China's Second Capital – Nanjing under the Ming, 1368-1644: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

China's Second Capital – Nanjing under the Ming, 1368-1644

1st Edition

By Jun Fang


218 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138079366
pub: 2017-05-10
Hardback: 9780415855259
pub: 2014-05-08
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pub: 2014-05-23
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This book is a study of the dual capital system of Ming dynasty China (1368-1644), with a focus on the administrative functions of the auxiliary Southern Capital, Nanjing. It argues that the immense geographical expanse of the Chinese empire and the poor communication infrastructure of pre-modern times necessitated the establishment of an additional capital administration for effective control of the Ming realm. The existence of the Southern Capital, which has been dismissed by scholars as redundant and insignificant, was, the author argues, justified by its ability to assist the primary Northern Capital better control the southern part of the imperial land. The practice of maintaining auxiliary capitals, where the bureaucratic structures of the primary capital were replicated in varying degrees, was a unique and valuable approach to effecting bureaucratic control over vast territory in pre-modern conditions. Nanjing translates into English as "Southern Capital" and Beijing as "Northern Capital".


"This work makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the workings of the Ming state beyond Beijing … Fang’s study is well grounded in a meticulous examination of his sources. I certainly learned much from it, and would have no hesitation in recommending it as an important addition to any Chinese studies library collection."

Stephen McDowall, University of Edinburgh

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Secondary Capital System in Imperial China 2. Ministers and Eunuchs: The Southern Capital Administration 3. Patronage, Proving Ground, and Punishment: The Political Functions of the Southern Capital 4. Center of Wealth: The Financial Functions of the Southern Capital 5. Southern Stronghold: The Military Functions of the Southern Capital 6. Conclusion

About the Author

Jun Fang is Professor of History at Huron University College, Western University, Canada

About the Series

Asian States and Empires

The importance of Asia will continue to grow in the twenty-first century, but remarkably little is available in English on the history of the polities that constitute this critical area.  Most current work on Asia is hindered by the extremely limited state of knowledge of the Asian past in general, and the history of Asian states and empires in particular.  Asian States and Empires is a book series that will provide detailed accounts of the history of states and empires across Asia from earliest times until the present.  It aims to explain and describe the formation, maintenance and collapse of Asian states and empires, and the means by which this was accomplished, making available the history of more than half the world’s population at a level of detail comparable to the history of Western polities.  In so doing, it will demonstrate that Asian peoples and civilizations had their own histories apart from the West, and provide the basis for understanding contemporary Asia in terms of its actual histories, rather than broad generalizations informed by Western categories of knowledge.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General