With the measure of peace which was then restored to the country trade rapidly revived, except in Yun-nan, where the Mahommedan rebels, known as Panthays, under Suleiman, still kept the imperial forces at bay. Against these foes the government was careless to take active measures, until in 1872 Prince Hassan, the adopted son of Suleiman, was sent to England to gain the recognition of the queen for his father’s government. This step aroused the susceptibilities of the imperial government, and a large force was despatched to the scene of the rebellion. Before the year was out the Mahommedan capital Ta-li Fu fell into the hands of the imperialists, and the followers of Suleiman were mercilessly exterminated. In February 1873 the two dowager empresses resigned their powers as regents. This long-expected time was seized upon by the foreign ministers to urge their right of audience with the emperor, and on the 29th of June 1873 tne privilege of gazing on the “sacred countenance” was accorded them.
The emperor T‛ung-chi died without issue, and the succession to the throne, for the first time in the annals of the Ts‛ing dynasty, passed out of the direct line. As already stated, the first emperor of the Ts‛ing dynasty, Shih-tsu Hwangti, on Accession of Kwang-su, 1875. gaining possession of the throne on the fall of the Ming, or “Great Bright” dynasty, adopted the title of Shun-chi for his reign, which began in the year 1644. The legendary progenitor of these Manchu rulers was Aisin Gioro, whose name is said to point to the fact of his having been related to the race of Nü-chih, or Kin, i.e. Golden Tatars, who reigned in northern China during the 12th and 13th centuries. K‛ang-hi (1661–1722) was the third son of Shun-chi; Yung-chêng (1722–1735) was the fourth son of K‛ang-hi; K‛ien-lung (1736–1795) was the fourth son of Yung-chêng; Kia-k‛ing (1796–1820) was the fifteenth son of K‛ien-lung; Tao-Kwang (1821–1850) was the second son of Kia-k‛ing; Hien-fêng (1851–1861) was the fourth of the nine sons who were born to the emperor Tao-kwang; and T‛ung-chi (1862–1875) was the only son of Hien-fêng. The choice now fell upon Tsai-t‛ien (as he was called at birth), the infant son (born August 2, 1872) of Yi-huan, Prince Chun, the seventh son of the emperor Tao-kwang and brother of the emperor Hien-fêng; his mother was a sister of the empress Tsz‛e Hsi, who, with the aid of Li Hung-chang, obtained his adoption and proclamation as emperor, under the title of Kwang-su, “Succession of Glory.”
In order to prevent the confusion which would arise among the
princes of the imperial house were they each to adopt an arbitrary
name, the emperor K‛ang-hi decreed that each of his
twenty-four sons should have a personal name consisting
Imperial family nomencla-
ture and rank. of two characters, the first of which should be Yung, and the second should be compounded with the determinative shih, “to manifest,” an arrangement which would, as has been remarked, find an exact parallel in a system by which the sons in an English family might be called Louis Edward, Louis Edwin, Louis Edwy, Louis Edgar and so on. This device obtained also in the next generation, all the princes of which had Hung for their first name, and the emperor K‛ien-lung (1736–1795) extended it into a system, and directed that the succeeding generations should take the four characters Yung, Mien, Yih and Tsai respectively, as the first part of their names. Eight other characters, namely, P ‛u, Yu, Hêng, K ‛i, Tao, K ‛ai, Tsêng, Ki, were subsequently added, thus providing generic names for twelve generations. With the generation represented by Kwang-su the first four characters were exhausted, and any sons of the emperor Kwang-su would therefore have been called P‛u. By the ceremonial law of the “Great Pure” dynasty, twelve degrees of rank are distributed among the princes of the imperial house, and are as follows: (1) Ho-shih Tsin Wang, prince of the first order; (2) To-lo Keun Wang, prince of the second order; (3) To-lo Beileh, prince of the third order; (4) Ku-shan Beitsze, prince of the fourth order; 5 to 8, Kung, or duke (with distinctive designations); 9 to 12, Tsiang-keun, general (with distinctive designations). The sons of emperors usually receive patents of the first or second order on their reaching manhood, and on their sons is bestowed the title of Beileh. A Beileh’s sons become Beitsze; a Beitsze’s sons become Kung, and so on. (R. K. D.; X.)
(D)—From 1875 to 1901.
The accession to the throne of Kwang-su in January 1875 attracted little notice outside China, as the supreme power continued to be vested in the two dowager-empresses—the empress Tsz‛e An, principal wife of the emperor The two dowager-empresses. Hien-fêng, and the empress Tsz‛e Hsi, secondary wife of the same emperor, and mother of the emperor T‛ung-chi. Yet there were circumstances connected with the emperor Kwang-su’s accession which might well have arrested attention. The emperor T‛ung-chi, who had himself succumbed to an ominously brief and mysterious illness, left a young widow in an advanced state of pregnancy, and had she given birth to a male child her son would have been the rightful heir to the throne. But even before she sickened and died—of grief, it was officially stated, at the loss of her imperial spouse—the dowager-empresses had solved the question of the succession by placing Kwang-su on the throne, a measure which was not only in itself arbitrary, but also in direct conflict with one of the most sacred of Chinese traditions. The solemn rites of ancestor-worship, incumbent on every Chinaman, and, above all, upon the emperor, can only be properly performed by a member of a younger generation than those whom it is his duty to honour. The emperor Kwang-su, being a first cousin to the emperor T‛ung-chi, was not therefore qualified to offer up the customary sacrifices before the ancestral tablets of his predecessor. The accession of an infant in the place of T‛ung-Tchi achieved, however, for the time being what was doubtless the paramount object of the policy of the two empresses, namely, their undisturbed tenure of the regency, in which the junior empress Tsz‛e Hsi, a woman of unquestionable ability and boundless ambition, had gradually become the predominant partner.
The first question that occupied the attention of the government under the new reign was one of the gravest importance, and nearly led to a war with Great Britain. The Indian government was desirous of seeing the old trade relations between Burma and the south-west provinces, which had been interrupted by the Yun-nan rebellion, re-established, and for that purpose proposed to send a mission across the frontier into China. The Peking government assented and issued passports Murder of Mr Margary. for the party, which was under the command of Colonel Browne. Mr A. R. Margary, a young and promising member of the China consular service, who was told off to accompany the expedition as interpreter, was treacherously murdered by Chinese at the small town of Manwyne and almost simultaneously an attack was made on the expedition by armed forces wearing Chinese uniform (January 1875). Colonel Browne with difficulty made his way back to Bhamo and the expedition was abandoned.
Tedious negotiations followed, and, more than eighteen months after the outrage, an arrangement was come to on the basis of guarantees for the future, rather than vengeance for the past. The arrangement was embodied in the Chifu convention 1876. Chifu convention, dated 13th September 1876. The terms of the settlement comprised (1) a mission of apology from China to the British court; (2) the promulgation throughout the length and breadth of the empire of an imperial proclamation, setting out the right of foreigners to travel under passport, and the obligation of the authorities to protect them; and (3) the payment of indemnity. Additional articles were subsequently signed in London relative to the collection of likin on Indian opium and other matters.
Simultaneously with the outbreak of the Mahommedan rebellion in Yun-nan, a similar disturbance had arisen in the north-west provinces of Shen-si and Kan-suh. This was followed by a revolt of the whole of the Revolt in Central Asia. Central Asian tribes, which for two thousand years had more or less acknowledged the imperial sway. In Kashgaria a nomad chief named Yakub Beg, otherwise known as the Atalik Ghāzi, had made himself amir, and seemed likely to establish a strong rule. The fertile province of Kulja or Ili, lying to the north of the T‛ianshan range, was taken possession of by Russia in 1871 in order to put a stop to the prevailing anarchy, but with a promise that when China should have succeeded in re-establishing order in her Central Asian dominions it should be given back. The interest which was taken in the rebellion in Central Asia by the European powers, notably by the sultan of Turkey and the British government, aroused the Chinese to renewed efforts to recover their lost territories, and, as in the case of the similar crisis in Yun-nan, they undertook the task with sturdy deliberation. They borrowed money—£1,600,000—for the expenses of the expedition, this being the first appearance of China as a borrower in the foreign markets, and appointed the viceroy, Tso Tsung-t‛ang, commander-in-chief. By degrees the emperor’s authority was established from the confines of Kan-suh to Kashgar and Yarkand, and Chinese garrisons were stationed in touch with the Russian outpost in the region of the Pamirs