Famine Relief in Warlord China

Famine Relief in Warlord China

by Pierre Fuller


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Famine Relief in Warlord China is a reexamination of disaster responses during the greatest ecological crisis of the pre-Nationalist Chinese republic. In 1920–1921, drought and ensuing famine devastated more than 300 counties in five northern provinces, leading to some 500,000 deaths. Long credited to international intervention, the relief effort, Pierre Fuller shows, actually began from within Chinese social circles. Indigenous action from the household to the national level, modeled after Qing-era relief protocol, sustained the lives of millions of the destitute in Beijing, in the surrounding districts of Zhili (Hebei) Province, and along the migrant and refugee trail in Manchuria, all before joint foreign-Chinese international relief groups became a force of any significance.

Using district gazetteers, stele inscriptions, and the era’s vibrant Chinese press, Fuller reveals how a hybrid civic sphere of military authorities working with the public mobilized aid and coordinated migrant movement within stricken communities and across military domains. Ultimately, the book’s spotlight on disaster governance in northern China in 1920 offers new insights into the social landscape just before the region’s descent, over the next decade, into incessant warfare, political struggle, and finally the normalization of disaster itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674241145
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs , #423
Pages: 362
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Pierre Fuller is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Monash University in Melbourne.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Weights, Measures, and Currency xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

I Relieving Beijing

1 War in July 19

2 Municipal Relief 41

3 Military Men 68

4 Cigarettes, Opera, and Religious Sects 87

5 City Charities and the Countryside 109

II The Famine Field

6 Village Mutual Aid 125

7 Bureaucratic Relief 152

8 Migrant Routes 174

9 Manchurian Relief 200

10 International Relief 215

Conclusion 239

Epilogue: The Toilet General 255

Appendix: The Nankai Camp, Tianjin 257

Chinese Characters 261

Notes 269

Bibliography 311

Index 329

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