Dorgon (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: Dorgon devised and implemented the political and military policies which led to the Manchu conquest of China. As regent over the first Ch’ing emperor, his measures contributed to the longevity of Manchu rule.
Dorgon was the fourteenth son of Nurhachi, and one of three sons the Empress Hsiao-lieh bore to the Manchu ruler. Early in his life, there was a rumor that he was a favorite of Nurhachi and was slated to become his heir. More likely, Dorgon was one of the young men whom Nurhachi had chosen to participate in a leadership rotation. Not long after Nurhachi’s death in 1626, however, one of the four senior administrators, Abahai, forced the suicide of Dorgon’s mother in a successful effort to garner complete power for himself.
Abahai chose not to punish the sixteen-year-old Dorgon or his brothers but instead treated them well, with Dorgon and his brother, Dodo, each gaining control of a banner. In return, Dorgon served Abahai with dedication and courage and, during the period 1627-1636, participated in almost every military campaign. In 1636, when Abahai declared himself Emperor of the Ch’ing, Dorgon became a prince of the first degree with the designation Jui. Two years later, he assumed command of one of two giant armies which invaded China. Besides his military successes, Dorgon also possessed considerable diplomatic skills and was apparently admired by Chinese Mongols...
(The entire section is 2055 words.)
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