If she did not die, the history of the late Qing Dynasty would be rewritten

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On the tenth day of March in the seventh year of Guangxu’s reign (1881), the 44 year old empress dowager Ci’an suddenly died of illness.

The news came out of the blue and shocked the world for a while.

It is recorded in the Qing barnyard bills that on the day before the incident, Ci’an felt unwell and asked the imperial doctor xuefuchen to diagnose her pulse. After xuefuchen’s diagnosis, he thought that the Empress Dowager had only a slight wind chill and did not need to take medicine. However, because the palace people demanded a prescription, he gave her some antipyretic drugs.

The next day, xuefuchen paid a visit to a friend and heard a household Secretary bring a gossip, saying: “when I left the city, there were rumors in the city that the eastern empress dowager’s’ guest ‘(died), and the palace had ordered people to pass on the auspicious Version (the coffin used by the royal family).”

Xuefuchen was shocked. At first, he thought it was a false rumour that the death of Empress Dowager Cixi was mistaken as the death of Ci’an. The reason why he said this was that Cixi had just suffered from a serious illness the previous year and had not been cured for several months. Later, he summoned a famous doctor from Jiangsu and Zhejiang to Beijing for treatment. After quiet recuperation, he did not get better until the end of the year. It seemed that Ci’an was not seriously ill.

After learning the exact news, xuefuchen murmured: “heaven and earth

Inter Naijing

Yes! “



? empress dowager Ci’an (1837-1881)

Zuozongtang, then Minister of military aircraft, was also skeptical about the matter. When he heard the bad news, he stopped and said, “I checked the time yesterday. The words on it were clear and thoughtful. How could it be that there was a sick person! That is, the cloud storm disease, why was it so fast?” The princes and ministers aside said to him, Lao Zuo, don’t talk nonsense.

Empress Dowager Ci’an is an important figure often neglected in modern Chinese history. She respected the Cixi palace and the Cixi palace, and listened to the government in the Tongguang and Tongzhi dynasties. The “Tongzhi” Qing government lasted for 20 years, and participated in many major decisions during this period.

She is not as “silly and sweet” as many people think. However, her death has attracted people’s imagination since the late Qing Dynasty. Up to now, it is still the talk of many gourd eaters. The truth is not so simple.



As for the cause of Ci’an’s death, there are indeed some confusing theories. In addition to the theory of death, others believe that Ci’an was poisoned by Cixi.

Yun Yuding, an elder relic of the Qing Dynasty, once served as an official in the daily life of Emperor Guangxu for 19 years. After the death of the Qing Dynasty, he wrote the eight trigrams of the Qing Dynasty at home. He recorded the details of the day of Ci’an’s death in the records of letters from Chongling: on that day, a girl in Ci’an was heartbroken and stood idly by the water tank playing with goldfish. A eunuch in the Cixi palace knelt down in front of him with a box of milk cakes and said, “the western Buddha ate very beautiful. He refused to use it alone. He specially presented it to the eastern Buddha.”

Ci’an usually likes to eat snacks. She was very happy to hear that. She ate one in front of the eunuch to show her thanks. Shortly after returning to the palace, she fell ill. That night, she died. Even the imperial doctor did not have time to treat her.

Another unofficial history collection, Qing barnyard bills, does not specify that Cixi killed Ci’an, but says that Ci’an committed suicide. At that time, there was a rumor that Ci’an was dissatisfied with Cixi’s interference in the government. The two had a heated quarrel, but Ci’an could not quarrel. After returning home, he was depressed and swallowed a snuff bottle in grief and anger.



? stills of Empress Dowager Ci’an

According to unofficial records, there are several theories about the direct motive of Cixi’s “killing” Ci’an. The most popular theories are Xianfeng’s Secret imperial edict and Dongling’s sacrifice.

Yun Yuding broke the news that the Empress Dowager of the two palaces once chatted about the old affairs of her husband, Emperor Xianfeng, when he was alive. Ci’an said to Cixi, “I have one thing to say for my sister. Please watch it.” She took out a file from the box and said it was the imperial edict left by Emperor Xianfeng.

The content of the Xianfeng secret edict is too frightening for Cixi. The imperial edict says:

The ancestor of the Yehe family (refers to Cixi) was not allowed to prepare pepper houses. Now that he has a prince, his mother will honor her son. I can’t help but respect him as the Empress Dowager. I can’t believe him. After that, if you can abide by the law, otherwise, you can make this imperial edict and order the court officials to pass the last order to remove it.

This secret weapon became Ci’an’s mace against Cixi, but she didn’t take it to heart. After showing it to Cixi, she smiled and said, “my sister has been together for a long time and has nothing to say. Why do you keep this imperial edict?” Then he burned the secret imperial edict with his own hands.

Although the imperial edict had been destroyed, Cixi was still bitter about it. According to the records in the biography of Chongling, although she was grateful, she was unhappy and resigned, and gradually began to kill Ci’an.

As for the authenticity of this secret imperial edict, I have to mention a famous story:

The ancestors of the yehenara clan of Cixi belonged to the Yehe tribe of the Nuzhen clan in Haixi. They had long been enemies with the Jianzhou tribe of Nurhachi, the founder of the Qing Dynasty. Later, Nurhachi destroyed the Yeh tribe. Before his death, the ancestors of the Yeh Nala family vowed to take revenge even if their descendants retained a woman. Therefore, in the Qing Dynasty, there was a rule that “the ancestral palace did not choose Yehe”.

As a matter of fact, the descendants of Yehe tribe were not alienated by old enmity. Instead, they were prominent throughout the Qing Dynasty and married with the royal family. There were many women from Yehe tribe among the Empresses of the Qing Dynasty. There was no ancestral system that “Yehe family was not selected in the palace”.

Even Nurhachi himself had married Meng guzhezhe, the daughter of the leader of Yehe tribe, and loved her deeply. Meng guzhezhe was only 29 years old when he died. Nurhachi held a grand funeral in memory of her and did not drink or eat meat for more than months. Her only son was Huangtaiji, Nurhachi’s eighth son.

Xianfeng Mi Zhao once said that there was such a big bug, the authenticity is open to discussion.



? Xianfeng Dingling mausoleum, the eastern Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty. Image source / photographing network

Another statement about the motive of Cixi’s murder – Dongling memorial service said that it was about a conflict between the Empress Dowager of the two palaces.

In the sixth year of Guangxu’s reign (1880), the Empress Dowager of the two palaces went to the eastern Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty to worship emperor Xianfeng. As the Empress Dowager of the Imperial Palace, Ci’an should have been placed before Cixi at the time of the memorial ceremony. However, Cixi firmly disagreed. The two empresses had a big quarrel on the spot, which startled everyone. Finally, Ci’an gave in, and the two stood side by side, regardless of order, according to the meaning of Cixi.

After returning to the palace, Cixi was still unhappy. She thought that Ci’an intended to humiliate herself, “because the more unhappy she was with the East Palace”, she became more and more unhappy with Ci’an.

In addition, there are rumors that Ci’an found that Cixi raised a male pet, and the two fell out over it. These stories constitute luoshengmen who died suddenly in Ci’an, which is more wonderful than the legend of Zhen Huan.

The above records are all from unofficial legends. The official history has not left much clues, which adds a lot of mystery to the death of Ci’an. As the protagonist of the story, Empress Dowager Ci’an, the nominal leader of the Imperial Palace at that time, was also the most powerful woman around Empress Dowager Cixi. What kind of role was she?



The empress dowager, narashi, is like holding the script of the heroine of the palace duel drama.

She was originally a young lady from a middle and lower class bureaucratic family. As a young lady, she was elected to the palace and named LAN Guiren. The competitive Nala family was favored by Emperor Xianfeng in a few short years. They were promoted to be concubines and concubines in Jin Dynasty, and gave birth to the heir to the throne, Zai Chun (that is, Emperor Tongzhi). Before the death of emperor Xianfeng, she was already a high-ranking imperial concubine Yi. Later, she became the Empress Dowager of the virgin. In the name of Empress Dowager Cixi, she listened to politics twice and took charge of the imperial government for nearly half a century.

From this point of view, Cixi is powerful enough. However, compared with the Empress Dowager niuhulu of Ci’an, her life is not open.

Niuhulu’s surname is a big surname of the Manchu people. Empress dowager Ci’an was also a young lady of a large family when she was young. Her father muyang’a was an official of the fourth grade and came from a family of officials for generations. Niuhulu, who was knowledgeable and reasonable, was favored by the royal family. He was only 15 years old when he was canonized as Queen. Although she had no children, her promotion rate was comparable to that of taking a rocket, and her position in the palace was even more difficult to shake. In the year when Emperor Xianfeng died, the 24-year-old niuhulu was regarded as the Empress Dowager of his mother and honored with Cixi in both palaces. His rank was higher than that of Cixi.

It can be said that Ci’an had the ability to manage the harem as a female president when she was a teenager, and became the most powerful woman in the Empire at the age of 24. She can be called a real winner in life. Today, I would have just graduated from college.



? stills of emperor Xianfeng

In the 11th year of Xianfeng (1861), Emperor Xianfeng, who “hunted Mulan in the north”, was critically ill. Previously, during the second Opium War, he saw that the situation was not good, so he oiled his soles and went to Chengde summer resort. The suffering emperor was a tragedy during his reign. He didn’t live a peaceful life for a few days. It is said that after Zai Chun, who was only 6 years old, he left cian and Cixi not only an empire suffering from internal and external troubles, but also a hidden danger that triggered a coup.

During his stay in Rehe palace, Emperor Xianfeng created two political teams: one was Tuogu before his death, the king Minister of zanxiang government headed by Zai yuan, Duanhua, SUSHUN, etc., which was commonly known as the eight ministers for taking orders, and the other was a political group headed by Prince Gong Yi, the sixth brother of Xianfeng, who stayed in Beijing.

In order to prevent the powerful officials from threatening the orphans and widowed mothers with chicken feather as an arrow, Emperor Xianfeng also granted the Empress Dowager niuhulu’s “imperial reward” seal and the prince Zaichun’s “Tongdao hall” seal (actually kept by Cixi). Only after the eight ministers proposed the decree can they affix the “imperial reward” and “Tongdao hall” seals at the same time.

But it was of no use. The eight ministers did not pay attention to the two young empresses at all. SUSHUN and others believed that “the decree was drafted by the minister, but the Empress Dowager had a seal, the Buddha was changed, and the chapter was not presented for internal reading.” This means that the Empress Dowager doesn’t have to review the memorials of the eight ministers. The Empress Dowager doesn’t have to revise the emperor’s edicts they drafted. Let them be “tool people” with seals.

The Empress Dowager of the two palaces, especially the Empress Dowager Cixi, hated the tyranny of the eight ministers to the bone. Moreover, there were rumors at that time that the eight ministers wanted to imitate the story of Mrs. Gou Yi, which was detrimental to the Empress Dowager and took away the little emperor around them. It’s better to start first. When Prince Gong came to Rehe palace to worship emperor Xianfeng, the Empress Dowager of the two palaces could not wait to summon the six emperors. A coup to seize power was also brewing.



? Chengde summer resort. Image source / photographing network

At that time, no one would have thought that the ruling power would fall into the hands of two women after this turning point. In September of that year, the coffin of emperor Xianfeng left for Beijing. All the concubines of the Imperial Palace came to say goodbye to the Empress Dowager of the two palaces. The Empress Dowager of the two palaces felt uncertain about her future, and said with tears, “if Cao is lucky enough to leave, my mother and son will not know where their lives are. Will they have to meet in the capital?”

When they arrived in Beijing, Prince Gong’s group was already ready. They seized the opportunity to take out the edict prepared by the Empress Dowager of the two palaces in the name of the emperor before they went to Beijing, and promptly removed the eight ministers from their posts, pointing out their crimes of opposing the hanging of the curtain and forming cliques for personal gain.

Under the joint efforts of the Empress Dowager of the two palaces and Prince Gong, the eight ministers were completely disintegrated, and the Empress Dowager of the two palaces formally stepped onto the political stage. In November, the curtain was hung to listen to the government ceremony. In the main hall, the little emperor Tongzhi sat on the throne. Behind the yellow screen, on the left was the gentle and peaceful empress dowager Ci’an, and on the right was the complacent Empress Dowager Cixi.

When describing the Xinyou coup that changed the destiny of the Empire, later generations believed that “all this was the plan of nalla, but the empress of the Yuan Dynasty only approved of it”. They attributed the mastermind of the coup to Cixi and Prince Gong, and Ci’an became a dispensable third person.

As everyone knows, Ci’an is the empress of the imperial palace. Without her “imperial reward” seal, the decree to overthrow the eight ministers would not be effective.



In fact, for 20 of the 48 years that Cixi held the supreme leadership of the Empire, she shared this power equally with Ci’an.

The empress dowagers of the two palaces cooperated with each other and made a series of policy reforms for internal and foreign affairs during the two periods of Tongzhi and Guangxu. They used Han officials to exterminate the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, carry out the Westernization Movement, consolidate border defense, and create the so-called “Tongguang resurgence”. After using Prince Gong to consolidate power, they decisively deprived him of the title of king of politics. Even the wily “devil six” could not play with these two widows.



? the picture of Gong Di’s health care in Dianshizhai pictorial

On the one hand, Cixi was in power with the tacit consent of Ci’an. According to the rules, as the mother and Empress Dowager of the former Emperor’s palace, Ci’an has the right to raise the young emperor alone. However, after listening to the government, Ci’an specifically allows her biological mother, Cixi, to live in the heart nourishing hall with her immediate mother, and jointly cultivate the young Tongzhi emperor until the emperor gets married.

This is what Ci’an said to Cixi: “if we two widows caress an orphan and set up an unfortunate villain to use the opportunity to make up words and play tricks in the middle, then the world will be over. We will meet each other day and night in one bedroom, and each of us will tell each other frankly. Why should we slander?” Such a practice can be said to be quite generous. She is really a good friend of China. It can also be seen that Ci’an has no keen sense of power. She just felt that it was safer for the Empress Dowager of the two palaces to live under the same roof.

However, when power tilts to Cixi, Ci’an can also play a role in restricting Cixi.

With the trust of the master, Cixi’s trusted eunuch, Andrea, became the head of the eunuch. He was so arrogant and unscrupulous that the courtiers had to give him three points. Even the little emperor Tongzhi hated Andrea very much. Just because he had nothing to do, he went to Cixi to complain about the Emperor.

Once, Emperor Tongzhi made a small clay figurine and cut off its head with his own hands. Eunuchs asked him what happened. Emperor Tongzhi said, “kill Xiao Anzi!” However, Andre Hai never thought that another empress dowager in the palace showed him the butcher’s knife.

In the eighth year of tongzhi (1869), andhai took the opportunity to buy dragon clothes for the emperor in Jiangnan and got the consent of Tongzhi and Cixi to go out of the capital. Along the way, he displayed the dragon and Phoenix flags in a mighty manner. Along the way, he also asked for bribes and even reprimanded local officials.

The ancestral system of the Qing Dynasty was very strict in the management of eunuchs. One of them was that eunuchs were not allowed to leave the capital. Of course, the Empresses of the two palaces knew this rule. Emperor Tongzhi superficially agreed to this, but in fact he wanted to ask his immediate mother to help him get rid of andhai. Ci’an had previously secretly discussed with dingbaozhen, the governor of Shandong Province, that dingbaozhen was a “man with courage” and asked him to take the opportunity to kill this arrogant eunuch.

When Andrea swaggered all the way to Shandong, dingbaozhen sent someone to arrest Andrea and put him in the right place. At the same time, he wrote a letter to play. When the memorial arrived in Beijing, Cixi still wanted to protect her cronies, but Ci’an “set his life to kill them”. Prince Gong Yi Yi also argued for and supported empress dowager Ci’an. Cixi had no choice but to admit that Andrea was guilty.

When the imperial edict of the Empress Dowager of the two palaces arrived in Shandong, andhai had already fallen on his head.

Cixi was so domineering that she played tricks on Yi Yi, Zeng Guofan, Li Hongzhang and other heroes. However, she did not dare to break her face with Ci’an in the killing of Andrea.



? stills: hanging the curtain to listen to politics



Interestingly, Tongzhi was a little afraid of her mother Cixi, who was so resolute and resolute. Instead, he became closer to his immediate mother, Ci’an, and regarded the latter as his own mother.

As emperor Tongzhi grew older, the Empress Dowager of the two palaces was about to return to power, but the emperor’s marriage must be settled first. For this reason, the two mothers broke their hearts and disagreed over the choice of the empress.

Ci’an took great care of emperor Tongzhi and knew more about the little emperor’s preferences. She took a fancy to the daughter of the Imperial Academy’s attendant, Shuo Chongqi, arut. Chongqi was the only talented person in the Qing Dynasty who tried Chinese as a Manchu and was the top student in high school. It was equivalent to giving up the bonus policy for ethnic minorities and taking the first place. His 19-year-old daughter has been quiet and intelligent since childhood. When she grows up, she is both talented and beautiful. She is also the aunt niece of Ci’an. Empress Dowager Ci’an wanted to make her empress dowager. Emperor Tongzhi also liked the arut family.

Cixi took a fancy to the Fucha family, the daughter of Yuanwai Lang fengxiu. She was only 14 years old, young and beautiful. She was just a little girl who was not sensible and easy to control. But her son didn’t like her. She just wanted to marry the arut family. Finally, Cixi had to make a concession. After agreeing with Ci’an to establish the arut family, she decided to make the Fucha family his imperial concubine.

This is not the end of the story. The bitter days of the Tongzhi empress arut have just begun. After she entered the palace, she was bullied by her evil mother-in-law Cixi.

The reasons for Tongzhi’s untimely death have always been controversial. Puyi, the last emperor of Tongzhi, put forward a secret story about the palace. He said that when Tongzhi was seriously ill, the arut family went to visit him. He talked about Cixi and scolded her in front of his bed. He burst into tears. After Cixi learned about this conversation, he angrily taught the queen a lesson and ordered someone to scold her. Tongzhi fainted with fear and died soon after. His queen, arut, died of depression two months later. One said she died of grief, the other said she was on hunger strike for the emperor.

Originally, when Tongzhi became an adult, the Empress Dowager of the two palaces would “retire”. Upon Tongzhi’s death, the young Emperor Guangxu ascended the throne, and the Empress Dowager of the two palaces hung the curtain twice. Ci’an was about to come to the end of her life.



? emperor tongzhi (1856-1875)



The biggest difference between Ci’an and Cixi is that she is not interested in power and does not know much about politics.

Xuche, a scholar, quoted the records in the discipline of the thundering army to analyze the ability of Ci’an to handle political affairs through the event that Bao Chao, a famous general of the Hunan army, met the Empress Dowager Ci’an.

It was in the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1880). As mentioned earlier, Cixi had been seriously ill during this period, so Ci’an had to summon all the ministers alone temporarily. However, when she saw Bao Chao coming from afar, she was all pulling the strings and did not know how to give orders:

Empress xiaozhenxian (Ci’an) asked: how many ways do you get to Hunan?

(Baochao) play: the ship will arrive in Hubei in less than ten days, and the ship will arrive in Hubei in less than ten days.

Q: have you got over your cough?

Play: cough is over.

Yu: I depend on you outside. You must work hard and be serious about business!

Play: I admire the grace of heaven. I’m really considerate. I’m serious about business. I dare not have negative commissions.

Q: are there foreigners in Hunan?

Play: foreigners once came to Hunan, but they didn’t come to Hunan because the people of Hunan gathered together.

This was Bao Chao’s appearance at Ci’an on May 27, the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu. In early May, when Ci’an first met Bao Chao, she asked, “how many days have you been on your way?” “What’s wrong with taking medicine along the way?” “Where and where to take medicine along the way?” And so on. That is to say, for a whole month, Ci’an didn’t tell Bao Chao anything serious. Instead, he gently said, “you have a good reputation! You are very bitter!”

She is a qualified empress dowager, but she may not be an excellent hostess.

At that time, people said, “when the eastern palace sees a minister, it’s like being speechless. Every time there is a letter, the Western Palace will say it for recitation, or the moon won’t decide.” It can be seen that Ci’an is nominally the Empress Dowager of the Imperial Palace, and is the only opponent on the road of Cixi’s monopoly of power. However, she has little say, can’t control real power, and her ruling ability is far inferior to that of Cixi, so she has to give in.

For such a sister, does Cixi really need to hurt the killer?



? Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908)



Despite the unofficial history mentioned above, the most authoritative historical material on Ci’an’s death is the diary of Weng Tonghe. At the time of Ci’an’s death, Weng Tonghe was working as a master of Emperor Guangxu. Later, he personally participated in Ci’an’s funeral. His records are quite reliable.

According to Weng Tongfu’s memory, on the tenth day of March in the seventh year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1881), “Empress Dowager Ci’an stopped drinking when she felt cold, and occasionally violated the peace, and there was no military aircraft.” this shows that empress dowager Ci’an was ill that day and was unable to summon the Minister of military aircraft. Late that night, my colleagues hurried to Weng Tongfu’s house to send the news of “guest of honor of Dongsheng (Ci’an)”. In his hurry, Weng Tonghe was both sad and frightened. He hurried to pack his clothes and prepare to enter the palace. He waited outside the palace gate with other princes and ministers until the early morning.

A few hours ago, the imperial doctor had done his best to cure Ci’an and prescribed five prescriptions. However, the Empress Dowager’s condition turned critical and she was helpless. At sunrise, Weng Tongfu and other ministers “went to the palace gate trombone, rose to the top, met each other, and wept and mourned.” they entered the palace to prepare for the future affairs of the eastern empress dowager.

It was all too sudden. As the imperial physician xuefuchen said, it is also true that Ci’an was buried the day after his death. However, this is in line with the ritual system of the Qing Dynasty. The Empress Dowager of the Qing Dynasty did indeed have the custom of going to the funeral the next day. No one deliberately disguised the remains of Ci’an and went to the funeral early.

Cixi did not hide it. Before Ci’an was buried, she allowed the princes and ministers to look at his remains. If Ci’an really committed suicide or died of poisoning, the body must be different. This is enough to show that Cixi has no ghosts in her heart.

As for some unofficial histories, it is also nonsense to say that Cixi “reduced the number of martyrs and mourners” to Ci’an. After Ci’an’s death, her body was buried in a golden chamber. Weng Tongfu saw Cixi wearing filial piety for her. The posthumous title of Ci’an also adopts the title of “filial piety, Zhen, Ci’an, Yuqing, and reverence for Tianzuo, the empress of Shengxian”, which is drafted by the princes and ministers. The word “Zhen” has the meaning of “Zheng”, that is, Ci’an is recognized as the head of the harem.



? Weng Tongfu, the witness of the sudden collapse in Ci’an

Cixi and Ci’an once spent 30 years in the palace. They had some sisterhood. Without the support of Ci’an, Cixi would not have been able to launch the Xinyou coup. Without the humility of Ci’an, she might not be able to control power.



If Ci’an really died of a sudden illness, what kind of disease was she suffering from?

A few words in the history books tell us that empress dowager Ci’an is likely to suffer from an old disease, which is a serious cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. It seems normal at ordinary times, but once she gets sick due to fatigue, it is very dangerous.

In the second year of Tongzhi, at the age of 26, Ci’an had suffered from “liver syncope like symptoms and could not speak”. She had been seriously ill for 24 days. The imperial doctor prescribed some drugs to calm her nerves and calm her mind, and then she gradually improved. In traditional Chinese medicine, syncope is mainly manifested as sudden fainting, unconsciousness, cold limbs, or even death due to unconsciousness. This is also a symptom of cerebrovascular disease.

After only six years and eight years of Tongzhi, Ci’an’s illness broke out again, and she was unconscious for half an hour (“the Empress Dowager Ci’an’s old illness was made yesterday, and it was about half an hour later that she fell ill”).

Both of these cases showed that Ci’an had serious old diseases, and her sudden death at the age of 44 may also be due to cerebral hemorrhage caused by cerebrovascular diseases.

“Weng Tonghe’s diary” records that on the day of Empress Dowager Ci’an’s death, she only “occasionally violated peace” at the beginning, but when she was critically ill, she had “severe epilepsy”, “confusion of consciousness” and “enuresis”, and was quickly killed by the disease within one day. Even today, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases are also terrible invisible “killers”. The imperial doctors of the late Qing Dynasty were naturally unable to resist this menacing disease.

When Ci’an was alive, he always had an invisible deterrent to Cixi. After her violent death, of course, the greatest beneficiary was Cixi.

The hanging curtain of the two palaces became the Empress Dowager of the west, and Cixi became the only true supreme ruler of the Qing Dynasty. With the expansion of Cixi’s power, her choices affected the direction of the Empire. During the reform movement of 1898, she launched a coup and put out the hundred day reform; When the Eight Power Allied forces invaded China, she was unable to resist, and made mistakes again and again, until she signed the Xin Chou treaty, which lost power and humiliated the country, to “measure the material resources of China and make friends with the country”; She and Emperor Guangxu died one day after another, leaving another mystery in the Qing palace.



? the “Cosplay” of Empress Dowager Cixi, starting from the left: SiGe, Cixi and lilianying

If Ci’an did not collapse in middle age, but continued to form checks and balances against Cixi in the next few decades, history might be a different face.

However, history has no ifs.


Zhaoerxun: draft of the history of the Qing Dynasty, Zhonghua Book Company, 1998

XuKe: clearing barnyard bills, Zhonghua Book Company, 2010

Xiaoyishan: general history of the Qing Dynasty, East China Normal University Press, 2006

(US) feizhengqing, liuguangjing: Cambridge History of China in the late Qing Dynasty, China Social Sciences Press, 2006

Xuche: Cixi biography, international culture publishing company, 2012

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