Top 10 greatest emperors in China

By Elaine Duan
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, November 30, 2010
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   Tang Taizong


Top 10 greatest emperors in China

Tang Taizong 

Tang Taizong (599-649), born in Li Shimin, was the second Emperor of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

He is regarded as the wisest of Chinese Emperors for his full consideration of his people, especially the peasants.

As an old saying goes, the same knife cuts bread and fingers. The downfall of the Sui Dynasty (590-618) due to peasant uprisings made the Emperor Taizong to realize that the peasant classes could prove to be a dangerous opposing force against the government unless they were favorably treated by the government.

Tang Taizong carried out the land dividing system based on household population with a fair system of taxation, which greatly lifted the heavy burden of peasants. Beyond those favorable measures, the Emperor also carried out systems and decrees to boost the development of economy and the society, including simplification of bureaucracy, strict control over expenses, elimination of corruption and harsh laws issued in Sui Dynasty, and irrigation schemes to improve agricultural productivity.

By those measures and policies, Tang's domestic economy took a favorable turn and the society became stable. The emperor began to expand his empire through wars and reinforced relations with the bordering ethnic minorities by marrying daughters of the Han imperial family. The most notable was Princess Wen Cheng who was married to Songtsen Gammpo, leader of the Tubo, the ancestry of the Tibetan ethnic minority inhabited the Tibetan Plateau.

Meanwhile, Tang's prosperity and open atmosphere brought more frequent economic and cultural contacts between the Tang Empire and foreign countries. A great deal of China's silk, porcelain, tea and paper were sold abroad and a large number of people walked out of the Tang Empire to visit the world. It was at the time papermaking technology, one of four great invention of ancient China, was introduced to other countries. It was also from that time oversea Chinese began to be called Tang People.

His rule of twenty-three years brought the most prominent era of peace and prosperity in ancient China's society and the Tang Empire emerged as the most powerful in the world at that time.

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