Tongzhi Emperor

Tongzhi Emperor

Infobox Chinese Royalty
name = Tongzhi Emperor
native name = 同治帝
temple name = Qing Muzong

reign = 11 November, 186112 January, 1875
predecessor = Xianfeng Emperor
successor = Guangxu Emperor
spouse =Empress Xiao Zhe Yi
issue =
full name =Chinese: Aixin-Jueluo Zaichun 愛新覺羅載淳
Manchu: Aisin-Gioro Dzai Šun
posthumous name =Emperor Jitian Kaiyun Shouzhong Juzheng Baoda Dinggong Shengzhi Chengxiao Xinmin Gongkuan Yi
temple name = Mùzōng 穆宗
titles = The Emperor
era name = Chinese: Tóngzhì 同治 Manchu: Yooningga dasan
era dates = January 30, 1862February 5, 1875
royal house =House of Aisin-Gioro
father =Xianfeng Emperor
mother =Empress Dowager Cixi
date of birth =Birth date|1856|4|27
place of birth = Forbidden City, Beijing
date of death = Death date and age|1875|1|12|1856|4|27
place of death = Forbidden City, Beijing
place of burial = Eastern Qing Tombs, Zunhua

The Tongzhi Emperor, born Zaichun (April 27, 1856–January 12, 1875) was the ninth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, and the eighth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1861 to 1875.


The only surviving son of the Xianfeng Emperor and the Empress Dowager Cixi, Tongzhi attempted political reform in the period of the Tongzhi Restoration. His first reign name was Qixiang (祺祥; Man: fengšengge sabingga), but this name was later abandoned by Cixi in favour of Tongzhi, a contraction of the classical phrase "tóngguī yǔ zhì" (Simplified Chinese: 同归与治, Traditional Chinese: 同歸與治), which means "to reform/restore together a state of order", although it has been interpreted as "to rule the state with a united mother/son team" (Simplified and traditional Chinese: 母子同治天下), which fits the description, as his mother, Empress Dowager Cixi, wielded the real power and ruled behind the scene. The traditional Chinese political phrase "attending audiences behind a curtain" "chuí lián tīng zhèng" (Simplified Chinese: 垂帘听政, Traditional Chinese: 垂簾聽政), which had already been used earlier in Chinese history, was used to describe Cixi's rule through her son, the Tongzhi Emperor. The phrase can still be heard in contemporary Chinese politics.

Tongzhi became emperor at the age of five when his father, the Xianfeng Emperor died. His birth mother, Empress Dowager Cixi, his father's Empress, the Empress Dowager Ci'an, and his uncle, Prince Gong, became regents after removing the former regent, Sushun.

Tongzhi married Lady Alute from a Mongol clan and died of smallpox at the age of 18. He was buried in the Eastern Qing Tombs in Hebei province. He had no sons to succeed him. Folklore says that Tongzhi died from a sexually transmitted disease, specifically syphilis, due to his alleged affairs with prostitutes outside of the palace, and that the smallpox diagnosis was given only because the mere discussion of sexually transmitted diseases in China was taboo. However, no credible evidence exists to substantiate the rumours.

His mothers, the two dowagers, resumed regency after appointing 1st Prince Chun's son, Guangxu, his reigning title.

A few months after Tongzhi's death, Empress Alute died. It is said that she either committed suicide or that Cixi starved her to death by cutting off her food supply.

Chinese Tongzhi ceramics and other courtly arts of the period are sometimes said to suffer from a diminishment of quantity and sometimes quality.


* Father: Xianfeng Emperor
* Mother: Noble Consort Yi (Empress Dowager Cixi)


# Empress Xiao Zhe Yi, ( _zh. 孝哲毅皇后) of the Alute clan (1854 - 1875)
# Imperial Noble Consort Shushen, ( _zh. 淑慎皇贵妃) (1860 - 1905)
# Imperial Noble Consort Zhuanghe, ( _zh. 庄和皇贵妃) (1857 - 1921)
# Imperial Noble Consort Jingyi, ( _zh. 敬懿皇贵妃) (1856 - 1932)
# Imperial Noble Consort Ronghui, ( _zh. 荣惠皇贵妃) (1854 - 1933)

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