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Gong, Wei Ai (1986) Consolidation of Southern Sung China Under Hsiao-Tsung's Reign, 1162-1189. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033540

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Abstract

This is a study on the reign of Hsiao-tsung, the second emperor of the Southern Sung dynasty (1127-1279). His rule from 1162 to 1189 represents a crucial phase in Southern Sung history for it was during this period that the regime was greatly strengthened and the empire solidly built. By effectively consolidating the Southern Sung regime further, Hsiao-tsung not only succeeded in establishing an age of peace and order under his administration but also constructed a dynasty of long duration which successfully resisted foreign penetration for almost another century after his reign. The thesis consists of six chapters. Chapter One, the Introduction, gives the historical setting and places the reign of Hsiao-tsung in a clearer perspective by highlighting the major political, socio-economic and military developments of the time. Chapter Two provides an account on the founding of Southern Sung. The political upheavals during the reign of the first emperor, Kao-tsung, represent a sharp contrast to the overall peaceful administration of his successor. Chapter Three deals with the early years of uncertainty during Hsiao-tsung's reign and gives us a better understanding of the tasks initially confronting the emperor. In Chapters Four and Five, the significant role played by Hsiao-tsung in consolidating the Southern Sung empire is analysed through a detailed study of court politics during the Ch'ien-tao (1165-1173) and Ch'un-hsi (1174-1189) eras. It can be deduced that the emperor achieved consolidation by concentrating political, military and financial powers not only in the central government but also in his own hands. As a result, absolutism attained a new height, but this was not necessarily harmful as it had the positive effect of bringing about general order to the regime. Finally, in the Conclusion in Chapter Six, we examine the far-reaching impact of Hsiao-tsung's contributions to Southern Sung China. His labours resulted in a lasting stability that held the empire together through the years of political decline and economic deterioration. The remarkable resilience demonstrated by the late Southern Sung dynasty undoubtedly attests the strength of Hsiao-tsung's consolidation.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033540
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 16:53
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/33540

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