The reign of Tu-tsung (1264–1274) and his successors to 1279

Richard L. DAVIS

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As it approached its end, the Southern Sung dynasty had been weakened by spendthrift emperors, disabled by squabbling bureaucrats, and stretched to the brink of bankruptcy by the costs of wars that had lingered for six decades. By the 1260s a certain disillusionment and fatalism hung over Lin-an. The emperor, Li-tsung (r. 1224–64), seemed to be evading despair by escaping into lechery. His high officials evaded responsibility for their failures by engaging in political vendettas. Attempts at reviving economic prosperity through government initiatives had lost their appeal after several disastrous failures. The active pursuit of peace was similarly abandoned. Adding to this malaise was the inability of the Chao imperial line to provide suitable heirs on a regular basis.Three of the six Southern Sung emperors before 1275 did not produce a son who survived him, and this lack of patrilineal succession necessitated the adoption of sons from less prestigious branches of the imperial clan. Kao-tsung, Ning-tsung, and Li-tsung all had lengthy reigns that began in early adulthood and continued for three decades or more, yet they all died without sons to succeed them. Hsiao-tsung, Kuang-tsung, and Tu-tsung (r. 1264–74) were succeeded by infant sons who were ineffectual rulers. Historical records provide few clues as to why sons were in short supply. What is known is that the absence of a proper heir, namely the son of the emperor’s primary wife, created political instability at the time of succession.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe reign of Li-tsung (1224–1264) volume 5 : the Sung dynasty and its precursors, 907–1279, part 1
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages913-962
Number of pages50
ISBN (Print)9781139055987
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2009

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Reign
Successor
Emperor
Heir
Wives
Clan
Economics
Responsibility
Costs
Prosperity
Regular
Adulthood
Government
Peace
Fatalism
Ruler
Despair
Historical Records
Dynasty
Pursuit

Cite this

DAVIS, R. L. (2009). The reign of Tu-tsung (1264–1274) and his successors to 1279. In The reign of Li-tsung (1224–1264) volume 5 : the Sung dynasty and its precursors, 907–1279, part 1 (pp. 913-962). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812481.014
DAVIS, Richard L. / The reign of Tu-tsung (1264–1274) and his successors to 1279. The reign of Li-tsung (1224–1264) volume 5 : the Sung dynasty and its precursors, 907–1279, part 1. Cambridge University Press, 2009. pp. 913-962
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DAVIS, RL 2009, The reign of Tu-tsung (1264–1274) and his successors to 1279. in The reign of Li-tsung (1224–1264) volume 5 : the Sung dynasty and its precursors, 907–1279, part 1. Cambridge University Press, pp. 913-962. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812481.014

The reign of Tu-tsung (1264–1274) and his successors to 1279. / DAVIS, Richard L.

The reign of Li-tsung (1224–1264) volume 5 : the Sung dynasty and its precursors, 907–1279, part 1. Cambridge University Press, 2009. p. 913-962.

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

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DAVIS RL. The reign of Tu-tsung (1264–1274) and his successors to 1279. In The reign of Li-tsung (1224–1264) volume 5 : the Sung dynasty and its precursors, 907–1279, part 1. Cambridge University Press. 2009. p. 913-962 https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812481.014