Chinese History – Emperor Kang

Emperor K'ang-hsi ruled China from 1661 to 1722 and his reign is captured by
Jonathan D. Spence's book Emperor of China. The different chapters of the book deal
with certain aspects of the Emperors life. Aspects that the history books to normally deal
with. The information in Spence's book is based on Emperor K'ang-hsi's
correspondence, his own writings. This writing maybe biased towards himself, but no
other piece of information could provide insight into his mind. The book is divided into
six parts; In motion, Ruling, Thinking, Growing Old, Sons, Valedictory. The book
follows Emperor K'ang-hsi's life as Emperor in chronological order.
In thefirst part, “In Motion,” the main emphasis was on Emperor K'ang-hsi travels
though his kingdom. He wrote a letter to Ku Wen-hsing stating that he had traveled
1000's of miles in each direction. He had traveled to the provinces of Shansi and Shensi in
the west, to the provinces of Manchuria and Ula in the east, north across the Gobi to the
Kerulean River and south to the Yangtze River. On his travels, Emperor K'ang-hsi, liked
to collect and compare different plats, animals, birds that he came across. He loved to
hunt with bows and guns during his travels. Emperor K'ang-hsi hunting practices were
not just meant for joy and exercise, it was also an exercise in military preparedness. He
took thousands of his troops on many of his trips to train them in shooting, camp life, and
The second part of the book emphasis on the historiographically part of the
emperors rule. The authors’ facts were based on the thousands of imperial documents that
came from the emperor. The author was able to piece together the kind to government
that existed. The central bureaucracy of emperor K;ang-hsi;s China was composed of a
metropolitan division and a provincia

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