10 WORST Emperors in Chinese History


Hey guys thanks for watching the Chen Dynasty, it’s Mike Chen. The burden of leadership is something that
should always be taken on with unparalleled responsibility especially if you are running
a country or an empire. Throughout history, we have read about leaders,
kings, queens, generals, and emperors who have brought their civilizations to great
heights that, to this day, their names have always been synonymous with greatness. Names such as Marcus Aurelius, Elizabeth I,
and Tutankhamun are but a few that have left an indelible mark in human history. However, where there is greatness and prestige
there is also depravity and infamy. After all, we can only imagine what a taste
of power can do even to the most virtuous of human beings. Sometimes their intentions are noble but their
methods are questionable; most of the time, their hearts and intentions are both in dastardly
agreement as the corrupting quality of power consumes an individual. So in this video, we are going to travel back in Chinese history and explore the not-so-beloved-and-oh-so-notorious
leaders who have ruled this civilization as we count down to the 10 of the worst emperors in
Chinese history! 10. QIN SHI HUANG To say that the First Emperor of China ruled his empire with an iron fist is an understatement. From 221 BCE to 210 BCE, Qin Shi Huang built
China using the blood of his people. He drove his people – most of whom were
farmers – to poverty by slapping extremely high taxes that basically left them with nothing
to keep for themselves to survive. In his first year in power, for some strange
reason, he ordered the relocation of 120,000 families, displacing them from their livelihood
and communities. Books and scholarly writings that he did not
approve of were burned and their authors were often beheaded. While he was credited by historians for building
The Great Wall of China, his infrastructures were heavily tainted with the blood of starved
and overworked citizens who mostly lost their lives working non-stop. And like most tyrants, Qin Shi Huang, of course, wanted to live forever so as death loomed closer, he ordered
his scientists to find a way to keep him immortal. When they failed, the emperor had all
of them buried alive. His infamous 3-mile wide mausoleum was built
by the hands of about 700,000 people, most of them – to no surprise – died in the
process of constructing it. By the end of his reign and his death in 210
BCE, it was estimated that Emperor Qin Shi Huang had murdered over 1 million people. 9. EMPEROR DUZONG Ruling as Emperor of the Song Empire from 960 CE to 1274 CE, Duzong turned his imperial
court into one massive frat house. It was like Animal house except for, you know, in ancient China. The emperor was known for his excessive drinking
and his affairs with multiple women. And okay I get that if you’re the Emperor you’re going to drink a lot, you’re going to have a lot of concubines. That’s all understood. But Duzhong lived in a time where the the Mongol army, led by Kublai Khan, was toppling
down empires one territory at a time. So he maybe should have paid more attention to that? Anyway committed to capturing the throne of the Song
Empire and taking away the crown from Duzong, Kublai Khan’s armies managed to capture
Xiangyang, paving the way for his invading forces to enter Southern Song by way of land
and sea. Duzong died in 1274 as his empire burned and
crumbled under the might of the Mongols. He was survived by his three sons who were
no older than nine. Five years later, the Song Dynasty finally
collapsed during the Battle of Yamen when Liu Xifu, Prime Minister to the Empire, jumped
into the sea with Duzong’s 6-year old son. 8. SUI YANGDI Being only one of two emperors of the Sui Dynasty, Sui Yangdi was an apple that fell
really far from its tree. His father, Sui Wendi, founded the dynasty
and – under his reign – managed to unite the central plains of China after nearly 300
years of divisive conflicts. During his later years, Wendi led a campaign
to expand the outer borders of his empire that his son, Sui Yangdi, had to continue
after his passing. Intent on continuing his father’s plans,
Yangdi immediately went to work and attempted to invade Korea and overthrow the Goguryeo
Kingdom. Fortunately for the Korean peninsula, Yangdi’s
campaign was ill-conceived and badly planned from the beginning. His aggressive taxation and conscriptions
nearly drove his empire to bankruptcy and started a civil unrest against his regime
and in 618 CE, Emperor Sui Yangdi was killed in a military led coup to topple him from
the throne. 7. EMPEROR TIANZUO The last emperor of the Liao Dynasty, Tianzuo actively ignored the warnings of his ministers
and generals about the looming threat of the Wanyan Clan who eventually, and quite
successfully dismantled his empire and installed the Jin Dynasty. Occupying himself more with hunting and polo,
Tianzuo practically relinquished all his state affairs to his brother-in-law. Due also to his lack of enthusiasm for his
position I don’t know why you would ever be. Tianzuo’s empire allowed malicious
officials to ascend to higher government positions. His negligence of state affairs finally reached
fever pitch when corruption became uncontrollably rampant, civil unrest was a daily event, and
armed conflicts between political families became an everyday norm; and in 1128, Emperor
Tianzuo was killed by Jin troops and had his body be trampled by horses. 6. SUN HAO Grandson of Sun Quan, Sun Hao was the last emperor of Eastern Wu during the period of
the Three Kingdoms. It was his incapability of handling state
affairs and his cruel lifestyle that eventually ended the Three Kingdoms period when Eastern
Was razed and destroyed by the Jin Clan. During his first year on the throne, Hao earned
the favour of his people after reducing taxes and regulating the behaviours of his advisors
and inner circle. Unfortunately, as time went on, Hao’s true
colours began to reveal his true nature. Sadistic and cold-blooded, Hao was a tyrant
who spared no one in his wrath. Many of his advisors who fell in his disfavour
ended up on the executioner’s block. Hao was also no stranger to employing torture
to his enemies or to anyone he pleases as he ordered their eyes gouged out and their
skin peeled from their faces. When the Jin Clan captured Eastern Wu, Sun
Hao was dethroned and became prisoner to Wu Emperor Sima Yan. In 284, Sun Hao, the last Emperor to Eastern
Wu succumbed to illness and died in Luo Yang. 5. DI XIN Sima Qian, a Han-era historian described Emperor Di Xin also known as Zhòu Xīn as one of
the most wicked rulers in history . He was known to indulge in his vices at the
expense of his own country. Apart from the fact that the emperor had a
certain taste for public display of very raunchy affection. I’ll put it that way. His love of wine was also unparalleled; imposing a
heavy tax on his people in order to build a lake of wine drove the Chinese people to
starvation. What’s even worse was his wife, Daji, was also vilified by the people;
blaming her for the emperor’s moral downfall. Apparently she was known for her sadism and
cruelty such as watching her enemies wither in pain as they are tied to white hot metal
pillars. Eventually, Di Xin was overthrown by the armies
of Zhou as they easily broke down his walls and conquered his kingdom. Rather than to face his enemies and
be held captive, Di Xin, in a final act of madness, burned his palace down and took his
own life in 1046 BCE. And to this day, people believe that his wife Daji was actually possessed by a fox spirit. And she was the main reason for the downfall of the emperor and the kingdom. 4. EMPEROR XIZONG Ascending the throne of the Ming Dynasty at the age of 15, Emperor Xizong was anything
but competent. Many historians claim that his downfall was
partly due to some kind of learning disability and illiteracy. While he may have been a really good carpenter,
he had little knowledge and interest in state affairs. It was because of his disinterest in politics
that he entrusted diplomatic and domestic affairs to his eunuch, Wei Zhongxian, a less
than amiable character who had illicit affairs with Emperor Xizong’s nanny. Almost immediately, the emperor’s power
was taken away by Wei and he did this by appointing close allies to key government positions practically rendering
Xizong powerless in his own empire. The Donglin Party, one of the few political
organizations loyal to the emperor, appealed to Xizong and asked to remove Wei and his
associates from their positions as the country was being driven into crushing poverty and
corruption. Unsurprisingly, the emperor ordered the accused
Wei Zhonxian to take care of the matter. Wei did by purging members
of the Donglin Party and sent his rivals and critics to exile, prison, or the gallows. Political and civil unrest began to grow beyond
the control of the de facto ruler, Wei, and the Ming Dynasty was close to collapse. Fortunately for Emperor Xizong, he narrowly
escaped the rebellion with his life in 1627 but, in the same year, died after drinking
an unknown substance. Due to all his children having died young,
the Ming Dynasty ended with no heir to reclaim the throne. 3. LIU SHAN The downfall of Emperor Liu Shan, unlike other people on this list, was not due to his vices or his excesses. It was his incompetence that finally disintegrated
the Shu Han state during the period of the Three Kingdoms. Given the nickname “A’dou”, a term used,
even today, to describe someone just completely stupid. Liu Shan was crowned emperor when he was only 17-years old. Despite having the full support of Zhuge Liang,
arguably the most intelligent and respected military official and strategist in Chinese history Liu Shan was unable to strengthen the Shu and eventually had to appoint his villainous
eunuch Huang Hao to handle state affairs. This decision by the emperor ultimately forced
the surrender of the State of Shu to the State of Wei. 2. EMPEROR QIANFEI Emperor Qianfei whose name is Liu Zi Ye met his demise at the hands of his uncle, Liu
Yu, but not before he had made his mark in history as one of the most depraved and murderous
Emperors of China. Ascending the throne at the age of 15, Zi Ye
was never the favourite of Emperor Xiaowu and he greatly preferred Liu Ziluan, Qianfei’s
younger brother, to succeed him in leading China. But when Zi Ye ultimately took power he forced his brother to commit suicide and ordered
the murder of the children of the Consort Yin, Liu Ziluan’s mother. Blood relatives were also ordered to be placed
under house arrest and prized officials of the former Emperor were purged for
fear of a revolt against his reign. Basically, this guy was a raging lunatic and after a year on the throne he was assasinated. 1. King Jie King jie was the last emperor of the xia dynasty and he was really intelligent and skilled warrior but he used all his smarts on and he was actually really intelligent and
a skilled warrior. But he used all his smarts on being just a
really evil person and is known in history as perhaps the most cruel emperor to have
ever lived. When he acended to the thrown the xia dynasty
was already in a state od unrest and the people were suffering but instead of trying to fix
things, all king jie did was drink and pursue beautiful women, he even created a pond of
wine so large that boats could said on it and people getting drunk falling in and drowning
was a regular occurance. the guy even created a forrest of meat so
he would sail on the pond of wine then go into the forrest of meat for food. Like i mentioned King jie loved beautiful
women so much he asked neighbering courtries to send him all their beauties and if they
didnt he would declare war on them. His prized beauty was a concubine named Mo
Xi who was given to him from a neighboring country, but Mo Xi was really sent to avenge
her people and bring down the xia empire, so everyday she would make crazy demands that
King Jie would always agree to, for example, she said she loved hearing the sound of silk
being torn so everyday, King Jie would have people tear a ton of silk for her to the point that the torn silk formed almost a mountain. Eventually thirty one years into his reign,
King Jie is said to have been overthrown in a revolution and died a lonely death in exile. Wow those are some crazy powerful dudes. I think in the future, a hundred years into the future two hundred years into the future if there still is YouTube and YouTubers which I highly doubt. Because the world probably would be taken over by robots by then. But just in case, this still exists I wonder if they would do a similar list like this and maybe talk about the craziest rulers in the world and history. And then Kim Jung Un Kim Three Fat will be on this list. And what I do like about ancient China or ancient anywhere that if people were really disgruntled if the people are really unhappy they could form a revolution they could form an army because there were really no guns back then because how mainly people fought back then was with swords, spears, shields. People themselves can make that thing. They can use pitchforks or whatever makeshift weapon at their disposal. So if they really didn’t like an emperor they could get together and force them out. But now with guns and advanced weaponry can’t really do anything like that, because in ancient times North Korea, yea, there’ll be a revolution right there. Anyway guys, hopefully, you enjoyed this video. Thank you all so much for watching, I’ll see you later.

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