July 1, 2022
Emperor Lungqing (Chinese Pinyin Lóngqìng, characters 隆慶; March 4, 1537 – July 5, 1572) with the real name Zhu Caichou (Chinese Pinyin Zhu Zaihou, characters 朱載垕) of the Ming Dynasty ruled in 1567 –1572 Ming China. He succeeded his father, the Jiaqing Emperor. After assuming power with the new year, he proclaimed the era of "Magnificent Glory", Lungqing. The name of the era is also used as the name of the emperor. After Jiaqing's death, the new Emperor Lungqing inherited a country in disarray after years of mismanagement and corruption. Realizing the depth of the chaos caused during his father's long reign, the emperor restored the orderly running of the state administration, resuming the previously exiled talented officials, and dismissing the corrupt officials and Taoist priests who surrounded Jiaqing. He further boosted the empire's economy by lifting the ban on foreign trade and also strengthened security on the inland and coastal borders by reorganizing the border troops. The seaports of Zhejiang and Fujian were fortified against the coastal pirates, a constant nuisance during the previous government. The emperor also repulsed Altan Khan's Mongol army, which penetrated the Great Wall as far as Beijing. Shortly after, a peace treaty was signed resuming the exchange of horses for silk. The reign of Lung Ching differed from the previous ones in the lower influence of the palace eunuchs. However, later the Grand Secretary Kao Kung supported the eunuch Meng Chong, who came to dominate the inner court towards the end of the emperor's reign. Meng gained the emperor's support by introducing Nu Er Hua-chua, a dancer of Turkish descent, to the emperor, whose beauty is said to have won the emperor's undivided attention. Despite initial promising beginnings, the emperor quickly abandoned his governmental duties and began to devote himself to personal pleasures. In addition, he returned the Taoist priests to the court, thus reversing his decision from the beginning of the reign.