Dezong (Aisin-Gioro) Tsai Tien, Name as Emperor Kuang Hsu (Guangxu)
Achievements : Dezong Tsia Tien was a good solution to Cixi- and the Dynasties' problem as he was the Son of Prince Chun, Cixi's secret love, and her only Sister.
Through her lifelong alliance with Chun Cixi would even gain in Power. Thus it was decided that Tsia Tien should be Crown Prince.
Cixi's plan to make her 4 year old Nephew Emperor had been opposed by many Officials and Ministers as this was obviously not what the country (and Dynasty!) in it's dire crisis needed. Furthermore, it was obvious Cixi was merely trying to retain Power through crowning a close family member who was as yet unable to Reign by himself. Powers would again automatically befall Hsu Tzi (Cixi) and there was no remaining Empress-Widow this time around.
As Cixi was a lethal opponent, all dissident Ministers and Officials were flogged, tortured and killed and Cixi, as usual, went ahead with her scheme. Cixi remained in Power and a period of rest settled in at the Court, extending the so called reign behind the curtain.
During a Reign behind a Curtain, normally, the Empress-Dowagers of the East and West, both together would help the Emperor Reign, therein helped by the 8 Ministers of the Cabinet. The Empress-Dowagers were thus seated on Thrones behind a Curtain (according to their rank as more experienced elders (filial piety) the Thrones were higher than the Emperors Throne!), placed invisibly in earshot of the Young Emperor seated on the Throne.
In this case however Hsu Tzi (Cixi), who was already well-established as the real Power at Court, took Court matters solidly and visibly into her own hands. In these years Hsu Tzi would be seated on a higher Throne behind the Emperor and would be clearly visible through a thin curtain only.
Life 1906 - 1967 AD
Reign December 2 , 1908 - February 2 , 1912 AD
(Aisin-Gioro) Pu Yi , Name as Emperor Hsuan Tung (Xuan Tong) , later Kang Te (Manchukuo) + President and in his own view "Emperor" of Manchukuo, a Japanese Puppet State during World War II.
Legacy as a Japanese-Chinese War Criminal. Flight to Korea, final abdication as Emperor and capture by Soviet Forces in Korea in 1945 AD. Imprissoned by Russia 1945 AD - 1950 AD. Extradition by Russia to China (P.R.C.) in 1950 AD (July 31). Imprisoned in China at Fushun Prison, nearShenyang, in current day Liaoning Province, as a War-Criminal. Granted a Special Pardon by Communist Party Congress 1959 AD. Pu Yi was first assigned a job at the Beijing Botanical Gardens and later joined the Historical Material Commission of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Consultative Conference as literary and historical worker.
In this considerable position he was given a chance to record and pass on his special knowledge of the later Ching Dynasty, its Arts, literature and Cultural Achievements.
Achievements: Surviving all and living his twilight days as a regular Citizen of China. Married for Love. Contributing his personal knowledge as Emperor to history through the Historical Material Commission and his (ghost-written) autobiography "From Emperor to Citizen". Posthumously receiving due honors, his ashes being enshrined at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetary and later at the Western Qing Dynasty Tombs.
Death October 16, 1967 AD in Beijing. Succession : None.
As is common in Chinese history, rulers would first take over part of the huge country. Then, from that powerbase, they would strive to conquer and sometimes really finally conquer China. So did the Ching Princes of the North.
First capturing their Capital at the City of Shenyang in Manchuria (Manchukuo in Chinese ( now Liaoning Province ), they then went on to capture the Provinces of Shandong and Inner Mongolia. Having surrounded the North China plain and the declining Ming Dynasty, the chance for a final move came for the Ching when a Bandit uprising overwhelmed Beijing forcing the existent Last Ming Emperor Chong Zhen (Chen Chun) to kill himself at Jingshan. With the country in Chaos the Manchurians -already poised to strike- moved in, welcomed by the common people and establishing an Empire that would last for 455 Years ,
counting 11 Emperors.
The Qing Dynasty ended with the 1911/1912 Revolution and
the establishment of the first Republic of China under
The rest of the Palace remained home to the Emperor Pu Yi' ,
the Empress-Dowagers, the Imperial Advisors and a large group
of Imperial Eunuchs. Former Emperor Pu Yi' and staff would remain in the Palace until the Year 1926, in the faint hope of one day reviving and restoring the Qing Dynasty to its former Glory. Living under considerable stress and constant fear of ejection or worse: assasination by one of the Civil War's many generals and players, Pu Yi' finally left the Palace in 1924 AD (According to "From Emperor to Citizen" it was 1926). As described in his autobiography , circumstance left Pu Yi' (Hsuan Tung ) with no other option to Flee to the Japanese Embassy located in the infamous Foreign Legation Quarter (near Qianmen, directly south-east of Tian An Men Square) as no other Foreign Legation would grant him asylum at that Time.
From then-on Emperor Hsuan Tung / Pu Yi' would effectively be a Japanese prisoner, much against his own will. Having been led to believe that he would be crowned Emperor once more in the North, China's last Emperor was whisked away by Japanese Agents onboard a train to Tianjin and from there to the Northern Province of Manchukuo (then occupied by Japanese Forces), obviously for safe-keeping. In Manchukuo, Pu Yi' was not crowned Emperor at all, much to his disappointment and anger, but forced to become President of the Republic of Manchukuo, leaving him as a Powerless ruler once more. The real power would reside in the Hands of Japanese Generals, directly appointed by the Japanese Emperor. Pu Yi' would remain a Japanese stooge president until the end of World War 2. After the defeat of Japan and at the end of World War II, Pu Yi' was captured in Mukden (Shenyang) on his escape to Korea by Russian Forces entering China and Manchukuo from the North and East. Much later, after some years imprisonment in Russia, Pu Yi was extradited to China in 1950 where he was to face punishment for being a notorious and high ranking Japanese-Chinese War Criminal. After his "reformation" and confessions to all War Crimes while imprisoned , Pu Yi' was finally pardonned by the ruling Communist Party Congress in 1965 AD, finally giving him the chance to live a normal life as a Chinese Citizen.
Having left no sons, but having remarried ( this time for love ) , the Death of Pu Yi' ended all ( theoretical ) possibilities of a return of the Qing Dynasty.
The Descendancy of the Ching House Explained
Official Court Portrait of The Great Ching Emperor Kang Hsi
1662 -1723 AD
( original on Silk - part of The Palace Museum Collection )
The Northern Ching Princes, rulers, Emperors of Northern China
Ironically the first city taken by the Manchu Prince Nuerhachi was the very same city of Fushun in South-Manchuria. It would be this very city where the last Qing ruler would imprisoned for war-crimes.
Life 1592 - 1643 AD
Huang TaiChi Tien Sung, Name as Emperor/Prince Chong De (Tsung Teh)
Emperor Tai Zu or Northern Manchukuo Prince Nurhachi
The Emperors considered themselves Master of The Dragon Throne, the sons of the Heavens, having received the power to Rule over China for 10.000 years.
Official Court Photo of
Empress Dowager Aisin-Gioro Hsu-Tsi , Cixi The Dragon Lady
Official "Logo" of The Manchu Ching Dynasty
- Dragon pouncing from Heaven
( original on ceiling Wan Sheng Imperial Art Museum - Summer Palace, Beijing)
Chairman Mao Tse Tung (Zedong) on a portrait from The Cultural Revolution
Life 1654 - 1722 AD
Reign 1661 - 1722 AD Reign Period Name KangXi
Shengzu (Aisin-Gioro) Hsuan Yeh, Name as Emperor Kang Hsi
Kang Xi ascended the Dragon Throne on January 7Th 1661 AD, the day his Father Died.
His early Reign was influenced by 4 Regent-Generals of whom one, General Aobai, attempted
to concentrate all decision power in himself.
At Age 14 Kang Xi decided to take reign and power himself, tricked Aobai into believing his young imperial incompetence and had the General arrested. There is no further mention of General Aobai.
Achievements : Longest reigning Emperor in the History of China with 61 years. Proud of Manchu ancestry and tradition. Greatest Miltairy Leader, taking on the "Three Feudatories" (1673 AD - 1681 AD)(a chinese Civil War caused by misjudgement of the situation by the Emperor himself according to Kangxi) , re-conquering Taiwan (1683 AD) from Warlord Zheng Keshuang (Son of Original conquering Ching General) and unifying China once more. Defeat of Russians at the Kerulan River (1685 AD) now still the border of HeilongJiang Province , fixing the part of eurasia south of the river Kerulan for China. Inclusion of Mongolia as a chinese protectorate, a very diplomatic and strategic manouver by Kang Hsi making possible further expansions of Chinese Empire towards the West and North-West defeating Mongol and Turkish Tribes (1890's)(now minorities of China).
Shizong (Aisin-Gioro) Yin Chen , Name as Emperor Yung Cheng (YongZheng)
Yong Zheng descended the Throne on the day his Father Kang Hsi died in 1722 AD. An intelligent Man and shrewd political strategist and plotter, in the aftermath of the fight for the Succession, Yong Zheng had his 35 brothers killed, jailed, expelled or otherwise eliminated, thus solidifying his Rule over The Ching Empire.
For long it was held that uncle General Longkeduo was placed under House Arrest to keep him from "spilling the beans" on the conspiracy, however in 2009 it was proven that there had been no conspiracy to usurp the Throne. Thus the General must have been placed under house arrest for other reasons, likely merely his huge powerbase, network and personal wealth.
It is further popularly that Yong Zheng was an extra-ordinarily cruel Person and is he said to have devised a sadistic execution instrument himself.
But not only to his brothers was Emperor Yong Zheng a vicious adversary. In order to further strengthen his dictatorship he established his own Secret
Police Force, with powers overriding those of Cabinet members, to keep an eye on his Ministers. The Secret Police also continuously kept watch over the Leaders of the 8 Manchu Banners, the Dynasties' Military Apparatus, weakening their positions. The many searches of Officials' Estates and confiscations of properties of those that had fallen into disgrace, earned Emperor Yong Zheng the nickname of "House-searching Emperor".
Among art lovers however, the Yongzheng Reign is held as a blooming period for various arts, the Emperor being renowned as a connaisseur who ordered and inspired various new expressions and left a collection of unique and priceless artifacts. The art of the time shows strong Japanese influences, and for the first Time, unusual western themes. Among things, the Emperor invited to his court the Italian artist and painter Guiseppe Castiglione leaving several interesting portraits of the Emperor shown as dressed in the exotic clothing. One portrait shows the Chinese Emperor dressed in the lavish garments worn at the French Court. Another depicts him a Buddhist Lama.
The Yongzheng Emperor is also know for his religious tolerance, showing himself open to religious ideas other than the main Chinese philospohies of Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.
Achievements : In spite, or better - probably because- of his vicious personal nature and manners Yong Zheng was a succesful Emperor. Continuing to strenghten the Ching Empire enlarged under Kang Hsi, Yong Zheng put down several revolting border regions, subduing them to Chinese Dynastic will once more. Due to a Empire wide-tax reform relating the levying of taxes to the amount of land owned, the burden on the majority of the population of small farmers was greatly reduced. The economy of the Chinese Empire grew rapidly during Yong Zheng's reign.
Death & Succession: Having ingnored his own father's wishes and worst fears on his succession, Yong Zheng tried to avoid an unwelcome Power Struggle and bloodshed after his own Death. He therefor chose a successor from his sons without consulting them or his ministers-of-the-cabinet, thereby avoiding the clique politics,plots, intrigue and paranoia that occured under Emperor Kang Xi. After his choice he wrote the name on the successor on not one, but on two papers, hiding one and keeping the other. After Yong Zheng's death the Chief Eunuch was to collect the hidden paper and compare it to the note to be found on the dead Emperors' body. This strategy was Effective and so introduced a system of secretely naming
( chosing ) the Crown Prince.
Life 1707 - 1799 AD
Reign 1735 - 1796 AD , Name of Reign Period : QianLong
GaoZhong (Aisin-Gioro) Hung Li, Name as Emperor Chien Lung (Qianlong)
After Emperor Yong Zheng died the Chief Eunuch collected the two notes with the name of the successor and it was announced that the 4Th Son, Hung Li would rise to the Throne to become Emperor. Hung Li was crowned Emperor QianLong
(Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi according to his auto-biography "From Emperor to Citizen"), was China's Emperor for only 4 short years. In 1911 , when he himself was still only a child, he was forced to abdicate by the Forces of the 1st Republic of China establishing Dr Sun Yat-Sen as First President of China on January 1st, 1912.
"Father of the Nation" Dr. Sun Yat Sen, on Stamp
Life 1760 - 1820 AD
Reign 1796 - 1820 AD, Name of Reign Period : ChiaChing
Renzong (Aisin-Gioro) Yung Yen, Name as Emperor Chia Ching (Jia Jing)
Ascending the Throne in 1796 AD, but only really coming to Power at Age 39, Chia Ching was eager to take action. Immediatly after the Death of his Father Qianlong, He Shen, Qianlong's Favorite Minister, was arrested on orders of the new Emperor. Subsequently the search of He Shen's large estate and propreties by Imperial Troops turned up a staggering one billion taels of Silver in items. He Shen proved to be the greatest and worst embezzler in Imperial History, taking an equivalent of 20 years of national income of the Ching Dynasty. All of He Shen's property was confiscated and transferred to the Emperor. He Shen was executed two weeks after his initial arrest. His Court Associates and Power-Clique were utterly eliminated and replaced by worthy Officials who had been blocked by He Shen and his Clique.
Achievements : Due to reasons partially outside his influence and bad corruption the Ching Dynasty started its decline during the reign of Chia Ching. Heavy corruption, natural disasters and Revolts increasingly plagued the country side. Since 1780 AD european traders had been ferrying opium into China increasingly undermining society and economy. A system with bankrupt chinese peasants losing their land in a bad economy, accumulating land in hands of corrupt money-lenders and land-owners worked against him. Thus, peasant uprisings became increasingly frequent in China. One day, February 20Th 1803, the peasant Chen De slipped in through The Forbidden Cities' Shunzen Gate (Shunzhen Gate is located immediatly inside ShenWumen the North Gate of Divine Militairy Prowess the gate nearest the Imperial Quarters, there are 4 gates xihuamen=west, donghuamen=east, shenwumen=north and wumen=southSee Map.) and attempted to Assassinate the Emperor. The attempt, however, failed.
As his greatest success Chia Ching banned the use and import of Opium, believing it to be a mental and social poison of the worst kind. Opium smokers were persecuted and trade was severely diminished.
Death & Succession : While out hunting on the high grounds near ChengdeImperial Summer Mountain Retreat, Chia Ching suddenly fell ill. He never recovered from his sickbed. Summoning all the cabinets Ministers he instructed them that he had chosen his 4Th Son, Min Ning, who was present, to be Crown Prince and become the next Emperor. Chai Ching died on July 25Th 1820 AD at the Chengde Palace Resort.
Life 1782 - 1850 AD
Reign 1820 - 1850 AD , Name of Reign Period : Dao Guang
XuanZhong (Aisin-Gioro) Min Ning, Name as Emperor Dao Guang (Tao Kuang)
Achievements : During the reign of Dao Guang European and other Foreign Powers increasingly pressured the Chinese Governement. The Ching Dynasty generally ignored the Foreigners demand for trade and rights, viewing their Culture as inferior to their own. The Trade in Opium particularly was unwanted and an eye-sore to the Emperor.
Meanwhile the Chinese Economy was prospering in a lively internal as well as external market doing especially good business with Russia on the Tea Road, opened by the 1727 Cakurtu Treaty. As one result the Year 1828 saw the invention and opening of the First Draft Bank in China, the RiShengChang of Pingyao, giving a new boost to the chinese economy by greatly facilitating business and the circulation of money in the feudal chinese society. China had a large imbalance of Trade with Foreign Nations and saw a large increase in revenue's from Trade. The main problem of Feudal Society was however the lack of mechanisms to distribute the newfound wealth among its citizens, leaving money and capital mainly in the hands of officials, and in the Ching Dynasty increasingly in the hands of but a few wealthy merchant families. The ordinary citizen therefor, although the Nation was prospering, would still remain likely poor.
The Ching Dynasty failed to understand both the Threat posed by- and opportunities offered by- the Foreigners. Things started warming up when China launched a severe anti-opium program against foreign traders in Guangzhou(Canton), seizing and destroying 20.000 chests of Opium. After the chinese let the traders go they sent a letter to Queen Victoria questioning the morality of the British and their Opium Trade. Queen Victoria, always an Iron Lady, responded unsubtly with force and sent British Gunboats to China. By 1840 AD the First "Opium War" between China and the British was a fact. The Chinese, loosing the conflict in 1842 AD, outgunned by superior industrial age weaponry, were forced to sign the humiliating Nanking Treaty which stated that 5 "treaty ports " Canton, Amoy, Foochow, Ningpo and Shanghai were to be opened by the Chinese for trade, effecting a de facto opening of the Chinese Economy under special rights. Thus, under the right afforded by the Gun Hong Kong was also ceded by China and developped as a (British) colony.
Not even 20 years later, in 1860 AD the British forced a final way into Chinese Territory, trade and economy, defeating obsolete Imperial Ching Troups with superior western weapons in the 2nd Opium Wars. Rendered utterly powerless, China was forced to cede Territory, offer "extra-territorial rights" to Foreigners and pay indemnities. Shanghai was declared an International City and became Britain's largest settlement in China, after which it was free for all for French, British, Germans, Russians, Americans, Dutch and soon the Japanese, alike to exploit the Chinese Nation. China was deminished to a semi-Colony, losing sovereignty over large area's of territory and in the following years, most of its own economy. The Emperor (by then Hsien Feng) was left a toothless Dragon that fled Beijing in Panic and Defeat.
The second Opium War (or Arrow War) helped establish firm ground for western Companies in the new market of China and allowed for the efficient and legal exportation of Capital and Goods from the West into Asia and China. Although extorted, China finally allowed the legal doing of business in China, which ensured westerner financiers of a lions share in the wealth resulting from future developments of the continent as well as a large new market for western industrial products. The extortion consisted of indemnity payments for war and protest, manipulation of contracts and the further embezzlement and pillaging of raw materials from China for use in western factories.
The Traditional Chinese Economy, prospering through 300 years of successes, was in for a hard landing.
Death & Succession : According to Chinese History DaoGuang had difficulty choosing between his 4th Son Yi Zhu and his 6th Son Yi Xin, as his successor. It is said that Yi Tzú's Tutor and Mentor, Dou Shoutian, gave him instructions. On their hunting trip he was not to participate actively in any way. Yi Tzu obeyed this advice. Subsequently confronted by The Emperor on his seemingly anti-social behavior in not participating in the group hunt, Yi Tzu proclaimed he could not possibly shoot and kill the pregnant animals of the spring Forest. Besides, he added, he did not want to compete with his brothers. Thus showing himself a kind Buddhist, the delighted Emperor Dao Guang recognized in his 4th Son a kind benevolent and generous heart. In the end Yi Zhu, the 4th Son, was named Crown Prince on the "secret" note to be opened after the Emperor's death. Emperor Dao Guang died in the first Lunar Month of 1850 AD (February/March).
Life 1831 - 1862 AD
Reign 1850 - 1862 AD Name of Reign Period : Hsien Feng
Wenzong (Aisin-Gioro) Yi Ning (alias Yi Zhu), Name as Emperor Hsien Feng (XianFeng)
Achievements : Following the disastrous experience of his predecessor Dao Guang the new Emperor Hsien Feng inherited a
Life 1856 - 1874 AD
Reign 1862 - 1874 AD , Name of Reign Period QiXiang , later renamed TongZhi
Muzong (Aisin-Gioro) Tsai Chun, Name as Emperor Tung Chi (Tong Zhi)
The four year old Crown Prince Tsai Chun was the first son of Emperor Hsien-Feng and Hsu-Tzi (Yehonella/Yehenara), the later Empress Dowager "Cixi The Dragon Lady". Hsien Feng's faithful death-bed decision to appoint a son of Hsu-Tzi Crown Prince, and thus Emperor would prove to have dire far-reaching consequences for China. Tsai Chun was crowned Emperor QiXiang shortly after his father's death in July 1861 AD.
Achievements : None. First of All the Reign of Tai Chun as Emperor was only nominal with the Empress-Dowager Hsu-Tzi holding the Reigns of Power. Secondly, the Young Tongzhi Emperor would go down in history as "The Playboy Emperor", a title aquired through his lifelong pursuit of pleasure and women. Tai Chun was a weakling even as a "Fake Emperor" and had no ambitions that would benifit the Nation.
The First Opium War and a fresh Rebellion, the Taiping Rebellion had cut communications across the Empire and had left the economy in tatters. Shortages abounded in the country-side reinforcing the Taiping Rebellion and a general mood of political upheaval and awareness.
In the last years of Hsien Feng's reign a mystical sect-like movement seeking the land of "TaiPing = God's Kingdom", on earth, was spreading fast throughout the land. Just before the death of Hsien Feng the "Taiping Revolution" broke out, taking vast pieces of Ching Territory and undermining Emperor Hsien Feng's already deteriorating health. Since the "Taiping" revolt was
Plaque commemorating the National Chinese Humiliation of the Forced signing of the Beijing Treaty at Chengde Palace
(Go to Tour of) The Palace Hall in which the humiliating Beijing Treaty was signed by XianFeng at Chengde Palace
The Interior of the Palace Room in which the Pen the Beijing Treaty was signed with at Chengde Palace
Empress Dowager Cixi , The Dragon Lady, after her Coup
Little Emperor Pu Yi on Court Photo and the 5 Articles of Favorable Treatment
Superintendent Regent-Prince Zai Feng, the Second Prince Chun, and his two sons - Pu Yi and Pu Jie at the Beijing family mansion. Zia Feng was Emperor GuangXu's younger brother.
Treacherous opportunist Official
After the Ching House made Beijing its Capital City and
a Dynasty was Established ( 1644 AD )
Life 1638 - 1661 AD
Reign 1643 - 1661 AD , Reign Period Name Shunzhi
Shi Tzu (Aisin-Gioro) Fu Lin , Name as Emperor Shun Tzi
9 Th Son of Emperor/Prince Tsung Teh = Huang TaiChi. Fu Lin
ascended The Throne at Age 6 years , in August 1643 AD, on the Day
his father Huang TaiChi died. The First Ching Emperor to be seated on
there in 1644 AD, remains Prince Regent until his death in 1661.
Fu Lin , Emperor Shun Tzi, becomes Head of Governement
in 1661 AD. Later Fu Lin Emperor Shun Tzi learned of his Prince Regents'
attempts to concentrate all Powers in himself, with ambition to be Emperor Dorgon.
Dorgon's remains were exhumed and publicly flogged, Dorgons family was disowned and
punished, leaving the Young Ching Emperor determined to keep firm control of Power.
Achievements: The Reign of Shun Tzi was a prosperous one. The Emperor lowered taxes and stimulated agriculture. Shi Tzu's ardent battle with corrupt Dynastic Oficials (one main reason for his ancestors Revolt against the Ming Dynasty) left many of them Dead and production levels restored. The Qing Dynasty was stabilized.
In 1636 AD an early British expedition (John Weddell) was dispatched to China to investigate possibilities of trade with China and reached Canton (Guangzhou) in spite of Portugese resistance. Dutch V.O.C. trading ships also appeared in the South China Sea.
In 1652 AD, the 5Th Dalai Lama Religious King of the Lamaist-Buddhist Kingdom of Tibet visited the Shunzi Emperor at his Court in Beijing after multiple earlier invitations (it was quite the journey back then). The 5Th Dalai Lama stayed at Court in Beijing for two Months, teaching in Lamaist-Buddhism and Establishing close and warm Relations with the Manchu Ching, who were themselves followers of Tibetan Lamaist-Buddhism. The Tibetans were among the Five Main Ethnic Minorties of the Qing Empire and their country was a vital trading partner as well as a strategic region in the the Western Territories of China and Borders. To illustrate the great importance of the visit of the Tibetan Lama King over for instance the European visits, in advance of the arrival of the Dalai Lama in Beijing, a gigantic White Marble Dagoba was constructed within the Imperial Pleasure Park of Beihai, in clear sight of the Entire City and Imperial Palace Grounds. It still stands today as a lasting Monument to the eventful visit.
In the year 1653 AD the so named Khalka Right Wing Banner, a sub group of the large Khalka Tribes of Mongolia migrated from the Tusheet Khan Aimak (Aimag) of Outer Mongolia (current day Republic of Mongolia) into regions of current day Inner Mongolia (Autonomous Region). But a century earlier, Khalka's had been a major enemy, who in 1550 AD briefly besieged Beijing pillaging the suburbs and surrounding country-side before retreating to their homelands with a promise of trade.
Death & Succession : There is a persistent Rumor about the End of Shun Tzi's Reign. Officially he died on January 7, 1661 AD. However, court documents in the Imperial Library report Shun Tzi attended Court on January 6Th , 1661 as usual and healthy. The rumor holds that Shun Tzi, after the 1661 AD Death of his Favorite Concubine Dong Eshi (by the way his sister-in-law), was so beset with grief that he renounced his Imperial Throne, moved to the Sacred Area of Mount Wutai (In North Shanxi Province), and became a Buddhist Monk. Rumor holds that his Son and Successor Kang Xi even visited Shun Tzi (now Monk XingChi) at the Mountain. However, experts do not accept this as fact.
Map showing China and the extend of the expanding British Empire in 1860 AD.
Death & Succession : Emperor Hsien Feng was married to Empress Niuhulu, with the two having 1 young son.
After the death of Hsien Feng at age 31 , leaving his chosen son and Crown Prince WenZhong (Tai Chun) too young as a
heir, Empress Niuhulu became the Eastern Dowager Tsu An by Imperial Decree (issued shortly before death). Hsien
Feng's "Secondary Consort" Tzu Hsi (also known as Cixi the Dragon lady) became Western Empress Dowager. Both
Dowagers were supposed to be supported by an 8 member Imperial Staff of Advisors, all with the aim of raising the Young
Son of Hsien Feng and Tsu Ann to be the Mature Emperor of China.
As Tzu Hsi was a vicious Lady who carried a strong hatred against the Empress for having been preferred by
Hsien Feng over her and as Hsu Tsi was much more interested in power & politics soon there was trouble.
Cixi went to work on overthrowing the Empress' and Imperial Advisor power. First joining hands with
Yi Xin, a man grown powerful by selling out his own country, and later Sheng Bao the army chief,
she then had Empress Niuhulu abducted and cruely dismembered ( After which she was moulded alive into a Ceramic Jar and kept as an ornament in the Summer Palace ). Cleverly using her Imperial Degree to
dismiss and punish the Imperial Advisors for daring to stand up to her Cixi completed her Coup. Many, if
not all advisors, were tortured and killed. With this Hsu Tsi gained dominance over the Chinese Imperial
Hierarchy and Court, leaving her to instruct Young Emperor Tsai Chun, dominate the matters of the
declining Ching Court for Years with disastrous results, and later arrange a number of stooge successions
( Reign behind the Curtain ). Hsu Tsi ( Cixi ) finally died in 1908 AD, appointing Pu Yi' as Emperor shortly
For her handling of affairs, her temper, cunning selfish intrique, vicious cruelty, extravagance and a strong personal responsibility in the dooming of China as a nation she would be remembered as Cixi The Dragon
Lady, China's most hated and notorious Feudal Lady.
Tsu An (Niuhulu) had died 1881 AD much before Tzu Hsi, succumbing to the savage cruelties of power-
Official Court Portrait of Emperor HsienFeng, reign 1850-1862 AD (From the Palace Museum Collection)
Map showing China and the extend of the rise of European Colonialism in Asia between 1600 and 1700 AD.
Yuan Shi-Kai, Ching Court Official , later shortly President and one-day-fly Emperor.
Yuan Shikai's Tomb can be found in North-Henan Province and is open to the Public today.
The Great Ching Emperor Seuuen Tong ( Pu Yi ) around age 8 or 9
Aisin-Gioro Fu Lin, Emperor Shunzi as depicted on a late 19Th Century Ching Dynasty silver Dollar.
Fu Lin was the first Qing Emperor to be crowned at the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Imperial Palace of Beijing. Predecessors were crowned at the Palace in Shenyang, Manchuria (Now Liaoning Province).
Aisin-Gioro Yin Chen, Emperor YongZheng as depicted on a late 19Th Century Ching Dynasty silver Dollar.
Prince Huang TaiChi, Emperor TianCong, and later ChongDe Emperor of the arriving Ching Dynasty.
The Qianlong Emperor as depicted on a late 19Th Century Ching Dynasty silver Dollar.
Aisin-Gioro Xuan Yeh, Emperor Kang Xi for 61 years,
as depicted on a late 19Th Century Ching Dynasty silver Dollar.
Nowadays the Forbidden City , China's Imperial Palace, is open for anyone to visit (40 Yuan + extra's possible). In 1987 The United Nations has declared it a World Heritage Site as it is the largest preserved group of antique buildings in the World, some 800. The Imperial Palace , extended by Ching Emperor Qianlong, holds 9999 rooms (a room being the square between 4 major pillars) and measures 720.000 Square meters. Over 1 million visitors come to The Palace each year.
The Boy Tsai Tien, Emperor Guanxu, who's life and reign was overshadowed by the dark influences of Empress-Dowager Hsu-Tzi.
As depicted on a late 19Th Century Ching Dynasty Silver Dollar.
The Last Emperor of China , the Boy Pu Yi, Emperor XuanTong, prisoner in his own Palace and later Japanese Stooge and War Criminal..
As depicted on a late 19Th Century Ching Dynasty Silver Dollar.
Prince Nu'ErHachi, Emperor Tai Zu of North China.
Historic Map - China (Qing) Empire in 1910 AD
An obviously non-Chinese but western-inspired and made Map of the Ching Dynasty Chinese Empire in the year 1910 AD, a year in which China's sovereignty has been under threat and siege for over 70 years.
In this Map of 1910 AD, made one year before the abdication of Last Ching Emperor Xuan Tong and the final end of China's Feudal History, China is depicted as in it's smallest boundaries and definition. Most notably Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia, both territories nominally under Chinese Control and under Chinese Sovereignty are depicted as separate area's. Manchuria is the ancestral home of the Aisin-Gioro Clan of the Ching Dynasty.
Other interesting features of the Map and geography of the Time : after the Sino-Japanese war of 1899 AD, both Korea and the Island of Formosa (now Taiwan / ROC) have been annexed by the Japanese Empire.
Treaty Ports, around 80 in total dot the Map of China.
These where the 5 articles of favorable treatment.
After this a long period of uncertainty set in for the whole of China.
The First Act was the replacement of KuoMinTang founder Dr. Sun Yat-Sen as President, by the traitor-reformist-General Yuan ShiKai, a man who the Ching House had long sought to dispose off but had been to powerful with his BeiYang Army behind him. Yuan-Shi-Kai's double treachery destroyed the New Republic and prevented further Democratic Developments. On the contrary, it reversed them completely.
After failing in an attempted restoration of the Dynasty under his own name and subsequent demise of the shamed Yuan Shi-Kai shortly after, China descended into chaos and warlordism.
Many parties tried to gain control, sometimes there was even talk of restoration of the Ching House with backing of one or more parties or players. However, history proved that the Ching House had already been finished.
Finally, General Lu Zhonglin an action prone and modernist member of Warlord Feng YuXian's Army took his soldiers to the Forbidden City, forcing Pu Yi to take a final leave of his beloved Palace that same day, November 5th, 1924.
Long long after Pu Yi's eviction, on the 4th October 1949 AD, after a long period of Japanese invasion , foreign meddling, manipulation by the defunct League of Nations and over 30 years of Civil War, it was at the Gate to The Forbidden City, the Tian An Men, that Mao Tse Tung declared the People's Republic of China that now still is.
Death & Succession : Guangxu wrote in his diary in October 1908 AD "I am seriously ill. But I have the feeling that Cixi will die before me. If this is the case, I am determined to have Yuan Shikai (and LianYing) executed", hinting strongly at plans of the Emperor to re-start his reform movement.
Kuang Su/Guanxu died on October 21st, 1908 at age 23, two days before notorious Cixi.
Although recently historians have argued GuangXu died of Lung Failure, traditional history holds that he was poisoned on orders from Cixi who, told of the diaries' content, was determined to preclude any possibility of reformists restorations by a gravely ill but young Emperor (although Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi's autobiography mentions it was from smallpox).
The Evil Empress-Dowager Cixi and her control over the Reign of the Guanxu Emperor. Great Costumes and Historic Drama in the Forbidden City !
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Reign behind a Curtain 1875 - 1892 AD - A disastrous reign that saw Annam (Vietnam) taken away by the French (1885 AD) and China further ruined by the Japanese in Korea and at Sea (1895 AD).
The virtually nonexistent Chinese Navy, who's funds had been re-routed to build the Beijing Summer Palace - YiHeYuan during the Reign Behind a Curtain, was quickly defeated by the modern equipped industrial age Japanese Navy.
Losing a war from another Asian power brought China and the Chinese to a new spiritual lowpoint and give rise to Japan as a new modern Asian Power. China lost Formosa,now the island of Taiwan to Japan.
However Emperor GuangXu was fast maturing and would soon prove difficult to assert himself (As mentioned on this website ( see Summer Palace extensive report )).
Coming of Age 1892 AD - When Kuang Hsu grew older and reached age 17, he became powerful enough to be Emperor and reign of his own will. This created some headaches for Empress-Dowager Hsu Tzi, who would prefer to remain in power until the bitter end, a trait worthy of an Emperor.
The Emperor knew he would face a challenge.
After his official empowerment at Age 17, Guanxu however was immediately faced with another crisis. In 1894 AD, the Chinese suffered a crushing defeat in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 AD. The easy defeat of China by a modern industrial age army, and the imposition of new unequal treaties upon her sovereignty brought the population of China to a new low-point.
Factors for dissatisfaction and rebellion were already multiple as proven by the die-hard TaiPing Rebellion, now they were added to by a new sore. Under the 1895 AD Treaty of Shimoneski in Japan, the Japanese were now allowed to start factories inside the already opened up treaty ports. Under the earlier established "Most Favored Nation-Clause" this meant that other Imperialist Powers in China : Britain, France, The United States of America, The Netherlands, Germany and Russia and others could demand equal rights. From then on Factories operated on territories outside judicial control of the Chinese Government could make use of cheap and easily available "coolie" labor for their cotton mills.
A new way of exporting Capital and abusing the Chinese Citizen had been invented and introduced.
In short, the Chinese were increasingly poor, landless, without rights, exploited by the feudal dynasties landlords as well as by Foreign Capitalists and Imperialist Powers. The situation worsened every year it seemed. The population became restive and the political situation further destabilized.
Front of Coin commemorating the Life and Reign of Empress-Dowager Hsu Tzi that ended one day after the Death of Emperor Guanxu.
This Coin effectively identifies Hsu Tzi as one of the True Emperors of the Ching Dynasty. Remarkably, since she was only a Imperial Concubine at first, not even an Empress.
Yi Ho Tuan Movement - Boxer Rebellion and War 1900 AD - By then, after the utter crushing of any political reform symbolized by the captivity of the Emperor, a new problem arose for the ailing Empress-Dowager and impopular Ching Dynasty. The citizenry, now left without any illusions once more became restive, their new and growing political debates sparking into the Yi Ho Tuan, an anti-foreign and anti-Ching Movement. Soon, waves of Rebellion swept along the country-side engulfing large area's of mainly North-Eastern China in Chaos.
After the TaiPing Rebellion , the Yi Ho Tuan Movement once more vented frustration with the Foreign Disembowelment of China coinciding with the economic downfall of the Chinese Empire.
Encouraged by liberal court advisors and enraged by the defeat by Japan, the huge war indemnity which required even more foreign loans and the loss of Chinese Territory, the Young Emperor subsequently proposed a number of reforms aiming to restore the Empire and throw out the European and other Forces that had invaded China and carved up its sovereignty. It was last ditch effort to reverse the tide for China and the Ching Dynasty.
Gaining much support from reformist Officials at the Court , he arduously went to work on the "Reform Movement of 1898".
These reforms and this new political alliance, however, were none to the liking of the real powerbroker, Cixi. With help of General Yuan Shi-Kai commander of the new Army and conservative Minister Rong Lu, she literally had the Emperor made prisoner in his own Palace.
Later when European Powers encroached on the City of Beijing (1900 AD) the Guanxu Emperor was moved to a more discrete and safer location at The Summer Palace, the family being to close for comfort to the European Invaders at the Gugong. The reformist friends of the Emperor were executed or otherwise where forced to flee the country. One of the ring leaders outside the Palace, Kang Youwei (see Xuanwu District Introduction) narrowly escaped with his Life abroad.
From then on it was once again Cixi who held the reigns of Power in China, now with a new and even more treacherous Clique. The Emperor would remain under House Arrest for his remaining 8 years.
Schematic Map depicting the area's of North-Eastern China overtaken by the Yi Ho Tuan Movement of 1900 AD (The Boxers).
The TongZhi Emperor as depicted on a Ching Dynasty Silver Dollar.
The Emperor's young age of encrownment left room for a coup d'etat that ultimately ruined the Empire.
The XianFeng Emperor as depicted on a Ching Dynasty Silver Dollar.
XianFeng was a weak and unhealthy Man who died at a young age.
Aisin-Gioro Yung Yen, Emperor Jia Jing as depicted on a Ching Dynasty Silver Dollar. Although by all means a strong ruler, during his reign the Qing Dynasty started its decline.
The DaoGuang Emperor as depicted on a Ching Dynasty Silver Dollar. At this Time of the Ching Dynasty Foreign Nations increasingly showed their hostility towards China and the Chinese People, which they perceived as weak and backward. The Opium Trade crippled China's economy and Wars carved off it's spheres of influence.
Schematic Map of the 1900 AD Legation Quarter and its defenses during the Yi Ho Tuan Siege - includes modern situation and links to more information on the Boxer War !
The 1976 AD Book on the Yi Ho Tuan Movement and China's Revolution by Shanghai University Press.
After more nearly a Century of hostility and introduction of Foreign Values and infringing Establishments, the Chinese population finally had enough. In rapid succesion waves of Rebellion spread along the country-side of Shandong Province (the location of several Treaty Ports and Settlements), then continuing into surrounding Provinces.
Not only was the Political Situation wildly out of control, the Rebels, although mainly targeting Foreign Targets such as Churches, Missionary Schools and factories first, were surrounding the Capital City of Beijing and were moving into position to threaten the Dynasty.
Crowds of Christian Missionaries and their Families were fleeing the
country-side heading for the nearest Treaty Port or Foreign Garrison and
rumors of massacres of Foreign Priests abounded.
After establishing sweeping popularity in the country-side, the Rebellion
soon spread to major Cities, including to Beijing.
Initially, the huge popular rebellion destroying and undermining the hated Foreign Influence seemed to open favorable options for the Ching Dynasties interests. The Ching were equally disenfranchised with the foreign encroachment bordering on slavery, they could however not Publicly confirm this. On earlier occasions of resistance, the Foreigners had punished the Chinese with another War (Arrow Incident leading to Second Opium War). It was clear the Foreigners would not shy away from further violence.
Thus, hoping to manipulate the obviously powerful movement for her own political purposes, the Empress-Dowager - Cixi - at first covertly supported the Movement. While publicly denouncing the anti-foreign aggression, behind the scene the Ching Court sent secret payments, supplied information and elsewhere supported the Rebels. This was however a risky strategy.
Soon, the rebel armies descended on the Capital of Beijing where they attacked several Churches on their way to the so called Foreign Legation Quarter.
When the Yi Ho Tuan, now called Boxers by the Foreigners, surrounded the Legation Quarter
and started attacking it, the situation backfired.
The Foreigners immediately issued an ultimatum demanding among things the retreat of the Yi Ho Tuan Warriors, the seizing of anti-foreign attacks and the disbanding of the entire movement and its armies by the Ching Dynasty. Instinctively realizing there was no turning back at this point, the Ching Court refused on the demands.
Within no Time the whole situation escalated into War. While the well defended and armed Foreign Garrisons were under siege a War was once more declared on China and European Fleets took to the high seas.
While the German and British Navies steamed in from Europe, gunboats and ships already available in the Asian oceans steamed up
Beijing Southern Cathedral inside of the Xuanwu Men, Gate of Peace.
The Southern Cathedral, as was the Northern Church, was a refuge for many Foreigners seeking protection from the anti-foreign violence. In the process both churches were besieged.
the Chinese Coast for punitive action.
Attacking through various ports on the Hebei Province sea-coast, but mainly through the TaiGu Fortress and Tianjin Harbor, the foreigners arrived at the gates of Beijing in 1900 AD. A new even more humiliating but equally short war would put the Chinese Ching Dynasty and China back into perspective.
Although encountering much resistance on the way from TaiGu Fortress to Beijing, the Foreign Armies effortlessly broke into the Capital and Political heart of the Empire. The Emperor (although Imprisoned) would suffer a final humiliating punishment. Not only did he have to Flee from his Imperial Palace (to Chengde in Hebei Province and later even to Xi'An in Shaanxi Province), the Foreign Armies looted the Imperial City, the Palaces and burned the (Old) Imperial Summer Palace. Only ruins were left of the Summer Palace and Chinese Dignity.
Once more the Ching Court ruled by Hsu-Tzi would have to resign to hard facts and accept more enfringing demands. In this event the Dynasty incurred its final blow.
Chinese Sovereignty would be hollowed out to the maximum, and the Dynasty was left without any control, it's officials now selling out rights to the highest bidder. Often only to be disempowered and cheated out themselves later.
For two years foreign armies roamed the Chinese countryside beyond Beijing.
The Imperial Court of the Ching Dynasty was left shied away in (at the Huaqing Palace in Lintung near) Xi'An until 1902 AD. Henceforth the Emperor and Court lived nearly secluded from the rest of China, biding time to play their last cards. There would be only few left. The Guanxu Emperor died in captivity in 1908, leaving few achievements. The old Empress-Dowager, Cixi died only two days later, throwing her final plot.
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China Report - Historic Map - 1900 AD Yi Ho Tuan (Boxer) War - Invasion Routes 8 Allied Forces to Beijing and beyond.
The so called 8 Allied Nations landed their troops on several points on the Chinese Coast. The first aim was to remove the sige of the Beijing Legations, however, the overall mission was a punitive one, routing out Yi Hu Tuan as well as Ching resistance.
Death & Succession : There is also a "Mystery" about Kang Hsi's succession. With his long reign, old age and 35 sons Kang Hsi found it difficult to choose a good successor. Earlier in his reign first Son Yin Jeng had plotted against his Father Kang Hsi. Successive wavering on Kang Hsi's behalf, dismissing Yin Jeng (1712 AD), then re-naming him heir-apparent, only encouraged intrigues for the Throne among the brothers. In the end, Yin Zhen, not the oldest but 4Th Son was granted the title Crown Prince. For centuries it was said that LongKeduo, the General of the Beijing Garrison and uncle of Yin Chen, made use of his unhindered access to The Emperor and secretely exchanged the reall Kang Hsi will with a version forged by the 4Th Son Yin Chen in the handwriting of his father to favor himself Yin Chen (4th Son) as successor to The Throne.
Kang Hsi died December 22, 1722 AD. Only recently (2009) it was shown on the basis of the true and original will document of Kang Hsi that indeed the succession by Yin Chen was completely legal and just.
Kang Hsi ordered the compilation of the famous Kang Hsi 10.000 volume "Completed collection of Graphs and Writings of Ancient and Modern Times" and another work of Science and Writing Kang Hsi's "Kang Xi Dictionary". The Ching ruling system included the five various types of ethnic minorities ensuring support from all social groups of the large Empire. During the Kangxi Reign a (new) translation of the Muslim Holy Book Koran into chinese was created.
Intelligent and eager to learn Kang Xi took on foreign scientists at his Court teaching him western science, technology and philosophy, giving him a chance to get aquainted with their culture and ways. It was under his reign that famed Jesuit fathers Verbiest and Pereira resided at the Ching Court in Beijing. Considerably later Verbiest (1882 AD) had won enough trust and acclaim to be appointed head of the Imperial Observatory, where he designed the star-measuring instruments (at the Beijing Ancient Observatory).
Under Kangxi's later Reign, the first Roman Catholic Papal Mission (De Tournon) to China was undertaken (1703-1705 AD), soon leading into the first problems and strife with the European nations (Spain,Portugal, Netherlands and France). Papal envoy De Tournon clearly lacked the finesse of Verbiest and other Jesuits and managed to thoroughly offend Emperor Kang Hsi, not only by his lack of respect for chinese ways (he refused to kowtow, and ignorantly wrote on 5 clawed dragon papers to the emperor), but mainly for proposing to take away Kang Hsi's Imperial Authority over the Jesuits and establish an autonomous Papal-directed Jesuit Embassy in Beijing. De Tournon was immediatly expelled from China (1705 AD) and was returned to the Portugese Colony at Macau. De Tournon's secretary was imprissoned in Beijing for offending the court.
Kang Hsi therafter predicted the future troubles China would have with the Europeans.
Since 1700 AD the missionaries had been a growing problem to the Imperial Court and in 1703 AD the first measures were taken to limit their subversive actions in China. Since 1669 AD (Verbiest-Schall incident) the missionaries had merely been forbidden to preach and wander in the inner provinces. In 1703 AD missionaries were required by Imperial Edict to register and declare intent to stay in China for life, thus fixing their loyalties to the Imperial Court rather than the Pope and Rome, or respective Kings and Governements. Futhermore, all missionaries were asked to adhere to the principles of respect for china's culture as proscribed by first Jesuit Father Mattheo Ricci (in 1669 AD, after Jesuit Schall had provoked the first incident of offending of chinese cultural dignity). Those that didn't wish to comply were deported and exiled. As a result China was temporarily saved from European invasions.
This period of the "Self-Strengthening Movement" is known as "The TongZhi Restoration" (Noteworthy is that this policy came down to giving in to initial foreign demands for access to markets and trade, which made it perfectly acceptible to the 8 European Powers. The policy did however finally make possible the start of real modernizations in China, strenghtening the nation).
Emperor TongZhi was a passionate and ill-advized Young Man who liked to visit the brothels outside the City Gate in the area south of QianMen. Either there, or through a creative plot by Cixi who for some reason introduced many seedy young ladies to the young Emperor, TongZhi contracted syphilis. Given his risky behavior, his rogue title as "Playboy Emperor" and the circumstances of the time he was bound to encounter the often fatal disease. At age only 19, Tsai Chun Emperor TongZhi died, leaving power to Hsu Tsi ( The Empress was cruely eliminated ).
Death & Succession : When Emperor Tung Chi died prematurely only 13 years after his crowning the Court was faced with a problem. As there was no brother of Tung Chi, let alone a son, there was no successor. The Empress Dowager Cixi, by now firmly in control ( as depicted in the Movie - Reign behind the Curtain ), solved the problem by arranging to have adopted nephew Tsai Tien ( a son of Tzu Hsi (Cixi)'s niece) crowned as Emperor.
Soundbonus - The Manchukuo Party (Live), by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
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Hidden Secrets and China's love & hate affair with the Forbidden City !
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broken country in turmoil and chaos. After a severe draught and following hardship, large parts of the country-side in Henan and Anhui Provinces revolted in the Taiping (Supreme Peace) movement & Rebellion. The TaiPing Problem would last for over a decade. In that same year of 1856 AD a minor incident with a british ship ("the arrow") resulted in the 2nd Opium War with Britain. With the French immediatly joining in the war, China was once more routed and forced to make concessions. When the chinese did not fully cooperate, the French & British invaded Canton.
Both events left the economy in chaos. Transport on the Sea's and through coastal harbors was halted due to hostile ships in action, while the Rebellion in the Central Provinces had cut communications between the north and the south.
This not only halted internal transport, but made it impossible for the new draft banks to operate, plummeting the economy and leading to local inflation of currency and shortages throughout the nation.
After invading GuangDong Province and taking the City of Canton in the South, next the Foreigners moved on the Imperial Court. Troops landed from ships in the Northern harbors of Port Arthur (Dalian), WeiHeWei and others attacked Beijing and in an act of vandalism the Emperor's SummerPalace was looted and burnt. The resulting hopeless military situation finally forced Emperor Hsien Feng to Sign the so-called Beijing Treaty of 1860 AD (at Chengde Palace his refuge) in which more treaty ports were extorted and more chinese sovereignty taken away.
However, with the Foreigners standing by and many actively cooperating the Ching could then
To make matters in China even worse, meanwhile Hsien Feng expired in 1861 AD from Ill Health at his Chengde Retreat, leaving few real achievements.
The end of the XianFeng Period saw a once prosperous economy realing from the effects of two wars and two rebellions in rapid succesion. Its lands and economy newly opened to Foreign Exploitation, a new Era was dawning on China, a traditional society and country that would never be as before.
turn their attention to the Taiping Rebellion, which was undoing the connections of the Empire. The Taiping Revolt was finally put down in 1864 AD.
Shortly following, a second seperate rebellion, the Nian Rebellion of Peasants was similarly obliterated, finally restoring some form of order within the beaten Chinese Empire.
Hsien Feng's best legacy may lie in the highpoint of chinese architectural style achieved under his reign and shortly after.
Hsien Feng did his best to carry forth the Ching Policy of integrating all Nationalities of Chinese vast Society which included such diverse regions as Annam (current day North Vietnam),Mongolia, Korea, Manchuria, Burma, Nepal and Tibet. The reign of Emperor Hsien Feng was probably too short and his talents to few for him to make a true impact through power or person..
Foreigners in more humiliating treaties Cixi made peace with the Europeans. While the European Armies "reducing their effort" watched from the sidelines, the forces of the Manchu Ching Dynasty had free play to put a bloody end to the Taiping Revolt. Another Revolt, the Nian, were also handled. Cixi and her power-clique subsequently adopted a policy of accepting and introducing foreign military and industrial technology, which hitherto had always been viewed as below Chinese Level as the Chinese were convinced their culture was superior to any other.
no mention of the Ministers. Obviously, the Ministers opposed this unveiled attempt at a Coup and dismissed the "request" by pointing out there was no precident for the proposed situation in Imperial History. Unfortunatly, Cixi, was protected by her Imperial Edict, pried from the dying and delirious Emperor on his Death-bed ("See Reign Behind The Curtain"), preventing any effective counterstrike by the Ministers. Through shrewd plotting Cixi managed to mobilize support from Yi Xin, a man empowered by selling out his country to the invading European Powers. United together at the Mountain Resort of Chengde, they secretely plotted a Coup. Getting help from General Shengbao, head of the Army, (By bribing him) the Three were able to seize Power. Cixi and her Clique
mainly directed against Foreigners, the European Powers soon joined in the conflict seeing another chance to infringe on Chinese Sovereignty under the pretext of self-defence (against attacks on their interests in China). The "Second Opium War (1860)" of Britain, France & Allies against China was a fact.
As Tsai Chun was only 5 years old when his Father the Emperor died in 1861 AD, the Old Emperor Hsien Feng left instructions (also part of Imperial Tradition) that the young Emperor should be assisted in his task and decisions by the 8 senior Ministers of the Cabinet. However, Western Empress-Dowager Hsu-Tzi had her own political ambitions. Cixi proposed she instruct the young Emperor herself from behind the Curtain with
gained control of The Court Matters at Chengde and in Beijing. For a short period both Cixi and Tsu-Ann instructed the Emperor from behind a Curtain in his Throne Room (Reign behind the Curtain ).
In the year after Cixi's coup the Name of Tsai Chun's Reign was changed from QiXiang to Tung Chi (TongZhi). Meanwhile, the TaiPing Rebellion was still raging and paralyzing the Nation as well as provoking Foreign Retaliations.
Immediatly after Court matters were stabilized Cixi ordered a hard suppression of the "Taiping
Movement", who were both anti-Ching (a "foreign" tribe) and anti-foreign. The killing of missionaries by enraged Chinese Town Folk lead to heated protests by the foreign governments and further military pressures. Making Peace was the only insurance against the Foreigners and the Taiping prevented it. Once more signing away Chinese rights and territory to the
be Finished". Immediatly many of the present took these words as a Bad Omen for the coming Reign Period. Within 3 years from that day the Ching Dynasty would be finished by traitors, revolutionaries and warlords.
Most recently upon the 100Th Birthday of the Guanxu Emperor (2008), samples of the Emperors hair were tested, revealing a high concentration of arsenic in the hair of the slowly withering Emperor. This seems to confirm the poising plot theory.
The reigns of power then only left Cixi's hand when
she felt her Life was coming to an end. On October 23rd, 1908 ("From emperor to Citizen" - Section "Accession and Abdication" makes it November 13, 1908), on the day of her Death, Cixi commanded that Pu Yi , the son of the 2nd Prince ( Son of Chun 1st , Cixi's life-long love ) and now the newly adopted son of deceased Emperor Guangxu was to be the next Emperor of China.
In "The Great Ceremony of Enthronement" little boy Pu Yi was crowned Emperor Hsuan Tung on December 2 , 1908.
As Pu Yi was disrupting the Ceremony with is cries, his Father tried to Calm Pu Yi telling him "Don't Worry. It will soon
The Chinese flanks in Xinjiang were dangerously exposed to arriving and invading Russians in the North and the British Colonial Indians to the South. Furthermore, the Himalayan Mountain Kingdom of Tibet had important and longstanding Trading and Cultural Ties withe Han Chinese Culture, the Tribes of Mongolia and even Manchuria. The 5Th Dalai Lama had payed a court visit to Beijing under the 1st True Ching Emperor Shunzi (1652 AD). The Tibetan Lamaist Faith was shared among the Peoples of Tibet, the Qinghai Plateau, Mongolia and Inner-Mongolia and even Manchuria.
Tibetan-Buddhism was the State Religion of the Manchu Ching. Tibetans were among the Five Major Ethnic Groups of the Ching Empire and Tibet too was threatened by the Russian & Indian Armies. It chose for a compromise.
In 1751 AD the Lamaist Kingdom of Tibet relinquished ultimate Sovreignty to the Manchu Ching Empire, in favor of encroaching others. Although Kings withing their own Territory, the Lama's would henceforth receive their Recognition of their Titles as Religious Kings from the Chinese Emperor.
His cruel punishments to traitors, critics and unlucky officials kept opposition to his Policy at an absolute minimum.
In 1757 AD Qianlong ordered all Foreign Trade (with the encroaching Europeans) to move exclusively through designated parts of Canton (now GuangZhou in Guangdong Province) in South China (Macao was earlier seized by the Portugese) while banning permanent foreign residency. Thus all possibilities of free foreign trade with the Chinese Market were eliminated for the time being , a fact much to the dislike of the arriving European nations. Near the end of his reign in 1793 AD, Qianlong was once more confronted with a British Emmissary (the Earl Macartney) , one who came to ask favors but refused to Kowtow to the Emperor. This incident would prove a strong forebode of what was to come for China.
Qianlong was a talented man of many literary accomplishments, a talented Caligrapher, devout Buddhist and Poet.
Death & Succession : Qianlong was the only Chinese Emperor to abdicate his throne while still alive. After reigning for 60 years, only one year less than his Grandfather Kang Hsi and out of respect for this great ancestor, he named his Son Yung Yen Emperor, and retired officially from active service. In reality however, he would still be the Power behind the Throne until his death in 1796 AD. Now former Emperor Qianlong would spend his remaining days living at the especially decorated "1000 Autumns Pavilion" within The Palace of Peaceful Old Age and Gardens in the North-Eastern Section of the Imperial Palace. The 1000 Autumns Pavilion at the Palace of Peaceful Old Age is one of the Palaces Foremost Treasures with its art and artifacts until very recently still in stage of discovery (August 2005).
Learn more about the Palace Museum, the Emperos, The Dynasties and Centuries of Imperial History in this fascinating Film-Documentary.
YouTube Video: Forbidden City Legenda (4 of 6) - The Life and Reign of Gaozhong - Emperor Qianlong.
within a month of his Fathers death, reflecting the utter stability at the top of the Ching Dynasty, a legacy of his Fathers' that Qianlong would honor.
Achievements : Largest size of Chinese Empire. Building on the Harsh traditions of his Ancestors and pre-decessors Qianlong continued a strong reign cracking down on border rebellions, expanding the Empire and strengthening its unity. After his Grandfather the Great Kang Xi had added the Northern Regions of Jilin and Heilonjiang beyond Manchuria, defeating the Russians, it would be until the Reign of Qianlong that the West and Far West saw large Campaigns from the Ching Imperial Armies.
Then came to planned conquest of the remaining Territories of todays Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region in the West, adding them as the Western "Protectorate" under the Ching Dynasty Rule. This completed a strategic Plan to regain the Empire roughly along the Lines of the ancient Han and Tang Dynasty conquest (although both of the Ancient Dynasties invaded far into Central Asia as far as the Aral Sea, the Great Wall of the Tang Dynasty extended only to near Kashgar in Xinjiang AR protecting the Silk Road.).
The Strategic Conquest however, was not entirely completed.