July 1, 2022
Emperor Taichang (Chinese Pinyin Táichàng, characters 泰昌; August 28, 1582 – September 26, 1620) real name Chu Changluo (Chinese Pinyin Zhū Chángluò , characters 朱常洛) from the Ming Dynasty ruled Ming China for one month in 1620. He succeeded his father, Emperor Wan-li. After his death, an era of "Great Prosperity", Taichang was declared, lasting from his accession to the throne until the (Chinese) New Year. The name of the era is also used as the name of the emperor. Chu Changluo was born in 1582, in the tenth year of Emperor Wanli's reign, to Lady Wang, a servant of the emperor's mother. Lady Wang was promoted, but did not gain Wan-li's favor, and her son, despite being the emperor's eldest son, was ignored by him. Instead, Wan-li preferred Chu Chang-sun, the son of his favorite lady Cheng. Wan-li's intention to appoint Zhu Chang-sun as crown prince encountered resolute opposition from the ministers, and the whole matter remained at a standstill for many years due to the intransigence of both sides. Finally, in 1601, Emperor Wan-li succumbed to pressure from ministers, officials, and especially his mother, and the nineteen-year-old Chu Changluo was officially appointed crown prince and rightful heir to the throne. Even this formal recognition did not end all intrigue, and the emperor's dissatisfaction with the succession persisted. In 1615, the court was excited by an unusual scandal. A certain Zhang Chai armed himself with a wooden staff and broke into the Forbidden City to the Crown Prince's palace. The initial investigation called him insane, but another investigator pointed to the complicity of two eunuchs close to Ms. Cheng. Both were quickly executed, but speculation about the perpetrators of the plot continued to flourish. Emperor Wanli died on August 18, 1620, and Taichang officially ascended the throne on August 28. A few days after the coronation, he fell ill and died on September 26, 1620 after unsuccessful treatment. Taichung's eldest son, Tianchi, became the new Ming ruler. The death of the relatively young emperor caused a wave of suspicion, speculation and recrimination among court factions.