The Making of the Modern Chinese State: 1600–1950, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Making of the Modern Chinese State

1600–1950, 1st Edition

By Huaiyin Li


384 pages

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Paperback: 9781138362451
pub: 2019-08-16
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9781138362444
pub: 2019-08-16
Available for pre-order

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The Making of the Modern Chinese State: 1600–1950 offers an historical analysis of the formation of the modern Chinese state from the mid-17th century to the mid-20th century, providing refreshing and provocative interpretations on almost every major issue regarding modern China’s development. 

The book explores why today’s China is unlike any other nation-states in size and structure. More specifically, it examines its position as the only country in today’s world that is built on the basis of a former empire both territorially and demographically, and how it has remained the only authoritarian state among the major powers and one of the few communist states that has survived into the 21st century. In doing so, the book addresses and highlights the importance of several key issues, including geopolitical strategy, fiscal constitution, and identity building as the key variables in shaping the outcome of state transformation.

Enhanced by a selection of informative tables and illustrations, The Making of the Modern Chinese State: 1600–1950 is ideal for undergraduates and graduates studying East Asian History, Chinese history, empires in Asia and state formation.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

Part One. The Formation of the Qing State

2. The Rise of an Early-Modern Territorial State: China in the Early to Mid-Qing Period

3. Limits to Territorial Expansion: Fiscal Constitution and War-Making under the Qing

Part Two. The Transition to a Sovereign State

4. Regionalized Centralism: The Resilience and Fragility of the Late Qing State

5. Between the Frontier and the Coast: Geopolitical Strategy Reoriented

6. A Nation-State in the Making: Fiscal Expansion and the New Policies

Part Three. The Making of a Unified and Centralized State

7. Centralized Regionalism: The Rise of Regional Fiscal-Military States

8. In Search of National Unity: Frontier Rebuilding under the Republic

9. The Fate of Semi-Centralism: The Nationalist State Succeeded and Failed

10. Total Centralism at Work: The Confluence of Breakthroughs in State-Making

11. Conclusion

List of Characters



About the Author

Huaiyin Li is professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of Village Governance in North China, 1875-1936, Village China under Socialism and Reform: A Microhistory, 1948-2008, and Reinventing Modern China: Imagination and Authenticity in Chinese Historical Writing.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Asia / China
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 16th Century
HISTORY / Middle East / Turkey & Ottoman Empire