Li Longji and the Kaiyuan Glory Days-Ending
In the year 712, Emperor Ruizong, despite the objections of his daughter Princess Taiping, abdicated, and passed the throne to Li Longji. History refers to Li Longji as the Tang Dynasty's Emperor Xuanzong (712-756). On the 3rd day of the 7th month, Emperor Xuanzong led his palace guards to kill Princess Taiping's followers m a surprise attack. The princess fled in a panic into the South Hills. Later, she was ordered to kill herself Emperor Ruizong, as father of the new monarch, now retired to the Hall of Happiness, and no longer had a hand in politics. It was only then that supreme power was transferred into the hands ofEmperor Xuanzong. That year, he named his reign, "Kaiyuan."
It had only been through cut-throat struggle that Emperor Xuanzong had succeeded. But he still faced a tough situation after assuming power. Endless power struggles and upheavals had reduced the power of the central authority; earlier rampant corruption in appointing people had led to the swelling of officialdom. Yao Chong, promoted by the emperor himself, became the most prestigious Prime Minister of the time. Many of the measures, advanced by Yao, were adopted by the emperor, to lay the foundation for the Kaiyuan administration. Later, Song Jingji succeeded Yao as Prime Minister. He was also bent on elevating talent and made sure that officials were fit for their positions. Emperor Xuanzong was not only keen on selecting the top people, but on reforming management of officials at various levels and their rectification.
Tang Emperor Xuanzong, during the Kaiyuan reign (713-742), gave priority to economic development, for which a series of steps were taken, bringing about wide-ranging prosperity. During this period, owing to great efforts, both administrative and military, by the sovereign and his subjects, a comparatively clean and honest government took shape,ushering in the golden days of the Kaiyuan.