Toghon Temur

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About Toghon Temur

Lifespan: 1320-1370 A.D

Reign Years: 1333 – 1368 A.D

Given Name: Borjigin Toghan-Temur

Reign Name: Huizong

Toghon Temür – Yuan Dynasty

Toghon Temur was known and respected under different names. These were Emperor Huizong or Emperor Shun of Yuan. He was the longest-ruling leader and the last Yuan Dynasty monarch, reigning from 1271 to 1368.

Temur was the son of Khutughtu Khan Kusala, one of the emperors of the Yuan dynasty. He was recognized as the Emperor of China and the last Khagan of the Mongolian Empire.

This monarch was ambitious and diligent; he planned to make the empire flourish. However, he ended up compromising with reality after the reforms he made failed. Although these failed, he was still an extraordinary poet, an outstanding engineer, and an astrology expert.

Enthronement to the Mongolian Empire

The young Toghon Temur of the Mongolian Empire was banished to a city called Guilin. This occurred due to issues over the throne. During this time, he was able to gain knowledge of Confucianism and other classic Chinese literature.

After his uncle, brother, and father passed, the 13-year-old Toghon Temur was welcomed and embraced back to the capital. From there, he ascended the throne and became the Mongolian Empire ruler.

Despite becoming the ruler, a powerful prime minister named Bayan was the real person in charge of the kingdom. He was able to defeat his political rivals, defeated their clans, and acquired tons of treasures all for himself.

Once again, Bayan ended the Imperial Examination and even expelled all the Han people from the Yuan government. He even created more severe restrictions on the Han, causing more uprisings and bloody battles among different ethnic groups.

The Rule of Toghon Temur Under the Power of Toqto’a

At some point, Bayan was dismissed and his nephew, Toqto’a, gained power in the court. He was the Yuan Dynasty’s official historian, as well as a high-ranking minister. His administration was obviously a better one than Bayan’s, and it displayed a fresh new spirit for all.

The purges of Bayan were removed, and a lot of the amazing Chinese literati returned from voluntary retirement. Some came back from administrative exile. Another notable development during Toqto’a’s power was that the Imperial Examination System was returned.

In addition, Toqto’a displayed early signs that his leadership will provide a new and positive direction to the central government. Among his successful works was to establish the prolonged official Liao, Song, and JIn Dynasty histories. These were eventually completed in 1345.

Toqto’a allowed the empire to greatly and positively flourish during the reform’s first few years. As time passed, he resigned from office with Toghon Temur’s approval in 1344. This marked the end of the first administration.

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The Collapse of the Emperor’s Reform and Faith

Despite the positive changes in the empire, issues related to poverty and corrupted officials were still present. Plus, the years of intense natural disasters and growing rebellions eventually led the kingdom into chaos once more.

Due to the lack of an effective and strong government policy, support from the people quickly dropped. In 1348, Illicit salt dealers who were alienated by the government’s salt cartel started a rebellion. This led to a lot of revolts and uprisings in the empire.

One of these was the Red Turban Rebellion which began in 1351. Due to the continuous uprisings, it turned into a nationwide disturbance against the Yuan Empire.

The chaos ensued between 1351 and 1368, which eventually led to the Mongolian Empire’s fall. Because of the confusion and chaos, nationwide uprisings and riots were endless.

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The End of Toghon Temur’s Reign and the Beginning of the Ming Dynasty

During the last few years of Toghon Temur’s reign, the Yuan dynasty was vanquished due to the Red Turban Rebellion. It was also the time when the Ming Dynasty rose. Despite what happened, the Mongols still had full control over the Mongolian Plateau.

Since Toghon Temur strongly believed in Chinese astrology and destiny, political decisions were based on celestial phenomena readings. From here, he discovered that he wouldn’t win the battles they were facing.

So, he took his family, troops, and government to the north and escaped without fighting. However, a lot of officials discouraged him from carelessly leaving the empire like that, which he completely ignored.

Emperor Toghon Temur, last monarch of the Yuan Dynasty, died two years after. With his death, the Mongolian Plateau was divided into different forces once more.