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II. Réglementer l'espace – Regulating Space

Space and Place in Administrative Military Regulations of Qing China: An Evaluation of the Legal Type of Zeli

L’espace et le lieu dans les réglementations de l’administration militaire à l’époque des Qing : une évaluation des zeli comme genre juridique
清代軍事管理規範的空間與地域:一種法律類型“則例”的演變
Ulrich Theobald
p. 183-206

Abstracts

The present article analyses three sets of regulations for military administration during the high Qing period. They belong to the genre of zeli, a type of regulations largely neglected by modern scholars. The first part of this paper therefore defines the genre and describes its features. In the second part, the War Supplies and Expenditure Regulations (Junxu zeli) are discussed, and in the third the Weapons and Military Equipment Regulations (Junqi zeli) of the Ministry of War and that of the Ministry of Works. It will be shown that superficially all three provided clear and detailed rules for a wide range of aspects of military administration and organization. Space and place played important roles in the instructions (e.g. where troops were marching to, or where a garrison was located). Yet in practice, they allowed sufficient leeway to adapt to local conditions and permitted a great measure of autonomy. The reason was that all three codes mainly aimed at cutting expenditure, not at unifying the armament or equipment. The failure of unifying the equipment and modernizing the regulations in the early 19th century had fatal consequences.

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Text / excerpt

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Outline

The legal genre of zeli “regulations and precedents”
The War Supplies and Expenditure Regulations (Junxu zeli)
The Weapons and Military Equipment Regulations (Junqi zeli)
Conclusions

Text / first lines

Between 1680 and 1780 the Qing empire vastly expanded its territory by military conquest. In the course of several long-lasting campaigns it had turned out that, for the sake of smoother administration and cutting expenditure, a ‘nationwide’ arrangement of military regulations was necessary. The compilers of such regulations aligned those of various provincial ones that in some cases differed substantially from each other. In the War Supplies and Expenditure Regulations (Junxu zeli) and the two Weapons and Military Equipment Regulations (Junqi zeli and Gongbu junqi zeli) such standardization was brought about by evening out conflicts between local norms.

This article shows under what conditions these regulations came into being and how the compilers unified differing local arrangements to create normative rules for special administrative purposes (zeli). It will be demonstrated that in spite of all attempts at standardization with respect to allowances for troops and persons working ...

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References

Electronic reference

Ulrich Theobald, « Space and Place in Administrative Military Regulations of Qing China: An Evaluation of the Legal Type of Zeli », Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident [Online], 40 | 2016, Online since 21 November 2018, connection on 29 June 2017. URL : http://extremeorient.revues.org/624

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About the author

Ulrich Theobald

MBA (2002), Ph.D. (2009), is a lecturer for Chinese history and classical Chinese at the Department of Chinese and Korean Studies at Tübingen University, Germany. He published the book War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China : A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771-1776), edited Money in Asia (1200-1900) : Small Currencies in Political and Social Contexts, and wrote several articles on labour relations, corruption, border peoples and Chinese empresses. He is co-editor of the journal East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, and publisher of the online encyclopaedia ChinaKnowledge.de, with hundreds of articles on Chinese history and literature.
MBA en 2002 et docteur en 2009 est lecteur d’histoire chinoise et de chinois classique au Département d’études chinoises et coréennes de l’Université de Tübingen, en Allemagne. Il a publié le livre War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China : A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771-1776), édité Money in Asia (1200-1900) : Small Currencies in Political and Social Contexts, et écrit différents articles sur les relations de travail, la corruption, les gens des marges et les impératrices chinoises. Il est le co-rédacteur en chef du journal East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, et l’éditeur de l’encyclopédie en ligne ChinaKnowledge.de, avec des centaines d’articles sur l’histoire et la literature chinoise.

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Copyright

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