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How Should A Ruler Act Assignment HIS

How Should A Ruler Act Assignment Read and Understand "How should a ruler act (from the Tang Dynasty)" on Moodle site. Answer questions the following questions in a Word document following MLA guidelines and upload your response to the Moodle site. In order to receive credit for this assignment, post a response that is at least 100 words in length. Questions 1. What solution does the emperor propose to the problem of how to govern a vast territory? 2. What criteria do you think he employed in deciding that outlying prefectures should be controlled to relatives? Why relatives? 3. What are the strengths of this plan? 4. What are the weaknesses? 5. How could the weaknesses of this feudalistic scheme be addressed while still putting the plan into practice? Excerpts from Emperor Taizong on Effective Government Li Shimin reigned as Taizong, second emperor of the Tang dynasty (618-907), from 626 until his death in 649. An energetic ruler, Tang Taizong had played a major part in the military campaigns that brought his father (Li Yuan, Tang Gaozu, r. 618-626) to the throne as the first emperor of the Tang dynasty. Having eliminated his two competitors for the throne (his brothers Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji) in an ambush at the capital city’s Xuanwu Gate in 624, Li Shimin forced his father into retirement in 626 to take the throne for himself. As the second emperor of the Tang dynasty, Li Shimin gave shape to the administrative structure of the empire. The text recommended below was written in 648, near the end of his reign, and was meant to serve as advice to his heirs. Source: From Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook, edited by Patricia Buckley Ebrey, 2nd ed. (New York: The Free Press, 1993), 112-115. How
a
Ruler
Should
Act

 A country cannot be a country without people and a ruler cannot be a ruler without a country. When the ruler looks as lofty and firm as a mountain peak and as pure, bright, and illuminating as the sun and the moon, the people will admire and respect him. He mustbroaden his will so as to be able to embrace both Heaven and earth and must regulate his heart so as to be able to make just decisions. He cannot expand his territory without majesty and virtue; he cannot soothe and protect his people without compassion and kindness. He comforts his relations with benevolence, treats his officials with courtesy, honors his ancestors with filial respect, and receives his subordinates with thoughtfulness. Having disciplined himself, he practices virtue and righteousness diligently. This is how a ruler should act.

 Establishing
Relatives

 The country is huge and responsibility for it is heavy. A huge country cannot be evenly governed by the emperor alone; the responsibility is too great for one man. Thus, the emperor should enfeoff relatives to guard the outlying prefectures. Whether the country is at peace or in danger, they cooperate; whether the country is thriving or declining, they work together with one heart. Both distant and close relations are supported and employed; encroachment and rebellion are prevented. Formerly when the Zhou dynasty was at its height, the empire was divided among the royal clan. Nearby there was Jin and Zheng to help; far off there was Lu and Wei. In this way, the dynasty was able to survive several centuries. Toward the end of the Qin dynasty, however, the emperor rejected Chunyu’s scheme giving property or land to relatives in exchange for pledges of service and accepted Li Si’s plan using non-relatives. He thus detached himself from his relatives and valued only the wise. With no relatives to rely on, the dynasty fell after two generations. Isn’t this all because of the fact that if a tree has a mass of branches and leaves, it is difficult to root up, but if the limbs are disabled, the trunk has nothing to depend on? Eager to avoid Qin’s errors, the Han dynasty, upon stabilizing the land within the passes, enfeoffed the closest relatives generously. Outdoing the ancient system, the largest fiefs were as big as kingdoms, and the smallest had at least several prefectures. But a branch can get so heavy that it breaks the trunk; a tail can get too big to be wagged. Thus, his throne was usurped and his dynasty was overthrown by someone of a different surname. This is a good example of the old saying that a river does not run when its source dries up and branches wither when the root of the tree decays.

 Subordinates granted too much power can develop into insurmountable problems for the throne. On the other hand, subordinates granted too little power will not be strong enough to protect the throne. Thus, the best way is to enfeoff many relatives to even up their power and to have them regulate one another and share one another’s ups and downs. By doing so, the throne need not suspect its subordinates and the subordinates need not worry about being wronged or injured. These are the precautions one should take in granting fiefs. Neutralizing the power of subordinates so that none of them gets to be too strong or too weak is indeed the key to securing one’s throne. …

 

 Evaluating
Officials
 Differentiation of the ranks and duties of officials is a means of improving customs. A wise emperor, therefore, knows how to choose the right person for the right task. He is like a skillful carpenter who knows to use straight timber to make shafts, curved timber to make wheels, long timber to make beams, and short timber to make posts. Wood of all shapes and lengths is thus fully utilized. The emperor should make use of personnel in the same way, using the wise for their resourcefulness, the ignorant for their strength, the brave for their daring, and the timid for their prudence. As a good carpenter does not discard any timber, so a wise emperor does not discard any gentleman. A mistake should not lead the emperor to ignore a gentleman’s virtues, nor should a flaw overshadow his merits.

 Government affairs should be departmentalized to make the best use of officials’ abilities. A tripod large enough for an ox should not be used to cook a chicken, nor should a raccoon good only at catching rats be ordered to fight against huge beasts. … Those with low intelligence or capability should not be entrusted with heavy tasks or responsibilities. If the right person is given the right task or responsibility, the empire can be governed with ease. This is the proper way of utilizing people. Whether the emperor gets hold of the right person for the right task determines whether his empire will be well governed. … [Translated by Chiu‑yueh Lai]
How Should A Ruler Act Assignment Read and Understand "How should a ruler act (from the Tang Dynasty)" on Moodle site. Answer questions the following questions in a Word document following MLA guidelines and upload your response to the Moodle site. In order to receive credit for this assignment, post a response that is at least 100 words in length. Questions 1.
Assignment ID
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