1st Edition

The Chinese Empire in Local Society
Ming Military Institutions and Their Legacies

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 17, 2020
ISBN 9780367431846
December 17, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

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Book Description

This book explores the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) military, its impact on local society and its many legacies for Chinese society. It is based on extensive original research by scholars using the methodology of historical anthropology, an approach that has transformed the study of Chinese history by approaching the subject from the bottom up.

Its nine chapters, each based on a different region of China, examine the nature of Ming military institutions and how they interacted with local social life over time. Several chapters consider the distinctive role of imperial institutions in frontier areas and how they interacted with and affected non-Han ethnic groups and ethnic identity. Others discuss the long-term legacy of Ming military institutions, especially across the dynastic divide from Ming to Qing (1644-1912) and the implications of this for understanding more fully the nature of the Qing rule.

Table of Contents

  1. State Institutions, Local Society, and Historical Continuity: Ming Military Institutions from the Perspective of Historical Anthropology
  2. Michael Szonyi and Zhao Shiyu

  3. The Social Impact of Changing Patterns of Military Recruitment and Logistics in Yongzhou, Hunan
  4. Wu Tao

  5. Military Colonies and Localization in Yongchun, Fujian
  6. Ma Wenrui and Zheng Zhenman

  7. The Evolution of Temples in Jinxiang Guard and the Localization of State Institutions
  8. Zhang Kan

  9. State and Local Society in the Reform of the Garrison System in the Qing Dynasty: A Case Study of Yuzhou Guard
  10. Deng Qingping

  11. Where are the Western Aborigines?: Ningfan Guard and the Transformation of Local Society in Southwestern Sichuan in Ming and Qing
  12. Long Sheng

  13. The Green Sprouts Crop Protection Associations of Taozhou, Gansu: Ming Identities/Qing Histories
  14. Que Yue

  15. The "Civilianization" of Military Colonies and the Reorganization of Military Households: Ningxi Battalion and the Reconstruction of Rural Order in South China in the Eighteenth Century
  16. Xie Shi

  17. Military Lineages and the Qing Tribute Grain System: The "Xie/Chen/Liao Barge" of Ganzhou Guard, Jiangxi
  18. Rao Weixin


  19. The Tribute Grain System, Military Colony Lands, and Transport Soldier Lineages in Ming and Qing: The Case of Huangzhou and Qizhou Garrisons of Eastern Hubei

Xu Bin


  1. Ming and Qing reign periods
  2. Ming weights and measures
  3. Glossary and character list


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Michael Szonyi is Wu Wen-hsiung Professor of Chinese History at Harvard University.

Shiyu Zhao is Professor of History at Peking University.

Joel Wing-Lun (translator) is a doctoral student at Harvard University.