Sitting on the 400,000 Xiang Army, why did Zeng Guofan, who defeated the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, still fail to become the emperor?

People who are up and down in people s word of mouth are really rare. People often feel that Zeng Guofan did not become the emperor himself after defeating the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. In fact, this idea is just unrealistic.

It is not a simple matter to be an emperor. There must always be soldiers, food, or righteousness. At that time, Zeng Guofan had the most powerful Xiang army, and all the departments were loyal to him. However, it was difficult to be indifferent to such superior conditions. However, a key point was overlooked: rebellion as an emperor is very risky and does not conform to the fundamental interests of Zeng Guofan and his family.

In fact, by dissecting the structural characteristics of the Xiang Army s formation process, it is not difficult to find that the reason why the Xiang Army can fight without dispersing and is highly loyal to the coach is because it believes in the ethics of the monarchs, fathers and sons. The soldiers of Zeng Guofan s teachings obeyed the command of their battalion officers, and formed horizontal connections with members of the army through relations between fellow villagers, relatives, teachers and students, and brother-in-law. Therefore, the development and growth of the Xiang Army was itself a result of obedience to the old morals and old order. Looking through Zeng Guofan s Family Book , we can know that Zeng Guofan is a very traditional, cautious and somewhat stubborn scholar-doctor. Although he can know good people, he is not an excellent military strategist and is not good at directing soldiers to fight. (Jingang s defeat is an example)

In other words, if Zeng Guofan was really an emperor, it would not be possible to form the Xiang Army with Confucian ideas. Many generals in the Xiang Army have teacher-student and marriage relationships with Zeng Guofan, such as Luo Zenan, Wang Xin , Li Hongzhang, Hu Linyi, and Guo Songzhang. As bureaucrats from the middle and lower tiers of the land in the tradition of the imperial system, Zeng Guofan, Luo Zenan, and others are grateful to the imperial power and are dedicated to it. Although Zeng Guofan had a lot of ridicule and criticism for the corruption of the officials and the incompetence of the Eight Banners soldiers at that time, it did not show that he had a different mind.

People are of an era. They live in scholarly families, read poems, and have masters like Shi Shijing, Zeng Guofan, and others. They are so-called heroes of independence against Qing, and they are closer to the Confucian generals of Zhongxing and Qing Dynasty. Sage. So I may say that everyone knows that Zeng Guofan s subjective moral value judgment is difficult to establish the idea of ​​rebellion against the emperor, which is different from his later Yuan Shikai. Zeng Guofan was a literati disciple and a philosopher, and Yuan Shikai was a standard martial artist. Military power was the only reliance of Yuan Shikai.

Of course, in addition to the subjective possibility of rebellion against the emperor, objectively at that time, the southeastern half of the wall had been in ruins after the war, and Zeng Guofan lacked sufficient material resources to rebuild the local area to support the rebellion . Even with the Qing Dynasty s contribution and likin, it was difficult to maintain the hundreds of thousands of troops required for the battle. The result would inevitably lead to the disintegration of the army and disrupt the people. This was not what Zeng Guofan wanted to see.

After the fall of Tianjing in June 1864, the Taiping Army in the south still had considerable strength. As a result, the Xiang Army did not actually end the battle, and hundreds of thousands of Taiping troops had to be cleared up in Jiangxi, Zhejiang , Fujian, and Guangdong. The activities of the rest of the Taiping Army will also threaten any wrongdoing by Zeng Guofan, and Zeng himself will not take the risk of fighting on two fronts to become the emperor. The Taiping Army s Li Shixian, Wang Haiyang, Tan Tiyuan, and other departments in Zhangzhou, Jiaying, and other places caused a lot of trouble for the Qing Army. This also forced the Xiang Army to go south to reinforce its own troops.

Except for the Taiping Army in the south, the presence of the Nianjun forces on the Jianghuai front line will objectively hinder any action by the Xiang Army to move northward. Moreover, since the Xiang Army battled over Tianjing after the Battle of Anqing, it has suffered a great deal of losses, It is not possible to return to optimal levels in a short period of time. Therefore, it is even more impossible to rush north to clear the Qing to establish a new dynasty. If the Northern Expedition is to follow , the road of defeat by Lin Fengxiang and Li Kaifang will be repeated.

The Qing Dynasty did not have any defense against Zeng Guofan. Although the Eight Banners had a general combat power, after all, they still had a certain fighting power. As long as they guarded the fortresses along the river and the northern towns, it was difficult for the Xiang army to run rampant. After Zeng Guoquan captured Tianjing City, the situation at the time was: Minister of Mission and Governor of Hunan-Guangzhou Province Wenchang watched the Xiang Army and guarded the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River. If there were changes in Nanjing, the Yangtze River could go straight down; Controlling the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, you will soon be able to reach Nanjing; even more terrible is Seng Gelinqin s Mongolia Tieqi stationed at the junction of Hubei and Anhui, and his sight is all on Nanjing s side. The factions of the upper, middle, and lower factions are densely distributed, and Zeng Guofan may not be able to face multiple attacks simultaneously with his ow n army. Therefore, it is wise to dissolve most of the army on the spot.

According to the above analysis, no matter whether Li Xiucheng or other people persuaded Zeng Guofan to become emperor, most of them were untrue spreads. At the time, it was difficult to achieve subjective and objective conditions. Although the Qing Dynasty was in decline, there were many supporters. At least the Mongolian elites did not have the slackness and boredom. Therefore, Zeng Guofan, who had hundreds of thousands of troops, could only dissolve the army to be a member of one party to show his true heart.

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