FACTOID # 10: The total number of state executions in 2005 was 60: 19 in Texas and 41 elsewhere. The racial split was 19 Black and 41 White.
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Encyclopedia > Tumu Crisis

The Tumu Crisis (Chinese: 土木之變; pinyin: Tŭmù zhī bìan); also called Crisis of Tumubao (土木堡之變); or Battle of Tumu (土木之役), was a frontier conflict between Mongolia and the Chinese Ming Dynasty which led to the capture of the Zhengtong Emperor on September 8, 1449. This outcome was largely due to the Chinese army's remarkably bad deployment. The Ming expedition is regarded as the greatest military debacle of the dynasty. It has been suggested that Pinyin method be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Ming. ... Zhu Qizhen (November 29, 1427 – February 23, 1464) was an emperor of the Ming Dynasty. ... September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years). ... Events January 6 - Constantine XI is crowned Byzantine Emperor. ...

In July 1449 Esen Tayisi (也先) of the Oirat Mongols launched a large-scale three-pronged invasion of China. He personally advanced on Datong (in northern Shanxi province) in August. The eunuch official Wang Zhen, who dominated the Ming court, encouraged the twenty-two year old Zhengtong Emperor to lead his own armies into battle against Esen (20,000 derbet cavalry). A huge army (perhaps as many as 500,000 men) was hastily assembled. Its command was made up of twenty experienced generals and a large entourage of high-ranking civil officials, with Wang Zhen acting as field marshal. A 15th century Mongolian prince of the Oirad horde. ... Oirats (also spelled Oyrats or Oyirads; Mongolian: Ойрадын Ojradyn) refers to both a Western Mongol people of Europe and Asia and, historically, to a Turkic people now known as the Altays. ... Mongols (Mongolian: Монгол Mongol, Turkish: MoÄŸollar) are an ethnic group that originated in what is now Mongolia, Russia, and China or more specifically on the Central Asian plateau north of the Gobi desert and south of Siberia. ... Alternative meaning: Datong (Taipei City), Datong (Company) Datong (Chinese: 大同, Hanyu Pinyin: Dàtóng, WG: Ta-tung) is a city in the northern Shanxi Province in China. ... Shanxi (Chinese: 山西; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Shan-hsi; Postal System Pinyin: Shansi) is a province in the northern part of the Peoples Republic of China. ... A eunuch is a castrated man; the term usually refers to those castrated in order to perform a specific social function, as was common in many societies of the past. ... Wáng ZhÄ“n (王禎), first Ming eunuch with power in the court; see Battle of Tumu Fortress. ...

On August 3, Esen's army crushed a badly supplied Chinese army at Yanghe, just inside the Great Wall. The same day the Emperor appointed his half-brother Zhu Qiyu as regent. The next day he left Beijing for Juyong Pass. The objective was a short, sharp march west to Datong via the Xuanfu garrison, a campaign into the steppe, and then to return to Beijing by a southerly route through Yuzhou. August 3 is the 215th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (216th in leap years), with 150 days remaining. ... A section of the Great Wall near Beijing during winter The course of the Great Wall is shown in this map dated from 1805 The Great Wall (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: , literally long city wall) is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in China, built between 5th century... Zhu Qiyu (September 21, 1428 – March 14, 1457) was Emperor of China of the Ming Dynasty from 1449 to 1457 as the Jingtai Emperor. ... Beijing [English Pronunciation] (Chinese: 北京 [Chinese Pronunciation]; Pinyin: BÄ›ijÄ«ng; IPA: ), a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Alternative meaning: Datong (Taipei City), Datong (Company) Datong (Chinese: 大同, Hanyu Pinyin: Dàtóng, WG: Ta-tung) is a city in the northern Shanxi Province in China. ... A steppe in Western Kazakhstan in early spring In physical geography, a steppe (Russian: - , Ukrainian: - , Kazakh: - ), pronounced in English as , is a plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes); it is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally considered as being dominated by tall grasses...

Initially the march was mired by heavy rain. At Juyong Pass, the civil officials and generals wished to halt and send the emperor back to Beijing, but their opinions were overruled by Wang Zhen. On August 12, some of the courtiers discussed assassinating Wang. On August 16, the army came upon the corpse-strewn battlefield of Yanghe. When it reached Datong on August 18, reports from garrison commanders persuaded Wang Zhen that a campaign into the steppe would be too dangerous. The "expedition" was declared to have reached a victorious conclusion and on August 20 the army set out toward Beijing. August 12 is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... August 20 is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ...

Fearing that the restless soldiers would cause damages to his estates in Yuzhou, Wang Zhen took the decision to strike northeast and return by the same exposed route as they had come. The army reached Xianfu on August 27. On August 30, the Mongols attacked the rearguard east of Xianfu and wiped it out. Soon afterwards, they also annihilated a powerful new rearguard of cavalry led by the elderly general Zhu Yong at Yaoerling. On August 31 the imperial army camped at the post station of Tumu. Wang Zhen refused his ministers' suggestion to have the emperor take refuge in the walled city of Huailai, just 45 km ahead. August 27 is the 239th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (240th in leap years), with 126 days remaining. ... August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... August 31 is the 243rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (244th in leap years), with 122 days remaining. ...

Esen sent an advance force to cut off access to water from a river south of the Chinese camp. By the morning of September 1, they had surrounded the Chinese army. Wang Zhen rejected any offers to negotiate and ordered the confused army to move toward the river. The Mongols attacked in force and destroyed the Chinese army, capturing large quantities of arms and armour. All the high-ranking Chinese generals and court officials were killed. According to some accounts, Wang Zhen was killed by his own officers. The emperor was captured, and on September 3 was sent to Esen's main camp near Xianfu. September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... September 3 is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

The entire expedition had been unnecessary, ill-conceived, and ill-prepared. The Mongol victory was won by an advance guard of only 20,000 cavalry. Esen, for his part, was quite unprepared either for the scale of his victory or for the capture of the Ming emperor.

At first, Esen attempted to use the captured emperor to raise a ransom and planned to conquer the undefended Beijing. However his plan was foiled, due to the brilliant Ming commander, Yu Qian who rejected his offer, since Yu stated the country was more important than an emperor's life and through a battle near Beijing, Yue have successfully eliminated the proud Mongolian Army. Esen never recovered his glory afterward and his assassination soon followed. Yu Qian Temple, Hangzhou Yu Chien (Pinyin: Yu Qian, Chinese: 于谦) (1398-1457) was a Chinese defense minister of the Ming dynasty. ...


  • Frederick W. Mote. "The T'u-Mu Incident of 1449." In Chinese Ways in Warfare, edited by Edward L. Dreyer, Frank Algerton Kierman and John King Fairbank. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974.

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