Yongle Emperor


The Yongle Emperor (aka Chengzu or Yung Lo, r. 1403-1424 CE) was the third ruler of the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). Inheriting a stable state thanks to the work of his father, the Hongwu Emperor (r. 1368-1398 CE), Yongle made lasting contributions to Chinese history such as moving the capital to Beijing and beginning construction of the Forbidden City as an imperial residence. The emperor also opened up China to the world, notably sponsoring the seven voyages of the explorer Zheng He. However, costly wars in both the south and north of China and the expense of his grandiose construction projects would leave Emperor Yongle's successors with less cash than they needed to face the resurgent Mongols of the mid-15th century CE.

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