Qianlong Emperor

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Qianlong Emperor
清 郎世宁绘《清高宗乾隆帝朝服像》.jpg
6th Emperor of the Qing Dynasty
Reign 8 October 1735 – 9 February 1796
Coronation 8 October 1735
Predecessor Yongzheng Emperor
Successor Jiaqing Emperor
Born (1711-09-25)25 September 1711
Beijing, Qing dynasty, China
Died 7 February 1799(1799-02-07) (aged 87)
Beijing, Qing dynasty, China
Burial Yuling, Eastern Qing Tombs, Zunhua, Tangshan, Hebei Province, China
Full name
Chinese: Aixin-Jueluo Hongli (愛新覺羅·弘曆)
Manchu: Hung-Li (ᡥᡠᠩ ᠯᡳ)
Era name and dates
Chinese: 乾隆 (Qiánlóng)
Manchu: ᠠᠪᡴᠠᡳ ᠸᡝᡥᡳᠶᡝᡥᡝ abkai wehiyehe

Mongolian: ᠲᠩᠷᠢ ᠶ᠋ᠢᠨ ᠲᠡᠳᠭᠦᠭ᠍ᠰᠡᠨ
Тэнгэр тэтгэгч: 1736–1796
Posthumous name
Emperor Fatian Longyun Zhicheng Xianjue Tiyuan Liji Fuwen Fenwu Qinming Xiaoci Shensheng Chun
法天隆運至誠先覺體元立極敷文奮武欽明孝慈神聖純皇帝
Manchu: yongkiyaha hūwangdi (ᠶᠣᠩᡴᡳᠶᠠᡥᠠ
ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡩᡳ
)
Temple name
Chinese: Gaozong (高宗)
Manchu: g῾aodzung (ᡬᠠᠣᡯᡠᠩ)
House Aisin-Gioro
Father Yongzheng Emperor
Mother Empress Xiaoshengxian
Qianlong Emperor
Qianlong Emperor (Chinese and Manchu).svg
"Qianlong Emperor" in Chinese (top) and "Qianlong" in Manchu (bottom)
Chinese name
Chinese 乾隆帝
Tibetan name
Tibetan ཆན་ལུང་
lha skyong rgyal po
Mongolian name
Mongolian Тэнгэрийг Тэтгэгч хаан
tengeriig tetgegch khaan
Manchu name
Manchu script ᠠᠪᡴᠠᡳ
ᠸᡝᡥᡳᠶᡝᡥᡝ
ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡩᡳ
Romanization abkai wehiyehe hūwangdi

The Qianlong Emperor (25 September 1711 – 7 February 1799) was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Born Hongli, the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796.1 On 8 February, he abdicated in favour of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor – a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the illustrious Kangxi Emperor.[1] Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power as the Emperor Emeritus (or Retired Emperor) until his death in 1799; he thus was the longest-reigning de facto ruler in the history of China, and dying at the age of 87, the longest-living. As a capable and cultured ruler inheriting a thriving empire, during his long reign the Qing Empire reached its most splendid and prosperous era, boasting a large population and economy. As a military leader, he led military campaigns expanding the dynastic territory to the largest extent by conquering and sometimes destroying Central Asian kingdoms. This turned around in his late years: the Qing empire began to decline with corruption and wastefulness in his court and a stagnating civil society.

A British valet who accompanied his diplomat master to the Qing court in 1793 described the emperor:

The Emperor is about five feet ten inches in height, and of a slender but elegant form; his complexion is comparatively fair, though his eyes are dark; his nose is rather aquiline, and the whole of his countenance presents a perfect regularity of feature, which, by no means, announce the great age he is said to have attained; his person is attracting, and his deportment accompanied by an affability, which, without lessening the dignity of the prince, evinces the amiable character of the man. His dress consisted of a loose robe of yellow silk, a cap of black velvet with a red ball on the top, and adorned with a peacock's feather, which is the peculiar distinction of mandarins of the first class. He wore silk boots embroidered with gold, and a sash of blue girded his waist.[2]

Early years

Hongli was adored both by his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor and his father, the Yongzheng Emperor. Some historians[who?] argue that the main reason why the Kangxi Emperor appointed the Yongzheng Emperor as his successor was because Hongli was his favourite grandson. He felt that Hongli's mannerisms were very similar to his own. As a teenager, Hongli was capable in martial arts and possessed literary ability.

After his father's enthronement in 1722, Hongli was made a qinwang (first-rank prince) under the title "Prince Bao of the First Rank" (和硕宝亲王; 和碩寶親王; héshuò Bǎo qīnwáng). Like many of his uncles, Hongli entered into a battle of succession with his elder half-brother Hongshi, who had the support of a large faction of the officials in the imperial court, as well as Yinsi, Prince Lian. For many years, the Yongzheng Emperor did not designate any of his sons as the crown prince, but many officials speculated that he favoured Hongli. Hongli went on inspection trips to the south, and was known to be an able negotiator and enforcer. He was also appointed as the chief regent on occasions when his father was away from the capital.

Accession to the throne

Hongli's accession to the throne was already foreseen before he was officially proclaimed emperor before the assembled imperial court upon the death of the Yongzheng Emperor. The young Hongli was the favourite grandson of the Kangxi Emperor and the favourite son of the Yongzheng Emperor; the Yongzheng Emperor had entrusted a number of important ritual tasks to Hongli while the latter was still a prince, and included him in important court discussions of military strategy. In the hope of preventing a succession struggle from occurring, the Yongzheng Emperor wrote the name of his chosen successor on a piece of paper and placed it in a sealed box secured behind the tablet over the throne in the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing Palace). The name in the box was to be revealed to other members of the imperial family in the presence of all senior ministers only upon the death of the emperor. When the Yongzheng Emperor died suddenly in 1735, the will was taken out and read before the entire Qing imperial court, after which Hongli became the new emperor. Hongli adopted the era name "Qianlong", which means "Lasting Eminence".

Frontier wars

Figurine of the three year old Qianlong Emperor having a bath. Artefact in Yonghe Temple, Beijing.
Military attire of the Qianlong Emperor, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

The Qianlong Emperor was a successful military leader. Immediately after ascending the throne, he sent armies to suppress the Miao rebellion. His later campaigns greatly expanded the territory controlled by the Qing Empire. This was made possible not only by Qing military might, but also by the disunity and declining strength of the Inner Asian peoples.

Under the Qianlong Emperor's reign, the Dzungar Khanate was incorporated into the Qing Empire's rule and renamed Xinjiang, while to the west, Ili was conquered and garrisoned. The incorporation of Xinjiang into the Qing Empire resulted from the final defeat and destruction of the Dzungars (or Zunghars), a coalition of Western Mongol tribes. The Qianlong Emperor then ordered the Dzungar genocide. According to the Qing dynasty scholar Wei Yuan, 40% of the 600,000 Dzungars were killed by smallpox, 20% fled to the Russian Empire or Kazakh tribes, and 30% were killed by the Qing army,[3][4] in what Michael Edmund Clarke described as "the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people."[5] Historian Peter Perdue has argued that the decimation of the Dzungars was the result of an explicit policy of massacre launched by the Qianlong Emperor.[4]

The Dzungar genocide has been compared to the Qing extermination of the Jinchuan Tibetan people in 1776, which also occurred during the Qianlong Emperor's reign.[6] When victorious troops returned to Beijing, a celebratory hymn was sung in their honour. A Manchu version of the hymn was recorded by the Jesuit Amoit and sent to Paris.[7]

The Qing Empire hired Zhao Yi and Jiang Yongzhi at the Military Archives Office, in their capacity as members of the Hanlin Academy, to compile works on the Dzungar campaign, such as Strategy for the pacification of the Dzungars (Pingding Zhunge'er fanglue).[8] Poems glorifying the Qing conquest and genocide of the Dzungar Mongols were written by Zhao,[9][10] who wrote the Yanpu zaji in "brush-notes" style, where military expenditures of the Qianlong Emperor's reign were recorded.[11] The Qianlong Emperor was praised as being the source of "eighteenth-century peace and prosperity" by Zhao Yi.[12]

Khalkha Mongol rebels under Prince Chingünjav had plotted with the Dzungar leader Amursana and led a rebellion against the Qing Empire around the same time as the Dzungars. The Qing army crushed the rebellion and executed Chingünjav and his entire family.

Throughout this period there were continued Mongol interventions in Tibet and a reciprocal spread of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. After the Lhasa riot of 1750, the Qianlong Emperor sent armies into Tibet and firmly established the Dalai Lama as the ruler of Tibet, with a Qing resident and garrison to preserve Qing presence.[13] Further afield, military campaigns against Nepalese and Gurkhas forced these peoples to submit and send tribute.

A soldier from the Qianlong era, by William Alexander, 1793

The Qianlong Emperor sought to conquer Burma to the south, but the Sino-Burmese War ended in complete failure. He initially believed that it would be an easy victory against a barbarian tribe, and sent only the Green Standard Army based in Yunnan, which borders Burma. The Qing invasion came as the majority of Burmese forces were deployed in their latest invasion of the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom. Nonetheless, battle-hardened Burmese troops defeated the first two invasions of 1765–66 and 1766–67 at the border. The regional conflict now escalated to a major war that involved military manoeuvres nationwide in both countries. The third invasion (1767–1768) led by the elite Manchu Bannermen nearly succeeded, penetrating deep into central Burma within a few days' march from the capital, Ava.[14] However, the Manchu Bannermen of northern China could not cope with "unfamiliar tropical terrains and lethal endemic diseases", and were driven back with heavy losses. After the close-call, King Hsinbyushin redeployed his armies from Siam to the Chinese front. The fourth and largest invasion got bogged down at the frontier. With the Qing forces completely encircled, a truce was reached between the field commanders of the two sides in December 1769. The Qing forces kept a heavy military lineup in the border areas of Yunnan for about one decade in an attempt to wage another war while imposing a ban on inter-border trade for two decades. When Burma and China resumed a diplomatic relationship in 1790, the Qing government unilaterally viewed the act as Burmese submission, and claimed victory.[15]

The circumstances in Vietnam were not successful either. In 1787, Lê Chiêu Thống, the last ruler of the Vietnamese Lê dynasty, fled from Vietnam and formally requested to be restored to his throne in Thanglong (present-day Hanoi). The Qianlong Emperor agreed and sent a large army into Vietnam to remove the Tây Sơn (peasant rebels who had captured all of Vietnam). The capital, Thanglong, was conquered in 1788, but a few months later the Qing army was defeated and the invasion turned into a debacle due to the surprise attack during Tết (Vietnamese New Year) by Nguyễn Huệ, the second and most capable of the three Tây Sơn brothers. The Qing Empire gave formal protection to Lê Chiêu Thống and his famil, and would not intervene in Vietnam for another 90 years.

Despite setbacks in the south, overall the Qianlong Emperor's military expansion nearly doubled the area of the already vast Qing Empire, and brought into the fold many non-Han-Chinese peoples – such as Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs, Evenks and Mongols – who were potentially hostile. It was also a very expensive enterprise; the funds in the Imperial Treasury were almost all put into military expeditions.[16] Though the wars were successful, they were not overwhelmingly so. The Qing army declined noticeably and had a difficult time facing some enemies: the campaign against the Jinchuan hill peoples took 2–3 years – at first the Qing army were mauled, though Yue Zhongqi (a descendant of Yue Fei) later took control of the situation. The battle with the Dzungars was closely fought, and caused heavy losses on both sides.

At the end of the frontier wars, the Qing army had started to weaken significantly. In addition to a more lenient military system, warlords became satisfied with their lifestyles. Since most of the warring had already taken place, warlords no longer saw any reason to train their armies, resulting in a rapid military decline by the end of the Qianlong Emperor's reign. This was the main reason for the Qing military's failure to suppress the White Lotus Rebellion, which started towards the end of the Qianlong Emperor's reign and extended into the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor.

Cultural achievements

The Qianlong Emperor in his study, painting by Giuseppe Castiglione, 18th century
The Qianlong Emperor Viewing Paintings
Festive robe with dragons, clouds, waves and mountains

The Qianlong Emperor, like his predecessors, took his cultural role seriously. First of all, he worked to preserve the Manchu heritage, which he saw as the basis of the moral character of the Manchus and thus of the dynasty's power. He ordered the compilation of Manchu language genealogies, histories, and ritual handbooks and in 1747 secretly ordered the compilation of the Shamanic Code, published later in the Siku Quanshu. He further solidified the dynasty's cultural and religious claims in Central Asia by ordering a replica of the Potala Palace, the Tibetan temple, to be built on the grounds of the imperial summer palace in Chengde.[17] In order to present himself to Tibetans and Mongols in Buddhist rather than in Confucian terms, he commissioned a thangka, or sacred painting, depicting him as Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.[18]

The Qianlong Emperor was a major patron and important "preserver and restorer" of Confucian culture. He had an insatiable appetite for collecting, and acquired much of China's "great private collections" by any means necessary, and "reintegrated their treasures into the imperial collection."[19] The Qianlong Emperor, more than any other Manchu emperor, lavished the imperial collection with his attention and effort:

The imperial collection had its origins in the first century BC, and had gone through many vicissitudes of fire, civil wars and foreign invasions in the centuries that followed. But it was Qianlong who lavished the greatest attention on it, certainly of any of the Manchu rulers... One of the many roles played by Qianlong, with his customary diligence, was that of the emperor as collector and curator. ...how carefully Qianlong followed the art market in rare paintings and antiquities, using a team of cultural advisers, from elderly Chinese literati to newly fledged Manchu connoisseurs. These men would help the emperor spot which great private collections might be coming up for sale, either because the fortunes of some previously rich merchant family were unraveling or because the precious objects acquired by Manchu or Chinese grandees during the chaos of the conquest period were no longer valued by those families' surviving heirs. Sometimes, too, Qianlong would pressure or even force wealthy courtiers into yielding up choice art objects: he did this by pointing out failings in their work, which might be excused if they made a certain "gift", or, in a couple of celebrated cases, by persuading the current owners that only the secure walls of the forbidden City and its guardians could save some precious painting from theft or from fire.[20]

The Qianlong Emperor's massive art collection became an intimate part of his life; he took landscape paintings with him on his travels in order to compare them with the actual landscapes, or to hang them in special rooms in palaces where he lodged, to inscribe them on every visit there.[19] "He also regularly added poetic inscriptions to the paintings of the imperial collection, following the example of the emperors of the Song dynasty and the literati painters of the Ming dynasty. They were a mark of distinction for the work, and a visible sign of his rightful role as emperor. Most particular to the Qianlong Emperor is another type of inscription, revealing a unique practice of dealing with works of art that he seems to have developed for himself. On certain fixed occasions over a long period he contemplated a number of paintings or works of calligraphy which possessed special meaning for him, inscribing each regularly with mostly private notes on the circumstances of enjoying them, using them almost as a diary."[19]

"Most of the several thousand jade items in the imperial collection date from his reign. The (Qianlong) Emperor was also particularly interested in collecting ancient bronzes, bronze mirrors and seals,"[19] in addition to pottery, ceramics and applied arts such as enameling, metal work and lacquer work, which flourished during his reign; a substantial part of his collection is in the Percival David Foundation in London. The Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum also have collections of art from the Qianlong era.

"The Qianlong Emperor was a passionate poet and essayist. In his collected writings, which were published in a tenfold series between 1749 and 1800, over 40,000 poems and 1,300 prose texts are listed, making him one of the most prolific writers of all time. There is a long tradition of poems of this sort in praise of particular objects ('yongwu shi), and the Qianlong Emperor used it in order to link his name both physically and intellectually with ancient artistic tradition."[19]

One of the Qianlong Emperor's grandest projects was to "assemble a team of China's finest scholars for the purpose of assembling, editing, and printing the largest collection ever made of Chinese philosophy, history, and literature."[20] Known as the Four Treasuries Project (or Siku Quanshu), it was published in 36,000 volumes, containing about 3450 complete works and employing as many as 15,000 copyists. It preserved numerous books, but was also intended as a way to ferret out and suppress political opponents, requiring the "careful examination of private libraries to assemble a list of around eleven thousand works from the past, of which about a third were chosen for publication. The works not included were either summarised or – in a good many cases – scheduled for destruction."[20]

Burning of books and modification of texts

Some 2,300 works were listed for total suppression and another 350 for partial suppression. The aim was to destroy the writings that were anti-Qing or rebellious, that insulted previous "barbarian" dynasties, or that dealt with frontier or defence problems.[21] The full editing of the Siku Quanshu was completed in about ten years; during these ten years, 3100 titles (or works), about 150,000 copies of books were either burnt or banned. Of those volumes that had been categorised into the Siku Quanshu, many were subjected to deletion and modification. Books published during the Ming dynasty suffered the greatest damage.[22]

The authority would judge any single character or any single sentence's neutrality; if the authority had decided these words, or sentence, were derogatory or cynical towards the rulers, then persecution would begin.[23] In the Qianlong Emperor's time, there were 53 cases of literary inquisition, resulting in the victims executed by beheading or slow slicing (lingchi), or having their corpses mutilated (if they were already dead).

Literary works

In 1743, after his first visit to Mukden (present-day Shenyang, Liaoning), the Qianlong Emperor used Chinese to write his "Ode to Mukden," (Shengjing fu/Mukden-i fujurun bithe), a fu in classical style, as a poem of praise to Mukden, at that point a general term for what was later called Manchuria, describing its beauties and historical values. He describes the mountains and wildlife, using them to justify his belief that the dynasty would endure. A Manchu translation was then made. In 1748, he ordered a jubilee printing in both Chinese and Manchu, using some genuine pre-Qin forms, but Manchu styles which had to be invented and which could not be read.[24]

Languages

In his childhood, the Qianlong Emperor was tutored in Manchu, Chinese and Mongolian,[25] arranged to be tutored in Tibetan, and spoke Chagatai (Turki or Modern Uyghur) and Tangut. However, he was even more concerned than his predecessors to preserve and promote the Manchu language among his followers, as he proclaimed that "the keystone for Manchus is language." He commissioned new Manchu dictionaries, and directed the preparation of the Pentaglot Dictionary which gave equivalents for Manchu terms in Mongolian, Tibetan and Turkic, and had the Buddhist canon translated into Manchu, which was considered the "national language". He directed the elimination of loanwords taken from Chinese and replaced them with calque translations which were put into new Manchu dictionaries. Manchu translations of Chinese works during his reign were direct translations contrasted with Manchu books translated during the Kangxi Emperor's reign which were transliterations in Manchu script of the Chinese characters.[26]

The Qianlong Emperor commissioned the Yuding Xiyu Tongwen Zhi (欽定西域同文志; "Imperial Western Regions Thesaurus") which was a thesaurus of geographic names in Xinjiang in Oirat Mongol, Manchu, Chinese, Tibetan, and Turki (Modern Uyghur).

Tibetan Buddhism

Engraving of the Qianlong Emperor

The long association of the Manchu rulership with the Bodhisattva Manjusri and his own interest in Tibetan Buddhism gave credence to the Qianlong Emperor's patronage of Tibetan Buddhist art and patronage of translations of the Buddhist canon.[27] The accounts in court records and Tibetan language sources affirm his personal commitment. He quickly learned to read the Tibetan language and studied Buddhist texts assiduously. His beliefs are reflected in the Tibetan Buddhist imagery of his tomb, perhaps the most personal and private expression of an emperor's life. He supported the Yellow Church (the Tibetan Buddhist Gelukpa sect) to "maintain peace among the Mongols" since the Mongols were followers of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama of the Yellow Church, and the Qianlong Emperor had this explanation placed in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing on a stele entitled "Lama Shuo" (on Lamas) in 1792, and he also said it was "merely in pursuance of Our policy of extending Our affection to the weak." which led him to patronize the Yellow Church.[28] Mark Elliott concludes that these actions delivered political benefits but "meshed seamlessly with his personal faith."[27]

This explanation of supporting the "Yellow Hats" Tibetan Buddhists for practical reasons was used to deflect Han criticism of this policy by the Qianlong Emperor, who had the "Lama Shuo" stele engraved in Tibetan, Mongol, Manchu and Chinese, which said: "By patronising the Yellow Church we maintain peace among the Mongols. This being an important task we cannot but protect this (religion). (In doing so) we do not show any bias, nor do we wish to adulate the Tibetan priests as (was done during the) Yuan dynasty."[29][30]

The Qianlong Emperor turned the Palace of Harmony (Yonghe Palace) into a Tibetan Buddhist temple for Mongols in 1744 and had an edict inscribed on a stele to commemorate it in Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese, and Manchu, with most likely the Qianlong Emperor having first wrote the Chinese version before the Manchu.[31]

Persecution of Christians by his father became even worse during his reign. [32]

Palaces

Consorts and children of the Qianlong Emperor
Consorts of the Qianlong Emperor
The Qianlong Emperor watching a wrestling match

The Qianlong Emperor was an aggressive builder. In the hills northwest of Beijing, he expanded the villa known as the "Garden of Perfect Brightness" (Yuanmingyuan) (now known as the Old Summer Palace) that was built by his father. He eventually added two new villas, the "Garden of Eternal Spring" and the "Elegant Spring Garden". In time, the Old Summer Palace would encompass 860 acres (350 hectares), five times larger than the Forbidden City. To celebrate the 60th birthday of his mother, Empress Dowager Chongqing, the Qianlong Emperor ordered a lake at the "Garden of Clear Ripples" (Qingyiyuan) (now known as the Summer Palace) dredged, named it Kunming Lake, and renovated a villa on the eastern shore of the lake.[33]

The Qianlong Emperor also expanded the imperial summer palace in Rehe Province, beyond the Great Wall. [34] Rehe eventually became effectively a third capital and it was at Rehe that the Qianlong Emperor held court with various Mongol nobles. The emperor also spent time at the Mulan hunting grounds north of Rehe, where he held the imperial hunt each year.

European styles

For the Old Summer Palace, the Qianlong Emperor commissioned the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione for the construction of the Xiyang Lou, or Western-style mansion, to satisfy his taste for exotic buildings and objects. He also commissioned the French Jesuit Michel Benoist, to design a series of timed waterworks and fountains complete with underground machinery and pipes, for the amusement of the imperial family. The French Jesuit Jean Denis Attiret also became a painter for the emperor.[35] Jean-Damascène Sallusti was also a court painter. He co-designed, with Castiglione and Ignatius Sichelbart, the Battle Copper Prints.[36][37]

Other architecture

During the Qianlong Emperor's reign, the Emin Minaret was built in Turpan to commemorate Emin Khoja, a Uyghur leader from Turfan who submitted to the Qing Empire as a vassal in order to obtain assistance from the Qing to fight the Zunghars.

Descendants of the Ming dynasty's imperial family

In 1725, the Yongzheng Emperor bestowed a hereditary marquis title on a descendant of Zhu Zhilian, a descendant of the imperial family of the Ming dynasty. Zhu was also paid by the Qing government to perform rituals at the Ming tombs and induct the Chinese Plain White Banner into the Eight Banners. Zhu was posthumously awarded the title "Marquis of Extended Grace" in 1750, and the title was passed on for 12 generations in his family until the end of the Qing dynasty.

The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armour on Horseback, by Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (known as Lang Shining in Chinese) (1688–1766).

The Qianlong Emperor instituted a policy of "Manchu-fying" the Eight Banner system, which was the basic military and social organisation of the dynasty. In the early Qing era, Nurhaci and Huangtaiji categorised Manchu and Han ethnic identity within the Eight Banners based on culture, lifestyle and language, instead of ancestry or genealogy. Han Bannermen were an important part of the Banner System. The Qianlong Emperor changed this definition to one of descent, and demobilised many Han Bannermen and urged Manchu Bannermen to protect their cultural heritage, language and martial skills. The emperor redefined the identity of Han Bannermen by saying that they were to be regarded as of having the same culture and being of the same ancestral extraction as Han civilians[38] Conversely, he emphasised the martial side of Manchu culture and reinstituted the practice of the annual imperial hunt as begun by his grandfather, leading contingents from the Manchu and Mongol banners to the Mulan hunting grounds each autumn to test and improve their skills.[39]

The Qianlong Emperor's view of the Han Bannermen also differed from that of his grandfather in deciding that loyalty in itself was most important quality. He sponsored biographies which depicted Chinese Bannermen who defected from the Ming to the Qing as traitors and glorifing Ming loyalists.[40] Some of the Qianlong Emperor's inclusions and omissions on the list of traitors were political in nature. Some of these actions were including Li Yongfang (out of his dislike for Li Yongfang's descendant, Li Shiyao) and excluding Ma Mingpei (out of concern for his son Ma Xiongzhen's image).[41]

The identification and interchangeability between "Manchu" and "Banner people" (Qiren) began in the 17th century. Banner people were differentiated from civilians (Chinese: minren, Manchu: irgen, or Chinese: Hanren, Manchu :Nikan) and the term Bannermen was becoming identical with "Manchu" in the general perception. The Qianlong Emperor referred to all Bannermen as Manchu, and Qing laws did not say "Manchu" but "Bannermen".[42]

Anti-gun measures

The Solons were ordered by the Qianlong Emperor to stop using rifles and instead practice traditional archery. The emperor issued an edict for silver taels to be issued for guns turned over to the government:[43]

Chinese nobility

The Qianlong Emperor granted the title of Wujing Boshi (五经博士; 五經博士; Wǔjīng Bóshì) to the descendants of Zhang Zai, Fu Sheng (scholar), and Yan Hui.[44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55]

The Manchu prince Abatai's daughter was married to the Han Chinese general Li Yongfang (李永芳).[56][57] The offspring of Li received the "Third Class Viscount" (三等子爵; sān děng zǐjué) title.[58] Li Yongfang was the great great great grandfather of Li Shiyao (李侍堯) who, during the Qianlong Emperor's reign, was involved in graft and embezzlement, demoted of his noble title and sentenced to death, however his life was spared and he regained his title after assisting in the Taiwan campaign.[59][60]

Chinese political identity and frontier policy

The Qianlong Emperor and his predecessors, since the Shunzhi Emperor, had identified China and the Qing Empire as the same, and in treaties and diplomatic papers the Qing Empire called itself "China".[61] The Qianlong Emperor rejected earlier ideas that only Han could be subjects of China and only Han land could be considered as part of China, so he redefined China as multiethnic, saying in 1755 that "there exists a view of China (zhongxia), according to which non-Han people cannot become China's subjects and their land cannot be integrated into the territory of China. This does not represent our dynasty's understanding of China, but is instead that of the earlier Han, Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties."[62]

The Qianlong Emperor rejected the views of Han officials who said Xinjiang was not part of China and that he should not conquer it, putting forth the view that China was multiethnic and did not just refer to Han.[63] The Qianlong Emperor compared his achievements with that of the Han and Tang ventures into Central Asia.[64]

Han settlement

Han Chinese farmers were resettled from north China by the Qing government in the area along the Liao River in order to restore the land to cultivation.[65] Wasteland was reclaimed by Han squatters in addition to other Han people who rented land from Manchu landlords.[66] Despite officially prohibiting Han settlement on the Manchu and Mongol lands, by the 18th century the Qing government decided to settle Han refugees from northern China who were suffering from famine, floods, and drought into Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. Due to this, Han people farmed 500,000 hectares in Manchuria and tens of thousands of hectares in Inner Mongolia by the 1780s.[67] The Qianlong Emperor allowed Han peasants suffering from drought to move into Manchuria despite him issuing edicts in favor of banning them from 1740-76.[68] Han tenant farmers rented or even claimed title to land from the "imperial estates" and Manchu Bannerlands in the area.[69] Besides moving into the Liao area in southern Manchuria, the path linking Jinzhou, Fengtian, Tieling, Changchun, Hulun, and Ningguta was settled by Han people during the Qianlong Emperor's reign, and Han people were the majority in urban areas of Manchuria by 1800.[70] To increase the Imperial Treasury's revenue, the Qing government sold lands along the Sungari which were previously exclusively for Manchus to Han Chinese at the beginning of the Daoguang Emperor's reign, and Han people filled up most of Manchuria's towns by the 1840s, according to Abbé Huc.[71]

Later years

The Qianlong Emperor in his old age

In his later years, the Qianlong Emperor became spoiled with power and glory, disillusioned and complacent in his reign, and started placing his trust in corrupt officials such as Yu Minzhong and Heshen.

As Heshen was the highest ranked minister and most favoured by the Qianlong Emperor at the time, the day-to-day governance of the country was left in his hands, while the emperor himself indulged in the arts, luxuries and literature. When Heshen was executed by the Jiaqing Emperor, the Qing government discovered that Heshen's personal fortune exceeded that of the Qing Empire's depleted treasury, amounting to 900 million silver taels, the total of 12 years of Treasury surplus of the Qing imperial court.[72]

The Qianlong Emperor began his reign with about 33.95 million silver taels in Treasury surplus.[citation needed] At the peak of his reign, around 1775, even with further tax cuts, the treasury surplus still reached 73.9 million silver taels, a record unmatched by his predecessors, the Kangxi and Yongzheng emperors, both of whom had implemented remarkable tax cut policies.[citation needed]

However, due to numerous factors such as long term embezzlement and corruption by officials, frequent expeditions to the south, huge palace constructions, many war and rebellion campaigns as well as his own extravagant lifestyle, all of these cost the treasury a total of 150.2 million silver taels.[citation needed] This, coupled with his senior age and the lack of political reforms, ushered the beginning of the gradual decline and eventual demise of the Qing Empire, casting a shadow over his glorious and brilliant political life.[73]

Macartney Embassy

Lord Macartney's embassy, 1793
The French Jesuit Joseph-Marie Amiot (1718–1793) was the official translator of Western languages for the Qianlong Emperor.
Illustration depicting the last European delegation to be received at the Qianlong Emperor's court in 1795 – Isaac Titsingh (seated European with hat, far left) and A.E. van Braam Houckgeest (seated European without hat)

During the mid-18th century, European powers began to pressure for increases in the already burgeoning foreign trade and for outposts on the China coast, demands which the aging Qianlong emperor resisted. In 1793 King George III sent a large-scale delegation to present their requests directly to the emperor in Beijing, headed by George Macartney, one of the country's most seasoned diplomats.

Historians both in China and abroad long presented the failure of the mission to achieve its goals as a symbol of China's refusal to change and inability to modernize. They explain the refusal first on the fact that interaction with foreign kingdoms was limited to neighbouring tributary states. Furthermore, the worldviews on the two sides were incompatible, China holding entrenched beliefs that China was the "central kingdom". However, after the publication in the 1990s of a fuller range of archival documents concerning the visit, these claims have been challenged. Some assert that China's present day autonomy and successful modernization put the Qianlong Emperor's actions in a new light.[citation needed] One historian summed the newly revised view by characterizing the emperor and his court as "clearly clever and competent political operators".[citation needed] They acted within the formal claims of Qing claims to universal rule, but also simply reacted prudently by placating the British with unspecified promises in order to avoid military conflicts and loss of trade.[74]

Macartney was granted an audience with the Qianlong Emperor on two days, the second of which coincided with the emperor's 82nd birthday. There is continued debate about the nature of the audience and what level of ceremonials were performed. Macartney wrote that he resisted demands that the British trade ambassadors kneel and perform the kowtow and debate continues as to what exactly occurred, differing opinions recorded by Qing courtiers and British delegates.[75]

Qianlong gave Macartney a letter for the British king[76] stating the reasons that he would not grant Macartney's requests:

Yesterday your Ambassador petitioned my Ministers to memorialise me regarding your trade with China, but his proposal is not consistent with our dynastic usage and cannot be entertained. Hitherto, all European nations, including your own country's barbarian merchants, have carried on their trade with our Celestial Empire at Canton. Such has been the procedure for many years, although our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its own borders.
Your request for a small island near Chusan, where your merchants may reside and goods be warehoused, arises from your desire to develop trade... Consider, moreover, that England is not the only barbarian land which wishes to establish... trade with our Empire: supposing that other nations were all to imitate your evil example and beseech me to present them each and all with a site for trading purposes, how could I possibly comply? This also is a flagrant infringement of the usage of my Empire and cannot possibly be entertained.
Hitherto, the barbarian merchants of Europe have had a definite locality assigned to them at Aomen for residence and trade, and have been forbidden to encroach an inch beyond the limits assigned to that locality.... If these restrictions were withdrawn, friction would inevitably occur between the Chinese and your barbarian subjects...
Regarding your nation's worship of the Lord of Heaven, it is the same religion as that of other European nations. Ever since the beginning of history, sage Emperors and wise rulers have bestowed on China a moral system and inculcated a code, which from time immemorial has been religiously observed by the myriads of my subjects. There has been no hankering after heterodox doctrines. Even the European (missionary) officials in my capital are forbidden to hold intercourse with Chinese subjects...[76]

The letter was preserved in archives but was largely unknown to the public until 1914.[77]

Macartney's conclusions in his memoirs were widely disseminated:

The Empire of China is an old, crazy, first-rate Man of War, which a fortunate succession of able and vigilant officers have contrived to keep afloat for these hundred and fifty years past, and to overawe their neighbours merely by her bulk and appearance. But whenever an insufficient man happens to have the command on deck, adieu to the discipline and safety of the ship. She may, perhaps, not sink outright; she may drift some time as a wreck, and will then be dashed to pieces on the shore; but she can never be rebuilt on the old bottom.[78]

Emperor Qianlong's skepticism toward the British Empire would later prove prophetic.[citation needed] After Great Britain began importing Chinese tea, the balance of trade no longer favored Britain,[citation needed] and the empire came up with a strategy to force China to become a market for a good that British traders could sell.[citation needed] British traders would be responsible for bringing large quantities of opium to southern China, causing a national addiction crisis and resulting in two wars.

Titsingh Embassy

A Dutch embassy arrived at the Qianlong Emperor's court in 1795, which would turn out to be the last time any European appeared before the Qing imperial court within the context of traditional Chinese imperial foreign relations.[79]

Representing Dutch and Dutch East India Company interests, Isaac Titsingh traveled to Beijing in 1794–95 for celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Qianlong Emperor's reign.[80] The Titsingh delegation also included the Dutch-American Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest,[81] whose detailed description of this embassy to the Qing court was soon after published in the United States and Europe. Titsingh's French translator, Chrétien-Louis-Joseph de Guignes, published his own account of the Titsingh mission in 1808. Voyage a Pékin, Manille et l'Ile de France provided an alternate perspective and a useful counterpoint to other reports that were then circulating. Titsingh himself died before he could publish his version of events.

In contrast to Macartney, Isaac Titsingh, the Dutch and VOC emissary in 1795 did not refuse to kowtow. In the year following Mccartney's rebuff, Titsingh and his colleagues were much feted by the Chinese because of what was construed as seemly compliance with conventional court etiquette.[82]

Abdication

In October 1795, the Qianlong Emperor officially announced that in the spring of the following year he would voluntarily abdicate his throne and pass the throne to his son. It was said that the Qianlong Emperor had made a promise during the year of his ascension not to rule longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, who had reigned for 61 years.

The Qianlong Emperor anticipated moving out of the Hall of Mental Cultivation (Yangxindian) in the Forbidden City. The hall had been conventionally dedicated for the exclusive use of the reigning sovereign, and in 1771 the emperor ordered the beginning of construction on what was ostensibly intended as his retirement residence in another part of the Forbidden City: a lavish, two-acre walled retreat called the "Palace of Tranquil Longevity (Ningshou Palace)",[20] which is today more commonly known as the "Qianlong Garden".[83] The complex, completed in 1776, is currently undergoing a ten-year restoration led by the Palace Museum in Beijing and the World Monuments Fund (WMF). The first of the restored apartments, the Qianlong Emperor's Juanqinzhai, or "Studio of Exhaustion From Diligent Service," began an exhibition tour of the United States in 2010.[83]

The Qianlong Emperor relinquished the throne at the age of 85, in the 60th year of his reign, to his son, the Jiaqing Emperor, in 1795. For the next four years, he held the title "Taishang Huang (or Retired Emperor)" (太上皇) even though he continued to hold on to power and the Jiaqing Emperor ruled only in name. He never moved into his retirement suites in the Qianlong Garden.[1] He died in 1799.[73][84]

Legends

A legend, popularised in fiction, says that the Qianlong Emperor was the son of Chen Shiguan (陳世倌), a Han Chinese official from Haining County, Zhejiang Province. In his choice of heir to the throne, the Kangxi Emperor required not only that the heir be able to govern the empire well but that the heir's son be of no less calibre, thus ensuring the Manchus' everlasting reign over China. The son of Yinzhen, the Kangxi Emperor's fourth son, was a weakling so Yinzhen surreptitiously arranged for his daughter to be exchanged for Chen Shiguan's son, who became the favourite grandson of the Kangxi Emperor. Yinzhen succeeded his father and became the Yongzheng Emperor, while his "son", Hongli, succeeded him in turn as the Qianlong Emperor. During his reign, the Qianlong Emperor went on inspection tours to southern China and stayed in Chen Shiguan's house in Haining, where he wrote calligraphy. He also frequently issued imperial edicts to waive off taxes from Haining County.

However, there are major problems with this story. First, the Yongzheng Emperor's eldest surviving son, Hongshi, was only seven when Hongli was born, far too young to make the drastic choice of replacing a child of imperial birth with an outsider (and risking disgrace if not death). Second, the Yongzheng Emperor had three other princes who survived to adulthood and had the potential to ascend the throne. Indeed, since Hongshi was the son forced to commit suicide, it would have been far more logical for him to be the adopted son, if any of them were.

Stories about the Qianlong Emperor's six inspection tours to southern China in disguise as a commoner have been a popular topic for many generations. In total, he visited southern China six times – the same number of times as his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor.

Family

Spouses

Empresses

Title Name Born Died Parents Issue Notes
Empress Xiaoxian Chun
孝贤纯皇后
Lady Fuca
富察氏
28 Mar 1712 11 Mar 1748 Lirongbao, supervisor of Chahar
察哈尔总管李荣保
(1728) 1. daughter
(1730) 2. Crown Prince Duanhui
(1731) 3. Princess Hejing of the First Rank
(1746) 7. Prince Zhe of the First Rank
1727: primary consort
1737: Empress
1748: Empress Xiaoxian
1799: Empress Xiaoxian Chun
Empress
皇后
Lady Hoifa–Nara
辉发那拉氏
11 Mar 1718 14 Jul 1766 Narbu, zuoling
佐领讷尔布
(1752) 12. Prince of the Third Rank
(1753) 5. daughter
(1756) 13. Yongjing
Secondary consort
1737: Consort Xian (娴)
1745: Noble Consort Xian
1748: Imperial Noble Consort
1750: Empress
Empress Xiaoyi Chun
孝仪纯皇后
Lady Weigiya
魏佳氏
23 Oct 1727 28 Feb 1775 Wei Qingtai, third class Duke of Cheng'en
三等承恩公魏清泰
Lady Yanggiya
杨佳氏
(1756) 7. Princess Hejing of the First Rank
(1757) 14. Yonglu
(1758) 9. Princess Heke of the Second Rank
(1760) 15. Renzong
(1763) 16. son
(1766) 17. Prince Xi of Qing of the First Rank
1745: Noble Lady; Imperial Concubine Ling (令)
1749: Consort Ling
1759: Noble Consort Ling
1765: Imperial Noble Consort
1775: Imperial Noble Consort Lingyi (令懿)
1795: Empress Xiaoyi
1799: Empress Xiaoyi Chun

Imperial Noble Consorts

Title Name Born Died Parents Issue Notes
Imperial Noble Consort Huixian
慧贤皇贵妃
Lady Gaogiya
高佳氏
unknown 25 Feb 1745 Gao Bin, grand academician
大学士高斌
none Bondservant
1734: secondary consort
1737: Noble Consort
1745: Imperial Noble Consort; Imperial Noble Consort Huixian
Imperial Noble Consort Zhemin
哲悯皇贵妃
Lady Fuca
富察氏
c.1710 20 Aug 1735 Wengguotu, zuoling
佐领翁果图
(1728) 1. Prince An of Ding of the First Rank
(1731) 2. daughter
1725: ordinary consort
1736: Consort Zhe
1745: Imperial Noble Consort Zhemin
Imperial Noble Consort Shujia
淑嘉皇贵妃
Lady Jingiya
金佳氏
1713 1755 Sanbao of Joseon Jin clan
上驷院卿金三宝
(1739) 4. Prince Duan of Lü of the First Rank
(1746) 8. Prince Shen of Yi of the First Rank
(1748) 9. son
(1752) 11. Prince Zhe of Cheng of the First Rank
Bondservant
Ordinary consort
1735: Noble Lady
1737: Imperial Concubine Jia
1741: Consort Jia
1749: Noble Consort Jia
1755: Imperial Noble Consort Shujia
Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui
纯惠皇贵妃
Lady Su
苏氏
1713 1760 Su Zhaonan
苏召南
(1735) 3. Prince Xun of the Second Rank
(1744) 6. Prince Zhuang of Zhi of the First Rank
(1745) 4. Princess Hejia of the Second Rank
Ordinary consort
1735: Imperial Concubine Chun
1737: Consort Chun
1745: Noble Consort Chun
1760: Imperial Noble Consort; Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui
Imperial Noble Consort Qinggong
庆恭皇贵妃
Lady Lu
陆氏
1724 1774 Lu Shilong
陆士隆
Adopted: Renzong 1740: Noble Lady
1751: Imperial Concubine Qing
1759: Consort Qing
1768: Noble Consort Qing
1799: Imperial Noble Consort Qinggong

Noble Consorts

Title Name Born Died Parents Issue Notes
Noble Consort Xin
忻贵妃
Lady Daigiya
戴佳氏
c.1737 1764 Nasutu, viceroy of Liangguang
两广总督那苏图
(1755) 6. daughter
(1758) 8. daughter
1753: Imperial Concubine Xin
1763: Consort Xin
1765: Noble Consort Xin
Noble Consort Yu
愉贵妃
Lady Keliyete
珂里叶特氏
15 Jun 1714 9 Jul 1792 E'erjitu, yuanwailang
员外郎额尔吉图
(1741) 5. Prince Chun of Rong of the First Rank Ordinary consort
1735: First Class Female Attendant Hai (海)
1736: Noble Lady Hai
1741: Imperial Concubine Yu
1745: Consort Yu
1793: Noble Consort Yu
Noble Consort Ying
颖贵妃
Lady Barin
巴林氏
1731 1800 Nachin, qingche duwei
都统兼轻车都尉纳亲
Adopted: Prince Xi of Qing of the First Rank 1748: Noble Lady Ying
1751: Imperial Concubine Ying
1759: Consort Ying
1798: Noble Consort Ying
Noble Consort Xun
循贵妃
Lady Irgen–Gioro
伊尔根觉罗氏
1758 1797 Guilin, viceroy
总督桂林
none 1776: Imperial Concubine Xun
1794: Consort Xun
1799: Noble Consort Xun
Noble Consort Wan
婉贵妃
Lady Chen
陈氏
1716 10 Mar 1807 Chen Tingzhang
陈廷章
none Ordinary consort
1735: First Class Female Attendant
1737: Noble Lady
1749: Imperial Concubine Wan
1794: Consort Wan
1801: Noble Consort Wan

Consorts

Title Name Born Died Parents Issue Notes
Consort Shu
舒妃
Lady Yehe–Nara
叶赫那拉氏
1728 1777 Nalan Yongshou, shilang
侍郎纳兰•永绶
Lady Guan
关氏
(1751) 10. son 1741: Noble Lady; Imperial Concubine Shu
1749: Consort Shu
Consort Yu
豫妃
Lady Borjigit
博尔济吉特氏
1730 1774 Saisanggendun
塞桑根敦
none 1758: Noble Lady Duo (多)
1759: Imperial Concubine Yu
1763: Consort Yu
Consort Rong
容妃
Fatime of Uyghur Xojam clan
和卓•法蒂玛
11 Oct 1734 24 May 1788 Elixojam
艾力和卓木
none 1760: Noble Lady He (和)
1763: Imperial Concubine Rong
1768: Consort Rong
Consort Dun
惇妃
Lady Wang
汪氏
27 Mar 1746 6 Mar 1806 Sige, magistrate of Yixing
宜兴都统四格
(1775) 10. Princess Hexiao of the First Rank 1764: First Class Female Attendant Yong (永)
1770: Noble Lady Yong; Imperial Concubine Dun
1774: Consort Dun
1778: Imperial Concubine Dun
1780: Consort Dun
Consort Fang
芳妃
Lady Chen
陈氏
unknown 1801 Chen Tinglun
陈廷纶
none 1766: First Class Female Attendant Ming (明)
1775: Noble Lady Ming
1794: Imperial Concubine Fang
1798: Consort Fang
Consort Jin
晋妃
Lady Fuca
富察氏
unknown 1822 Dekejing'e, managerial official
主事德克精额
none 1763: Choice Lady
1799: Noble Lady Jin
1820: Consort Jin

Imperial Concubines

Title Name Born Died Parents Issue Notes
Imperial Concubine Yi
仪嫔
Lady Huang
黄氏
unknown 1736 unknown none Ordinary consort
1735: Noble Lady Yi
1736: Imperial Concubine Yi
Imperial Concubine Yi
怡嫔
Lady Bo
柏氏
unknown 1757 Bo Shicai
柏士彩
none Noble Lady Yi
1742: Imperial Concubine Yi
Imperial Concubine Shen
慎嫔
Lady Bai'ergesi
拜尔葛斯氏
unknown 1765 Demuqiseyinchake
德穆齐塞音察克
none 1759: Noble Lady Yi (伊)
1762: Imperial Concubine Shen
Imperial Concubine Xun
恂嫔
Lady Huoshuote
霍硕特氏
unknown 1761 unknown none First Class Female Attendant Guo (郭)
Noble Lady Guo
1762: Imperial Concubine Xun
Imperial Concubine Cheng
诚嫔
Lady Niohuru
钮祜禄氏
unknown 1784 Mukedeng, second class imperial guard
二等侍卫兼佐领穆克登
none 1757: Noble Lady Lan (兰)
1779: Imperial Concubine Cheng
Died by drowning
Imperial Concubine Gong
恭嫔
Lady Lin
林氏
unknown 1805 Foyin, baitang'a
拜唐阿佛音
none 1748: First Class Female Attendant
1751: Noble Lady
1794: Imperial Concubine Gong

Issue

Sons

# Title Name Born Died Mother Notes
1 Prince An of Ding of the First Rank
定安亲王
Yonghuang
永璜
5 Jul 1728 21 Apr 1750 Imperial Noble Consort Zhemin Posthumously honoured as Prince An of Ding of the First Rank in 1750
2 Crown Prince Duanhui
端慧太子
Yonglian
永琏
9 Aug 1730 23 Nov 1738 Empress Xiaoxian Chun Died young
Posthumously honoured in 1738
3 Prince Xun of the Second Rank
循郡王
Yongzhang
永璋
15 Jul 1735 26 Aug 1760 Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui Posthumously honoured as Prince Xun of the Second Rank in 1760
4 Prince Duan of Lü of the First Rank
履端亲王
Yongcheng
永珹
21 Feb 1739 5 Apr 1777 Imperial Noble Consort Shujia Inherited Yuntao's Prince of Lü peerage as Prince of the Second Rank (郡王) in 1763
Posthumously honoured in 1799
5 Prince Chun of Rong of the First Rank
荣纯亲王
Yongqi
永琪
23 Mar 1741 16 Apr 1766 Noble Consort Yu Granted the title Prince Rong of the First Rank in 1765
6 Prince Zhuang of Zhi of the First Rank
质庄亲王
Yongrong
永瑢
28 Jan 1744 13 Jun 1790 Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui Inherited Yunxi's Prince of Shen peerage as Prince of the Third Rank (贝勒) in 1759
Promoted to Prince Zhi of the Second Rank (质郡王) in 1772
Promoted to Prince Zhi of the First Rank in 1789
7 Prince Zhe of the First Rank
哲亲王
Yongcong
永琮
27 May 1746 29 Jan 1748 Empress Xiaoxian Chun Died in infancy
Posthumously honoured as Daomin (悼敏) in 1748
Posthumously honoured in 1799
8 Prince Shen of Yi of the First Rank
仪慎亲王
Yongxuan
永璇
31 Aug 1746 1 Sep 1832 Imperial Noble Consort Shujia Granted the title Prince Yi of the Second Rank (仪郡王) in 1779
Promoted to Prince Yi of the First Rank in 1799
9 2 Aug 1748 11 Jun 1749 Died in infancy
10 12 Jun 1751 7 Jul 1753 Consort Shu Died young
11 Prince Zhe of Cheng of the First Rank
成哲亲王
Yongxing
永瑆
22 Mar 1752 10 May 1823 Imperial Noble Consort Shujia Granted the title Prince Cheng of the First Rank in 1789
12 Prince of the Third Rank
贝勒
Yongqi
永璂
7 Jun 1752 17 Mar 1776 Empress Hoifa–Nara Posthumously honoured in 1776
13 Yongjing
永璟
2 Jan 1756 7 Sep 1757 Died in infancy
14 Yonglu
永璐
31 Aug 1757 3 May 1760 Empress Xiaoyi Chun Died young
15 Renzong
仁宗
Yongyan
永琰, 颙琰
13 Nov 1760 2 Sep 1820 Granted the title Prince Jia of the First Rank (嘉亲王) in 1789
Became Emperor (皇帝) in 1796
16 13 Jan 1763 6 May 1765 Died young
17 Prince Xi of Qing of the First Rank
庆僖亲王
Yonglin
永璘
17 Jun 1766 25 Apr 1820 Granted the title Prince of the Third Rank (贝勒) in 1789
Promoted to Prince Hui of the Second Rank (惠郡王) in 1799
Title changed to Prince Qing of the Second Rank (庆郡王)
Promoted to Prince Qing of the First Rank in 1820
Originator of the "iron-cap" Prince of Qing peerage

Daughters

# Title Name Born Died Mother Spouses Issue Notes
1 unknown 3 Nov 1728 14 Feb 1730 Empress Xiaoxian Chun none none Died in infancy
2 unknown 1731 1731 Imperial Noble Consort Zhemin none none Died in infancy
3 Princess Hejing of the First Rank
固伦和敬公主
unknown 28 Jun 1731 15 Aug 1792 Empress Xiaoxian Chun 1747: Sebutengbalezhu'er, Duke of the Second Rank of Khorchin
(科尔沁辅国公色布腾巴勒珠尔)
Borjigit Elezhetemu'er–E'erkebabai
(博尔济吉特•鄂勒哲特穆尔额尔克巴拜)
4 Princess Hejia of the Second Rank
和硕和嘉公主
unknown 24 Dec 1745 29 Oct 1767 Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui 1760: Fuca Fulungga (富察•福隆安) Granted the title Princess Hejia of the Second Rank in 1760
5 unknown 23 Jul 1753 1 Jun 1755 Empress Hoifa–Nara none none Died in infancy
6 unknown 24 Aug 1755 27 Sep 1758 Noble Consort Xin none none Died young
7 Princess Hejing of the First Rank
固伦和静公主
unknown 10 Aug 1756 9 Feb 1775 Empress Xiaoyi Chun 1770: Borjigit Lawangdorji
(博尔济吉特•拉旺多尔济)
Granted the title Princess Hejing of the First Rank in 1770
8 unknown 16 Jan 1758 17 Jun 1767 Noble Consort Xin none none Died young
9 Princess Heke of the Second Rank
和硕和恪公主
unknown 17 Aug 1758 14 Dec 1780 Empress Xiaoyi Chun 1772: Uya Jalantai (乌雅•札兰泰) Lady Uya (乌雅氏) Granted the title Princess Heke of the Second Rank in 1771
10 Princess Hexiao of the First Rank
固伦和孝公主
unknown 2 Feb 1775 13 Oct 1823 Consort Dun 1789: Niohuru Fengšen–Yendehe
(钮祜禄•丰绅殷德)
Niohuru (钮祜禄) Granted the title Princess Hexiao of the First Rank in 1786

Adopted Daughters

# Title Name Born Died Father Mother Spouses Issue Notes
1 Princess Hewan of the Second Rank
和硕和婉公主
unknown 24 July 1734 2 May 1760 Hongzhou, Prince Gong of He of the First Rank, eldest daughter of
和恭亲王弘昼
Lady Ujara, Primary Consort
嫡福晋乌札库氏
1750: Deleke of Baarin
巴林德勒克

Ancestry

See also

Notes

^1 The Qianlong era name, however, started only on 12 February 1736, the first day of that lunar year. 8 February 1796 was the last day of the lunar year known in Chinese as the 60th year of Qianlong.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Jacobs, Andrew. "Dusting Off a Serene Jewel Box," New York Times. 31 December 2008.
  2. ^ Æneas Anderson, A Narrative of the British Embassy to China, in the Years 1792, 1793, and 1794; Containing the Various Circumstances of the Embassy, with Accounts of Customs and Manners of the Chinese (London: J. Debrett, 1795) p. 262.
  3. ^ Wei Yuan, 聖武記 Military history of the Qing Dynasty, vol.4. “計數十萬戶中,先痘死者十之四,繼竄入俄羅斯哈薩克者十之二,卒殲於大兵者十之三。”
  4. ^ a b Perdue 2005, p. 287.
  5. ^ Clarke 2004, p. 37.
  6. ^ Theobald, Ulrich (2013). War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China: A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771–1776). BRILL. p. 21. ISBN 9004255672. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Manchu hymn chanted at the occasion of the victory over the Jinchuan Rebels". Manchu Studies Group. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  8. ^ Man-Cheong, Iona (2004). Class of 1761. Stanford University Press. p. 180. ISBN 0804767130. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Schmidt, J. D. (2013). Harmony Garden: The Life, Literary Criticism, and Poetry of Yuan Mei (1716-1798). Routledge. p. 444. ISBN 1136862250. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Schmidt, Jerry D. (2013). The Poet Zheng Zhen (1806-1864) and the Rise of Chinese Modernity. BRILL. p. 394. ISBN 9004252290. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Theobald, Ulrich (2013). War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China: A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771–1776). BRILL. p. 32. ISBN 9004255672. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Chang, Michael G. (2007). A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring & the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680-1785. Volume 287 of Harvard East Asian monographs (illustrated ed.). Harvard University Asia Center. p. 435. ISBN 0674024540. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Dabringhaus, Sabine (2011). "Staatsmann, Feldherr und Dichter". Damals (in German). Vol. 43 no. 1. pp. 16–24. 
  14. ^ Hall, pp. 27–29
  15. ^ Dai, p.145
  16. ^ Schirokauer, Conrad & Clark, Donald N. Modern East Asia: A Brief History, 2nd ed. pp. 35. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston & New York. 2008 ISBN 978-0-618-92070-9.
  17. ^ Jonathan D. Spence. The Search for Modern China. (New York: Norton, 3rd, 2013 ISBN 9780393934519), p. 98.
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  21. ^ Alexander Woodside, "The Ch’ien-Lung Reign," in Peterson, Willard J. (December 2002). The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-521-24334-6. 
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  27. ^ a b Elliott (2009), p. 145.
  28. ^ Elisabeth Benard, "The Qianlong Emperor and Tibetan Buddhism," in Dunnell & Elliott & Foret & Millward 2004, pp. 123-4.
  29. ^ Lopez 1999, p. 20.
  30. ^ Berger 2003, p. 35.
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  33. ^ Rawski, Evelyn The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions (University of California Press, 1998) pgs. 23 & 24
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  75. ^ For a conventional European perspective of the audience question, see Alain Peyrefitte, The Immobile Empire, translated by Jon Rotschild (New York: Knopf: Distributed by Random House, 1992.)
    For a critique, see James L. Hevia, Cherishing Men from Afar: Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793.(Durham: Duke University Press, 1995).
    For a discussion on Hevia's book, see exchange between Hevia and Joseph W. Esherick in Modern China 24, no. 2 (1998).
  76. ^ a b "Qinglong's Letter to King George". academics.wellesley.edu. translated by Edmond Backhouse and J. O. P. Bland, in Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), pp. 322-331. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
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References

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  • Berger, Patricia Ann (2003). Empire of Emptiness: Buddhist Art and Political Authority in Qing China (illustrated ed.). University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0824825632. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • Clarke, Michael Edmund (2004). "In the Eye of Power: China and Xinjiang from the Qing Conquest to the 'New Great Game' for Central Asia 1759–2004" (PDF). Griffith University, Brisbane: Doctoral thesis, Dept. of International Business & Asian Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 February 2011. 
  • Crossley, Pamela Kyle (1999). A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology. University of California Press. ISBN 0520928849. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • Dunnell, Ruth W.; Elliott, Mark C.; Foret, Philippe; Millward, James A (2004). New Qing Imperial History: The Making of Inner Asian Empire at Qing Chengde. Routledge. ISBN 1134362226. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • Elliott, Mark C. (2000), "The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies" (PDF), Journal of Asian Studies, 59: 603–646, JSTOR 2658945 
  • —— (2001). The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804746842. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • —— (2009). Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World. New York: Pearson Longman. ISBN 9780321084446. 
  • de Guignes, Chrétien-Louis-Joseph (1808). Voyage a Pékin, Manille et l'Ile de France. Paris.
  • Guy, R. Kent (October 1987). The Emperor's Four Treasures. Harvard University Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-674-25115-1. 
  • Hall, D.G.E. (1960). Burma (3rd edition ed.). Hutchinson University Library. ISBN 978-1-4067-3503-1.
  • Liu, Tao Tao; Faure, David (1996). Unity and Diversity: Local Cultures and Identities in China. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9622094023. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • Lopez, Donald S. (1999). Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West (reprint, revised ed.). University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226493113. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • Millward, James A. (1998). Beyond the Pass: Economy, Ethnicity, and Empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864 (illustrated ed.). Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804729336. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
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  • Rawski, Evelyn S. (1998). The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. University of California Press. ISBN 052092679X. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • Perdue, Peter C. (2005). China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge, Mass.; London, England: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 
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Further reading

  • Chang, Michael (2007). A court on horseback: imperial touring & the construction of Qing rule, 1680–1785. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center.
  • Ho Chuimei, Bennet Bronson. Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong. (London: Merrell, in association with The Field Museum, Chicago, 2004). ISBN 1858942039.
  • Kahn, Harold L. Monarchy in the Emperor's Eyes: Image and Reality in the Ch'ien-Lung Reign. (Cambridge, Mass.,: Harvard University Press, Harvard East Asian Series, 59, 1971). ISBN 0674582306.
  • Kuhn, Philip A. Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990). ISBN 0674821513 (alk. paper).
  • James A. Millward, Ruth W. Dunnell, Mark C. Elliot and Philippe Foret. ed., New Qing Imperial History: The Making of Inner Asian Empire at Qing Chengde. (London; New York: Routledge, 2004). ISBN 0415320062.
  • Nancy Berliner, "The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City" (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2010) ISBN 978-0-87577-221-9.

Works by the Qianlong Emperor

  • Ch'ien Lung (emperor of China.) (1810). The conquest of the Miao-tse, an imperial poem ... entitled A choral song of harmony for the first part of the Spring [tr.] by S. Weston, from the Chinese. Translated by Stephen Weston. LONDON: Printed & Sold by C. & R. Baldwin, New Bridge Street, Black Friars. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
Qianlong Emperor
Born: 25 September 1711 Died: 7 February 1799
Regnal titles
Preceded by
The Yongzheng Emperor
Emperor of China
1735–1796
Succeeded by
The Jiaqing Emperor
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