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Xin dynasty

The Xin dynasty (; Chinese:新朝; pinyin: Xīncháo; Wade–Giles: Hsin¹-chʻao²; lit. 'New dynasty') was a short-lived Chinese dynasty which lasted from 9 to 23 AD, established by the Han dynasty consort kin Wang Mang, who usurped the throne of Emperor Ping of Han and the infant "crown prince" Ruzi Ying to rule the empire over a decade before being overthrown by rebels. After Wang's death, the Han dynasty was restored by Liu Xiu, a distant descendant of the Emperor Jing of Han; therefore, the Xin dynasty is often considered an interregnum period of the Han dynasty, dividing it into the Western Han (or "Former Han") and the Eastern Han (or "Later Han").

Xin
9–23
Xin dynasty
CapitalChang'an
GovernmentMonarchy
Emperor
• 9–23
Wang Mang
History
• Wang Mang proclaimed emperor
10 January 9
• Chang'an captured
5 October 23
CurrencyChinese coin, gold, silver, tortoise shell, seashell
(see Xin dynasty coinage)
Today part ofChina
North Korea
Vietnam

Contents

Chinese dynasties were typically named after the fief of their founding dynast, and this reading is consistent with Wang Mang's pre-imperial position as Marquess of Xin. In 1950, C.B. Sargent suggested that the name of the dynasty should be read as meaning "new", which J.J.L. Duyvendak rejected out of hand. Chauncey S. Goodrich argued that it would be possible to assign a semantic reading to xin, but that it ought to be read as renewed or renewal, not simply new.

After the death of Emperor Wu of Han, the ruling Liu family was increasingly beset by factional struggles. As result, the power of the imperial clan declined. In contrast, the Wang family grew powerful during the rule of Emperor Cheng of Han, and its leading member Wang Mang used his influence to act as regent for several young puppet emperors. In contrast to other Wang family members who were content to rule the empire by influencing the Han emperors, Wang Mang had greater ambitions. He embarked on a programme of building and learning, creating much positive publicity and propaganda for himself. He openly presented himself as champion of Confucian virtues, and as guiding force of the empire. Following the death of Emperor Ping of Han in 6 AD, Wang Mang cemented his control over the empire. Rebellions against his de facto rule were crushed in 6 and 7 AD. Two years later, Wang usurped the throne and officially proclaimed the Xin (literally the "New dynasty"). Though he enjoyed no great support among the empire's political class, Wang's ascension was generally tolerated because the Han dynasty had lost most of their prestige. Regardless, much of the old bureaucracy and nobility was still loyal to the Han dynasty, but these loyalists did not openly oppose the establishment of the Xin regime.

In contrast, relations with the nomadic Xiongnu confederation quickly deteriorated, and the latter intended to intervene in China around 10/11 AD. Wang responded by mobilizing 300,000 soldiers along the northern border and prevented the Xiongnu from invading China. The continuing disputes with the northern confederation resulted in Wang setting up a rival Xiongnu government in 19 AD, while maintaining the great army at the border. This drained the Xin dynasty's resources, weakening its grip on the rest of the empire.

The new emperor initiated several radical social and political reforms. These aimed at strengthening the central government, restoring the failing economy, weakening the powerful noble families, and improving the livelihood of the empire's peasants. The reforms enjoyed some initial successes, and provided a much-needed legitimacy boost to the Xin dynasty. At the same time, the reforms weakened the former imperial clan, as most of the redistributed resources had belonged to the Liu family. Furthermore, Wang patronized education based on Confucianism, taking the Duke of Zhou as his model for a good ruler. His policies were often not implemented by the old bureaucracy who resented his radical reforms. In contrast, the reforms found some acclaim among the empire's peasants.

Rebellions during Wang Mang's reign

Soon after its inauguration, Wang's regime was destabilized by several natural disasters, including the Yellow River changing course, which resulted in massive floods. Plagues of locusts further worsened the situation, and widespread famines broke out. The Xin dynasty's economic policies failed to solve the ensuing crisis, and Wang Mang quickly lost the support which he had had among the peasantry as the latter struggled for survival. The desperate peasants in the eastern parts of the empire soon turned to banditry. The bandit groups grew in strength, and numbered tens of thousands of members by the 20s. The most powerful factions along the Yellow River reorganized into rebel armies, known as the Red Eyebrows. The insurgents allied with discontented nobles and descendants of the former imperial clan, resulting in large-scale civil war by 19 AD. Wang Mang was forced to shift troops from other areas to deal with the Red Eyebrows, whereupon the Protectorate of the Western Regions was overrun by the Xiongnu. Smaller rebellions broke out in other parts of China. The "Troops from the Lower Yangtze" operated along this river, while two insurgent bands in Hubei were recruited by Han loyalists. Led by Liu Bosheng, they became known as the Lulin.

As civil war engulfed the entire Xin Empire, Wang's loyalist armies fought hard to keep the rebels at bay. The Xin armies scored several victories, but were completely defeated by Han restorationist armies in the Battle of Kunyang in June–July 23 AD. Upon hearing of this event, the irregular militias of Zhuang Ben and Zhuang Chun captured Chang'an in October 23, plundering the capital and killing Wang Mang. The various rebel armies subsequently fought each other to gain full control over the empire. In 25 AD, Liu Xiu was crowned as Emperor Guangwu of Han in Luoyang. The Red Eyebrows were defeated by Liu Xiu's forces in 27 AD, and he also destroyed other rival claimants as well as separatist regimes including Wang Lang's Zhao state, Gongsun Shu's Chengjia empire, and warlord Wei Ao in the northwest. By 37 AD, the Han dynasty was fully restored.

Knife-shaped coin of the Xin dynasty

Wang Mang implemented several reforms, systematically transforming the government of the Han dynasty based on his understanding of the Confucian classics and what turned out to be his faulty beliefs about the ancient Western Zhou's government system. Sinologist Li Feng described these reforms as "socialist and imperialist combined". In order to weaken the nobles, strengthen the central government, reform the economy, and improve the peasants' situation, Wang Mang redistributed land from the rich to those who owned nothing, introduced new taxes on slave owning, prohibited the sale of slaves, and implemented limits on how much farmland one family was allowed to own. He also nationalized farmland, and restored the government's old monopoly on the salt and iron industries. To further strengthen the empire's struggling economy and restore the government's fiscal stability, the Xin dynasty also implemented a new system to stabilize market prices, replaced the gold currency with a bronze currency, and forced nobles of marquis and lower rank to exchange all their gold for copper coins. These policies allowed the nearly-broke government to regain much-needed funds, and actually improved the economy, but caused great resentment among the nobility. Wang Mang also reduced the status of foreign vassal rulers in an attempt to strengthen the Xin empire's control over its border regions.

In an attempt to return to an idealized past, the Xin regime also implemented architectural changes to the capital Chang'an. The "Nine Temples" were constructed where the emperor worshipped the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, breaking with the Han dynasty's tradition to worship one's own ancestors. At the "Bright Hall", Wang Mang observed the change of the seasons in accordance with the Confucian traditions. He also opened up posts at the imperial academies, so far dominated by New Text Confucianism, for scholars who supported the Confucian Old Texts. Sinologist Hans van Ess has speculated that this was Wang Mang's attempt at achieving a better balance between the competing schools of thought, although the emperor himself probably preferred the Confucian New Texts.

Historians who lived during the Han dynasty ridiculed Wang Mang's movement to return to the order of the Zhou dynasty as neither practical nor successful, but the Xin dynasty's attempted reforms served as an inspiration for later emperors. According to Li Feng, Wang Mang would have been "the greatest reformer in Chinese history" if his regime had survived.

Personal name Portrait Period of reign Era names and dates
Wang Mang 9–23 AD

Shijianguo (始建國; Shǐ Jìan Guó; 'Start to establish a nation') 9–13 AD
Tianfeng (天鳳; Tīan Fèng; 'Heavenly Feng') 14–19 AD
Dihuang (地皇; Dì Huáng; 'Earthly Emperor') 20–23 AD

  1. Goodrich, Chauncey S. (July 1957). "The Reign of Wang Mang: Hsin or New?". Oriens. Leiden: Brill. 10 (1): 114–8. doi:10.2307/1578760. JSTOR 1578760.
  2. Perkins (1999), p. 568.
  3. Perkins (1999), pp. 549, 568.
  4. Peers (2006), p. 66.
  5. Li (2014), p. 277.
  6. de Crespigny (2006), p. xvi.
  7. Perkins (1999), pp. 549–550.
  8. Li (2014), pp. 277–278.
  9. Perkins (1999), p. 549.
  10. Li (2014), pp. 278–279.
  11. Perkins (1999), p. 550.
  12. de Crespigny (2006), p. 1171.
  13. Peers (2006), pp. 66–67.
  14. Peers (2006), p. 67.
  15. de Crespigny (2006), pp. xvi–xvii.
  16. Li (2014), p. 278.
  17. Li (2014), pp. 277–279.
  18. van Ess (2003), p. 46.

Works cited

Xin dynasty
Xin dynasty Language Watch Edit The Xin dynasty ʃ ɪ n Chinese 新朝 pinyin Xinchao Wade Giles Hsin chʻao lit New dynasty was a short lived Chinese dynasty which lasted from 9 to 23 AD established by the Han dynasty consort kin Wang Mang who usurped the throne of Emperor Ping of Han and the infant crown prince Ruzi Ying to rule the empire over a decade before being overthrown by rebels After Wang s death the Han dynasty was restored by Liu Xiu a distant descendant of the Emperor Jing of Han therefore the Xin dynasty is often considered an interregnum period of the Han dynasty dividing it into the Western Han or Former Han and the Eastern Han or Later Han Xin新9 23Xin dynastyCapitalChang anGovernmentMonarchyEmperor 9 23Wang MangHistory Wang Mang proclaimed emperor10 January 9 Chang an captured5 October 23CurrencyChinese coin gold silver tortoise shell seashell see Xin dynasty coinage Preceded by Succeeded byWestern Han dynasty Eastern Han dynastyChengjiaToday part ofChina North Korea Vietnam Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 3 Government 4 Emperor 5 References 5 1 Works cited 6 Further readingEtymology EditChinese dynasties were typically named after the fief of their founding dynast and this reading is consistent with Wang Mang s pre imperial position as Marquess of Xin In 1950 C B Sargent suggested that the name of the dynasty should be read as meaning new which J J L Duyvendak rejected out of hand Chauncey S Goodrich argued that it would be possible to assign a semantic reading to xin but that it ought to be read as renewed or renewal not simply new 1 History EditAfter the death of Emperor Wu of Han the ruling Liu family was increasingly beset by factional struggles As result the power of the imperial clan declined 2 In contrast the Wang family grew powerful during the rule of Emperor Cheng of Han and its leading member Wang Mang used his influence to act as regent for several young puppet emperors 3 4 In contrast to other Wang family members who were content to rule the empire by influencing the Han emperors Wang Mang had greater ambitions He embarked on a programme of building and learning creating much positive publicity and propaganda for himself He openly presented himself as champion of Confucian virtues and as guiding force of the empire Following the death of Emperor Ping of Han in 6 AD Wang Mang cemented his control over the empire 5 Rebellions against his de facto rule were crushed in 6 and 7 AD 6 Two years later Wang usurped the throne and officially proclaimed the Xin literally the New dynasty 3 4 Though he enjoyed no great support among the empire s political class Wang s ascension was generally tolerated because the Han dynasty had lost most of their prestige 6 Regardless much of the old bureaucracy and nobility was still loyal to the Han dynasty 7 but these loyalists did not openly oppose the establishment of the Xin regime 6 In contrast relations with the nomadic Xiongnu confederation quickly deteriorated and the latter intended to intervene in China around 10 11 AD Wang responded by mobilizing 300 000 soldiers along the northern border and prevented the Xiongnu from invading China 4 The continuing disputes with the northern confederation resulted in Wang setting up a rival Xiongnu government in 19 AD while maintaining the great army at the border This drained the Xin dynasty s resources weakening its grip on the rest of the empire 6 The new emperor initiated several radical social and political reforms 4 These aimed at strengthening the central government restoring the failing economy weakening the powerful noble families and improving the livelihood of the empire s peasants The reforms enjoyed some initial successes and provided a much needed legitimacy boost to the Xin dynasty 8 9 At the same time the reforms weakened the former imperial clan as most of the redistributed resources had belonged to the Liu family 5 Furthermore Wang patronized education based on Confucianism taking the Duke of Zhou as his model for a good ruler 9 His policies were often not implemented by the old bureaucracy who resented his radical reforms 7 5 In contrast the reforms found some acclaim among the empire s peasants 10 Rebellions during Wang Mang s reign Soon after its inauguration Wang s regime was destabilized by several natural disasters including the Yellow River changing course which resulted in massive floods Plagues of locusts further worsened the situation and widespread famines broke out 6 4 The Xin dynasty s economic policies failed to solve the ensuing crisis 11 and Wang Mang quickly lost the support which he had had among the peasantry as the latter struggled for survival 10 The desperate peasants in the eastern parts of the empire soon turned to banditry The bandit groups grew in strength and numbered tens of thousands of members by the 20s 6 The most powerful factions along the Yellow River reorganized into rebel armies known as the Red Eyebrows 6 4 The insurgents allied with discontented nobles and descendants of the former imperial clan resulting in large scale civil war by 19 AD Wang Mang was forced to shift troops from other areas to deal with the Red Eyebrows whereupon the Protectorate of the Western Regions was overrun by the Xiongnu 4 Smaller rebellions broke out in other parts of China The Troops from the Lower Yangtze operated along this river 6 while two insurgent bands in Hubei were recruited by Han loyalists Led by Liu Bosheng they became known as the Lulin 6 4 As civil war engulfed the entire Xin Empire Wang s loyalist armies fought hard to keep the rebels at bay The Xin armies scored several victories but were completely defeated by Han restorationist armies in the Battle of Kunyang in June July 23 AD 6 4 Upon hearing of this event the irregular militias of Zhuang Ben and Zhuang Chun captured Chang an in October 23 plundering the capital and killing Wang Mang 12 The various rebel armies subsequently fought each other to gain full control over the empire 13 In 25 AD Liu Xiu was crowned as Emperor Guangwu of Han in Luoyang 6 The Red Eyebrows were defeated by Liu Xiu s forces in 27 AD 14 and he also destroyed other rival claimants as well as separatist regimes including Wang Lang s Zhao state Gongsun Shu s Chengjia empire and warlord Wei Ao in the northwest By 37 AD the Han dynasty was fully restored 15 Government Edit Knife shaped coin of the Xin dynasty Wang Mang implemented several reforms systematically transforming the government of the Han dynasty based on his understanding of the Confucian classics and what turned out to be his faulty beliefs about the ancient Western Zhou s government system 5 Sinologist Li Feng described these reforms as socialist and imperialist combined 16 In order to weaken the nobles strengthen the central government reform the economy and improve the peasants situation Wang Mang redistributed land from the rich to those who owned nothing introduced new taxes on slave owning prohibited the sale of slaves and implemented limits on how much farmland one family was allowed to own 9 8 He also nationalized farmland 16 and restored the government s old monopoly on the salt and iron industries 5 To further strengthen the empire s struggling economy and restore the government s fiscal stability the Xin dynasty also implemented a new system to stabilize market prices replaced the gold currency with a bronze currency and forced nobles of marquis and lower rank to exchange all their gold for copper coins These policies allowed the nearly broke government to regain much needed funds and actually improved the economy but caused great resentment among the nobility 9 8 Wang Mang also reduced the status of foreign vassal rulers in an attempt to strengthen the Xin empire s control over its border regions 17 In an attempt to return to an idealized past the Xin regime also implemented architectural changes to the capital Chang an The Nine Temples were constructed where the emperor worshipped the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors breaking with the Han dynasty s tradition to worship one s own ancestors At the Bright Hall Wang Mang observed the change of the seasons in accordance with the Confucian traditions 8 He also opened up posts at the imperial academies so far dominated by New Text Confucianism for scholars who supported the Confucian Old Texts Sinologist Hans van Ess has speculated that this was Wang Mang s attempt at achieving a better balance between the competing schools of thought although the emperor himself probably preferred the Confucian New Texts 18 Historians who lived during the Han dynasty ridiculed Wang Mang s movement to return to the order of the Zhou dynasty as neither practical nor successful 18 but the Xin dynasty s attempted reforms served as an inspiration for later emperors 11 According to Li Feng Wang Mang would have been the greatest reformer in Chinese history if his regime had survived 16 Emperor EditPersonal name Portrait Period of reign Era names and datesWang Mang 9 23 AD Shijianguo 始建國 Shǐ Jian Guo Start to establish a nation 9 13 AD Tianfeng 天鳳 Tian Feng Heavenly Feng 14 19 AD Dihuang 地皇 Di Huang Earthly Emperor 20 23 ADReferences Edit Goodrich Chauncey S July 1957 The Reign of Wang Mang Hsin or New Oriens Leiden Brill 10 1 114 8 doi 10 2307 1578760 JSTOR 1578760 Perkins 1999 p 568 a b Perkins 1999 pp 549 568 a b c d e f g h i Peers 2006 p 66 a b c d e Li 2014 p 277 a b c d e f g h i j k de Crespigny 2006 p xvi a b Perkins 1999 pp 549 550 a b c d Li 2014 pp 277 278 a b c d Perkins 1999 p 549 a b Li 2014 pp 278 279 a b Perkins 1999 p 550 de Crespigny 2006 p 1171 Peers 2006 pp 66 67 Peers 2006 p 67 de Crespigny 2006 pp xvi xvii a b c Li 2014 p 278 Li 2014 pp 277 279 a b van Ess 2003 p 46 Works cited Edit de Crespigny Rafe 2006 A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms 23 220 AD BRILL ISBN 978 90 474 1184 0 van Ess Hans 2003 Der Konfuzianismus The Confucianism in German Munich C H Beck ISBN 3 406 48006 3 Li Feng 2014 1st pub 2013 Early China A Social and Cultural History Reprint with corrections ed Cambridge Cambridge University Press ISBN 978 0 521 71981 0 Peers C J 2006 Soldiers of the Dragon Oxford Osprey Publishing ISBN 978 1 84603 098 7 Perkins Dorothy 1999 Encyclopedia of China History and Culture London New York City Routledge ISBN 9781135935627 Further reading EditBook of Han vol 99 parts 1 2 3 Zizhi Tongjian vols 36 37 38 39 Yap Joseph P Wars With the Xiongnu A translation from Zizhi tongjian Chapter 13 17 pp 404 601 ISBN 978 1 4490 0605 1 sc Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Xin dynasty amp oldid 1037207411, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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