Stretching the Qing Bureaucracy in the 1826 Sea-Transport Experiment

Stretching the Qing Bureaucracy in the 1826 Sea-Transport Experiment

2019 | ISBN: 900438457X | English | 206 pages | PDF | 3 MB

In a new study of the Qing government's 1826 experiment in sea transport of government grain in response to the collapse of the Grand Canal (1825), Jane Kate Leonard highlights how the Daoguang Emperor, together with Yinghe, his chief fiscal adviser, and Qishan, Governor-General of Liangjiang, devised and implemented this innovative plan by temporarily stretching the Qing bureaucracy to include local "assistant" officials and ad hoc bureaus (ju) and by recruiting (zhaoshang) private organizations, such as merchant shippers, dockside porters, and lighterage fleets. This is significant because it explains how the Qing leadership was able to respond successfully to crises and change without permanently expanding the reach and expense of the permanent bureaucracy.

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