History of China

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1115 Jan 1 - 1234

Jurchen Dynasty

Acheng District, Harbin, Heilo

The Jurchen dynasy lasted from 1115 to 1234 as one of the last dynasties in Chinese history to predate the Mongol conquest of China. It is also sometimes called the "Jurchen dynasty" or the "Jurchen Jin", because members of the ruling Wanyan clan were of Jurchen descent.


The Jin emerged from Taizu's rebellion against the Liao dynasty (916–1125), which held sway over northern China until the nascent Jin drove the Liao to the Western Regions, where they became known in historiography as the Western Liao. After vanquishing the Liao, the Jin launched a century-long campaign against the Han-led Song dynasty (960–1279), which was based in southern China. Over the course of their rule, the ethnic Jurchen emperors of the Jin dynasty adapted to Han customs, and even fortified the Great Wall against the rising Mongols. Domestically, the Jin oversaw a number of cultural advancements, such as the revival of Confucianism.


After spending centuries as vassals of the Jin, the Mongols invaded under Genghis Khan in 1211 and inflicted catastrophic defeats on the Jin armies. After numerous defeats, revolts, defections, and coups, they succumbed to Mongol conquest 23 years later in 1234.


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Last Updated: : Fri Mar 10 2023