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- 20 history . G. W. Skinner and soo1e of his associates l1:ove been doing somcthing s~~ilar in concentrating on selected'marketing areas over time. The study of for.:ial adcinistrative entities has separate value, particularly for the study of political and administrative change in modern China. C. "Local Bullies and Rotten Gentry" in China, 1800-1950. "W'ho "ere the gentry, and who became the gentry in the twentieth century?" has been asked by many scholars; I need not rehearse all the points here. We still have to vork on where local social and economic power lay from the beginning of Ch'ing decline to the liquidation of much of the latter-day gentry stratum after 1949. We need work on who enjoyed or grabbed what power and status in sub-hsien society; on how they came by their power and whom (if anyone) they displaced; on how they tried to secure or increase their powers in the face of what challenges. Philip Kuhn has made an excellent thrust in this direction, but detailed long study is in order. Introduction Robert A. Kapp University of Washington NOTES O~ CHINA'S REPUBLICAN ECONOMY* The Repu~lican era (1912-19~9) is an icportant period for the study of China's· e:o"o=ic histo~y. The blend of traditional and codern economic.modes characteristic of tha Reru~lican decades ~eans that in addition to illuminating an important historical c:a, further stuCy of the Republica~ econoray can enhance our knowledge of economic ptQ.:esses in I!:?~rial and postwar China _as well. The rich econo~ic data for Republican China, uhich often surpass comparable caterials relating to earlier and later periods, make it essential that we take the 'fullest advantage of this possibility. In agriculture, for example, the slow pace of .tecc~olo~ical and institutional change priur to 1949 means that some aspects of the rural e::or.o~y--far.:;:i technology, price responsiveness, cropping patterns, tenancy a::a~~~=ants, ~3rkating ~nd labor allocation, for instance--may have remained s~ostantially the sace for decades or even centuries prior ta 1949. Wherever this view C3~ oe a:ce?ted as a working hypothesis, Republican data may be used ta supplement more ftob~e~tary inforoation available for earlier periods, especially when the former is not co~f ined to treaty ?Ort areas. On the other hand, economic patterns inherited from prewar days have continued * This essay vas written in 1974. It is based on a limited and hasty review of readily availa':ile :aterials on the Republican econooy., The author ac:-nowledges ca=ents on an ea=:i~r draft by Evelyn S. ·Rawski and. financial support from The University of Toronto. r - 21 to operate in the People's Republic, especially in sectors (agriculture, hzndicralts, trade, small industry [?]) and years (1949-1956, 1961-1970 [?]) of low state investuen• or control. My own finding (T. G. Rawski (1975a, 197Sb]) that as late as the mid-1960s technological leadership in machinery and other key industries of ten cace from older industrial bases and from enterprises established before 1937 rather than from ne•l; created firms and basbs suggests that the lingering impact of older economic patterns may be unexpectedly large and widespread. However we evaluate the potential for extrapolating backward or forward from studies of the Republican economy, there can be no disagreement about our ignorance regarding the Republican economy per se. The basic quantitative outlines of Republican economic history have received very little attention. Did o'lerall and sectoral production and employment rise or fall? What was the rate of investment? the nature of price changes? What can be said of the distribution of income? Although nol without problems,l the nati-tmal incoDe .•tudies of Liu and Yeh give a solid point of departure centered on the yeaT 1933. ;But except for Chan&' s industrfal ir.~ex and t'ie brief treatment in Perkins (1969 and,;1975) and Howe, recer.t years have se"n little addition to our knowledge of the ti~e profile of the Republican eco~omy. In a land whose provinces rival the size of all but the largest industrial nations, we neglect regional...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5065
Print ISSN
1521-5385
Pages
pp. 20-34
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-25
Open Access
No
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