The Last Emperor of China.docx - The Last Emperor of China...

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The Last Emperor of China For more than 50 years Empress Dowager Cixi had been the most powerful figure in China, ruling from behind the throne. Young emperors were easy to control, and as soon as they grew up, she found a way to get rid of them. Two days before she died in 1906, she named 2-year-old Puyi the next Emperor of China. The little boy became a permanent resident of the Forbidden City -- as the Supreme Emperor of China, the Son of Heaven. For the next 16 years Puyi lived shut inside its high red walls. About 500 years before Puyi was born, the Emperor Yongle had built the Forbidden City as a royal sanctuary in the heart of Beijing. Designed to be a city within a city, safe from attack and outside influences, it took 14 years and 200,000 workers to complete. It is almost a mole long and a half mile wide, and it was protected by 33-foot walls and a moat 20-feet deep. In 1911, the people of China revolted against the Qing Dynasty. The Republic of China took over as the government of China. In 1912, Puyi was forced to abdicate his throne and no longer had any power. The government allowed him to keep his title and to live in the Forbidden Palace, but he had no official role in ruling the large nation.

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