Ts’u His


Ts’u His
(1835–1908)
   Known as the “Empress Dowager,” Ts’u Hsi was a leading figure of the Qing Dynasty ’s last decades in power in China. Ts’u Hsi took over the regency for her son T’ung-chih in 1861. She relinquished power in 1889, but reestablished the regency when her adoptive son, Emperor Kuang-hsü, embraced radical reformist ideas in 1898. In 1900, she allied herself with supporters of the Boxer Insurrection, apparently believing that they might well succeed in expelling foreigners from China, but had to flee from the international intervention forces. Back in power, she supported conservative reformers, specifically by issuing an edict in 1906 promising a new constitution and reforms of China’s administrative structure, including the establishment of a national assembly. Suspiciously, Kuang-hsü died one day before Ts’u Hsi.
   FURTHER READING:
    Preston Diana. The Boxer Rebellion: China ’ s War on Foreigners, 1900. London: Robinson, 2002.
   NIELS P. PETERSSON

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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