By Jeff Hornibrook
Jeff Hornibrook presents a distinct, microcosmic examine the method of industrialization in a single chinese language neighborhood on the flip of the 20th century. Industrialization got here past due to China, yet used to be finally embraced and hastened to help the state's strategic and army pursuits. In Pingxiang County within the highlands of Jiangxi Province, coalmining used to be seasonal paintings; peasants rented mines from lineage leaders to paintings after the harvest. those traditions replaced in 1896 whilst the courtroom determined that the county's mines have been crucial for industrialization. international engineers and chinese language officers arrived to set up the recent social and fiscal order required for mechanized mining, person who may swap issues for individuals from all degrees of society. The outsiders developed a Westernized manufacturing unit city that sat uneasily in the latest group. Mistreatment of the neighborhood inhabitants, together with the pressured buy of gentry-held homes and the combination of peasants into factory-style exertions schemes, sparked a chain of rebellions that wounded the empire and tore on the textile of the group. utilizing tales present in memoirs of elite chinese language and overseas engineers, correspondence among gentry and robust officers, travelogues of yankee missionaries and engineers, in addition to different resources, Hornibrook deals a desirable background of the social and political results of industrialization in Pingxiang County.
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Extra resources for A Great Undertaking: Mechanization and Social Change in a Late Imperial Chinese Coalmining Community
The elite classes—landlords and the state—failed to gain control of the means of production but were also assured of rental incomes sufficient for their families’ reproduction. Neither the elites nor the nonelites could be coerced to change their strategies employing the market or technological improvements. 3 Moreover, even as external forces increased demand for the country’s manufactures, the transformation from “feudalism” to “capitalism” required the internal changes experienced in England.
On the other hand, Pomeranz’s assumption that easier access to coal would bring about a spark to the economy assumes that China could sustain a dramatic increase in production that emphasized labor-saving and capitalspending schemes that were counter to China’s needs. 93 In all, Chinese markets in bulk goods such as coal were plentiful but not transformative. Western investigators who traveled throughout the empire believed that all the materials were present to penetrate into the empire’s belly and transform the land into a county that supported modern industrial if not capitalist development.
In an entry in the gazetteer, one author explained that tu, or small communities, were organized as lineages and functioned as such: The native tu of Pingxiang each started from its remote ancestor, and his sons and grandsons continued [to live in the area] for generations. Each tu established an ancestral temple and the people of the ten jia gathered once a year to worship their ancestors. Moreover, they investigated comings and goings, and prohibited imposters. Therefore, entering the tu was very difficult.
A Great Undertaking: Mechanization and Social Change in a Late Imperial Chinese Coalmining Community by Jeff Hornibrook