The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China / Edition 1

The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China / Edition 1

by Mark Elliott
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0804746842

ISBN-13: 9780804746847

Pub. Date: 03/15/2001

Publisher: Stanford University Press

In 1644, the Manchus, a relatively unknown people inhabiting China’s rude northeastern frontier, overthrew the Ming, Asia’s mightiest rulers, and established the Qing dynasty, which endured to 1912. From this event arises one of Chinese history’s great conundrums: How did a barely literate alien people manage to remain in power for nearly 300

Overview

In 1644, the Manchus, a relatively unknown people inhabiting China’s rude northeastern frontier, overthrew the Ming, Asia’s mightiest rulers, and established the Qing dynasty, which endured to 1912. From this event arises one of Chinese history’s great conundrums: How did a barely literate alien people manage to remain in power for nearly 300 years over a highly cultured population that was vastly superior in number? This problem has fascinated scholars for almost a century, but until now no one has approached the question from the Manchu point of view.

This book, the first in any language to be based mainly on Manchu documents, supplies a radically new perspective on the formative period of the modern Chinese nation. Drawing on recent critical notions of ethnicity, the author explores the evolution of the “Eight Banners,” a unique Manchu system of social and military organization that was instrumental in the conquest of the Ming.

The author argues that as rulers of China the Manchu conquerors had to behave like Confucian monarchs, but that as a non-Han minority they faced other, more complex considerations as well. Their power derived not only from the acceptance of orthodox Chinese notions of legitimacy, but also, the author suggests, from Manchu “ethnic sovereignty,” which depended on the sustained coherence of the conquerors.

When, in the early 1700s, this coherence was threatened by rapid acculturation and the prospective loss of Manchu distinctiveness, the Qing court, always insecure, desperately urged its minions to uphold the traditions of an idealized “Manchu Way.” However, the author shows that it was not this appeal but rather the articulation of a broader identity grounded in the realities of Eight Banner life that succeeded in preserving Manchu ethnicity, and the Qing dynasty along with it, into the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804746847
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
03/15/2001
Edition description:
1
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
361,134
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figuresxi
List of Tablesxii
Prefacexiii
Note on Transcription and Other Conventionsxxii
Qing Reign Periodsxxiii
Introduction. The Problem with the Manchus1
Ethnic Sovereignty and Pax Manjurica2
The "Manchu Way,"8
Manchu or Bannerman?13
Thinking Again About Ethnicity in Late Imperial China16
"Barbarians" and "Chinese": Competing Views of the Manchus in History20
Sinicization and the Manchus26
New Narratives32
Part 1Structures of Eight Banner Society
1.The Eight Banners and the Origins of the Manchus39
What Was the Eight Banners?39
Myths of Manchu Origins42
Who Were the Jurchens?47
The Jianzhou Ascendancy52
Roots of Power: The Formation of the Eight Banners56
Roots of Identity: The Banners and the Manchu Nation Under Hong Taiji63
The Mongol and Chinese Banners72
Hierarchies of Ethnicity and Status in the Banners78
2.Manchu Cities: Tigers on the Mountain89
Garrisons Before the Conquest90
Outline of the Qing Occupation93
Manchu Apartheid and the Division of Beijing98
Manchu Cities in the Provinces105
Close Quarters116
The Idea of Occupation122
Garrison Dyarchy128
3.The Emperor's Men133
The Nature of the Banner Bureaucracy134
The Garrison General138
The Garrison Lieutenant General and Other Staff146
Relations with the Civil Bureaucracy152
Bannermen to the Rescue156
Rage and Praise: Letters to the Emperor160
Banner Administration and the Manchu Nation164
Part 2Patterns of Banner Life
4.The Iron Rice Bowl of Banner Privilege175
At the Training Ground175
From Chase to Campaign182
Eating the Emperor's Rice191
A Privileged People197
5.Among the Nikan210
The Manchu-Han "Family"212
Family Quarrels216
Ethnic Transactions219
Mediating Between Manchu and Han225
Master and Slave227
Ethnic Tension and Coexistence230
6.Resident Aliens234
Manchu Shamanism235
Manchu Names and Naming Practices241
The Place of Manchu Women246
Dimensions of the Manchu Diaspora255
No Place Like Home257
Matters of Life and Death263
Resident Aliens268
Part 3The Crises of the Eighteenth Century
7.Whither the Manchu Way?275
Acculturation and the Manchu Way276
Living the Good Life284
The "National" Language290
Slip of the Tongue294
Language and Identity299
8.Saving the Banner System305
The Costs of the Banner System306
The Ways of Poverty313
Secondary Status in the Banners322
Genealogy and the Reforms of Banner Household Registration326
Mutable Identities329
Poor Relations: The Eight Banner Chinese333
Sacrificing the Chinese Bannermen337
Bannerman and Manchu342
Conclusion. Manchu Identity and Manchu Rule in China345
How Did They Do It?346
What Did It Matter?355
Appendix A.Note on the Size of the Eight Banner Population363
Appendix B.Ranks in the Eight Banners365
Appendix C.Foundation and Expansion of Provincial Garrisons369
Notes373
Chinese Character Glossary505
References511
Index551

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