Cao Wei 曹魏

The Wei State of three kingdoms period 三国时期


Chinese Name: 曹魏

English Name: Cao Wei, The Wei State

Other Name:the former Wei Dynasty 前魏, the first Wei Dynasty

Duration: About 220 AD – 266 AD

King: Cao Cao 曹操, Cao Pi 曹丕

Cao Wei 曹魏
Cao Wei’s generals 曹魏战将

Brief Introduction

The state of Wei 魏国 (from December 11, 220 to February 8, 266) was one of the separatist regimes during the Three Kingdoms period. Later historians often called it Cao Wei 曹魏. Since the later Northern Wei Dynasty 北魏 was called “the later Wei 后魏”, Cao Wei was also called “the former Wei Dynasty 前魏”. It was the most powerful country of the three countries in the three kingdoms period 三国时期.

At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty 东汉, the world was in chaos. Cao Cao gradually strengthened his power in the scuffle among warlords and controlled the imperial court of the Eastern Han Dynasty, which laid the foundation for the establishment of Cao Wei.

Cao Wei 曹魏
Yecheng Museum 邺城博物馆

When Cao Cao was granted Duke of Wei, he ruled in ye 邺城, the seat of Wei County in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Therefore, Emperor Xian of the Han Dynasty 汉献帝 named him “Duke of Wei”. Therefore, his son Cao Pi established the national title of “Wei”. In the first year of Yankang 延康 (220), Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian of the Han Dynasty to give way, officially replacing the Han Dynasty, establishing Cao Wei, and making Luoyang 洛阳 the capital.

Major Historical Events

Rise in troubled times 崛起于乱世

Cao Cao was born in an official family and raised his grandfather to serve the four generations of the emperor. Cao Cao’s father, Cao Song 曹嵩, was an official of the imperial court of the Han Dynasty. After the collapse of the Kanto allied forces, Cao Cao began to fight everywhere. It has incorporated 300000 Qingzhou 青州 yellow scarf army, and its power is becoming stronger and stronger.

Cao Wei 曹魏
Cao Cao 曹操

In the first year of Jian’an (196), Cao Cao began to take advantage of the emperor to order the princes to attack the local princes in the name of the imperial court. He defeated Yuan Shu 袁术, Lv Bu 吕布, Zhang Xiu 张绣, and Liu Bei 刘备 successively. Its power expanded to Yanzhou, Yuzhou, and Xuzhou, as well as part of the Central Plains.

The founding of Cao Wei 曹魏开国

In the 18th year of Jian’an (213), Cao Cao was granted the title of Duke of Wei by Emperor Xian of Han Dynasty. In Cao Cao’s later years, with the help of Sima Yi 司马懿, Wu Zhi 吴质, and other ministers, Cao Pi defeated his younger brother Cao Zhi 曹植 in the struggle for inheritance and was established as the son of the world.

Cao Wei 曹魏

When Cao Cao died, Cao Pi succeeded to the throne as king of Wei. He accepted Chen Qun’s 陈群 suggestion and set up a nine-grade system 九品中正制. Then the rebellion of JiuQuan酒泉, ZhangYe 张掖, and WuWei 武威 were put down one after another, and the ShangYong 上庸 three counties were recovered. Seeing that the time was ripe, Cao Pi became emperor on behalf of the Han Dynasty in the first year of YanKang 延康(December 10, 220), changed the Yuan Dynasty to the early yellow Dynasty, and made Luoyang the capital.

After Cao Pi ascended the throne, he insisted on monopolizing power and limiting the power of eunuchs and relatives, which ensured that Wei never had a political crisis caused by the interference of eunuchs and relatives. At the same time, the power of the vassal was stripped.

Cao Wei 曹魏
Cao Wei eight cavalry 曹魏八骑兵

The fiefdoms of the king of the Cao Wei Dynasty were often changed, without political and military power. His actions were strictly monitored and amounted to imprisonment. Although this policy drew lessons from the chaos of the feudal states of the Han Dynasty, it left hidden dangers. As a result, the clan was weak and unable to prevent foreign ministers from seizing power in the future.

Sima Zhao’s heart is known to passers-by 司马昭之心,路人皆知

When Cao Mao 曹髦, the emperor of Wei, was in power, Sima Zhao 司马昭, the general, plotted to seize the throne. Cao Mao, the emperor of Wei, described his ambition as “Sima Zhao’s heart is known to passers-by”. Later generations use this phrase to describe his ambition as obvious and well-known.

Cao Wei 曹魏
Sima Zhao’s heart is known to passers-by 司马昭之心,路人皆知

At the end of the Three Kingdoms period, the power of the Wei Dynasty gradually fell. Sima Yi, who had made outstanding military achievements, fought openly and secretly with the Wei clan for power. In the first year of Wei Jiaping (249) 嘉平元年, Sima Yi launched a mutiny and killed the Cao Shuang group 曹爽集团.

From then on, the power of the state of Wei completely fell to Sima. Sima Yi’s 司马懿 two sons, Sima Shi 司马师 and Sima Zhao 司马昭, also held military power, especially Sima Zhao’s power for a time. In order to monopolize power, Sima Zhao wantonly slaughtered members of the Cao family. Sima Zhao was later promoted from a general to a prime minister and was granted the title of Duke of Jin 晋公, thereby intimidating Cao Mao, the emperor of Wei.

Cao Wei 曹魏
Sima brothers 司马氏兄弟

Cao Wei ending 曹魏结局

After Cao Mao was killed, the 15-year-old Cao Huan 曹奂 was favored by Sima Zhao and took over the throne of Cao Mao, which was Emperor Wei Yuan 魏元帝. Later, Cao Huan became a puppet emperor for many years and gradually became useless. Sima Yan, the son of Sima Zhao, deposed him when he was in power, called himself Emperor, and established the Western Jin Dynasty 西晋.

Important Influences

explore and expand 开拓疆土

Cao Wei 曹魏
Territory Map of Cao Wei 曹魏疆域图

Cao Wei spent most of his time in wars with Shuhan 蜀汉 and Dongwu 东吴, and his military strength was very strong. During the reign of Cao Rui and Cao Fang, although the domestic government of Cao Wei was turbulent, the road of opening up territory and expanding territory to the outside world was a triumphant one. Half of the Korean Peninsula was incorporated into the territory of Cao Wei.

Further development of science and technology 科技发展

The science and technology of Cao Wei have further developed, and a group of outstanding scientists emerged, who has made a series of important achievements in various fields.

Cao Wei 曹魏

In mechanics, Ma Jun’s 马钧 creation is the most prominent. He invented the weaving machine 绫织机, the guide car 指南车, the rotary hair stone machine 转动投石车, and so on. In terms of geography, Peixiu 裴秀 created “the six bodies of cartography “《制图六体》and compiled eighteen chapters of “the Yugong regional map”《禹贡地域图》. In mathematics, Liu Hui 刘徽 completed the “nine chapters of arithmetic notes”《九章算术注》, which is a valuable document in the history of Chinese mathematics, that is, it also has a certain position in the history of world mathematics.

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2022-7-14 11:03:37

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2022-7-19 12:51:23

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