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.
About the Author
Roger R. Thompson is Professor of History at Western Washington University.
Table of Contents
- Author’s Note on Conventions for a Omanizations and Characters
- Introduction: The Idea of Local Self-Government in the Age of Revolution
- Zhao Erxun’s Search for Local Leaders in Shanxi
- Yuan Shikai’s Foreign Model for China
- Local Elites in Corporatism’s Realm
- The Center Readies its Arsenal
- Provincial Officials Channel Elite Activism
- Local Councils in China
- Qing Policy, Rural China, and Elite Factions in the Age of Constitutionalism
Part One: Setting the Scene, 1902–1906
Part Two: Localism, Centralism, and Provincialism,
Part Three: State and Society Unravelling, 1909–1911
- 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
- Select Bibliography
- Archival and Published Sources
- Character List