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Désastre de l'Interdiction des Partisans

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Le désastre de l'Interdiction des Partisans (黨錮之禍) fait référence à deux incidents durant lesquels un certain nombre de lettrés confucéens, qui servent le gouvernement impérial Han en tant que fonctionnaires, s'opposent à la puissante faction des eunuques avec le soutien des étudiants de l’Université Impériale de Luoyang, la capitale de la Chine. Les eunuques ripostent en qualifiant les membres de cette coalition de "partisans" (黨人, dangren) et multiplient les emprisonnements. Parmi ces prisonniers, certains sont exécutés, d'autres sont libérés, mais tous perdent leurs droits civiques.

Le premier incident a lieu en 166 et se conclut presque sans effusion de sang, à l'inverse du second, qui a lieu en 169 et implique les lettrés confucéens Dou Wu, le père de l’impératrice Douairière Dou et Chen Fan. Wu et Fan sont vaincus par les eunuques lors d'une confrontation physique et un grand nombre de leurs partisans perdent la vie. Les restrictions sur les libertés civiles imposées aux survivants ne sont levées qu'en 184, quand l’empereur Han Lingdi proclame une amnistie pour éliminer le risque de voir les Partisans rejoindre la rébellion des Turbans jaunes.

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Premier désastre de l'Interdiction des PartisansModifier

Le premier désastre de l'interdiction des Partisans trouve peut-être ses origines dans le coup d'État que l'empereur Han Huandi organise en 159, avec le soutien de cinq puissants eunuques, pour renverser les deux personnes qui dominent alors la cour : Ji Liang[1], le frère de l'impératrice douairière Liang, et son épouse l'impératrice Liang Nüying. Pour les récompenser de leur aide, Huandi donne aux cinq eunuques et à leurs associés des postes prestigieux qui leur donnent un grand pouvoir[2],[3] ; mais très vite, leurs agissements prouvent qu'ils sont tous plus corrompus les uns que les autres[4]. Ne pouvant pas accepter une telle situation, un certain nombre de lettrés confucianistes faisant partie de l’administration impériale commencent à former une coalition pour mettre fin à l’influence des eunuques[5]. Au sein de l’opinion publique, ils sont appuyés par des étudiants de l'Université impériale, qui se trouve dans la capitale, qui voient ces lettrés comme des héros luttant contre la domination des eunuques. Une sorte d'équilibre instable se met alors en place à la Cour et subsiste pendant plusieurs années : parfois les lettrés réussissent à accuser avec succès certains eunuques d’actes répréhensibles et à leur faire perdre leur poste ; parfois les plaintes des lettrés sont rejetées et ce sont eux qui sont chassés du gouvernement par les eunuques[6].

La situation prend une nouvelle tournure en 166, à cause d'une affaire de meurtre. Zhang Cheng (張成), un diseur de bonne aventure de Luoyang, avait prédit que l'empereur allait procéder à une amnistie générale et avait ordonné son fils de commettre un meurtre, partant du principe qu'il serait libéré dès la promulgation de ladite amnistie[7]. Li Ying (李膺), qui est à la fois un des érudits confucéens du gouvernement et le gouverneur du la chef-lieu de la province, fait arrêter les Zhang. Mais, comme prévu par Zhang Cheng, l'empereur proclame une amnistie générale[8]. Li, en colère, ne tient pas compte de l'amnistie et fait exécuter les Zhangs[9]. Peu après, à la grande surprise de Li, un eunuque proche des Zhang accuse ce dernier et plusieurs autres responsables, d’encourager des étudiants de l'Université à critiquer le gouvernement et l’Empereur. Ces accusations rendent l'Empereur Han Huandi fou de rage. Chen Fan, le commandant des forces armées, essaye de calmer l'empereur et s’oppose à des mesures drastiques. Huandi ignore totalement ses conseils et fait arrêter Li, deux ministres, Du Mi (杜密) et Chen Xiang (陳翔), ainsi qu'à peu près 200 étudiants[10]. Dans un deuxième temps, Huandi ordonne également l'arrestation d'autres étudiants de l’Université et c’est dans cet ordre d’arrestation qu'il invente le terme de "partisans". Chen Fan continue de protester, ce qui lui vaut d'être démis de ses fonctions[11].

L’année suivante, en 167, Dou Wu soumet au trône une pétition demandant la clémence pour les partisans et offre sa démission[12]. Un autre fonctionnaire, Huo Xu (霍謣), présente également une pétition similaire [13] . En outre, les eunuques s’inquiètent de la multiplication des demandes venant des étudiants de l’Université, qui s'inquiètent du sort des membres de leur famille et veulent une enquête. Suite à ces demandes et ces pressions, Li Ying, Du Mi, Chen Xiang et les étudiants de l’Université sont libérés ; mais ils sont également exilés dans leurs commanderies d'origine et perdent à vie tous leurs droits civiques[14].

Régence de l'impératrice Douairière DouModifier

Début 168, l’empereur Huandi meurt sans avoir désigné un héritier[15]. L'impératrice Dou devient à la fois l’impératrice douairière et régente, pendant que son père Dou Wu et Chen Fan deviennent les maîtres de la Cour[16]. Ensemble, ils font de Liu Hong (劉宏), le marquis de Jieduting alors âgé de 12 ans, le nouvel empereur. Il devient l’empereur Han Lingdi et l'impératrice Dou reste la régente. Suivant les conseils de son père et de Chen, elle a rétabli les partisans dans leurs droits civiques et nomme un grand nombre d'entre eux fonctionnaires impériaux.

Un peu plus tard la même année, Dou Wu et Chen conçoivent un plan visant à exterminer les eunuques de premier plan, car ils sont persuadés que ces derniers ont une trop grande influence sur le jeune empereur et l’impératrice douairière. Lorsque leur plan est découvert, les eunuques font incarcérer l'impératrice douairière pour pouvoir obtenir son sceau et mobilisent la garde impériale pour faire arrêter et exécuter Chen. Dou Wu tente de résister, mais il est vaincu après une brève campagne et se suicide[17]. Juste après leur victoire, les eunuques renvoient immédiatement les partisans qui avaient été nommés fonctionnaires et suspendent à nouveau leurs droits civiques.

Second désastre de l'Interdiction des PartisansModifier

Même après avoir réussi à renvoyer les partisans du gouvernement, les eunuques ne sont pas satisfaits. En 169, ils réussissent à convaincre l’empereur Lingdi, alors âgé de 13 ans, que les partisans sont prêts à entrer en rébellion contre lui[18]. Les principaux partisans, y compris Li Ying, Du Mi et Fan Pang (范滂), sont arrêtés et exécutés. Au final, environ 100 personnes perdent la vie et de nombreux partisans entrent dans la clandestinité, grâce à des réseaux d'entraide. Même si les personnes impliquées dans ces réseaux restent le plus souvent anonymes, on compte parmi elles des personnalités importantes comme Yuan Shao et Kong Rong. Ceux des partisans qui ne sont pas sur les listes de personnes à arrêter, voient leurs droits encore plus restreints.

Fin de l'InterdictionModifier

En 184, après le début de la rébellion des Turbans jaunes, Lü Qiang (呂強), un eunuque proche des partisans, réussit à convaincre l’empereur Lingdi que, s'il ne les gracie pas, ces derniers pourraient rejoindre les Turbans jaunes et infliger des dégâts considérables à l’administration impériale[19]. Convaincu par les arguments de Qiang, l’empereur Lingdi accorde une amnistie générale à tous les partisans et restaure leurs droits civiques[20]. Lorsque l'édit impérial parait, les autres eunuques sont fous de rage contre Lü Qiang. Ils vont voir l'empereur et lancent de fausses accusations de rébellion contre Qiang. Lorsque les gardes viennent pour l’arrêter, ce dernier se suicide[21].

Notes et référencesModifier

  1. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Ling Part 2 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Then Ju Yuan led [a party of] grooms from the imperial stables, Rapid Tiger and Feathered Forest guards, and Warriors with Swords and Lances of the Captains at the Capital,30 a thousand men altogether, to join the Colonel Director of Retainers Zhang Biao and surround Liang Ji's lodgings. The Superintendent of the Imperial Household, Yuan Xu, was sent in with the Staff of Authority to take away Liang Ji's seal and ribbon as Generalin-Chief,31 and to transfer his fief to the marquisate of the chief district of Bijing.32 Liang Ji and his wife Sun Shou both committed suicide on that same day. Liang Buyi and Liang Meng had died earlier. All other members of the Liang and Sun clans, both inside and outside, were arrested and sent to the imperial jails, and they then suffered public execution. No consideration was given to age or youth. Of others who were implicated, excellencies, ministers, colonels, provincial inspectors and other senior officials, scores of them died.33 M The Grand Commandant Hu Guang, the Minister over the Masses Han Yan and the Minister of Works Sun Lang were all found guilty of subservience to the Liang clan and of failing to protect the throne. They were detained at the Hostel of Long Life,34 then sentenced to the death penalty remitted by one degree, and were dismissed to become commoners.35 N More than three hundred of [Liang Ji's] former subordinates and clients were dismissed.36 The court was empty. »
  2. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 2 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « An edict proclaimed rewards for the successful destruction of Liang Ji. Shan Chao, Xu Huang, Ju Yuan, Zuo Guan and Tang Heng were all made marquises of counties. Shan Chao had the income from twenty thousand households, while Xu Huang and the others each had more than ten thousand households. They were known by the people of the time as "the five marquises." Zuo Guan and Tang Heng were also appointed Regular Palace Attendants. The Prefect of the Masters of Writing Yin Xun and six other men became marquises of villages.38 »
  3. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 2 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « As a result of this, power and authority was concentrated in the hands of the eunuch officials. EE The "five marquises" [Shan Chao, Xu Huang, Ju Yuan, Zuo Guan and Tang Heng] were particularly greedy and lawless, and the repercussions [of their abuse of power] were felt both at the capital and in the provinces. »
  4. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 2 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Many disasters and portents appeared at this time. »
  5. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 2 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « "The women of the harem, however, are now more than a thousand; can their numbers be reduced? The horses in the stables are in the tens of thousands; can their numbers be diminished? The attendants of the Emperor are powerful and oppressive; can they be removed?" 1750 All replied, "That is not possible." Then Wei Huan sighed and said, "So you are asking that I go alive [to the court] and come back dead [because I would be compelled to speak out against abuses and would inevitably meet with execution for making such criticisms]. What is the point?" So he went into hiding and he would not appear again in public »
  6. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 2 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Li Yun of Ganling, the Prefect of Boma [in Dong commandery], sent in an open memorial, with a copy to the offices of the Three Excellencies, saying, "Though Liang Ji had arrogated power and usurped authority for himself, and his tyranny extended throughout the empire, the punishment for his crimes was carried out by a few servants of the [imperial] household upon orders issued for his arrest and execution [so it was not a particularly complex and dangerous affair]. "Since then, however, several enfeoffments have been granted to assorted eunuchs, each valued at ten thousand households or more. Had Emperor Gaozu heard of this, he would never have approved.55 And the generals of the northwest must surely be disturbed.56 "Confucius said, 'To be an emperor is to be a judge.'57 But at the present time, official positions are mistaken and confused; petty men gain advancement through flattery; wealth and property are publicly misused, and every day the good influence of government is brought further into decline. When the documents [of imperial decrees] one foot long are issued without proper care,58 this shows that the Emperor does not want to act as a judge!" »
  7. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 3 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Zhang Cheng of Henei67 was an expert at divination by the wind. He calculated that there was going to be an amnesty, and so he told his son to kill a man. »
  8. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 3 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « The Colonel Director of Retainers Li Ying immediately ordered [the son's] arrest, but then the amnesty came and he was allowed to escape punishment. »
  9. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 3 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Li Ying was still more angry and resentful, and in the end he found out the full situation and had the man killed. »
  10. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 3 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Zhang Cheng had earlier had contact with the eunuchs on account of his magical techniques, and the Emperor had also shown interest in his divinations. The eunuchs instructed Lao Xiu, a disciple of Zhang Cheng, to send in a letter saying that, "Li Ying and others have been protecting the vagabond students of the University, they have a network of contacts throughout the provinces, and they have formed a faction. They slander and abuse the court, and they cause doubt and confusion among the customs [of the people]." At this, the Emperor was shaking with rage. He sent orders to the commanderies and kingdoms that they should arrest all the men of faction, and he had proclamation made to all the empire that his wrath should be known and the cause of his anger understood. »
  11. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « After Chen Fan was dismissed, all the ministers at court became frightened, and none now dared to speak in favour of the men of faction. »
  12. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Dou Wu sent in a letter, saying, "I have heard of no period of good government since the time that your majesty came to the throne. The Regular Attendants and the officials of the Yellow Gates conspire to deceive and mislead you, and appointments are given irresponsibly to quite unworthy people. "If you think back to the days of the Western Capital [under Former Han], it was through false ministers seizing power that the empire was brought to ruin.7 And now, if you do not take warning from the failures of the past, but instead continue on the same track, then I fear the difficulties of the Second Emperor [of Qin] will certainly come again, and the treachery of Zhao Gao may re-appear at any moment.8 "Quite recently, your wicked subject Lao Xiu sent in an accusation of faction. As a result the former Colonel Director of Retainers, Li Ying, and others have been arrested and put to the question, and the matter now involves several hundred people. The case has now been under investigation for a whole year, but not a single piece of firm evidence has been discovered. "I am quite convinced that Li Ying and the others are men of the most certain loyalty and steadfast honesty, with all ambitions centred upon your imperial house. Truly, these are the ministers who might serve your majesty like Hou [Ji], [the Minister over the Masses] Xie, Yi [Yin] and Lü [Shang].9 Yet now they are falsely and wrongly accused by a criminal gang of wicked subjects. The empire is chilled at heart, and all within the seas are disappointed in their hopes. "If only your majesty would pay heed, and apply your clear intelligence. Then everything would be brought to light, and the anxious feelings of both men and spirits would be allayed.10 "Now the new officials of the terrace and doors, the Masters of Writing Zhu Yu, Xun Kun, Liu You, Wei Lang, Liu Ju and Yin Xun are all worthy men of the state and good servants of the court.11 The Gentlemen of the Masters of Writing Zhang Ling, Gui Hao, Yuan Kang, Yang Qiao, Bian Shao and Dai Hui are all men of the finest literary culture, with clear understanding of the laws. There is a host of talented men suitable for appointment to positions either inside the capital or outside. And yet your majesty has entrusted authority to inexperienced officials, and you have given responsibility to creatures like the Taotie.12 Outside, they control the provinces and commanderies, inside they manage the personal affairs of your palace. You should dismiss each and every one of them, investigate their crimes and subject them to punishment. "Give your trust to the loyal and honourable men, and make fair judgement between good and bad, so that right and wrong, praise and blame are each given their appropriate place. It is the golden rule that you should consider only the public interest, and that you make your judgements purely on the question of who is best, not upon personal favour. In this way, bad omens can be averted and you may expect to receive the favour of heaven. 1799 "There have lately been reports that the Auspicious Grain and the Zhi Plant have appeared,13 and also a yellow dragon.14 Now the beginnings of good fortune certainly depend upon a man being lucky, but their fulfilment in prosperity requires that he shall then prove to be of excellent character. If virtue is present, then we have the beginnings [of good fortune]; but if virtue is not present, those are signs of disaster. If your majesty's actions do not accord with the will of heaven, you cannot count these omens as a cause for rejoicing."15 »
  13. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Huo Xun also sent in a memorial to plead for the prisoners,16 and the Emperor became a little less angry. »
  14. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « All the men of faction, more than two hundred of them, were sent back to their home territories. Their names were written down at the offices of the Three Excellencies, and they were barred from appointment for the rest of their lives.21 »
  15. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « At this time, just after the Emperor's death, and when the succession to the throne had not yet been decided, the Masters of Writing were frightened and anxious, and many of them made excuses of illness and did not come to court. »
  16. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Before this, when the Empress-Dowager had been established [as Empress in 165], Chen Fan had played a considerable role.42 Now that she held the regency she consulted Chen Fan on every question of government, large or small. Chen Fan and Dou Wu were in complete agreement and co-operation with one another to support the imperial house. They recommended famous and worthy men from every part of the empire, such as Li Ying, Du Mi, Yin Xun and Liu Yu. All of them took place at court and shared in the affairs of government.43 »
  17. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Between dawn and the time of the morning meal67 almost all Dou Wu's men changed sides. Dou Wu and Dou Shao fled, and the whole army chased after them and surrounded them. Then they both committed suicide, and their heads were displayed at the Capital Hostel of Luoyang. Dou Wu's kinsmen, clients and relatives by marriage were arrested and executed, and the Palace Attendant Liu Yu and the Colonel of the Garrison Cavalry Feng Shu were also killed, with all their clans.68 »
  18. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « for this reason. "Moreover, the former Grand Tutor Chen Fan gave all his strength for your imperial house, but then he was suddenly attacked by a horde of evil men and was cruelly and unlawfully destroyed. This was such a shock as to affect all the empire. And now his students and former subordinates are also suffering proscription. As the man himself is gone, another hundred lives cannot redeem him.16 You should permit the return of his family and dependents, and you should release the bonds of proscription. "Now the chief ministers are extremely important, and the fortunes of the state depend upon them. Among the four excellencies at the present time, only the Minister of Works Liu Chong is completely honest and worthy.17 All the rest of them are false, men who encourage rebellion and who draw their stipend without working for it. Inevitably, they 'break the tripod of the cauldron and overturn the gruel'.18 They should be dismissed on account of the ill omens. If you summon the former Minister of Works Wang Chang, and the Privy Treasurer of the Palace of Prolonged Joy Li Ying, they are both worthy to guide the affairs of state, and this medley of disasters and dangers will cease. The prosperity of the state may be established for a long time to come." »
  19. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 6 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « The Emperor asked the Regular Palace Attendant Lü Qiang what he thought of the proposal, and Lü Qiang replied, "The proscription has been maintained for a long time and the people [affected by it] have been made angry and resentful. Unless they are given a pardon, they could quite easily »
  20. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 6 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « The Emperor was frightened and accepted his policy. »
  21. (en) Rafe De Crespigny, « Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling Part 4 », Asian Studies (consulté le 1er mai 2012) : « Zhao Zhong, Xia Yun and some others made false reports against Lü Qiang, saying that he had discussed affairs of state with the men of faction, that he had read and re-read the biography of Huo Guang,13 and that he and his brothers spread dirt and corruption everywhere they went. The Emperor sent some Palace Attendants of the Yellow Gates, bearing arms, to bring Lü Qiang to the court. When Lü Qiang received the Emperor's summons, he was angry and said, "When I die, disorder is come. If a man gives all his loyalty to the state, why should he have to answer to a jailer?" He killed himself. »

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