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Compare and contrast the writing of Emperor Taizong and Emperor Hongwu

Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty was born in 598 and died in 649. He founded the Tang dynasty and reigned from 626 to 649. Emperor Hongwu of the Ming dynasty was born in 1328 and died in 1398. His reign started in 1368 to 1398. This essay compares and contrasts the writing of these two great Chinese emperors.

Both Taizong and Hongwu had great military strategies. While Taizong was still a young man, he led his father’s army in conquering the eastern capital of Luoyang and the eastern plain. Hongwu portrayed his military abilities when he was a young man under Guo Zixing. He rose in command at a very short period leading to his brother’s jealousy. Hongwu also conquered many dynasties before rising to become emperor. Both Taizong and Hongwu did not choose the successors they initially preferred. Taizong who had preferred his eldest son Li Chengqian had to resort to choosing his ninth son Li Zhi after Li Chengqian planned to kill his younger brother Li Tai after suspecting that his father was to choose him for succession. Hongwu had initially planned his successor to be Prince Biao, his eldest son. Later on his son, Yiwen portrayed impressive personal and military qualities that made him his father’s choice. In 1392 Yiwen died, Hongwu appointed Yiwen's son as his heir.

Taizong and Hongwu portrayed several differences as emperors. While emperor Taizong inherited his thrown direct from his father, Hongwu had to start from scratch. Taizong became his father’s successor, after an attempt on his life by his brothers that ended in their deaths at the hands of Taizong soldiers. This is the Xuanwu Gate Incident. Hongwu started as a peasant who later became a Chinese rebel, out of his great military strategies he was able to rise to the top rank. He succeeded Guo, his brother in law, and led a large army that conquered dynasties in china. It was later that he became emperor. While Taizong was a scholar, Hongwu only possessed military knowledge. Taizong wrote many books including Da Tang Lv (state law of Tang) and several poems. He also advocated for education in his dynasty. Hongwu, on the other hand, started viewing scholars as enemies he would imprison them at the slightest hint of rebellion

In conclusion, the writings on Taizong and Hongwu portray the two as great leaders whose style of governorship differed separately while exempting some similarities.

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