History - On This Day - 17 July 1831 - Xianfeng, the 7th. Qing Emperor of China

Xianfeng, the 7th. Qing emperor was born in China on 17 July 1831
at the Old Summer Palace, 8 kilometers northwest of Beijing. He was
a member of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan. His personal name was
Yizhu.



Family

Xianfeng was the 4th. son of Daoguang Emperor. His mother was the
Noble Consort Quan, who became Empress in 1834 and was known as
Empress Xiaoquancheng.



Duty

In 1850, at the age of 19, Xianfeng succeeded the throne and he became
a young emperor.

The Taiping Rebellion began in December 1850.
Hong Xiuquan, a Hakka leader of a Christian sect proclaimed the
establishment of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and the rebellion spread
over several provinces with an amazing speed.

The next year the Nian Rebellion started in North China.
These leaders had a political program and they became dangerous for
the capital Beijing.







In 1853, Taiping rebels captured Nanjing, it seemed a while that
Beijing would fall however these rebels were defeated.

In 1854, the biggest revolt in history started: those of the Miao people
against the Chinese rule.

Meanwhile the Second Opium War broke out. Xianfeng Emperor
believed in the Chinese superiority and he would not agree to
any colonial demands.

The British diplomat, Sir Harry Parkes was arrested during the
negotiations.

On 18 October 1860, the British and French forces burned the
Old Summer Palace and the Summer Palace.

During Xianfeng 's reign, China lost part of Manchuria to the
Russian Empire. In 1860 the Treaty of Beijing was signed.
Afterwards the Russians founded the city Vladivostok in the area
they had annexed.

Xianfeng was a lover of opera and alcohol. He often became
violent with his servants and he was known to smoke opium.




Family

The Xianfeng Emperor had a large sexual appetite. He had 18
spouses.

Death

Emperor Xianfeng died on 22 August 1861, from a short life full
of overindulgence, at the Chengde Mountain Resort, 230 kilometers
from Beijing.

The Xianfeng emperor was interred in the Eastern Qing Tombs in the
Dingling mausoleum complex.

Legacy

During his reign, the continuing decline of the Qing dynasty was
a fact. The Xianfeng Emperor understood very little about
Europeans and their mindset. He viewed non-Chinese as inferior.
At the time of his death, he didn't meet any foreign dignitary.




Source pictures: Wikipedia