|Prince Jia of the First Rank|
|6th Emperor of the Qing Dynasty|
|Reign||9 February 1796 - 2 September 1820|
|Coronation||9 February 1796|
|Regent||Qianlong Emperor (1796-1799)|
Aisin Gioro Yongyan|
13 November 1760
Old Summer Palace
2 September 1820 (aged 59)|
Chengde Mountain Resort
Changling, Western Qing tombs
(m. 1774; d. 1797)
Lady Niohuru (m. 1790-1820)
Lady Niohuru (-1820)
The Jiaqing Emperor (13 November 1760 - 2 September 1820), personal name Yongyan, was the seventh emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fifth Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1796 to 1820. He was the 15th son of the Qianlong Emperor. During his reign, he prosecuted Heshen, the corrupt favourite of his father, and attempted to restore order within the Qing Empire and curb the smuggling of opium into China.
Yongyan was born in the Old Summer Palace, 8 km (5 mi) northwest of the walls of Beijing. His personal name, "Yongyan" (), was later changed to "Yongyan" () when he became the emperor. The Chinese character for yong in his name was changed from the more common ? to the less common ?. This novelty was introduced by the Qianlong Emperor, who believed that it was not proper to have a commonly used Chinese character in an emperor's personal name due to the longstanding practice of naming taboo in the imperial family.
Yongyan was the 15th son of the Qianlong Emperor. His mother was Noble Consort Ling, the daughter of Wei Qingtai (), a Han Chinese official whose family had been long integrated into the Manchu Eight Banners as part of a Han Banner.
The Qianlong Emperor originally had two other sons in mind for succeeding him, but both of them died early from diseases, hence in December 1773 he secretly chose Yongyan as his successor. In 1789, the Qianlong Emperor instated Yongyan as "Prince Jia of the First Rank" (; or simply "Prince Jia").
In October 1795, the 60th year of his reign, the Qianlong Emperor announced his intention to abdicate in favour of Prince Jia. He made this decision because he felt that it was disrespectful for him to rule longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, who was on the throne for 61 years. Prince Jia ascended the throne and adopted the era name "Jiaqing" in February 1796, hence he is historically known as the Jiaqing Emperor. For the next three years however, the Jiaqing Emperor was emperor in name only because decisions were still made by his father, who became a Taishang Huang (emperor emeritus) after his abdication.
After the death of the Qianlong Emperor in the beginning of February 1799, the Jiaqing Emperor took control of the government and prosecuted Heshen, a favourite official of his father. Heshen was charged with corruption and abuse of power, stripped of his titles, had his property confiscated, and ordered to commit suicide. Heshen's daughter-in-law, Princess Hexiao, a sister of the Jiaqing Emperor, was spared from punishment and given a few properties from Heshen's estates.
At the time, the Qing Empire faced internal disorder, most importantly the large-scale White Lotus (1796-1804) and Miao (1795-1806) rebellions, as well as an empty imperial treasury. The Jiaqing Emperor engaged in the pacification of the empire and the quelling of rebellions. He endeavored to bring China back to its 18th-century prosperity and power. However, due in part to large outflows of silver from the country as payment for the opium smuggled into China from British India, the economy declined.
Members of the Qing imperial family tried to assassinate him twice - in 1803 and in 1813. The princes involved in the attempts on his life were executed. Other members of the imperial family, numbering in the hundreds, were sent into exile.
The Jiaqing Emperor refused the Vietnamese ruler Gia Long's request to change his country's name to Nam Vi?t. He changed the name instead to Vi?t Nam. Gia Long's i Nam th?c l?c contains the diplomatic correspondence over the naming.
The Great Qing Code includes one statute titled "Prohibitions Concerning Sorcerers and Sorceresses" (). In 1811, a clause was added to it with reference to Christianity. It was modified in 1815 and 1817, settled in its final form in 1839 under the Daoguang Emperor, and abrogated in 1870 under the Tongzhi Emperor. It sentenced Europeans to death for spreading Catholicism among Han Chinese and Manchus. Christians who would not repent their conversion were sent to Muslim cities in Xinjiang, to be given as slaves to Muslim leaders and beys.
On 2 September 1820, the Jiaqing Emperor died at the Rehe (Jehol) Traveling Palace (?), 230 km (140 mi) northeast of Beijing, where the imperial court was in summer quarters. The Draft History of Qing did not record a cause of death. Some have alleged that he died after being struck by lightning, but others prefer the theory that he died of a stroke as the emperor was quite obese. He was succeeded by his second son, Mianning, who became known as the Daoguang Emperor.
Jiaqing EmperorBorn: 13 November 1760 Died: 2 September 1820
The Qianlong Emperor
| Emperor of China
The Daoguang Emperor