The Shatuo Turks had ruled most of northern China since 923 through the Later Tang Dynasty, Later Jin Dynasty, and the Later Han Dynasty. The short-lived Later Han Dynasty fell in 950. Liu Min founded the Northern Han Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Eastern Han, in 951 claiming that he was the legitimate heir to the imperial throne of the Later Han Dynasty. Liu Min immediately restored the traditional relationship the Shatuo Turks had with the Khitans, who had founded the Liao Dynasty.
The Northern Han was a small kingdom located in Shanxi with its capital located at Taiyuan. Shanxi had been a traditional base of power since the fading days of the Tang Dynasty in the late ninth century and early tenth century. It was wedged between the two major powers of the day, the Liao Dynasty to the north and the Song Dynasty to the south. It also shared a border with the Tangut kingdom of Western Xia.
The existence of the Northern Han was one of the two major thorns in relations between the Liao Dynasty and the Song Dynasty, the other being the continued possession of the Sixteen Prefectures by the Liao Dynasty. The Northern Han had placed itself under the protection of the Liao.
Emperor Taizu was successful in nearly completing the incorporation of the southern kingdoms into the Song Dynasty by his death in 976. His younger brother, Emperor Taizong wished to emulate his older brother’s successes. Wuyue was brought into the realm in 978.
Emboldened by his success to the south, Emperor Taizong decided to embark on a campaign to finally destroy the Northern Han. Leading the army himself, he brought his forces to the Northern Han capital of Taiyuan, which was laid under siege in June. An initial relief force sent by the Liao was easily defeated by Song. After a two-month siege of the capital, the leader of the Northern Han surrendered, the kingdom was incorporated into the Song Dynasty.
|Temple Names (Miao Hao 廟號 miao4 hao4)||Posthumous Names (Shi Hao 諡號 )||Personal Names||Period of Reigns||Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years|
|世祖 shi4 zu3||神武帝 shen2 wu3 di4||劉旻 liu3 min2||951-954||Qianyou (乾祐 qian2 you4) 951-954|
|睿宗 rui4 zong1||孝和帝 xiao4 he2 di4||劉承鈞 liu3 cheng2 jun1||954-970|| Qianyou (乾祐 qian2 you4) 954-957|
Tianhui (天會 tian1 hui4) 957-970
|少主 shao4 zhu3||Did not exist||劉繼恩 liu3 ji4 en1||970||Did not exist|
|Did not exist||英武帝 ying1 wu3 di4||劉繼元 liu3 ji4 yuan2||970-982||Guangyun (廣運 guang3 yun4) 970-982|