Essay about Emperor K’ang-hsi

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     Emperor K’ang-hsi ruled China from 1661 to 1722 and his reign is captured by
Jonathan D. Spence’s book Emperor of China. The different chapters of the book deal with certain aspects of the Emperors life. Aspects that the history books to normally deal with. The information in Spence’s book is based on Emperor K’ang-hsi’s correspondence, his own writings. This writing maybe biased towards himself, but no other piece of information could provide insight into his mind. The book is divided into six parts; In motion, Ruling, Thinking, Growing Old, Sons, Valedictory. The book follows Emperor K’ang-hsi’s life as Emperor in chronological order.
     In the first part, “In Motion,"
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Emperor K’ang-hsi believed in Neo-
Confucianism and often refereed to it as the Confucian Classic. In different parts of the
Emperors life he was interested in geometry, astronomy, cartography, medicine, and math.
He took advantage in the free time a ruler has to expand his mind.
     The section “Growing Old” showed that Emperor K’ang-hsi recognized that the human body was fallible. He tried to prolong his life with an awareness into his diet, medicine and memory. He tried to obtain public sympathy with his openness towards his health, thus gaining the there trust and support in hard times. K’ang-hsi recognized that admission to his physical weakness was the ultimate honestly but preventing physical weakness was the ultimate common sense. Practicing medicine under Emperor K’ang-hsi was a highly specialized practice. He had large groups of men for diagnosis and treatment. In the end, K’ang-hsi knew that death was enviable, but he tried to live forever though his children. K’ang-hsi had fifty-six children in his life time, but only one was born to his first wife. This son was to be raised as the heir to the throne, he received the most care and love that the Emperor could give.
     From an early age, K’ang-hsi eldest son knew he would inherit the throne. Many

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