Kangxi's Valedictory Edict

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Emperor Kangxi: Valedictory Edict Emperor Kangxi was considered and still is thought of as one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history. Kangxi’s reign was longer than that of any other ruler in Chinese history. One of his most notable achievements was uniting China after the turmoil upon the collapse of the Ming. A main reason for the Chinese granting him the mandate of heaven or granted the right to rule China from permission of the heavens was his knowledge and respect for Chinese heritage and culture. Emperor Kangxi recorded a Valedictory Edict in December twenty third, 1717 as an attempt to display sincere thoughts of what he believed it takes to be a virtuous ruler. Kangxi wrote the Edict to reveal his deepest…show more content…
In the Valedictory Edict Kangxi views death positively and as a relief from the everyday grind of virtuously ruling an empire. One of his most virtuous traits is he does not fear death and is comforted by the idea of relief from the responsibility of his reign through death once his sovereignty as a virtuous ruler is completed. One of Kangxi’s great tasks left to be finished is who is to succeed him. He views this as a great issue, and as a good emperor cannot neglect it. Kangxi understands the weight of his decision and I believe he truly wants what is best for China. The issue of an heir seems to be on the forefront of his mind and this dilemma weighs heavily on his conscience. Kangxi states he wrote a letter indicating his intention for an heir, but does not go into detail in his Valedictory Edict. There is a record that Kangxi’s son Yinreng was disinherited in 1708. There are stories that emperor Kangxi heard from his officials, that when touring the country, Yinreng would recruit young men and women as personal sex slaves as part of a major molestation scandal. This deeply saddened Kangxi and, while on his death bed, reportedly appointed Yinzhen; Emperor Kangxi‘s fourth son. Yinzhen’s claim to the throne was highly controversial and heavily disputed because Yinzhen and his followers were only ones present at the time of

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