Galdan Tseren

Galdan Tseren (died 1745) was a Choros-Oirat prince and the Khun Tayishi of the Zunghar Khanate from 1727 until his death in 1745.

Galdan was the oldest son of Tsewang Arabtan. After the assassination of his father by rival factions, a civil war followed between his sons of which Galdan emerged victorious and crowned himself the new Zunghar Khan. Galdan continued his fathers policies of confrontation with the qing dynasty. He refused to surrender Lobdzan Dandzin, the leader of the revolt of the Kokonor ( Qinghai ) Khoshut Mongols of 1723, and he initiatied a policy of harassment's on the Khalkha Mongols, the Manchu's allies.

In the spring of 1729 war broke out against the Chinese and Galdan's forces obtained numerous victories against the Manchu. The war dragged on until 1737. Peace negotiations had already started in 1734. In 1737 both sides finally made peace and the Galdan Tseren accepted the condition of tributary.

Galdan not only view war as the only medium to strengthen his Kingdom he also worked to improve its economic and technological base. On his campaigns he captured many learned men and put them to work for the benefit of his state. Turkic oasis dwellers worked on developing irrigation projects for agriculture, he build factories to produce velvet, paper, cloth.

Galdan possessed a powerful army of 80-100,000 cavalrymen, all armed with firearms and with sufficient mounts. He also developed his own small military industry with the help of captured officers like the Swedish Johan Gustaf Renat.

But the base of galdan's finances lay in the profits gained of his control of the trade route between Russia and China, the famous Tea Road, from where the valuable chinese products flowed to Moscow.

Galdan Tseren died in 1745, the empire which he had strengthened would fall prey of a succession dispute among his sons, and it was later annexed by the Qianlong Emperor of the qing dynasty.

Last update 19-06-2012

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