China's Local Councils in the Age of Constitutional Reform, 1898-1911

China's Local Councils in the Age of Constitutional Reform, 1898-1911

by Roger R. Thompson


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Dazzled by the model of Japan’s Western-style constitutional government, Chinese officials and elite activists made plans to establish locally elected councils. By October 1911, government agencies had reported the establishment of about 5,000 councils.

Throughout the period, data on self-government reforms collected from localities were compiled in provincial capitals, then collated, summarized, and archived in Beijing. Simultaneously, directives were being sent from the capital to the provinces. From this wealth of previously unexamined material, Roger R. Thompson draws a portrait-in-motion of the reforms. He demonstrates the energy and significance of the late-Qing local-self-government movement, while making a compelling case that it was separate from the well-studied phenomenon of provincial assemblies and constitutionalism in general.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674119734
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 09/04/1995
Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs , #161
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Roger R. Thompson is Professor of History at Western Washington University.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Author’s Note on Conventions for a Omanizations and Characters
  • Introduction: The Idea of Local Self-Government in the Age of Revolution

    Part One: Setting the Scene, 1902–1906
  1. Zhao Erxun’s Search for Local Leaders in Shanxi
  2. Yuan Shikai’s Foreign Model for China

  3. Part Two: Localism, Centralism, and Provincialism,
  4. Local Elites in Corporatism’s Realm
  5. The Center Readies its Arsenal
  6. Provincial Officials Channel Elite Activism

  7. Part Three: State and Society Unravelling, 1909–1911
  8. Local Councils in China
  9. Qing Policy, Rural China, and Elite Factions in the Age of Constitutionalism

  • Appendix A: Late-Qing Government Gazettes and Serial Compilations
  • Appendix B: Provincial and Metropolitan Reports on Constitutional Reforms, 1909–1911
  • Appendix C: The Jiading County Council Members
  • Abbreviations Used in the Notes and Select Bibliography
  • Notes
  • Select Bibliography

    • Documents
    • Archival and Published Sources

  • Character List
  • Index

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