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Published June 2022 | public
Journal Article

Growing up before the Rebellion: Merchant Organization and Local Administration in Chongqing


Something happened because of the war. Scholars of the Qing agree that the fate of the dynasty was fundamentally altered by the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864). In the scramble to defend the empire, organizational and material resources were mobilized on a massive scale. Local actors that had not previously played a critical role in governance began to participate in more ambitious programs for defense, public services, and revenue rising. Across the post-Taiping Qing Empire scholars document broader engagement in local state activities and a multitude of public projects undertaken at the local level. They have generally interpreted the proliferation of ambitious local projects and the broadening of participation in their organization and management as a prelude to dynastic decline: a result of the weakening of the Qing state's political capacity.

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August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023