Do the vassal kings of the Ming Dynasty have real power_ The power of the Ming Dynasty vassal

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In the history of China, there were different policies for vassal kings in different periods. In the early Western Han Dynasty, Liu Bang granted land to various vassal kings and gave them a high position. In the Qing Dynasty, the princes were kept in captivity near the capital, and they were given high officials and high salaries. The Ming Dynasty is very different from other dynasties. After becoming emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang granted his sons land and divided them into vassal kings.

In order to ensure the smooth succession of the vassal king, Zhu Yuanzhang put forward a set of “Huang Ming Zu Xun”, which established the succession order of the Ming Dynasty, “if there is a legitimate eldest son, the legitimate eldest son will be appointed as the heir. If there is no legitimate eldest son, the older one will be selected from the candidates for the successor.”



Zhu Yuanzhang still had great expectations for the vassal king. He always hoped that the vassal could become the best barrier to defend the Ming Dynasty. Therefore, in the period of Zhu Yuanzhang, he gave the vassal King great power. The vassal had not only fiefs but also military power. It’s amazing. The success of Zhu Di’s rebellion after his death really has a lot to do with his mastery of military power. It was precisely this point that Zhu Di naturally restricted the vassal kings after becoming emperor.

Although the vassal kings could enjoy a large area of land and adequate salary supply, their military power was completely deprived. In order to suppress the possibility of rebellion by the vassal, Zhu Di even prohibited the vassal from leaving the fief. If you leave the fief without the permission of the emperor, you will be punished with a felony.

The most typical example is the “Y” key of Tang Dynasty in the late Ming Dynasty. At that time, the Late Jin Dynasty attacked the Ming Dynasty with great force. Seeing this, Zhu Yujian, acting on the impulse of a passionate young man, pulled an army out of the fief and prepared to serve the country on the front line. Instead of giving him a commendation, he was deposed by Emperor Chongzhen and imprisoned on the high wall of Fengyang.

In the Ming Dynasty, many vassal kings were directly deprived of their titles, and quite a few became prisoners and were under house arrest all their lives. If you think you can act recklessly if you live a good life in the fief, it is simply too simple. The Ming Dynasty set up a special zongrenfu. The greatest function of this organization is to manage the imperial clan, including the vassal kings. They have a wide range of jurisdiction.

In addition to the above mentioned, the vassal kings are not allowed to leave without permission. Other things include naming, studying, getting married and having children, making friends, funeral matters, and so on. It can be said that the people’s government has the right to participate in all the big and small affairs of these imperial families and vassal kings throughout their lives. The emperor also gave them the power to punish the imperial clan.

The Ming Dynasty’s participation in the life of imperial families and vassal kings seemed to be a kind of welfare, but in fact it was also a kind of restriction. The vassal kings of the Ming Dynasty not only had no military power, but also could not participate in local affairs. They could not have too much contact with those famous families and officials in the fiefs, otherwise they would be considered as colluding in rebellion. This may be the end of being deprived of the title.

In other words, in the ideal state of the Ming Dynasty emperor, the vassal king should be a person who can enjoy life and have no ability to live a good life. Therefore, most of the imperial families of the Ming Dynasty are mediocre and do nothing. Except for a few people, such as zhuzaiyu, who developed the “Twelve mean laws” and is known as the “originator of piano theory”, and Zhu Danwai, a man from Badashan, there were basically no powerful figures in the imperial clan of the Ming Dynasty.

One of them voluntarily gave up his title and devoted himself to studying knowledge. The other was to cut his hair and become a monk after the fall of the Ming Dynasty. These two people did not enjoy the fame and wealth, but also got rid of the control and bondage.

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