China Travel Guide

Emperor Taizong

Emperor Taizong "Li Shimin", the second emperor of Tang Dynasty of China, started the history of "Reign of Zhenguan" which made the Chinese traditional agricultural society to the heyday.
 
Introduction
Emperor Taizong Li Shimin, han nationality, was given birth in 599 at Wugong in Xianyang, Shaanxi.The word "Shimin" was named by his father as a shortened version of the words "saving the earth and pacifying the folks". He was not only a politicians, but also a military strategist, calligrapher and poet.
 
Li Shimin obviously revealed his ability early in his life.In 613, the official Gao Shilian, amazed by this guy, presented the boy a niece who was the later Empress Zhangsun as his wife, at that time, he was 14 and she was 12. In 615, a general appeal was made for men to join the army to help rescue the emperor because Emperor Wen's son and successor Emperor Yang was ambushed by Eastern Tujue forces at Yanmen in modern Xinzhou, Shanxi. Li Shimin responded to that appeal and worked within the general Yun Dingxing, obviously accomplishing this with distinction.
 
In 617, with the help of Li Shimin, his father LiYuan raised troops against Suih, defeated many opponents, and set up the Tang Dynasty as Suih was finished. After the Xuanwumen Coup, Li Shimin was set for crown prince, took the hand of the actual supreme power of Tang Dynasty . After Tang Gaozu Li Yuan abdicated, Li Shimin became the second emperor of Tang Dynasty .
 
After Emperor Taizong throned, he listened to his allofficial's opinion actively, studied governing the country associated with literature hard, and became one of  historical most famous politicians and best emperors successfully. Emperor Taizong started the history of the "Reign of Zhenguan". Through active destroy all over the forces of independence, accepting opinions modestly, practising rigid economy in domestic, and making people relaxed, Emperor Taizong made a peaceful society appearing finally. And this laid an important foundation for the later flourishing Kaiyuan Reign Period and made the Chinese traditional agricultural society to the heyday.
 
The major events of Emperor Taizong's life
Xuanwumen Coup 玄武门之变
Li Shimin and his older brother Li Jiancheng, who had been set up crown prince in 618, reportedly after Emperor Gaozu primary provided the status to Li Shimin resulting from his contributions, had been locked in an consuming competition, since Li Shimin's successes made people to predict that he would probably displace Li Jiancheng being crown prince, and Li Jiancheng, though an experienced general himself, had been outweighed by his younger brother.
 
By 626, Li Shimin was afraid that Li Jiancheng would kill him, and his employees Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui, and Zhangsun Wuji had been consistently inspiring Li Shimin to assault Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji first-while Wei Zheng was inspiring Li Jiancheng to assault Li Shimin first. Li Jiancheng convinced Emperor Gaozu to eliminate Fang and Du, along with Li Shimin's dependable defense officers Yuchi Jingde and Cheng Zhijie, from Li Shimin's staff. Zhangsun, who else remained on Li Shimin's workers, carried on in an attempt to convince Li Shimin to assault first.
 
In summer that year, Eastern Tujue had been creating an additional assault, and with Li Jiancheng's advice, Emperor Gaozu, in place of submitting Li Shimin to fight Eastern Tujue as he primary was prone, chose to deliver Li Yuanji as a replacement. Li Yuanji was handed control of most of the military formerly within Li Shimin's command, more deeply bothering Li Shimin, who thought that with the army in Li Yuanji's possession, he would be unable to fight an assault. Li Shimin had Yuchi call Fang and Du head back to his house privately, and after that on one night put forward an accusation to Emperor Gaozu that Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji had been doing adultery with Emperor Gaozu's concubines. Emperor Gaozu, in reply, given summonses to Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji for the next morning,calling the senior officials Pei Ji, Xiao Yu, and Chen Shuda to check Li Shimin's accusations. As Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji accessed the central gate leading to Emperor Gaozu's palace, Xuanwu Gate, Li Shimin conducted the ambuscade he had arranged. He personally shot an arrow that slain Li Jiancheng. Later, Yuchi slain Li Yuanji. Li Shimin's army got into the palace and, within the threat of Li Shimin's power, Emperor Gaozu approved to set up Li Shimin crown prince. After Two months, due to Li Shimin completely in command of force, Emperor Gaozu yielded the throne to him (as Emperor Taizong).
 
Reign of Zhenguan 贞观之治
The meaning of "Reign of Zhenguan"
In the reign of Emperor Taizong, the social was stable, the class contradictions were eased, the economy was prosperous, and the national strength was strong. The reign title of Emperor Taizong is "Zhen Guan",so people called that period of clear imperial rule "Reign of Zhenguan".
 
The reasons of "Reign of Zhenguan"
First, Tang Dynasty had replaced the Sui Dynasty. The war happened during this replacement which led to more than about 20 million population declining. At the end of the war, people became less and the land became more. This was the most important reason of the begining of Reign of Zhenguan.
 
Second, the start of the Grand Canal and the imperial civil service examination system in Sui Dynasty had laid a foundation for Reign of Zhenguan.
 
Third, drawing a lesson from the decline of the Sui Dynasty, Emperor Taizong was alert to the challenges which lay ahead, gave important positions to wise, capable and virtuous persons, and accepted others' good advice and ideas after ascending to the throne. Emperor Taizong's personal efforts was also an essential factor of "Reign of Zhenguan".
 
The achievements of"Reign of Zhenguan"
In economy, Emperor Taizong carried out the economic rent on the implementation of the uniformed soil and Yong modulation, so that farmers were likely to manufacture steadily and the development of economy could be promoted.
 
In politics, Emperor Taizong further developed and perfected the System of Three Cabinets and Six Departments which facilitated his control of the whole country.
 
Domestically, Emperor Taizong strengthened the contact between the Han nationality and the minority, strengthened the jurisdiction of the northwest region, as well as strengthened the friendly relationship with Asian countries.
 
In selecting talents, Emperor Taizong was eager to find wise persons and good at the employing and capable people. Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui, Zhang Sunwuji, Wei Zheng were the talented employees of him.
 
In agriculture, Emperor Taizong took more attention to this aspect. He reduced the farmer's taxes and labor, moderated his own desire and rang luxury from simple.
 
Emperor Taizong's death
In 645 Emperor Taizong’s army started to combat a bitter and failed fight with the Goguryeo. He also fell ill this same year, and reportedly hardly totally restored. In the next few years, Tang army brought a successful war with Xueyantuo and started organising a reconditioned assault with the Goguryeo. In 649 army had been set to get started on this new war, nevertheless Emperor Taizong passed away before he could run the assault. Three days after his death, it was officially publicized and Li Zhi became Emperor Gaozong of Tang.
 
 
Emperor Taizong's main achievement in his life
Emperor Taizong's ability to employ and lead talented people was extremely high.He was not arbitrary. He preliminarily established three governmental agencies, made those three have separation of powers and supervise each other. The rule even was fit for himself. This ensured the feasibility, timely discovery and correction of the policy. To a certain extent, he helped eliminate the harm and influence to the state and the people due to the bad policy.
 
Emperor Taizong's national and his foreign policy made brilliant achievements. As he executed more liberal policy to Eastern Turkic and all the families and people attached to the turks, Emperor Taizong got people's acclaim, and was considered the "Tian Khan".
 
Emperor Taizong perfected the imperial examination system, set up new school, paid more attention to education activities and popularized the selection of government officials. At the time, the imperial examinations had been standard and fair. Tang Dynasty education and imperial examinations had provided excellent talents for political and had made an outstanding contribution to Tang poetry and economic development.
 
Emperor Taizong claimed to lighten taxes and labor and advised people to farm. He cut taxes and intensified water-contral project. He advocated honesty, thrift and simpleness. He did successfully in the construction of a clean government , so at that time, government officials were quite law-abiding, honest and self-discipline.
 
To sum up, Emperor Taizong Li Shimin was a great politician, calligrapher, outstanding leader in ancient Chinese history. He was a worthy who influenced the progress of China and even the world. He made great contribution to the ancient China, so he was worth people's reverence.

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