Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew View Post
At that particular time he was fairly loyal, though, in his refusal to surrender. His wife, Chen Yuanyuan was gifted to him by Chongzhen. Li Zicheng beat up his family and captured his wife in Beijing, all the while trying to force him to surrender but he refused. It wasn't until Li Zicheng decided to attack his Ming army from behind that Dorgon approached him with a deal he couldn't possibly refuse. It's possible that if Li Zicheng had handled the situation more diplomatically and painted the Manchus, rather than the Ming remnants, as the main enemy, Wu might have ended up as a Dashun general.

I've never really held it against him when he opened the gates of Shanhaiguan - he did not have any option other than to surrender to the Dashun, which was little more than a bunch of rebellious peasants occupying the throne in Beijing. It was his subsequent actions in crushing the Southern Ming which makes him a villain. He pursued the last Ming prince all the way to Burma and, so the legend goes, strangled him with his hunting bow and brought the head back to Dorgon, cementing Qing rule and ensuring the Ming would no longer have a figurehead to look to. I suppose one thing led to another once the Qing occupied Beijing and he just had to go along with it, and after a while he was rewarded so lavishly he started to enjoy it.
Given the Manchu people were so merciless toward the Han people, I wonder whether the Han people revenge after the Qing Dynasty collapsed.