History 10/01/20 “Chinese humiliation” why is the Emperor Jiaqing not received the envoy of Alexander I

In 1805, Alexander I sent to the court of the Chinese Emperor Czarina large Embassy, headed by count Yuri Golovkin. However, the Great wall of China, the diplomats never got – their journey ended in Urga, where the Russians arrived in St. Petersburg. The reason for the failure of the Embassy was the refusal to commit humiliating Golovkin, in his opinion, the Chinese rite koutou (Cato).

the Description of the ritual

Rite koutou with the name “sangue csuco” like other elements of Chinese court etiquette, has developed during the Tang dynasty (618-907) era the highest peak of Ancient China. To carry out his person expressed his submission to the Emperor of China. The Emperor himself performed the same ritual against the source of higher power – Heaven.
to create a full ceremony Couto, took 3 times to get on his knees and 9 times to Bang his head against the floor. Petition and kaliprasanna were made in different situations – not only on the reception of the Emperor, but in front of his Palace, or during the reading of the Imperial decree.
Making Couto, foreigners symbolically took the Chinese worldview, according to which the celestial Empire is located in the centre of the universe, and other countries cannot claim equal status with her. In other words, from the diplomatic point of view, this was tantamount to recognition of vassalage.

the Incident Golovkin

as for the count Golovkin, then he could not rely on its ignorance of ritual. Border authorities in Urga had received from the Emperor Czarina requirement to teach Russian envoy with all the niceties of ceremonial bow. In the decree emphasized that the Russian should have during the ceremony “respectful expression”.
Golovkin was willing to fall on his knees, but only for a private audience in the Palace, a ne before standing on the table portrait. The Chinese demanded to make kowtow in appreciation for the food on behalf of the Emperor, which he presented. In this situation, Golovkin could worship only according to the Russian tradition – standing. But it did not suit the subjects of the Emperor.
In the official chronicle of the Qing dynasty there was a record that the Russian Ambassador was not adopted because it “has ignored the ceremonial.” Much less restrained, wrote about the event, the “guards” of Urga.
“we, Your insignificant servant, was not explained to them deal fairly strongly trying to sort this assemblage malicious creatures did not know of decency,” he told the Mongols in Beijing.
Upon returning to St. Petersburg, count Golovkin explained that behaved decently in China, but not arrogantly. After hearing his story, the Emperor Alexander I endorsed fully the hereditary behavior of the diplomat.

the Europeans before the Emperor

Arriving in China, the Europeans had different attitudes to the need to make coucou. Some flatly refused to do, whereupon they were simply expelled from the country, making it difficult to establish contacts between Europe and China.
From the Russian in a situation similar to the one in which Golovkin has been sent to the Manchu court of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich diplomat Fyodor Baykov. He had no instructions concerning the ritual and was afraid that celebities could humiliate his sovereign.
15 years after Golovkin refused to prostrate before the Emperor, the British envoy William Amherst, for which he was also expelled.
Other travelers and diplomats are not seen in koutou nothing to be ashamed of for himself. Among them were these envoys of the Russian Tsar, as Savva Vladislavich-Raguzinsky and Nicholas spafary. Did not disdain the ancient ritual of the ambassadors of the Netherlands and Portugal. However, if the Europeans commit ritual clumsy or disrespectful, the Chinese would punish them by flogging. Not without its oddities. When one of the Dutch relating to the forehead to the floor, fell wig, it’s scary laugh imperatora Qianlong.
the Citizens of Russia, UK, USA and France was spared from having to make koto after signing in 1858 Tarczynski treatises. Other foreigners were considered “absolutely equal” subjects of the Emperor only in 1873.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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