I hope no one is losing interest,I find this is going really well.
Your point about the mid level administrators is true.But there is also another truth to be considered about these lower level people.The fact that they serve a geographical location.They don't stray out of their city and go cross country hunting for a lord to serve since they need to be able to feed their families.
The higher level guys can afford to be picky about who they serve if they so choose but mid level people by virtue of the fact that they aren't eaxctly people to be clamouring for,have to serve whoever is most convenient.
Well it's true that the event did exist
But what I'm saying is that comparing to Shu and Wu,the lack of Xian to abdicate made to difference in the population's response to the coronation.
Yet this seal of approval was never needed by any others.Liu Bei and others never suffered because of the lack of the Imperial rubber stamp.
The idea of warlords not wanting to engage the Han openly is a commonly misinterpreted idea in my opinion.What the warlords were not willing to tolerate was overly egotistical and ambitious warlords.Yuan Shu,by virtue that he in effect said that he was better than the rest of them,got the cold shoulder.It so happened that then his ambitions became too large and he was beaten.
But look at Dong Zhuo,he most certainly was opposing the Han yet the alliance was not concerned in the slightest with the welfare of the Emperor,only in demonstrating to Dong his own fallibility and hoping to make him realize that he was not all powerful over them.
Cao Cao moving against Chang An was not considered a bad cat despite the fact that he was moving 'against the Emperor'.Also Yuan Shao,Zhang Xiu,Liu Bei,Sun Quan,Liu Biao and others never suffered any ill effects from the perceived notion that they were moving against the Han.
If any warlord truly had respect for the Han itself then they would follow the orders coming from the court without prejudice.And not one of them did that.
About the cities,Luo Yang was certainly a mess but Chang An was still strong,the only ill effects being from the battles with Li Jue.But with the geographical control of these cities Cao Cao becomes the foremost power in the central plains.
About Zhang Xiu,that's true.Jia Xu does make that point.But if Cao Cao did not have the Emperor how likely was it that he'd go to Yuan Shao.The far more pertinent point practically was how Zhang Xiu would be received and the point about Cao Cao's lesser forces would certainly still make him the better received.
I dealt with the idea of 'opposing the Han' in my post to Six above.
The entire idea about Xian saying Cao cao is a traitor is not a danger.Xian's edicts to Cao cao regularly labelled anyone who was in Wei's crosshairs a traitor and yet no popular uprising happened to overthrow these regimes.
our second point is a very good one but looking at timing things don't look bad for Cao Cao.Certainly if all those people attacked there would be trouble.
But Ma Chao's attack didn't happen until 211,4 years after Cao Cao campaigned against Jing.Secondly,at this point Ma Teng was still in charge and not Chao,Ma Teng had very good relations with Cao Cao.
Sun Quan at this point certainly did not wish to provoke a military response from the overwhelmingly powerful Cao Cao.Note that despite Liu Biao being shattered and Quan;s own deigns on Jing,he never sends any troops in to occupy Jing and neither does he consider military action against Cao Cao until Liu Bei is sent fleeing at Dang Yang.
And about Liu Zong,while rebellion to the court is all fine and dandy the fact is that we know that no one gave a damn about chastising any supposed rebels.Ma Teng had been in revolt for 20 years by this point and still no one had come after him.The real danger was the other listed,Liu Zong simply cannot beat Cao Cao and even with Liu Bei he would be in a bad position.[/quote]
"Two there should be; no more, no less.
One to embody the power, the other to crave it."
-Creed of the New Sith-