Quick Facts about Emperor Zhaodi
- Emperor Zhaodi was born in 95 BCE.
- His name at birth was Liu Fuling.
- He was the youngest son of the Western Han dynasty emperor, Wudi.
- His mother, Zao, was one of his father’s concubines.
- In 87 BCE, Liu Fuling became the sixth emperor of the Western Han dynasty.
- Zhaodi (Chao-ti) means “Shining Emperor.”
China when Zhaodi became emperor
At the age of eight, Zhaodi, became emperor in name only. A triad of high-placed government officials held the power of the empire.
Emperor Zhaodi inherited an empire and a government that was strategically rich but treasury poor. Internal fighting between wealthy families that began under his father’s reign continued.
China under Emperor Zhaodi
Changes were made in the government during Zhaodi’s reign, including fewer taxes, less punishment, less trade, and less military service.
With less money in the treasury, the great strides made by the military and trading in the previous 50 years lessened.
Additionally, a reformist attitude started in the Western Han government that disagreed with a system that allowed large tracts of land to be held by one person or family. The attitude also disagreed with the government or the state holding control of production such as for mining. These attitudes were in direct opposition to Emperor Zhaodi’s father’s (Emperor Wudi) ideas of state control of these activities.
Emperor Zhaodi had one wife whose name is unknown. He had no children.
Emperor Zhaodi died at the age of 22 from an unknown cause. Upon his death in 74 BCE, one of Zhaodi’s nephews, Xuandi, succeeded him as emperor of the Western Han dynasty.