Can the ancient emperor really do whatever he wanted?

From 221 BC when the first emperor of Qin unified the six countries to 1912 when Puyi abdicated, there were 422 emperors as the supreme ruler of China, which lasted for 2132 years. In the long history of China, many people fought for the throne of the emperor. All over the world, it’s not the king’s land. It’s the shore of the land. It’s not the king’s minister. As if, as long as you become an emperor, you can take power by yourself. The world is your own. What you say is the imperial edict. No one can control the emperor. Can the emperor really do what he wants? The answer, of course, is No.
From the perspective of Confucian culture, the emperor is the model of the people in the world, and “the king is the official platform” means that the emperor should be the model of ministers. Therefore, the etiquette of ordinary people must be observed by the emperor. For state affairs, the emperor can’t be arbitrary, but should make a decision after consulting with ministers. We can compare the imperial court to a company. The emperor is the chairman of the company, the prime minister is the general manager who carries out specific affairs, and the ministers are the heads of all departments of the company.
In the Song Dynasty, where the atmosphere of the court was relatively relaxed, Zhao Kuangyin, the emperor Taizu of Song Dynasty, set up Zuxun, forbidding killing literati. Therefore, the ministers who did not have too many worries started the mode of death remonstrance one after another, daring to fight with the emperor to blush and neck thick, even at the risk of offending the emperor, not to be demoted out of the court.
In the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yijun, the God of the Ming Dynasty, set a record of not going to the dynasty for 28 consecutive years because of the famous “national origin dispute” in the history of the Ming Dynasty. The ministers believed that Zhu Changluo, the eldest son of the emperor, should be established as the prince according to the ancestral system. However, Wanli did not like Zhu Changluo, who was born by the palace maid, but wanted to establish Zhu Changxun, the son of his beloved Princess Zheng Guifei, as the prince. The move was fiercely opposed by the ministers. Emperor Wanli and the ministers argued for 15 years about the establishment of the prince. Many ministers were denounced or even beaten by the emperor because of their fierce advice. In the end, Emperor Wanli compromised and had to make Zhu Changluo, the eldest son of the emperor, the prince. The dispute over the foundation of the state came to an end. This event also made Emperor Wanli feel haggard. He simply hid in the palace and didn’t go to the court. This hiding lasted for 28 years. Even the ministers who entered the cabinet later didn’t know what Emperor Wanli looked like. If Wanli, as the emperor, can do whatever he wants, then he has no need to avoid not going to the court.
Some people must be curious. Are ministers not afraid of being killed by the emperor when they strongly remonstrate with him? In fact, the ministers at that time were not afraid of being killed. In other words, if the emperor kills such a minister, the minister will think that his action is glorious, and the historian will record it on the record, and he will be remembered for it, and the emperor will fall into the reputation of a tyrant. For the ancients, a person’s reputation is even higher than life. Moreover, the emperor did not dare to kill his ministers. After all, no one wanted to be called a tyrant. He could not block the mouth of one person or the mouth of a long time.
In the Qing Dynasty, although the emperor could have seventy-two concubines in three palaces and six courtyards, he could not delay in drinking. When the emperor was preparing to visit a concubine, the eunuch usually wrapped the concubine in a blanket and sent her to the emperor’s bedroom. After finishing the work, the eunuch carried the concubine back. That is to say, the concubine could not stay with the emperor overnight. Every time, the eunuch in charge must make a detailed record. If the time is too long, the eunuch will remind “it’s time.”.
In the end, although the ancient Chinese emperors had absolute authority, they would not be able to say anything because they would be scrupulous in every aspect and supervised everywhere. If you do what you want, you will surely have a reputation as a tyrant in history.

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