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Encyclopedia > Emperor of China

The Emperor of China (Chinese: 皇帝; pinyin: Huángdì) refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning since the founding of the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC until the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. When referred to as the Son of Heaven (天子), a title created in the late Shang dynasty, the Emperor was recognized as the ruler of "All under heaven" (i.e., the world). In practice though not every Emperor was the holder of the highest power of his land, though this was largely the case. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Location of the Emperor of China volcano. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... For other uses, see Monarch (disambiguation). ... Qin Dynasty in 210 BC Capital Xianyang Language(s) Chinese Government Monarchy History  - Unification of China 221 BC  - Death of Qin Shi Huangdi 210 BC  - Surrender to Liu Bang 206 BC The Qin Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded by the... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ...


Most of China's imperial rulers have commonly been considered members of the Han ethnicity, although recent scholarship tends to be careful about the dangers of applying current ethnic categories to historical situations.uring the Yuan and Qing dynasties China was ruled by ethnic Mongolians and Manchurians respectively. A prominent historical view over the years sees these dynasties as non-native dynasties that were sinicized over time, while more recent writers argue that the interaction between politics and ethnicity was far more complex.[1] Language(s) Chinese languages Religion(s) Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ... Capital Dadu Language(s) Mongolian Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1260-1294 Kublai Khan  - 1333-1370 (Cont. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... Sinicization, or less commonly Sinification, is to make things Chinese. ...

Contents

Origin and history

The pre-Qin monarchs were called Wang (王), roughly translated as King. In 221 BC, after the then King of Qin completed the conquest of the various kingdoms of the Warring States, he adopted a new title to reflect his prestige as a ruler greater than the kings before him. He created the new title Huangdi or "Emperor", and styled himself Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor. Before this, the words Huang (皇), original pre-Qin meanings and simply meant emperor. // The King, or Wang (Chinese: 王 or 國王; wáng), was the title of the Chinese head of state until the Qin dynasty. ... The monarch known now as Qin Shi Huang (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Shih-huang) (259 BCE – September 10, 210 BCE),[1] personal name Yíng Zhèng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE (officially still under the Zhou Dynasty), and... Alternative meaning: Warring States Period (Japan) The Warring States Period (traditional Chinese: 戰國時代, simplified Chinese: 战国时代 pinyin Zhànguó Shídài) takes place from sometime in the 5th century BC to the unification of China by Qin in 221 BC. It is nominally considered to be the second part of the Eastern... An emperorrefers to Nick Herringshaw, a title, empress may only indicate the wife of an emperor (empress consort. ...


Chinese political theory does not outright discourage or prevent the rule of non-royals or foreigners under the title of the "Emperor of China". Historically, China has been divided numerous times into smaller kingdoms under separate rulers or warlords. The Emperor in most cases was the ruler of a united China, or must at least claim legitimate rule over all of China if they do not have de facto control. There have been a number of instances where there has been more than one "Emperor of All China" simultaneously in Chinese history. For example, various Ming Dynasty princes continued to claim the title after the founding of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and Wu Sangui claimed the title during the Kangxi Emperor's reign. In dynasties founded by foreign conquering tribes who eventually found themselves immersed into Chinese culture, politics, and society, the rulers would also take on the title of Emperor of China in addition to whatever titles they may have had from their original homeland. The most prominent example is Kublai Khan, who was both Great Khan of the Mongols and the Emperor of China. A warlord is a person with power who has de facto military control of a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... Wu Sangui (Chinese: 吳三桂; pinyin: Wú Sānguì; WG: Wu San-kuei) (1612 - October 2, 1678) was a Ming Chinese general who opened the gates of the Great Wall of China at Shanhai Pass to let Manchu soldiers into China proper. ... For other uses, see Kangxi (disambiguation) The Kangxi Emperor (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kang-hsi; May 4, 1654 – December 20, 1722) was an Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty,[1] and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722. ... For other uses, see Kublai Khan (disambiguation). ...


Position and power

Since the Qin Dynasty, the Emperor of China was formally called the Son of Heaven (天子), and as the descendant and representative of Heaven on Earth, he legally had absolute power over all matters, big or small, under Heaven (天下). His mandate to rule is thought to be divine and predestined. In contrast to modern international relationships, the Emperor of China was seen in East Asia not merely as the head of one nation-state among many, but rather as the overlord of the entire civilized world, meaning there could only be one legitimate emperor in the world at any given time. East Asia Geographic East Asia. ...


The emperor's words and directives were considered sacred edicts (聖旨), and his directions from writing are considered "directives from above" (上谕). In theory, the emperor's orders were to be followed with immediate obedience. He was elevated above all commoners, nobility, and members of the imperial family. Addresses to the emperor were always to be formal and self-deprecatory, even by the closest of family members.


In practice, however, the power of the emperor varied between different emperors and different Chinese dynasties. Generally, in the Chinese dynastic cycle, Emperors founding a dynasty usually consolidated the empire through absolute rule, as evidenced in Emperors Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty, Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, Kublai Khan of the Yuan Dynasty, and Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. These emperors ruled as absolute monarchs throughout their reign, maintaining a centralized grip on the country. During the Song Dynasty, the Emperor's power was significantly overshadowed by the power of the chancellor. China is the worlds oldest continuous major civilization, with written records dating back about 3,500 years and with 5,000 years being commonly used by Chinese as the age of their civilization. ... According to Chinese political theory, every dynasty goes through a dynastic cycle: A new ruler unites China and founds a new dynasty. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An autocracy is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single self appointed ruler. ... Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) (November or December 260 BC - September 10, 210 BC), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BC to 221 BC, and then the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC, ruling under the name First... Qin Dynasty in 210 BC Capital Xianyang Language(s) Chinese Government Monarchy History  - Unification of China 221 BC  - Death of Qin Shi Huangdi 210 BC  - Surrender to Liu Bang 206 BC The Qin Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded by the... Emperor Taizong of Tang China (January 23, 599–July 10, 649), born Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China from 626 to 649. ... For the band, see Tang Dynasty (band). ... For other uses, see Kublai Khan (disambiguation). ... Capital Dadu Language(s) Mongolian Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1260-1294 Kublai Khan  - 1333-1370 (Cont. ... This article needs cleanup, so as to conform to a higher standard. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... Absolute monarchy is an idealized form of government, a monarchy where the ruler has the power to rule his or her country and citizens freely with no laws or legally-organized direct opposition telling him or her what to do, although some religious authority may be able to discourage the... Chancellor of China 丞相 (Cheng Xiang) or 宰相 (Zai Xiang), was the highest rank in the imperial government in former China after the emperor (685 BC-6 BC, 189-1380). ...


The Emperor's position, unless deposed in a rebellion, is always hereditary usually by agnatic primogeniture. As a result, there are many cases where a child Emperor ascends the throne when his father dies. When this occurs, the Empress Dowager, or the Emperor's mother, is in a position of significant power. In fact, the vast majority of female rulers during the entirety of Chinese Imperial history has come to power through ruling as regents on behalf of their sons; prominent examples include the Empress Lu of the Han Dynasty,a as well as Empress Dowager Cixi and Empress Dowager Ci'an of the Qing Dynasty, who for a time ruled jointly as co-regents. If the Empress Dowager is unable to, or is too weak to assume power, court officials usually seize control. The presence of eunuchs in the court is also important in the power structure, as the Emperor usually relied on a few eunuchs as confidants, and they had access to many court documents; there are cases where eunuchs wielded absolute power, most prominent was the rule of eunuch Wei Zhongxian during the Ming Dynasty. The only other scenario is when the nobility or other family members assume power as regents. In addition, the effective area ruled by the Emperor of China varied from dynasty to dynasty. In some cases, such as during the Southern Song dynasty, political power in East Asia was effectively split among several governments, however the political fiction that the head of one of these states was the legitimate emperor to which the other states owed allegiance was maintained. Primogeniture is inheritance by the first-born of the entirety of a parents wealth, estate or office, or in the absence of children, by collateral relatives in order of seniority of the collateral line. ... Empress Dowager (Chinese: 皇太后; Chinese Pinyin: , Korean pronunciation: Hwang Tae Hu, Japanese pronunciation: Kōtaigō, Vietnamese pronunciation: Hoàng Thái Hậu) was the title given to the mother of a Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese emperor. ... For the insecticide Regent, see Regent (insecticide) A regent is an acting governor. ... Empress Dowager Lü (呂太后, pinyin: Lü Taihou) (d. ... Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... Empress Dowager Cixi (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Tzu-Hsi Tai-hou) (November 29, 1835 – November 15, 1908), popularly known in China as the West Empress Dowager (Chinese: 西太后), was from the Manchu Yehe Nara Clan. ... The Empress Dowager Cian (Chinese: 慈安皇太后) 1837 - April 8, 1881, popularly known in China as the East Empress Dowager (Chinese: 东太后), before she was widowed known as Empress Zhen (Chinese: 贞皇后), and officially known posthumously as the Xiaozhen Empress (Chinese: 孝贞显皇后), was the second Empress Consort of the Xian Feng Emperor (b. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... European illustration of a Eunuch (1749) Chief Eunuch of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II at the Imperial Palace, 1912. ... Wei Zhongxian (魏忠賢) (1568-October 19, 1627) is considered by most historians as the most powerful and notorious eunuch in Chinese history. ... For other uses, see Ming. ... Regent, from the Latin, a person selected to administer a state because the ruler is a minor or is not present or debilitated. ... Alternative meaning: Song Dynasty (420-479) The Song dynasty (Chinese: 宋朝) was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279. ...


Heredity and succession

The title of emperor was hereditary, traditionally passed on from father to son in each dynasty. There are also instances where the throne is passed onto a younger brother, should the deceased Emperor have no male offspring. By convention in most dynasties, the eldest son born to the Empress (嫡長子) succeeded the throne. In some cases when the empress did not bear any children, she adopted a son as her own (all children of the emperor were said to also be the children of the empress, regardless of birth mother). In some dynasties the succession of the empress' eldest son was disputed, and because many emperors had large numbers of progeny, often led to wars of succession between rival sons. In attempts to resolve disputes after death, the emperor often designated a Crown Prince (太子) in early times. Even such a clear designation, however, caused problems within the imperial family involving jealousy and distrust, whether it was the crown prince plotting against the emperor, or brothers plotting against each other, and did not actually ensure a peaceful succession. Some emperors, like the Yongzheng Emperor, after abolishing the position of Crown Prince, placed the succession papers in a sealed box, only to be opened and announced after his death. Subcategories There are 6 subcategories to this category. ... A Crown Prince or Crown Princess is the heir or heiress apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. ... The Yongzheng Emperor (born Yinzhen 胤禛 December 13, 1678 - October 8, 1735) was the fourth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, and the third Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1722 to 1735. ...


Unlike, for example, the Japanese monarchy, Chinese political theory allowed for a change of dynasty as ruling houses could be replaced. This was based on the concept of the Confucian "Mandate of Heaven". The theory behind this was that the Chinese emperor acted as the "Son of Heaven." As the only legitimate ruler, his authority extended to "all under heaven" and had neighbors only in a geographical sense. He held a mandate to which he had a valid claim to rule over everyone else in the world--as long as he served the people well. If the ruler became immoral, or other natural disasters such as repeated flood or famine showed that the mandate of heaven may have expired, then rebellion was justified and heaven would take away that mandate and give it to another. This important concept legitimized the dynastic cycle or the change of dynasties.


This principle, together with the examination system, made it possible for even peasants to found a new dynasty, such as Han and Ming, or conquest dynasties such as the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty and Manchu-led Qing Dynasty. It was moral integrity and benevolent leadership that determined the holder of the "Mandate of Heaven." Every dynasty self-consciously adopted this administrative practice, which powerfully reinforced this Sinocentric concept throughout the history of imperial China. Historians noted that this was one of the key reasons why imperial China in many ways had the most efficient system of government in ancient times. Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... For other uses, see Ming. ... Capital Dadu Language(s) Mongolian Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1260-1294 Kublai Khan  - 1333-1370 (Cont. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ...


In the history of China there had only been one lawful reigning empress, Empress Wu of the Tang dynasty. Many females, however, did become de facto leaders, usually as Empress Dowager. Prominent examples include Empress Dowager Cixi, mother of the Tongzhi Emperor (1861-1874), and aunt and adoptive mother of the Guangxu Emperor (1874-1908), who ruled China for 47 years (1861-1908), and the Empress Dowager Lü of the Han Dynasty. Wu Zetian (武則天) (625 - December 16, 705), personal name Wu Zhao (武曌), was the only female emperor in the history of China, founding her own dynasty, the Zhou (周), and ruling under the name Emperor Shengshen (聖神皇帝) from 690 to 705. ... For the band, see Tang Dynasty (band). ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Empress Dowager (Chinese: 皇太后; Chinese Pinyin: , Korean pronunciation: Hwang Tae Hu, Japanese pronunciation: Kōtaigō, Vietnamese pronunciation: Hoàng Thái Hậu) was the title given to the mother of a Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese emperor. ... Empress Dowager Cixi (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Tzu-Hsi Tai-hou) (November 29, 1835 – November 15, 1908), popularly known in China as the West Empress Dowager (Chinese: 西太后), was from the Manchu Yehe Nara Clan. ... The Tong Zhi Emperor, born Zai Chun (April 27, 1856–January 12, 1875) was the tenth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, and the eighth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1861 to 1875. ... The Guangxu Emperor (August 14, 1871–November 14, 1908), born Zaitian (載湉), was the tenth emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China. ... Empress Dowager Lü (呂太后, pinyin: Lü Taihou) or Empress Gao (高皇后, pinyin: Gao Huanghou) (d. ...


Styles, names and forms of address

To see naming conventions in detail, please refer to Chinese sovereign Chinese sovereign is the ruler of a particular period in ancient China. ...


As the emperor had, by law, a high position challenged by no one else, his subjects were to show the utmost respect in his presence, whether in direct conversation or otherwise. In a conversation with the emperor, it was considered a crime to compare oneself to the emperor in any way. It was taboo to refer to the emperor by his given name, even if it came from his own mother, who instead was to use Huangdi (Emperor), or simply Er ("son"). The emperor was never to be addressed as you. The emperor referred to himself as Zhen (朕), the royal "We", in front of his subjects, a practice reserved solely for the emperor. Anyone who spoke to the emperor was to address him as Bixia (陛下), corresponding to "Your Imperial Majesty", Huang Shang (皇上, lit. Emperor Above or Emperor Highness), tian zi (天子, lit. the son of heaven ), or Sheng Shang (聖上, lit. the Divine Above or the Holy Highness). Servants often addressed the emperor as Wan Sui Ye (萬歲爺, lit. Lord of Ten Thousand Years). This article is about cultural prohibitions in general, for other uses, see Taboo (disambiguation). ... Pluralis majestatis (majestic plural) is the plural pronoun where it is used to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch, bishop, pope, or university rector. ...


Contrary to the Western convention of referring to a sovereign using a reign name (e.g. George V) or by a personal name (e.g. Queen Victoria), a governing emperor was to be referred to as simply Huangdi Bixia (皇帝陛下, His Majesty the Emperor) or Dangjin Huangshang (當今皇上, The Imperial Highness of the Present Time) when spoken about in the third person. He was usually styled His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great [X] Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years. His styles varied considerably during the Yuan and Qing Dynasties. Capital Dadu Language(s) Mongolian Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1260-1294 Kublai Khan  - 1333-1370 (Cont. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ...


An emperor also ruled with an era name (年號). Up until the Ming Dynasty, the sovereign conventionally changed the era name on a semi-regular basis during his reign. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, emperors simply chose one era name for their entire reign, and people often referred to past emperors with that title. In earlier dynasties, the emperors were known with a temple name (廟號) given after their death. All emperors were also given a posthumous name (謚號), which was sometimes combined with the temple name (e.g. Emperor Shengzuren 聖祖仁皇帝 for Kangxi) or Daxing Huangdi (大行皇帝) to refer to an emperor that had just died. The passing of an emperor was referred to as jiabeng (駕崩, lit. "collapse"). A Chinese era name (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is the era name, reign period, or regnal title used when traditionally numbering years in an emperors reign and naming certain Chinese rulers (see the conventions). ... For other uses, see Ming. ... Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Mongolian name Mongolian: Номын Нэр Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Temple names are commonly used when naming most Chinese, Korean (Goryeo and Joseon periods), and Vietnamese (such dynasties as Ly, Tran, and Le) royalty. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: A posthumous name (諡號) is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in some cultures after the persons death. ... This article needs cleanup, so as to conform to a higher standard. ...


Family

The imperial family was made up of the emperor as the head and the empress (皇后) as the primary consort and Mother of the Nation (國母). In addition, the emperor had a series of other consorts and concubines (妃嬪) divided in a system of ranks who made up the harem, of which the empress was the leader. Every dynasty had its set of rules regarding the numerical make up of the harem. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), for example, imperial convention dictated that at any given time there should be one Empress, one Huang Guifei, two Guifei, four fei and six pin, in addition to an unlimited number of other consorts and concubines. Although the emperor had the highest status by law, by tradition and precedent the mother of the emperor, i.e., the Empress Dowager (皇太后), usually received the greatest respect in the palace and was the decision maker in most family affairs, and at times, especially when a young emperor was on the throne, became the de facto ruler. The emperor's children, the princes (王子) and princesses (公主), were often referred to by their order of birth, e.g., Eldest Prince, Third Princess, etc. The princes were often given titles of peerage once they reached adulthood. The emperor's brothers and uncles served in court by law, with the status of any other court official (子), and the emperor was always elevated above them despite any chronological or generational superiority. Subcategories There are 6 subcategories to this category. ... A swampy marsh area ... In traditional Arab culture, the harîm حريم (cf. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Chinese emperors
This article contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links Zhongwen. ... The UTF-8-encoded Japanese Wikipedia article for mojibake, as displayed in ISO-8859-1 encoding. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: A Chinese character or Han character (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a logogram used in writing Chinese, Japanese, sometimes Korean, and formerly Vietnamese. ... The following table of Chinese monarchs is in no way inclusive. ... Chinese sovereign is the ruler of a particular period in ancient China. ... Mandate of Heaven (天命 PÄ«nyÄ«n: Tiānmìng) was a traditional Chinese sovereignty concept of legitimacy used to support the rule of the kings of the Zhou Dynasty and later the Emperors of China. ... The king or wang (王 wang2) was the Chinese head of state from the Zhou to Qin dynasties. ... For the CPR ocean liner, see Empress of Japan. ...

References

  1. ^ Sinicization vs. Manchuness: The Success of Manchu Rule

  Results from FactBites:
 
Emperor of China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1247 words)
The emperor or huángdì (皇帝) of China was the head of government and head of state of China from the Qin dynasty in 221 BC until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911.
Wanli Emperor of the Ming, Guangxu Emperor of the Qing).
The Emperor's family, termed the Imperial Family, is made up of the Emperor as the head, the Empress (皇后) as the primary consort, leader of the harem, and Mother of the Nation (國母).
Shunzhi Emperor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (895 words)
The Shunzhi Emperor (March 15, 1638–February 5, 1661?) was the second emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, and the first Qing emperor to rule over China proper from 1644 to 1661.
Therefore, although the Shunzhi emperor was not the founder of the Qing dynasty, he was the first Qing emperor of China.
The young emperor disliked his uncle, the chief regent Prince Dorgon, and after Dorgon's death in 1650 the emperor stripped both him and Dorgon's brother, Dodo, of their titles, although he was only 12 years old at the time.
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