Emperor Yongzheng

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Emperor Yongzheng

As the third Manchu emperor to rule over China proper, Emperor Yongzheng (雍正帝) reigned for a brief period of 13 years, during which the Qing further bloomed into full prosperity under his innovative and diligent governance.

A remarkable tax reform took place in 1724, when Emperor Yongzheng ordered that the poll tax be replaced by taxation according to area of land owned. This policy abolished the obligatory poll tax, which had existed in China for thousands of years.

From 1726 to 1731, he carried out political reforms in southwestern China, where diverse nationalities resided, changing the hereditary system of administration by local chieftains to appointment of local administrators by the central government. In 1729, he set up the Military Council, with his power further centralized. This series of policies laid a solid foundation for the grand Qianlong era that followed.