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Title: The economy of empire building : wild ginseng, sable fur, and the multiple trade networks of the early Qing dynasty, 1583-1644
Author: Sun, Lin
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This project examines the multiple trade networks of the early Qing period and argues that the early Manchu rulers accumulated wealth from trade in the process of Qing empire formation. Empires come to mean rule over extensive, far-flung territories, far beyond the original 'homeland' of the rulers. The Qing empire was such a case, as it expanded from a tiny town in Northeast Eurasia to Chinese territory where Ming China ruled. This thesis thus sheds new light on the Qing empire from the economic aspect - describing how the Qing rulers, based on the fusion of steppe and agricultural economies, constructed the Qing empire. The time frame covered spans from 1583, when Nurhaci started to embark on internal conflicts with other local Jurchen tribes, to 1644, when the Manchus seized control of Beijing, claiming rulership of China. The thesis builds on the archival sources in Manchu, Mongolian, Chinese, and Korean, as well as contributing to the understanding of the remarkable economic transformation over the course of the Qing empire. Previous academic scholarship in Chinese, Japanese, and English focuses on the bilateral trade connections between Nurhaci and Ming China. The primary aim of this thesis, however, is to counter this scholarship by differentiating between the achievements of Hong Taiji and those of Nurhaci over the course of the early Qing empire building. Additionally, it explores wealth accumulation via the establishment of multiple trade networks that developed during Hong Taiji's reign. These multiple trade networks were centred on two prized goods sourced from the Jurchen territory: wild ginseng and sable fur. These valuable items were crucial sources of income for the Qing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available