Jiaqing Emperor

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Jiaqing Emperor
清 佚名 《清仁宗嘉庆皇帝朝服像》.jpg
7th Emperor of the Qing Dynasty
Reign 9 February 1796 – 2 September 1820
Coronation 9 February 1796
Predecessor Qianlong Emperor
Successor Daoguang Emperor
Regent Qianlong Emperor (1796–1799)
Born (1760-11-13)13 November 1760
Old Summer Palace, Beijing, Qing dynasty, China
Died 2 September 1820(1820-09-02) (aged 59)
Chengde Summer Palace, Zhili, Qing dynasty, China
Burial Changling, Western Qing Tombs, Yi County, Baoding, Hebei Province, China
Full name
Chinese: Aixin-Jueluo Yongyan (愛新覺羅·永琰), later Yongyan (顒琰)
Manchu: Yong Yan (ᠶᠣᠩ ᠶᠠᠨ)
Era name and dates
Chinese: 嘉慶 (Jiāqìng)
Manchu: ᠰᠠᡳᠴᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᡶᡝᠩᡧᡝᠨsaicungga fengšen

Mongolian: ᠰᠠᠶᠢᠰᠢᠶᠠᠯᠲᠤ ᠢᠷᠦᠭᠡᠯᠲᠦ
Сайшаалт ерөөлт: 1796–1821
Posthumous name
Emperor Shòutiān Xìngyùn Fūhuà Suīyóu Chóngwén Jīngwǔ Guāngyù Xiàogōng Qínjiǎn Duānmǐn Yīngzhé Ruì
Manchu: sunggiyen hūwangdi (ᠰᡠᠩᡤᡳᠶᡝᠨ
Temple name
Chinese: Rénzōng (仁宗)
Manchu: žindzung (ᡰᡳᠨᡯᡠᠩ)
House Aisin Gioro
Father Qianlong Emperor
Mother Empress Xiaoyichun

The Jiaqing Emperor (13 November 1760 – 2 September 1820), personal name Yongyan, was the seventh emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fifth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1796 to 1820. He was the 15th son of the Qianlong Emperor. During his reign, he prosecuted Heshen, the corrupt favourite of his father, and attempted to restore order within the Qing Empire and curb the smuggling of opium into China.

Jiaqing Emperor
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 嘉慶帝
Simplified Chinese 嘉庆帝
Mongolian name
Mongolian ᠰᠠᠶᠢᠰᠢᠶᠠᠯᠲᠤ ᠢᠷᠦᠭᠡᠯᠲᠦ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ
Сайшаалт ерөөлт хаан
Manchu name
Manchu script ᠰᠠᡳᠴᡠᠩᡤᠠ
Romanization saicungga fengšen hūwangdi

Early years

Yongyan was born in the Old Summer Palace, 8 km (5 mi) northwest of the walls of Beijing. His personal name, "Yongyan" (永琰), was later changed to "Yongyan" (顒琰) when he became the emperor. The Chinese character for yong in his name was changed from the more common 永 to the less common 顒. This novelty was introduced by the Qianlong Emperor, who believed that it was not proper to have a commonly used Chinese character in an emperor's personal name due to the longstanding practice of naming taboo in the imperial family.

Yongyan was the 15th son of the Qianlong Emperor. His mother was Noble Consort Ling, the daughter of Wei Qingtai (魏清泰), a Han Chinese official whose family had been long integrated into the Manchu Eight Banners as part of a Han Banner.

The Qianlong Emperor originally had two other sons in mind for succeeding him, but both of them died early from diseases, hence in December 1773 he secretly chose Yongyan as his successor. In 1789, the Qianlong Emperor instated Yongyan as "Prince Jia of the First Rank" (嘉親王; or simply "Prince Jia").

Accession to the throne

In October 1795, the 60th year of his reign, the Qianlong Emperor announced his intention to abdicate in favour of Prince Jia. He made this decision because he felt that it was disrespectful for him to rule longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, who was on the throne for 60 years. Prince Jia ascended the throne and adopted the era name "Jiaqing" (Chinese: 嘉慶; Manchu: ᠰᠠᡳᠴᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᡶᡝᠩᡧᡝᠨ saicungga fengšen) in February 1796, hence he is historically known as the Jiaqing Emperor. For the next three years however, the Jiaqing Emperor was emperor in name only because decisions were still made by his father, who became a Taishang Huang (emperor emeritus) after his abdication.

After the death of the Qianlong Emperor in the beginning of February 1799, the Jiaqing Emperor took control of the government and prosecuted Heshen, a favourite official of his father. Heshen was charged with corruption and abuse of power, stripped of his titles, had his property confiscated, and ordered to commit suicide. Heshen's daughter-in-law, Princess Hexiao, a sister of the Jiaqing Emperor, was spared from punishment and given a few properties from Heshen's estates.

At the time, the Qing Empire faced internal disorder, most importantly the large-scale White Lotus (1796–1804) and Miao (1795–1806) rebellions, as well as an empty imperial treasury. The Jiaqing Emperor 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 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 imperial family 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 sent into exile.[1][2][3]

Renaming Vietnam

The Jiaqing Emperor refused the Vietnamese ruler Gia Long's request to change his country's name to Nam Việt. He changed the name instead to Việt Nam.[4] Gia Long's Đại Nam thực lục contains the diplomatic correspondence over the naming.[5]

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, and abrogated in 1870 under the Tongzhi Emperor. It sentenced Europeans to death for spreading Catholicism among Han Chinese and Manchus. Christians who would not repent their conversion were sent to Muslim cities in Xinjiang, to be given as slaves to Muslim leaders and beys.[6]

Chinese nobility

The Jiaqing Emperor granted the title Wujing Boshi (五經博士; Wǔjīng Bóshì) to the descendants of Han Yu.[7][8][9][10]

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, where the imperial court was in summer quarters. The Draft History of Qing 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 as the emperor was quite obese. He was succeeded by his second son, Mianning, who became known as the Daoguang Emperor.

Renzong was interred amidst the Western Qing Tombs, 120 km (75 mi) southwest of Beijing, in the Changling (昌陵; lit. "splendid tomb") mausoleum complex.


  • Consorts and their Respective Issue:
    1. Empress Xiaoshu Rui of the Hitara clan (孝淑睿皇后 喜塔腊氏; 1760 – 1797)
      1. Unnamed daughter (1780 – 1783)
      2. Minning, Xuanzong (宣宗 旻宁; 1782 – 1850)
      3. Princess Zhuangjing of the First Rank (庄静固伦公主; 1784 – 1811)
    2. Empress Xiaohe Rui of the Niohuru clan (孝和睿皇后 钮祜禄氏; 1776 – 1850)
      1. Unnamed daughter (1793 – 1795)
      2. Miankai, Prince Dun Ke of the First Rank (惇恪亲王 绵恺; 1795 – 1838)
      3. Mianxin, Prince Rui Huai of the First Rank (瑞怀亲王 绵忻; 1805 – 1828)
    3. Imperial Noble Consort Heyu of the Liugiya clan (和裕皇贵妃 刘佳氏; 1761 – 1834)
      1. Prince Mu of the Second Rank (穆郡王; 1779 – 1780)
      2. Princess Zhuangjing of the Second Rank (庄敬和硕公主; 1781 – 1811)
    4. Imperial Noble Consort Gongshun of the Niohuru clan (恭顺皇贵妃 钮祜禄氏; 1787 – 1860)
      1. Unnamed daughter (1805)
      2. Princess Huimin of the First Rank (慧愍固伦公主; 1811 – 1815)
      3. Mianyu, Prince Hui Duan of the First Rank (惠端亲王 绵愉; 1814 – 1865)
    5. Consort Shu of the Wanyan clan (恕妃 完颜氏)
    6. Consort Hua of the Hougiya clan (华妃 侯佳氏; c. 1771 – 1804)
      1. Unnamed daughter (1789 – 1790)
    7. Consort Zhuang of the Wanggiya clan (庄妃 王佳氏; d. 1811)
    8. Consort Xin of the Liugiya clan (信妃 刘佳氏; d. 1822)
    9. Imperial Concubine Jian of the Guan clan (简嫔 关氏; c. 1762 – 1780)
      1. Unnamed daughter (1780 – 1783)
    10. Imperial Concubine Xun of the Shen clan (逊嫔 沈氏)
      1. Princess Hui'an of the Second Rank (慧安和硕公主; 1786 – 1795)
    11. Imperial Concubine Chun of the Donggiya clan (淳嫔 董佳氏; d. 1819)
    12. Imperial Concubine Rong of the Liang clan (荣嫔 梁氏; d. 1826)
    13. Imperial Concubine En of the Uya clan (恩嫔 乌雅氏; 1791 – 1846)
    14. Imperial Concubine An of the Suwan-Gūwalgiya clan (安嫔 苏完尼瓜尔佳氏; 1785 – 1837)

See also


  1. ^ Ernst Faber (1897). China in the light of history. American Presbyterian mission press. p. 17. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  2. ^ The Chinese recorder, Volume 27. American Presbyterian Mission Press. 1896. p. 242. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  3. ^ Ernst Faber (1897). China in the light of history. American Presbyterian mission press. p. 17. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  4. ^ Woodside 1971, p. 120.
  5. ^ Jeff Kyong-McClain; Yongtao Du (2013). Chinese History in Geographical Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 67–. ISBN 978-0-7391-7230-8. 
  6. ^ Robert Samuel Maclay (1861). Life among the Chinese: with characteristic sketches and incidents of missionary operations and prospects in China. Carlton & Porter. p. 336. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  7. ^ Qin ding da Qing hui dian (Jiaqing chao). 1818. p. 1084. 
  8. ^ 王士禎 [Wang Shizhen] (3 September 2014). 池北偶談 [Chi Bei Ou Tan]. 朔雪寒 [Shuo Xue Han]. GGKEY:ESB6TEXXDCT. 
  9. ^ 徐錫麟 [Xu, Xilin]; 錢泳 [Qian, Yong] (10 September 2014). 熙朝新語 [Xi Chao Xin Yu]. 朔雪寒 [Shuo Xue Han]. GGKEY:J62ZFNAA1NF. 
  10. ^ Brunnert, H. S.; Hagelstrom, V. V. (15 April 2013). Present Day Political Organization of China. Routledge. pp. 493–94. ISBN 978-1-135-79795-9. 
  •  This article incorporates text from China in the light of history, by Ernst Faber, a publication from 1897 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Chinese recorder, Volume 27, a publication from 1896 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Life among the Chinese: with characteristic sketches and incidents of missionary operations and prospects in China, by Robert Samuel Maclay, a publication from 1861 now in the public domain in the United States.
Jiaqing Emperor
Born: 13 November 1760 Died: 2 September 1820
Regnal titles
Preceded by
The Qianlong Emperor
Emperor of China
Succeeded by
The Daoguang Emperor
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