Kangxi Emperor
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Kangxi Emperor

Kangxi Emperor
Portrait of the Kangxi Emperor in Court Dress.jpg
3rd Emperor of the Qing Dynasty
Reign5 February 1661 - 20 December 1722
PredecessorShunzhi Emperor
SuccessorYongzheng Emperor
RegentsSonin (1661-1667)
Ebilun (1661-1667)
Suksaha (1661-1667)
Oboi (1661-1669)
BornAisin Gioro Xuanye
(? )
(1654-05-04)4 May 1654
( )
Jingren Palace, Forbidden City
Died20 December 1722(1722-12-20) (aged 68)
( )
Qingxi Shuwu, Garden of Eternal Spring, Old Summer Palace
Burial
Jing Mausoleum, Eastern Qing tombs
Consorts
Empress Xiaochengren
(m. 1665; died 1674)

Empress Xiaozhaoren
(m. 1665; died 1678)

Empress Xiaoyiren
(died 1689)

IssueYunzhi
Yunreng, Prince Limi of the First Rank
Yunzhi, Prince Chengyin of the Second Rank
Yongzheng Emperor
Yunqi, Prince Hengwen of the First Rank
Yunyou, Prince Chundu of the First Rank
Yunsi
Yuntang
Yun'e
Yuntao, Prince Lüyi of the First Rank
Yinxiang, Prince Yixian of the First Rank
Yunti, Prince Xunqin of the Second Rank
Yunxu, Prince Yuke of the Second Rank
Yunlu, Prince Zhuangke of the First Rank
Yunli, Prince Guoyi of the First Rank
Yunyi
Yunxi, Prince Shenjing of the Second Rank
Yunhu
Yunqi
Yunmi, Prince Xianke of the First Rank
Princess Rongxian of the First Rank
Princess Duanjing of the Second Rank
Princess Kejing of the First Rank
Princess Wenxian of the First Rank
Princess Chunque of the First Rank
Princess Wenke of the Second Rank
Princess Quejing of the Second Rank
Princess Dunke of the Second Rank
Full name
Aisin Gioro Xuanye
(? )
Manchu: Hiowan yei ( )
Era dates
Kangxi
(; 18 February 1662 - 4 February 1723)
Manchu: Elhe taifin (? )
Mongolian: ? (? )
Posthumous name
Emperor Hetian Hongyun Wenwu Ruizhe Gongjian Kuanyu Xiaojing Chengxin Zhonghe Gongde Dacheng Ren
(?)
Manchu: Gosin h?wangdi (
?
)
Temple name
Shengzu
()
Manchuengdzu ()
HouseAisin Gioro
FatherShunzhi Emperor
MotherEmpress Xiaokangzhang

The Kangxi Emperor (4 May 1654 - 20 December 1722), personal name Xuanye, was the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty,[a] the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Shanhai Pass near Beijing, and the second Qing emperor to rule over that part of China, from 1661 to 1722.

The Kangxi Emperor's reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning emperor in Chinese history (although his grandson, the Qianlong Emperor, had the longest period of de facto power) and one of the longest-reigning rulers in the world.[1] However, since he ascended the throne at the age of seven, actual power was held for six years by four regents and his grandmother, the Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.

The Kangxi Emperor is considered one of China's greatest emperors.[2] He suppressed the Revolt of the Three Feudatories, forced the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan and assorted Mongol rebels in the North and Northwest to submit to Qing rule, and blocked Tsarist Russia on the Amur River, retaining Outer Manchuria and Outer Northwest China.

The Kangxi Emperor's reign brought about long-term stability and relative wealth after years of war and chaos. He initiated the period known as the "Prosperous Era of Kangxi and Qianlong" or "High Qing",[3] which lasted for several generations after his death. His court also accomplished such literary feats as the compilation of the Kangxi Dictionary.

Early reign

Born on 4 May 1654 to the Shunzhi Emperor and Empress Xiaokangzhang in Jingren Palace, the Forbidden City, Beijing, the Kangxi Emperor was originally given the personal name Xuanye (Chinese: ; Möllendorff transliteration: hiowan yei). He was enthroned at the age of seven (or eight by East Asian age reckoning), on 7 February 1661.[b] His era name "Kangxi", however, only started to be used on 18February 1662, the first day of the following lunar year.

Sinologist Herbert Giles, drawing on contemporary sources, described the Kangxi Emperor as "fairly tall and well proportioned, he loved all manly exercises, and devoted three months annually to hunting. Large bright eyes lighted up his face, which was pitted with smallpox."[4]

Portrait of the young Kangxi Emperor in court dress

Before the Kangxi Emperor came to the throne, Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang (in the name of Shunzhi Emperor) had appointed the powerful men Sonin, Suksaha, Ebilun, and Oboi as regents. Sonin died after his granddaughter became Empress Xiaochengren, leaving Suksaha at odds with Oboi in politics. In a fierce power struggle, Oboi had Suksaha put to death and seized absolute power as sole regent. The Kangxi Emperor and the rest of the imperial court acquiesced to this arrangement.

In the spring of 1662, the regents ordered a Great Clearance in southern China that evacuated the entire population from the seacoast to counter a resistance movement started by Ming loyalists under the leadership of Taiwan-based Ming general Zheng Chenggong, also titled Koxinga.

In 1669, the Kangxi Emperor had Oboi arrested with the help of his grandmother Grand Dowager Empress Xiaozhuang, who had raised him.[5] and began taking personal control of the empire. He listed three issues of concern: flood control of the Yellow River; repair of the Grand Canal; the Revolt of the Three Feudatories in south China. The Grand Empress Dowager influenced him greatly and he took care of her himself in the months leading up to her death in 1688.[5]

Military achievements

Army

The Emperor mounted on his horse and guarded by his bodyguards
The Kangxi Emperor in ceremonial armor, armed with bow and arrows, and surrounded by bodyguards.

The main army of the Qing Empire, the Eight Banners Army, was in decline under the Kangxi Emperor. It was smaller than it had been at its peak under Hong Taiji and in the early reign of the Shunzhi Emperor; however, it was larger than in the Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors' reigns. In addition, the Green Standard Army was still powerful with generals such as Tuhai, Fei Yanggu, Zhang Yong, Zhou Peigong, Shi Lang, Mu Zhan, Shun Shike and Wang Jingbao.[]

The main reason for this decline was a change in system between the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors' reigns. The Kangxi Emperor continued using the traditional military system implemented by his predecessors, which was more efficient and stricter. According to the system, a commander who returned from a battle alone (with all his men dead) would be put to death, and likewise for a foot soldier. This was meant to motivate both commanders and soldiers alike to fight valiantly in war because there was no benefit for the sole survivor in a battle.[]

By the Qianlong Emperor's reign, military commanders had become lax and the training of the army was deemed less important as compared to during the previous emperors' reigns. This was because commanders' statuses had become hereditary; a general gained his position based on the contributions of his forefathers.[]

Revolt of the Three Feudatories

The Revolt of the Three Feudatories broke out in 1673 when Wu Sangui's forces overran most of southwest China and he tried to ally himself with local generals such as Wang Fuchen. The Kangxi Emperor employed generals including Zhou Peigong and Tuhai to suppress the rebellion, and also granted clemency to common people caught up in the war. He intended to personally lead the armies to crush the rebels but his subjects advised him against it. The Kangxi Emperor used mainly Han Chinese Green Standard Army soldiers to crush the rebels while the Manchu Banners took a backseat. The revolt ended with victory for Qing forces in 1681.

Taiwan

In 1683, the naval forces of the Ming loyalists on Taiwan--organized under the Zheng dynasty as the Kingdom of Tungning--were defeated off Penghu by 300-odd ships under the Qing admiral Shi Lang. Koxinga's grandson Zheng Keshuang surrendered Tungning a few days later and Taiwan became part of the Qing Empire. Zheng Keshuang moved to Beijing, joined the Qing nobility as the "Duke Haicheng" (), and was inducted into the Eight Banners as a member of the Han Plain Red Banner. His soldiers--including the rattan-shield troops (, tengpaiying)--were similarly entered into the Eight Banners, notably serving against Russian Cossacks at Albazin.

A score of Ming princes had joined the Zheng dynasty on Taiwan, including Prince Zhu Shugui of Ningjing and Prince Honghuan (w:zh:), the son of Zhu Yihai. The Qing sent most of the 17 Ming princes still living on Taiwan back to mainland China, where they spent the rest of their lives.[6] The Prince of Ningjing and his five concubines, however, committed suicide rather than submit to capture. Their palace was used as Shi Lang's headquarters in 1683, but he memorialized the emperor to convert it into a Mazu temple as a propaganda measure in quieting remaining resistance on Taiwan. The emperor approved its dedication as the Grand Matsu Temple the next year and, honoring the goddess Mazu for her supposed assistance during the Qing invasion, promoted her to "Empress of Heaven" (Tianhou) from her previous status as a "heavenly consort" (tianfei).[7][8]Belief in Mazu remains so widespread on Taiwan that her annual celebrations can gather hundreds of thousands of people; she is sometimes even syncretized with Guanyin and the Virgin Mary.

The end of the rebel stronghold and capture of the Ming princes allowed the Kangxi Emperor to relax the Sea Ban and permit resettlement of the Fujian and Guangdong coasts. The financial and other incentives to new settlers particularly drew the Hakka, who would have continuous low-level conflict with the returning Punti people for the next few centuries.

Vietnam

In 1673, the Kangxi Emperor's government helped to mediate a truce in the Tr?nh-Nguy?n War in Vietnam, which had been ongoing for 45 years since 1627. The peace treaty that was signed between the conflicting parties lasted for 101 years until 1774.[9]

Russia

Kangxi Emperor at 32 (from le Comte's Nouveaux Memoires, 1696)

In the 1650s, the Qing Empire engaged the Tsardom of Russia in a series of border conflicts along the Amur River region, which concluded with the Qing gaining control of the area after the Siege of Albazin.

The Russians invaded the northern frontier again in the 1680s. A series of battles and negotiations culminated in the Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689, by which a border was agreed and the Amur River valley was given to the Qing Empire.

Mongolia

The Inner Mongolian Chahar leader Ligdan Khan, a descendant of Genghis Khan, opposed and fought against the Qing until he died of smallpox in 1634. Thereafter, the Inner Mongols under his son Ejei Khan surrendered to the Qing and he was given the title of Prince (Qin Wang, ). The Inner Mongolian nobility now became closely tied to the Qing royal family and intermarried with them extensively. Ejei Khan died in 1661 and was succeeded by his brother Abunai. After Abunai showed disaffection with Manchu Qing rule, he was placed under house arrested in 1669 in Shenyang and the Kangxi Emperor gave his title to his son Borni.

Abunai bided his time then, with his brother Lubuzung, revolted against the Qing in 1675 during the Revolt of the Three Feudatories, with 3,000 Chahar Mongol followers joining in on the revolt. The revolt was put down within two months, the Qing defeating the rebels in battle on April 20, 1675, killing Abunai and all his followers. Their title was abolished, all Chahar Mongol royal males were executed even if they were born to Manchu Qing princesses, and all Chahar Mongol royal females were sold into slavery except the Manchu Qing princesses. The Chahar Mongols were then put under the direct control of the Qing Emperor unlike the other Inner Mongol leagues which maintained their autonomy.

Emperor Kangxi's camp on Kerulen during the campaign of 1696.

The Outer Khalkha Mongols had preserved their independence, and only paid tribute to the Qing Empire. However, a conflict between the houses of Tümen Jasagtu Khan and Tösheetü Khan led to a dispute between the Khalkha and the Dzungars over the influence of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1688, the Dzungar chief, Galdan Boshugtu Khan, attacked the Khalkha from the west and invaded their territory. The Khalkha royal families and the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu crossed the Gobi Desert and sought help from the Qing Empire in return for submission to Qing authority. In 1690, the Dzungars and Qing forces clashed at the Battle of Ulan Butung in Inner Mongolia, in which the Qing eventually emerged as the victor.

The Kangxi Emperor's Last Will and Testament

In 1696, the Kangxi Emperor personally led three armies, totaling 80,000 in strength, in a campaign against the Dzungars in the early Dzungar-Qing War. The western section of the Qing army defeated Galdan's forces at the Battle of Jao Modo and Galdan died in the following year.

Manchu Hoifan and Ula rebellion against the Qing

The Kangxi Emperor at the age of 45, painted in 1699

In 1700, some 20,000 Qiqihar Xibe were resettled in Guisui, modern Inner Mongolia, and 36,000 Songyuan Xibe were resettled in Shenyang, Liaoning. The relocation of the Xibe from Qiqihar is believed by Liliya M. Gorelova to be linked to the Qing's annihilation of the Manchu clan Hoifan (Hoifa) in 1697 and the Manchu tribe Ula in 1703 after they rebelled against the Qing; both Hoifan and Ula were wiped out.[10]

Tibet

In 1701, the Kangxi Emperor ordered the reconquest of Kangding and other border towns in western Sichuan that had been taken by the Tibetans. The Manchu forces stormed Dartsedo and secured the border with Tibet and the lucrative tea-horse trade.

Shanxi Museum - Buddhist scriptures written by Emperor Kangxi

The Tibetan desi (regent) Sangye Gyatso concealed the death of the 5th Dalai Lama in 1682, and only informed the emperor in 1697. He moreover kept relations with Dzungar enemies of the Qing. All this evoked the great displeasure of the Kangxi Emperor. Eventually Sangye Gyatso was toppled and killed by the Khoshut ruler Lha-bzang Khan in 1705. As a reward for ridding him of his old enemy the Dalai Lama, the Kangxi Emperor appointed Lha-bzang Khan Regent of Tibet (; Yìf? g?ngshùn Hán; "Buddhism Respecting, Deferential Khan").[11] The Dzungar Khanate, a confederation of Oirat tribes based in parts of what is now Xinjiang, continued to threaten the Qing Empire and invaded Tibet in 1717. They took control of Lhasa with a 6,000 strong army and killed Lha-bzang Khan. The Dzungars held on to the city for three years and at the Battle of the Salween River defeated a Qing army sent to the region in 1718. The Qing did not take control of Lhasa until 1720, when the Kangxi Emperor sent a larger expedition force there to defeat the Dzungars.

Chinese nobility

The Kangxi Emperor granted the title of Wujing Boshi (?; ?; W?j?ng Bóshì) to the descendants of Shao Yong, Zhu Xi, Zhuansun Shi, Ran family (Ran Qiu, Ran Geng, Ran Yong), Bu Shang, Yan Yan (disciple of Confucius), and the Duke of Zhou's offspring.[12][13]

Economic achievements

The Kangxi Emperor returning to Beijing after a southern inspection tour in 1689.

The contents of the national treasury during the Kangxi Emperor's reign were:

1668 (7th year of Kangxi): 14,930,000 taels
1692: 27,385,631 taels
1702-1709: approximately 50,000,000 taels with little variation during this period
1710: 45,880,000 taels
1718: 44,319,033 taels
1720: 39,317,103 taels
1721 (60th year of Kangxi, second last of his reign): 32,622,421 taels

The reasons for the declining trend in the later years of the Kangxi Emperor's reign were a huge expenditure on military campaigns and an increase in corruption. To fix the problem, the Kangxi Emperor gave Prince Yong (the future Yongzheng Emperor) advice on how to make the economy more efficient.

Cultural achievements

A vase from the early Kangxi period (Musée Guimet)

During his reign, the Kangxi Emperor ordered the compilation of a dictionary of Chinese characters, which became known as the Kangxi Dictionary. This was seen as an attempt by the emperor to gain support from the Han Chinese scholar-bureaucrats, as many of them initially refused to serve him and remained loyal to the Ming dynasty. However, by persuading the scholars to work on the dictionary without asking them to formally serve the Qing imperial court, the Kangxi Emperor led them to gradually taking on greater responsibilities until they were assuming the duties of state officials.

Armoured Kangxi Emperor

In 1705, on the Kangxi Emperor's order, a compilation of Tang poetry, the Quantangshi, was produced.

The Kangxi Emperor also was interested in Western technology and wanted to import them to China. This was done through Jesuit missionaries, such as Ferdinand Verbiest, whom the Kangxi Emperor frequently summoned for meetings, or Karel Slaví?ek, who made the first precise map of Beijing on the emperor's order.

Middle-aged Kangxi

From 1711 to 1723, Matteo Ripa, an Italian priest sent to China by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, worked as a painter and copper-engraver at the Qing court. In 1723, he returned to Naples from China with four young Chinese Christians, in order to groom them to become priests and send them back to China as missionaries. This marked the beginning of the Collegio dei Cinesi, sanctioned by Pope Clement XII to help the propagation of Christianity in China. This Chinese Institute was the first school of Sinology in Europe, which would later develop to become the Istituto Orientale and the present day Naples Eastern University.

Kangxi Lanting tablet

The Kangxi Emperor was also the first Chinese emperor to play a western musical instrument. He employed Karel Slaví?ek as court musician. Slaví?ek was playing Spinet; later the emperor would play on it himself. He also invented a Chinese calendar.[] China's famed blue and white porcelain probably reached its zenith during the Kangxi Emperor's reign.

Christianity

Jesuit astronomers of the Jesuit China missions, with the Kangxi Emperor (Beauvais, 1690-1705)

In the early decades of the Kangxi Emperor's reign, Jesuits played a large role in the imperial court. With their knowledge of astronomy, they ran the imperial observatory. Jean-François Gerbillon and Thomas Pereira served as translators for the negotiations of the Treaty of Nerchinsk. The Kangxi Emperor was grateful to the Jesuits for their contributions, the many languages they could interpret, and the innovations they offered his military in gun manufacturing[14] and artillery, the latter of which enabled the Qing Empire to conquer the Kingdom of Tungning.[15]

The Kangxi Emperor was also fond of the Jesuits' respectful and unobtrusive manner; they spoke the Chinese language well, and wore the silk robes of the elite.[16] In 1692, when Fr. Thomas Pereira requested tolerance for Christianity, the Kangxi Emperor was willing to oblige, and issued the Edict of Toleration,[17] which recognized Catholicism, barred attacks on their churches, and legalized their missions and the practice of Christianity by the Chinese people.[18]

However, controversy arose over whether Chinese Christians could still take part in traditional Confucian ceremonies and ancestor worship, with the Jesuits arguing for tolerance and the Dominicans taking a hard-line against foreign "idolatry". The Dominican position won the support of Pope Clement XI, who in 1705 sent Charles-Thomas Maillard de Tournon as his representative to the Kangxi Emperor, to communicate the ban on Chinese rites.[14][19] On 19 March 1715, Pope Clement XI issued the papal bull Ex illa die, which officially condemned Chinese rites.[14]

In response, the Kangxi Emperor officially forbade Christian missions in China, as they were "causing trouble".[20]

Succession disputes

The Kangxi Emperor on a tour, seated prominently on the deck of a junk.

A prolonged struggle between various princes emerged during the Kangxi Emperor's reign over who should inherit the throne - the Nine Lords' War (?).

The Kangxi Emperor's first spouse, Empress Xiaochengren, gave birth to his second surviving son Yinreng, who at the age of two was named crown prince - a Han Chinese custom, to ensure stability during a time of chaos in the south. Although the Kangxi Emperor left the education of several of his sons to others, he personally oversaw the upbringing of Yinreng, grooming him to be a perfect successor. Yinreng was tutored by the mandarin Wang Shan, who remained devoted to him, and spent the later years of his life trying to persuade the Kangxi Emperor to restore Yinreng as the crown prince.

Yinreng proved to be unworthy of the succession despite his father showing favoritism towards him. He was said to have beaten and killed his subordinates, and was alleged to have had sexual relations with one of his father's concubines, which was deemed incest and a capital offence. Yinreng also purchased young children from Jiangsu to satisfy his pedophiliac pleasure. In addition, Yinreng's supporters, led by Songgotu, gradually formed a "Crown Prince Party" (), that aimed to help Yinreng get the throne as soon as possible, even if it meant using unlawful methods.

The seated Kangxi Emperor

Over the years, the Kangxi Emperor kept constant watch over Yinreng and became aware of his son's many flaws, while their relationship gradually deteriorated. In 1707, the emperor decided that he could no longer tolerate Yinreng's behavior, which he partially mentioned in the imperial edict as "never obeying ancestors' virtues, never obliged to my order, only doing inhumanity and devilry, only showing maliciousness and lust",[21] and decided to strip Yinreng of his position as crown prince. The Kangxi Emperor placed his oldest surviving son, Yinzhi, in charge of overseeing Yinreng's house arrest. Yinzhi, an unfavored Shu son, knowing he had no chance of being selected, recommended the eighth prince, Yinsi, and requested his father to order Yinreng's execution. The Kangxi Emperor was enraged and stripped Yinzhi of his titles. The emperor then commanded his subjects to cease debating the succession issue, but despite this and attempts to reduce rumours and speculation as to who the new crown prince might be, the imperial court's daily activities were disrupted. Yinzhi's actions caused the Kangxi Emperor to suspect that Yinreng might have been framed, so he restored Yinreng as crown prince in 1709, with the support of the 4th and 13th princes, and on the excuse that Yinreng had previously acted under the influence of mental illness.

A turtle-based stele with the Kangxi Emperor's inscription, erected in 1699 at the Nanjing mausoleum of the Hongwu Emperor, honouring the founder of the preceding Ming dynasty as surpassing the founders of the Tang and Song dynasties.[22]

In 1712, during the Kangxi Emperor's last inspection tour of the south, Yinreng, who was put in charge of state affairs during his father's absence, tried to vie for power again with his supporters. He allowed an attempt at forcing the Kangxi Emperor to abdicate when his father returned to Beijing. However, the emperor received news of the planned coup d'etat, and was so angry that he deposed Yinreng and placed him under house arrest again. After the incident, the emperor announced that he would not appoint any of his sons as crown prince for the remainder of his reign. He stated that he would place his Imperial Valedictory Will inside a box in the Palace of Heavenly Purity, which would only be opened after his death.

Seeing that Yinreng was completely disavowed, Yinsi and some other princes turned to support the 14th prince, Yinti, while the 13th prince supported Yinzhen. They formed the so-called "Eighth Lord Party" () and "Fourth Lord Party" ().

Death and succession

Following the deposition of the crown prince, the Kangxi Emperor implemented groundbreaking changes in the political landscape. The 13th prince, Yinxiang, was placed under house arrest as well for cooperating with Yinreng. The eighth prince Yinsi was stripped of all his titles and only had them restored years later. The 14th prince Yinti, whom many considered to be the most likely candidate to succeed the Kangxi Emperor, was sent on a military campaign during the political conflict. Yinsi, along with the ninth and tenth princes, Yintang and Yin'e, pledged their support to Yinti.

In the evening of 20 December 1722 before his death, the Kangxi Emperor called seven of his sons to assemble at his bedside. They were the third, fourth, eighth, ninth, tenth, 16th and 17th princes. After the Kangxi Emperor died, Longkodo announced that the emperor had selected the fourth prince, Yinzhen, as the new emperor. Yinzhen ascended to the throne and became known as the Yongzheng Emperor. The Kangxi Emperor was entombed at the Eastern Tombs in Zunhua, Hebei.

A legend concerning the Kangxi Emperor's will states that he chose Yinti as his heir, but Yinzhen forged the will in his own favour. It has, however, long been refuted by serious historians. Yinzhen, later the Yongzheng Emperor, has attracted many rumours, and some novel-like private books claim he did not die of illness but was assassinated by a swordswoman, Lü Siniang (), the granddaughter of Lü Liuliang, though this is never treated seriously by scholars.[23]

Personality and achievements

Kangxi Emperor
Chinese name
Chinese
Literal meaningPeace and tranquility
Mongolian name
Mongolian?
? ?
Manchu name
Manchu script ?

?
MöllendorffElhe taifin h?wangdi
Open letter from Kangxi to Pope Clement XI

The Kangxi Emperor was the great consolidator of the Qing dynasty. The transition from the Ming dynasty to the Qing was a cataclysm whose central event was the fall of the capital Beijing to the peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng, then to the Manchus in 1644, and the installation of the five-year-old Shunzhi Emperor on their throne. By 1661, when the Shunzhi Emperor died and was succeeded by the Kangxi Emperor, the Qing conquest of China proper was almost complete. Leading Manchus were already using Chinese institutions and mastering Confucian ideology, while maintaining Manchu culture among themselves. The Kangxi Emperor completed the conquest, suppressed all significant military threats and revived the central government system inherited from the Ming with important modifications.

The Kangxi Emperor was a workaholic, rising early and retiring late, reading and responding to numerous memorials every day, conferring with his councilors and giving audiences - and this was in normal times; in wartime, he might be reading memorials from the warfront until after midnight or even, as with the Dzungar conflict, away on campaign in person.[24]

The Kangxi Emperor devised a system of communication that circumvented the scholar-bureaucrats, who had a tendency to usurp the power of the emperor. This Palace Memorial System involved the transfer of secret messages between him and trusted officials in the provinces, where the messages were contained in locked boxes that only he and the official had access to. This started as a system for receiving uncensored extreme-weather reports, which the emperor regarded as divine comments on his rule. However, it soon evolved into a general-purpose secret "news channel." Out of this emerged a Grand Council, which dealt with extraordinary, especially military, events. The council was chaired by the emperor and manned by his more elevated Han Chinese and Manchu household staff. From this council, the mandarin civil servants were excluded - they were left only with routine administration.[25]

The Kangxi Emperor managed to woo the Confucian intelligentsia into co-operating with the Qing government, despite their deep reservations about Manchu rule and loyalty to the Ming. He appealed to this very sense of Confucian values, for instance, by issuing the Sacred Edict in 1670. He encouraged Confucian learning and made sure that the civil service examinations were held every three years even during times of stress. When some scholars, out of loyalty to the Ming, refused to take the exams, he hit upon the expedient of a special exam to be taken by nomination. He personally sponsored the writing of the Ming Official History, the Kangxi Dictionary, a phrase-dictionary, a vast encyclopedia and an even vaster compilation of Chinese literature. To promote his image as a "sage ruler," he appointed Manchu and Chinese tutors with whom he studied the Confucian classics and worked intensively on Chinese calligraphy.[26]

In the one military campaign in which he actively participated, against the Dzungar Mongols, the Kangxi Emperor showed himself an effective military commander. According to Finer, the emperor's own written reflections allow one to experience "how intimate and caring was his communion with the rank-and-file, how discriminating and yet masterful his relationship with his generals".[27]

As a result of the scaling down of hostilities as peace returned to China after the Manchu conquest, and also as a result of the ensuing rapid increase of population, land cultivation and therefore tax revenues based on agriculture, the Kangxi Emperor was able first to make tax remissions, then in 1712 to freeze the land tax and corvée altogether, without embarrassing the state treasury (although the dynasty eventually suffered from this fiscal policy).[28]

Family

  1. Empress Xiaochengren, of the He?eri clan ( ?; 3 February 1654 - 6 June 1674)
    1. Chenghu (; 4 January 1670 - 3 March 1672), second son
    2. Yunreng, Prince Limi of the First Rank (? ; 6 June 1674 - 27 January 1725), seventh (second) son
  2. Empress Xiaozhaoren, of the Niohuru clan ( ?; 1653 - 18 March 1678), second cousin
  3. Empress Xiaoyiren, of the Tunggiya clan ( ; d. 24 August 1689), first cousin
    ->->
    1. Eighth daughter (13 July 1683 - 6 August 1683)
    2. Miscarriage (August 1689)
  4. Empress Xiaogongren, of the Uya clan ( ; 28 April 1660 - 25 June 1723)
    ->..
    1. Yinzhen, Shizong ( ; 13 December 1678 - 8 October 1735), 11th (fourth) son
    2. Yinzuo (; 5 March 1680 - 15 June 1685), 14th (sixth) son
    3. Seventh daughter (5 July 1682 - September 1682)
    4. Princess Wenxian of the First Rank (; 10 November 1683 - August/September 1702), ninth daughter
    5. 12th daughter (14 June 1686 - February/March 1697)
    6. Yunti, Prince Xunqin of the Second Rank (? ; 10 February 1688 - 16 February 1755), 23rd (14th son)
  5. Imperial Noble Consort Quehui, of the Tunggiya clan ( ; September/October 1668 - 24 April 1743), first cousin
    ..->
  6. Imperial Noble Consort Jingmin, of the Janggiya clan ( ; d. 20 August 1699)
    1. Yinxiang, Prince Yixian of the First Rank (? ; 16 November 1686 - 18 June 1730), 22nd (13th son)
    2. Princess Wenke of the Second Rank (; 31 December 1687 - 27 July 1709), 13th daughter
    3. Princess Dunke of the Second Rank (; 3 February 1691 - 2 January 1710), 15th daughter
  7. Imperial Noble Consort Dunyi, of the G?walgiya clan ( ?; 3 December 1683 - 30 April 1768)
    ->..->
    1. 18th daughter (17 November 1701 - November 1701)
  8. Noble Consort Wenxi, of the Niohuru clan (? ?; d. 19 December 1694), second cousin
    1. Yun'e, Duke of the Second Rank ( ; 28 November 1683 - 18 October 1741), 18th (tenth) son
    2. 11th daughter (24 October 1685 - June/July 1686)
  9. Consort Hui, of the Borjigit clan ( ; d. 30 May 1670), first cousin twice removed
  10. Consort Rong, of the Magiya clan ( ; d. 26 April 1727)
    ->
    1. Chengrui (; 5 November 1667 - 10 July 1670), first son
    2. Saiyinchahun (?; 24 January 1672 - 6 March 1674), fourth son
    3. Princess Rongxian of the First Rank (; 20 June 1673 - 29 May 1728), third daughter
    4. Changhua (; 11 May 1674), sixth son
    5. Changsheng (; 10 September 1675 - 27 April 1677), eighth son
    6. Yunzhi, Prince Chengyin of the Second Rank (? ; 23 March 1677 - 10 July 1732), tenth (third) son
  11. Consort Hui, of the Yehe Nara clan ( ; d. 1 May 1732)
    ->
    1. Chengqing (; 21 March 1670 - 26 May 1671), third son
    2. Yunzhi, Prince of the Fourth Rank ( ; 12 March 1672 - 7 January 1735), fifth (first) son
  12. Consort Yi, of the Gorolo clan ( ?; d. 2 October 1733)
    ->
    1. Yunqi, Prince Hengwen of the First Rank (? ; 5 January 1680 - 10 July 1732), 13th (fifth) son
    2. Yuntang, Prince of the Fourth Rank ( ; 17 October 1683 - 22 September 1726), 17th (ninth) son
    3. Yinzi (; 8 June 1685 - 22 August 1696), 20th (11th) son
  13. Consort Ping, of the He?eri clan ( ?; d. 18 July 1696)
    1. Yinji (; 23 February 1691 - 30 March 1691), 24th son
  14. Consort Liang, of the Wei clan ( ; d. 29 December 1711)
    ->
    1. Yunsi, Prince Lian of the First Rank ( ; 29 March 1681 - 5 October 1726), 16th (eighth) son
  15. Consort Cheng, of the Daigiya clan ( ; d. 18 December 1740)
    1. Yunyou, Prince Chundu of the First Rank (? ; 19 August 1680 - 18 May 1730), 15th (seventh) son
  16. Consort Xuan, of the Borjigit clan ( ; d. 12 September 1736), third cousin
  17. Consort Ding, of the Wanlioha clan ( ?; January/February 1661 - 24 May 1757)
    ..
    1. Yuntao, Prince Lüyi of the First Rank (? ; 18 January 1686 - 1 September 1763), 21st (12th son)
  18. Consort Shunyimi, of the Wang clan (? ; d. 19 November 1744)
    ..->?
    1. Yunxu, Prince Yuke of the Second Rank (? ; 24 December 1693 - 8 March 1731), 25th (15th) son
    2. Yunlu, Prince Zhuangke of the First Rank (? ; 28 July 1695 - 20 March 1767), 26th (16th) son
    3. Yinxie (; 15 May 1701 - 17 October 1708), 28th (18th) son
  19. Consort Chunyuqin, of the Chen clan (? ; d. 12 January 1754)
    ..->?
    1. Yunli, Prince Guoyi of the First Rank (? ; 24 March 1697 - 21 March 1738), 27th (17th) son
  20. Concubine An, of the Li clan ( )
  21. Concubine Jing, of the Wanggiya clan ( )
  22. Concubine Duan, of the Dong clan ( ; d. 1702)
    1. Second daughter (17 April 1671 - March/April 1673)
  23. Concubine Xi, of the He?eri clan ( ?; d. 31 October 1702)
  24. Concubine Tong, of the Nara clan ( ; d. 1 August 1744)
    ..
    1. Princess Chunque of the First Rank (; 20 March 1685 - 22 April 1710), tenth daughter
  25. Concubine Xiang, of the Gao clan ( ; d. 14 August 1746)
    ..
    1. Yinji (; 25 October 1702 - 28 March 1704), 29th (19th) son
    2. 19th daughter (30 March 1703 - February/March 1705)
    3. Yunyi, Prince Jianjing of the Third Rank (? ; 1 September 1706 - 30 June 1755), 30th (20th) son
  26. Concubine Xi, of the Chen clan ( ; April/May 1690 - 1 February 1737)
    ..
    1. Yunxi, Prince Shenjing of the Second Rank (? ; 27 February 1711 - 26 June 1758), 31st (21st) son
  27. Concubine Jin, of the Sehetu clan ( ?; d. 23 April 1739)
    ..
    1. Yunhu, Prince Gongqin of the Third Rank (? ; 10 January 1712 - 12 February 1744), 32nd (22nd) son
  28. Concubine Jing, of the Shi clan ( ; 13 December 1689 - 10 July 1758)
    ..
    1. Yunqi, Prince Cheng of the Third Rank ( ; 14 January 1714 - 31 August 1785), 33rd (23rd) son
  29. Concubine Mu, of the Chen clan ( ; d. 1727)
    1. Yunmi, Prince Xianke of the First Rank (? ; 5 July 1716 - 3 December 1773), 34th (24th) son
  30. Noble Lady Bu, of the Joogiya clan ( ; d. 21 February 1717)
    1. Princess Duanjing of the Second Rank (; 9 June 1674 - March/April 1710), fifth daughter
  31. Noble Lady, of the Nara clan ( )
    1. Wanfu (; 4 December 1675 - 11 March 1679), ninth son
    2. Yinzan (; 10 April 1679 - 30 April 1680), 12th son
  32. Noble Lady, of the Gorolo clan ( ?)
    1. Princess Kejing of the First Rank (; 4 July 1679 - March/April 1735), sixth daughter
    2. Yinju (; 13 September 1683 - 17 July 1684), 19th son
  33. Noble Lady, of the Yuan clan ( ; d. 25 September 1719)
    1. Princess Quejing of the Second Rank (; 16 January 1690 - 1736), 14th daughter
  34. Noble Lady, of the Chen clan ( )
    1. Yinyuan (; 2 March 1718), 35th son
  35. Lady, of the Zhang clan ( )
    1. First daughter (23 December 1668 - November 1671)
    2. Fourth daughter (16 March 1674 - January/February 1679)
  36. Lady, of the Wang clan ( )
    1. 16th daughter (27 November 1695 - October/November 1707)
  37. Lady, of the Liu clan ( )
    1. 17th daughter (12 January 1699 - December 1700 or January 1701)
  38. Lady, of the Niohuru clan ( ?)
    1. 20th daughter (20 November 1708 - January/February 1709)

Popular culture

Fiction

  • Kangxi Dadi (?; The Great Kangxi Emperor), a historical novel by Er Yuehe which romanticises the Kangxi Emperor's life.
  • The Deer and the Cauldron (), a wuxia novel by Louis Cha. In the story, by coincidence, the Kangxi Emperor and the protagonist, Wei Xiaobao, become close friends in their childhood. Wei helps the emperor consolidate his rule over the Qing Empire and plays an important role in affecting how significant historical events during the Kangxi era unfold.
  • Qijian Xia Tianshan (; Seven Swords Descend from Mount Heaven), a wuxia novel by Liang Yusheng. In the story, the Kangxi Emperor discovers that his father, the Shunzhi Emperor, has become a monk in a monastery on Mount Wutai. He orders a close aide to kill his father in order to consolidate power, and attempts to erase evidence of the murder later.

Film and television

The Kangxi Emperor in film and television
Year Region Title Type Kangxi Emperor actor Notes
1984 Hong Kong The Deer and the Cauldron Television Andy Lau A Hong Kong television series adapted from The Deer and the Cauldron
1995 Hong Kong The Ching Emperor(?) Television Julian Cheung TVB series
1998 Hong Kong The Deer and the Cauldron Television Steven Ma Hong Kong television series adapted from The Deer and the Cauldron
2001 Mainland China Kangxi Dynasty Television Chen Daoming Adapted from Er Yuehe's novel The Great Kangxi Emperor
2006 Mainland China Secret History of Kangxi (?) Television Xia Yu The fourth instalment in a four-part Chinese television series about the early history of the Qing dynasty
1998-2007 Mainland China Records of Kangxi's Travel Incognito Television Zhang Guoli A five-season Chinese television series about the Kangxi Emperor's inspection tours to southern China. During some of his tours, the emperor disguised himself as a commoner to conceal his identity so that he can blend into society and understand commoners' daily lives better.
2008 Mainland China The Deer and the Cauldron Television Wallace Chung Chinese television series adapted from The Deer and the Cauldron
2011 Mainland China Palace Television Kent Tong Chinese television series set in the Kangxi era of the Qing dynasty. A woman from the 21st century accidentally travels back in time to the 18th century.
Hong Kong The Life and Times of a Sentinel Television Power Chan Hong Kong television series about Fuquan attempting to overthrow the Kangxi Emperor
Mainland China Scarlet Heart Television Damian Lau Chinese television series set in the Kangxi era of the Qing dynasty. A woman from the 21st century accidentally travels back in time to the 18th century.
2013 Mainland China The Palace Film Winston Chao
2014 Mainland China The Deer and the Cauldron Television Wei Qianxiang Chinese television series adapted from The Deer and the Cauldron
2014 Hong Kong Gilded Chopsticks Television Elliot Ngok Hong Kong television series about a chef who befriends Yinzhen (the future Yongzheng Emperor) and aids him in the power struggle for the succession.
2016 Mainland China Chronicle of Life Television Hawick Lau Chinese television series about a romance between the Kangxi Emperor and his childhood love.
2017 Mainland China Legend of Dragon Pearl Television Qin Junjie Chinese television series about Kangxi at the beginning of his reign.

Video games

See also

Notes

  1. ^ He can be viewed as the fourth emperor of the dynasty, depending on whether the dynasty's founder, Nurhaci, who used the title of Khan but was posthumously given imperial title, is to be treated as an emperor or not.
  2. ^ Note that Xuanye was born in May 1654, and was therefore less than seven years old at the time. Both Spence 2002 and Oxnam 1975 (p. 1) nonetheless claim that he was "seven years old." Dennerline 2002 (p. 119) and Rawski 1998 (p. 99) indicate that he was "not yet seven years old." Following East Asian age reckoning, Chinese documents concerning the succession say that Xuanye was eight sui (Oxnam 1975, p. 62).

References

  1. ^ "Emperor Kangxi - The Emperor Who Reigned for the Longest Period in Chinese History". Cultural China. Archived from the original on 21 March 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ Magill, editor, Larissa Juliet Taylor ; editor, first edition, Frank N. (2006). Great lives from history. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press. ISBN 978-1-58765-222-6.
  3. ^ Rowe (2009), p. 63.
  4. ^ Giles 1912, p. 40.
  5. ^ a b Peterson, Bennet. Notable Women of China. p. 328.
  6. ^ Manthorpe 2008, p. 108.
  7. ^ Bergman, Karl (2009), "Tainan Grand Matsu Temple", Tainan City Guide, Tainan: Word Press.
  8. ^ "Tainan Grand Matsu Temple", Chinatownology, 2015.
  9. ^ SarDesai, D. R. (1988). Vietnam, Trials and Tribulations of a Nation, p. 38.
  10. ^ Gorelova 2002, p. 36.
  11. ^ Cordier & Pelliot 1922, p. 33.
  12. ^ (21 August 2015). . . pp. -. GGKEY:ZFQWEX019E4.
  13. ^ H.S. Brunnert; V.V. Hagelstrom (15 April 2013). Present Day Political Organization of China. Routledge. pp. 493-494. ISBN 978-1-135-79795-9.
  14. ^ a b c Mantienne, p. 180
  15. '^ Les Missions Etrangeres, p. 83
  16. ^ Manteigne, p. 178
  17. ^ "In the Light and Shadow of an Emperor: Tomás Pereira, S.J. (1645-1708), the Kangxi Emperor and the Jesuit Mission in China", An International Symposium in Commemoration of the 3rd Centenary of the death of Tomás Pereira, S.J., Lisbon, Portugal and Macau, China, 2008, archived from the original on 2009-08-22
  18. ^ Neill, S. (1964). A History of Christian Missions, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, pp. 189-l90.
  19. ^ Aldridge, Alfred Owen, Masayuki Akiyama, Yiu-Nam Leung. Crosscurrents in the Literatures of Asia and the West, p. 54 [1]
  20. ^ Li, Dan J., trans. (1969). China in Transition, 1517-1911, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, p. 22
  21. ^ original words:?,?,,?
  22. ^ "?" Archived 18 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (Solving the two great riddles of the Ming Xiaoling's stone tablets). People's Daily, 13 June 2003. Quote regarding the Kangxi Emperor's stele text and its meaning: "? ... "?"()"
  23. ^ Archived 21 February 2014 at Archive.is
  24. ^ Finer (1997), pp. 1134-5
  25. ^ Spence, The Search for Modern China (2013), pp. 67-68
  26. ^ Spence, The Search for Modern China (2013), pp. 56-58.
  27. ^ Finer (1997), p. 1142.
  28. ^ Finer (1997), pp. 1156-7.

Bibliography and further reading

External links

Kangxi Emperor
Born: 4 May 1654 Died: 20 December 1722
Regnal titles
Preceded by
The Shunzhi Emperor
Emperor of China
1661-1722
Succeeded by
The Yongzheng Emperor

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Kangxi_Emperor
 



 

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