuan, the officials who had advocated defending the empire militarily fell from favor again and were replaced by counselors who favored appeasement. In mid December the two Jurchen armies converged on Kaifeng for the second time that year.
Second Siege Of Kaifeng
After the defeat of several Song armies in the north, Emperor Qinzong wanted to negotiate a truce with the Jin, but he committed a massive strategic blunder when he commanded his remaining armies to protect prefectural cities instead of Kaifeng. Neglecting the importance of the capital, he left Kaifeng defended with fewer than 100,000 soldiers. The Song forces were dispersed throughout China, powerless to stop the second Jurchen siege of the city.
The Jin assault commenced in mid December 1126. Even as fighting raged on, Qinzong continued to sue for peace, but Jin demands for territory were enormous: they wanted all provinces north of the Yellow River. After more than twenty days of heavy combat against the besieging forces, Song defenses were decimated and the morale of Song soldiers was on the decline. On January 9, 1127, the Jurchens broke through and started to loot the conquered city. Emperor Qinzong tried to appease the victors by offering the remaining wealth of the capital. The royal treasury was emptied and the belongings of the city's residents were seized. The Song emperor offered his unconditional surrender a few days later.
Qinzong, the former emperor Huizong, and members of the Song court were captured by the Jurchens as hostages. They were taken north to Huining (modern Harbin ), where they were stripped of their royal privileges and reduced to commoners. The former emperors were humiliated by their captors. They were mocked with disparaging titles like "Muddled Virtue" and "Double Muddled". In 1128 the Jin made them perform a ritual meant for war criminals. The harsh treatment of the Song royalty softened after the death of Huizong in 1135. Titles were granted to the deceased monarch, and his son Qinzong was promoted to Duke, a position with a salary.
REASONS FOR SONG FAILURE
A painting by Emperor Huizong. Huizong's excessive interest in the arts may have played a role in the fall of the northern Song.
Many factors contributed to the Song's repeated military blunders and
subsequent loss of northern China to the Jurchens. Traditional
accounts of Song history held the venality of Huizong's imperial court
responsible for the decline of the dynasty. These narratives
condemned Huizong and his officials for their moral failures. Early
Song emperors were eager to enact political reforms and revive the
ethical framework of
Confucianism , but the enthusiasm for reforms
gradually died after the reformist
A modern analysis by Ari Daniel Levine places more of the blame on deficiencies in the military and bureaucratic leadership. The loss of northern China was not inevitable. The military was overextended by a government too assured of its own military prowess. Huizong diverted the state's resources to failed wars against the Western Xia. The Song insistence on a greater share of Liao territory only succeeded in provoking their Jin allies. Song diplomatic oversights underestimated the Jin and allowed the unimpeded rise of Jurchen military power. The state had plentiful resources, with the exception of horses, but managed its assets poorly during battles. Unlike the expansive Han and Tang empires that preceded the Song, the Song did not have a significant foothold in Central Asia where a large proportion of its horses could be bred or procured. As Song general Li Gang noted, without a consistent supply of horses the dynasty was at a significant disadvantage against Jurchen cavalry : "the Jin were victorious only because they used iron-shielded cavalry , while we opposed them with foot soldiers. It is only to be expected that were scattered and dispersed."
WARS WITH THE SOUTHERN SONG
SOUTHERN RETREAT OF THE SONG COURT
The Enthronement Of Emperor Gaozong
See also: Da Chu
The Jin leadership had not expected or desired the fall of the Song dynasty. Their intention was to weaken the Song in order to demand more tribute, and they were unprepared for the magnitude of their victory. The Jurchens were preoccupied with strengthening their rule over the areas once controlled by Liao. Instead of continuing their invasion of the Song, an empire with a military that outnumbered their own, they adopted the strategy of "using Chinese to control the Chinese". The Jin hoped that a proxy state would be capable of administering northern China and collecting the annual indemnity without requiring Jurchen interventions to quell anti-Jin uprisings. In 1127, the Jurchens installed a former Song official, Zhang Bangchang (張邦昌; 1081–1127), as the puppet emperor of the newly established " Da Chu " (Great Chu) dynasty. The puppet government did not deter the resistance in northern China, but the insurgents were motivated by their anger towards the Jurchens' looting rather than by a sense of loyalty towards the inept Song court. A number of Song commanders, stationed in towns scattered across northern China, retained their allegiance to the Song, and armed volunteers organized militias opposed to the Jurchen military presence. The insurgency hampered the ability of the Jin to exert control over the north.
Meanwhile, one Song prince, Zhao Gou, had escaped capture. He had
been held up in Cizhou while on a diplomatic mission, and never made
it back to Kaifeng. He was not present in the capital when the city
fell to the Jurchens. The future Emperor Gaozong managed to evade the
Jurchen troops tailing him by moving from one province to the next,
traveling across Hebei,
Henan , and
Shandong . The Jurchens tried to
lure him back to
Kaifeng where they could finally capture him, but did
not succeed. Zhao Gou finally arrived in the Song Southern Capital at
Yingtianfu (應天府; modern
After reigning for barely one month, Zhang Bangchang was persuaded by the Song to step down as emperor of the Great Chu and to recognize the legitimacy of the Song imperial line. Li Gang pressured Gaozong to execute Zhang for betraying the Song. The emperor relented and Zhang was coerced into suicide. The killing of Zhang showed that the Song was willing to provoke the Jin, and that the Jin had yet to solidify their control over the newly conquered territories. The submission and abolition of Chu meant that Kaifeng was now back under Song control. Zong Ze (宗澤; 1059–1128), the Song general responsible for fortifying Kaifeng, entreated Gaozong to move the court back to the city, but Gaozong refused and retreated south. The southward move marked the end of the Northern Song and the beginning of the Southern Song era of Chinese history.
The descendant of
The Move South
The Song disbandment of the Great Chu and execution of Zhang
Bangchang antagonized the Jurchens and violated the treaty that the
two parties had negotiated. The Jin renewed their attacks on the Song
and quickly reconquered much of northern China. In late 1127 Gaozong
moved his court further south from Yingtianfu to
From 1127 to 1129, the Song sent thirteen embassies to the Jin to
discuss peace terms and to negotiate the release of Gaozong's mother
and Huizong, but the Jin court ignored them. In December 1129, the
Jin started a new military offensive, dispatching two armies across
Huai River in the east and west. On the western front, an army
Meanwhile, on the eastern front,
Wuzhu commanded the main Jin army.
He crossed the Yangtze southwest of Jiankang and took that city when
Du Chong surrendered.
Wuzhu set out from Jiankang and advanced
rapidly to try to capture Gaozong. The Jin seized
After the Jin incursion that almost captured Gaozong, the sovereign
ordered pacification commissioner Zhang Jun (1097–1164), who was in
The Song court returned to
DA QI INVADES THE SONG
The continuing insurgency of anti-Jin forces in northern China
hampered the Jurchen campaigns south of the Yangtze. Reluctant to let
the war drag on, the Jin decided to create Da Qi (the "Great Qi"),
their second attempt at a puppet state in northern China. The
Jurchens believed that this state, nominally ruled by someone of Han
Chinese descent, would be able to attract the allegiance of
disaffected members of the insurgency. The Jurchens also suffered from
a shortage of skilled manpower, and controlling the entirety of
northern China was not administratively feasible. In the final months
of 1129, Liu Yu (劉豫; 1073–1143) won the favor of the Jin emperor
Taizong. Liu was a Song official from
Hebei who had been a prefect of
Shandong before his defection to the Jin in 1128. Da Qi was
formed late in 1130, and the Jin enthroned Liu as its emperor. Daming
Hebei was the first capital of Qi, before its move to Kaifeng,
former capital of the Northern Song. The Qi government instituted
military conscription , made an attempt at reforming the bureaucracy,
and enacted laws that enforced the collection of high taxes. It was
also responsible for supplying a large portion of the troops that
fought the Song in the seven years following its creation. A
The Jin granted Qi more autonomy than the first puppet government of
Chu, but Liu Yu was obligated to obey the orders of the Jurchen
generals. With Jin support, Da Qi invaded the Song in November 1133.
Li Cheng, a Song turncoat who had joined the Qi, led the campaign.
SONG COUNTEROFFENSIVE AND THE PEACE PROCESS
Emperor Gaozong supported settling a peace treaty with the Jurchens
and sought to rein in the assertiveness of the military. The military
After his execution, Yue Fei's reputation for defending the Southern
Song grew to that of a national folk hero.
TREATY OF SHAOXING
On October 11, 1142, after about a year of negotiations, the Treaty
The treaty reduced the Southern Song's status to that of a Jin
vassal. The document designated the Song as the "insignificant state",
while the Jin was recognized as the "superior state". The text of the
treaty has not survived in Chinese records, a sign of its humiliating
reputation. The contents of the agreement were recovered from a
Jurchen biography. Once the treaty had been settled, the Jurchens
retreated north and trade resumed between the two empires. The peace
ensured by the
Prince Of Hailing\'s Campaign
Battle of Caishi
The Song official
Yu Yunwen was in command of the army defending the
river. The Jurchen army was defeated while attacking Caishi between
November 26 and 27 during the
Battle of Caishi
A modern analysis of the battlefield has shown that it was a minor
battle, although the victory did boost Song morale. The Jin lost, but
only suffered about 4,000 casualties and the battle was not fatal to
the Jurchen war effort. It was
Jurchen warrior with a bow on an early 17th-century woodblock print
The Jin were weakened by the pressure of the rising
Song armies led by general Bi Zaiyu (畢再遇; d. 1217) captured the
barely defended border city of Sizhou 泗州 (on the north bank of the
Huai River across from modern
Xuyi County ) but suffered large losses
against the Jurchens in Hebei. The Jin repelled the Song and moved
south to besiege the Song town of Chuzhou 楚州 on the Grand Canal
just south of the Huai River. Bi defended the town, and the Jurchens
withdrew from the siege after three months. By the fall of 1206,
however, the Jurchens had captured multiple towns and military bases.
The Jin initiated an offensive against Song prefectures in the central
front of the war, capturing
A notable betrayal did occur on the Song side, however: Wu Xi (吳曦; d. 1207), the governor-general of Sichuan, defected to the Jin in December 1206. The Song had depended on Wu's success in the west to divert Jin soldiers away from the eastern front. He had attacked Jin positions earlier in 1206, but his army of about 50,000 men had been repelled. Wu's defection could have meant the loss of the entire western front of the war, but Song loyalists assassinated Wu on March 29, 1207, before Jin troops could take control of the surrendered territories. An Bing (安丙; d. 1221) was given Wu Xi's position, but the cohesion of Song forces in the west fell apart after Wu's demise and commanders turned on each other in the ensuing infighting.
Fighting continued in 1207, but by the end of that year the war was at a stalemate. The Song was now on the defensive, while the Jin failed to make gains in Song territory. The failure of Han Tuozhou's aggressive policies led to his demise. On December 15, 1207, Han was beaten to death by the Imperial Palace Guards. His accomplice Su Shidan (蘇師旦) was executed, and other officials connected to Han were dismissed or exiled. Since neither combatant was eager to continue the war, they returned to negotiations. A peace treaty was signed on November 2, 1208, and the Song tribute to the Jin was reinstated. The Song annual indemnity increased by 50,000 taels of silver and 50,000 packs of fabric. The treaty also stipulated that the Song had to present to the Jin the head of Han Tuozhou, who the Jin held responsible for starting the war. The heads of Han and Su were severed from their exhumed corpses, exhibited to the public, then delivered to the Jin.
Song–Jin War During The Rise Of The Mongols
A second Jin campaign in late 1217 did marginally better than the
first. In the east, the Jin made little headway in the Huai River
valley, but in the west they captured Xihezhou and Dasan Pass
(大散關; modern Shaanxi) in late 1217. The Jin tried to captured
Main article: Siege of Caizhou
In February 1233, the
CULTURAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES
Jurchen migrants from the northeastern reaches of Jin territory settled in the Jin-controlled lands of northern China. Constituting less than ten percent of the total population, the two to three million ruling Jurchens were a minority in a region that was still dominated by 30 million Han Chinese. The southward expansion of the Jurchens caused the Jin to transition their decentralized government of semi-agrarian tribes to a bureaucratic Chinese-style dynasty. A medallion with writing in the Jurchen script , which was one of the Jin empire's three working languages
The Jin government initially promoted an independent Jurchen culture
alongside their adoption of the centralized Chinese imperial
bureaucracy, but the empire was gradually sinicized over time. The
Jurchens became fluent in the Chinese language, and the philosophy of
Confucianism was used to legitimize the ruling government. Confucian
state rituals were adopted during the reign of Emperor Xizong
(1135–1150). The Jin implemented imperial exams on the Confucian
Classics , first regionally and then for the entire empire. The
Classics and other works of
Chinese literature were translated into
Jurchen and studied by Jin intellectuals, but very few Jurchens
actively contributed to the classical literature of the Jin. The
Khitan script , from the
Chinese family of scripts
The emperor's political reforms were connected with his desire to
conquer all of China and to legitimize himself as a Chinese emperor.
The prospect of conquering southern China was cut short by Wanyan
In the south, the retreat of the
Song dynasty led to major
demographic changes. The population of refugees from the north that
The new capital
The loss of northern China, the cultural center of Chinese
civilization, diminished the international status of the Song dynasty.
After the Jurchen conquest of the north,
Main article: Science and technology of the
Song dynasty The
fire lance, an early firearm that was first recorded at the siege of
De\'an in 1132, shown in the Ming dynasty
The battles between the Song and the Jin spurred the invention and
use of gunpowder weapons. There are reports that the fire lance , one
of the earliest ancestors of the firearm , was used by the Song
against the Jurchens besieging De\'an (德安; modern
Early rudimentary bombs like the huopao fire bomb (火礮) and the huopao (火砲) bombs propelled by trebuchet were also in use as incendiary weapons. The defending Song army used huopao (火礮) during the first Jin siege of Kaifeng in 1126. On the opposing side, the Jin launched incendiary bombs from siege towers down onto the city below. In 1127, huopao (火礮) were employed by the Song troops defending De'an and by the Jin soldiers besieging the city. The government official Lin Zhiping (林之平) proposed to make incendiary bombs and arrows mandatory for all warships in the Song navy. At the battle of Caishi in 1161, Song ships fired pili huoqiu (霹靂火球), also called pili huopao bombs (霹靂火砲), from trebuchets against the ships of the Jin fleet commanded by Wanyan Liang. The gunpowder mixture of the bomb contained powdered lime , which produced blinding smoke once the casing of the bomb shattered. The Song also deployed incendiary weapons at the battle of Tangdao during the same year.
Gunpowder was also applied to arrows in 1206 by a Song army stationed in Xiangyang. The arrows were most likely an incendiary weapon, but its function may also have resembled that of an early rocket . At the Jin siege of Qizhou (蘄州) in 1221, the Jurchens fought the Song with gunpowder bombs and arrows. The Jin tiehuopao (鐵火砲, "iron huopao"), which had cast iron casings, are the first known bombs that could explode. The bomb needed to be capable of detonating in order to penetrate the iron casing. The Song army had a large supply of incendiary bombs, but there are no reports of them having a weapon similar to the Jin's detonating bombs. A participant in the siege recounted in the Xinsi Qi Qi Lu (辛巳泣蘄錄) that the Song army at Qizhou had an arsenal of 3000 huopao (火礮), 7000 incendiary gunpowder arrows for crossbows and 10000 for bows, as well as 20000 pidapao (皮大礮), probably leather bags filled with gunpowder.
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