Dục Đức

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Dục Đức
Emperor of Vietnam
Reign 20 July 1883 – 23 July 1883
Predecessor Tự Đức
Successor Hiệp Hòa
House Nguyễn Dynasty
Father Tự Đức, adoptive
Died 17 July 1883(1883-07-17) (aged 53)

Dục Đức ( pronounced [zùk͡p̚ ʔɗúk͡p̚] zup-duck), born Nguyễn Phúc Ưng Ái (1852 – October 6, 1883), was Emperor of Vietnam for three days, from July 20 – July 23, 1883. He was the fifth emperor of the Nguyễn dynasty. He was the father of Thành Thái, emperor from 1889 to 1907.

Early life[edit]

Dục Đức was born Nguyễn Phúc Ưng Ái and at age 17 was renamed Nguyễn Phúc Ưng Chân (). He was the son of Kien Thoai Vuong, the fourth brother of Emperor Tự Đức. He and his two cousins, Chanh Mong (later Emperor Đồng Khánh) and Duong Thien (Kiến Phúc), sons of Tự Đức's twenty-sixth brother Thien Thai Vuong, were adopted by the emperor, who had no children of his own.[1][2][3][4]

After Tự Đức's death, his three regents, Nguyễn Văn Tường, Tôn Thất Thuyết and Tran Tien Thanh, declared the thirty-one year old Dục Đức would succeed him. According to the writer Pham Van Son and others, Tự Đức had found Dục Đức too decadent to rule and chose Kien Phuc as his successor instead, but the regents appointed Dục Đức under the influence of powerful palace women.[2][3][4]

Reign and death[edit]

Dục Đức ruled for only three days before he was deposed and sentenced to death by the same regents who had enthroned him. The reasons are unclear; Pham Van Son wrote that Dục Đức so embarrassed the court with his debauchery at the coronation that Tôn Thất Thuyết revealed documentation that Tự Đức had passed him over. The court quickly ruled to execute him with poison for violating the mourning rules and buried him in an unmarked grave, a notably disproportionate sentence. Other contemporary historians make no mention of this episode and say that Dục Đức was not executed but rather was left to die in captivity, a likelier sequence of events considering that he did not die for another three months.[3] The true motivation may have been political; the regents may have feared Dục Đức would strip them of the power they enjoyed under the weak Tự Đức.[4]

With Dục Đức in captivity, the regents named his 34-year-old uncle Hiệp Hòa, Tự Đức's half-brother, as emperor. They may have skipped over Dục Đức's adoptive brothers to mitigate the backlash from the court women who had favored Dục Đức.[4] Open protest of the regents' actions came from one senior official, Phan Đình Phùng, but he was quickly arrested and stripped of his position.[4] During his brief reign, Hiệp Hòa similarly tried to reign in the regents' influence, but failed; he in turn was soon deposed and sentenced to die.[1] Modern Vietnamese histories generally regard emperors from Dục Đức to Bảo Ðại as puppets controlled by the French colonialists.[5]

After several more years of turmoil, Dục Đức's young son Thành Thái was installed as emperor in 1889. He constructed a mausoleum and shrine complex for his father in Huế known as the Tomb of Dục Đức (Vietnamese: 安陵 Lăng Dục Đức). This eventually became a family tomb, housing Thành Thái and various other members of the Nguyễn dynasty.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bruce M. Lockhart, William J. Duiker Historical Dictionary of Vietnam 2006 p113 "Dục Đức (1852-1884). Emperor (r. 1883) under the Nguyén dynasty." Page 154 "A younger brother and adopted son of Emperor Tự Đức, [Hiép Hoa] succeeded his nephew Dục Đức after the latter was deposed by court officials in 1883. Hiép Hoa attempted to wrest power back from these officials, but he was not strong enough"
  2. ^ a b Corfield, Justin J. (2008). The history of Vietnam. Westport, Conn., USA: Greenwood Press. pp. xvii, 21–22. ISBN 978-0-313-34193-9. OCLC 182857138. 
  3. ^ a b c Chapuis, Oscar (2000). The last emperors of Vietnam : from Tu Duc to Bao Dai. Westport, Conn., USA: Greenwood Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-313-31170-3. OCLC 231866735. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Taylor, K. W. (2013). A History of the Vietnamese. Cambridge University Press. p. 474. ISBN 0521875862. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Far-sighted sovereigns in Việt Nam Thế Giới Publishers (Hanoi, Vietnam) - 2004 "All emperors, from Dục Đức to Bảo Ðại, were puppets controlled by the French colonialists. In the wake of the August 1945 Revolution the last king of the Nguyễn Dynasty, Bảo Ðại, proclaimed his abdication in front of 50,000 inhabitants of ..."
  6. ^ Tomb of Dục Đức "Tomb of Dục Đức (An Lăng) is a relic of relics of the ancient capital of Hue, is the burial place of Dục Đức emperor, the fifth emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty."


Preceded by
Emperor Tự Đức
Nguyễn Dynasty Succeeded by
Emperor Hiệp Hoà