"In this new take on China's early modern history, Peter Lorge presents a fresh overview of the repeated recreation of the Chinese empire through military force. Emphasizing the relationship between the military and politics, and China's power as an empire, Lorge argues that the strength of the territorial claims and political impact of each dynasty were determined primarily by their military capacity rather than by their cultural characteristics." "Using a chronological narrative, War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900-1795 breaks free of the dynastic boundaries that shape much scholarship in this area, focusing instead on the growing power of local elites. This power eventually led to a system of loose central control - to the sacrifice of real, centralized power over local affairs. Ideal for students of military and Asian studies, War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900-1795 is essential reading for anyone interested in the military history of China."--BOOK JACKET.