Zhang Juzheng, courtesy name Shuda, pseudonym Taiyue, was a Chinese reformer and statesman who served as Grand Secretary in the late Ming dynasty during the reigns of the Longqing and Wanli emperors. He represented what might be termed the "new Legalism," aiming to ensure that the gentry worked for the state. Alluding to performance evaluations, he said "Everyone is talking about real responsibility, but without a clear reward and punishment system, going to risk life and hardship for the country?" One of his chief goals was to reform the gentry and rationalize the bureaucracy together with his political rival Gao Gong, concerned that offices were providing income with little responsibility. Taking the Emperor Hongwu as his standard and ruling as de facto Prime Minister, Zhang's true historical significance comes from his centralization of existing reforms, positing the reformative agency of the state over that of the gentry - the "Legalist" idea of the sovereignty of the state; the Wanli Emperor respected Zhang as a mentor and valued minister.
During the first ten years of the Wanli era, the Ming dynasty's economy and military power prospered in a way not seen since the Yongle Emperor and the Rule of Ren and Xuan from 1402 to 1435. However, after Zhang's death, the Wanli Emperor felt free to act independently, reversed many of Zhang's administrative improvements. Zhang Juzheng was born in Jiangling County, in modern-day Jingzhou, Hubei province, in 1525, was renowned for his intelligence at an early age, passing the county shengyuan examinations at the age of 12 and enrolling for the provincial juren examinations the next year, where the chief examiner failed him to prevent his becoming complacent. In 1547, he passed the imperial examination and was appointed as an editor in the Hanlin Academy. Zhang was embroiled in deep political turmoil from the start of his career, owing to the factionalism prevalent in the Ming bureaucracy at the time, he was one of few officials who had cordial relations with both Yan Song and Xu Jie, the leaders of the respective factions, but assisted Xu in overthrowing Yan Song.
Subsequently, under Xu's patronage, Zhang became a Privy Secretary in 1567, outlasting Xu himself and sharing power with his political rival Gao Gong. Gao was ejected from office in 1572, shortly after the accession of the Wanli Emperor by Zhang and his ally, the eunuch Feng Bao, on charges that he had questioned the ability of the child emperor to rule; this left Zhang as the sole Grand Secretary, in effect controlling the entire Ming bureaucracy during the first ten years of the Wanli era. Zhang's reforms consisted of fiscal measures in order to address the persistent revenue shortages that plagued the government. At the same time, laws were instituted from 1573 onwards to tighten monitoring and assessment of officials, in an attempt to restore discipline to an corrupt bureaucracy. Other major measures included the large-scale retrenchment of officials to achieve savings, as well as efforts to reclaim tax-exempt lands and expand the revenue base. In 1580 the single whip law was instituted, commuting all taxes and labour obligations into silver payments, while an empire-wide land survey was ordered.
In military affairs, Zhang promoted and supported competent generals such as Qi Jiguang in order to strengthen the empire's northern borders. Zhang played a important role as mentor and regent during the early years of the reign of the Wanli Emperor, he influenced and guided the emperor through his teenage years. However, the strict upbringing he imposed on the emperor aroused resentment, while his attempts to centralise government and improve its finances affected the interests of large sections of the bureaucracy, leading to frequent controversy. One example of this was the death of Zhang's father in 1577. In the subsequent dispute over the propriety of Zhang's actions, several opposing officials were subjected to punishment by caning, which only increased the impression of Zhang's domineering nature. Zhang's fiscal policies met with only mixed success, due to the institutional resistance to his reforms. While the fiscal situation of the imperial government was much improved, the coffers were refilled with silver, most of the reforms he instituted either failed to achieve their aims, such as the empire-wide land survey, or were discarded after his death in 1582.
At the same time, his luxurious lifestyle - which included meals with over a hundred dishes, a palanquin carried by 32 men - exposed him to charges of hypocrisy as he imposed austerity measures on the rest of the bureaucracy. After his death, Zhang's political opponents accused him and Feng Bao of several major charges, including corruption and factionalism; as a result, his family was purged and his wealth and estate confiscated on the Wanli Emperor's orders, while several of his political allies were forced to retire. Zhang's reputation would only be rehabilitated more than half a century just before the downfall of the Ming dynasty. In 1573, Zhang presented the Wanli Emperor with a commentary on the Four Books of the Confucian canon, entitled "Colloquial Commentary on the Four Books", it was published some time between 1573 and 1584. The book was not destroyed during the posthumous disgrace of Zhang, enjoyed a measure of renown among the Chinese literati a century during the early decades of the Qing dynasty, when several editions of it
Chao Cuo was a Chinese political advisor and official of the Han Dynasty, renowned for his intellectual capabilities and foresight in martial and political matters. He was an early advocate of revoking the heqin treaty with the Xiongnu nomads of the north, he compared the relative weaknesses of both Han Chinese and Xiongnu military tactics. In a written work of 169 BC, he advocated a systematic policy to defend frontier zones, he proposed that civilian migrants supported by the government could train as militia units while developing and cultivating remote regions which were under frequent attack by nomadic forces. He fell victim to execution when political rivalries at the imperial court convinced Emperor Jing that Chao's death would curtail or at least mitigate the Rebellion of the Seven States. Chao took part in reviving from oblivion the Classic of History, one of the early canons of Confucian philosophy. Despite this, despite being well aware of the failings of the Qin Dynasty, he was described by Eastern Han scholars as a Legalist.
Chao's intellectual background was steeped in the writings of Legalist philosophers such as Shang Yang and Shen Buhai. The essays written by Chao which are preserved in the 1st century AD Book of Han do not reveal any influence of Confucian social or ethical ideas. Chao Cuo was born in Yuzhou and served the imperial courts of Emperor Wen of Han and Emperor Jing of Han. While he served as a subordinate official in the Ministry of Ceremonies, he was once called upon by Emperor Wen to serve as a high dignitary in studying with the elderly Master Fu, or Fu Sheng, an academician who served the previous Qin Dynasty and had hidden and recovered a copy of the Classic of History during the Qin regime's purge of opposition literature. However, since Fu was too old to give lectures, he had his educated daughter teach Chao instead; the capstone of Chao's political career in the capital Chang'an was his appointment in 155 BC to the post of Imperial Secretary —one of the three most senior posts in the central government.
He was well known for his knowledge about politics, agriculture, border defense, frontier management. Chao was one of the first known ministers to suggest to Emperor Wen that Han armies should have a cavalry-centric army to match the nomadic Xiongnu to the north, since Han armies were still infantry, with cavalry and chariots playing a supporting role, he advocated the policy of "using barbarians to attack barbarians," that is, incorporating surrendered Xiongnu horsemen into the Han military, a suggestion, adopted with the establishment of dependent states of different nomads living on Han's frontiers. Like Jia Yi, he was an early proponent of terminating the heqin marriage alliance and tribute treaty with the Xiongnu, although he opposed it for practical reasons rather than Jia's staunch ideological position that superior sedentary Chinese culture should dominate over the northern nomads; the heqin agreement was supposed to guarantee stability between the Han and Xiongnu. Chao believed that the heqin agreement had been breached and ignored by the Xiongnu on so many occasions—with continuous raiding and plundering along Han's borders by Xiongnu tribe and clan leaders—that the treaty failed to live up to its goals and lost all practical use.
It was not until after the Battle of Mayi during Emperor Wu's reign that the heqin treaty was abolished in favor of an offensive military strategy to break apart the Xiongnu Empire. In a memorandum entitled "Guard the Frontiers and Protect the Borders" that he presented to the throne in 169 BC, Chao compared the relative strengths of Xiongnu and Han battle tactics. In regards to the Han armies, Chao deemed the swift-riding Xiongnu horsemen better prepared for rough terrain due to better stallions, better with horseback archery, were better able to withstand the elements and harsh climates than Chinese soldiers. However, he viewed Xiongnu cavalry inferior when faced with Han infantry and chariots on flat, level plains, he emphasized the superiority of Han iron armor and weapons over the Xiongnu's leather armor and wooden shields. He deemed the Chinese composite crossbow and repeating crossbow superior to the Xiongnu's composite bow; when dismounted, he believed that the Xiongnu, untrained in infantry tactics, would be decimated by Han infantry.
In his Rise of the Chinese Empire, historian Chun-shu Chang outlines the main points on frontier development embodied in Chao's "Guard the Frontiers and Protect the Borders" proposal of 169 BC. The following are excerpts from Chao's written memorandum, it is clear from historical records that Emperor Wen approved of Chao's proposal and enlisted people for service on the northern frontier. Chao wrote: It is necessary to settle permanent residents in border regions since expeditionary soldiers from other parts of the empire do not understand the character and capacities of the Hsiung-nu... The government will provide houses and land for the immigrants. For the immigrants in such border areas, the government will construct walled cities, well protected by high walls, deep moats and thorns; each city, along strategic points and thoroughfares, will be designed to hold no fewer than one thousand households... Each walled city will have an outer wall 150 paces apart; each residential area in the outer-wall area is to be surrounded by "sandy fields
Simplified Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language; the government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong and the Republic of China. While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups retain their use of simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name colloquially; the latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms.
On the other hand, the official name refers to the modern systematically simplified character set, which includes not only structural simplification but substantial reduction in the total number of standardized Chinese characters. Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters; some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character the simplest amongst all variants in form. Many characters were left untouched by simplification, are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies; some simplified characters are dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol.
This has led some opponents of simplification to complain that the'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. Proponents counter that the system of simplification is internally consistent. Proponents have emphasized a some particular simplified characters as innovative and useful improvements, although many of these have existed for centuries as longstanding and widespread variants. A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never dropped its goal of further simplification in the future. In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a modified list of simplified characters; the new Table of General Standard Chinese Characters consisting of 8,105 characters was implemented for use by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on June 5, 2013. Although most of the simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and 60s, character simplification predates the PRC's formation in 1949.
Cursive written text always includes character simplification. Simplified forms used in print are attested as early as the Qin dynasty. One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lufei Kui, who proposed in 1909 that simplified characters should be used in education. In the years following the May Fourth Movement in 1919, many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China. Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged. Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated, it was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or abolished. Lu Xun, a renowned Chinese author in the 20th century, stated that, "If Chinese characters are not destroyed China will die". Recent commentators have claimed that Chinese characters were blamed for the economic problems in China during that time. In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.
In 1935, 324 simplified characters collected by Qian Xuantong were introduced as the table of first batch of simplified characters, but they were suspended in 1936. The PRC issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964. Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated with the leftists of the Cultural Revolution, culminating with the second-round simplified characters, which were promulgated in 1977. In part due to the shock and unease felt in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's death, the second-round of simplifications was poorly received. In 1986 the authorities retracted the second round completely. In the same year, the authorities promulgated a final list of simplifications, identical to the 1964 list except for six changes (including the restoration of three characters, simplified in the First Round: 叠, 覆, 像.
Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius
The Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius Campaign was a political propaganda campaign started by Mao Zedong and his wife, Jiang Qing, the leader of the Gang of Four. It lasted from 1973 until the end of the Cultural Revolution, in 1976; the campaign produced detailed Maoist interpretations of Chinese history, was used as a tool by the Gang of Four to attack their enemies. The campaign continued in several phases, beginning as an academic attempt to interpret Chinese history according to Mao's political theories. In 1974 the campaign was joined with another, pre-existent campaign to attack Lin Biao, who had attempted to assassinate Mao in a failed coup before his death in 1971. In early 1975 the campaign was modified to indirectly attack China's Premier, Zhou Enlai, other senior Chinese leaders. In mid-1975 the Gang of Four introduced debate on The Water Margin as a tool to attack their enemies; the campaign only ended in 1976, when the Gang of Four were arrested, ending the Cultural Revolution.
The events that occurred during the "Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius" campaign were "complex and confusing", but can be identified as occurring through four main phases. The first phase of the campaign began after the 1st Plenary Session of the 10th CCP Central Committee, in 1973. Following this session, Mao encouraged public discussions focused on criticizing Confucius and Confucianism, on interpreting aspects of historical Chinese society within a Maoist theoretical perspective; these initial debates focused on interpreting the issues of slavery and the relationship between Confucianism and Legalism according to the social theories published by Mao and Karl Marx. In late 1973 - early 1974 begins the second phase of the campaign, when as the main critics of Confucius were the masses; the universities were organized special courses, preparing a program of criticism of certain provisions of the Confucius used by Lin Biao. Tens of thousands of workers and peasants were trained in these courses, swelling the ranks of "Marxist theoretician."The attacks on Confucius merged with a pre-existent campaign to criticize Lin Biao.
With the deployment of the campaign it became clear that "criticism of Lin Biao and Confucius" was directed not so much against the "enemies of the past," as against the "enemies of today." During this phase, Mao's image was identified with that of Qin Shihuang. Hyperbolic praise was given to Qin based on his popular association with Mao. In the article "What kind of man Confucius", published in the seventh issue of the Red Flag magazine in 1974, paint a portrait of the ancient sage who reminds the reader of Zhou Enlai. Based on People's Daily articles, Russian researcher Leo Delyusin believed that locals formally belonging to the campaign "criticize Lin Biao and Confucius" sabotaged it, it was clear that Beijing was not satisfied with the progress of the campaign, from time to time Beijing heard complaints and accusations at those who tried to change the direction of the campaign and give it a different shape, different goals. The attempts to disrupt and distort the meaning of the campaign against Lin Biao and Confucius combined with a formal public statement about the importance of the campaign, in practice - curtail it and to address specific cases.
Under the guise of criticism of the ideas of Confucius education, Tang Xiaowen in the article "I was popular educator Confucius?", attacked those who moved away from the installations of the "cultural revolution." He tried to prove that in the saying of Confucius' all "contained class meaning", had a detrimental effect on the organization of the education system, serving as the basis of the revisionist line. Declaring that "Confucius harbored a fierce hatred of the social changes of the time," the author attributed his intention "to make all slaves China obedient and submissive." In his school, "he picked up the students with the intention to train "humane", "purposeful," "noble," "virtuous "men who adhere to" the orders of the Zhou Dynasty, having achieved success in their studies, would be officials and promoted to thereby restore the slave system of the Western Zhou". In the criticism of the private schools established by Confucius, aimed at the restoration of the old order, the Chinese reader found the familiar features of the "reactionary political line in the field of education".
The third phase began after Zhou Enlai reorganized the State Council during the 4th National People's Congress, in January 1975. At the People's Congress, Zhou Enlai brought many cadres back to work, purged during the 1966-1969 phase of the Cultural Revolution. In comparison with the first stage of the "cultural revolution", the rehabilitated leaders led by Premier Zhou Enlai had sufficient influence in the center. Feeling strong support from his supporters on 31 January 1974 at the enlarged meeting of the Politburo, he was able to request not to involve the armed forces in a campaign "four great freedoms", writing, free expression of opinions and extensive discussion, general criticism; because they had supported the purging of many career Communist Party veterans during the early Cultural Revolution, the Gang of Four opposed Zhou's efforts, began to use the campaign to subtly criticize Zhou and his policies. The fourth and final phase of the campaign coincided with Zhou's hospitalization.
After the 1974 campaign "criticize Lin Biao and Confucius" reached its climax, soon subsided. Beginning in the summer of 1975 the Gang of Four deployed a new campaign, introducing public debates on The Water Margin and the "war on empiricism"
Wang Anshi, courtesy name Jiefu, was a Chinese economist, statesman and poet of the Song Dynasty who attempted major and controversial socioeconomic reforms known as the New Policies. These reforms constituted the core concepts of the Song-Dynasty Reformists, in contrast to their rivals, the Conservatives, led by the Chancellor Sima Guang. Wang Anshi's ideas are analyzed in terms of the influence the Rites of Zhou or Legalism had on him, his economic reforms included increase currency circulation, breaking up of private monopolies, early forms of government regulation and social welfare. His military reforms expanded the use of local militias and his government reforms expanded the civil service examination system and attempted to suppress nepotism in government. Although successful for a while, he fell out of favor of the emperor. During the Song Dynasty, the unprecedented development of large estates, whose owners managed to evade paying their share of taxes, resulted in an heavy burden of taxation on commoners.
The drop in state revenues, a succession of budget deficits, widespread inflation prompted the Emperor Shenzong of Song to seek advice from Wang. Wang Anshi came from a family of imperial scholars and was placed fourth in the imperial exam of 1042, he spent the first twenty years of his career in the regional government of the lower Yangtze region. During this period, he gained practical experience in local governance; this experience guided his analysis in formulating solutions to revitalize the ailing Song society. Wang believed that the state has the responsibility to provide for its people the essentials for a decent living standard: "The state should take the entire management of commerce and agriculture into its own hands, with a view to succoring the working classes and preventing them from being ground into the dust by the rich."Wang came to power as 2nd privy councilor in 1069. It was there that he promulgated his reform policy. There were three main components to this policy: 1) state finance and trade, 2) defense and social order, 3) education and improving of governance.
Some of the finance reforms included paying cash for labor in place of corvee labor, increase the supply of copper coins, improve management of trade, direct government loan to farmers during planting seasons and to be repaid at harvest. He believed. To limit speculation and eliminate private monopolies, he initiated price control and regulated wages and set up pensions for the aged and unemployed; the state began to institute public orphanages, dispensaries, hospices and reserve granaries. The military reform centered on a new institution of organized households; this was done to ensure collective responsibility in society and was used to strengthen local defense. He proposed the creation of systems to breed military horses, the more efficient manufacture of weapons and training of the militia. To improve education and government, he sought to break down the barrier between clerical and official careers as well as improving their supervision to prevent connections being used for personal gain.
Tests in law, military affairs and medicine were added to the examination system, with mathematics added in 1104. The National Academy was transformed into a real school rather than a holding place for officials waiting for appointments. However, there was deep-seated resistance to the education reforms as it hurt bureaucrats coming in under the old system. Although Wang had the alliance of such prominent court figures as Shen Kuo, imperial scholar-officials such as Su Dongpo and Ouyang Xiu bitterly opposed these reforms on the grounds of tradition, they believed Wang's reforms were against the moral fundamentals of the Two Emperors and would therefore prevent the Song from experiencing the prosperity and peace of the ancients. The tide tilted in favor of the conservatives due to renewed foreign conflict, he was temporarily removed from power and imprisoned in 1075. Like many Chinese officials of the era, Wang's career experienced many ups and downs, but the beginning of the end came in 1074.
A famine in northern China drove many farmers off their lands. Their circumstances were made worse by the debts they had incurred from the seasonal loans granted under Wang’s reform initiatives. Local officials insisted on collecting on the loans; this crisis was depicted as being Wang’s fault. The empress dowager was an opponent of Wang. Wang wanted to resign, but the emperor still supported him, giving him high honors and an appointment to Jiangning He was recalled by the emperor the following year, but now he was seen as vulnerable and was attacked from groups of conservatives. Wang returned to Nanjing, he wrote and engaged in scholarship through to his death in 1086. With Shenzong's death in 1085, Wang was ousted and the New Policies were rolled back - some temporarily, some permanently. In addition to his political achievements, Wang Anshi was a noted poet, he wrote poems in the shi form, modeled on those of Du Fu. He was ranked number seven among the Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song.
He was an adherent of the Classical Prose Movement championed by Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan and second of the Eight Masters of the Tang and Song respectively. His poetry included social themes along with the traditional observations of nature. A well-known man-of-letters, Wang Anshi produced many outstanding poems. Lines from one of his most famous pieces: One of
Qin was an ancient Chinese state during the Zhou dynasty. Traditionally dated to 897 B. C. it took its origin in a reconquest of western lands lost to the Rong. Following extensive "Legalist" reform in the 3rd century BC, Qin emerged as one of the dominant powers of the Seven Warring States and unified China in 221 BC under Shi Huangdi; the empire it established was short-lived but influential on Chinese history. According to the 2nd century BC historical text Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian, the Qin state traced its origin to one of the Five Emperors in ancient times, named Zhuanxu. One of his descendents, was granted the family name of "Ying" by King Shun. During the Xia and Shang dynasties, the Ying split in two: a western branch in Quanqiu and another branch that lived east of the Yellow River; the latter became the ancestors of the rulers of the Zhao state. The western Ying at Quanqiu were lords over the Xichui, the "Western March" of the Shang. One, was killed defending King Zhou during the rebellion that established the Zhou dynasty.
The family was allied with the marquesses of Shen and continued to serve under the Zhou. A younger son of line, Feizi, so impressed King Xiao with his horse breeding skills that he was awarded a separate fief in the valley of Qin. Both lines of the western Ying lived in the midst of the Rong tribes, sometimes fighting their armies and sometimes intermarrying with their kings. In 771 BC, the Marquess of Shen formed an alliance with the Zeng state and Quanrong nomads, they attacked and captured the Zhou capital Haojing, killing King You of Zhou. Duke Xiang of Qin led his troops to escort King You's son King Ping of Zhou to Luoyi, where the new capital city of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty was established. In recognition of Duke Xiang's efforts, King Ping formally enfeoffed Duke Xiang as a feudal lord, elevated Qin from an "attached state" to a major vassal state. King Ping further promised to give Qin the land west of Qishan, the former heartland of Zhou, if Qin could expel the Rong tribes that were occupying the land.
The future generations of the Qin rulers were encouraged by this promise, they launched several military campaigns on the Rong expanding their territories to beyond the original lands lost by the Western Zhou Dynasty. The Qin viewed the Zhou rulers Wen and Wu as their predecessors and themselves as inheritors of their legacy. Qin's interaction with other states in eastern and central China remained minimal throughout the Spring and Autumn period, except with its neighbour Jin, a large, mainstay vassal of the Zhou. Qin maintained good diplomatic relations with Jin and there were marriages between members of the royal clans of both states, but relations between both sides had deteriorated to the point of armed conflict before. During the early reign of Duke Mu of Qin, the Jin state was a formidable power under the leadership of Duke Xian of Jin. However, after the death of Duke Xian, Jin plunged into a state of internal conflict as Duke Xian's sons fought over the succession. One of them won the contention and became Duke Hui of Jin, but Jin was struck by a famine not long and Duke Hui requested aid from Qin.
Duke Mu of Qin sent agricultural equipment to Jin. However, Qin was struck by famine and by Jin had recovered and it turned to attack Qin. Qin and Jin engaged in several battles over the next few years. During the battles with Jin, Duke Mu heard that one of Duke Xian's sons, Chong'er, was in exile in the Chu state. After consulting his subjects, Duke Mu sent an emissary to Chu to invite Chong'er to Jin, Qin helped Chong'er defeat Duke Hui and Chong'er became the new ruler of Jin, with his title as "Duke Wen". Duke Wen was grateful to relations between Qin and Jin improved. Qin used the opportunity when its eastern front was stable, to launch military campaigns against the minority tribes in the west. In 627 BC, Duke Mu of Qin planned a secret attack on the State of Zheng, but the Qin army retreated after being tricked into believing that Zheng was prepared for Qin's invasion. Duke Wen had died and his successor, Duke Xiang of Jin, ordered his troops to lay an ambush for the retreating Qin army.
The Qin forces were defeated in an ambush by Jin at the Battle of Xiao near present-day Luoning County, Henan Province and suffered heavy casualties. Three years Qin attacked Jin for revenge and scored a major victory. Duke Mu refused to advance east further after holding a funeral service for those killed in action at the Battle of Yao, focused on the traditional policy of expanding Qin's borders in the west. Duke Mu's achievements in the western campaigns and his handling of foreign relations with Jin earned him a position among the Five Hegemons of the Spring and Autumn period. During the early Warring States period, as its neighbours in east and central China began developing, Qin was still in a state of underdevelopment and decline; the Wei state, formed from the Partition of Jin, became the most powerful state on Qin's eastern border. Qin was equipped with Hangu Pass in the east and Tong Pass in the west. Between 413 and 409 BC during the reign of Duke Jian of Qin, the Wei army led by Wu Qi, with support from Zhao and Han, attacked Qin and conquered Qin territories west of the Yellow River.
Despite suffering losses in the batt
Emperor Wu of Han
Emperor Wu of Han, born Liu Che, courtesy name Tong, was the seventh emperor of the Han dynasty of China, ruling from 141–87 BC. His reign lasted 54 years — a record not broken until the reign of the Kangxi Emperor more than 1,800 years later, his reign resulted in a vast territorial expansion and the development of a strong and centralized state resulting from his governmental reorganization, including his promotion of Confucian doctrines. In the field of historical social and cultural studies, Emperor Wu is known for his religious innovations and patronage of the poetic and musical arts, including development of the Imperial Music Bureau into a prestigious entity, it was during his reign that cultural contact with western Eurasia was increased and indirectly. As a military campaigner, Emperor Wu led Han China through its greatest expansion. At its height, the Empire's borders spanned from modern Kyrgyzstan in the west, to Korea in the east, to northern Vietnam in the south. Emperor Wu repelled the nomadic Xiongnu from systematically raiding northern China, dispatched his envoy Zhang Qian in 139 BC to seek an alliance with the Yuezhi of Kangju.
This resulted in further missions to Central Asia. Although historical records do not describe him as being aware of Buddhism, emphasizing rather his interest in shamanism, the cultural exchanges that occurred as a consequence of these embassies suggest that he received Buddhist statues from Central Asia, as depicted in the murals found in the Mogao Caves. Emperor Wu is considered one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history, due to his effective governance which made the Han dynasty one of the most powerful nations in the world. Michael Loewe called the reign of Emperor Wu the "high point" of "Modernist" policies, looking back to "adapt ideas from the pre-Han period." His policies and most trusted. However, despite establishing an autocratic and centralised state, Emperor Wu adopted the principles of Confucianism as the state philosophy and code of ethics for his empire and started a school to teach future administrators the Confucian classics; these reforms had an enduring effect throughout the existence of imperial China and an enormous influence on neighbouring civilizations.
The personal name of Emperor Wu was Liu Che. The use of "Han" in referring to emperor Wu is a reference to the Han dynasty of which he was a part, his family name is "Liu". The character "Di" is a title: this is the Chinese word which in imperial history of China means "emperor"; the character "Wu" means "martial" or "warlike", but is related to the concept of a particular divinity in the historical Chinese religious pantheon existing at that time. Combined, "Wu" plus "di" makes the name "Wudi", the emperor's posthumous name used for historical and for religious purposes, such as offering him posthumous honours at his tomb. One of Han Wudi's innovations was the practice of changing reign names after a number of years, as deemed auspicious or to commemorate some event, thus the practice for dating years during the reign of Wudi was represented by the nth year of the and "Reign Year Name" for the specific name of that regnal year. Liu Che was the 10th son of the oldest living son from Emperor Wen of Han.
His mother Wang Zhi was married to a commoner named Jin Wangsun and had a daughter from that marriage. However, her mother Zang Er was told by a soothsayer that both Wang Zhi and her younger sister would one day become honoured, she got the idea to offer her daughters to the crown prince Liu Qi, forcibly divorced Wang Zhi from her husband. After being offered to Liu Qi, Wang Zhi bore him three daughters — Princess Yangxin, Princess Nangong and Princess Longlü. On the day of Liu Qi's accession to the throne as Emperor Jing of Han, Wang Zhi gave birth to Liu Che, was promoted to a consort for giving birth to a royal prince. While she was pregnant, she claimed. Emperor Jing was ecstatic over the divine implication, made the young Liu Che the Prince of Jiaodong in 153 BC. An intelligent boy, Liu Che was considered to be Emperor Jing's favourite son from a young age. Emperor Jing's formal wife, Empress Bo, was childless; as a result, Emperor Jing's oldest son Liu Rong, born of his favourite concubine Lady Li, was made crown prince in 153 BC.
Lady Li, feeling certain that her son would become the emperor, grew arrogant and intolerant, threw tantrums at Emperor Jing out of jealousy over his favouring other concubines. Her lack of tact provided the opportunity for Consort Wang and the young Liu Che to gain the emperor's favour; when Emperor Jing's older sister, Eldest Princess Guantao Liu Piao, offered to marry her daughter to Liu Rong, Lady Li rudely rejected the proposal out of her dislike of Princess Guantao who provided new concubines for Emperor Jing and was thus gaining favour with the Emperor over Lady Li. Frustrated by the rejection, Princess Guantao approached another of Emperor Jing's favoured concubines: Consort Wang, observing these developments from the sidelines. Guantao offered to marry her daughter to Liu Che. Seizing the opportunity, Consort Wang accepted the offer with open arms, secur