Kangxi Emperor

640px-Portrait_of_the_Kangxi_Emperor_in_Court_Dress

The Kangxi Emperor (K’ang-hsi Emperor; Chinese: 康熙帝; pinyin: Kāngxī Dì; Wade–Giles: K’ang1-hsi1Ti4; temple name: Shengzu (Sheng-tsu; Chinese: 聖祖; which means “The Holy Lord”); Manchu: elhe taifin hūwangdi; Mongolian: Enkh Amgalan Khaan; 4 May 1654 – 20 December 1722) was the fourth emperor of theQing dynasty, the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Pass (Beijing) and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722.

Kangxi’s reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning emperor in Chinese history (although his grandson, the Qianlong Emperor, had the longest period of de facto power) and one of the longest-reigning rulers in the world. However, since he ascended the throne at the age of seven, actual power was held for six years by four regents and his grandmother, the Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.

Kangxi is considered one of China’s greatest emperors.He suppressed the Revolt of the Three Feudatories, forced the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan to submit to Qing rule, blocked Tsarist Russia on the Amur Riverand expanded the empire in the northwest. He also accomplished such literary feats as the compilation of the Kangxi Dictionary.

Kangxi’s reign brought about long-term stability and relative wealth after years of war and chaos. He initiated the period known as the “Prosperous Era of Kangxi and Qianlong”, which lasted for generations after his own lifetime. By the end of his reign, the Qing Empire controlled all of China proper, Taiwan,Manchuria, part of the Russian Far East (Outer Manchuria), both Inner and Outer Mongolia, and Tibet proper.