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Which Chinese Emperor in China's history do you respect and admire the most?
It was 2007. The most annoying survey had just been conducted: “How many Asian countries can you name?”It didn’t matter who I asked, most could only name one, and the answer was always the same one country: “China”To them, China was apparently the only country in Asia. There seemed to be no other Asian countries according to the people I interviewed.I was only 10 back then, but it still got me thinking:“Why do people think that the only country in Asia is China?”Soon however, it became painfully obvious: China was a country so large that it would nearly be impossible to miss it on the world map.But if you went back to 1820 (197 years ago), you’d get a different map (red indicates the borders of Modern China):At 14.7 million km^2, the Qing Empire (1644–1912 AD) was the 4th largest empire ever in world history (by area) making it 1.5 times larger than Modern China today.So the question is: who made it that large?The ruler I admire the most of course.Well actually no…… there wasn’t just one person who made it that huge but in fact two, and to be precise two of the longest reigning rulers (top 60 longest rulers) ever in Human history made China larger than she had ever been before. All by the hands of two men, China entered a long mini-Golden Age of prosperity.The First Chinese Emperor I admire the most is Kangxi (reigned 1661–1722 AD):The Second Chinese Emperor I most admire is Qianlong (reigned 1735–96 AD):Let’s look at what they managed to accomplish shall we?Warning: As always, my answer will be long, this particular answer is very extra extremely long (even for me) at 6,600 words long.If this is something you hate, please literally stop reading right now, there is nothing for you here to see.But if you stay, I promise you a very interesting read of Chinese History. If you do read it, I’d suggest reading several times to absorb all the information you would have missed from reading it the first time.Here are the contents (for ease of navigation):Chapter I: “Not by my blood-redefining what it meant to be Chinese”Chapter II: “Glory before the Sun sets, China’s last era of prosperity”Chapter III: “From the Mountain, to the Oceans white with foam”Final SummaryChapter I: “Not by my blood- redefining what it meant to be Chinese”In the vast plains of Manchuria (Northeast China), a group of Manchurian nomads who had been hunting, were now huddled around their campfire. Their leader, a man who appreciated history told them of the heroism of their ancestors, the “Jurchen” people. According to him, their people had once been so brave and so vigorous in combat that they even managed to invade and steal “Heaven on Earth” from the “Heavenly People”.It was true, he was talking about the establishment of the nomadic Jin Empire (1115–1234 AD) who had just conquered the northern half of China in 1127, forcing the weak Chinese Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) to share China with it until the Mongol Invasion in 1279 ended both empires forever.Below is a map to illustrate the territories of the Jin and Song Empires, note how equal they were geographically:The men around the campfire couldn’t stop laughing. In their minds it was a good story but it was just that: a story, it happened such a long time ago -500 years to be exact- and it could never happen again they insisted. They were not their ancestors, they could never conquer China as their ancestors did, and with the end of that thought, they got up and left to return to hunting.But they were wrong. So very wrong. Something soon happened that none of them could ever have foreseen.A Manchurian by the name of Nurhaci rallied together all the various Manchu tribes and united them under one banner against all odds, united for one sole purpose: to invade the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD). Although he died soon after, his descendents eventually conquered all of China in her entirety, and not just the northern half this time. After 500 years, the Manchu/Jurchen people had control of the “Middle Kingdom” once more.Manchurian Invaders at the Great Wall of China:But the cost of the Manchu Conquest of Ming had been devastating. Around 25 million Chinese (Han) people had been slaughtered (15% of China’s population at the time). Ming’s Economy which had accounted for 30% of the world’s wealth before the Manchu Invasion, was now non-existent. The Manchurians had destroyed, looted, raped and killed their way through all of China, destroying everything they could see, and now they held all China at their mercy.In fact, the Manchu Conquest of China had devastated China so badly that her Economy’s wealth as a percentage of world wealth had actually decreased from a peak of 29% in 1600 (under Ming) to 22% in 1700 (under Qing), a difference of 7%:Source of photo: homeFor reference, China in GDP PPP terms makes up for only 18.31% of world GDP (PPP) as of 2017, up from 17.81% in 2016 and 16.86% in 2015.But what of the Han Chinese people themselves? The Manchus continued to humiliate them:In July 1645, Dorgon (the Manchu leader) forced all Chinese men to adopt the Manchu way of life. The most significant of these lifestyle changes was that of forcing all Han males to shave their forehead and to braid the rest of their hair into a “queue” just like the Manchurians. It was done to show submission, a symbolic gesture of China’s surrender to Manchu superiority. The penalty for refusal to shave was immediate death.But it was a fate worse than death for Chinese men. According to the Chinese Philosophy of Confucianism, cutting off one’s hair was the ultimate “sin” because it showed an infinite amount of disrespect to one’s parents. The Ancient Chinese believed that your hair was a unique gift from your parents to you, thus cutting it would be an unspeakable and treacherous act of betrayal and indeed the spiritual equivalent of a felony.This was no small matter, for all Chinese people even to this day, one’s parents are the dearest (or at least should be) things in one’s life. Thus, it should not be a surprise to you then that the Han absolutely hated the Manchurians at this point, and this showed as well. Long after the Ming Dynasty collapsed back in 1644, Han resistance composed of individuals claiming loyalty to the Ming Court held out on the Island of Taiwan for 39 years until 1683.Chinese men’s hairstyles under the Han Chinese and Manchu Dynasties (and modern as well), and what it meant to cut off your hair/be different to accepted norms:Source: http://indescentdream.com by Nancy DuongThe Manchus and Han were two totally different people at this point in time. Language, culture, genetics and history divided the two great peoples. Though they lived in the same country under the new Qing Dynasty, it seemed as though they could never be rid of these major segregational differences. Though the Manchus lived in China, the Han vowed never to view them as Chinese people- in other words, as one of them.But that was also wrong. Call it what you want but “destiny” had other plans for Manchu and Han alike.In 1661 at the young age of 7, a boy called “Xuanye” became the new Emperor of the Qing assuming the Imperial title of “Kangxi” (in 1662 a year later). Though he was very young, he possessed an intelligence which put even the wisest scholars of his day to shame.The young (not so much here though) Kangxi Emperor:The young Emperor understood the perilous situation that China was in. He knew for a fact that the Han people he ruled over still absolutely hated their lives under the Manchus even after 17 years under their rule. They had and still were refusing to give the Kangxi Emperor their full undivided attention and loyalty.“More than fifty years have passed since the founding of the Qing dynasty, and the empire grows poorer each day. Farmers are destitute, artisans are destitute, merchants are destitute, and officials too are destitute. Grain is cheap, yet it is hard to eat one’s fill. Cloth is cheap, yet it is hard to cover one’s skin.Boatloads of goods travel from one marketplace to another, but the cargoes must be sold at a loss. Officials upon leaving their posts discover they have no wherewithal to support their households. Indeed the four occupations* are all impoverished!”- Tang Chen, retired Chinese Scholar, 1690s*Note: The Four Occupations refer to the Social Hierarchy that existed in Ancient China, listed in descending order from greatest to least important:Shi (士) or Gentry ScholarNong (农/農) or Peasant FarmerGong (工) or Artisans and CraftsmenShang (商) or Merchants and TradersThus, for the first half of his 61 year reign he focused only on stabilizing the Qing Empire. And he did. For 30 years, the “workaholic” Emperor (said to have woken up early, and slept late every single day) tried to present the Manchus as not just a foreign conqueror, but as the legitimate successor of the previous Chinese led Ming Dynasty.Yet he never once had to “fake it”. Kangxi actually made real, genuine attempts to integrate the Han into the Qing Empire, likewise he also made an honest attempt to assimilate the Manchu people into Han culture. He wanted to show the Han people that in fact, you didn’t need to be a Han person to be “Chinese”. No, Kangxi wanted to assert the importance instead of culture. Culture he argued was what made a Chinese person Chinese, not their blood and not their ancestors.An artist’s impression of Kangxi’s tour of Southern China, Kangxi was a very hard working man who personally oversaw the efficient and just administration of his empire instead of merely staying inside the Forbidden City all the time:As long as you adopted Chinese culture (and spoke “Chinese”) he thought, a Manchu was just as legitimately Chinese as a Han person. Thus he encouraged all Manchurian people to actively adopt Han culture in order to not be seen as invaders anymore, but as Chinese people ruling China for the benefit of Chinese people.This acted well to convince some people (mainly the common people) of Manchurian benevolence and thus emphasised their legitimacy (legitimacy was based off a concept called the “Mandate of Heaven”: only a good ruler could be considered legitimate).But the main issue (and Kangxi knew this) was winning over the elite educated class who were still sceptical of his rule.The solution in his mind was simple:“In 1679 Kangxi announced a special civil service examination, in which eminent scholars who had formerly refused to serve the Manchus and who had remained loyal to the defunct Ming dynasty would be permitted to compete.Showing exceptional sensitivity to the feelings of the loyalist scholars, Kangxi also declared that the successful candidates in this examination would be permitted to work on an official history of their beloved Ming dynasty.”Source: Emperor of China Kangxi facts, information, pictures:Kangxi was also well aware of the need to start “practising what one preaches”.Previously, he had stated before that only the adoption of Chinese culture was required to be recognised as a Chinese person. Thus he commissioned (in 1710) the famous “Kangxi Dictionary”, a collection of 47,000 Chinese characters all in one place. In being the patron of such an important work, he was able to win over the Han Chinese scholars who now agreed that he indeed was “First Scholar of the Realm” as Confucianism believed the Emperor should be: a ruler and a scholar. Thus in their eyes, he was indeed fit to be ruler of China, and the Qing (and not Ming) was who they owed their allegiance to.The Kangxi Dictionary on display at a museum:In this way, the Kangxi Emperor not only managed to stabilize China after such a devastating event as the Qing Conquest of Ming (which included destroying her entire economy, and killing 25 million people), Kangxi also managed to create a society in which being Chinese was now not determined by your blood anymore (hence the chapter title “not by my blood”) but by whether you adopted Chinese culture and language or not.Under Kangxi, China was the Middle Kingdom (centre of the world) and was announced to have belonged to Han, Manchu and Mongol equally. “Chinese language” was just an overall term to refer to Han, Manchu and Mongol languages and “Chinese people” was just an umbrella term which included Han, Manchu and Mongol people.Accomplishing this was not an easy task as you may have guessed, it was an immensely huge and difficult undertaking which many other rulers (across the world) would likely have failed at accomplishing, but not the intelligent and young Kangxi hence my admiration for him.Chapter II: “Glory before the Sun sets, China’s last era of prosperity”As powerful as Kangxi was, he still suffered like all humans did from the burden of death. He got old just like any other man or woman did, and as the final year of his life in 1722 drew ever so closer, he begun to wonder who he should choose as his successor to be the next Emperor of the Celestial Empire.Despite having 35 sons, 20 daughters and hundreds of grandchildren, as time passed, Kangxi became particularly interested with one of the many hundreds of grandsons he had. The young boy was called “Hongli” and he reminded Kangxi exactly of himself at a very young age.The Kangxi Emperor thought his grandson was very intelligent, he possessed a wisdom that surpassed even the adults he grew up under. Eventually, Kangxi had become so convinced in the abilities of his wise grandson, that he made Hongli’s father the next Emperor of China on purpose, hoping in order to one day pass the throne of China onto him.And it was so.The young boy’s father only ruled 13 years in total from 1722–35, when he died Hongli ascended the throne under the ruling name of “Qianlong” and ended up ruling China for 61 years (same amount of time as his grandfather Kangxi).Qianlong’s Ceremonial Armour (presumably worn at his coronation):As with Kangxi, the Qing Empire thrived under the rule of the new ambitious and young Qianlong Emperor.From a population of 135 million after the Qing Conquest of Ming, in 1790 (146 years afterwards) it was estimated that the Qing Empire now had 300 million people all directly due to the long period of peace and stability under the Qianlong Emperor.Following on from the Kangxi Emperor’s example, Qianlong opened up China’s borders to International Trade (limited to four Southeastern coastal cities) once more. The high demand for Chinese goods all over the world gave China an enormous positive trade balance. The excess amount of silver that resulted from this allowed the Qing Empire to facilitate the growth of competitive and stable markets allowing China to start advancing her Economy exponentially.“…foreign trade was quickly re-established, and was expanding at 4% per annum throughout the latter part of the 18th century.”Source: Myers, H. Ramon; Wang, Yeh-Chien (2002), "Economic developments, 1644–1800"“Prosperous Suzhou” a painting by the artist Xu Yang (in 1759) depicting the great period of peace and stability under the Qianlong Emperor as he viewed it:Under the Qianlong Emperor, it wasn’t just in material ways that the Qing Empire benefitted. The Qing was a time of Chinese cultural richness, a time specifically when “Made in China” actually suggested quality worthy of adoption rather than mockery. This was the case here, under Qianlong (having started with Kangxi decades prior), the visiting Europeans saw fit to adopt Chinese cultural values and apply (at least try to apply) them to European understanding of Political Science because they thought by doing so they could emulate China’s prosperity back in Europe, and in doing so legitimize the rule of the King whilst creating a “Godly” and moral country.Despite being a closed border and isolationist empire, the generosity of the Qianlong Emperor (and also Kangxi before him) ensured a small number of foreigners (mainly religious organizations like the Jesuits) were let into Qing China. It was here that a great deal of cross-cultural transactions begun to occur.At this time, though the European Empires were scientifically “enlightened” due to their great renewal and interest in their Greco-Roman cultural heritage (which had many scientific manuscripts far ahead of its time), Monastic orders such as the Jesuits were disappointed when they compared their respective European countries with Qianlong’s “Celestial Empire”.The Jesuits in China socialising with Kangxi (Qianlong’s grandfather) decades earlier:In the eyes of the European visitors, the countries of Europe were not a force to be reckoned with and could destroy whosoever dared to meddle in their affairs. But they felt that something was missing despite this excess military superiority. As the Jesuits (to use one of many examples) studied Chinese culture and the philosophy of Confucianism further and further, they were amazed at what they had read.For in China the Jesuits saw the image of how a proper God fearing Christian country could be run like: where the Emperor ruled with benevolence to legitimize his power rather than resorting to the outdated idea of the “Divine Right of Kings” (meaning “God has put me here so I am King, end of story”).Thus, to the Jesuits, the solution was simple: copy and translate as many Chinese texts as possible and send them back to Europe for further study, synthesise them with Roman and Judeo-Christian philosophies and of course prepare them for further extensive applications whenever possible.Such a belief had a huge impact on the European Enlightenment Era (1715–89 AD) eventually leading to momentous events like the French Revolution which begun on the 14th July 1789 in Paris (see comment section to understand how):Confucius as seen by the Europeans:This image, showing Confucius standing in the Chinese National Academy of Learning, is taken from Confucius Sinarum Philosophus or “Confucius, the Philosopher of the Chinese” (Paris, 1687). Some of the earlier translations of the Confucian writings were published in this book. Notice the Roman-style arch in the background of the picture and the non-Chinese use of perspective.The two large characters at the top read: "National Academy of Learning." Those on either side of the arch read: "Confucius, the First Teacher under Heaven." The books in the cases along the sides of the room bear titles of the various Confucian classics. Underneath them are tablets inscribed with the names of Confucius' disciples.The Jesuit Monastic Order especially were obsessed with the Celestial Empire. They wrote home detailed accounts of all their observations. Their letters provided material for a long series of books on China, written usually in French or Latin and published in Paris, the European center of Jesuit activities. Among them were such works as “Confucius, the Philosopher of the Chinese” (1687), “The Description of China” (1735), the long series of “Edifying and Curious Letters”, in 34 volumes (1702-76 AD), “The General History of China”, in 13 volumes (1777-85 AD); and the “Memoirs on the History, Sciences, Arts, etc., of the Chinese”, in 16 volumes (1776-1814 AD).In this way Qianlong’s reign managed to secure a Chinese influence in Europe long before the reverse was overwhelmingly true. One European Philosopher above all became absolutely obsessed with the Qing Empire, he was the renowned individual we know today as “Voltaire” (1694-1778 AD)A portrait of the French Enlightenment era Philosopher Voltaire:What absolutely confused Voltaire was that China was a country based off morals, yet she was not a Christian country. “How was that possible?” he thought. “You cannot be moral without being religious” so the Catholic Church had been saying for hundreds of years throughout Europe.Yet, here was China- a moral but yet non-Christian country. China was the “impossible country” he thought. Upon further examination he understood China at last: the Celestial Empire was founded on morals yes, but it had developed them independently of Christianity and other “western” ideologies (anything west of China in this case like Islam with the Middle-East).Voltaire’s greatest envy of China was that she was a secular country unlike his beloved France. There was no meddling from a Catholic Church being led by the Pope a foreign figurehead, to interfere in the domestic affairs of China. The Qianlong Emperor he discovered, only appeared to be an absolute ruler in theory, in practice his power was limited by the teachings of Confucianism, which declared that "the people are the most important element in the state; the sovereign is the least."In reality, Qianlong had to “share” his powers with the “Mandarins”, Chinese officials who helped him run the country. So despite glorious portraits (like below), the Emperor was not actually that powerful:Instead, the country (as had been the case since the Han Dynasty 2,000 years ago) was run on Meritocracy, and the belief that the best person for the job was simply the best with no exceptions. Thus the Qing Government became one that was not in fact just run by the Emperor, but complemented by a vast army of Civil and Military officials guided by Confucianism.As influenced by Han, the Mandarins were chosen by “Meritocratic Examinations”. The exams were a test of commitment. They were purposefully made boring, long and difficult. You had to memorise a couple of thousand of extra Chinese written characters just in order to prepare.In addition, if you passed the test, there would be a sort of “job interview” whereby senior officials (who had already passed the application process) would test your character and sincerity, alongside your knowledge of the most important military, philosophical and political texts- which were pre-requisites for effective ruling. Not to mention also that they took years and years to study for.The Examinations being administered under the previous Ming Empire:Thus, only the best, brightest, most patient and most sound of mind were chosen to rule. In this way, the Emperor was not alone and received effective help which he could count on.In contrast, France under the Bourbon Dynasty (1589–1830 AD) was an Absolute Monarchy. The King was actually in control (especially under the Absolute Monarchist Louis XIV), his power was unlimited (virtually) because of the “Divine Right of Kings”. According to the Catholic Church, God had chosen the King to rule so no one could ever question his authority, the King was always right.The worst part was that the Church itself did not practice what it preached, on one hand it said “God says don’t challenge the King”, on the other hand it stated “God is above the King so we who represent God need not listen to the King before first adhering to the Lord and his holiness the Pope who represents our Father.” Such a belief led to the Catholic Church interfering in France’s domestic affairs even after the French Revolution (1789)."One need not be obsessed with the merits of the Chinese… to recognize . . . that their empire is in truth the best that the world has ever seen."-Voltaire, leading French Philosopher of the European Enlightenment Era (1715–89 AD)In fact Voltaire even attempted to disprove common French philosophical beliefs at the time using Confucianism. A French philosophical “rival” by the name of Jean Jacques-Rousseau (1712–78 AD) had argued that the arts, sciences, and human institutions were generally harmful because they corrupted the simple goodness of human nature.Voltaire who could not disagree more produced a play called “The Orphan of Zhao” (1735) in order to craft a specific critique directed at Rousseau. He deliberately specified that the plays were promoting "the morals of Confucius in five acts," which he used to claim that Rousseau was in fact wrong about Humanity being corrupted by civilization.A modern re-enactment of “The Orphan of Zhao”- Voltaire’s Play:To specifically disprove Rousseau’s “incorrect” ideas, he changed the setting of the play from 7th Century Tang Dynasty, and set it under 13th Century Song Dynasty in the years when the Mongols conquered China. In doing this he hoped to show the superiority of human art and culture by showing how Chinese civilization finally triumphed over the warlike barbarism of the Mongols.It wasn’t just Voltaire who thought like this however, in fact the German Philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716 AD) also once stated:"I almost think it necessary that Chinese missionaries should be sent to us to teach the aims and practice of natural theology (Confucianism), as we send missionaries to them to instruct them in revealed religion."-“Novissima Sinica (Translation: Latest News from China)”, Leibniz, 1697Portrait of Leibniz, the German Philosopher:However, it is important to realise that both Leibniz and Voltaire were looking at China through very “coloured lenses”, in fact Qing China was actually considered to be one of the “worst” and most corrupt Chinese dynasties in comparison with the earlier Chinese Empires of Han (206 BC-220 AD), Tang (618–907 AD) and Song (960–1279 AD). Despite there being “limited” glory under the Qing, apparently it was still able to convince the visiting Europeans of their greatness in comparison with contemporary countries back in Europe.But Qianlong’s Celestial Empire had not just stopped there in influencing the European continent. Under Qianlong, steady progress in the realms of the Fine Arts and Architecture had made China stand out from the rest of the world (this could be argued for any country however).In Europe, a new style of Art called Chinoiserie had come to prominence.Chinoiserie was defined as:“the European imitation and interpretation of Chinese art traditions.”Below is a collection of Chinoiserie Art from various European countries to illustrate my point:Chinoiserie in the United Kingdom- The “Claydon House” in the UK:Chinoiserie in France- “The Chinese Garden”, painting by François Bouche:Chinoiserie in Russia- “Tsarskoye Selo” in Russia displaying the “Chinese Village” as commissioned by Catherine the Great:Chinoiserie in Germany- Potsdam, Germany’s “Chinese House” exterior and interior:Chinoiserie in Austria- An Austrian Porcelain jug from 1799:Chinoiserie in Sicily- Interior of “Palazzina Cinese”, Sicily:It is interesting to note that none of this great Chinese-European cultural exchange would ever have occurred if Qianlong (and Kangxi) had been more intolerant to foreigners (especially with the well educated Jesuits Monks), and prevented them from visiting China to copy, and translate Chinese books before sending this all back to Europe.If it had been another Emperor, we could not say for certain that China would have been so “glorious” as to serve as an inspiration for the Europeans who sought to reform Europe politically back home. No, it is because of the Qianlong Emperor that China entered a great period of peace, stability and growth, a period so great that it thus was able to influence the visiting Europeans.Therefore, Qianlong like Kangxi was also a man I admire and respect for this reason.Chapter III: “From the Mountain, to the Oceans white with foam”Even after bringing peace to China in the earliest days of the young Emperor’s reign, Xuanye (Kangxi’s real name) understood that as long as China’s enemies were still out there, he could not rest and China could never truly be safe.Earlier I had said that when compared to China’s “Golden Ages” of the Han, Tang and Song Dynasties, the Qing was a “bad” dynasty. This was not completely true however.As great as these powerful empires were, China had actually never fully subdued the powerful nomadic peoples of the north under them. China’s second most powerful empire for its time the Han Empire, even took 224 years from 133 BC until 91 AD to defeat the nomadic Xiongnu Empire. But even then, the nomads were not “truly” defeated, instead a settlement was reached and the Xiongnu voluntarily became a tribute nation (one which gives a certain amount of gifts each year to a foreign ruler).Instead, they had mainly relied on the Great Wall of China to deter any attackers:The Ming Dynasty, another “lesser” empire (compared to Han, Tang, Song) rebuilt the Great Wall to protect themselves from the Mongols. Under the Ming, the Great Wall of China had a full renovation and was rebuilt with both stone and brick. The Ming made the greatest addition to the Great Wall out of all the Chinese empires.After it had finished being renovated, the Great Wall stretched for 8,850 km, had 5,723 beacon towers, 1,176 defence fortresses, 3,357 watch towers and 7,062 defence towers. A total of 11 garrisons were stationed all across the Wall under the previous Ming Empire, a total of 100,000 soldiers at the Wall were kept on 24 hours alert, keeping Ming China safe for 100 years until the Manchu Qing arrived.As a Manchu person, Kangxi knew for a fact that the Great Wall was really just a very expensive military deterrent and was next to useless when it came to actually defending China from the northern invasions. Kangxi’s own people, the Manchus had literally demonstrated this merely a couple of years ago when they bribed the guards of the Great Wall into letting the Manchus into China.The truth to Kangxi was clear, the Great Wall was not a really effective way of protecting the Middle Kingdom from foreign invasions. It soon became painfully obvious to the Emperor that there was only one certain way to protect the Qing Empire from ever being invaded again: by taking the fight to the enemy themselves, on their own territories with the aim of incorporating them into the Qing Empire, so they would change their allegiance and serve him and China instead.Kangxi was able to do this (remember Chapter I) because China was now a multiethnic state, and being Chinese merely meant adopting Chinese culture, a task he felt compelled to fulfil in the aftermath of his upcoming campaigns.His solution? Conquer the enemy, and that is exactly what happened.Note to audience: It is important to realise that whilst Kangxi did expand his empire in an violently imperialistic manner, this was more of a compulsory solution to pacify the invaders of China. It was a “side-effect” of bringing about peace. China rarely, (if ever) believed in military expansion, as such this rare case of Chinese Imperialism came about only in “future self-defence”, to protect her from any possible foreign invasions.In fact, Confucianism had especially emphasised the use of non-violence.Source: Yuan-kang Wang, Harmony and war: Confucian culture and Chinese power politics. Columbia University Press, 2011:14. Quote from John K. Fairbank, “Varieties of the Chinese Military Experience,” in Chinese Ways in Warfare, ed. Frank A. Kierman Jr. and John K. Fairbank (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974), 7–9.“Warfare was disesteemed in Confucianism... The resort to warfare (wu or 武 ) was an admission of bankruptcy in the pursuit of wen (文 ) [civility or culture]. Consequently, it should be a last resort... Herein lies the pacifist bias of the Chinese tradition... Expansion through wen... was natural and proper; whereas expansion by wu, brute force and conquest, was never to be condoned.”Qing Conquests under Kangxi (1661–1722 AD) and Qianlong (1735–96 AD):Though the map doesn’t show it, the island of Taiwan which housed Ming loyalists was the first target of Kangxi.The Flag of the Kingdom of Tungning (1661–83 AD) in Taiwan, home of the Ming loyalist regime:At the decisive Battle of Penghu (1683), with 60,000 soldiers and 600 battleships outnumbering the Ming loyalists 3 to 1 in numbers and ships, it should be of no surprise to anyone then that the loyalists were ultimately defeated on the High Seas.In the aftermath of this defeat, Qing Marines landed on the Island of Taiwan and after hearing that the Qing Military was closing in on their capital, the Ming loyalists surrendered to the Kangxi Emperor. Thus in this way, Taiwan was incorporated into the Qing Empire.The Qing Navy returning home after the end of a similar Taiwanese rebellion 100 years later:But it didn’t stop there, Kangxi was not satisfied yet. He felt that China was still under threat from attack. He was very right.500 years before, the Chinese Song Dynasty had been the pre-eminent power of the world. It recorded 118,000,000 people in its 1120 AD census, produced 64.2 billion kg of grain per year (650 kg/person before taxes, 544 kg/person after taxes)- a number greater than all Europe in the late 1800s, accounted for at least 40% of the world’s wealth and invented gunpowder, the compass, printing and even established retirement homes, public clinics and graveyards for the homeless.Then the Mongols came, and after 44 years of heroic resistance, Song China finally fell to the Mongols.Mongol Invasion of China (1235–79 AD):By the end of the war, so many Chinese people had been murdered that the Imperial Census conducted by the Mongols in 1300 AD recorded a number of 60 million individuals, far below the record 118 million in 1120, 180 years before.The resulting Mongol regime was not at all like Kangxi’s era of benevolence, under the Mongols the Chinese were treated so incredibly poorly that even when they were kicked out in 1368, there was always a constant paranoia that the Mongols would one day return to finish China off forever.In this way, the Mongols managed to shatter China’s confidence for 500 years.A clever man as always, Kangxi knew that for China to become a powerful empire once more, he had to first give her back her confidence. For that reason, he launched a preemptive surprise strike on the remnants of the Mongols first. At this time, the “Mongols” (not really, but related) had built up a large empire in what is Western China today.The “Dzungar Khanate”, the strongest of the Mongol “remnant” empires along with the Khoshut Khanate in Tibet, and the Northern Yuan Dynasty (direct remains of the Mongols who invaded China 500 years earlier, but were now actually on China’s side since they were vassals of the Manchus before they conquered China). The Qing is also there (on the right) but it is unnamed, notice how equal the Mongol empires and Qing were:What was supposed to be a quick and clean victory for the Qing, did not go as planned however. This “easy” war became one that eventually lasted for 70 years from 1687–1757 AD- far beyond Kangxi’s own life, and what was supposed to be only one small war eventually became four giant ones. After the death of Kangxi , the Qianlong Emperor continued his grandfather’s work and eventually defeated the Dzungar Khanate after years of fighting.The image below depicts the Khan’s surrender to the Qing in 1755:Despite the two empires being of equal size, it was the Qing who managed to defeat the Dzungar peoples, and not the other way around despite also the famous ferocity of the Turkic nomadic peoples- a reputation that had been well known in China for almost 2,000 years.So how did the Qing do it? The answer was a lot simpler than you might think.The great advantage of the Qing Administration under Kangxi (who was a Manchurian) was due to its dual existence on one hand as leaders of a powerful civilized empire, yet on the other hand as the descendants of nomadic peoples.Despite Kangxi’s efforts to sinicise the Manchus, many still retained the habits of their ancestors (the most notable of which was the Manchu tradition of Archery Hunting). This proved extremely useful on the battlefield as the Qing commanders understood how the Mongols fought like and as such could accurately predict their next moves whilst simultaneously making it easier to control the people they conquered. This combined with superior Qing firearm technology allowed China to prevail eventually.Although Kangxi had started the 70 year long war against the Mongol Dzungars, it was his grandson Hongli, the Qianlong Emperor who finished them off.The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, one of the last battles between Qing and the Dzungars:By the end of the 70 year war, the Qing had managed to incorporate Tibet, Inner and Outer Mongolia, and Xinjiang (Northwest China) into the Great Qing Empire. The people of these areas being also assimilated with Chinese culture, meant that China was now a true multi-ethnic state.This was an especially momentous occasion for with the conquering of what is today Xinjiang Province, the Northwest returned to Chinese control for the first time in 850 years since the end of the Tang Dynasty in 907 AD.The final result of these campaigns is shown below, here is the Qing at her heights:And that, is the true story of how China got so huge, becoming the 4th largest empire ever by area in world history.How China lost 5.1 million km^2 of land however, is a separate story for later which I may tell one day in the future on Quora.Real life Flag of the Qing Dynasty representing China from 1889–1912:Final Summary:There wasn’t just one Chinese Emperor that I admired, but two: Kangxi (reigned 1661–1722 AD) and Qianlong (1735–96 AD). Together, this period of history is known today as the “Prosperous Era of Kangxi and Qianlong”.Under Kangxi and Qianlong, China reached its last age of prosperity. Never again until today would China achieve so much using so little.Because of the Kangxi Emperor, China was redefined as a multiethnic empire where classification as a “Chinese” person was based off culture and language rather than blood. Under Kangxi, Manchus and Mongols as long as they spoke Chinese and adopted Han culture, were just as Chinese as the Han people themselves. This has continued to remain true for China today even.Because of the Qianlong Emperor, China accelerated into an era of wealth, stability and growth. Due to the great tolerance of the Qianlong Emperor, the European visitors who were allowed into China soon became infatuated with the Celestial Empire, and they ended up translating Chinese philosophical books with the goal of bringing them back to Europe hoping to enact change, which did come in the form of the French Revolution.Because of both Kangxi and Qianlong, China reached unimaginable heights which she had never before been able to in her history before. At 14.7 million km^2, Qing China was even 1.5 times larger by area than Modern China today. The Qing Campaigns allowed Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongols to be considered as Chinese people also, upon assimilation by the Qing Empire. In addition, it showed how far the Emperors were willing to go to protect China from otherwise imminent dangers.Thus how can Kangxi and Qianlong not be admired more is the real question.Additional comments:Special thanks to Josh Bergeman for requesting my answer without which I would never have been able to write this extremely long response. The only regret I have is not being able to answer his request sooner (he requested 2 months ago) because I literally forgot to do so until Sunday. Oh well, “better late than never” as they say aren’t I right Josh?Go check out his cool profile by clicking on his name.And thanks for reading, I know it was long.
What are the criteria that determines whether a government is fascist or not?
Not sure this is smart on my part but I would suggest looking at the American Blackshirts. They are the Fascist party of america, and have their own surprisingly well maintained website. However, to save you time I will copy-paste their manifesto here. MANIFESTO The American Blackshirts is founded not to strengthen nor improve the United States and its institutions but to revolutionize them. No longer will people or their actions be judged by the marketplace and the amount of money they gather. People will be judged by what they do for the well being of the nation. The soft domesticated bourgeoisie lifestyle of your typical American will be at an end. A vigorous and heroic way of life full of meaning and value will be the replacement. The Jeffersonian doctrines of equality and rights are re(more)
What is strict and vicarious liability?
RATIONALE OF STRICT LIABILITY:There are many activities which are so dangerous that they constitute constant danger to person and property to others. The law may deal with them in two ways. It may prohibit them altogether. It may allow them to be carried on for the sake of social utility but only in accordance with statutory provisions laying down safety measures and providing for sanctions for non-compliance through the doctrine of strict liability. The undertakers of the activities have to compensate for the damage caused irrespective of any carelessness on their part. The basis of liability is the foreseeable risk inherent in the very nature of the activities. In this aspect, the principle of strict liability resembles negligence which is also based on foreseeable harm. But the difference lies in that the concept of negligence comprehends that the foreseeable harm could be avoided by taking reasonable precautions and so if the defendant did all that which could be done for avoiding the harm, he cannot be held liable except possibly in those cases where he should have closed down the undertaking. Such a consideration is not relevant in cases of strict liability where the defendant is held liable irrespective of whether he could have avoided the particular harm by taking precautions. The rationale behind strict liability is that the activities coming within its fold are those entailing extraordinary risk to others, either in the seriousness or the frequency of the harm threatened.ORIGIN OF THE STRICT LIABILITY RULE:The Strict Liability rule had its origins in nuisance but for most of the 20th century was probably regarded by the majority of lawyers as having developed into a distinct principle. Now it seems to have returned to what are regarded as its roots: it is a “sub species of nuisance”. But on balance it still merits some separate treatment. Liability under the rule is strict in the sense that it relieves the claimant of the burden of showing fault; however, it is far from absolute since there are a number of wide ranging differences. In Rylands v Fletcher in 1868, the House of Lords laid down the rule recognizing ‘No fault’or ‘Strict Liability’, i.e., even if the defendant was not negligent or rather, even if the defendant did not intentionally cause the harm he could still be held liable under the rule.The facts of the case were as follows. The defendant was a mill owner, and he employed some independent contractors who were apparently competent, to construct a reservoir on his land to provide water for his mill. In the course of work the contractors came upon some old shafts and passages on the defendant’s land. They communicated with the mines of the plaintiff, a neighbour of the defendant, although no one suspected this, for the shafts appeared to be filled with earth. The contractors did not block them up, and when the reservoir was filled the water from it burst through the old shafts and flooded the plaintiff’s mines. It was found as a fact that the defendant had not been negligent, although the contractors had been. But the House of Lords held the defendant liable.The basis of liability in the above case was the following rule propounded by Blackburn, J:“We think that the rule of law is, that the person who for his own purposes brings on his lands and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril, and if he does not do so, is prima facie answerable for all the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape. He can excuse himself by showing that the escape was owing to the plaintiff’s default; or perhaps that the consequence was of vis major, or the act of god; but as nothing of this sort exists here, it is unnecessary to inquire what excuse would be sufficient.”The justification for the above -stated rule was explained in the following words:-“The general rule, as stated above, seems on principle just. The person whose grass or corn is eaten down by the escaping cattle of his neighbour, or whose mine is flooded by the water from his neighbour’s reservoir, or whose cellar is invaded by the filth on his neighbour’s privy, or whose habitation is made unhealthy by the fumes and noisome vapours of his neighbours alkali works, is dandified without any fault of his own; and it seems reasonable and just that the neighbour who has brought something on his own property which was not naturally there, harmless to others so long as it is confined to his own property, but which he knows to be mischievous if it gets on his neighbour’s land should be obliged to make good the damage which ensures if he does not succeed in confining it to his own property. But for his act in bringing it there, no mischief could have accrued, and it seems but just that he should at his peril keep it there so that no mischief may accrued, or answer for the natural and anticipated consequences. And upon authority, this we think is established to be the law whether the things so brought be beasts, or water, or filth, or stenches.”To the above rule laid down by Blackburn, J., in the Court of Exchequer Chamber, another important qualification was made by the House of Lords when the case came before it. It was held that for the liability under the rule, the use of land should be “non-natural” as was the position in Rylands v Fletcher itself.For the application of the rule therefore the following three essentials should be there:(1) Some dangerous thing must have been brought by a person on his land.(2) The thing thus brought or kept by a person on his land must escape.(3) It must be non-natural use of land.DANGEROUS THING:According to this rule, the liability for the escape of a thing from one’s land provided the thing collected was a dangerous thing, a thing which is likely to do mischief if it escapes. In Rylands v Fletcher, the thing so collected was a large body of water. The water collected in the reservoir was of a huge quantity and was thus regarded to be of potential danger.ESCAPE:For the rule in Rylands v Fletcher to apply, it is also essential that the thing causing the damage must escape to the area outside the occupation and control of the defendant. The requirement of escape was firmly set in the law by the House of Lords’ decision in Read v J. Lyons & Co Ltd. The claimant was employed by the Ministry of Supply as an inspector of munitions in the defendants’ munitions factory and, in the course of her employment there, was injured by the explosion of a shell that was being manufactured. It was admitted that high explosive shells were dangerous but the defendants were held not liable because “escape” of the thing should be from a place where the defendant had control and occupation of land to a place which is outside his occupation and control.NON-NATURAL USE:Water collected in the reservoir in such a huge quantity in Rylands v Fletcher was held to be non-natural use of land. Keeping water for ordinary domestic purposes is ‘natural-use’. For the use to be non-natural it must be some special use bringing with it increased danger to others, and must not by the ordinary use of land or such a use as is proper for the general benefit of community. In Noble v Harrison, it has been held that trees on one’s land are not non-natural use of land. There the branch of a non-poisonous tree growing on the defendant’s land, which overhung on the highway, suddenly broke and fell on the plaintiff’s vehicle passing along the highway. The branch had broken off due to some latent defect. It was held that the defendant could not be held liable under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher. It has been held in Sochaki v Sas, that the fire in a house in a grate is an ordinary, natural, proper, everyday use of the fire place in a room. If this fire spreads to the adjoining premises, the liability under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher cannot arise.Generally an employer is not liable for the wrongful act done by an independent contractor. However, it is no defence to the application of this rule that the act causing damages had been done by an independent contractor. In Rylands v Fletcher itself, the defendants were held liable even though they had got the job done from the independent contractors.Similarly, in T.C. Balakrishnan Menon v T.R. Subramaniam, an explosive made out of a coconut shell filled with explosive substance, instead of rising in the sky and exploding there, ran at a tangent, fell amidst the crowd and exploded, causing serious injuries to the respondent. One of the questions for consideration before the Kerala High Court was whether the appellants, who had engaged an independent contractor to attend to the exhibition of fireworks, would be liable. It was held that the rule in Rylands v Fletcher would be applicable because the explosive is an “extra hazardous” object. The persons using such an object are liable even for the negligence of their independent contractor.EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULEThe following exceptions to the rule have been recognized by Rylands v Fletcher and some later cases:-(i) Default of the claimant(ii) Act of God(iii) Statutory Authority(iv) Consent of the claimant(v) Act of third party.DEFAULT OF THE CLAIMANT:If the damage is caused solely by the act or default of the claimant himself, he has no remedy. In Rylands v Fletcher itself, this was noticed as a defence. If a person knows that there is a danger of his mine being flooded by his neighbour’s operations on adjacent land , and courts the danger by doing some act which renders the flooding probable he cannot complain. So too in Ponting v Noakes, the claimant’s horse reached over the defendant’s boundary, nibbled some poisonous tree there and died accordingly and it was held that the claimant could recover nothing, for the damage was due to the horse’s own intrusion and alternatively there had been no escape of vegetation.ACT OF GOD:Where the escape is caused directly by natural causes without human intervention in “circumstances which no human foresight can provide and of which human prudence is not bound to recognize the possibility”, the defence of Act of God applies.This was recognized by Blackburn J. in Rylands v Fletcher itself and was applied in Nichols v Marsland. In this case the defendant for many years had been in possession of some artificial ornamental lakes formed up by damming up a natural stream. An extraordinary rainfall, “greater and more violent than any within the memory of the witnesses” broke down the artificial embankments and the rush of escaping water carried away four bridges in respect of which damage the claimant sued. Judgment was given for the defendant; the jury had found that she was not negligent and the court held that she ought not to be liable for an extraordinary act of nature which she could not foresee or reasonably anticipate.STATUTORY AUTHORITY:The rule in Rylands v Fletcher may be excluded by statute. Whether it is so or not is a question of construction of the particular statute concerned. In Green v Chelsea Waterworks Co, for instance a main belonging to a water-works company, which was authorized by Parliament to lay the main, burst without any negligence on the part of the company and the claimant’s premises were flooded; the company was held not liable. On the other hand, in Charing Cross Electricity Co v Hydraulic Power Co. where the facts were similar, the defendants were held to be liable and had no exemption to the interpretation of their statute. The distinction between the cases is that the Hydraulic Power were empowered by statute to supply water for industrial purposes, that is they had permissive power but not a mandatory authority, and they were under no obligation to keep their mains charged with water at high pressure, or at all. The Chelsea Waterworks Co were authorized by statute to lay mains and were under a statutory duty to maintain a continuous supply of water ; it was an inevitable consequence that damage would be caused by occasional bursts and so by necessary implication the statute exempted them from liability where there was no negligence.CONSENT OF THE CLAIMANT:Where the claimant has expressly or impliedly consented to the presence of the source of danger and there has been no negligence on the part of the defendant, the defendant is not liable. The exception merely illustrates the general defence, volenti non fit injuria. The main application of the principle of implied consent is occupied by different persons and the tenant of a lower suffers damage as a result of water escaping from an upper floor, though it has to be said that the cases which have discussed this defence have tended to involve perfectly ordinary domestic fittings which would to modern eyes be a natural use of land.ACT OF THIRD PARTY:If the harm has been caused due to the act of a stranger, who is neither the defendant’s servant nor the defendant has any control over him, the defendant will not be liable under this rule. Thus in Box v Jubb the overflow from the defendant’s reservoir was caused by the blocking of a drain by strangers, the defendant was held not liable for that. Similarly, in Richards v Lothian some strangers blocked the waste pipes of a wash basin, which was otherwise in the control of the defendants, and opened the tap. The overflowing water damaged the plaintiff’s goods. The defendants were held not liable.RULE OF ABSOLUTE LIABILITY:A very basic question that arises is what is this Absolute Liability? How is it different from Strict Liability? There is a very simple answer to it; it is the application of Strict Liability but without the exceptions. But what was the need of this new doctrine when already we have many doctrines on liability and not just that we also have the mother law to all these principles that is Nuisance?The answer to this question is another question, what is the measure of liability of an enterprise which is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous industry, if by reason of an accident occurring in such industry, persons die or is injured? Does the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher apply or is there any other principle on which the liability can be determined? Or will the application of the Principle of Strict liability in Ryland v. Fletcher lead us to a justified conclusion in matters of mass injury caused by such Industries?The rule in Rylands v. Fletcher evolved in the 19th Century at a time when all these developments of science and technology had not taken place. So therefore, it cannot afford any guidance in evolving any standard of liability consistent with the constitutional norms and the needs of the present day economy and social structure. We need not feel inhibited by this rule which was evolved in this context of a totally different kind of economy. Law has to grow in order to satisfy the needs of the fast changing society and keep abreast with the economic developments taking place in the country and never the less the Law of Tort is dynamic in nature. We cannot allow our judicial thinking to be constricted by reference to the law, as it prevailed or prevails in England, about few hundred years back. The fact remains that the meaning of Hazardous; has also changed and a variety of substances have evolved which one could not think of then; due to the modernization of the world, science, technology, people, industrial practices and in totality, law itself except the rule of doing justice. One can check the merit of the argument, by comparing the substance for which the word “Hazardous” can be used, as it caused damage to an innocent third party both in Rylands v. Fletcher and M.C. Mehta and others v. Union of India and Others. Then how can we still follow an archaic rule?In case of M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, where the Supreme Court was dealing with claims, arising from the leakage of Oleum gas on 4th and 6th December, 1985 from one of the units of Shriram Foods and Fertilizers Industries, in the city of Delhi, belonging to Delhi Cloth Mills Ltd. As the consequence of this leakage, it was alleged that one advocate practicing in the Tis Hazari Court had died and several others were affected by the same. The action was brought through a writ petition under Art.32 of the Indian Constitution by way of public interest litigation as the Court thought that these applications for compensation raised certain important issues and those issues should be addressed by a constitutional bench.The court had in mind that it was within a period of one year that a second case of large scale leakage of noxious gas in India took place, as just a year back the Bhopal Gas Tragedy had taken place where more than 3000 persons had met tragic and untimely death and lacs of others were subjected to diseases of serious kind.No doubt it is a matter of concern, that where on one hand; there is a public limited company by shares, earning profits, which is engaged in an industry vital to its share holder’s interest and on the other hand it is also a company with potential to affect the life and health of the people. Here comes the conflict of interest of the shareholders or the people benefitting under it and the public that is affected by its gas but actually getting no benefit. In M.C. Mehta the issue of availability of Article 21 against a private corporation engaged in an activity which has potential to affect the life and health of the people was vehemently argued by counsel for the applicants and Shriram. The Court traced the evolution of the Doctrine of State Action to ascertain whether the defendants in this case fall under the definition of the term state, as provided under Article 12. The Court also looked into the Industrial Policy of the Government and Industrial Policy Resolution 1956 where industries were classified into three categories having regard to the part which the State would play in each of them.If an analysis of the declarations in the Policy Resolutions and the Act is undertaken, we find that the activity of producing chemicals and fertilizers is deemed by the State to be an industry of vital public interest, whose public import necessitates made the activity to be ultimately carried out by the State itself, in the interim period with State support and under State control, private corporations may also be permitted to supplement the State effort. The argument of the applicants on the basis of this premise was that in view of this declared industrial policy of the State, even private corporations manufacturing chemicals and fertilizers can be said to be engaged in activities which are so fundamental to the Society as to be necessarily considered government functions. Now the question arises which necessity should be given more importance. Undoubtedly the right to life prevailed and the Supreme court thus evolved a new principle of Absolute Liability.“We would therefore hold that where an enterprise is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous activity and harm results to anyone on account of an accident in the operation of such hazardous or inherently dangerous activity resulting, for example, in escape of toxic gas the enterprise is strictly and absolutely liable to compensate all those who are affected by the accident and such liability is not subject to any of the exceptions which operate vis-à-vis the tortious principle of strict liability under the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher.”The rule was absolute and non-delegable duty towards the community to ensure that no harm results to anyone on account of hazardous or inherently dangerous activity which it has undertaken. It should be no answer to the enterprise to say that it had taken all reasonable care and that the harm occurred without any negligence on its part resulting into no fault liability.IS THE CONCEPT OF ABSOLUTE LIABILITY NEW?In England if one kept a wild animal, one of a kind naturally dangerous, or a domestic animal which he knows or has reason to know has vicious propensities, he is liable for injuries done by the animal because of those propensities. Blackstone sought to rest the liability for trespass by the cattle on “negligent keeping.” But the negligence was proved by the escape and was a fiction to save the face of the will theory. The owner of a trespassing cow was liable even if it was let out of the pasture by a trespassing third person giving rise to no fault liability or rather absolute liability with no exceptions applicable. This shows that the practice of Absolute liability was very much there but there was no distinction drawn between Absolute liability and Strict Liability as was drawn in India, that might be the reason, as to why, Blackburn, J. kept on giving these examples of Absolute liability but ended up giving those exceptions making it no more Absolute liability but, in the words of Sir Frederick Pollock “choked and crippled by exceptions”.So therefore it is not a new concept only that it was not defined separately.For more information please refer this link THE CONCEPT OF STRICT LIABILITY | LegalProclivitys Blog
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