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Chen Sheng-Wu Guang Uprising

Updated: 2008-02-07 17:51

Chen Sheng-Wu Guang Uprising was the first large-scale peasant uprising in Chinese history, which led to the downfall of the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC).

In 210BC, Qin Emperor Shihuang died on his inspection travel.The eunuch Zhao Gao wrote a faked letter to Fu Su in the name of the deceased emperor, ordering Fu Su to commit suicide, and his younger brother Hu Hai, the deceased emperor's favorite, was installed as Second Emperor. He was a cool-hearted and cruel ruler. In order to keep secret of Qin Emperor Shihuang's mausoleum, he plugged up the exit and killed all the workers in it. In his first year, rebellions of the old nobility and peasantry broke out.

In 209BC, Hu Hai, the Second Emperor, ordered 900 people in the Huaihe River Rigion to Yuyang (today's Minyun in Beijing) to keep guard. It was July when it rained a lot. When people arrived in Dazexiang (southwest in today's Suxian County in Anhui Province), it began to rain cats and dogs; and they were bound to be late. According to the laws at that time, those who failed to observe deadlines would be sentenced to death. People had no other choice but to rise up in revolt.

Chen Sheng and Wu Guang were both from Henan Province. They led the peasants to attack and occupy finally the Chen County (today's Hengyang in Henan Province), and they established their own regime of Zhangchu. Then their army sent westward by Chen Sheng to fight against Qin army was defeated by Zhang Han. Later, Chen Sheng and Wu Guang were murdered by their subordination. And the rest of the army was surrendered to Liu Bang and Xiang Yu. In 206BC, theQin Dynasty came to an infamous end andthe glorious dynasty fell victim to the fear and mistrust bred by its own despotic excesses.

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