The Logic of Resolving Manchu-Han Conflicts by Yongzheng Emperor in the Great Righteousness Resolving Confusion(Dayi juemi lu)
Author: Lee Donguk (Nagoya University, Japan)
This study set out to examine conflicts over some issues in the past history between ethnic groups by analyzing Great Righteousness Resolving Confusion(大義覺迷錄) published by Yongzheng Emperor of Qing Dynasty as a case of the conqueror as the assailant making an attempt at one-sided conflict resolution with the people of the ruled as a majority of the victims.
Great Righteousness Resolving Confusion was published and promulgated to resolve the resistance of the Hans based on their awareness of the past history involving the fall of Ming and the conquest of central China by the Manchus. This book reflected Yongzheng Emperor's intention to refute the anti-Manchu logic based on the Confucian Hua-Yi viewpoint and revenge theory with the same Confucian language and justify Qing's rule over China. It worked to emphasize the Confucian ethics according to the Mandate of Heaven and the Confucian thought of fame, show off Qing's great achievement of unifying Hua and Yi into one, and incapacitate the Hans' spirit of resistance against Qing based on the combination of their antagonism against different ethnic groups from them and their respect for Ming through the selective reconstruction of historical memories during the transition from Ming to Qing. Yongzheng Emperor distributed this government-led ideology around the dynasty and forced the people to learn it, thus resolving the Manchu-Han conflicts over history and solidifying the Manchus' rule over the Hans. Even though the distribution and study of the book was prohibited by Qianlong Emperor succeeding Yongzheng Emperor, the book and its arguments had various impacts on the ethnic issues of China for many years to come. The exclusive Hua-Yi viewpoint centered around the Han nationality, which Yongzheng Emperor tried to refute, did not die out but has been deeply rooted in the base of the Hans' nationalistic sentiment even today. Great Righteousness Resolving Confusion was rather used in the revolutionary movement at the end of Qing Dynasty as the proof of the Manchu imperial family's mean and immoral nature. On the other hand, the logic of Hua-Yi oneness advocated by Yongzheng Emperor was accepted by the Han intellectuals supporting the grand unification of Qing and inherited in the idea of five-nationality unity for a republic and the theory of a unified multi-ethnic country. It has been altered into the logic of integration into the "Chinese Nation" centered around the Han nationality instead of the Manchus, maintaining its life force even in the 21st century. Great Righteousness Resolving Confusion is still summoned as a resource of traditional ideas for the "integration of ethnic groups."
Great Righteousness Resolving Confusion(Dayi juemi lu), Yongzheng Emperor, Hua-Yi concept, Manchu-Han conflict, historical reconciliation