The Life of Yongle By martin wilsoN

Emperor Yongle born in July 17, 1402. Born Zhu Di, Yongle was the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. His Chinese era name Yongle means “Perpetual Happiness. In 1370, at the age of ten, he became the Prince of Yan, possessing a powerful military base near present-day Beijing.

During his reign Emperor Yongle also moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, where he constructed the Forbidden City, home to Chinese emperors for over five hundred years.

Notable Achievements Of His Reign Include The Completion Of The Monumental Yongle Encyclopedia, The Construction Of The Porcelain Tower Of Nanjing, And The Epic Sea-Going Explorations Of Zheng He.

Factions at court had long been critical of the Yongle emperor's extravagant ways. Not only had he sent seven missions of the enormous Treasure Ships over the western seas, he had ordered overseas missions northeast and east, had sent envoys multiple times across desert and grassland to the mountains of Tibet and Nepal and on to Bengal and Siam, and had many times raised armies against fragmented but still troublesome Mongolian tribes to the north.

Emperor Yongle died in 1424 after one of the most successful reigns in Chinese history. At the time of his death he was again marching against the Mongols. He was buried in Changling and had 16 concubines burned along with him. His is a name history can never forget, whether by holding off the Mongols, extending the Chinese borders, establishing the great city of Beijing or forging diplomatic ties with far-flung kingdoms all around the world. Although he was a hard man, ambitious, determined and ruthless at times, in every way a successful emperor is judged, Yongle more than fits the bill.

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