Imperial China HIST 161 Spring 2003

MWF 11:10 Hayes 109 R. Dunnell, Seitz House 1, x5323,

Office hours: Mon 2-4 pm, Tues. 10:00-12, Friday 1:30-2:30 pm

Course website:

This class surveys the development of society and state in China from the 10th to early 19th centuries, focussing on the 14th-18th centuries, mainly in terms of: 1) the Confucianization of Chinese society from 11th century onward, and the dynamic tensions between professed ideals and realities on the ground; 2) economic, technological, and demographic expansion which brought China increasingly into global exchange networks, and state efforts to channel or contain that growth (often unsuccessful) as it defined its vision of the proper world order, and 3) the way these trends played out in relationships between individuals, the state and society in the later imperial era. In addition to key institutions such as the imperial state (throne and bureaucracy), the agrarian economy (farmer, artisan, merchant), and the family-ancestral lineage, we will examine other social forms and cultural activity that emerged, often as adaptations to and survival strategies in a changing political and ecological environment. You should begin to see in this seemingly peculiar history a mirror for your own lives and time. The course encourages active engagement with a variety of source materials through class discussion and writing assignments.

Required Texts (for purchase and on library reserve)

Daniel K. Gardner, Chu Hsi, Learning to Be a Sage

Francesca Bray, Technology and Society in Ming China

Anne E. McLaren, The Chinese Femme Fatale, Stories from the Ming Period

Jonathan D. Spence, Emperor of China, Self-Portrait of K'ang-hsi

Philip A. Kuhn, Soulstealers, The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768

Online Sources and Electronic Reserves: Course password is ming

See the end of the syllabus for a complete listing of ERES readings, including the E-Text in 11 chapters and selected articles and documents. Please print out all ERES readings for your timely use in and out of class. Web sources will be indicated in the syllabus by a url. Please locate and print out all online documents (except the Visual Sourcebook, unless you want to) for your use in and out of class. Bring all readings to class on the day of their assignment in the syllabus. The ERES readings are arranged in folders to facilitate location. They should print out clearly.

Assignments and Evaluation

Map Quiz 8% See the end of the syllabus for a list of cities, regions, rivers, etc. the location of which you will be responsible for identifying on a blank map of China during an in-class map quiz on 1/27. 80 points

Quizzes 12% Five short quizzes will be given in class during the semester, unannounced. Quizzes will only be given once, in class. The lowest out of 5 (not 4) quiz grades will not figure in the final quiz calculation. 4 @ 30 points = 120 pts

4 Essays 60% 4-5 pages (15%) each, on set questions or topics. Late papers will be marked down a half-grade for each day late. Extensions must be negotiated at least a week in advance. Essays must demonstrate an effort to respond to comments on previous papers in regard to writing skills. 4 @ 150 points =600 pts. Due 1/31, 2/24, 4/2, 4/28

Final Exam 10% Wednesday May 7, 6:30 pm.


Research Paper See me before spring break if you wish to take this option. Also read the guidelines on the class web page.

Participation 10% Discussion will serve as a significant channel of learning in this class. You must be there, keep up with readings (and bring them to class), and join the conversation to participate effectively. More than three absences will result in a severe reduction in points in this category. 100 pts

DISABILITIES: "If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your ability to carry out assigned course work, I would urge that you contact the Office of Disability Services at 5453. The Coordinator of Disability Services, Erin Sa1va

(, will review your concerns and determine, with you, what accommodations are appropriate. All information and documentation of disability is confidential."

Class Schedule

1. Introduction to the Middle Kingdom: Place, Person & Perspective

January 13 Geography and Periodization

Online: Visual Sourcebook

January 15 Symbol and Script

Visual Sourcebook :Take the Calligraphy tour (30-45 minutes). Who wrote and why? Where would you be likely to see writing if you were a commoner (and not a member of the elite)? How do you think the development of Chinese writing has affected China's political culture and society?

January 17 Essentials of life: Person, Family, Home

ERES: Eastman, "The Family and the Individual in Chinese Society," and Ebrey # 1 "Family Instructions." Visual Sourcebook Homes tour. How did ideas about individuals and the family find expression in the organization and layout of a home? What are some advantages of a Chinese dwelling? What were the hopes, concerns, and ambitions of the Miu lineage? What do they tell us about the world in which these Chinese lived?

January 20 Values: Discipline and Self-Expression

Confucian texts: Daxue ("Great Learning"), Xiaojing ("Classic of Filial Piety"), and Ban Zhao's Nüjie ("Admonitions for Women"):

with Chinese, or without & easier to print out:

How do these early texts conceive of the self in its relation to the cosmos, the family, and the state? What notions of femininity and masculinity do they present? Recognizing that ideals often diverge from reality (think of examples you know personally), what impact do you think such ideals were likely to have on society? To what extent do you find them echoed in the Miu "family instructions" that we just read?

2. The Confucianization of China

January 22 Why the Song Dynasty?

Gardner, Chu Hsi, 3-9; ERES: E-Text 1 (Schirokauer) and Ebrey #2 "On Farming"

What makes the Song era a significant turning point in China's long history?

January 24 Perceptions of Peril: Politics & Culture in the Song

Gardner, Chu Hsi, Learning to Be a Sage, 10-34, 57-81; ERES: Ebrey #3 "Wang Anshi, Sima Guang, and Emperor Shenzong"

What trends or problems in society did these scholar-statesmen articulate/respond to and what solutions did they offer? What do their responses tell us about their political or cultural priorities? What did they see as the proper role of the state?

January 27 Opportunity and Peril: Technology and Society in the Song

Gardner, 35-56, 85-mid 93 (through 1.7); 96-106 (to 2.30).

In Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi)'s view, what is the matter with the students of his day? Why do they have trouble learning? What kinds of learning should they be undertaking?

***Map Quiz***

January 29 China's Others: Nei/wai, hua/xia, wen/wu

Gardner, 116-121 (through 3.16); ERES: E-Text, 2 (Fairbank).

How does Fairbank present the relationship between China and its continental neighbors? Can we relate this to our readings on Zhu Xi? What happened to China's ancient military tradition?

January 31 Confucianizing China: Popularizing Zhu Xi

Gardner, 128-135; 180-181 (through 7.7), 191-193 (7.55-7.57); ERES, Sources #1 "Proclamation of Instructions" and "The Lü Community Compact," 748-754 Did you find yourself stopping to think about how you were reading this assignment? Do you try to read as Zhu Xi advises? How did Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi) conceptualize the problems of his society and what did he propose as solutions? How did he advise students who want to serve the country (emperor)? What is the proper role of the scholar/Confucian gentleman? How does one become a sage? How does a person with knowledge act? Does Zhu Xi speak to modern students like yourself? In what ways or why not?

***Essay One Due***

3. Commerce and Culture

February 3 Mongols Establish an Eurasian Empire

E-text 3 (Hansen), 335-349; Military Technology tour. How and why did the Mongols conquer China?

February 5 "Qubilai Khan" Video

ERES: Rashid Al-Din, The Successors of Genghis Khan, 240, 270-278; Marco Polo, The Travels, 111, 118-136; (for a description of Hangzhou and a cautionary note about Polo's claims).

February 7 Qubilai: Grand Khan and Emperor

ERES: E-text 3 (Hansen), 349-354; Sources #2, "Xu Heng and Khubilai Khan" 764-767, 778-779 How did different writers and observers construct the image of Qubilai? What sense do we get of the Mongol khan as emperor of China? How does the video documentary present Qubilai? What does it want us to believe about him and how does it convey those messages?

February 10 Yuan China

E-text 3 (Hansen), 354-367; ERES: Guan Hanqing, "Rescuing One of the Girls" (Yuan play). How did the Mongols adapt their nomadic legacy to rule a bureaucratic agrarian land like China? What do Hansen (and you) view as the significant effects of Mongolian rule in China? What do you think was the impact on the Mongols themselves and other peoples west of China?

February 12 Reinventing China: Ming Autocracy

E-Text 4 (Mote, "Zhu Yuanzhang Builds his Ming Dynasty,") 549-575 esp.; Ebrey # 4 "Proclamations of the Hongwu Emperor" What was Hongwu's vision of the ideal Chinese society? Why did it fall short of his vision? What do you think are the most persuasive explanations of Hongwu's behavior as an emperor?

February 14 Reinventing the Ming: Throne and Bureaucracy

ERES: E-Text 5 (Mote, "The Second Founding of the Ming Dynasty,") 598-607. How did the Yongle emperor's vision of his dynasty differ from that of the Ming founder?

February 17 Ming Outreach: Yongle (Zhu Di/Chu Ti) and the World

ERES: E-Text 5 (Mote, "The Second Founding of the Ming Dynasty,") 607-621; Fletcher, "China and Central Asia," 206-216. What kind of ruler did Yongle present himself to be? How does Mote explain the uniqueness of the Zheng He voyages? (Keep Yongle in mind for comparison with the 18th c. ruler Qianlong).

February 19 Ming Inreach: Building the Wall

ERES: Waldron, "The Problem of the Great Wall of China", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 43.2 (1983), 643-63; E-text 6 (Mote, "Maritime Borders") 717-722. Why in the mid-16th century did the Ming Chinese build the Great Wall? Did it work?

February 21 Technology and Society

Bray, Technology and Society in Ming China, 1-41; McLaren, Chinese Femme Fatale, 1-36. What are some effects of technology on Chinese society? Who would read or listen to these stories and why? What messages might they convey?

February 24 Society and Gender

Bray, 41-66; McLaren, Chinese Femme Fatale, 37-57; ERES: Pu Songling (1640-1715), "Miss Yan;" Ebrey #5 "Widows Loyal Unto Death." Sources, "Empresss Xu: Instructions for the Inner Quarters (Neixun), 831-836. Take the clothing tour.

How did technological & economic change affect gender behavior? What difference did status or occupation make? How do these two stories differ or converge, one set in the southern coastal city of Hangzhou, the other (Pu's) in north China, near Beijing? What do these sources reveal about how Chinese men & women thought about their lives and roles in society? And what about eunuchs?? See

February 26 Gender and Commerce

Chinese Femme Fatale, 58-101; ERES: Ebrey #6 "Commercial Activities," Ebrey #7 "Concubines;" Pu Songling, "Precious" & "Ghost-Girl Wanxia." How did the commercialization of the Chinese economy influence both male and female gender ideals or roles, and their perception or portrayal?

February 28 Looking Back and Forward

***Essay Two Due***


Revised syllabus for HIST 161 Imperial China, spring 2003. **N.b. new submission dates & times for remaining 2 essays.

March 17 Radical Confucianism: Commoner Sages & Iconoclasts
ERES: Sources "The Wang Yang Ming School" & "Li Zhi: Arch-Individualist," 851-874.

March 19 Popular Solutions to Life's Crises
ERES: Brokaw, "Supernatural Retribution and Human Destiny" 423-436; Sources "Meritorious Deeds at No Cost," 911-916.

March 21 Officials' Solutions to Ming Crises
ERES: E-Text 7, Mote, "Late Ming Political Decline;" Sources "The Practical Learning of Lü Kun," 887-888, 892-899.

4. The Manchu Difference: Continuity and Change in Qing China
March 24 Manchu Solutions to Ming Crises
ERES: E-Text 8-9, Spence, "The Ming Collapse," and "The Manchu Conquest," 21-48; Spence Documents: "Two Edicts on the Wearing of Hair" and "The Seige of Jiangyin"

March 26 A Different Kind of Empire: Chengde and Inner Asia
Spence, Emperor of China, to p. 23.

March 28 Read Spence, to 89 (No class–I will be at a conference)

March 31 Kangxi and Qing Monarchy

Spence, to 151. Discussion of Emperor of China

April 2 A Different kind of Emperor: The Many Faces of Qianlong
Spence, to end. ERES: E-text 10, Spence, "Chinese Society in the Reign of Qianlong" 96-116.

Thursday April 3 ***Essay 3 Due by NOON at my office***

April 4 Governing and Governed: Late Imperial Social Structure
"Kangxi's Sacred Edict & Yongzheng's Amplification" (skip top of document) ERES: Wu Jingzi, The Scholars, ch. 2; Spence #1 "Yongzheng's Edict on Changing the Status of the Mean People." How has Chinese society (social structure) changed since the 12th century? What are some consequences of those changes for individuals, families, and communities?

April 7 Prosperity and Anxiety in Imperial China
Kuhn, Soulstealers, 1-48; ERES: Wu Jingzi, The Scholars, ch. 3.

April 9 No Class: Savoyard Interlude: in which your instructor will expose herself to ridicule by singing "Buttercup" from Gilbert & Sullivan's "H. M. S. Pinafore (1878), in the company of other similarly adled colleagues, assembled by Prof. Browning.

READ Kuhn, Soulstealers, ch. 3.

April 11 Law and Popular Religion
Kuhn, Soulstealers, ch. 4; ERES: Ebrey #8 "Lan Dingyuan's Casebook;" Law in Imperial China, Exemplified by 190 Ch'ing Dynasty Cases ("Legal Cases Involving Religion), cases # 89 & 133-134.

April 14 Spirits, Gods, and People
Kuhn, Soulstealers, ch. 5; ERES: Hansen, "Understanding the Gods," 48-78.

April 16 Province and Center: Mobility & Migration
Kuhn, Soulstealers, ch. 6-7.

April 18 Law and Justice
Kuhn, Soulstealers, ch. 8; ERES: Pu Songling, "A Chivalrous Woman;"

April 21 Bureaucracy and Monarchy: Checks and Balance?
Kuhn, Soulstealers, finish.
How did the interests of the bureaucracy (or officials) and those of the throne differ? What made the partnership of throne and bureaucracy more, or less, effective? How effective was late imperial Chinese government, compared, for example, with other governments of the period (18th c.) that you are familiar with?

4. China in the World: 18th Century Transitions
April 23 The Demographic Debate
ERES: William Lavely and R. Bin Wong, "Revising the Malthusian Narrative: The Comparative Study of Population Dynamics in Late Imperial China," 714-741; Sources "Hong Liangji on China's Population Problem"

April 25 The Debate about Women
ERES: Wu Jingzi (Ching-tzu), The Scholars (Rulin waishi), ch. 48; "Selected Short Works by Wang Duanshu (1621-after 1701)" and "Two Biographies by Zhang Xuecheng (1738-1801)".

April 28 Critiques from Within
Review E-Text 11, Spence, "Chinese Society and the Reign of Qianlong;" ERES: Sources "Lu Liang' Radical Orthodoxy," 18-19, 22-24; Wang Fuzhi, "The Preservation of Chinese Political and Cultural Integrity," 34-35; "Gong Zizhen's Reformist Vision," 179-183.

Tuesday April 29 ***Essay 4 Due by NOON in my office***

April 30 China and the World: Macartney and Qianlong
ERES: E-text 11, Spence, "China and the Eighteenth-Century World," 117-132; Spence "Macartney's Audience with Qianlong," "Macartney's Description of China's Government," "Qianlong's Rejection of Macartney's Demands."

May 2 Summing Up/Performance: Meet in Peirce Lounge

May 7 Final Exam, 6:30 pm. Research Paper due by 6:30 pm.
Exam should take about 1 ½ hours & you will have 2 hours to complete it.

Guidelines for Research Paper:
Students must have completed all other class assignments with a passing grade in order to opt out of the final exam (and have a cumulative quiz grade of above 60). Performers will follow different guidelines in consultation with instructor.

1. Paper should be 6-8 pp. long (excluding bibliography), and follow the guidelines in MLA or Turabian style manual. Other criteria on writing for the class essays pertain.

2. Paper must be properly documented and have an attached bibliography of at least 2-3 sources NOT read for class, at least one of which must be a primary source or work written by a Chinese before the 20th c. Your selection of sources must be approved by the instructor.

3. Paper must present a clearly developed thesis or argument, supported by source materials listed in the bibliography. The paper should not merely summarize a source or book. It must present your own thinking and interpretation, informed as best as you can by other readings.


Map Knowledge (Consult the Visual Sourcebook section on Geography for assistance). For a blank map,

Be prepared to locate and identify the following on a base map:

1. the borders of contemporary China and the names of the countries bordering China today

2. Rivers: Yellow, Yangzi, Huai, Xi (Hsi or Pearl)

3. Lakes: Poyang, Dongting, Qinghai,

4. Cities: Xi=an (Chang=an), Nanjing, Canton (Guangzhou), Suzhou, Yangzhou, Hangzhou, Lanzhou, Beijing (Peking), Chengdu, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Fuzhou (N.b. cities tend to be located on major waterways)

5. Grand Canal

6. Jiangnan (lower Yangzi valley)

7. Peninsulas: Shandong & Liaodong

8. Taiwan

9. Xinjiang & Tibet

10. Inner China/Outer China

11. Provinces: Any six, including at least one in the north, one in the west, one in the coastal area, and one in the south.

Timeline and Periodization:

Be able to identify the centuries to which these era names refer (consult the Visual Sourcebook, Timeline

Han, Six Dynasties/Period of Division, Sui, Tang (T'ang), Song (Sung), Yuan, Ming, Qing (Ch'ing)


Electronic Reserves (Course password in ming)

Folder E-Text in 11 chapters:

1. Conrad Schirokauer, "China During the Song: 960-1279"

2. John King Fairbank, "The Paradox of Song China and Inner Asia"

3. Valerie Hansen, "The Mongols"

4. F. W. Mote, "Zhu Yuanzhang Builds his Ming Dynasty"

5. F. W. Mote, "The Second Founding of the Ming Dynasty"

6. F. W. Mote, "The Maritime Borders of Eastern China"

7. F. W. Mote, "Late Ming Political Decline, 1567-1627"

8. Jonathan Spence, "The Late Ming"

9. J. Spence, "The Manchu Conquest"

10. Spence, "Chinese Society and the Reign of Qianlong"

11. Spence, "China and the Eighteenth-Century World"

Folder Ebrey, from Chinese Civilization, A Sourcebook, ed. P. B. Ebrey:

"Family Instructions"

"On Farming"

"Wang Anshi, Sima Guang, and Emperor Shenzong"

"Proclamations of the Hongwu Emperor"

"Widows Loyal Unto Death"

"Commercial Activities,""Concubines"

"Commercial Activities,""

"Lan Dingyuan's Casebook

Folder Sources, from Sources of Chinese Tradition, vol. 1, 2nd edn., comp. Wm. Theodore De Bary & Irene Bloom:

"Proclamation of Instructions" and "The Lü Community Compact," 748-754

"Xu Heng and Khubilai Khan" 764-767, 774-779

"The Wang Yangming School" & "Li Zhi: Arch-Individualist," 855-874.

"Meritorious Deeds at No Cost," 911-916.

"The Practical Learning of Lü Kun," 888-888, 892-899.

From Sources of Chinese Tradition, vol. 2, 2nd edn.:

"Hong Liangji on China's Population Problem," 172, 173-176.

"Lu Liang' Radical Orthodoxy," 18-19, 22-24; Wang Fuzhi, "The Preservation of Chinese Political and Cultural Integrity," 34-35; "Gong Zizhen's Reformist Vision," 179-183.

Folder Spence Documents, from The Search for Modern China, A Documentary Collection:

"Two Edicts on the Wearing of Hair," "The Seige of Jiangyin," "Yongzheng's Edict on Changing the Status of the Mean People," 69-79; "Macartney's Audience with Qianlong," "Macartney's Description of China's Government," "Qianlong's Rejection of Macartney's Demands" 98-109.

Folder Articles & Chapters:

Rashid Al-Din (13th c), The Successors of Genghis Khan (translated from the Persian by John A. Boyle), 240, 270-278.

Marco Polo, The Travels. 111, 118-137.

Guan Hanqing, "Rescuing One of the Girls," in An Anthology of Chinese Literature, ed. & trans. Stephen Owen, 746-770.

Joseph Fletcher, "China and Central Asia," in John K. Fairbank, ed., The Chinese World Order, 206-216.

Arthur Waldron, "The Problem of the Great Wall of China", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 43.2 (1983), 643-63. (JSTOR)

Pu Songling (1640-1715), "A Chivalrous Woman," "Precious," "Miss Yan," "Ghost-Girl Wanxia." Strange Tales from Make-Do Studio, 106-115, 116-124, 205-211, 398-406.

Cynthia Brokaw, "Supernatural Retribution and Human Destiny," in Donald S. Lopez, Jr., ed., Religions of China in Practice, 423-236.

Derk Bodde & Clarence Morris, Law in Imperial China, Exemplified by 190 Ch'ing Dynasty Cases, cases # 89 & 133, pp. 272-275, 288-290.

Valerie Hansen, "Understanding the Gods," in Changing Gods in Medieval China, 48-78.

Wu Jingzi (Ching-tzu), The Scholars (Rulin waishi), ch. 2 & 3, 15-39, & ch. 48, 526-535.

William Lavely and R. Bin Wong, "Revising the Malthusian Narrative: The Comparative Study of Population Dynamics in Late Imperial China," Journal of Asian Studies 57:3 (August 1998), 714-741 (JSTOR).

"Selected Short Works by Wang Duanshu (1621-after 1701)" and "Two Biographies by Zhang Xuecheng (1738-1801)" in Under Confucian Eyes, Writings on Gender in Chinese History, ed. Susan Mann & Y. Cheng.

John Lee, "Trade and Economy in Preindustrial East Asia, c. 1500-1800: East Asia in the Age of Global Expansion," Journal of Asian Studies, 58:1 (Feb. 1999), 2-22. (JSTOR)

Paper Guidelines for HIST 161
Papers for this course are due on : Due 1/31, 2/28, 4/2, 4/28
Look ahead now at your calendar and see if you are likely to have other assignments due on the same day. If so, speak to me at least ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE about the due date. The second paper MUST be turned in before spring break, however, so pay close attention to your schedule around that time.

Papers should be typed using 11 or 12 pt font, 1" margins, double-spacing and no extra spaces between paragraphs. They should be 4-5 pages in length.

Papers must have a title: Short, informative, or witty (but not slangy or goofy or obcene, please). Choose your style.


Style & Organization:
Please use "Orthodox English," i.e., not instant message vernacular, correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Papers should have an introduction, middle section that develops your points or argument, and a conclusion.

Paragraphs: Break up the text on a page by dividing your paper into paragraphs, each with a topic sentence. Make sure your paragraphs follow one another in a logical order, with transitions from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next. It's hard on the eyes to read a page of solid text, undivided into units we call paragraphs.

Verbs: As a historian, I am a tremendous fan of active voice verbs. PLEASE TRY TO AVOID the passive voice and try to cut down on stative "to be" verbs (is/was/were). If you are not sure what this means, TELL ME! I have a short quick website just for you.

Content: The heart of the matter (i.e., pith)
Whatever topics or questions I assign for each paper, these essays should seek to evaluate, compare, or contrast a variety of sources read and discussed in class. From this evaluation you should attempt to define a point or argument that you want to make in response to the question or topic posed. The essays should therefore reflect your growing understanding of issues and materials old and new. You may adopt a standpoint in your 3rd essay that completely reverses a position you took in the first essay, for example.

Using quotations:
To defend, illustrate, or demonstrate your point, do quote from your sources (but quote from primary sources only), in a strategic rather than effusive manner. Quote to bolster an argument or bring your point to life and make your essay more vivid and compelling to the reader. Do not quote to use up paper space. Quotes should be short (if longer than three lines, please indent and single-space–or block-- the quote) and you must provide a source reference; in parantheses at the end of the quote (Ebrey, Sources, p. x) is fine and easier than using a foot- or endnote.

Paraphrasing rather than quoting:
Applies when you are providing general or specific information on a subject that you have read in one of your sources (such as the E-Text or Kuhn). It is best to paraphrase modern scholars, like Eastman or Kuhn or the authors of the E-Text, unless you are using a quotation from a primary source that they cite. In that instance, your reference note should read: (as quoted in Mote, p.x.). It is suitable to quote a modern scholar IF you are taking issue with something s/he has written.

Paraphrases, like quotations, must be attributed (use a source note).

Be careful when paraphrasing to avoid any semblance of the original language: people get sued these days for paraphrases deemed too close in wording to the original.

Closing words of advice: In all things, strive for specificity and brevity!!

Essay 2, Due February 28 in Class

Choose one question and write an essay of 4-5 pages in response, drawing upon all readings as appropriate, assigned through Wed. Feb. 26. Please indicate which question you are responding to in your first paragraph. The essay asks you to engage in analysis of the primary source documents we have read and disucussed; how you interpret and use them will reflect your grasp of the other readings (E-Text, articles by modern scholars). But your essay should be driven by your interpretation of the primary sources. Quote from them, paraphrase the other readings; use brief paranthetical reference notes for both quotes & paraphrases.

E.g., refer to primary sources by the document or story/play title ("Biography of Zhu Jiefu" "Precious" "Golden Eel") or by author's name if known (Zhang Han, Empress Xu, Pu Songling. Guan Hanqing). Ebrey includes several documents under "Commercial Activities" – Please cite individual document titles! Reference other readings by the author's last name and page number(s): (Mote, 719; Bray, 35). Give page number for quotes!

1. Hongwu's vision for his new Ming dynasty embraced a rustic idyll of scattered, self-sufficient villages inhabited by industrious folks minding their manners and paying their taxes to respected unit chief. How did the real landscape of China in the 14th century and later Ming diverge from this agrarian ideal? In what ways did the progressive commercialization of Ming society challenge and shape the Confucian social order? How did commerce & technology (in Bray's use of the word) change people's lives? In what ways do the primary sources reveal people's adaptations to these changes, to their perceptions of opportunity or danger in them?

2. Analyze the effectiveness of literary sources as documents of social and cultural history, in the context of the other primary source documents we have read. Drawing upon Guan Hanqing's play ("Rescuing One of the Girls), Feng Menglong's naturalistic stories (translated by McLaren), and Pu Songling's ghost tales, discuss what these literary productions can tell us about the changing world of 14th-17th cc. China. What audiences are the authors trying to reach, and why? What common themes emerge? What kinds of people do the authors write about? What problems or anxieties do they (the characters) wrestle with? What do the resolutions of those problems reveal about social mores & social change? Possible themes or issues to focus you analysis on include: justice, gender identity, fate and human will, commoditization of society, etc.


Choose one question and write a 4-5 page essay that is based on your interpretation of primary source documents (including Spence's Emperor of China). Even if you use mainly sources from the 16th-17th centuries, you are encouraged to recall and reevaluate earlier sources as relevant.
PLEASE REVIEW the guidelines for writing papers and my comments on your previous essay.

1. Chinese writers and officials, especially of the latter part of the Ming dynasty, were very concerned with the self, its fulfillment, and the dilemmas of living fully in their society. Explore these themes in works of Wang Yangming and his chief disciples, Wang Ji & Wang Gen; Yuan Huang, Li Zhi, and Lü Kun. What do these thinkers have in common? How do they differ? Be sure to take into consideration the circumstances of their lives, when they lived (who or what they might have been reading and discussing), etc.

2. If we compare the fall of the Ming to the fall of the Tang dynasty (officially 907, Song reunified China in 960s-970s), or the earlier Han (formally in 220 CE, Sui reunified China in 589), we are struck by the relative rapidity with which the Manchus reestablished (and gradually expanded) a unified Chinese empire in the 17th century. In other words, during the Ming-Qing dynastic transition, however traumatic the Manchu conquest, China did not fall apart into competing regional states as in earlier centuries. Why not? What accounts for the remarkable degree of cohesion achieved by Chinese society by the 17th c.? Identify three factors and show, using the primary sources we have read, how they functioned to promote the integration and cohesiveness of this vast, sprawling and diverse society.

You can use any sources from the Song to Ming period or early Qing period, e.g., the late Ming source we read in week one, "Family Instructions," to support your argument. (That source gives you a clue to one factor that I would identify!)

3. Kangxi as a Chinese/Qing monarch: how did Kangxi conceptualize his identity as a Manchu and as a Chinese emperor, in contrast to his subjects and his Han Chinese predecessors (notably the Ming emperors)? How, in his view, should a good ruler behave, conduct affairs, and relate to his subjects? Does he live up to his own standards? Who or what does Kangxi reveal to be the important influences on his maturation as a monarch?

Use Spence's reconstructed autobiography, including the letters from Kangxi to his favority eunuch written in 1697, in Appendix A.

ESSAY 4 DUE Tuesday April 29, by noon.

Choose ONE of the following and write an essay or 4-5 pp. Your essay must have a title, page numbers, and brief but precise source citations (short title of source and page number).

1. Meaning of Justice: How did commoners and elites define or think about "justice" or "fairness"in 16th-18th cc. China? How did ideas vary according to class (wealth, degree of education, official status), gender, position in the family, or geographic region? What happened when justice was violated? How was restitution to be made? [Suggestions: Consider what virtues were associated with justice, and what vices with its transgression; the relationship between religious conceptions and ideas about justice; and what literary sources tell us about popular and elite ideas about justice.]

Base your essay on an analysis of sources assigned since April 4 (Yongzheng's Edict on the Status of Mean People, The Scholars, the excerpts from the Qing code, Lan Dingyuan's Casebook, Pu Songling's "A Chivalrous Woman") as well as the discussion in Kuhn's Soulstealers and Hansen's "Understanding the Gods." Use at least three or four primary sources in developing your argument, at least two of which should come from the above reading. You may also use primary sources from earlier in the course. Please keep focussed on the idea of justice, but be careful NOT to impose a Euro-American notion of justice on the Chinese materials.

2. Dealing with Stress: Despite the brilliance of Qianlong's reign – as era of relative peace and prosperity -- the "long 18th century" in China saw a growth in social tensions and insecurity across the spectrum of society, as Kuhn describes in his analysis of the soulstealing scare of 1768. In responding to these tensions and insecurities, how did Chinese of different social classes (with vastly different access to "social power") try to secure their livelihood, protect or raise their status, or ward off danger and misfortune? What resources or strategies (cultural, religious, economic, social, political, etc.) were they able to draw upon to cope with the world in which they lived? Discuss at least 4 specific examples, and their differences and similarities.

Base your essay on an analysis of the sources assigned since April 4 (see above). Use at least three or four primary sources in developing your argument.

3. Chinese political culture: What kinds of pressures and frustrations did Qing monarchs have to deal with in governing? What kinds of pressures and frustrations did bureaucrats juggle in the performance of their duties? What made an official successful? How did the activist Qing monarch attempt to reconcile tensions between the throne and officials to achieve his goals? How successful was he? Kuhn argues that the Qing bureaucracy was able to blunt the full force of the autocrat's intervention in government. Do you agree?

Base your essay on Kuhn's analysis of the soulstealing scare of 1768, and relevant primary source documents (use at least three). You may also cite Spence's book about Kangxi to support your argument (but it should not dominate your essay).

HIST 161 Final Examination Review Sheet

Exam: Wednesday, May 7, 6:30, RMB 109. All research papers due at that time!

I. Be ready to identify and explain the significance of any of the following, from which I will select five for the exam: This part of the exam will be closed book, and must be turned in before you start the essay.
1. Queue
2. Wu Sangui
3. Hongli (Qianlong)
4. Lan Dingyuan
5. Zhu Xi
6. Jiangnan
7. Zheng He
8. jinshi ("presented scholar") degree
9. White Lotus sects
10. Chengde

II. Write a roughly 750-word essay (equivalent to 3 pages typed, or one blue book, writing on every other page & not skipping lines) on one of the following questions. You may bring notes and sources with you to consult.

A. What would you identify as the three most important developments (social, cultural, economic, political, etc.) occuring between the 12th and 18th centuries in China? What makes them significant to the course of Chinese history during this period (or beyond)? Try to be as specific as possible in the developments (trends, innovations, policies, events, etc.) that you identify. Cite evidence to support your argument.

B. You are a Chinese interpreter attached to Macartney's mission, working alongside (and no doubt keeping an eye on) the French Jesuit missionaries assigned to translate for the mission. You are very curious about these strange Englishmen, but also slightly put off by their air of superiority. One evening you and the mission artist, Mr. William Alexander, fall into a conversation after sharing some rice wine. He asks if you would like to travel abroad. You end up telling him the three reasons why Chinese civilization is superior to any other (you are vague on the comparison because you know so little about these "men from across the ocean" but are sure they are up to no good, traipsing about the globe this way), but also confide your concerns that several serious problems face the country, which the government has not yet effectively managed to solve and may never be able to. You cite a number of examples to illustrate your case. Mr. Alexander falls to sketching busily....

(Identify three basic strengths and two weaknesses of Chinese society in the late imperial period. Be as specific as you can, and cite evidence to illustrate your case.)

C. What do the position of women in Chinese society and the various attitudes expressed about them (by men and women) over the centuries tell us about larger historical changes (socio-economic, political, etc.) occuring over the late imperial period (12th-18th cc.) era? Identify three kinds of attitudes or views about women (they may be complementary and /or contradictory), how & by whom they were articulated, and how those views relate to changes or trends afoot in the society at large.