- Zeng Guofan
See Tseng Kuo-fan.
* * *born Nov. 26, 1811, Xiangxiang, Hunan province, Chinadied March 12, 1872, NanjingChinese military leader most responsible for suppressing the Taiping Rebellion, thus staving off the collapse of the Qing dynasty.Having passed the highest examinations in the Chinese examination system, Zeng entered the Hanlin Academy and worked successfully as a bureaucrat. In 1852 he was asked to help combat the Taiping rebels, who had reached the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) valley and were threatening the dynasty's survival. The imperial troops being weak, Zeng and other members of the scholar-gentry organized local militias. His army seized the rebels' supply areas along the upper Yangtze and besieged and captured their capital, Nanjing, in 1864. In 1865 he was called on to help suppress the Nian Rebellion; a year later he asked that Li Hongzhang take over the campaign. See also Zhang Zhidong.
* * *▪ Chinese officialIntroductionborn Nov. 26, 1811, Xiangxiang [now Shuangfeng], Hunan province, Chinadied March 12, 1872, NanjingChinese administrator, the military leader most responsible for suppressing the Taiping Rebellion (1850–64)—thus staving off the collapse of China's imperial regime.Early career in civil serviceZeng Guofan was born into a prosperous family dominated by his grandfather Zeng Yuping, a farmer with social ambitions. Zeng Guofan passed the prefectural examination in 1833, one year after his father had succeeded at his 17th attempt. The next year, he passed the provincial examination, and, after failing the metropolitan examination at Beijing (the Qing dynasty capital) in 1835, he finally passed in 1838.The jinshi (“doctorate degree”) led to his appointment to the Hanlin Academy, a body of the most outstanding scholars in the country, which performed literary tasks for the court; and Zeng served continuously in the capital for more than 13 years. He always remained devoted to interpreting the Confucian Classics.Zeng's intellectual progress helped his political career. He was soon appointed junior vice president of the Board of Ceremonies, serving later as vice president of the boards of Defense, Works, Justice, and Finance. Zeng was, nevertheless, bored with his routine life and wanted to help the people more substantially. In 1850, 1851, and early in 1852, he repeatedly criticized the emperor's behaviour, the government's financial policy, and imperial treatment of an outspoken official.Military exploitsIn 1852 Zeng Guofan's mother died, and, in accordance with prevailing custom, he asked permission to observe the three-year mourning period at home. This granted, he was soon called into service again when the Taiping rebels, who had taken up arms in 1850, had by 1852 reached the fertile Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) valley in south-central China, seriously threatening the Qing dynasty's survival. The rebellion, a great religious-political upheaval, eventually caused the loss of some 20,000,000 lives and was the greatest threat the Qing had ever faced. Zeng joined the local defense forces in his native Hunan province early in 1853, gradually shouldering more and more responsibility for the rebellion's suppression.Since the corrupt imperial troops were too weak to resist the rebels, the government encouraged members of the scholar-gentry to organize local self-defense militias in their home areas. Zeng became the most outstanding of these new military leaders. He not only established a local militia in Hunan but combined the units formed by several scholars in his home district into a regional army. This army, paid and equipped by voluntary contributions and local funds, was loyal to Zeng and his officers. Zeng's example was followed by other regional leaders such as Zuo Zongtang and Li Hongzhang, who first served on Zeng's staff and then organized their own regional armies under Zeng's general direction. Beginning in 1860, the imperial government found it necessary to appoint the new military men as governors-general and governors of the provinces that their troops occupied. The armies of Zeng wrested from the rebels their supply areas along the upper Yangtze River and finally besieged and captured their capital, Nanjing (Nanking), in 1864.Later administrative activityVictory over the Taiping rebels in 1864 was the climax of Zeng's career. Thereafter, he was mainly an administrator, serving twice as governor-general of Jiangnan and Jiangxi provinces and once as governor of Zhili (present-day Hebei) province. In 1864–65 he established official government printing offices in Nanjing and four other cities to reprint the Chinese Classics and historical books, and he also restored at Nanjing the examinations system, which had been discontinued during the Taiping years.Between May 1865 and October 1866 he again assumed military command in order to quell the Nian Rebellion that took place in northern China, but after a year of indecisive fighting he resigned after recommending his protégé, Li Hongzhang, as his successor in the campaign.Zeng never had an opportunity to work at the capital again after 1864, but his prestige, power, and open-mindedness enabled him to make important changes. Li Hongzhang gained tremendous power in the government, power that few other Chinese officials ever held and that, when passed on to the official Yuan Shikai, finally led to the collapse of the Qing dynasty. With Zeng's support, Rong Hong, a graduate of Yale University in the United States, established an ironworks in Shanghai that later became the Jiangnan Arsenal, and Zeng later helped with the founding of the Fuzhou Shipyard. It was upon Zeng's recommendation, too, that the government introduced student education overseas.Zeng was given the posthumous title of Wenzheng, the highest title given to civil officials under the Qing dynasty.AssessmentSince the 1920s, Zeng's role in history has caused controversy. Conservatives, such as the leaders of the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), hailed him as a symbol of Confucianism and a model of moral cultivation; while revolutionaries, including several founders of the Nationalist Party and most of the communist leaders, bitterly criticized him for nationalist reasons. He was essentially a Confucian without being dogmatically conservative in policy, and it was with the philosophy of the ancient reformer that his deepest loyalties lay. Since the 1990s, Zeng's role in history has drawn greater praise in mainland China, where his story has been brought to public attention.Shan-yüan Hsieh Ed.Additional ReadingWilliam James Hail, Tseng Kuo-fan and the Taiping Rebellion, 2nd ed. (1964, reprinted 1973), is helpful in understanding Zeng Guofan's career though very critical toward the Taiping rebels and outdated in many respects. Teng Ssu-yu, “Tseng Kuo-fan,” in Arthur W. Hummel (ed.), Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912) (1944), vol. 2, pp. 751–756, is a succinct but very useful biography. Shen Chen Han-yin, “Tseng Kuo-fan in Peking, 1840–1852: His Ideas on Statecraft and Reform,” Journal of Asian Studies, 27:61–80 (1967), offers a detailed description and analysis of Zeng's political career in Beijing and the development of his thought during that period; and Andrew Cheng-kuang Hsieh, Tseng Kuo-Fan: A Nineteenth Century Confucian General (1975), is also useful.
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ZENG GUOFAN — [TSENG KOUO FAN] (1811 1872) Issu d’une famille très modeste mais lettrée du Hunan, Zeng Guofan occupe la vice présidence de différents ministères à Pékin. En 1852, il reçoit de l’empereur l’ordre d’organiser les milices locales que les notables… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Zeng Guofan — Zeng Guofan. Zēng Guófán (21 novembre 1811 – 12 mars 1872) (chinois traditionnel : 曾國藩; chinois simplifié : 曾国藩) fut un général chinois Han éminent, ainsi qu un lettré confucéen fervent de la fin de la dynastie Qing en Chine. Il mit sur … Wikipédia en Français
Zeng Guofan — Infobox Governor name = Zeng Guofan honorific suffix = imagesize = 200px caption = order = Governor of Zhili term start = 1865 term end = 1870 predecessor = Guam Wing successor = Li HongzhangViceroy of Liangjiang1860 18641866 18681870 18723 times … Wikipedia
Zeng Guofan — Zēng Guófán (chinesisch 曾國藩; * 21. November 1811 in Hunan; † 12. März 1872 in Nanjing) war ein hoher chinesischer Beamter am Hof der Qing Dynastie. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und frühe Jahre 2 Aufstieg … Deutsch Wikipedia
Zeng Guofan — o Tseng Kuo fan (26 nov. 1811, Xiangxiang, provincia de Hunan, China–12 mar. 1872, Nanjing). Líder militar chino, principal responsable de reprimir la rebelión Taiping y, por tanto, de impedir el colapso de la dinastía Qing. Después de aprobar… … Enciclopedia Universal
Zeng Guofan — Chin. /zung gwaw fahn /, Pinyin. See Tseng Kuo fan … Useful english dictionary
Zeng Guoquan — (zh ts|t=曾國荃|s=曾国荃; Pinyin: , Wade Giles: Styled ; Posthumous name: ; created Marquess Yiyong of the First Class 勇毅一等) (, 1824 ndash; , 1890) 1856 follow his old brother Zeng Guofan, was an eminent Han Chinese official, military general, and… … Wikipedia
Zeng Guo Fan — Zeng Guofan Zēng Guófán (21 novembre 1811 – 12 mars 1872) (chinois traditionnel : 曾國藩; chinois simplifié : 曾国藩) fut un général chinois Han éminent, ainsi qu un lettré confucéen fervent de la fin de la dynastie Qing en Chine. Il mit sur… … Wikipédia en Français
Zeng — (zh cp|c=曾|p=Zēng) is a Chinese family name. In Cantonese, it may be rendered as Tsang.The surname Zeng is the 32nd most common surname in China.In 2118 BC, Si Shao Kang became the king of the Xia Dynasty. The Si s were the descendants of the… … Wikipedia
Zeng — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Zeng Chenggang (* 1960), chinesischer Bildhauer und Hochschullehrer Zeng Chengwei (曾成偉), chinesischer Musiker und Qin Spieler Zeng Gong (曾鞏, 1019–1083), chinesischer Schriftsteller der Song Dynastie Zeng… … Deutsch Wikipedia