The eastern expedition of Duke Zhou was a war between about 1042 BC and 1040 BC in which Duke Ji Dan (Duke Zhou) subdued the “three guards” and the Wu Geng rebellion and conquered the Eastern Kingdoms in order to consolidate the rule of the Zhou Dynasty.
After the death of King Wu of Zhou, King Cheng of Zhou succeeded to the throne. At the age of 13, Duke Zhou assisted King Cheng in managing politics. However, Guan Shu, Cai Shu and Huo Shu, the younger brothers of King Wu of Zhou, were not satisfied, so they spread rumors that the Duke of Zhou wanted to usurp the throne, reconcile with Wu Geng, the son of King Zhou, contact a group of Shang nobles, and incite several tribes of Dongyi to jointly set up troops on the side of the Qing monarch, which was called the rebellion of the three prisons in history.
Duke Zhou urged Duke Zhao (the younger brother of King Wu of Zhou) to support the eastern expedition. With the support of Duke Zhao, Duke Zhou mobilized his army and led the army to the eastern expedition.
In the war, the Duke of Zhou united his internal forces and adopted the strategy of both military offensive and political struggle, as well as the battle strategy of first weak and then strong, and all defeating the enemy. First, he used heavy troops along the line of King Wu’s attack on Zhou, directly captured Chaoge, defeated Wu Geng’s headquarters, occupied Guan Shu and Cai Shu’s territory, killed Wu Geng, killed Guan Shu, exiled Cai Shu, and demoted Huo Shu as a commoner. Then he marched into the southeast and adopted the policy of “first weak then strong”, attacking Xu, Huai and other nine barbarians first. After continuous fighting, they attacked and destroyed 17 countries of Xiong and Ying families, and moved Yin people to Luoyi (now Luoyang). Finally, he sent his troops north to attack Yan, forcing the country to surrender. Subsequently, pugu and other countries also successively surrendered. So far, the three-year eastern expedition of Duke Zhou ended successfully.
After the battle of Makino in about 1046 B.C. wiped out the main force of the Shang army, King Wu of Zhou established the Western Zhou Dynasty. In order to rule the survivors of the Shang Dynasty, King Wu of Zhou divided the territory directly controlled by the Shang Dynasty into four districts: the former Yin Dynasty Song (today’s Qi county) was Chen, which was granted to King Zhou’s son Wu Geng (also known as Lu Fu). At the same time, the area east of Chaoge (today’s Zhengzhou area) was granted to Guan Shuji Xian, the younger brother of the king of Wu, to take charge; The area to the west of Chaoge (today’s Shangcai County) was taken as an area, and was granted to CAI shujidu, the younger brother of King Wu; The area to the north of Chaoge (today’s Tangyin county) is called Ying, which is under the charge of Huo Shuji, the younger brother of the king of Wu, who jointly monitors Wu Geng, collectively known as the “three supervisors”. Wu Geng ostensibly submitted to Zhou, but in fact he always tried to restore.
Three years after the demise of the Shang Dynasty (about 1043 BC), King Wu of Zhou died of illness, and his son Ji song ascended the throne as king Cheng of Zhou. When King Cheng was young, he was Regent of Duke Zhou and took charge of state affairs on behalf of King Cheng. Uncle Guan was extremely dissatisfied with the Regency of Duke Zhou because he tried to inherit the throne, so he spread rumors, incited uncle CAI and uncle Huo, and encouraged Wu Geng and the eastern countries to say that Duke Zhou wanted to murder King Wu and steal the throne.
Wu Geng saw that there was an opportunity to take advantage of it, so he colluded with Guan and CAI. In the autumn of the first year of King Cheng of Zhou (about 1042 BC), he united the old Oriental vassal state Yan (now the east of the old city of Qufu, Shandong), pugu (also known as Bo Gu, now the southeast of boxing, Shandong), Xu Yi and Huai Yi to fight against Zhou. Rebel forces spread throughout Henan, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui and other places today.
Facing the hostile forces from both inside and outside, Zhou GongDan decided to launch the eastern expedition after weighing various factors.
The eastern expedition of Duke Zhou lasted for three years, and finally put an end to the armed rebellion of Uncle Guan, uncle CAI and Wu Geng. After uncle Cai died, Duke Zhou heard that uncle Cai’s son Hu was virtuous and kind-hearted, so he promoted him to be the Minister of the state of Lu. Hu managed the state of Lu well, and the Duke of Zhou granted him Xincai. After the Duke of Zhou defeated Guan and CAI, he took advantage of his victory to advance eastward, wiped out more than 50 small countries participating in the rebellion, and extended the rule of the Zhou Dynasty to the eastern coastal areas.
In order to completely eliminate the hidden dangers of the residual forces of the Shang Dynasty to the Zhou Dynasty, the Duke of Zhou built Luoyi (Chengzhou, now Luoyang) on the North Bank of Luoshui as the eastern capital of Zhou, so as to strengthen his rule over the East. At the same time, the nobleman of Shang Dynasty who surrendered to Zhou Dynasty was sealed up in Song Dynasty (now Shangqiu City, Henan Province), and the state of song was established; The younger brother of King Wu of Zhou, Kang Shuyu, was granted Chaoge, and the state of Wei was established; Seal the eldest son of Duke Zhou, Bo Qin, in the old land of the state of Yan, establish the state of Lu, and divide and rule the people of Yin. Since then, Zhou’s control over the lower reaches of the Yellow River has been relatively firm.