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Chapter Article Notes

MMW 12 Chapter Article Notes: Succession Struggle and the Ethnic Identity of the Tang Imperial House

Making of the Modern World
Course Code
MMW 12
Alexander B Stewart
Article Notes

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MMW 12 Article Notes Succession Struggle and the Ethnic Identity of the Tang
Imperial House
Sui and Tang said to be native regimes
The Ethnic Identity of the Tang Imperial House
Official histories from Tang period were falsified to hide the fact that the family had
intermarried with ‘barbarians’
Elite families refused marriages with imperial house for two centuries
Tang fashions had a lot of foreign influence
o Controversial practice in China
‘Barbarian’ childhood nicknames in aristocracy
Patronage of performing arts
o Confucians didn’t like this
o Gave artists prestigious titles
Used ‘Han’ as derogatory term
The Case of Crown Prince Changqian
Began to reject Chinese identity/heritage, use Turkish language, dressed in Turkish
o Called him crazy, but he was probably no different from any of his other relatives
Father probably did the same things
Was the heir apparent, but crown was taken away and given to brother who eventually
became Emperor Gaozong
Gaozong ordered that sons had Turk companions in inner palace
The Succession to the Throne in the Early Tang
A lot of struggle around succession to the throne
o First century and a half of the dynasty, succession was never normal/standard
o Heir apparent never firm, and eventually abolished the title
In the steppe regions, rule was passed down to the most capable person
o May be why succession was so hard for the tang
o Coined ‘tanistry
Killing brothers for the throne
Killing of one son so that the throne would go to another after the king died
Empress Wu
o Had two sons killed, daughter, grandchildren
o Enthroned herself
Emperor Xuanzog last Turco-Mongol monarch of Tang ruling house
o Had three of sons killed in one day
o Almost killed by another son later
Many coups on the throne
The “Oedipus Complex”
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