Why does Liu Bei sell straw sandals when he is a royal relative

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There is an old Chinese saying: “Times make heroes”. Indeed, in the past history, many of the people we are familiar with were in troubled times, and the most typical and most familiar troubled times is probably the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty. Perhaps influenced by the book “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, many people in this period are familiar to our contemporary people.

What’s more, some of them are regarded as their own beliefs. For example, Guan Yu, who was a general of Shu Han in history, is now regarded as a symbol of loyalty by people because of his image in the novel. Perhaps, the novel will have a bit of exaggerated fantasy in its description, but it is undeniable that these people do exist in history. Today, we are going to talk about one of these characters – Liu Bei.



In terms of blood, Liu Bei is a serious royal relative. However, people familiar with history know that he was just a straw sandal seller before he made his fortune. Theoretically, although Liu Bei and the royal family are separated by blood, it is not enough to fall to the point of selling straw sandals here. So what happened to Liu Bei?

We need to find the reason from history. At the beginning of the Western Han Dynasty, the system implemented did not restrict the vassals very much. Therefore, the vassals had great rights in their own territory. With greater power, ambition begins to expand. Sometimes people are like this. If you give them an inch, they want to enter a foot. This is the case with the princes of the Western Han Dynasty. Although they have great power, who doesn’t want to be the most powerful person? Thus, the princes of the Western Han Dynasty launched a rebellion during the reign of Emperor Jing of the Han Dynasty, which is known as the “Seven Kingdoms Rebellion” in history.

In the third year of Emperor Jingdi’s reign (154 B.C.), Emperor Jingdi of the Han Dynasty adopted Chao Cuo’s “Plan to Cut off the Fan” and successively issued an edict to cut off the vassal lands of Chu, Zhao and other vassal states. At this time, Liu Bi, the king of Wu, joined forces with Liu Wu, the king of Chu, Liu Sui, the king of Zhao, Liu Piguang, the king of Jinan, Liu Xian, the king of Zichuan, Liu Ang, the king of Jiaoxi, and Liu Xiongqu, the king of Jiaodong, and other princes of the Liu family to launch a rebellion under the name of “Qing Junbian”.

The pacification of the “Seven Kingdoms Rebellion” marked that the threat of the power of the princes of the Western Han Dynasty was basically eliminated, and the centralization of power was consolidated and strengthened. Although the rebellion was put down later, it also had a great impact on the country and the emperor. In the period of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, the emperor did not bear it any longer, and directly implemented a series of policies to attack the vassals, aiming at strengthening his own power and weakening the vassals everywhere.

After implementing these policies, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty still felt that his power was not centralized enough, and there seemed to be too many marquises in the country, so he found an excuse to remove many titles, and Liu Bei’s ancestors were among them (Liu Bei is the descendant of Liu Sheng, the son of Emperor Jing of the Han Dynasty, and the Canon said that Liu Bei is a marquis of Linyi). In some books, the origin of Liu Bei has been mentioned, including how his ancestors lost their titles.

This is the reason for “losing marquis”. There is no great significance in the literal interpretation of Zhuojin, but its significance was greater in the Western Han Dynasty, and even there were laws and regulations on it. So, what exactly does “Zhuo Jin” in the Western Han Dynasty mean?

In fact, it is the gold offered by the princes of the Western Han Dynasty along with the wine during the sacrifice. The amount of gold paid by the princes is calculated according to the number of people in the fief. Such sacrificial activities are held every year, so it is also an excuse to weaken the princes. In addition, there are regulations on the size, color and other aspects of the gold. If there is any disagreement, the county will be directly cut off from the state, which is very serious.

Originally, no one would like to make a fake in the event of sacrificing to the ancestors, nor dare to make a fake. However, there is too much room for people to control the activity of offering jade. As long as the emperor wanted to cut the titles of several people, he would cut the titles of several people. Unfortunately, Liu Bei’s ancestor bumped into such a purposeful emperor, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty.

The five years of Yuanding was a nightmare for the princes of the Western Han Dynasty. Because there was a problem with the gold offered, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty was furious. In a fit of anger, he removed half of the vassal titles. The truth of the fact is not important. What is important is that the emperor achieved his wish and the power was centralized, and the vassals could not raise much waves. After the war of seizing the nobility, the situation of the vassals became worse and worse. Not only did they have to pay taxes on the fiefs, but also they had no chance to participate in politics. Finally, with the implementation of the “Tuen Ling”, the territory of the vassals is getting smaller and smaller, and it will become nothing.

The emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty did not treat the princes very well. After all, power is best in his own hands. The princes of the Eastern Han Dynasty only need to eat, drink and sleep on their own fiefs. They don’t care how to govern their fiefs, nor need to participate in political struggles. In this way, they can eat their leisure meals with ease, and the emperor will be relieved. The status of the princes in the Eastern Han Dynasty is the same. What’s more, Liu Bei, the royal descendant from the Western Han Dynasty, his father Liu Hong, was not high in official position and died early. Therefore, no matter how unwilling he was, it could only be for life. The young Liu Bei could only work with his mother as a shoemaker.

Here is another story about Liu Bei, that is, there is a mulberry tree on the hedge in the southeast corner of Liu Bei’s house, which is five feet high. It looks like a car cover from a distance. People who come and go feel that this tree does not look like a worldly thing, and that this family must be distinguished. When Liu Bei was a child, he played under the tree with children of the same lineage, pointed to the mulberry tree and said, “I will definitely take such a Yubao covered car in the future.” Liu Bei’s uncle Liu Zijing said, “Don’t talk nonsense, let our family be killed.”

However, although our uncle Liu is in such an environment, God has not treated him badly. He was born in a troubled era, which is both a disaster and a blessing. For Liu Bei, this is a blessing. Although it has degenerated to the point of selling straw sandals, it is also justifiable for people to rise up. For people now, it is incredible that they can get a large number of people’s support just by virtue of the royal family and benevolence and righteousness. However, at that time, people would like to see this, which is also the right time for Liu Beisheng.

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