Huang Chao

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Huang Chao (, died 884) was the leader of the Huang Chao Rebellion (, 874-884), known in mainland China as the Huang Chao Revolution () in China that seriously weakened the once mighty Tang Dynasty of China. The dynasty, which was one of the strongest in the world at the time, dissolved within a few decades after the rebellion, and the empire broke up into competing states of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period.

Background

The Tang Dynasty, established in 618, had already passed its golden age and entered its long decline beginning with the An Lushan Rebellion by Turkish-Sogdian general An Lushan. The power of provincial military governors (Jiedushi) increased greatly after imperial troops crushed the Anshi rebels. The morals of these generals also decayed as their power increased, the resentment of common people against the inability of the government grew, and their grievances exploded into several rebellions during the mid-9th century. Many impoverished farmers, tax-burdened landowners and merchants, as well as many large salt smuggling operations, formed the base of the anti-government rebellions of this period. Wang Xianzhi and Huang Chao were two of the important rebel leaders during this era.See, e.g., in general, Bo Yang, Outlines of the History of the Chinese (中國人史綱), vol. 2.

It is not known when Huang was born, but it is known that he was from Yuanju (冤句, in modern Heze, Shandong). His family had been salt privateers...
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