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Demetrius Charles Boulger

One fact will have been noticed during the latter portion of the period that has now closed, and that is the increasing interest and participation in Chinese affairs of the races neighboring to, but still outside, the empire. A large number of the successful generals, and several of the princely families which attained independence, were of Tartar or Turk origin; but the founder of the new dynasty, which restored the unity of the empire, was of pure Chinese race, although a native of the most northern province of the country.

We left the Taepings supreme at Nankin, but maintaining themselves there with some difficulty against two imperial armies raised by the loyal efforts of the inhabitants of the central provinces. This was at the beginning of 1857; and there is no doubt that if the government had avoided a conflict with the Europeans, and concentrated its efforts and power on the contest with the Taeping rebels, they would have speedily annihilated the tottering fabric of Tien Wang's authority.

While the Kins were absorbed in their contest with the Southern Chinese, they were oblivious of the growth of a new and formidable power on their own borders. The strength of the Mongols had acquired serious dimensions before the Kins realized that they would have to fight, not only for supremacy, but for their very existence.

While the suppression of the Taeping Rebellion was in progress, events of great interest and importance happened at Pekin. It will be recollected that when the allied forces approached that city in 1860, the Emperor Hienfung fled to Jehol, and kept himself aloof from all the peace negotiations which were conducted to a successful conclusion by his brother, Prince Kung.

While Bayan was winning victories for his master and driving the Chinese armies from the field, Kublai was engaged at Pekin in the difficult and necessary task of consolidating his authority. In 1271 he gave his dynasty the name of Yuen or Original, and he took for himself the Chinese title of Chitsou, although it will never supersede his Mongol name of Kublai. Summoning to his court the most experienced Chinese ministers, and aided by many foreigners, he succeeded in founding a government which was imposing by reason of its many-sidedness as well as its inherent strength.

Thus after a very brief interval the governing power again passed into the hands of the regents who had ruled the state so well for the twelve years following the death of Hienfung. The nominal emperor was a child of little more than three years of age, to whom was given the style of "Kwangsu," or "illustrious succession," and the empresses could look forward to many years of authority in the name of so young a sovereign.

Having expelled the Mongols, Choo assumed the style of Hongwou, and he gave his dynasty the name of Ming, which signifies "bright." He then rewarded his generals and officers with titles and pecuniary grants, and in 1369, the first year of his reign after the capture of Pekin, he erected a temple or hall in that city in honor of the generals who had been slain, while vacant places were left for the statues of those generals who still held command.

The reign of Wanleh covers the long and important epoch from 1573 to 1620, during which period occurred some very remarkable events in the history of the country, including the first movements of the Manchus with a view to the conquest of the empire. The young prince was only six when he was placed on the throne, but he soon showed that he had been well-trained to play the part of ruler.

Tingbi, with the wrecks of the Chinese armies, succeeded in doing more for the defense of his country than had been accomplished by any of his predecessors with undiminished resources. He built a chain of forts, he raised the garrison of Leaoutung to 180,000 men, and he spared no effort to place Leaouyang, the capital of that province, in a position to stand a protracted siege.

While the Manchu generals and armies were establishing their power in Southern China the young Emperor Chuntche, under the direction of his prudent uncle, the regent Ama Wang, was setting up at Pekin the central power of a ruling dynasty.

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