Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1990.
Book — xii, 364 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
Introduction-- Part I. Notes on Famine in China:
1. Preliminary considerations on natural calamities--
2. The problem of vagrancy--
3. Social unrest--
4. Famine and landlordism-- Part II. Bureaucratic Intervention:
5. Problems of bureaucratic organization--
6. Investigating famine--
7. Providing relief--
8. Supplies: the example of 1743-1744--
9. Controlling prices--
10. Strengthening and rebuilding production-- Part III. Conclusion and perspectives:
11. Introductory remarks--
12. The evolution of the state's economic means--
13. Geographical distribution of famine relief--
14. Recapitulation-- Appendix-- Character list-- Index.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
In the eighteenth century, China experienced massive, unprecedented population growth. By the end of the century, certain Chinese observers began to look at this demographic transformation in such modern terms as over-population, diminishing returns, and pauperization. How, exactly when, and by what mechanisms did the Chinese population undergo what amounts to a historical mutation? The author finds one answer in the brief flowering of statecraft in the eighteenth-century Qing state, which devoted considerable resources to providing a high degree of economic security, ensuring equitable food distribution, and, above all, to successfully combating famine. The focus of the book is a detailed study of the drought-related famine that struck Zhili (now Hebei) province in 1743 and 1744 and of the government's efforts to cope with the disaster. In the process, the author examines the state's financial resources, the patterns of local organization, and the everyday life of the poor, all set within the wider structure of national economic decisionmaking. For this English edition, the author has added some new materials and revised portions of the text to incorporate the results of recent research.<. (source: Nielsen Book Data)