:''This is a Manchu name; the family name is Aisin-Gioro.''
The Guangxu Emperor (14 August 187114 November 1908), personal name Zaitian (Manchu: Dzai-Tiyan), was the eleventh emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China. His reign lasted from 1875 to 1908, but in practice he ruled, under Empress Dowager Cixi's influence, only from 1889 to 1898. He initiated the Hundred Days' Reform, but was abruptly stopped when the empress dowager launched a coup in 1898, after which he was put under house arrest until his death. His regnal name, "Guangxu", means "glorious succession".
==Accession to the throne and upbringing==
Zaitian was the second son of Prince Chun, and his primary spouse Yehenara Wanzhen, a younger sister of Empress Dowager Cixi. On 12 January 1875, Zaitian's cousin, the Tongzhi Emperor, died without a son. Empress Dowager Ci'an suggested enthroning one of Prince Gong's sons as the next emperor, but she was overruled by Cixi. Instead, breaking the imperial convention that a new emperor must always be of a generation after that of the previous emperor, Cixi nominated her nephew and the imperial family agreed with her choice.
Zaitian was named heir and successor to his uncle, the Xianfeng Emperor, rather than his cousin and predecessor, the Tongzhi Emperor, so as to maintain the father-son succession law. He ascended to the throne at the age of four and used "Guangxu" as his regnal name, therefore he is known as the "Guangxu Emperor". He was adopted by Empress Dowager Cixi as a son. For her part, she remained as regent under the title "Holy Mother Empress Dowager".
Beginning in 1876, the Guangxu Emperor was taught by Weng Tonghe, who had also been involved in the disastrous upbringing of the Tongzhi Emperor, yet, somehow managed to be exonerated of all charges.〔Kwong, Luke S.K. A Mosaic of the Hundred Days: Personalities, Politics and Ideas of 1898 (Harvard University Press, 1984), pg. 45〕 Weng would instill in the emperor a notion of having to emphasize his filial piety towards the empress dowagers.〔Kwong, pgs. 52 & 53〕
In 1881, when the Guangxu Emperor was nine, Empress Dowager Ci'an died unexpectedly, leaving Empress Dowager Cixi as sole regent for the boy. However, Cixi had been suffering from long-standing ill health. During this time, the imperial eunuchs often abused their influence over the boy-emperor.〔Kwong, pgs. 47 & 48〕 The Guangxu Emperor reportedly also had begun to hold some audiences on his own as an act of necessity.〔Kwong, pg. 54〕
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