9 Chinese Soc. & Pol. Sci. Rev. 626 (1925)
The Rule of Succession to the Throne in China

handle is hein.journals/chinsoc9 and id is 646 raw text is: The Rule of Succession to the
Throne in China
By Woo Tshung=zuh (i JJ * f)
The rule of succession of the ruling families in Euro-
pean countries is definite and simple, while that of imperial
China was very indefinite and complex. In European
countries the eldest son of the ruler becomes his succes-
sor. If the ruler has no son at all, his eldest daughter
will ordinarily succeed to the crown; if there is neither a
son nor a daughter, the crown goes to the nearest relative.
In China, on the contrary, beginning from Huang-ti (I
#) in 2697 B. C. to the end of the Ch'ing (j ) dynasty
in 1911 A. D., there was no definite rule for royal succes-
sion to be followed by all dynasties. Generally we may
classify the types of succession, which were followed for
such a long period of time, under three headings. In the
first place, the emperor might choose any one to be his
successor who had ability and character, though he might
not even be one of the relatives of the emperor himself.
This rule was used by the Five Emperors beginning from
Huang-ti in 2697 B. C. to Yi ( P ) in 2198 B. C. The
second rule of succession was that the eldest son of the
emperor should become his successor. This rule came into
existence with the succession of Chi ( O ) in 2 19o B. C.
of the HLia ( ]Xl) dynasty and continued to exist till the
end of the Ming (l0l]) dynasty in 1643 A. D. The third
rule was that the emperor might choose secretly any one
among his sons to succeed him. But this rule was applied
only under the Ch'ing ( g ) dynasty, 1644-1911.

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