Meaning of CHENG-T'UNG in English

born 1427, Peking died 1464, Peking Pinyin Zhengtong (reign title), personal name (Wade-Giles romanization) Chu Ch'i-chen, posthumous name (shih) Jui-ti, temple name (Ming) Ying-tsung, second reign title T'ien-shun sixth emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), whose court was dominated by eunuchs who weakened the dynasty by a disastrous war with Mongol tribes. In 1435 Chu Ch'i-chen ascended the throne and became known as the Cheng-t'ung emperor, with his mother, the Empress, as regent. He soon placed his confidence in the eunuch Wang Chen (died 1449), who came to dominate the government. By the time the Emperor came of age, Mongol power had revived under the leadership of Esen, a chief of the Oyrat branch. In 1449 Wang mismanaged a campaign against the Oyrats, refusing to listen to the advice of the officers and even sending the Emperor into battle at the head of the troops. As a result, the army was surrounded and the Emperor captured. A new emperor ascended the throne, and Cheng-t'ung, no longer of value to the Mongols, was released after a year in captivity. He returned to China, where he lived in seclusion, but in 1457 when the new emperor fell ill, Cheng-t'ung was restored to the throne, reigning seven years until his death but remaining a puppet in the hands of his eunuchs. He was the first of the Ming emperors to will that his concubines not be sacrificed after his death.

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