Kangxi Emperor
Overview
The Kangxi Emperor was the fourth emperor
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

 of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Pass
Shanhai Pass
Shanhai Pass , or Shanhaiguan, along with Jiayu Pass and Juyong Pass, is one of the major passes of the Great Wall of China It is located in Shanhaiguan District, Qinhuangdao, Hebei. In 1961, Shanhaiguan became a site of China First Class National Cultural Site.It is a popular tourist destination,...

 (Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

) and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

, from 1661 to 1722.

Kangxi's reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning Chinese emperor in history
History of China
Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

 (although his grandson, the Qianlong Emperor
Qianlong Emperor
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796...

, had the longest period of de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

power) and one of the longest-reigning rulers in the world.
Encyclopedia
The Kangxi Emperor was the fourth emperor
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

 of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Pass
Shanhai Pass
Shanhai Pass , or Shanhaiguan, along with Jiayu Pass and Juyong Pass, is one of the major passes of the Great Wall of China It is located in Shanhaiguan District, Qinhuangdao, Hebei. In 1961, Shanhaiguan became a site of China First Class National Cultural Site.It is a popular tourist destination,...

 (Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

) and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

, from 1661 to 1722.

Kangxi's reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning Chinese emperor in history
History of China
Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

 (although his grandson, the Qianlong Emperor
Qianlong Emperor
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796...

, had the longest period of de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

power) and one of the longest-reigning rulers in the world. However, having ascended the throne at the age of seven, he was not the effective ruler until later, with that role temporarily fulfilled for six years by four regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

s and his grandmother, the Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.

Kangxi is considered one of China's greatest emperors. He suppressed the Revolt of the Three Feudatories
Revolt of the Three Feudatories
The Revolt of the Three Feudatories was a rebellion in the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor. The revolt was led by the three lords of the fiefdoms in Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces against the Qing central government....

, forced the Kingdom of Tungning
Kingdom of Tungning
The Kingdom of Tungning was a government that ruled Taiwan between 1661 and 1683. A pro-Ming Dynasty state, it was founded by Koxinga after the Ming government in mainland China was replaced by the Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty...

 on Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 to submit to Qing rule, blocked Tzarist Russia on the Amur River and expanded the empire in the northwest. He also accomplished such literary feats as the compilation of the Kangxi Dictionary
Kangxi dictionary
The Kangxi Dictionary was the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty ordered its compilation in 1710. The creator innovated greatly by reusing and confirming the new Zihui system of 596 radicals, since then known as 596 Kangxi...

.

Kangxi's reign brought about long-term stability and relative wealth after years of war and chaos. He initiated the period known as the "Prosperous Era of Kangxi and Qianlong", which lasted for generations after his own lifetime. By the end of his reign, the Qing Empire controlled all of China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, part of the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

 (Outer Manchuria
Outer Manchuria
Outer Manchuria , is the territory ceded by China to Russia in the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Peking in 1860. . The northern part of the area was also in dispute between 1643 and 1689...

), both Inner
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 and Outer Mongolia
Outer Mongolia
Outer Mongolia was a territory of the Qing Dynasty = the Manchu Empire. Its area was roughly equivalent to that of the modern state of Mongolia, which is sometimes informally called "Outer Mongolia" today...

, Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 proper, and Joseon Korea
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 as a protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

.

Early reign

Born on 4 May 1654 to the Shunzhi Emperor
Shunzhi Emperor
The Shunzhi Emperor was the third emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the first Qing emperor to rule over China, which he did from 1644 to 1661. "Shunzhi" was the name of his reign period...

 and Empress Xiaokangzhang, Kangxi was originally given the personal name
Chinese name
Personal names in Chinese culture follow a number of conventions different from those of personal names in Western cultures. Most noticeably, a Chinese name is written with the family name first and the given name next, therefore "John-Paul Smith" as a Chinese name would be "Smith John-Paul"...

 Xuanye ( ; Manchu language
Manchu language
Manchu is a Tungusic endangered language spoken in Northeast China; it used to be the language of the Manchu, though now most Manchus speak Mandarin Chinese and there are fewer than 70 native speakers of Manchu out of a total of nearly 10 million ethnic Manchus...

: ; Möllendorff transliteration
Transliterations of Manchu
There are several systems for transliteration of the Manchu alphabet which is used for the Manchu and Sibe languages. These include the Möllendorff transliteration system invented by Paul Georg von Möllendorff, BabelPad transliteration, the transliteration of the New Manchu-Chinese Dictionary, and...

: hiowan yei). He was enthroned
Enthronement
An enthronement is a ceremony of inauguration, involving a person—usually a monarch or religious leader—being formally seated for the first time upon their throne. This ritual is generally distinguished from a coronation because there is no crown or other regalia that is physically...

 at the age of seven (or eight by East Asian age reckoning
East Asian age reckoning
East Asian age reckoning is a concept and practice that originated in China and is widely used by other cultures in East Asia, which share this traditional way of counting a person's age. Newborns start at one year old, and each passing of a Lunar New Year, rather than the birthday, adds one year...

), on 7 February 1661, 12 days after his father's death, although his reign formally began on 18 February 1662, the first day of the following lunar year.

According to some accounts, Shunzhi gave up the throne to Kangxi and became a monk. Several alternative explanations are given for this: one is that it was due to the death of his favorite concubine; another is that he was under the influence of a Buddhist monk. The story goes that Shunzhi did indeed became a monk, but the empress dowager ordered the deletion of the incident from official history records, and replacement with the claim that he died from smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

.

Before Kangxi came to the throne, Shunzhi had appointed Sonin
Sonin
Sonin, also known as Soni, and rarely Sony , was a senior regent of the Four Regents during Chinese Kangxi Emperor's minority in the Qing Dynasty. Sonin was from the Heseri clan, belonged to the Plain Yellow Banner....

, Suksaha
Suksaha
Suksaha was a one of the Four Regents during the early reign of the Chinese Kangxi Emperor in the Qing Dynasty.Like his father Suna, he was from the Nara clan, but the family fought under the White Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners instead. During the Manchurian conquest of China, he was rewarded...

, Ebilun
Ebilun
Ebilun was one of the Four Regents and an assistant minister appointed by the Shunzhi Emperor for his successor, Kangxi during the Qing Dynasty. Ebilun worked with Oboi to defeat Suksaha.His mother was the Aisin Gioro princess.-See also:**...

, and Oboi
Oboi
Oboi was a highly decorated Manchu military commander and courtier who served in various military and administrative posts under three successive Emperors of the early Qing Dynasty. He was one of four regents nominated by the Shunzhi Emperor to oversee the government during the Kangxi Emperor's...

 as regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

s. Sonin died after his granddaughter became Empress Xiaochengren, leaving Suksaha at odds with Oboi in politics. In a fierce power struggle, Oboi had Suksaha put to death and seized absolute power as sole regent. Kangxi and the rest of the imperial court acquiesced in this arrangement.

In 1669, Kangxi had Oboi arrested with the help of Grand Dowager Empress Xiaozhuang, who had raised him and began taking personal control of the empire. He listed three issues of concern: flood control of the Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

; repair of the Grand Canal; the Revolt of the Three Feudatories
Revolt of the Three Feudatories
The Revolt of the Three Feudatories was a rebellion in the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor. The revolt was led by the three lords of the fiefdoms in Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces against the Qing central government....

 in south China. The Grand Empress Dowager influenced him greatly and he took care of her himself in the months leading up to her death in 1688.

Army

The main army of the Qing Empire, the Eight Banners
Eight Banners
The Eight Banners were administrative divisions into which all Manchu families were placed. They provided the basic framework for the Manchu military organization...

 Army, was in decline under Kangxi. It was smaller than it had been at its peak under Hong Taiji
Hong Taiji
Hong Taiji , also transliterated as Huang Taiji based on the Chinese language transcription of his name, was the first Emperor of the Qing Dynasty.Hong Taiji was the first Emperor of the Qing dynasty after acceding to the title in 1636...

 and in the early reign of the Shunzhi Emperor
Shunzhi Emperor
The Shunzhi Emperor was the third emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the first Qing emperor to rule over China, which he did from 1644 to 1661. "Shunzhi" was the name of his reign period...

; however, it was larger than in the Yongzheng
Yongzheng Emperor
The Yongzheng Emperor , born Yinzhen , was the fifth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and the third Qing emperor from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, Yongzheng's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, Yongzheng used military...

 and Qianlong
Qianlong Emperor
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796...

 emperors' reigns. In addition, the Green Standard Army
Green Standard Army
Green Standard Army is the name of a category of military units under the control of the Qing Dynasty in China. It was made up mostly of ethnic Han soldiers and operated concurrently with the Manchu-Mongol-Han Eight Banner armies...

 was still powerful with generals such as Tuhai, Fei Yanggu, Zhang Yong, Zhou Peigong, Shi Lang
Shi Lang
Shi Lang was a Chinese admiral who served under the Ming and Qing Dynasties. He was commander-in-chief of the Manchu fleets which destroyed the power of the Zheng family in the 1660s, and led the conquest of the Kingdom of Tungning in 1681.-Early life and career:Shi Lang was born to a...

, Mu Zhan, Shun Shike and Wang Jingbao.
The main reason for this decline was a change in system between Kangxi and Qianlong's reigns. Kangxi continued using the traditional military system implemented by his predecessors, which was more efficient and stricter. According to the system, a commander who returned from a battle alone (with all his men dead) would be put to death, and likewise for a foot soldier. This was meant to motivate both commanders and soldiers alike to fight valiantly in war because there was no benefit for the sole survivor in a battle.

By Qianlong's reign, military commanders had become lax and the training of the army was deemed less important as compared to during the previous emperors' reigns. This was because commanders' statuses had become hereditary; a general gained his position based on the contributions of his forefathers.

Revolt of the Three Feudatories

In the spring of 1662, the regents ordered a Great Clearance
Great Clearance
The Great Clearance or Great Evacuation was ordered in southern China by imperial edicts of the Qing Emperor Kangxi , then under the regency of Oboi, in 1661 and 1662. It required the evacuation of the coastal areas of Guangdong in order to fight the anti-Qing movement, begun by Ming Dynasty...

 in southern China to counter a resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 started by Ming
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 loyalists under the leadership of Koxinga
Koxinga
Koxinga is the customary Western spelling of the popular appellation of Zheng Chenggong , a military leader who was born in 1624 in Hirado, Japan to Zheng Zhilong, a Chinese merchant/pirate, and his Japanese wife and died in 1662 on the island of Formosa .A Ming loyalist and the arch commander of...

. This involved the forced migration
Forced migration
Forced migration refers to the coerced movement of a person or persons away from their home or home region...

 of entire populations in the coastal regions of inland southern China.

In 1673, the Revolt of the Three Feudatories
Revolt of the Three Feudatories
The Revolt of the Three Feudatories was a rebellion in the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor. The revolt was led by the three lords of the fiefdoms in Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces against the Qing central government....

 broke out. Wu Sangui
Wu Sangui
Wu Sangui was a Ming Chinese general who was instrumental in the succession of rule to the Qing Dynasty in 1644...

's forces overran most of southwest China and he tried to ally himself with local generals such as Wang Fuchen. Kangxi employed generals such as Zhou Peigong and Tuhai to suppress the rebellion, and also granted clemency to the common people who were caught up in the war. He intended to personally lead the armies to crush the rebels but his subjects advised him against it. The revolt ended with victory for Qing forces in 1681.

Kingdom of Tungning

In 1683, the Kingdom of Tungning
Kingdom of Tungning
The Kingdom of Tungning was a government that ruled Taiwan between 1661 and 1683. A pro-Ming Dynasty state, it was founded by Koxinga after the Ming government in mainland China was replaced by the Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty...

 was defeated by Qing naval forces under the command of admiral Shi Lang
Shi Lang
Shi Lang was a Chinese admiral who served under the Ming and Qing Dynasties. He was commander-in-chief of the Manchu fleets which destroyed the power of the Zheng family in the 1660s, and led the conquest of the Kingdom of Tungning in 1681.-Early life and career:Shi Lang was born to a...

 at the Battle of Penghu
Battle of Penghu
The Battle of Penghu of 1683 is where the admiral Shi Lang of Qing attacked the fleet of Kingdom of Tungning in Penghu. Both parties possessed more than 200 warships each. Liu Guoxuan was outmaneuvered by Shi Lang, whose forces outnumbered him three to one. Liu Guoxan surrendered when his flagship...

. Zheng Keshuang, ruler of Tungning, surrendered a few days later, and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 was annexed by the Qing Empire. Soon afterwards, the coastal regions of southern China were ordered to be repopulated. In addition, to encourage settlers, the Qing government granted financial incentives to families that settled there.

Vietnam

In 1673, Kangxi's government helped to mediate a truce in the Trịnh–Nguyễn War in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, which had been ongoing for 45 years since 1627. The peace treaty that was signed between the conflicting parties lasted for 101 years until 1774.

Russia

In the 1650s, the Qing Empire engaged the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 in a series of border conflicts along the Amur River region, which concluded with victory for the Qing side. After the Siege of Albazin, he gained control of the area.

The Russians invaded the northern frontier again in the 1680s. After a series of battles and negotiations, both sides signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk
Treaty of Nerchinsk
The Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689 was the first treaty between Russia and China. The Russians gave up the area north of the Amur River as far as the Stanovoy Mountains and kept the area between the Argun River and Lake Baikal. This border along the Argun River and Stanovoy Mountains lasted until...

 in 1689, in which a border was fixed, and the Amur River valley given to the Qing Empire.

Mongols

In 1675, Burni of the Chahar Mongols started a rebellion against the Qing Empire. The revolt was crushed within two months and the Chahars were incorporated in the Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

 Eight Banners
Eight Banners
The Eight Banners were administrative divisions into which all Manchu families were placed. They provided the basic framework for the Manchu military organization...

.

The Khalkha
Khalkha
Khalkha is the largest subgroup of Mongol people in Mongolia since 15th century. The Khalkha together with Tsahar, Ordos and Tumed, were directly ruled by the Altan Urag Khans until the 20th century; unlike the Oirat people who were ruled by the Dzungar nobles or the Khorchins who were ruled by...

 Mongols had preserved their independence, and only paid tribute to the Qing Empire. However, a conflict between the houses of Tümen Jasagtu Khan
Tümen Jasagtu Khan
Tümen Jasagtu Khan was a 16th century Mongol khan of the Northern Yuan Dynasty in Mongolia who reigned from 1558 to 1592. He was the successor of Darayisung Gödeng Khan and had direct rule over the Chahar. It was during his rule that the Mongols conquered Daur and Evenks...

 and Tösheetü Khan led to a dispute between the Khalkha and the Dzungars
Zunghar Khanate
The Zunghar Khanate was a nomadic power on the Eurasian steppe. It covered the area called Dzungaria and stretched from the west end of the Great Wall of China to present-day eastern Kazakhstan, and from present-day northern Kyrgyzstan to southern Siberia .In 1678 Galdan received from the Dalai...

 over the influence of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

. In 1688, as the Khalkhas were fighting wars with Russian Cossacks in the north of their territory, the Dzungar chief, Galdan Boshugtu Khan, attacked the Khalkha from the west and invaded their territory. The Khalkha royal families and the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu crossed the Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
The Gobi is a large desert region in Asia. It covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the...

 and sought help from the Qing Empire in return for submission to Qing authority. In 1690, the Dzungars and Qing forces clashed at the Battle of Ulaan Butun in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

, in which the Qing eventually emerged as the victor.

In 1696, Kangxi personally led three armies, totaling 80,000 in strength, in a campaign against the Dzungars. The western section of the Qing army defeated Galdan's forces at the Battle of Jao Modo
Battle of Jao Modo
The Battle of Jao Modo, also known as the Battle of Zuunmod, was one of the expeditions by the Qing Dynasty against the Zunghar Khanate. The Kangxi Emperor invaded them to prevent a threat in the north and crushed their forces.- Battle :...

 and Galdan died in the following year.

The Dzungars continued to threaten the Qing Empire and invaded Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 in 1717. In response to the deposition of the Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word далай meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning "teacher"...

 and his replacement with Lha-bzang Khan
Lha-bzang Khan
Lha-bzang Khan was chief of the Khoshut tribe of the Oirat Mongols and the son of Dalai Khan and grandson of Güshi Khan and the last Khoshut-Oirat King of Tibet. He became Khan by poisoning his brother Vangjal . Since Güshi's time, the Khoshuts had lost real power in Lhasa to the Regent there...

 in 1706, they took control of Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

 with a 6,000 strong army and removed Lha-bzang from power. They held on to the city for two years and defeated a Qing army in 1718. Lhasa was not retaken by the Qing Empire until 1720.

Economic achievements

The contents of the national treasury during Kangxi's reign were:
1668 (7th year of Kangxi): 14,930,000 tael
Tael
Tael can refer to any one of several weight measures of the Far East. Most commonly, it refers to the Chinese tael, a part of the Chinese system of weights and currency....

s
1692: 27,385,631 taels
1702-1709: approximately 50,000,000 taels with little variation during this period
1710: 45,880,000 taels
1718: 44,319,033 taels
1720: 39,317,103 taels
1721 (60th year of Kangxi, second last of his reign): 32,622,421 taels


The reasons for the declining trend in the later years of Kangxi's reign were a huge expenditure on military campaigns and an increase in corruption. To fix the problem, Kangxi gave Prince Yong (the future Yongzheng Emperor
Yongzheng Emperor
The Yongzheng Emperor , born Yinzhen , was the fifth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and the third Qing emperor from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, Yongzheng's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, Yongzheng used military...

) advice on how to make the economy more efficient.

Cultural achievements

During his reign, Kangxi ordered the compilation of a dictionary of Chinese character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

s, which became known as the Kangxi Dictionary
Kangxi dictionary
The Kangxi Dictionary was the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty ordered its compilation in 1710. The creator innovated greatly by reusing and confirming the new Zihui system of 596 radicals, since then known as 596 Kangxi...

. This was seen as an attempt by Kangxi to gain support from the Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 scholar-bureaucrats
Scholar-bureaucrats
Scholar-officials or Scholar-bureaucrats were civil servants appointed by the emperor of China to perform day-to-day governance from the Sui Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, China's last imperial dynasty. These officials mostly came from the well-educated men known as the...

, as many of them initially refused to serve him and remained loyal to the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

. However, by persuading the scholars to work on the dictionary without asking them to formally serve the Qing imperial court, Kangxi led them to gradually taking on greater responsibilities until they were assuming the duties of state officials.

In 1705, on Kangxi's order, a compilation of Tang poetry
Tang poetry
Tang poetry refers to poetry written in or around the time of and in the characteristic style of China's Tang dynasty, and/or follows a certain style, often considered as the Golden Age of Chinese poetry...

, the Quantangshi
Quantangshi
The Quantangshi , and also translated as the Complete Tang Poems, is a collection of Tang poetry...

, was produced.

Kangxi also was interested in Western technology and wanted to import them to China. This was done through Jesuit missionaries
Jesuit China missions
The history of the missions of the Jesuits in China is part of the history of relations between China and the Western world. The missionary efforts and other work of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, between the 16th and 17th century played a significant role in continuing the transmission of...

, such as Ferdinand Verbiest
Ferdinand Verbiest
Father Ferdinand Verbiest was a Flemish Jesuit missionary in China during the Qing dynasty. He was born in Pittem near Tielt in Flanders, later part of the modern state of Belgium. He is known as Nan Huairen in Chinese...

, whom Kangxi frequently summoned for meetings, or Karel Slavíček
Karel Slavíček
Karel Slavíček, , was a Jesuit missionary and scientist, the first Czech sinologist and author of the first precise map of Beijing.-Early life and studies in the Czech lands:...

, who made the first precise map of Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 on Kangxi's order.

From 1711 to 1723, Matteo Ripa
Matteo Ripa
Matteo Ripa was an Italian priest who was sent as a missionary to China by Propaganda Fide, and between 1711 to 1723 worked as a painter and copper-engraver at the Manchu court of the well-known Kangxi Emperor....

, an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 priest sent to China by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for missionary work and related activities...

, worked as a painter and copper-engraver at the Qing court. In 1723, he returned to Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 from China with four young Chinese Christians, in order to groom them to become priests and send them back to China as missionaries. This marked the beginning of the Collegio dei Cinesi, sanctioned by Pope Clement XII
Pope Clement XII
Pope Clement XII , born Lorenzo Corsini, was Pope from 12 July 1730 to 6 February 1740.Born in Florence, the son of Bartolomeo Corsini, Marquis of Casigliano and his wife Isabella Strozzi, sister of the Duke of Bagnuolo, Corsini had been an aristocratic lawyer and financial manager under preceding...

 to help the propagation of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in China. This Chinese Institute was the first school of Sinology
Sinology
Sinology in general use is the study of China and things related to China, but, especially in the American academic context, refers more strictly to the study of classical language and literature, and the philological approach...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, which would later develop to become the Instituto Orientale and the present day Naples Eastern University
Naples Eastern University
The Naples Eastern University is a university located in Naples, Italy. It was founded in 1732 and is organized in 4 Faculties...

.

Kangxi was also the first Chinese emperor to play a western musical instrument. He employed Karel Slavíček
Karel Slavíček
Karel Slavíček, , was a Jesuit missionary and scientist, the first Czech sinologist and author of the first precise map of Beijing.-Early life and studies in the Czech lands:...

 as court musician. Slavíček was playing Spinet
Spinet
A spinet is a smaller type of harpsichord or other keyboard instrument, such as a piano or organ.-Spinets as harpsichords:While the term spinet is used to designate a harpsichord, typically what is meant is the bentside spinet, described in this section...

; later Kangxi would play on it himself. He also invented a Chinese calendar.

Christianity

In the early decades of Kangxi's reign, Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

s played a large role in the imperial court. With their knowledge of astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, they ran the imperial observatory. Jean-François Gerbillon
Jean-François Gerbillon
Jean-François Gerbillon was a French missionary, who worked in China.He entered the Society of Jesus, 5 Oct, 1670, and after completing the usual course of study taught grammar and humanities for seven years...

 and Thomas Pereira
Thomas Pereira
Thomas Pereira or Tomás Pereira , also known as Tomé Pereira, was a Portuguese Jesuit and musician who worked as a missionary in Qing China....

 served as translators for the negotiations of the Treaty of Nerchinsk
Treaty of Nerchinsk
The Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689 was the first treaty between Russia and China. The Russians gave up the area north of the Amur River as far as the Stanovoy Mountains and kept the area between the Argun River and Lake Baikal. This border along the Argun River and Stanovoy Mountains lasted until...

. Kangxi was grateful to the Jesuits for their contributions, the many languages they could interpret, and the innovations they offered his military in gun manufacturing and artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, the latter of which enabled the Qing Empire to conquer the Kingdom of Tungning
Kingdom of Tungning
The Kingdom of Tungning was a government that ruled Taiwan between 1661 and 1683. A pro-Ming Dynasty state, it was founded by Koxinga after the Ming government in mainland China was replaced by the Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty...

.

Kangxi was also fond of the Jesuits' respectful and unobtrusive manner; they spoke the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 well, and wore the silk robes of the elite. In 1692, when Fr. Thomas Pereira
Thomas Pereira
Thomas Pereira or Tomás Pereira , also known as Tomé Pereira, was a Portuguese Jesuit and musician who worked as a missionary in Qing China....

 requested tolerance for Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, Kangxi was willing to oblige, and issued the Edict of Toleration, which recognized Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

, barred attacks on their churches, and legalized their missions and the practice of Christianity by the Chinese people
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

.

However, controversy arose over whether Chinese Christians could still take part in traditional Confucian
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 ceremonies and ancestor worship
Ancestor Veneration in China
Ancestral veneration in Chinese culture is the practice of living family members who try to provide a deceased family member with continuous happiness and well-being in the afterlife. It is a way of continuing to show respect towards them, and it reinforces the unity of family and lineage. Showing...

, with the Jesuits arguing for tolerance and the Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

s taking a hard-line against foreign "idolatry
Idolatry
Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honour and regard to created forms other than God. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although...

". The Dominican position won the support of Pope Clement XI
Pope Clement XI
Pope Clement XI , born Giovanni Francesco Albani, was Pope from 1700 until his death in 1721.-Early life:...

, who in 1705 sent Charles-Thomas Maillard De Tournon
Charles-Thomas Maillard De Tournon
Charles-Thomas Maillard De Tournon was a papal legate and cardinal to the East Indies and China.-Biography:...

 as his representative
Papal legate
A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters....

 to Kangxi, to communicate the ban on Chinese rites. On 19 March 1715, Pope Clement XI issued the papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 Ex illa die, which officially condemned Chinese rites.

In response, Kangxi officially forbade Christian missions in China, as they were "causing trouble".

Disputed succession

The matter of Kangxi's will is one of the "Four Greatest Mysteries of the Qing Dynasty". To this day, whom Kangxi chose as his successor is still a topic of debate amongst historians: on the face of things, he chose Yinzhen, the fourth prince, who later became the Yongzheng Emperor
Yongzheng Emperor
The Yongzheng Emperor , born Yinzhen , was the fifth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and the third Qing emperor from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, Yongzheng's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, Yongzheng used military...

, and indeed there is strong evidence that this is correct. However many have claimed that Yinzhen forged the will, and that in reality the 14th prince Yinti
Yinti, Prince Xun
Yinti , born Yinzhen of the Aisin Gioro clan, was the 14th son of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. He was born to Empress Xiaogongren and was a full younger brother of the Yongzheng Emperor. As his original name was similar to Yongzheng's personal name, Yinzhen , it was changed to Yinti...

, had been chosen as the successor.

Kangxi's first spouse, Empress Xiaochengren, gave birth to his second surviving son Yinreng, who at the age of two was named crown prince
Crown Prince
A crown prince or crown princess is the heir or heiress apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. The wife of a crown prince is also titled crown princess....

, a Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 custom, to ensure stability during a time of chaos in the south. Although Kangxi left the education of several of his sons to others, he personally oversaw the upbringing of Yinreng, intending to groom him into a perfect heir. Yinreng was tutored by the mandarin
Mandarin (bureaucrat)
A mandarin was a bureaucrat in imperial China, and also in the monarchist days of Vietnam where the system of Imperial examinations and scholar-bureaucrats was adopted under Chinese influence.-History and use of the term:...

 Wang Shan, who remained devoted to him, and spent the later years of his life trying to persuade Kangxi to restore Yinreng as the crown prince.

Yinreng did not prove himself to be worthy of the succession despite his father showing favoritism towards him. He was said to have beaten and killed his subordinates, and was alleged to have had sexual relations with one of his father's concubines, which was deemed as incest
Incest
Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

 and a capital offence. Yinreng also purchased young children from Jiangsu
Jiangsu
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

 to satisfy his pedophilia
Pedophilia
As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children...

c pleasure. In addition, Yinreng's supporters, led by Songgotu
Songgotu
Songgotu was a minister during the reign of Emperor Kangxi. He was an uncle of the emperor's official wife, Empress Xiaochengren of the Heseri clan who died during childbirth. He was the son of Sonin, one of the four regents appointed to assist the young Emperor Kangxi during his minority...

, gradually formed a "Crown Prince Party" (太子黨), that aimed to help Yinreng get the throne as soon as possible, even if it meant using unlawful methods.

Over the years, Kangxi kept constant watch over Yinreng and became aware of his son's many flaws, while their relationship gradually deteriorated. In 1707, Kangxi decided that he could no longer tolerate Yinreng's behavior, which he partially mentioned in the imperial edict as "too embarrassing to be spoken of", and decided to strip Yinreng off his position as crown prince. Kangxi placed his oldest surviving son, Yinshi
Yinshi
Aisin-Gioro Yinshi was the eldest son of the Kangxi Emperor.-Ancestry:...

, in charge of overseeing Yinreng's house arrest
House arrest
In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all...

. However, Yinshi attempted to sabotage Yinreng numerous times and requested for his father to order Yinreng's execution. Kangxi was enraged and stripped Yinshi of his titles. Kangxi advised his subjects to stop debating about the succession issue, and despite attempts to reduce rumours and speculation as to who the new crown prince might be, the imperial court's daily activities were disrupted. Apart from that, Yinshi's actions also caused Kangxi to suspect that Yinreng might have been framed, hence Kangxi restored Yinreng as crown prince in 1709, with the support of the 4th and 13th princes, and on the excuse that Yinreng had previously acted under the influence of mental illness.
In 1712, during Kangxi's last inspection tour to the south, Yinreng, who was put in charge of state affairs during his father's absence, tried to vie for power again with his supporters. He allowed an attempt at forcing Kangxi to abdicate when his father returned to Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

. However, Kangxi received news of the planned coup d'etat
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

, and was so angry that he deposed Yinreng and placed him under house arrest again. After the incident, Kangxi announced that he would not appoint any of his sons as crown prince for the remainder of his reign. He stated that he would place his Imperial Valedictory Will inside a box in the Palace of Heavenly Purity
Palace of Heavenly Purity
The Palace of Heavenly Purity, or Qianqing Palace is a palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. It is the largest of the three halls of the Inner Court , located at the northern end of the Forbidden City...

, which will only be opened after his death.

Death and succession

Following the deposition of the crown prince, Kangxi implemented groundbreaking changes in the political landscape. The 13th prince, Yinxiang
Yinxiang, 1st Prince Yi
Yinxiang, 1st Prince Yi of the Manchu Aisin-Gioro clan was a noble of the Qing Dynasty born as the 13th surviving son to the Kangxi Emperor...

, was placed under house arrest
House arrest
In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all...

 as well for cooperating with Yinreng. The eighth prince Yinsi
Yinsi, Prince Lian
Yinsi, the Prince Lian to avoid breaching the tradition of naming taboo on the Yongzheng Emperor's name; Akina after losing his peerage title) was born to the Kangxi Emperor and Imperial Consort Liang of the Wei clan As the Kangxi Emperor's eighth son, he was the Eighth Imperial Prince.After...

 was stripped off all his titles and only had them restored years later. The 14th prince Yinti
Yinti, Prince Xun
Yinti , born Yinzhen of the Aisin Gioro clan, was the 14th son of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. He was born to Empress Xiaogongren and was a full younger brother of the Yongzheng Emperor. As his original name was similar to Yongzheng's personal name, Yinzhen , it was changed to Yinti...

, whom many considered to be the most likely candidate to succeed Kangxi, was sent on a military campaign during the political conflict. Yinsi, along with the ninth and tenth princes, Yintang
Yintang
Yintang was the ninth son of the Kangxi Emperor. He was one of the most beloved princes of the emperor although he never held any important office during the reign of his father...

 and Yin'e, pledged their support to Yinti.

In the evening of 20 December 1722 before his death, Kangxi called seven of his sons to assemble at his bedside. They were the third, fourth, eight, ninth, tenth, 16th and 17th princes. After Kangxi died, Longkodo
Longkodo
Longkodo was an eminent Manchu-Chinese official at court from the Tunggiya Clan, belonging to the Bordered Yellow Banner, during the Qing Dynasty...

 announced that Kangxi had selected the fourth prince, Yinzhen, as the new emperor. Yinzhen ascended to the throne and became known as the Yongzheng Emperor
Yongzheng Emperor
The Yongzheng Emperor , born Yinzhen , was the fifth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and the third Qing emperor from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, Yongzheng's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, Yongzheng used military...

. Kangxi was entombed at the Eastern Tombs
Eastern Qing Tombs
The Eastern Qing Tombs are an imperial mausoleum complex of the Qing Dynasty located in Zunhua, 125 kilometers northeast of Beijing. They are the largest, most complete, and best preserved extant mausoleum complex in China...

 in Zunhua
Zunhua
Zunhua is a county-level city under the administration of Tangshan, Hebei, China. Historic sites include the Eastern Qing Tombs .-Administrative Divisions:Towns:...

, Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

.

Personality and achievements

Kangxi was the great consolidator of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

. The transition from the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 to the Qing was a cataclysm whose central event was the fall of the capital Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 to the invading Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

s in 1644, and the installation of the five-year-old Shunzhi Emperor
Shunzhi Emperor
The Shunzhi Emperor was the third emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the first Qing emperor to rule over China, which he did from 1644 to 1661. "Shunzhi" was the name of his reign period...

 on their throne. By 1661, when Shunzhi died and was succeeded by Kangxi, the Qing conquest was almost complete and the leading Manchus were already adopting Chinese ways including Confucian
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 ideology. Kangxi completed the conquest, suppressed all significant military threats and revived the ancient central government system with important modifications.

Kangxi was an inveterate workaholic, rising early and retiring late, reading and responding to numerous memorials every day, conferring with his councillors and giving audiences – and this was in normal times; in wartime, he might be reading memorials from the warfront until after midnight or even, as with the Dzungar
Zunghar Khanate
The Zunghar Khanate was a nomadic power on the Eurasian steppe. It covered the area called Dzungaria and stretched from the west end of the Great Wall of China to present-day eastern Kazakhstan, and from present-day northern Kyrgyzstan to southern Siberia .In 1678 Galdan received from the Dalai...

 conflict, away on campaign in person.

Kangxi devised a system of communication that circumvented the scholar-bureaucrats
Scholar-bureaucrats
Scholar-officials or Scholar-bureaucrats were civil servants appointed by the emperor of China to perform day-to-day governance from the Sui Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, China's last imperial dynasty. These officials mostly came from the well-educated men known as the...

, who had a tendency to usurp the power of the emperor. This Palace Memorial System involved the transfer of secret messages between him and trusted officials in the provinces, where the messages were contained in locked boxes that only he and the official had access to. This started as a system for receiving uncensored extreme-weather reports, which the emperor regarded as divine comments on his rule. However, it soon evolved into a general-purpose secret "news channel". Out of this emerged a Grand Council, which dealt with extraordinary, especially military, events. The council was chaired by the emperor and manned by his more elevated Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 household staff. From this council, the mandarin
Mandarin (bureaucrat)
A mandarin was a bureaucrat in imperial China, and also in the monarchist days of Vietnam where the system of Imperial examinations and scholar-bureaucrats was adopted under Chinese influence.-History and use of the term:...

 civil servants were excluded – they were left only with routine administration.

Kangxi managed to seduce the Confucian intelligentsia into co-operating with the Qing government, despite their deep reservations about Manchu rule, by encouraging them to sit the traditional civil service examinations, become mandarins and subsequently to compose lavishly-conceived works of literature such the History of Ming
History of Ming
The History of Ming is one of the official Chinese historical works known as the Twenty-Four Histories of China. It consists of 332 volumes and covers the history of Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1644, which was written by a number of officials commissioned by the court of Qing Dynasty, with the lead...

, the Kangxi Dictionary
Kangxi dictionary
The Kangxi Dictionary was the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty ordered its compilation in 1710. The creator innovated greatly by reusing and confirming the new Zihui system of 596 radicals, since then known as 596 Kangxi...

, a phrase-dictionary, a vast encyclopedia and an even vaster compilation of Chinese literature
Chinese literature
Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the mature fictional novels that arose during the Ming Dynasty to entertain the masses of literate Chinese...

. On a personal level, Kangxi was a cultivated man, steeped in Confucian learning.

In the one military campaign in which he actively participated, against the Dzungar Mongols, Kangxi showed himself an effective military commander. According to Finer, Kangxi's own written reflections allow one to experience "how intimate and caring was his communion with the rank-and-file, how discriminating and yet masterful his relationship with his generals".

As a result of the scaling down of hostilities as peace returned to China after the Manchu conquest, and also as a result of the ensuing rapid increase of population, land cultivation and therefore tax revenues based on agriculture, Kangxi was able first to make tax remissions, then in 1712 to freeze the land tax
Land value tax
A land value tax is a levy on the unimproved value of land. It is an ad valorem tax on land that disregards the value of buildings, personal property and other improvements...

 and corvée
Corvée
Corvée is unfree labour, often unpaid, that is required of people of lower social standing and imposed on them by the state or a superior . The corvée was the earliest and most widespread form of taxation, which can be traced back to the beginning of civilization...

 altogether, without embarrassing the state treasury.

Family

  • Father: Shunzhi Emperor
    Shunzhi Emperor
    The Shunzhi Emperor was the third emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the first Qing emperor to rule over China, which he did from 1644 to 1661. "Shunzhi" was the name of his reign period...

  • Mother: Empress Xiaokangzhang (1640–1663). Her family was of Jurchen origin but had lived among the Chinese for generations. It had a Chinese family name, Tong , but converted to the Manchu clan name Tongiya later. She was instated as the Empress Dowager Cihe in 1661 when Kangxi became emperor. She is known posthumously as Empress Xiaokangzhang ' onMouseout='HidePop("12790")' href="/topics/Manchu_language">Manchu
    Manchu language
    Manchu is a Tungusic endangered language spoken in Northeast China; it used to be the language of the Manchu, though now most Manchus speak Mandarin Chinese and there are fewer than 70 native speakers of Manchu out of a total of nearly 10 million ethnic Manchus...

    : Hiyoošungga Nesuken Eldembuhe Hūwanghu).

Consorts

The total number is approximately 64.
  1. Empress Xiaochengren (died 1674) from the Heseri
    Heseri
    Clan Heseri , is a Manchu clan which came from Jianzhou Jurchens. It was once the most important and powerful family in the early Qing Dynasty in China, second only to the royal House of Aisin Gioro, to whom they were closely related by marriage...

     clan – married in 1665.
  2. Empress Xiaozhaoren (Manchu: Hiyoošungga Genggiyen Gosin Hūwanghu) from the Niohuru
    Niohuru
    The Niohuru or Niuhuru Clan were a powerful Manchu clan belonging to the Plain Red Banner during the Qing dynasty in China...

     clan.
  3. Empress Xiaoyiren (Manchu: Hiyoošungga Fujurangga Gosin Hūwanghu) from the Tunggiya
    Tunggiya
    Tunggiya is the name of a Manchu clan.-Notable members:* Kangxi Emperor's birth mother, Empress Xiaokangzhang.* Kangxi Emperor's second wife, Empress Xiaoyiren.* Daoguang Emperor's second wife, Empress Xiaoshencheng....

     clan.
  4. Empress Xiaogongren (Manchu: Hiyoošungga Gungnecuke Gosin Hūwanghu) from the Wuya clan.
  5. Imperial Noble Consort Que Hui (1668–1743) from the Tunggiya clan, Empress Xiaoyiren's younger sister.
  6. Imperial Noble Consort Dun Yi (1683–1768) from the Guwalgiya clan
  7. Honored Imperial Noble Consort Jing Min (died 1699) from the Janggiya clan
  8. Noble Consort Wen Xi (died 1695) from the Niuhuru clan, Empress Xiaozhaoren's younger sister.
  9. Consort Shun Yi Mi (1668–1744) from the Wang clan was Han Chinese from origin.
  10. Consort Chun Yu Qin (died 1754) from the Han Chinese Chen clan.
  11. Consort Rong (died 1727) from the Magiya clan.
  12. Consort Yi (died 1733) from the Gobulo clan.
  13. Consort Hui (died 1732) from the Nala clan.
  14. Consort Liang (died 1711) from the Wei clan.
  15. Consort Cheng (died 1740) from the Daigiya clan.
  16. Consort Xuan (died 1736) from the Mongol Borjigit clan.
  17. Consort Ding (1661–1757) from the Wanliuha clan.
  18. Consort Ping (died 1696) from the Heseri clan, Empress Xiaochengren's younger sister.
  19. Consort Hui (died 1670) from the Borjigit clan.

Sons

Having the longest reign in Chinese history, Kangxi also has the most children of all Qing emperors. He had officially 24 sons and 12 daughters. The actual number is higher, as most of his children died from illness.
Number1 Name2 Born Died Mother Notes
Chengrui
承瑞
5 November 1667 10 July 1670 Consort Rong Died young
Chenghu
承祜
4 January 1670 3 March 1672 Empress Xiaochengren  Died young
Chengqing
承慶
21 March 1670 26 May 1671 Consort Hui Died young
Sayinchahun
賽音察渾
24 January 1672 6 March 1674 Consort Rong Died young
1 Yinti
胤禔
12 March 1672 7 January 1735 Consort Hui Created Prince Zhi of the Second Rank (直郡王) in 1698;
Stripped of his title in 1708;
Buried with honors due a Beizi
Qing Dynasty nobility
The Qing Dynasty of China developed a complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. All titles were to be inherited by a noble's eldest son, but always one grade lower. There were instances, however, where an emperor approved of a title being hereditary . This was regarded as an honour by the...

Changhua
長華
11 May 1674 12 May 1674 Consort Rong Died young
2 Yinreng
胤礽
6 June 1674 27 January 1725 Empress Xiaochengren  Original name Baocheng (保成);
Created Crown Prince in 1675;
Stripped of his position in 1708;
Re-created Crown Prince in 1709;
Stripped of his position in 1712;
Posthumously created Prince Li of the First Rank
Changsheng
長生
12 August 1675 27 April 1677 Consort Rong Died young
Wanpu
萬黼
4 December 1675 11 March 1679 Imperial Concubine Tong Died young
3 Yinzhi
Yinzhi
Aisin Gioro Yinzhi was the third son of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. His mother, the Consort Rong , was of the Manchu Magiya clan . He was born on the twentieth day of the second lunar month in the twenty-sixth year of the Kangxi era...


胤祉
23 March 1674 10 July 1732 Imperial Consort Rong Created Prince Cheng of the Second Rank (誠郡王) in 1698;
Demoted to a Beizi
Qing Dynasty nobility
The Qing Dynasty of China developed a complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. All titles were to be inherited by a noble's eldest son, but always one grade lower. There were instances, however, where an emperor approved of a title being hereditary . This was regarded as an honour by the...

in 1730;
Original title posthumously restored;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Yin (隱)
4 Yinzhen
Yongzheng Emperor
The Yongzheng Emperor , born Yinzhen , was the fifth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and the third Qing emperor from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, Yongzheng's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, Yongzheng used military...


胤禛
13 December 1678 8 October 1735 Empress Xiaogongren  Created Prince Yong of the First Rank (雍親王) in 1709;
Ascended the throne as the Yongzheng Emperor on 27 December 1722
Yinzan
胤禶
10 April 1679 30 April 1680 Imperial Concubine Tong Died young
5 Yinqi
胤祺
5 January 1680 10 July 1732 Consort Yi Created Prince Heng of the First Rank (恆親王) in 1698;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Wen (溫)
6 Yinzuo
胤祚
5 March 1680 15 June 1685 Empress Xiaogongren  Died young
7 Yinyou
胤祐
19 August 1680 18 May 1730 Consort Cheng Created a Beile
Qing Dynasty nobility
The Qing Dynasty of China developed a complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. All titles were to be inherited by a noble's eldest son, but always one grade lower. There were instances, however, where an emperor approved of a title being hereditary . This was regarded as an honour by the...

 in 1698;
Elevated to Prince Chun of the Second Rank (淳郡王) in 1709;
Elevated further to Prince Chun of the First Rank (淳親王) in May 1723;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Du (度)
8 Yinsi
Yinsi, Prince Lian
Yinsi, the Prince Lian to avoid breaching the tradition of naming taboo on the Yongzheng Emperor's name; Akina after losing his peerage title) was born to the Kangxi Emperor and Imperial Consort Liang of the Wei clan As the Kangxi Emperor's eighth son, he was the Eighth Imperial Prince.After...


胤禩
29 March 1681 5 October 1726 Consort Liang Created Prince Lian of the First Rank (廉親王) in 1723;
Stripped of his title and expelled from the imperial house in 1726;
Forced to rename himself Akina (阿其那) ("pig")
Yinju
胤䄔
13 September 1683 17 July 1684 Honored Lady Gorolo Died young
9 Yintang
Yintang
Yintang was the ninth son of the Kangxi Emperor. He was one of the most beloved princes of the emperor although he never held any important office during the reign of his father...


胤禟
17 October 1683 22 September 1726 Consort Yi Created a Beizi
Qing Dynasty nobility
The Qing Dynasty of China developed a complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. All titles were to be inherited by a noble's eldest son, but always one grade lower. There were instances, however, where an emperor approved of a title being hereditary . This was regarded as an honour by the...

in 1709;
Stripped of his title and expelled from the imperial house in 1725;
Forced to rename himself Sesihei (塞思黑) (“dog)
10 Yin’e
胤䄉
28 November 1683 18 October 1741 Noble Consort Wen Xi Created Prince Dun of the Second Rank (敦郡王) in 1709;
Stripped of his title in 1724;
Granted the title “Duke Who Assists the State" (輔國公) in 1737
11 Yinzi
胤禌
8 June 1685 22 August 1696 Consort Yi Died young
12 Yintao
胤祹
8 June 1685 2 September 1763 Consort Ding Created Prince Lü of the First Rank (履親王) in 1709;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Yi (懿)
13 Yinxiang
Yinxiang, 1st Prince Yi
Yinxiang, 1st Prince Yi of the Manchu Aisin-Gioro clan was a noble of the Qing Dynasty born as the 13th surviving son to the Kangxi Emperor...


胤祥
16 November 1686 18 June 1730 Imperial Noble Consort Jing Min Created Prince Yi of the First Rank (怡親王) in 1722;
Was one of the Qing Dynasty’s
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 12 iron-cap princes
14 Yinti
Yinti, Prince Xun
Yinti , born Yinzhen of the Aisin Gioro clan, was the 14th son of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. He was born to Empress Xiaogongren and was a full younger brother of the Yongzheng Emperor. As his original name was similar to Yongzheng's personal name, Yinzhen , it was changed to Yinti...


胤禵
16 January 1688 13 January 1756 Empress Xiaogongren  Born Yinzhen (胤禎);
Created Prince Xun of the Second Rank (恂郡王) in 1723;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Qin (勤)
Yinji
胤禨
23 February 1691 30 March 1691 Consort Ping Died young
15 Yinwu
胤禑
24 December 1693 8 March 1731 Consort Shun Yi Mi Created Prince Yu of the Second Rank (愉郡王) in 1726;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Ke (恪)
16 Yinlu
胤祿
28 July 1695 20 March 1767 Consort Shun Yi Mi Adopted by Boguoduo, Prince Zhuang;
Inherited the title Prince Zhuang of the First Rank (莊親王) in 1723;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Ke (恪)
17 Yinli
Yinli, Prince Guo
Aisin-Gioro Yinli 1697 - 1738, was the seventeenth son of the Qing Dynasty Kangxi Emperor. Prince Yinli was born on March 2 during the thirty-sixth year of Emperor Kangxi's reign, was his mother was the Imperial Consort Chunyuqin of the Chen Clan .-Life:...


胤禮
24 March 1697 21 March 1738 Consort Chun Yu Qin Created Prince Guo of the Second Rank (果郡王) in 1723;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Yi (毅)
18 Yinxie
胤祄
15 May 1701 17 October 1708 Consort Shun Yi Mi Died at the Chengde Mountain Resort from the mumps
19 Yinji
胤禝
25 October 1702 28 March 1704 Imperial Concubine Xiang Died young
20 Yinyi
胤禕
1 September 1706 30 June 1755 Imperial Concubine Xiang Created a Beile
Qing Dynasty nobility
The Qing Dynasty of China developed a complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. All titles were to be inherited by a noble's eldest son, but always one grade lower. There were instances, however, where an emperor approved of a title being hereditary . This was regarded as an honour by the...

(貝勒) in 1726
21 Yinxi
胤禧
27 February 1711 26 June 1758 Imperial Concubine Xi Created Prince Shen of the Second Rank (慎郡王) in December 1735
22 Yinhu
胤祜
10 January 1712 12 February 1744 Imperial Concubine Jin Created a Beile
Qing Dynasty nobility
The Qing Dynasty of China developed a complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. All titles were to be inherited by a noble's eldest son, but always one grade lower. There were instances, however, where an emperor approved of a title being hereditary . This was regarded as an honour by the...

in 1730;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Gongqin (恭勤)
23 Yinqi
胤祁
14 January 1714 31 August 1785 Imperial Concubine Jing Created a Beile
Qing Dynasty nobility
The Qing Dynasty of China developed a complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. All titles were to be inherited by a noble's eldest son, but always one grade lower. There were instances, however, where an emperor approved of a title being hereditary . This was regarded as an honour by the...

in 1730;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Cheng (誠)
24 Yinmi
胤祕
5 July 1716 3 December 1773 Imperial Concubine Mu Created Prince Xian of the First Rank (諴親王) in 1733;
Granted the posthumous name
Posthumous name
A posthumous name is an honorary name given to royalty, nobles, and sometimes others, in East Asia after the person's death, and is used almost exclusively instead of one's personal name or other official titles during his life...

 Ke (恪)
Yinyuan
胤禐
2 March 1718 2/3 March 1718 Honored Lady Chen Died soon after birth

  • Notes: (1) The order by which the princes were referred to and recorded on official documents were dictated by the number they were assigned by the order of birth. This order was unofficial until 1677, when Kangxi decreed that all of his male descendants must adhere to a "generation code" as their middle character (see Chinese name
    Chinese name
    Personal names in Chinese culture follow a number of conventions different from those of personal names in Western cultures. Most noticeably, a Chinese name is written with the family name first and the given name next, therefore "John-Paul Smith" as a Chinese name would be "Smith John-Paul"...

    ). As a result of the new system, the former order was abolished, with Yinzhi becoming the First Prince, thus the current numerical order. (2) All of Kangxi's sons changed their names upon Yongzheng's accession in 1722 by modifying the first character from "胤" (yin) to "允" (yun) to avoid the nominal taboo of the emperor. Yinxiang was posthumously allowed to change his name back to Yinxiang. Yongzheng forced his two brothers to rename themselves, but his successor
    Qianlong Emperor
    The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796...

     restored their names. There have been many studies on their meanings.

Daughters

Number Title Born Died Married Spouse Issue Mother
1 unnamed 23 December 1668 November 1671 Ordinary Consort Zhang
2 unnamed 17 April 1671 8 January 1674 Ordinary Consort Dong
3 State Princess Rongxian
固倫榮憲公主
20 June 1673 29 May 1728 July 1691 Borjigit Urgun, Prince of Baarin
博爾濟吉特烏爾袞
Consort Rong
4 unnamed 16 March 1674 1678 Ordinary Consort Zhang
5 Princess Duanjing of the Second Rank
和碩端靜公主
9 June 1674 April 1710 November or December 1692 Ulanghan Garzang
烏梁罕噶爾臧
Honored Lady Bu
6 State Princess Kejing
固倫恪靖公主
4 July 1679 1735 1697 Borjigit Dunduobudorji, Prince of the Khalkha Mongols  Honored Lady Gorolo
7 unnamed 5 July 1682 September 1682 Empress Xiaogongren
8 unnamed 13 July 1683 late July or August 1683 Empress Xiaoyiren
9 State Princess Wenxian
固倫溫憲公主
10 November 1683 August or September 1702 October or November 1700 Tunggiya Shun’anyan
佟佳舜安顏
Empress Xiaogongren
10 State Princess Chunque
固倫純愨公主
20 March 1685 1710 1706 Borjigit Celeng
博爾濟吉特策棱
Borjigit Chenggunzhabu
博爾濟吉特成袞札布
Imperial Concubine Tong
11 unnamed 24 October 1685 June or July 1686 Noble Consort Wen Xi
12 unnamed 14 June 1686 late February or March 1697 Empress Xiaogongren
13 Princess Wenke of the Second Rank
和碩溫恪公主
1 January 1688 July or August 1709 1706 Borjigit Cangjin
博爾濟吉特倉津
Imperial Noble Consort Jing Min
14 Princess Quejing of the Second Rank
和碩愨靖公主
16 January 1690 1736 1706 Sun Chengyun, Baron of the First Rank
一等男孫承運
Honored Lady Yuan
15 Princess Dunke of the Second Rank
和碩敦恪公主
3 February 1691 January 1710 January or February 1709 ‘’Taiji’’ Borjigit Dorji
博爾濟吉特台吉多爾濟
Imperial Noble Consort Jing Min
16 unnamed 27 November 1695 October or November 1707 Ordinary Consort Wang
17 unnamed 12 January 1699 December 1700 Ordinary Consort Liu
18 unnamed 17 November 1701 Imperial Noble Consort Dun Yi
19 unnamed 30 March 1703 late February or March 1705 Imperial Concubine Xiang
20 unnamed 20 November 1708 January or early February 1709 Ordinary Consort Niuhuru

Fiction

  • Kangxi Dadi (康熙大帝; literally: The Great Kangxi Emperor): a historical fiction
    Historical fiction
    Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional...

     novel by Er Yuehe
    Er Yuehe
    Ling Jiefang , better known by his pen name Eryue He , is a Chinese historical fiction writer. Ling is best known for writing biographical novels of three Qing Dynasty emperors , all of which have been adapted into award-winning television series.-Life:Ling was born in Xiyang County, Shanxi...

    , featuring a romanticized version of Kangxi's biography

  • The Deer and the Cauldron
    The Deer and the Cauldron
    The Deer and the Cauldron, also known as The Duke of Mount Deer, is a novel by Jin Yong, and was the last of Jin Yong's works. The novel was initially published as a serial, and ran between October 24, 1969 to September 23, 1972 in Ming Pao.Although the book is often termed as a wuxia novel, it is...

    (鹿鼎記): a wuxia
    Wuxia
    Wuxia is a broad genre of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists. Although wuxia is traditionally a form of literature, its popularity has caused it to spread to diverse art forms like Chinese opera, manhua , films, television series, and video games...

     novel by Louis Cha. In the story, by coincidence, Kangxi and the protagonist, Wei Xiaobao
    Wei Xiaobao
    Wei Xiaobao is the fictional protagonist of Jin Yong's wuxia novel The Deer and the Cauldron . He is a witty, sly and illiterate teenager, born to a prostitute from a brothel in Yangzhou during the Qing Dynasty. He bumbles his way into the Forbidden City and has a fateful encounter with the young...

    , become close friends since childhood. Wei helps the emperor consolidate power and strengthen his rule over the empire, playing an important role in affecting how the historical events during Kangxi's reign unfold.

  • Qijian Xia Tianshan (七劍下天山; literally: Seven Swords Descend from Mount Heaven): a wuxia novel by Liang Yusheng
    Liang Yusheng
    Chen Wentong , better known by his pen name Liang Yusheng , is a Chinese writer of wuxia novels.He is credited as the pioneer of the "new school" wuxia genre in the 20th century, as well as one of the three most esteemed wuxia writers in the second half of the 20th century .-Biography:Chen was...

    . In the story, Kangxi discovers that his father, the Shunzhi Emperor
    Shunzhi Emperor
    The Shunzhi Emperor was the third emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the first Qing emperor to rule over China, which he did from 1644 to 1661. "Shunzhi" was the name of his reign period...

    , has become a monk in a monastery on Mount Wutai. He orders a close aide to kill his father in order to consolidate power, and attempts to erase evidence of the murder later.

Film and television

  • Kangxi Dynasty
    Kangxi Dynasty
    Kangxi Dynasty is a Chinese television series based on the novel Kangxi Dadi by Er Yuehe. The series is a prequel to the 1997 television series Yongzheng Dynasty, and was followed by Qianlong Dynasty in 2002.-Plot:The series focuses on the major events that occurred during the reign of the Kangxi...

    (康熙王朝): a 2001 television series adaption of the above mentioned novel by Er Yuehe. Chen Daoming
    Chen Daoming
    Chen Daoming is a famous Chinese actor known for his flexibility and longevity. He has been branded the Emperor of Chinese drama, having starred in all types of dramas and films....

     starred as Kangxi.

  • Secret History of Kangxi (康熙秘史): fourth installment in a series of four television dramas about the early history of the Qing Dynasty
    Qing Dynasty
    The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

    . Xia Yu
    Xia Yu
    Xia Yu is a Chinese actor.-Biography:He was born in Qingdao, Shandong Province. He was initially discovered by Jiang Wen during his semi-autobiographical film In the Heat of the Sun . Xia was chosen partly because of facial resemblance to a young Jiang...

     starred as Kangxi.

  • Kangxi Weifu Sifang Ji (康熙微服私訪記; literally: Kangxi's Inspection Tours in Civilian Attire): a long-running television drama about Kangxi's inspection tours. During some of his tours, Kangxi dressed like an ordinary civilian to conceal his identity so that he can blend in with the commoners and understand their daily lives better. Zhang Guoli
    Zhang Guoli
    Zhang Guoli is an award winning Chinese film director and actor. Zhang was a xiangsheng actor before he started working on films and television series. He is married to actress Deng Jie and their son Zhang Mo is also an actor....

     starred as Kangxi.

  • The Life and Times of a Sentinel (紫禁驚雷): TVB series about Kangxi's brother's attempt to overthrow him.

Video games

  • Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties
    Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties
    Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties is the second official expansion pack for real-time strategy video game Age of Empires III developed through a collaboration between Ensemble Studios and Big Huge Games, and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The Mac version was ported over and developed...

    : Kangxi is featured as the Chinese leader in this real-time strategy
    Real-time strategy
    Real-time strategy is a sub-genre of strategy video game which does not progress incrementally in turns. Brett Sperry is credited with coining the term to market Dune II....

     game.

Sources

(1974). Emperor of China: Self-Portrait of K'ang-hsi, Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape was a London-based publisher founded in 1919 as "Page & Co" by Herbert Jonathan Cape , formerly a manager at Duckworth who had worked his way up from a position of bookshop errand boy. Cape brought with him the rights to cheap editions of the popular author Elinor Glyn and sales of...

. ISBN 0224009400
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