Historical Figures / Qing Empire
- Qing Dynasty
- Four Regents of the Kangxi Emperor
- Nobles, court ministers, officials and bureaucrats
- Three Feudatories
- Russian Empire
Kangxi (ᡝᠯᡥᡝ ᡨᠠᡳᡶᡳᠨ ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡩᡳ, 康熙帝; 1654-1722), an emperor (reigned 1661–1722) of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911/12). Ascending the throne at the age of eight and taking full control at fourteen, the Kangxi emperor enjoyed a reign of 61 years, longer than any other Chinese monarch. —The Splendid Chinese Culture
To the Chinese empire he added areas north of the Amur River (Heilong Jiang) and portions of Outer Mongolia, and he extended control over Tibet. He opened four ports to foreign trade and encouraged the introduction of Western education and arts.
Shunzhi (ᡳᠵᡳᠰᡥᡡᠨ ᡩᠠᠰᠠᠨ ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡩᡳ, 順治帝; 1638-1661), an emperor (reigned 1644–61) of the Qing dynasty. The ninth son of Abahai (1592–1643), the great ruler of the Manchu kingdom, Shunzhi succeeded to the throne in 1643 at the age of five and ruled under the regency of Dorgon (1612–50), a paternal uncle.
In 1644, Manchu troops captured Beijing, the former capital of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), and the young ruler was proclaimed emperor of the Qing dynasty with the reign title of Shunzhi. A kindly man, the emperor Shunzhi was strongly influenced by eunuch officials and Buddhist priests. His major accomplishment was to increase the number of Chinese serving in the Manchu government.
Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang (ᡥᡞᠶᠣᠣᡧᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᠠᠮᠪᠠᠯᡞᠩᡤᡡ ᡤᡝᠩᡤᡞᠶᡝᠨ ᡧᡠ ᡥᡡᠸᠡᠩᡥᡝᠣ; 1613 – 1688), a consort of Hong Taiji, the second ruler of the Qing dynasty. She was from the royal Mongol Borjigin clan, the clan of Genghis Khan. She was the mother of the Shunzhi Emperor and grandmother of the Kangxi Emperor, as Empress Dowager and Grand Empress Dowager, she had significant influence in the Qing imperial court.
Empress Xiaohuizhang (ᡥᡳᠶᠣᠣᡧᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᡶᡠᠯᡝᡥᡠᠨ ᡝᠯᡩᡝᠮᠪᡠᡥᡝ ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡥᡝᠣ, 1641 – 1718), the second Empress Consort of the Shunzhi Emperor. She was from the Borjigit clan, the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang was her grandaunt.
Princess Kechun, Princess Jianning (建寧公主, 1641-1704) is Kangxi Emperor’s aunt, not a younger sister in real life. She was the 14th daughter of Hong Taiji. She married Wu Yingxiong, the eldest son of Wu Sangui, and had three sons and at least one daughter.
The Four Regents of the Kangxi Emperor were nominated by the Shunzhi Emperor to oversee the government of the Qing dynasty during the early reign of the Kangxi Emperor before he came of age. The four were Sonin, Ebilun, Suksaha, and Oboi.
Sonin (ᠰᠣᠨᡞᠨ, 索尼; 1601–1667) was a Manchu noble of the Hešeri clan. As the top of the four regents, Soni ably helped the young emperor defend against Oboi, who wanted to increase his own power over the emperor.
Ebilun (ᡝᠪᡳᠯᡠᠨ, 遏必隆; died 1673) was a Manchu noble and warrior of the Niohuru clan. A largely passive figure during the regency, Ebilun acquiesced to Oboi on nearly all decisions, as the latter gained increasing power. Ebilun also played a role in the ouster of Suksaha, which, after Sonin died, left Oboi the unchallenged top political figure at court.
Suksaha (ᠰᡠᡍᠰᠠᡥᠠ, 蘇克薩哈; died 1667) was a Manchu noble and warrior of the Nara clan. He became Oboi’s serious political rival during the Emperor’s minority. After Sonin died in 1667, Suksaha asked to retire on account of old age and illness. Suksaha was arrested two days later; Suksaha was found guilty of twenty-four “grave crimes” and recommended that he and many of his male relatives be executed.
Oboi ( ᠣᠪᠣᡳ; 鰲拜; 1610–1669) was a prominent Manchu military commander and courtier of the Guwalgiya clan. He served in various military and administrative posts under three successive emperors of the early Qing dynasty.
After Sonin’s death, Oboi forced the young Kangxi Emperor to execute Suksaha and his family. He controlled Ebilun completely and then finally established a system of near absolute rule under himself.
The Kangxi Emperor took power earlier than expected at the age of 14 in 1669. The emperor suddenly had Oboi arrested on 30 charges. Oboi was sentenced to death but it was reduced to imprisonment in consideration of his achievements.
Prince Kang, Giyesu (ᡤᡳᠶᡝᡧᡠ, 康親王; 1645–1697) was a Manchu prince and general of the imperial Aisin Gioro clan, he was a distant cousin of the Kangxi Emperor and is best known for leading Qing forces to suppress a rebellion by Geng Jingzhong between 1674 and 1675 and repel an invasion by Taiwan warlord Zheng Jing in 1676–1677.
Shi Lang (施琅; 1621–1696) was a Chinese admiral who served under the Ming and Qing dynasties in the 17th century. Shi Lang studied military strategy in his youth and joined Zheng Zhilong‘s naval fleet. He served most of the early 1640s in the Zheng family’s fleet, where he apparently saw some conflict with Zheng Zhilong’s son Zheng Chenggong. When Shi defected to the Qing dynasty in 1646, Zheng Chenggong killed Shi’s father, brother and son. In the campaign of 1663 against the Zheng family, Shi Lang commanded Dutch ships and men to follow up the Qing victories. Shi Lang led the conquest of the Zheng family’s Kingdom in Taiwan in 1683. Shi later governed part of Taiwan as a marquis.
Wu Zhirong (吳之榮; ?－1665), the governor of Yangzhou. He played a key role in the massacre of the Zhuang family of Huzhou (the Zhuang Tinglong Case), a 17th-century case of literary inquisition.
Wu Sangui (吳三桂; 1612 – 1678) “平西王” was a Han Chinese military general who was instrumental in the fall of the Ming Dynasty in 1644. After the Qing Empire is established, he is awarded the title “Prince Who Pacifies the West” (平西王) and given a princedom in Yunnan. Wu in 1678 declared himself Emperor of China and ruler of the “Great Zhou”, but his revolt was eventually quelled by the Kangxi Emperor.
Shang Kexi (尚可喜; 1604 – 1676) “平南王” was a Han Chinese general of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. He was one of the most powerful generals that surrendered to the Qing, and given a princedom in Guangdong. When a war between the Emperor and the Wu Sangui and Geng Jingzhong started in 1678, Shang remained loyal to the Qing and took no part in the rebellion.
Geng Jingzhong (耿精忠; died 1682) “靖南王” was a powerful military commander of the early Qing dynasty. He inherited the title of “King/Prince of Jingnan” (靖南王) from his father Geng Jimao, who had inherited it from Jingzhong’s grandfather Geng Zhongming (耿仲明; 1604–1649) .
Wu Yingxiong (吳應熊; 1634 – 1674) was a Han Chinese aristocrat and the eldest son of Wu Sangui. He married Princess Kechun (1642–1705), the youngest half-sister of Shunzhi Emperor. The couple had three sons and at least one daughter. He was later put into prison as a hostage when his father starts a rebellion, and executed in 1674.
Chen Yuanyuan (陳圓圓; 1624–1681) , the concubine of Wu Sangui. Chen’s life and relationship to Wu later became the subject of a number of popular stories and legends, many of them focusing on her supposed role in Wu’s fateful decision to defect to the Qing, thereby sealing the fate of the Ming dynasty.
Dalai Lamas ruled Tibet since the mid-16th century. The 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682) unified the country by defeating the rival sects and established the Ganden Podrang Government.
Desi Sangye Gyatso (སངས་རྒྱས་རྒྱ་མཚོ།, 桑杰; 1653–1705) was the fifth regent (desi) of the 5th Dalai Lama. He founded the School of Medicine and Astrology on Chags po ri (Iron Mountain) in 1694. He ruled as regent, hiding the death of the Dalai Lama, while the infant 6th Dalai Lama was growing up, for 16 years. During this period, he oversaw the completion of the Potala Palace and warded off Chinese politicking.
Galdan, Choros Erdeniin Galdan (ᠭᠠᠯᠳᠠᠨ ᠪᠤᠱᠤᠭᠲᠤ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ , 葛爾丹, 1644–1697), Khan of the Dzungar Oyrats (reigned 1676–97). Galdan was a descendant of Esen, a Mongol chieftain who united the western Mongols in the 15th century, and his father was a powerful Dzungar chief, Erdeni Batur. He was also a grandson of Güshi Khan, the first Khoshut-Oirat King of Tibet.
At age of 7, Galdan was sent to Tibet and educated to be a Buddhist lama. However, when his brother was murdered in 1671, he returned to Turkistan to seek vengeance. He avenged his brother’s death and then occupied all of East Turkistan (now Uighur), subduing the Muslim population there. He then conquered Outer Mongolia (now Mongolia), expelling the Khalkha Mongols from their land.
In 1690 Galdan led his armies toward Beijing, but the Chinese forces stopped him short of his destination. Finally in 1696, after several years of indecisive fighting, Kangxi emperor of Qing-dynasty China, allied with the Khalkhans, personally led some 80,000 troops across Mongolia in pursuit of Galdan. Kangxi’s use of Western artillery crushed Galdan at Dzuunmod, near present-day Ulaanbaatar. Galdan committed suicide the following year at his hideout in the Altai Mountains. Outer Mongolia became an integral part of the Qing empire.
- Russian Empire / Romanov dynasty
Sophia Alekseyevna (Со́фья Алексе́евна, 1657 – 1704) ruled as regent (1682 – 1689) of Russia. She allied herself with a singularly capable courtier and politician, Prince Vasily Golitsyn, to install herself during the minority of her brother Ivan V and half-brother Peter I. She carried out her regency with a firm and heavy hand, not hesitating to use violent tactics to promote her agenda.
In 1687 and 1689 she sponsored two disastrous military campaigns, led by Golitsyn, against the vassals of the Turks, the Crimean Tatars. Although her government also concluded the favourable Treaty of Nerchinsk with China (1689), setting Russia’s eastern border at the Amur River, Golitsyn’s failures reinforced the increasing dissatisfaction among both the Naryshkins and the general population with her rule. Peter, the figurehead of her rivals, overthrew Sophia in 1689.
The Revolt of the Three Feudatories (三藩之亂, 1673 – 1681) was a rebellion during the early reign of the Kangxi Emperor. The revolt was led by the three lords of the fiefdoms—Wu Sangui of Yunnan, Shang Kexi of Guangdong, and Geng Jimao (after his death succeeded by his son Geng Jingzhong) of Fujian—against the Qing central government. They were among the Chinese warlords who, with their powerful firearms, had been welcomed into the Manchu camp even before the Manchu conquest of China in 1644. It was inevitable that the three vassal kings, with their virtual immunity, should become a menace to the Beijing government.
In 1673, Shang Kexi asked for permission to retire, Wu Sangui and Geng Jingzhong followed suit. The young emperor went against the views of the majority in the council and accepted the three lords’ requests for retirement, ordering them to leave their respective fiefs and resettle in Manchuria. Wu immediately went to war against the Manchus. Burni of the Chahar Mongols, Zheng Jing of the Kingdom of Tungning also joined the rebel forces and sent ripples of political unease among other East Asian countries. Kangxi’s youthful energy and genius in military strategy finally triumphed over the senility of Wu Sangui, who never even attempted to march on Beijing but died soon after, styling himself emperor. The Qing army entered the city of Kunming, in Yunnan, in 1681; the war was over, and the dynasty was saved. Kangxi turned his attention to the Zheng regime on Taiwan. —Britannica