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Jiaqing Emperor

Jiaqing Emperor

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The Jiaqing Emperor was the seventh emperor
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

 of the Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

-led Qing dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, and the fifth Qing emperor to rule over China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, from 1796 to 1820.

He was the son of the Qianlong Emperor
Qianlong Emperor
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796...

. During his reign, he prosecuted Heshen
Heshen
Heshen or Hešen , from the Manchu Niohuru clan, was a Manchu official of the Qing Dynasty, a favourite of the Qianlong Emperor. Born Shanbao , his given name was later changed to Heshen. His courtesy name was Zhizhai . He was a member of the Plain Red Banner, as well as one of the most corrupt...

 (和珅) (the corrupt favourite of Qianlong) and attempted to restore the state and curb the smuggling of opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 inside China.

Early years


He was born at the Old Summer Palace
Old Summer Palace
The Old Summer Palace, known in China as Yuan Ming Yuan , and originally called the Imperial Gardens, was a complex of palaces and gardens in Beijing...

 (圆明园/圓明園), 8 km (5 mi) northwest of the walls of Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, and was given the name Yongyan (永琰), changed into Yongyan (顒琰) when he became emperor: the first character of his private name was changed from 永 to 顒, both pronounced Yong, as the former is used commonly. This novelty was introduced by his father the Qianlong Emperor who thought it not proper to use a common character in the emperor's private name due to the long-standing practice of naming taboo
Naming taboo
Naming taboo is a cultural taboo against speaking or writing the given names of exalted persons in China and neighboring nations in the ancient Chinese cultural sphere.-Kinds of naming taboo:...

.

He was the fifteenth son of the Qianlong Emperor. His mother was a Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 concubine of the second rank Ling (令贵妃/令貴妃), who became a favorite of Qianlong. She was posthumously made Empress Xiaoyichun (孝仪纯皇后/孝儀純皇后) when her son became emperor. She was the daughter of Wei Qingtai (魏清泰), an official in the Qing administration whose Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 family had long been integrated in the Manchu elites. In 1818 Emperor Jiaqing made his mother's family officially Manchu, and changed their Chinese family name Wei into the Manchu clan name Weigiya.

After the first two original choices for heir to the throne succumbed early to disease, in December 1773 Yongyan was secretly chosen by Qianlong to be the next emperor. In 1789 he was made Prince of the 1st rank Jia (嘉亲王/嘉親王).

At the end of his reign, Qianlong worked closely with a Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

 government minister called Heshen
Heshen
Heshen or Hešen , from the Manchu Niohuru clan, was a Manchu official of the Qing Dynasty, a favourite of the Qianlong Emperor. Born Shanbao , his given name was later changed to Heshen. His courtesy name was Zhizhai . He was a member of the Plain Red Banner, as well as one of the most corrupt...

. Prince Jia hated the notoriously corrupt Heshen for his abuse of power, and vowed to punish the minister once he became emperor.

Accession to the throne



In October 1795, in the 60th year of his reign, Emperor Qianlong announced his intention to abdicate in favor of Prince Jia: he did not think it proper to rule longer than his grandfather, the late Kangxi Emperor
Kangxi Emperor
The Kangxi Emperor ; Manchu: elhe taifin hūwangdi ; Mongolian: Энх-Амгалан хаан, 4 May 1654 –20 December 1722) was the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Pass and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722.Kangxi's...

. Prince Jia acceded to the throne and proclaimed the era name
Chinese era name
A Chinese era name is the regnal year, reign period, or regnal title used when traditionally numbering years in an emperor's reign and naming certain Chinese rulers . Some emperors have several era names, one after another, where each beginning of a new era resets the numbering of the year back...

 of Jiaqing in February 1796. For the next three years however, Jiaqing ruled as Emperor in name only. Decisions were made by his father, the Retired Emperor
Taishang Huang
Retired Emperor, Grand Emperor, or Emperor Emeritus is a title occasionally used throughout East Asian feudal regimes for former emperors who had abdicated voluntarily to their sons. This title appeared in the history of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam...

 Qianlong.

With the death of Qianlong at the beginning of February 1799, Jiaqing took control of the government and prosecuted Heshen. Heshen was charged with corruption and abuse of power. He was stripped of his titles and properties, and ordered to commit suicide. Heshen's daughter-in-law, Princess He Xiao, a sister of the new emperor, was spared from punishment and given a few properties from Heshen's estates.

At the time the empire faced internal disorder, most importantly the large-scale White Lotus
White Lotus Rebellion
The White Lotus Rebellion was a rebellion that occurred during the Qing Dynasty of China. It broke out in 1796 among impoverished settlers in the mountainous region that separates Sichuan province from Hubei and Shaanxi provinces...

 (1796–1804) and Miao Rebellions (1795–1806), as well as an empty treasury. Emperor Jiaqing 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
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 from the country as payment for the opium smuggled into China from British India, the economy declined.

Court intrigues and incidents


Members of the Qing royal family (relatives of Jiaqing) 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 exiled.

Opposition to Christianity


The Great Qing Code includes one statute titled "Prohibitions Concerning Sorcerers and Sorceresses" (禁止師巫邪術). 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
Daoguang Emperor
The Daoguang Emperor was the eighth emperor of the Manchurian Qing dynasty and the sixth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1820 to 1850.-Early years:...

, and abrogated in 1870 under the Tongzhi Emperor
Tongzhi Emperor
The Tongzhi Emperor , born Aisin-Gioro Dzai Šun, was the tenth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the eighth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1861 to 1875. His reign, which effectively lasted through his adolescence, was largely overshadowed by the rule of his mother, the Empress...

. It sentenced Europeans to death for spreading Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 among Chinese and Manchus. Christians who would not repent their conversion were sent to Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 cities in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

, to be given as slaves to Muslim leaders and bey
Baig
- History & Origins:The name Baig originates from a Turkic clan called Barlas . They played a pivotal role in Turko-Persian empires in Central Asia, Middle East and South Asia....

s.

Empresses


Per Imperial Regulations, there was only one Empress at any given time. However, that did not prevent others from being elevated to that position after the death of an existing Empress. During Jiaqing's reign, there were two Empresses, each serving in different periods of time:
  • Lady Hitara of the Hitara (Manchu) clan, who became Empress when Emperor Jiaqing ascended the throne in 1796. She was the mother of Emperor Daoguang (2nd son of Emperor Jiaqing) She is known posthumously as Empress Xiaoshurui (孝淑睿皇后).
  • Empress Xiaoherui, of the Niohuru
    Niohuru
    The Niohuru or Niuhuru Clan were a powerful Manchu clan belonging to the Plain Red Banner during the Qing dynasty in China...

     clan (孝和睿皇后) (1776–1849), elevated after the existing Empress died in 1798.

Imperial Noble Consorts


Per Imperial Regulations, only two Imperial Noble Consorts are allowed at any given time.
  • The Imperial Noble Consort Gong Shun, of the Niohuru
    Niohuru
    The Niohuru or Niuhuru Clan were a powerful Manchu clan belonging to the Plain Red Banner during the Qing dynasty in China...

     clan (恭順皇貴妃) (1787–1860).
  • The Imperial Noble Consort He Yu (? - 1833) of the Lugiya clan.

Consorts


Per Imperial Regulations, only four Consorts are allowed at any given time. Not counting those who were later elevated to higher titles and those who were elevated posthumously, there was effectively only two consorts during Jiaqing's reign.
  • The Consort Hua (? - 1808) of the Hougiya clan.
  • The Consort Zhuang (? - 1811) of the Wang clan.
  • The Consort Shu of the Wanyan clan (Posthumously elevated. Never served as Consort in life)

Imperial Concubines


Per Imperial Regulations, only six Imperial Concubines are allowed at any given time.
  • The Imperial Concubine En (?-1846) of the Wuya clan
  • The Imperial Concubine Xuan of the Chengiya clan
  • The Imperial Concubine Jian (? - 1780) of the Guangiya clan
  • The Imperial Concubine Rong (? - 1826) of the Liang clan
  • The Imperial Concubine Chun (? - 1819) of the Dongiya clan
  • The Imperial Concubine An (? - 1837) of the Guargiya clan

Sons

  • First son: Mianmu, son of Imperial Noble Consort He Yu.
  • Second son: Prince Mianning (綿寧) ( 16 September 1782 – 25 February 1850), son of Empress Xiaoshurui (Lady Hitara), succeeded his father as the Daoguang Emperor
    Daoguang Emperor
    The Daoguang Emperor was the eighth emperor of the Manchurian Qing dynasty and the sixth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1820 to 1850.-Early years:...

     in 1820
  • Third son: Prince Miankai (绵恺), son of Empress Xiaoherui, of the Niohuru
    Niohuru
    The Niohuru or Niuhuru Clan were a powerful Manchu clan belonging to the Plain Red Banner during the Qing dynasty in China...

     clan
  • Fourth son: Prince Mianxin (绵忻), son of Empress Xiaoherui, of the Niohuru clan
  • Fifth son: Prince Mianyu (绵愉) (1814–1865). Son of Gongshun Huang Kuai Fei, of the Niohuru
    Niohuru
    The Niohuru or Niuhuru Clan were a powerful Manchu clan belonging to the Plain Red Banner during the Qing dynasty in China...

     clan

Daughters

  • First daughter (1780–1783) her mother was Imperial Concubine Xuan.
  • Second daughter(1780–1783) her mother was Empress Xiaoshurui.
  • Princess Zhuangjing [庄敬和硕公主] (1781–1811) daughter of He Yu Huang Kuai Fei.
  • State Princess Zhuangjing [庄静固伦公主] (1784–1811) daughter of Empress Xiaoshurui.
  • Princess Hui-An (1786–1795).
  • Sixth daughter (1789–1790) daughter of Hua Fei.
  • Seventh daughter (1793–1795) daughter of Empress Xiaoherui.
  • Eight daughter (1805) daughter of Gongsun Huang Kuai Fei
    Gongsun Huang Kuai Fei
    Imperial Noble Consort Gong Shun was a concubine of the Jiaqing Emperor. Emperor Jiaqing was emperor of China between 1796 and 1820.- Biography :Imperial Noble Consort Gong Shun nee Niuhuru was the daughter of Daiqing...

    .
  • Ninth and final daughter (1811–1815) State Princess Huimin (慧悯固伦公主) post-humously in 1820, daughter of Gongsun Huang Kuai Fei
    Gongsun Huang Kuai Fei
    Imperial Noble Consort Gong Shun was a concubine of the Jiaqing Emperor. Emperor Jiaqing was emperor of China between 1796 and 1820.- Biography :Imperial Noble Consort Gong Shun nee Niuhuru was the daughter of Daiqing...

    .

Death and burial


On 2 September 1820, the Jiaqing Emperor died at the Rehe (Jehol) Traveling Palace (熱河行宫), 230 km (140 mi) northeast of Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, where the imperial court was in summer quarters. The Draft History of Qing
Draft History of Qing
The Draft History of Qing is a draft of the official history of the Chinese Qing Dynasty compiled and written under Zhao Erxun by a team of more than 100 historians hired by the Republic of China's Beiyang government...

 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
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 as the emperor was quite obese. He was succeeded by his second son, the Daoguang Emperor
Daoguang Emperor
The Daoguang Emperor was the eighth emperor of the Manchurian Qing dynasty and the sixth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1820 to 1850.-Early years:...

.

Renzong was interred amidst the Western Qing Tombs
Western Qing Tombs
The Western Qing Tombs are located some southwest of Beijing in Hebei province near the town of Yixian. The Western Qing Tombs is a necropolis that incorporate four royal mausoleums where seventy-eight royal members in all are buried...

, 120 km (75 mi) southwest of Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, in the Changling (昌陵 - meaning "Splendid tomb") mausoleum complex.

Ancestry