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Fighting Famine in North China : State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s-1990s - Lillian M. Li

Fighting Famine in North China

State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s-1990s

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This monumental work provides a new perspective on the historical significance of famines in China over the past three hundred years. It examines the relationship between the interventionist state policies of the eighteenth-century Qing emperors (“the golden age of famine relief”), the environmental and political crises of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (when China was called “the Land of Famine”), and the ambitions of the Mao era (which tragically led to the greatest famine in human history). In addition to a wide array of documentary sources, the book employs quantitative analysis to measure the economic impact of natural crises, state policies, and markets. In this way, the theories of Qing statesmen that have received much attention in recent scholarship are linked to actual practices and outcomes. Using the Zhili-Hebei region as its focus, the book also reveals the unusual role played by the institutions and policies designed to ensure food security for the capital, Beijing.

Industry Reviews

"Li's book makes an important contribution to the study of famine and Chinese economic history ... Li's work is truly monumental for the study of China's famine and famine fighting." - Yixin Chen, Chinese Historical Review "Li's work deserves the serious attention of those who are interested in understanding how emperors, leaders, and civil societies in China, especially in North China, have dealt with natural catastrophes and famines in the last three hundred years ... [T]he book provides a comprehensive examination on factors that might have contributed to food shortage or famine during the long period from the 1690s ti the 1990s." - Guanzhong James Wen, China Review International "This is an extraordinary monograph, one that will long remain the definitive account of a most challenging issue - the long-term problem of human sustenance on the northeast China plain." - CHOICE "In this long-awaited book Lillian Li offers us a masterful account of three centuries of environmental and socio-economic history in one of the core regions of China Li's achievement is especially noteworthy when we consider the multiplicity of variables she addresses with equal thoroughness and clarity and combines into a convincing narrative of ever-mounting problems and tensions. Certainly Li's monumental work is a must-read for present-day planners and decision-makers." - EH.NET "People have been looking forward to this book for a long time; the wait was worth it. Lillian Li's Fighting Famine in North China: State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s-1990s is as close to a definitive account of efforts to prevent and relieve famine in North China as we are likely to get for quite some time It goes well beyond the mid-Qing to consider both the century of North China's worst famines and the efforts of the last few decades that seem, for now, to have banished famine from China." - Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

List of Tablesp. xi
List of Figuresp. xiii
List of Maps and Photographsp. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
"Heaven, Earth, and Man" in North Chinap. 13
History of the Hai River Systemp. 15
The Hai River Basin of North Chinap. 20
Climate of the Hai River Basinp. 24
Historical Climatep. 27
Floods, Droughts, and Disastersp. 30
The Local Records and Social Consequences of Disastersp. 34
Conclusionp. 36
Managing the Rivers: Emperors as Engineersp. 38
Kangxi and the Yongding Riverp. 41
Yongzheng, Prince Yi, and a Comprehensive Planp. 44
Qianlong and Routinizationp. 50
Jiaqing: Heroic Hydraulicsp. 56
Daoguang: Earnest Effortsp. 62
Fin-de-siecle Floodsp. 66
Local Initiativesp. 68
Emperors, Bureaucrats, and Ecologyp. 71
Population, Agriculture, and Foodp. 74
Population and Landp. 75
Land and Agriculture Under Manchu Rulep. 87
Agriculture: Grains and Other Cropsp. 90
Cropping Patterns and Yieldsp. 101
Diet and Standard of Livingp. 105
Not Quite a Malthusian Talep. 109
Food and Pricesp. 111
Long-Term Price Trendsp. 113
Multicropping and Seasonalityp. 120
Natural Crises and Harvestsp. 126
The Copper Coin-Silver Exchange Ratep. 133
Conclusionp. 142
Provisioning Beijingp. 144
Beijing and Grain Tributep. 144
Grain Stipends: Distribution, Timing, and Salesp. 150
Pingtiao and the Beijing Marketp. 155
Social Unrest, Pingtiao, and Soup Kitchensp. 158
Markets, Merchants, and Gendarmeriep. 161
Conclusionp. 164
Storing Grain: Granaries as Solution and Problemp. 166
Granaries in Chinese Historyp. 167
Kangxi-Yongzheng Originsp. 168
Ever-Normal Granaries in the Qianlong Periodp. 169
Ever-Normal Granaries in the Jiaqing and Daoguang Periodsp. 176
Community and Charity Granariesp. 180
External Grain Suppliesp. 185
Conclusionp. 190
Markets and Pricesp. 196
Market Integration Within Zhilip. 198
Price Integration with Other Regionsp. 214
Conclusionp. 217
Famine Relief: The High Qing Modelp. 221
Famine Investigationp. 223
General Reliefp. 225
Grain Versus Cash/Millet Versus Sorghump. 226
Soup Kitchensp. 228
Pingtiaop. 229
Tax Remissionsp. 230
Shelters and Famine Refugeesp. 233
1743-1744: Famine Relief Modelp. 236
1759: Disaster Without Reliefp. 241
1761-1763 and Later: Relief with and Without Disasterp. 244
Overall Evaluationp. 246
Famine Relief: Nineteenth-Century Devolutionp. 250
The 1801 Floodp. 250
The 1813-1814 Crisisp. 255
Daoguang Crises and Corruptionp. 262
Midcentury Political Crisisp. 266
The 1871-1872 Floods and the Li Hongzhang Erap. 268
The 1876-1879 North China Faminep. 272
The 1890-1895 Floodsp. 277
Conclusionp. 281
The "Land of Famine," 1900-1949p. 283
1917 and Later Floodsp. 285
The 1920-1921 Drought and International Aidp. 295
The 1928-1930 North China Drought and National Crisisp. 303
Conclusionp. 307
Rural Crisis and Economic Change, 1900-1949p. 310
Famine and Povertyp. 313
Changes in the Economyp. 316
Local Experiencesp. 321
Economic Trendsp. 331
Japanese Aggression, Communist Insurgency, and Rural Povertyp. 335
Conclusionp. 339
Food and Famine Under Socialist Rule, 1949-1990sp. 341
Population, Agriculture, and Grain in Hebeip. 345
Socialism and Subsistence in Hebei, 1949-1958 and Beyondp. 352
The Great Leap Famine, 1959-1961p. 357
Controlling Naturep. 364
Unleashing the Marketp. 371
Regulating the Grain Marketp. 373
Conclusionp. 375
Conclusionp. 377
Reign Periods of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and Use of Datesp. 389
Weights and Measuresp. 391
Glossary (Chinese Characters)p. 393
Appendices
Prefectures and Counties in Zhili Province in Qing Periodp. 399
Datap. 405
Quantitative Methodsp. 413
Abbreviations Used in Notesp. 419
Notesp. 421
Bibliographyp. 483
Gazetteers Listp. 507
Indexp. 509
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780804753043
ISBN-10: 0804753040
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: 1st April 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 1.11