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 The emperor's words

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Kig 'Yar
Kig 'Yar

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PostSubject: The emperor's words   Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:40 am

The emperor's words were considered sacred edicts (聖旨), and his written proclamations "directives from above" (上諭). In theory, the emperor's orders were to be obeyed immediately. 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 dynasties. Generally, in the Chinese dynastic cycle, Emperors founding a dynasty usually consolidated the empire through absolute rule, examples including Shi Huang 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.

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PostSubject: Re: The emperor's words   Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:01 am

The First Opium War (18401842) is generally considered the beginning of modern Chinese history, ending a long period of self-imposed Chinese isolation. Some Chinese officials and intellectuals became convinced that China needed to adopt the technologies and commercial practices of Western countries if it was to remain a sovereign nation. From the 1860s to the 1890s, the Qing dynasty instituted reforms known as The Self-Strengthening Movement, which aimed to achieve these goals. However, China's defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War (18941895) demonstrated that traditional Chinese feudal society also needed to be modernized if the technological and commercial advancements were to succeed. Some of the problems with feudal society were illustrated in the banned 1905 manhua book, Journal of Current Pictorial.

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