- Zuo Zongtang
name = Zuo Zongtang
imagesize = 200px
caption = Portrait of General Tso, by Piassetsky, 1875
Viceroy of Liangjiang
term_start = 1881
term_end = 1884
birth_date = birth date|1812|11|10
birth_place = Xiangyin,
death_date = death date and age|1885|9|5|1812|11|10
Zuǒ Zōngtáng, 1st Marquess Kejing of the Second Class (zh-t|t=左宗棠;
Courtesy name: Jigao zh-t|t=季高) ( November 10, 1812- September 5, 1885), spelled Tso Tsung-t'ang in Wade-Gilesand known simply as General Tso or General Tsuo to Western Europeans, was a Chinese statesman and military leader. He was born in Wenjialong, north of Changshain Hunanprovince in the waning years of the Qing Dynasty. He served with distinction during China's most important (and the world's largest) civil war, the 14 year long Taiping Rebellion, in which it is estimated 20 million people died. The "Tso" in General Tso is sometimes misspelled "Cho" in English, probably due to Cantonese influence. The correct pronunciation of the name in Mandarin is IPA| [ʤuɔ ʤʊŋtʰɑŋ] .
Zuo's career got an inauspicious start when as a young man he failed the official court exams seven times (~1822-1835).
He decided to abandon his plans to become a civil servant and returned to his home by the
River Hsiangin Hunanto farm silkworms, read and drink tea. It was during this period that he first directed his attention to the study of Western sciences and political economy.
Taiping Rebellionbroke out in 1850, Zuo, then 38 years old, was hired as an advisor by the staff of the governor of Hunan. In 1856, he was formally offered a position in the provincial government of Hunan.
In 1860, Zuo was given command of a force of 5,000 volunteers (later known as "Chu Army"), and by September of that year he drove the Taiping rebels out of Hunan and
Guangxiprovinces, into coastal Zhejiang.
Zuo captured the city of
Shaoxing, and from there pushed south into Fujianand Guangdongprovinces, where the revolt had first begun. In 1863, Zuo was appointed Governorof Zhejiangand an Undersecretary of War.
In August 1864, Zuo, together with
Zeng Guofan, dethroned the Taiping teenage king, Hong Tianguifu, and brought an end to the rebellion. He was created Earl Kejing of the 1st Class for his part in suppressing the rebellion. He, Zeng Guofanand Li Hongzhangwere called "Zeng, Zuo, Li", the leaders in suppressing the rebellion.
In 1865, Zuo was appointed Viceroy and Governor-General of
Fujianand Zhejiang. As Commissioner of Naval Industries, Zuo oversaw the erection of China's first modern shipyard and naval academy in Fuzhouthe following year.
Success and appointments
Zuo's successes would continue. In 1867, he became
Viceroyand Governor Generalof Shaanxiand Gansuand Imperial Commissionerof the Army in Shaanxi.
In these capacities, he succeeded in putting down another uprising, the
Nian Rebellion(捻軍起義) in 1868.
After this military success, he marched west with his 120,000 strong army, winning many victories against the rebellious Muslims of
Northwestern Chinaincluding today's Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansuand Qinghaiprovinces and Chinese Turkestan in the 1870s.
In 1878, he successfully suppressed the Yakub Beg's uprising in
Xinjiangand helped to negotiate an end to Russian occupation of the border city of Ili.
For all his contributions to his nation and monarch, Zuo was appointed a
Grand Secretaryto the Grand Secretariatin 1874 and elevated to a Marquessate in 1878.
Later life and death
Now in his seventies, Zuo was appointed to the
Grand Council, the cabinet of the QingEmpire at the time, in 1880. Uneasy with bureaucratic politics, Zuo asked to be relieved of his duties and was appointed Viceroy of Liangjiangin 1881. In 1884, upon the outbreak of the Sino-French War, Zuo received his fourth and last commission as commander-in-chief and Imperial Commissioner of the Army and Inspector General overseeing coastal defense in Fujian. He died shortly after a truce was signed between the two nations, in Fuzhou (Foo-chow), 1885.
General Tso's chicken
General Tso's chicken is a sweet and spicy
deep-friedHunan Chinese dish that is popularly served in American and Canadian Chinese restaurants. The origins of the dish are unclear. The dish was previously largely unknown in Chinaand other lands home to the Chinese diaspora.Citation | last = Dunlop | first = Fuchsia | title = Hunan Resources | newspaper = The New York Times Magazine| pages = Section 6, Page 75 | date = February 4, 2007 | url = http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/magazine/04food.t.html | accessdate = 2007-04-24 ] One theory is that the dish was a classic specialty from Hunan province, invented by Zuo's wife and served for him and his officers upon every military victory, although this theory is generally considered to be apocryphal.cite web | last = Lukacs | first = Paul | title = Wine With... Chinese Take-Out (General Tso's Chicken) | publisher = Wine Review Online | date = March 6, 2007| url=http://www.winereviewonline.com/wine_with_chinese_take_out.cfm | accessdate = 2007-04-24 ] In reality, Zuo is unlikely to have ever tasted the dish.Citation | last = Browning | first = Michael | title = Who Was General Tso And Why Are We Eating His Chicken? | newspaper = The Washington Post| date = April 17, 2002 | url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A59302-2002Apr16 | access-date = 2007-02-24 ]
*Hsü, Immanuel C. Y. "The Ili Crisis: A Study of Sino-Russian Diplomacy, 1871-1881." Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965.
*Hummel, Arthur William, ed. "Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644-1912)." 2 vols. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1943.
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