Meaning of KAO-TSU in English

born 256 BC, China died 195 BC, China Pinyin Gao Zu (temple name, or miao-hao), personal name (hsing-ming) Liu Pang, or Liu Chi, posthumous name (shih) Kao Huang-ti founder and first emperor of the Han dynasty (206 BCAD 220), under which the Chinese imperial system assumed most of the characteristics that it was to retain until it was overthrown in 1911/12. He reigned from 206 to 195 BC. Born of a peasant family, Liu Pang began his career as a police officer under the Ch'in dynasty (221206 BC). He turned rebel after the death of the Ch'in emperor Shih huang-ti, who had been the first to unify China. The rebels were under the nominal leadership of Hsiang Y, a warlord who defeated the Ch'in armies and then tried to restore the pre-Ch'in feudal system, reinstating many of the former nobles and dividing the land among his generals. Liu Pang, by then an important rebel leader, received control of the kingdom of Han in West China, now Szechwan and southern Shensi provinces. The former allies soon turned against each other, and Liu's peasant shrewdness led him to victory over the militarily brillant but politically naive Hsiang Y. The civil war ended when Hsiang Y took his own life in 202 BC, upon which Kao-tsu became the ruler of China. Liu was a coarse man who once urinated into the formal hat of a court scholar to show his disdain for education. Nevertheless, he was a pragmatic and flexible ruler who recognized the need for educated men at court. He showed particular concern for reviving the rural economy and for lightening the tax burden of the peasants. Though generally humane in civil matters, he dealt harshly with those who threatened his reign from within China. His conduct of foreign affairs was a skillful combination of diplomacy and the use of force. His descendants continued the process of consolidating and expanding the empire. born 566, Ch'eng-chi, Shansi province, China died 635, Ch'ang-an Pinyin Gao Zu (temple name, or miao-hao), personal name (hsing-ming) Li Yan the founder and first emperor of the T'ang dynasty (618907). Although Kao claimed to be of Chinese descent, his family was intermarried with nomadic tribes of North China. As an official of the Sui dynasty (581618), Kao-tsu was expected to suppress peasant revolts and prevent incursions of Turkish nomads into North China. With the Sui dynasty about to disintegrate, Li Yanurged on by Li Shih-min (later T'ai-tsung), his ambitious second sonrose in rebellion in 617. Aided by Turkish allies, Li Yan captured the capital at Ch'ang-an. The next year, he proclaimed the T'ang dynasty. Thereafter, he worked to reform taxation and coinage, while Li Shih-min finished eliminating rival claimants to the throne. In 626 Li Yan abdicated to Li Shih-min, who had meanwhile destroyed his rival brothers.

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