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Ronglu
Ronglu
(6 April 1836 – 11 April 1903), courtesy name Zhonghua, was a Manchu political and military leader of the late Qing dynasty. He was born in the Guwalgiya clan, which was under the Plain White Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners.[2] Deeply favoured by Empress Dowager Cixi, he served in a number of important civil and military positions in the Qing government, including the Zongli Yamen, Grand Council, Grand Secretary, Viceroy of Zhili, Beiyang Trade Minister, Secretary of Defence, Nine Gates Infantry Commander, and Wuwei Corps
Wuwei Corps
Commander.[2] He was also the maternal grandfather of Puyi, the last Emperor of China and the Qing dynasty, through his daughter Youlan.

Contents

1 Early life and career 2 Mid career 3 Hundred Days' Reform 4 Boxer Rebellion 5 Later career and death 6 Relationship with Empress Dowager Cixi 7 Portrayal in media 8 See also 9 References

Early life and career[edit] Ronglu
Ronglu
was born in the Manchu Guwalgiya clan, which was under the Plain White Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners. His grandfather, Tasiha (塔斯哈), served as an Imperial Resident in Kashgar. His father, Changshou (長壽), was a zongbing (總兵; a military commander). Ronglu
Ronglu
was a yinsheng (蔭生), a type of position awarded to civil service candidates who successfully gained admission to the Imperial Academy. He started his career in the Ministry of Works as a yuanwailang (員外郎; assistant director) and was tasked with constructing roads in Zhili
Zhili
Province. In the early years of the Tongzhi Emperor's reign (early 1860s), he set up the Firearms Division and was rewarded with the position of a jingtang (京堂; fifth grade magistrate). He was also appointed as a flank commander (翼長) and zhuancao dachen (專操大臣) before being transferred to be a zongbing (總兵) of the left flank. Through Wenxiang's recommendation, he became the Vice Secretary (侍郎) of the Ministry of Works. Later, he was reassigned to the Ministry of Revenue and concurrently appointed as Minister of the Imperial Household Department. Mid career[edit] The Tongzhi Emperor
Tongzhi Emperor
died in 1875 and was succeeded by his cousin, the Guangxu Emperor. In the same year, Ronglu
Ronglu
became an infantry commander (步軍統領). Three years later, he was reassigned to be a Left Censor-in-Chief (左都御史) and Secretary of Works. In 1878, Baoting (寶廷) wrote a memorial to the imperial court, pointing out that certain officials concurrently held too many appointments, hence Ronglu
Ronglu
was relieved of his duties as Secretary of Works and Minister of the Imperial Household Department. Ronglu
Ronglu
was initially accused of accepting bribes and was demoted by two grades. He also offended Prince Chun, Baojun (寶鋆) and Shen Guifen (沈桂芬) and was forced to retire in early 1879. However, in 1891, he was restored to the civil service and appointed as General of Xi'an. In 1894, Ronglu
Ronglu
was recalled from Xi'an
Xi'an
to the capital Beijing
Beijing
to attend Empress Dowager Cixi's birthday celebrations. He was appointed again as an infantry commander (步軍統領). During the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, Ronglu, along with Prince Gong and Prince Qing, were in charge of military affairs. After the Qing and Japanese empires reached a peace settlement, Ronglu
Ronglu
nominated Yuan Shikai to oversee the creation and training of the New Army. In 1896, Ronglu
Ronglu
was appointed as Secretary of Defence and Assistant Grand Secretary (協辦大學士). He also proposed transferring Dong Fuxiang and his Gansu Army to Beijing
Beijing
to defend the capital and enhance the training of the New Army. Hundred Days' Reform[edit] In 1898, Ronglu
Ronglu
was promoted to Grand Secretary (大學士) and subsequently assumed the following additional appointments: Viceroy of Zhili
Zhili
Province, Beiyang Trade Minister (北洋通商大臣), and Grand Secretary of Wenyuan Cabinet (文淵閣大學士) overseeing the Ministry of Justice. Around the time, a group of officials led by Kang Youwei and Tan Sitong
Tan Sitong
planned to carry out a series of reforms and get rid of conservative elements in the government. The Guangxu Emperor supported the reformists. Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
was summoned from Zhili
Zhili
Province to Beijing
Beijing
and appointed as a Vice Secretary (侍郎). Ronglu
Ronglu
felt uneasy. Acting on the advice of Yang Chongyi (楊崇伊), Empress Dowager Cixi interfered in the situation and launched the 1898 Coup against the reformists. Ronglu
Ronglu
was appointed to the Grand Council and sided with the Empress Dowager in the coup. The reformists were defeated – six of their leaders (including Tan Sitong) were executed – and the Guangxu Emperor
Guangxu Emperor
was placed under house arrest. After the coup, Ronglu was relieved of his appointments as Viceroy of Zhili
Viceroy of Zhili
Province and Beiyang Minister, and reappointed as Secretary of Defence to oversee the Beiyang Army. In 1899, Ronglu
Ronglu
was granted authority as Imperial Commissioner in charge of military training (練兵欽差大臣) and put in command of the military units led by Nie Shicheng, Dong Fuxiang, Song Qing and Yuan Shikai. He established the Wuwei Corps, composed of five divisions led by the four commanders and himself. Around the time, Empress Dowager Cixi
Empress Dowager Cixi
had the intention of deposing the Guangxu Emperor
Guangxu Emperor
and replacing him with Prince Duan's son Puzhuan (溥僎; 1875–1920). Ronglu
Ronglu
was initially undecided on this issue, but eventually he opposed the Empress Dowager's idea. She heeded his advice and designated Puzhuan as "First Prince" (大阿哥) instead. Boxer Rebellion[edit] In 1900, when the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
broke out, Prince Duan and others initially convinced Empress Dowager Cixi
Empress Dowager Cixi
to support the Boxers to counter foreigners. Dong Fuxiang
Dong Fuxiang
led his Gansu Army to attack the foreign legations in Beijing
Beijing
but was unable to conquer the legations despite a few months of siege. Ronglu
Ronglu
was unable to stop him. Prince Duan and his followers continued to press the attacks against foreigners and kill any official in the imperial court who opposed them. When Beijing
Beijing
fell to the forces of the Eight-Nation Alliance, Empress Dowager Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor
Guangxu Emperor
fled to Xi'an. Ronglu
Ronglu
requested to accompany them but was denied permission; instead, he was ordered to remain in Beijing.[3][4] In 1901, Empress Dowager Cixi
Empress Dowager Cixi
issued five imperial decrees. The first ordered Ronglu
Ronglu
to "command various imperial forces, including the Beijing
Beijing
Field Force, the Hushenying, with cavalry and the Wuwei Corps, to suppress these rebels (Boxers), to intensify searching patrol; to arrest and execute immediately all criminals with weapons who advocate killing." The fourth decree ordered Ronglu
Ronglu
to "send efficient troops of the Wuwei Corps
Wuwei Corps
swiftly, to the Beijing
Beijing
Legation Quarter, to protect all the diplomatic buildings."[5] Ronglu
Ronglu
did not want to antagonise Empress Dowager Cixi, but was not sympathetic towards the Boxers. Like the leading governors in the south, he felt that it was foolish for the Qing Empire to take on all the eight foreign powers at once. When Dong Fuxiang's Gansu Army was eager to attack the legations, Ronglu
Ronglu
made sure that the siege was not pressed home.[6] The xenophobic Prince Duan, who was a close friend of Dong Fuxiang, wanted Dong's forces to be equipped with artillery to destroy the legations. Ronglu
Ronglu
blocked the transfer of artillery to Dong Fuxiang, preventing him from destroying the legations.[7] When artillery was finally supplied to the Qing imperial forces and Boxers, it was only done so in limited quantities.[8] Ronglu
Ronglu
also kept Nie Shicheng
Nie Shicheng
from finding out about an imperial decree that ordered him to stop fighting the Boxers. Nie Shicheng continued to fight the Boxers and killed many of them. Ronglu
Ronglu
also ordered Nie Shicheng
Nie Shicheng
to protect foreigners and protect the railway from attacks by the Boxers.[9] Ronglu
Ronglu
had effectively derailed Prince Duan's efforts to capture the legations, and as a result, saved the foreigners inside. He was shocked that he was not welcome after the war; however, the foreign powers did not demand that he, unlike Dong Fuxiang, be punished.[10] Later career and death[edit] In late 1900, Empress Dowager Cixi
Empress Dowager Cixi
summoned Ronglu
Ronglu
to Xi'an, where he was warmly received. He was awarded a yellow jacket, a two-eyed peacock feather, and a purple girdle. He escorted the Empress Dowager and the Guangxu Emperor
Guangxu Emperor
back to the capital later. In 1901, Ronglu
Ronglu
was put in charge of the Ministry of Revenue. Later that year, he supported the reforms proposed by Liu Kunyi
Liu Kunyi
and Zhang Zhidong in their memorial titled Jiang Chu Hui Zou Bian Fa San Zhe (江楚會奏變法三折). In 1902, he was given additional honorary appointments as Crown Prince's Grand Protector (太子太保) and Grand Secretary of Wenhua Hall (文華殿大學士). Ronglu
Ronglu
died in 1903 and was posthumously granted the honorary appointment of Grand Tutor (太傅). He was also awarded the posthumous name "Wenzhong" (文忠) and posthumously enfeoffed as a first class baron (一等男爵). Relationship with Empress Dowager Cixi[edit] Before Lady Yehenara (the future Empress Dowager Cixi) became a consort of the Xianfeng Emperor, Ronglu
Ronglu
was allegedly in a romantic relationship with her.[11] During Empress Dowager Cixi's tenure as regent of the Qing dynasty, Ronglu
Ronglu
joined the Empress Dowager's conservative faction at the imperial court and opposed the Hundred Days' Reform in 1898. The Empress Dowager always remembered Ronglu's support for her, even when they were young, and rewarded him by allowing his only surviving child, his daughter Youlan, to marry into the imperial clan. Through Youlan's marriage to Zaifeng (Prince Chun), Ronglu
Ronglu
was the maternal grandfather of Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing dynasty. Portrayal in media[edit] Leo Genn
Leo Genn
portrayed Jung-lu (Ronglu) in the 1963 film 55 Days at Peking. Feng Shaofeng also portrayed Ronglu
Ronglu
in the 2006 television series Sigh of His Highness. See also[edit]

Imperial Decree of declaration of war against foreign powers Imperial Decree on events leading to the signing of Boxer Protocol Peking Field Force

References[edit]

^ Initially Ronglu's concubine, she became his official wife when Ronglu's first wife died. ^ a b Woo, X.L. (2002). Empress Dowager Cixi: China's Last Dynasty and the Long Reign of a Formidable Concubine. U.S.: Algora Publishing. ISBN 0875861660.  ^ "荣禄与东南互保 [ Ronglu
Ronglu
and the "Mutual Protection of Southeast China"]". Douban (in Chinese). 14 July 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2016.  ^ Zhang, Yufen (1 April 2010). "论晚清重臣荣禄 [Discussion on the Minister Ronglu
Ronglu
of the Late Qing Dynasty]". Douban (in Chinese). Retrieved 4 December 2016.  ^  Imperial Decree on Day Nineteen of May (lunar calendar). Wikisource.  ^ Cohen, Paul A. (1997). Story in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth. Columbia University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-231-10650-5.  ^ Woo, X.L. (2002). Empress Dowager Cixi: China's Last Dynasty and the Long Reign of a Formidable Concubine: Legends and Lives During the Declining Days of the Qing Dynasty. U.S.: Algora Publishing. p. 216. ISBN 1-892941-88-0.  ^ Haw, Stephen G. (2007). Beijing: A Concise History. Taylor & Francis. p. 94. ISBN 0-415-39906-8.  ^ Xiang, Lanxin (2003). The Origins of the Boxer War: A Multinational Study. Psychology Press. p. 235. ISBN 0-7007-1563-0.  ^ Fleming, Peter (1990). The Siege at Peking: The Boxer Rebellion (illustrated ed.). Dorset Press. p. 228. ISBN 0-88029-462-0.  ^ Yu Deling (2008). Old Buddha (reprint ed.). Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1436683580. 

Hummel, Arthur William (1943). Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912). Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office.  Xu, Ke (1917). Qing Bai Lei Chao (清稗類鈔) (in Chinese).  Zhao, Erxun (1928). Draft History of Qing (Qing Shi Gao) (in Chinese). Volume 437. 

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 72943241 LCCN: n88118202 ISNI: 0000 0000 6381

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