Meaning of T'IEN-CHI in English

born 1605, China died 1627, China Pinyin Tianji (reign name, or nien-hao), personal name (hsing-ming) Chu Yu-chiao, posthumous name (shih) Che-ti, temple name (miao-hao) (ming) Hsi-tsung 15th emperor (reigned 162027) of the Ming dynasty, under whose rule the infamous eunuch Wei Chung-hsien (15681627) dominated the government while the dynasty disintegrated. Ascending the throne at the age of 15, T'ien-chi preferred carpentry to governmental affairs. He handed the powers of government to Wei, a former butler in the empress dowager's service and a friend of the young emperor's nurse. Wei became the most powerful eunuch in Chinese history, replacing hundreds of officials and creating a network of spies. He even had temples erected in his honour throughout the country. During this time several foreign invasions took place. The Dutch attacked and occupied the island of Taiwan, a Chinese protectorate; and the Manchu tribes of Central Asia, who 20 years later were to conquer all of China, were virtually unopposed in their conquest of the northeastern part of the Ming empire around the Liao River valley. Conditions deteriorated in every part of the empire. In the south and southwestern provinces rebellions became endemic, and the imperial treasury was too depleted to repair the dikes when the Huang Ho (Yellow River) burst its banks. By the end of T'ien-chi's reign the dynasty had lost control of the country, and his successors were powerless to reverse the decline.

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