Imperial China The Historical Background to the Modern Age
First published in 1966, Imperial China sets out to explain China’s past histories to non-specialists. Too often the West has misunderstood the East. China is credited with an excessively long cultural history; with a continuous line of dynastic succession; with uniformly practised institutions; or with intellectual stagnation. Michael Loewe sets out here to dispel some of these misconceptions, and to mark the stages in the evolution of China’s political forms, social organizations and economic progress that can be traced from the days of the first empire (from 221 B.C.) until the dynamic changes of the nineteenth century. He believes that a full understanding of modern China depends on a more than perfunctory glance at her past and has tried to provide the general historical context. The author is well aware that, thanks to the research of the last fifty years, it is now possible and indeed requisite to reach a deeper understanding of China's past. This book will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of Chinese history, Asian history, history in general.
Foreword New Preface 1. Geographical Implications 2. The Rise and Fall of Dynasties 3. The Basis and Practice of Imperial Sovereignty 4. Cultural Development 5. Social Distinctions 6. The Exercise of Imperial Government 7. The Operation of the Economy 8. The Growth of Cities 9. Relations with Foreign Peoples 10. Historical Evidences 11. Conclusion Tables Appendix Index