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Empire and Identity in Guizhou

Local Resistance to Qing Expansion

by Jodi L. Weinstein

Publication Year: 2013

This historical investigation describes the Qing imperial authorities’ attempts to consolidate control over the Zhongjia, a non-Han population, in eighteenth-century Guizhou, a poor, remote, and environmentally harsh province in Southwest China. Far from submitting peaceably to the state’s quest for hegemony, the locals clung steadfastly to livelihood choices—chiefly illegal activities such as robbery, raiding, and banditry—that had played an integral role in their cultural and economic survival. Using archival materials, indigenous folk narratives, and ethnographic research, Jodi L. Weinstein shows how these seemingly subordinate populations challenged state power.

Published by: University of Washington Press


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pp. 1-1

About the Series, Other Works in the Series, Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

An old Chinese saying goes, “Those on top have policies; those below have counterstrategies” (Shang you zhengce, xia you duice). This adage sums up several millennia of relationships between East Asian imperial regimes, which ruled from the productive and powerful center in China, and their poorer, less powerful subjects living in the borderlands. ...

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pp. xi-xiii

In the many years since I started this project, I have benefited from the advice, wisdom, and encouragement of many people, and it is now my pleasure to acknowledge them. First, I must thank Beatrice S. Bartlett for drawing me into the world of eighteenth-century China and inspiring me to explore the uncharted landscapes of Guizhou. ...


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pp. xiv-xvi

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1. Guizhou and the Livelihoods Approach to Zhongjia History

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pp. 3-10

China’s imperial officials seldom had anything positive to say about Guizhou province. In his account from the mid-eighteenth century, Guizhou governor Aibida offered this blunt analysis of the region’s harsh terrain, limited economic prospects, and unruly non-Chinese inhabitants: ...

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2. Natural, Human, and Historical Landscapes

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pp. 11-36

In 1638, during the waning days of the Ming Dynasty and the twilight of his own career, the famed explorer Xu Xiake (1587–1641) embarked on a journey through the mountains, caverns, and forests of Guizhou. His travels took him through many of the regions explored in this book. ...

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3. The Consolidation of Qing Rule

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pp. 37-58

When Qing armies completed the military conquest of southwestern China in 1659, Guizhou was an unruly internal frontier. Although the Ming government had organized the region as a province in 1413, Guizhou still bore only the faintest imprints of imperial control. ...

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4. Livelihood Choices in the Mid-Eighteenth Century

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pp. 59-82

Imperial authorities hoped that the reforms of the Yongzheng reign would transform the Zhongjia into compliant subjects. Instead, local residents continued to make decisions based on the flexibility and pragmatism that had sustained them for centuries. ...

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5. The Nanlong Uprising of 1797

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pp. 83-118

In February 1797, members of the Zhongjia ethnic group launched an uprising against the Qing state. Rallying under the battle cry, “Heaven will exterminate the Han Chinese, native headmen, and imperial troops” (Tian jiang mie Hanren, bing mie Miaomu bingyi), the rebels laid siege to the prefectural seat of Nanlong and sacked neighboring villages. ...

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6. A Legacy of Fragile Hegemony

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pp. 119-134

Qing China’s Manchu rulers faced special challenges in legitimizing and consolidating their rule over Guizhou. In other newly acquired territories such as Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, and even southern Yunnan, the foreign origins of the Qing ruling house offered certain advantages. ...


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pp. 135-178

Chinese Glossary

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pp. 179-184


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pp. 185-200


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pp. 201-217

E-ISBN-13: 9780295804811
E-ISBN-10: 0295804815
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295993270
Print-ISBN-10: 0295993278

Page Count: 233
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1st edition

OCLC Number: 867741271
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Empire and Identity in Guizhou

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Subject Headings

  • Bouyei (Chinese people) -- China -- Guizhou Sheng -- History -- 18th century.
  • Guizhou Sheng (China) -- Ethnic relations -- History -- 18th century.
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