People's Socialist Republic of Albania
Albania the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, was a Marxist-Leninist government that ruled Albania from 1946 to 1992. From 1944 to 1946, it was known as the Democratic Government of Albania and from 1946 to 1976 as the People's Republic of Albania. Throughout this period, the country had a reputation for its Stalinist style of state administration influenced by Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour of Albania and for policies stressing national unity and self-reliance. Travel and visa restrictions made Albania one of the most difficult countries to visit or from which to travel. In 1967, it declared itself the world's first atheist state, but after the end of its communist regime in 1991, the practice of religion increased. It was the only Warsaw Pact member to formally withdraw from the alliance before 1990, an action occasioned by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968; the first multi-party elections in Socialist Albania took place on 31 March 1991 – the Communists gained a majority in an interim government and the first parliamentary elections were held on 22 March 1992.
The People's Socialist Republic was dissolved on 28 November 1998 upon the adoption of the new Constitution of Albania. On 29 November 1944, Albania was liberated by the National Liberation Movement; the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council, formed in May, became the country's provisional government. The government, like the LNC, was dominated by the two-year-old Communist Party of Albania, the party's first secretary, Enver Hoxha, became Albania's prime minister. King Zog I was barred from returning to Albania, though the country nominally remained a monarchy. From the start, the LNC government was an undisguised Communist regime. In the other countries in what became the Soviet bloc, the Communists were at least nominally part of coalition governments for a few years before taking complete control and establishing full-fledged Communist states. Having sidelined the nationalist Balli Kombëtar after their collaboration with the Nazis, the LNC moved to consolidate its power, liberate the country's tenants and workers, join Albania fraternally with other socialist countries.
The internal affairs minister, Koçi Xoxe, "an erstwhile pro-Yugoslavia tinsmith", presided over the trial of many non-communist politicians condemned as "enemies of the people" and "war criminals". Many were sentenced to death; those spared were imprisoned for years in work camps and jails and settled on state farms built on reclaimed marshlands. In December 1944, the provisional government adopted laws allowing the state to regulate foreign and domestic trade, commercial enterprises, the few industries the country possessed; the laws sanctioned confiscation of property belonging to political exiles and "enemies of the people." The state expropriated all German- and Italian-owned property, nationalized transportation enterprises, canceled all concessions granted by previous Albanian governments to foreign companies. In August 1945, the provisional government adopted the first sweeping agricultural reforms in Albania's history; the country's 100 largest landowners, who controlled close to a third of Albania's arable land, had frustrated all agricultural reform proposals before the war.
The communists' reforms were aimed at squeezing large landowners out of business, winning peasant support, increasing farm output to avert famine. The government annulled outstanding agricultural debts, granted peasants access to inexpensive water for irrigation, nationalized forest and pastureland. Under the Agrarian Reform Law, which redistributed about half of Albania's arable land, the government confiscated property belonging to absentee landlords and people not dependent on agriculture for a living; the few peasants with agricultural machinery were permitted to keep up to 40 hectares of land. Landholdings of religious institutions and peasants without agricultural machinery were limited to 20 hectares. Landless peasants and peasants with tiny landholdings were given up to 5 hectares, although they had to pay nominal compensation. In December 1945, Albanians elected a new People's Assembly, but voters were presented with a single list from the Communist-dominated Democratic Front. Official ballot tallies showed that 92% of the electorate voted and that 93% of the voters chose the Democratic Front ticket.
The assembly convened in January 1946. Its first act was to formally abolish the monarchy and to declare Albania a "people's republic." However, as mentioned above, the country had been under out-and-out Communist rule for just over two years. After months of angry debate, the assembly adopted a constitution that mirrored the Yugoslav and Soviet constitutions. A couple of months the assembly members chose a new government, emblematic of Hoxha's continuing consolidation of power: Hoxha became prime minister, foreign minister, defense minister, the army's commander in chief. Xoxe remained the party's organizational secretary. In late 1945 and early 1946, Xoxe and other party hard-liners purged moderates who had pressed for close contacts with the West, a modicum of political pluralism, a delay in the introduction of strict communist economic measures until Albania's economy had more time to develop. Hoxha remained in control despite the fact that he had once advocated restoring relations with Italy and allowing Albanians to study in Italy.
The government took major steps to introduce a
Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Jigme Singye Wangchuck is the former king of Bhutan from 1972 until his abdication in favor of his eldest son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, in 2006. He is credited with many modern reforms in the country. Jigme Singye Wangchuck was born at Dechencholing Palace, Thimphu on 11 November 1955, to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck; the political officer of India stationed in Sikkim and the representative of the Sikkimese government came soon after to offer felicitations to the royal parents and to pay their respect to the newborn prince. At the age of four, sometime in 1959, the young Crown Prince received the offerings of good wishes and respects by the public and officials for the first time in Tashichho Dzong. Wangchuck received traditional learning in various institutions, he began studying at Dechencholing Palace, when he was six years old, in 1961. Soon afterwards, he went to study at Darjeeling, in India. In 1964, he attended Heatherdown School in England where he completed his studies in 1969.
The next phase of his formal education took place at Namselling Palace in 1969. He attended Ugyen Wangchuck Academy at Satsham Choten in Paro, established in 1970, along with a class of selected students from all over Bhutan. In 1971 Wangchuck's father appointed Wangchuck as the Chairman of National Planning Commission, charged with the planning and co-ordination of the five year development plan; the following year, on June 16, 1972, he was made the Trongsa Penlop bestowing on him directly the saffron scarf or namza. The 3rd Five-Year Plan, which spanned the period 1971-77, was in progress. Wangchuck was 16 at that time. 1972 to 1976 was the period of the 3rd FYP, 1976 to 1981 was the period of 4th FYP. As both King and the Chairman of the National Planning Commission, the clearing house for the programmes and projects, Wangchuck guided the planned activities first in broad terms and increasingly in detail. In a public ceremony, the Royal Wedding of Wangchuck was held in Dechog Lhakhang in Punakha Dzong on 31 October 1988, corresponding with the Descending Day of Buddha.
The four queens, Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Tshering Pem Wangchuck, Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck and Sangay Choden Wangchuck are daughters of Dasho Yab Ugyen Dorji, the descendant of both the mind and speech incarnations of Ngawang Namgyal, Yum Thuiji Zam. They had married in 1979. In his Coronation Address on June 2, 1974, Jigme Singye stressed the need "to attain self-reliance and preserve Bhutan’s sovereignty and independence." He stressed that any development undertaking should be a genuine collaboration between the people and the government. During the 1970s, immediate aims for rural households unfolded in terms of intensive valley projects, cash crops cultivation potatoes – irrigation, resettlement. Enhancing the income and livelihood of the rural people were the main focus of the 3rd and 4th FYPs. Soon after he acceded to the throne, Jigme Singye launched the Trashigang and Tsirang Intensive Valley Development Projects in 1972; these projects were part of a larger vision of income generation.
Encouraged by the achievements in the Trashigang and Tsirang Intensive Valley Projects, similar valley projects were replicated in Mongar and the newly created Shumar districts. These projects were sites of experimental and participatory decision making, it led to the formation of Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogchungs, which brought the chimis and officials to prepare plans together. By 1981, Trashigang and Tsirang had functional DYTs. In higher altitude areas a new initiative by Wangchuck in early 1970s consisted of diffusing potatoes as cash crops, first tested in royal pastureland of Longtoed and Longmed, converted to potato farms. Beginning with the large-scale production in Khaling and Chapcha, potatoes become a key export crop, reaching 60,000 tonnes, grown by over 10,725 households by 2006. In southern Bhutan, the focus was on growing citrus fruits. For example, in 1977, the King encouraged the people of Dagana to start cardamom and orange plantations. Both of these cash crops are now major sources of rural income as 3,400 tonnes of cardamom, 55,558 tonnes of oranges and 7,400 tonnes of apples were produced in 2006 due to the initiatives taken first in 1970s.
A Kasho issued by King Jigme Singye in 1986 directed the Planning Commission to ensure that "the basis for the evaluation of the achievements of the Sixth Plan is to see whether the people enjoy happiness and comfort". The social and economic indicators point towards sub-ordinate goals, not ultimate goals, to be measured from a holistic, GNH point of view. Happiness and contentment became the ultimate yardstick of progress; as a result of broad-based development, every man and child's life has been affected positively by the transformation of Bhutan. Data, which enables us to compare achievements over time start from 1985 onwards, some 14 years after the king's ascension to the throne. There is a lack of systematic quantitative information about the social and economic situation of Bhutan for the 1970s; the baselines for historical comparison available today were first collected in 1985 – the year when time series data was collected. Some information that date back to 1974 indicate the low base of infrastructure that existed at that time.
There were 11 ill-equipped hospitals, manned by foreign doctors, 45 basic health units in 1974, the year Jigme Singye's coronation was held. Sparse networks of 1,332 km of roads had been built by 1974, compared to 4,544 by the end of his reign in 2006. In 1974, 24 wireless stations linked the rest of the country. Telephone connections
The Catholic Church known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation; the church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy. Catholic theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition; the Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.
Of its seven sacraments the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; the Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world. The Catholic Church has influenced Western philosophy, culture and art. Catholics live all over the world through missions and conversions. Since the 20th century the majority reside in the southern hemisphere due to secularisation in Europe, increased persecution in the Middle East; the Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing the authority of the pope, as well as with the Oriental Orthodox churches prior to the Chalcedonian schism in 451 over differences in Christology.
The Reformation of the 16th century resulted in Protestants breaking away. From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticised for its doctrines on sexuality, its refusal to ordain women, as well as the handling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy. Catholic was first used to describe the church in the early 2nd century; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic church" occurred in the letter written about 110 AD from Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans. In the Catechetical Lectures of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, the name "Catholic Church" was used to distinguish it from other groups that called themselves "the church"; the "Catholic" notion was further stressed in the edict De fide Catolica issued 380 by Theodosius I, the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire, when establishing the state church of the Roman Empire. Since the East–West Schism of 1054, the Eastern Church has taken the adjective "Orthodox" as its distinctive epithet and the Western Church in communion with the Holy See has taken "Catholic", keeping that description after the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when those who ceased to be in communion became known as "Protestants".
While the "Roman Church" has been used to describe the pope's Diocese of Rome since the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and into the Early Middle Ages, the "Roman Catholic Church" has been applied to the whole church in English language since the Protestant Reformation in the late 16th century. "Roman Catholic" has appeared in documents produced both by the Holy See, notably applied to certain national episcopal conferences, local dioceses. The name "Catholic Church" for the whole church is used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Code of Canon Law; the names "Catholic Church" and "Roman Church" we used in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the First Vatican Council, the Council of Trent, numerous other official documents. The Catholic Church follows an episcopal polity, led by bishops who have received the sacrament of Holy Orders who are given formal jurisdictions of governance within the church. There are three levels of clergy, the episcopate, composed of bishops who hold jurisdiction over a geographic area called a diocese or eparchy.
Leading the entire Catholic Church is the Bishop of Rome called the pope, whose jurisdiction is called the Holy See. In parallel to the diocesan structure are a variety of religious institutes that function autonomously subject only to the authority of the pope, though sometimes subject to the local bishop. Most religious institutes only have male or female members but some have both. Additionally, lay members aid many liturgical functions during worship services; the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The current pope, was elected on
Sakoku was the isolationist foreign policy of the Japanese Tokugawa shogunate under which relations and trade between Japan and other countries were limited, nearly all foreign nationals were barred from entering Japan and common Japanese people were kept from leaving the country for a period of over 220 years. The policy was enacted by the Tokugawa shogunate under Tokugawa Iemitsu through a number of edicts and policies from 1633 to 1639, ended after 1853 when the American Black Ships commanded by Matthew Perry forced the opening of Japan to American trade through a series of unequal treaties, it was preceded by a period of unrestricted trade and widespread piracy when Japanese mariners travelled Asia and official embassies and envoys visited both Asian states, New Spain, Europe. This period was noted for the large number of foreign traders and pirates who were resident in Japan and active in Japanese waters; the term Sakoku originates from the manuscript work Sakoku-ron written by Japanese astronomer and translator Shizuki Tadao in 1801.
Shizuki invented the word while translating the works of the 17th-century German traveller Engelbert Kaempfer concerning Japan. Japan was not isolated under the sakoku policy, it was a system in which strict regulations were applied to commerce and foreign relations by the shogunate and by certain feudal domains. There was extensive trade with China through the port of Nagasaki, in the far west of Japan, with a residential area for the Chinese; the policy stated that the only European influence permitted was the Dutch factory at Dejima in Nagasaki. Western scientific and medical innovations did flow into Japan through Rangaku. Trade with Korea was limited to the Tsushima Domain. Trade with the Ainu people was limited to the Matsumae Domain in Hokkaidō, trade with the Ryūkyū Kingdom took place in Satsuma Domain. Apart from these direct commercial contacts in peripheral provinces, trading countries sent regular missions to the shōgun in Edo and Osaka Castle. Japan traded at this time with five entities, through four "gateways".
The largest was the private Chinese trade at Nagasaki, where the Dutch East India Company was permitted to operate. The Matsumae clan domain in Hokkaidō traded with the Ainu people. Through the Sō clan daimyō of Tsushima, there were relations with Joseon-dynasty Korea. Ryūkyū, a semi-independent kingdom for nearly all of the Edo period, was controlled by the Shimazu clan daimyō of Satsuma Domain. Tashiro Kazui has shown that trade between Japan and these entities was divided into two kinds: Group A in which he places China and the Dutch, "whose relations fell under the direct jurisdiction of the Bakufu at Nagasaki" and Group B, represented by the Korean Kingdom and the Ryūkyū Kingdom, "who dealt with Tsushima and Satsuma domains respectively". Many items traded from Japan to Korea and the Ryūkyū Kingdom were shipped on to China. In the Ryūkyū Islands and Korea, the clans in charge of trade built trading towns outside Japanese territory where commerce took place. Due to the necessity for Japanese subjects to travel to and from these trading posts, this resembled something of an outgoing trade, with Japanese subjects making regular contact with foreign traders in extraterritorial land.
Commerce with Chinese and Dutch traders in Nagasaki took place on an island called Dejima, separated from the city by a narrow strait. Trade in fact prospered during this period, though relations and trade were restricted to certain ports, the country was far from closed. In fact as the shogunate expelled the Portuguese, they engaged in discussions with Dutch and Korean representatives to ensure that the overall volume of trade did not suffer. Thus, it has become common in scholarship in recent decades to refer to the foreign relations policy of the period not as sakoku, implying a secluded, "closed" country, but by the term kaikin used in documents at the time, derived from the similar Chinese concept haijin, it is conventionally regarded that the shogunate imposed and enforced the sakoku policy in order to remove the colonial and religious influence of Spain and Portugal, which were perceived as posing a threat to the stability of the shogunate and to peace in the archipelago. The increasing number of Catholic converts in southern Japan was a significant element of that, seen as a threat.
Based on work conducted by Japanese historians in the 1970s, some scholars have challenged this view, believing it to be only a partial explanation of political reality. The motivations for the gradual strengthening of the maritime prohibitions during the early 17th century should be considered within the context of the Tokugawa bakufu's domestic agenda. One element of this agenda was to acquire sufficient control over Japan's foreign policy so as not only to guarantee social peace, but to maintain Tokugawa supremacy over the other powerful lords in the country the tozama daimyōs; these daimyōs had used East Asian trading linkages to profitable effect during the Sengoku period, which allowed them to build up their military strength as well. By restricting the daimyōs' ability to trade with foreign ships coming to Japan or pursue trade opportunities overseas, the Tokugawa bakufu could ensure none would become powerful enough to
The Ryukyu Kingdom was an independent kingdom that ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th to the 19th century. The kings of Ryukyu unified Okinawa Island and extended the kingdom to the Amami Islands in modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture, the Sakishima Islands near Taiwan. Despite its small size, the kingdom played a central role in the maritime trade networks of medieval East and Southeast Asia the Malacca Sultanate. In the 14th century, small domains scattered on Okinawa Island were unified into three principalities: Hokuzan, Chūzan, Nanzan; this was known as the Three Kingdoms, or Sanzan period. Hokuzan, which constituted much of the northern half of the island, was the largest in terms of land area and military strength but was economically the weakest of the three. Nanzan constituted the southern portion of the island. Chūzan was economically the strongest, its political capital at Shuri, Nanzan was adjacent to the major port of Naha, Kume-mura, the center of traditional Chinese education.
These sites and Chūzan as a whole would continue to form the center of the Ryukyu Kingdom until its abolition. Many Chinese people moved to Ryukyu to serve the government or to engage in business during this period. At the request of the Ryukyuan King, the Ming Chinese sent thirty-six Chinese families from Fujian to manage oceanic dealings in the kingdom in 1392, during the Hongwu emperor's reign. Many Ryukyuan officials were descended from these Chinese immigrants, being born in China or having Chinese grandfathers, they assisted the Ryukyuans in advancing diplomatic relations. On 30 January 1406, the Yongle Emperor expressed horror when the Ryukyuans castrated some of their own children to become eunuchs to serve in the Ming imperial palace. Emperor Yongle said that the boys who were castrated were innocent and did not deserve castration, he returned them to Ryukyu, instructed the kingdom not to send eunuchs again. According to statements by Qing imperial official Li Hongzhang in a meeting with Ulysses S. Grant, China had a special relationship with the island and the Ryukyu had paid tribute to China for hundreds of years, the Chinese reserved certain trade rights for them in an amicable and beneficial relationship.
These three principalities battled, Chūzan emerged victorious. The Chūzan leaders were recognized by Ming dynasty China as the rightful kings over those of Nanzan and Hokuzan, thus lending great legitimacy to their claims; the ruler of Chūzan passed his throne to King Hashi. Hashi received the surname "Shō" 尚 from the Ming emperor in 1421, becoming known as Shō Hashi 尚巴志. Shō Hashi adopted the Chinese hierarchical court system, built Shuri Castle and the town as his capital, constructed Naha harbor; when in 1469 King Shō Toku, a grandson of Shō Hashi, died without a male heir, a palatine servant declared he was Toku's adopted son and gained Chinese investiture. This pretender, Shō En, began the Second Shō Dynasty. Ryukyu's golden age occurred during the reign of Shō Shin, the second king of that dynasty, who reigned from 1478 to 1526; the kingdom extended its authority over the southernmost islands in the Ryukyu archipelago by the end of the 15th century, by 1571 the Amami Ōshima Islands, to the north near Kyūshū, were incorporated into the kingdom as well.
While the kingdom's political system was adopted and the authority of Shuri recognized, in the Amami Ōshima Islands, the kingdom's authority over the Sakishima Islands to the south remained for centuries at the level of a tributary-suzerain relationship. For nearly two hundred years, the Ryukyu Kingdom would thrive as a key player in maritime trade with Southeast and East Asia. Central to the kingdom's maritime activities was the continuation of the tributary relationship with Ming dynasty China, begun by Chūzan in 1372, enjoyed by the three Okinawan kingdoms which followed it. China provided ships for Ryukyu's maritime trade activities, allowed a limited number of Ryukyuans to study at the Imperial Academy in Beijing, formally recognized the authority of the King of Chūzan, allowing the kingdom to trade formally at Ming ports. Ryukyuan ships provided by China, traded at ports throughout the region, which included, among others, China, Đại Việt, Java, Luzon, Pattani, Palembang and Sumatra.
Japanese products—silver, fans, folding screens—and Chinese products—medicinal herbs, minted coins, glazed ceramics, textiles—were traded within the kingdom for Southeast Asian sappanwood, rhino horn, sugar, ambergris, Indian ivory, Arabian frankincense. Altogether, 150 voyages between the kingdom and Southeast Asia on Ryukyuan ships were recorded in the Rekidai Hōan, an official record of diplomatic documents compiled by the kingdom, as having taken place between 1424 and the 1630s, with 61 of them bound for Siam, 10 for Malacca, 10 for Pattani, 8 for Java, among others; the Chinese policy of haijin, limiting trade with China to tributary states and those with formal authorization, along with the accompanying preferential treatment of the Ming Court towards Ryukyu, allowed the kingdom to flourish and prosper for 150 years. In the late 16th century, the kingdom's commercial prosperity fell into decline; the rise of the wokou ("Japanese
The Hongwu Emperor, personal name Zhu Yuanzhang, was the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. In the middle of the 14th century, with famine and peasant revolts sweeping across China, Zhu Yuanzhang rose to command the force that conquered China and ended the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, forcing the Mongols to retreat to the Eurasian Steppe. Zhu claimed the Mandate of Heaven and established the Ming dynasty at the beginning of 1368. Trusting only in his family, he made his many sons powerful feudal princes along the northern marches and the Yangtze valley. Having outlived his first successor, the Hongwu Emperor enthroned his grandson via a series of instructions. Zhu Yuanzhang’s reign was noted for his unprecedented political reforms, he abolished the position of chancellor, drastically reduced the role of court eunuchs, cracked down on corruption with draconian measures. He established the Embroidered Uniform Guard, one of the best known secret police organizations in imperial China. In the 1380s and 1390s, a series of purges were launched to eliminate his high-ranked officials and generals, in which tens of thousands were executed.
The emperor encouraged agriculture, reduced taxes, incentivized the cultivation of new land and established laws protecting the property of peasants. He confiscated land held by large estates and forbade private slavery. Meanwhile, he banned free movement in the empire and assigned hereditary occupational categories to households. Through these measures, Zhu Yuanzhang attempted to rebuild a country, ravaged by war and control social groups, transform the people with orthodox values, create a rigid society of self-sufficient farming communities, his policies have lasting effects on the Chinese history. Zhu was born into a poor peasant tenant farmer family in Zhongli Village in the Huai River plain, in present-day Fengyang, Anhui Province, his father was Zhu Shizhen and his mother was Chen Erniang. He had seven older siblings, several of whom were "given away" by his parents, as they did not have enough food to support the family; when he was 16, severe drought ruined the harvest. Subsequently, famine killed his entire family, except one of his brothers.
He buried them by wrapping them in white clothes. Destitute, Zhu accepted a suggestion to take up a pledge made by his brother and became a novice monk at the Huangjue Temple, a local Buddhist monastery, he did not remain there for long, as the monastery ran short of funds, he was forced to leave. For the next few years, Zhu led the life of a wandering beggar and experienced and saw the hardships of the common people. After about three years, he returned to the monastery and stayed there until he was around 24 years old, he learned to write during the time he spent with the Buddhist monks. The monastery where Zhu lived was destroyed by an army, suppressing a local rebellion. In 1352, Zhu joined one of the many insurgent forces that had risen in rebellion against the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, he rose through the ranks and became a commander. His rebel force joined the Red Turbans, a millenarian sect related to the White Lotus Society, one that followed cultural and religious traditions of Buddhism and other religions.
Seen as a defender of Confucianism and neo-Confucianism among the predominant Han Chinese population in China, Zhu emerged as a leader of the rebels that were struggling to overthrow the Yuan dynasty. In 1356, Zhu and his army conquered Nanjing, which became his base of operations, the capital of the Ming dynasty during his reign. Zhu's government in Nanjing became famous for good governance, the city attracted vast numbers of people fleeing from other, more lawless regions, it is estimated. In the meantime, the Yuan government had been weakened by internal factions fighting for control, it made little effort to retake the Yangtze River valley. By 1358, central and southern China had fallen into the hands of different rebel groups. During that time the Red Turbans split up. Zhu became the leader of a smaller faction, while the larger faction, under Chen Youliang, controlled the center of the Yangtze River valley. Zhu was able to attract many talents into his service. One of them was Zhu Sheng, who advised him, "Build high walls, stock up rations, don't be too quick to call yourself a king."
Another, Jiao Yu, was an artillery officer, who compiled a military treatise outlining the various types of gunpowder weapons. Another one, Liu Bowen, became one of Zhu's key advisors, edited the military-technology treatise titled Huolongjing in years. Starting from 1360, Chen Youliang fought a protracted war for supremacy over the former territories controlled by the Red Turbans; the pivotal moment in the war was the Battle of Lake Poyang in 1363, one of the largest naval battles in history. The battle ended with the defeat and retreat of Chen's larger navy. Chen died a month in battle. Zhu did not participate in any battles after that and remained in Nanjing, where he directed his generals to go on campaigns. In 1367, Zhu's forces defeated Zhang Shicheng's Kingdom of Dazhou, centered in Suzhou and had included most of the Yangtze River Delta, Hangzhou, the capital of