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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - China and the Eighteenth-Century World

4 Pages

Course Code
History 2601E
James Flath

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Spence - Chapter 6 "China and the Eighteenth-Century World" Managing the foreigners - Qing state had no Ministry of Foreign Affairs - relations with non-Chinese conducted by variety of bureaus and agencies, which implied or stated cultural inferiority and geographical marginality of foreigners (while also defending state against them) - Koreans came and mingled freely with Qing scholars - left vivid accounts of social and cultural life in Peking, and political attitudes of Confucian literati - Japanese ceased interaction during late Ming - refuse to acknowledge China's ritual superiority - China felt they were the "central" kingdom - felt other countries were under the power of China - Chinese made little attention to precise information or detailed study of foreign countries - Chinese described other nations as "exotic" or different - described in belittling language - those leaving China to trade or travel were seen as betraying China - Qing uninterested in potential governmental gains made from foreign trade - China reserved absolute right to regulate foreigners trading with China (from location and frequency to smallest details of personnel and goods involved) - Canton system - foreign management - attempt to control foreign trade and increase profits by regulating prices - formed monopolistic guild - "Cohong" - "combined merchant companies" - Hong merchants ordered to stand surety for foreign crews' good behaviour and for payment of transit dues - George Anson - flagship suffered severe storm damage - was presented with numerous administrative hurdles - was refused meeting Qing officials - messages unacknowledged for weeks - charged him outrageous prices for shoddy supplies - refused to allow him to make repairs he wanted - Anson published his alleged mistreatment - was widely circulated and translated - created an anti-Chinese feeling in Britain and in the West - East India Company sent James Flint (company trader who learned Chinese) to present complaints to Qing court concerning restrictions on trade in Canton - emperor appeared willing to talk at first, then changed his mind - had Flint arrested and imprisoned for 3 years for: (1) breaking Qing regulations against sailing to northern ports (2) improperly presenting petitions (3) learning Chinese - European trade restricted to one port - forbidden residence excepting during trading season Oct-Mar - had to deal with Hong merchants - Hong merchants write report for the Hoppo (court-appointed official) - 1770 - Westerners worried of trade deficits that forced hundreds of thousands of silver from them in exchange for silks, porcelain, teas - began to ship opium (grown in India) - passion for tea in Britain and America growing significantly - Lord George Macartney, sent by King George III, to show Chinese court of Western inventions - Lord refused to perform the kowtow - instead went down on 1 knee and bowed (and kissed emperor's hand) - asked Qing for: - British rights of diplomatic residence in Peking - ending of restrictive Canton trading system - opening of new ports for international commerce - fixing of fair and equitable tariffs - Qing refused - needed nothing from Britain Aliens and Chinese law - Lord Macartney got a hold of Qing's legal code - made clear as to what Chinese constitued "the law" - Chinese feared legal systems - heavy wooden pole used to beat confessions out of people - most consequences resulted in execution - "yamen runners" - magistrate's official staff supplemented their meager income with bribes to keep matters quiet - punishment for broken laws applied with filial piety - ex: punished more lighter if it's - father vs son/husband vs wife/older relative vs younger relative - punishments can be commuted for cash - legal system benefits the weathly - scholars who passed lower-level Confucian examinations were exempt from corporal punishment - "baojia" - Qing judicial structure received reinforcement from community mutual- responsbility system - all household supposed to be registered in "bao" and "jia" groups - supervised by "headman" chosen from numbers on a rotation system - headman was to enforce prompt tax payments - communities grew violent b/c no one wanted to serve as headman - all members given responsibility for good ord
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