贞观之治 The Benign Administration of the Zhenguan Reign Period
The Benign Administration of the Zhenguan Reign Period
The reign period (627-649 AD) of the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Taizong, was known as Zhenguan. Drawing lessons from the downfall of the Sui Dynasty, Emperor Taizong carried out many enlightened policies and measures beneficial to the country and the people, which consolidated the state power of the Tang Dynasty, restored social stability and boosted the economy. Therefore, the reign was termed the "Benign Administration of the Zhenguan Reign Period" by historians.
Emperor Taizong knew that a well-ordered administration needed capable people and a wide range of expert opinions. So he made good use of capable people no matter what their backgrounds were. He once said that using a bronze mirror, one could tidy one'S clothes; using history as a mirror, one could know the way of governing a country; using people as a mirror, one could tell right from wrong.
Emperor Taizong implemented many measures that enjoyed the support of the people, such as joining counties and prefectures together to reduce expenditure; letting peasants have a certain amount of land; and reducing the burden of corvee labor to ensure that peasants had time to work on their land. Citing an ancient saying, Emperor Taizong said that the emperor was like a boat and the people were like water; water could carry the boat, but it could also capsize it.
Emperor Taizong won the support of all minority peoples by adopting relatively enlightened policies toward them. The ethnic groups in the north called him "Great Khan" The emperor sent Princess Wencheng to the king of Tubo, in Tibet, which made the relations between the Han and Tibetan peoples closer, and contributed to the stability of China as a multi-ethnic country.