China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  His next
contest was with an old comrade-in-arms named Li Chougsin, whom he had
treated very well, but - Page 80
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His Next Contest Was With An Old Comrade-In-Arms Named Li Chougsin, Whom He Had Treated Very Well, But Who Was Seized With A Foolish Desire To Be Greater Than His Ability Or Power Warranted.

The struggle was brief, and Li Chougsin felt he had no alternative save to commit suicide.

The tranquillity gained by these successes enabled Taitsou to institute a great reform in the civil administration of the empire, and one which struck at the root of the evil arising from the excessive power and irresponsibility of the provincial governors. Up to this date the governors had possessed the power of life and death without reference to the capital. It had enabled them to become tyrants, and had simplified their path to complete independence. Taitsou resolved to deprive them of this prerogative and to retain it in his own hands, for, he said, "As life is the dearest thing men possess, should it be placed at the disposal of an official who is often unjust or wicked?" This radical reform greatly strengthened the emperor's position, and weakened that of the provincial viceroys; and Taitsou thus inaugurated a rule which has prevailed in China down to the present day, where the life of no citizen can be taken without the express authority and order of the emperor. Taitsou then devoted his attention to the subjugation of those governors who had either disregarded his administration or given it a grudging obedience. The first to feel the weight of his hand was the viceroy of Honan; but his measures were so well taken, and the military force he employed so overwhelming, that he succeeded in dispossessing him and in appointing his own lieutenant without the loss of a single man.

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