Huang Chao

or Huang Ch'ao

died 884, China

Chinese rebel leader whose revolt against the Tang dynasty, though ultimately defeated, so weakened the dynasty that it collapsed shortly thereafter.

A salt smuggler turned rebel, Huang captured Guangzhou (Canton) in 879 and the Tang capital of Chang'an in 881. There he proclaimed himself emperor but was driven out by an alliance of government troops and Turkish nomads. One of his generals overthrew the Tang (907) and founded the first of the short-lived Five Dynasties.

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▪ Chinese rebel
Wade-Giles romanization  Huang Ch'ao 
born , Chaoxian, Shandong province, China
died July 884, Laiwu, Shandong province

      Chinese rebel leader whose uprising so weakened the Tang dynasty (618–907) that it collapsed a few years after the rebellion ended.

      Although well-educated, Huang Chao failed to pass his civil-service examinations and turned to salt smuggling, defying the government-granted salt-manufacturing monopoly. In 875 he collected a group of several thousand followers and joined the numerous rebellions then sweeping the country. His forces pushed into the south and in 879 occupied the rich trade city of Guangzhou (Canton) (Canton). Huang then swept back north, capturing the capital at Chang'an (now Xi'an) in 881. He proclaimed himself the first emperor of the Daqi dynasty, but he was unable to organize the food supply to the capital. In 883 the government, aided by an alliance with a group of nomadic Turkish tribes, the Shatuo, drove him from the capital. The following year Huang's troops were defeated, and Huang himself died in Shandong, but Tang's control over the country had been destroyed by the 10-year revolt, and the dynasty rapidly crumbled. Zhu Wen, the man who finally usurped the Tang throne, was one of Huang's former generals.

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Universalium. 2010.

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