China's Five Worst “Last Emperors”

What does it take to end an empire? At what point do incompetence and corruption reach a critical mass in which the center cannot hold and the walls come crumbling down?

As an American voter, I’ve been asking myself some variation of this question ever since November.

In China, the “bad last emperor” is a bit of cliché. The hackneyed revolutions of the dynastic cycle eventually turn from the heroic founder to the dunderheaded descendant who undoes all the founder’s good work.

So, in honor of the leadership transition in Washington, a countdown of the worst of the last: Bad Emperors who ended an era.