chapter  26
4 Pages

Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty (1678–1735; reigned 1723–1735)

The fourth son of Emperor Kangxi, Emperor Yongzheng 雍正 was surnamed Aisin Gioro 愛新覺羅 and had the personal name of Yinzhen 胤禛. His temple name was Qing Shizong (清世宗, Emperor Shizong of the Qing Dynasty), though like other Qing Dynasty emperors, he is normally referred to by his reign name (Yongzheng 雍正). He ascended the throne following a disputed succession, since his father had not designated an heir, and quickly solidified his power and persecuted his opponents. A patron of Lamaism and Zen Buddhism, he continued the prohibition of Christianity that had begun during the reign of Kangxi as a consequence of the so-called Rites Controversy.195 The Jesuits, some of whom had supported his rival brothers, fell out of favour with Emperor Yongzheng, who nonetheless followed his father’s example and retained the service of Westerners in the Directorate of Astronomy.196 During the Yongzheng Emperor’s reign, enormous efforts were expended on land and economic reforms as well as on intermittent wars against the Tanguts in the north-west and the Miao in Yunnan Province.