Was the Han Emperor Unimportant to Han Loyalists?

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Re: Was the Han Emperor Unimportant to Han Loyalists?

Unread postby greencactaur » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:09 am

I think a lot of it has to do with emperors being unable to defend or stick up for themselves. A prime minister who bullies the emperor, makes the shots. The advisors/council is to afraid to speak up for fear of harm befalling them, or even their family. I do think that the son of heaven was just used so that the rich and intelligent could take power. During those times only like 10% of the population were able to read right? That makes me think most of them were probably uneducated so they probably believed in son of heaven more so than the actual court did. The court just used it as a way to get them in line I think for the most part, and over the course of the years some advisers came to believe it, whiles others still doubted while not saying anything out loud so as to not be judged.
By the time Liu Bei took over the South west the Han emperor had lost full control. It was probably known by most of his generals/advisors that him taking emperor was really the only way for the Han to survive. For the most part anyone that disagreed under him probably said it only due to fear of Cao attacking. A lot of his followers did believe he was attempting to reinvigorate the Han court, but I do think Liu Bei always did have other intentions. Maybe not at first, but by the time he conquered Jing I think Liu Bei internally felt like the Han itself was done, perhaps not out loud, but internally. Another thing i'm reminded of is when Cao Pi became emperor, Liu Bei was under the impression he had killed Emperor bixian, but unbeknownst to him Bixian was alive. The fact that he was under the impression emperor Bixian was dead probably pushed him to becoming emperor. To be honest I think even if Liu Bei some how conquered and re secured the Han court, after declaring himself emperor, I doubt he'd had willingly given up the emperor title. He probably would'be asked Bixian to step down.
Of course for the most part I could be completely wrong, but most of this time period is lost to us. It's also hard to judge a persons character. They can act extremely kind, yet have "evil" intentions. I do think Liu Bei started off wanting to help the court , but somewhere along the line his plans changed. Most likely like I stated previously after taking over Jing he probably saw himself a lot more capable then BiXian. One final thought I want to add is I do think Liu Bei always had the intent to take over Yi. I believe in my opinion that Liu Bei said he didn't have any intent to take it over to his advisors was more of a strategic purpose. He knew his advisors would urge him to conquer Yi, so it makes it seem like Liu Bei was regretful. Liu bei's kind character refused him wealth, and power, but it was for the people and his advisors that he conquered Yi. It made it seem like he did it regretfully ultimately making him seem like a good character. These are just my thoughts on the matter however.
User avatar
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:50 pm

Re: Was the Han Emperor Unimportant to Han Loyalists?

Unread postby To Establish Peace » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:30 pm

I think there's a big difference between loyalty to the Han as an institution and to a specific Han Emperor - sure most of the time they overlap, but sometimes they dont. And honestly, even if Liu Bei DID defeat Wei and Wu, unified the Empire and then offered to return power to Xian, Xian wouldn't take it. He'd be in the same position as he was under Cao Cao, except worse because the guy with the real power is a member of the dynasty and thus usurping the throne wouldn't be destroying the dynasty. Even if Liu Bei made no moves to consolidate power the way Cao Cao did, I think Xian would hand Xuande the keys to the kingdom of his own accord and ride off into the sunset.
To Establish Peace
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:36 am

Re: Was the Han Emperor Unimportant to Han Loyalists?

Unread postby DragonAtma » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:42 pm

Indeed; if Liu Bei managed to unite the land, Emperor Xian would be a second Liu Penzi.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
Scholar of Shen Zhou
Posts: 1032
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:19 pm
Location: Long Island, NY


Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved