Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Who is the greatest ruler in the Chinese history?


Recommended Posts

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.


How do you judge that ruler' date=' Cipher? No conquest and aggression from this chap, eh mate? What did he bring to his people? The Great Wall and an underground army of clay soldiers? Nice contributions![/quote']

You should add several points. He brought an end to riotous Warring States Period . He built up the Qin Dynasty, the first unified, multi-national, autocratic and power-centralized state in Chinese history. He invented the political system some of which even adopted in Qing Dynasty(about 2100 years afterwards). He opened 2,000-year-long imperial history in China and exerted a far-reaching influence on the subsequent dynasties. He standardized the measurement of weight and length, written script, legal system and currency, which is believed still benefits people nowadays. Even the books-burning part, I think in some extent, was a good thing. If he succeeded in cutting the throat of Confucianism, then there couldn't have the possibility that 汉武帝 could 独尊儒术,罢黜百家, and as a result, China might get on capitalist path 1000 years ago......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Be realistic. Who would want to live during the reigns of Qin Shihuang or Genghis Khan?

So you guys think that they were great only because of their so-called accomplishment under high-handed rules.

I have to strongly disagree.

Which emperors were great and that you would wish to live in that era?

(1) The first emperor of Han -- Liu Bang:

He abolished all those hundreds statutes of Qin's brutal law and gave the people a break. Liu adopted the Taoist philosophy of his close aides -- Xiao He -- and implemented a "do-nothing" policy. People who had suffered centuries of war during the warring period and brutal rule of Qin finally got a relief.

Han's early benign rule established a dynasty of over 400 years and even smart people like Zhuge Liang devoted his whole life to save Han from demise at its end.

Who would die for Qin?

(2) The first Emperor of Song -- Zhao family:

Mr. Zhao was one of the rare species among Chinese emperors. He possessed the rare attribute -- kindness.

Zhao's kindness was demonstrated on how he treated the deposed Zhou royal family by granting them immunity forever from prosecution. He also treated all his former colleagues nice whom helped him staging the coup. He relieved their military duties during a banquet but gave them honor and wealth instead for the rest of their lives.

Moreover, Song dynasty was one of the few academically liberal dynasties in Chinese history.

The second Tang emperor was also great. But Mr. Li dared kill his older brother and younger brother during a coup and took their wives as concubines when his father was still the emperor nominally. No matter what kind of excuses historians made up for his vicious act, I don't think such cold-blooded person was qualifed!

Kang Hsi's reign was great too if you just consider "stability". But if you were a scholar, any poem or article you composed/wrote might make your whole clan being beheaded if you used the wrong word! Would you like to live in that time?

Only if you don't mind to live under his rule, then he could be eligible to be a good emperor!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't agree. Why you pick 成吉思汗? Because he established a vast empire by 40ys conquest and aggression. Judge a ruler from a view of what he brought to his people. Genghis Khan was a great commander but not a great ruler.

What are you talking about? Ghengis khan is not only a great commander but also a great ruler. He started out from a little family with help of his stepfather, and conquered and united the whole mongolia. How do you think he has the man power and economy to conquer almost the whole Europe without his people liking him? Obviously he has loyal generals and was well supported by his people.

and one more thing, Ghengis khan conquered most of Europe, vast parts of russia without reading a single book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first emperor of Han -- Liu Bang

Liu Bang may be a decent ruler, but the way he treats his people and his generals i do not approve.

First of all, Liu Bang is just some ordinary guy that drinks and does nothing all day. He has no political and commanding skills. The only trait to his advantage is that he knows how to "use" different people.

Second, during a war with Xiang Yu he lost completely and was chased by soldiers. Liu Bang kicked his own son off the horse so he can escape. He did that twice.

Last, after Xiang Yu was killed, he established the Han dynasty. He then killed off his 4of his most able advisors- including Han Xin, Hsiao He, Zhang Liang (and another one i forgot). Only zhang liang was aware of Liu Bang's intentions so he escaped.

from these points we can see Liu Bang fails as being a leader.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Genghis Khan sure was a great leader for his people - the Mongols :)Though I wouldn't agree that he conquered most of Europe - and certainly not the most advanced regions (though his successors might have been able to conquer the rest of Europe).

If you come to (Outer) Mongolia, you can see that he is admired as founder of the Mongolian nation, greatest hero etc. His rule also brought the first mongolian script, a constitution and the decimal army organisation. His face is on the bigger banknotes, on several wodka labels and anywhere else you could imagine. Even 70 years of frowning upon the Khans under soviet rule couldn't change this admiration.

So I think he was indeed a great leader. But maybe not for the chinese people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say Sun Yat Sen -- even though his powerless presidency reigned less than 100 days.

But a leader's legacy does not depend on how much power he yielded when he was alive.

During the 18-year that Sun strived for revolution, sometimes he ran out of money, friends, and even support from siblings after repeated failure.

Some of his comrades were killed and others quitted out of despair.

Only Sun had the perseverence to stick to his goal in all those desperate years.

Without Sun, we would still keep a pigtail on our hair.

Without Sun, we would still embrace a slavish mentality and kneel down heads over toes in front of any officials.

Sun was the only man who persistently helped Chinese get rid of feudalism.

Of course, Mao was also same kind of person like Sun who relentlessly pursued to implement his ideals to transform the Chinese society.

But unlike Sun, Mao was more brutal and power greedy.

And in his sunset years, Mao ridiculed his own ideals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We would be still wearing pig tails? I really doubt it. Sun was only a representative or a figurehead of Chinese nationalism, it would have gone on without him. Even when Sun was in charge, corruption was rife and his leadership was ineffectual.

Although Mao understood the people, unfortunately he was a moron. When the Chinese can elect their own leaders, the selection process should by default eventually come up with great leaders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...