When Xu Shouhui, Zhu Yuanzhang, Chen Youren and other southern anti-Yuan forces fought inextricably in the Yangtze River Basin.
in April 1351 (Yuan to Zhengzheng), Hebei and Henan took the lead in the outbreak of the massive Red towel Army peasant uprising. Since then, many local anti-Yuan forces have emerged almost at the same time in the two major basins of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.
when the southern anti-Yuan forces, such as Xu Shouhui, Zhu Yuanzhang, Chen Youren, and Zhang Shicheng, developed rapidly, competed for spheres of influence, and fought inextricably with each other in the Yangtze River valley, the northern anti-Yuan forces on the north bank of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River valley also spread the flames of war near Beijing, the capital of the Yuan Dynasty, but because their military strength was not strong enough at that time, it did not pose a serious threat to the life and death of the Yuan and Mongolian regime.
in October 1367 (the 27 years of Yuan to Zheng), Zhu Yuanzhang immediately assigned Xu Da and Chang Yuanchun to lead the 250000 Ming Army to go northward to begin an organized Northern Expedition after he wiped out the anti-Yuan separatist forces in places south of the Yangtze River, such as Zhang Shicheng and Chen Youyan. In February of the following year, Zhu Yuanzhang declared himself emperor in Nanjing, an important city in the south of the Yangtze River, and founded the Ming Dynasty, known as Hongwu. At the same time, the main force of the Ming army, 150000 men led by Chang Yuchun, also successfully broke through Beijing, the capital of the Yuan Dynasty, in October of that year. At this point, the Yuan and Mongolian dynasties, which were ruled by the Han people of the Central Plains as long as 1998, were destroyed.
however, what is puzzling and has always aroused debate among scholars is that before organizing the large-scale Northern Expedition of the Ming army, Zhu Yuanzhang fought with Chen Youren, Zhang Shicheng, and other southern anti-Yuan separatist forces in the Yangtze River valley for nearly 10 years. during this period, the central government of Yuan and Mongolia, which owned half of the rivers and mountains in the north, preserved 2/3 effective forces, and occupied the favorable terrain of the Central Plains and the natural dangers of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, why not make full use of this gap to establish a defense system along the Yangtze River on the north bank of the Yangtze River to forcefully prevent the anti-Yuan forces in the south from moving northward?
however, according to the historical archives excavated after working, there are mainly the following reasons why the central government of the Yuan Dynasty did not do so and did not intend to do so at that time:
first, due to the high corruption of the system, the serious decline of the economy, and the inaction and chaos of government officials at all levels.
by the end of the decade from Yuan to Zheng (1350), the fiscal revenue at the first level of the central government of the Yuan Dynasty has shown a serious sharp decline for ten years in a row. On the other hand, the blowout of the anti-Yuan forces in the north brought a devastating blow to the farming economy of the Yellow River valley on the north bank of the Yangtze River, with water conservancy in disrepair, barren land, overflowing of refugees, and a sharp decline in the labor force, which made the financial situation of the Yuan and Mongolia political groups even worse. In other words, the central government of the Yuan Dynasty at that time had no money, was powerless, and had no intention of effectively organizing forces, established a strong defense system along the Yangtze River on the north bank of the Yangtze River, and positively resisted the northward movement of the anti-Yuan forces in the south.
second, due to the weakness and fracture of the national political and economic management chain.
those troops who were originally loyal to the Dayuan Dynasty, especially the well-equipped Mongolian cavalry, gradually lost the strong economic support and effective political jurisdiction of the central government in the long war of attrition with the local anti-Yuan forces, and they began to go further and further along the road of localization, domination, and warlordism of the army. Even the so-called backbone generals of some Yuan-Mongolian military groups, such as Li Siqi, Zhang Liang, Cn Tour, and Polo Tour, also began to develop towards the negative situation of supporting the troops with self-respect and separatism. Only the metropolis of Beijing and some surrounding areas were left under the complete control of the central government of the Yuan Dynasty.
third, and more importantly, after entering the eighteenth year from Yuan to Zheng (1358), the struggle for power and consanguineous infighting within the central government of the Yuan and Mongolia dynasties also began to enter a white-hot, glued, superficial state.
during the five years from Yuan Zhizheng 20 years (1360) to Yuan Zhengzheng 25 years (1365), the court power struggle broke out between Yuanshun Emperor Polo Jin Tuoji Tour and his eldest son (Crown Prince) Ai Lidala, which almost turned Beijing upside down. Under such circumstances, some arch guards and interior forces who were originally loyal to the court also formed two major factions that were incompatible with each other because of their different political positions and interests, ready to fight to the death.
at the same time, the power struggle between Emperor Yuanshun and the Crown Prince also triggered a large-scale melee among the major warlords in the northern region, and its tragic degree and destructive power to the economy and society were not inferior to the bloody battles between Zhu Yuanzhang, Chen Youren, and Zhang Shicheng.
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in June 1368, when Xu Da and Chang Yuchun's Northern Expedition troops arrived in Hebei to besiege Beijing, the scuffle between the warlords in the north of Yuan and Mongolia was far from over. It was for this reason that wherever the Northern Expedition troops led by Xu Da and Chang Yuchun went, the resistance of the Yuan army was minimal and even negligible. The surrender of the whole system became the main choice of the Yuan and Mongolian government forces at that time.
in addition, there is another very important factor, which is also the internal cause of the ineffectiveness of the Northern Yuan Army against the Ming Army. that is the basic national composition of the soldiers of the Northern Yuan Army and the high neutralization of the officers' combat thinking and way of thinking.
after the end of the Dayuan Dynasty, the main force of the Yuan army was no longer the imposing Mongolian light cavalry, but a quasi-warlord army with Han soldiers and generals as the main body, with the nature of serious mercenaries and Han culture.
even those elite Yuan armies who temporarily retain a certain proportion of Mongolian soldiers, such as the Mongol ace army led by Wang Baobao, Cn Tour, and Polo Tour, Officers to soldiers are neutralized. They eat Han food, wear Han army uniforms, and change their surnames (such as Wang Baobao). Some senior officers even follow the example of Han Chinese, build luxury houses, take three wives and four concubines, and pursue luxurious living. Of course, for an army like
, it is no longer possible to have the same sense of shareholder and responsibility as when the Yuan army first entered the Central Plains. Their first consideration is not the stability of political power and the survival of the dynasty, but their survival and the way out of the army.
when the Northern Expedition troops led by Xu Da and Chang Yuchun fought unstoppably across the Yangtze River, into the Central Plains, Jianfeng, and to Beijing, the first thing they did was how to preserve their strength as much as possible. Because of their strength, even if he surrendered to the Ming army, he still had the bargaining chips in his hand. Can there be any hope for the survival and development of the Yuan Dynasty with such an army, such an officer's consciousness, and such strategic thinking?
therefore, the fall of the Dayuan Dynasty appears to be providence, but the actual analysis is man-made. Of course, if ethnic differences are put aside, the Ming Dynasty founded by Han statesman Zhu Yuanzhang collapsed in the Chongzhen era three hundred years later, and what is the essential difference between the track of political evolution and the failure rhythm of the Yuan-Mongolia Group?