This book analyzes the implementation of the so called “prohibition policy” (fengjin zhengce 封禁政策) of Manchuria during the first half of Qing dynasty (1644-1795), as well as its impact on society, economy, and the administrative system of the region. The term "prohibition policy" usually refers to the measures taken by the Qing court to restrict or prohibit the migration of Han Chinese people to the rulers’ motherland and their utilization of its resources. In a broader sense, though, it encompasses the attitudes and policy development of the Qing sovereigns towards the migration and development of the Han population in Manchuria. After the Manchus took control of the North China plain, the majority of the population moved from Liaodong to China proper. Consequently, Manchuria, both the homeland of the rulers and a frontier area, presented a desolate landscape with "fertile lands extending for thousands of miles, but with no one to cultivate them". From this point onward, in governing Manchuria, the Qing suzerains exhibited a contradictory mindset. On one hand, they aimed to fully utilize the region’s resources, increase its population while restoring agricultural production and strengthen defenses against the neighbouring powers of the Tsarist Empire and the Dzungars. On the other hand, they were concerned about the influx of too many Han Chinese, which would lead to the usurpation of the local Eight Banners’ properties and the impact of Han culture on the traditional Manchu customs. The rulers’ conflicting mindset resulted in the contradictory and unstable nature of their policies. The work takes the issuance of the "Regulation for People Recruitment and Land Reclamation in Liaodong" in 1653 ― the beginning of the migration of Han people from the empire’s interior regions to the Northeast ― as a starting point. It explores the evolution of policies adopted by emperors Shunzhi, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong addressing Manchuria’s population, society, and administrative system, with particular emphasis on the rationales behind policy changes and adjustments. The research topic has not received in Western scholarship the attention it deserves. Chinese academia, on the other hand, has conducted indepth and systematic research, yielding more fruitful results. However, generally speaking, there are still significant controversies in certain aspects, and well as many details and key points which need further exploration. More specifically, most accounts from previous research tend to interpret the evolution of the said policies as a linear progression, which after the ceasing of the settler recruitment manoeuver, switched to a reluctant approach toward the migratory phenomena, then gradually evolved along this direction and culminated in the official prohibition of immigration decreed by emperor Qianlong in 1740. This book shows otherwise. Due to different historical contexts and the varying attitudes of monarchs from different eras, the policies of prohibition and opening of Manchuria to Han migration in the first half of the Qing Dynasty underwent a far more complex evolutionary process, characterized by multiple adjustments, changes, reconsiderations and even reversals.

La piccola muraglia Apertura e interdizione della Manciuria ai cinesi all'epoca dei primi Qing (1644-1795)

Agostino Sepe
2024-01-01

Abstract

This book analyzes the implementation of the so called “prohibition policy” (fengjin zhengce 封禁政策) of Manchuria during the first half of Qing dynasty (1644-1795), as well as its impact on society, economy, and the administrative system of the region. The term "prohibition policy" usually refers to the measures taken by the Qing court to restrict or prohibit the migration of Han Chinese people to the rulers’ motherland and their utilization of its resources. In a broader sense, though, it encompasses the attitudes and policy development of the Qing sovereigns towards the migration and development of the Han population in Manchuria. After the Manchus took control of the North China plain, the majority of the population moved from Liaodong to China proper. Consequently, Manchuria, both the homeland of the rulers and a frontier area, presented a desolate landscape with "fertile lands extending for thousands of miles, but with no one to cultivate them". From this point onward, in governing Manchuria, the Qing suzerains exhibited a contradictory mindset. On one hand, they aimed to fully utilize the region’s resources, increase its population while restoring agricultural production and strengthen defenses against the neighbouring powers of the Tsarist Empire and the Dzungars. On the other hand, they were concerned about the influx of too many Han Chinese, which would lead to the usurpation of the local Eight Banners’ properties and the impact of Han culture on the traditional Manchu customs. The rulers’ conflicting mindset resulted in the contradictory and unstable nature of their policies. The work takes the issuance of the "Regulation for People Recruitment and Land Reclamation in Liaodong" in 1653 ― the beginning of the migration of Han people from the empire’s interior regions to the Northeast ― as a starting point. It explores the evolution of policies adopted by emperors Shunzhi, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong addressing Manchuria’s population, society, and administrative system, with particular emphasis on the rationales behind policy changes and adjustments. The research topic has not received in Western scholarship the attention it deserves. Chinese academia, on the other hand, has conducted indepth and systematic research, yielding more fruitful results. However, generally speaking, there are still significant controversies in certain aspects, and well as many details and key points which need further exploration. More specifically, most accounts from previous research tend to interpret the evolution of the said policies as a linear progression, which after the ceasing of the settler recruitment manoeuver, switched to a reluctant approach toward the migratory phenomena, then gradually evolved along this direction and culminated in the official prohibition of immigration decreed by emperor Qianlong in 1740. This book shows otherwise. Due to different historical contexts and the varying attitudes of monarchs from different eras, the policies of prohibition and opening of Manchuria to Han migration in the first half of the Qing Dynasty underwent a far more complex evolutionary process, characterized by multiple adjustments, changes, reconsiderations and even reversals.
2024
978-88-6719-294-6
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14091/11902
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