|时间：2018-11-25 20:47:03｜人气：52 |
|64. 慈西太后 Empress Dowager Cixi (a powerful woman causing Qing dynasty perish)|
|Empress Dowager Cixi (11/29/1835—11/15/1908 AD) was the last empress dowager in Qing dynasty, and also the last empress dowager in the Chinese history. After her death, Qing dynasty was soon overthrown by the first republic of China. |
Her father was an official. And in 1852, she was selected to be sent to the palace. Young girls, when selected into palace, had two choices. Mostly they would be palace maids to do all kinds of services and a few, if the emperor liked them, would be appointed concubines. She was lucky and got the title of Concubine Lan at the age of eighteen. The emperor of that time was Emperor Xianfeng (1831—1861 AD). The empress did not bear any children for him. But Lan bore him a son, who was duly the crown prince. When the emperor died, the crown prince became Emperor Tongzhi (04/27/1856—01/12/1875 AD). She became empress dowager Cixi, and as a rule, the empress became the empress dowager, too, though the new emperor was not her son. She was empress dowager CiAn. They were more easily distinguished from each other by their living quarters. The former empress dwelt in the east, and was thereby called East Empress dowager. The former concubine dwelt in the west, and was thereby called West Empress Dowager. Since the new emperor was still a small boy and could not manage the state affairs, the two empress dowagers decided things for him.
The west empress dowager was ambitious, but she could not make any decisions alone. She was not satisfied. One day she sent some snacks to the east empress dowager, who ate it and died. It was said that the west empress dowager poisoned her. Then the west empress dowager had all the power in her hands. Unfortunately, her son, the new emperor, died young from chicken pox. As a rule, she should choose a close relative''s son as her adoptive son and succeeded the throne. She chose the son of one of her brothers-in-law. This son was still a small boy and could not administrate the government. So the west empress dowager still made decisions for him. That was why she did not choose a grown-up son of the brothers-in-law. This new emperor was called Emperor Guangxu (08/14/1871—11/14/1908 AD).
Compared with sovereign empress Wu, who made the nation strong and prosperous, empress dowager Cixi ruled the nation badly. At the time Japan in the east always wanted to invade China. If she was a good ruler, she would strengthen the navy, but she used the funds for navy to build her summer palace. So in 1894, China''s navy was defeated by that of Japan. In 1900 when the army of Eight-nation alliance occupied the capital Peking, she had to escape. Under her reign, Qing dynasty went to destruction.
Seeing this, Emperor Guangxu wanted to have reform like Japan. She and some old courtiers opposed the reform and coup d''etat took place. The emperor was confined and reformers were killed. China''s hope was strangled in the cradle. The emperor died one day earlier than the death of empress dowager Cixi. It was said that the emperor was poisoned lest after her death, the emperor would refresh the reform.