The Chinese State in Ming Society

The Ming dynasty (l368-l644), a period of commercial expansion and cultural innovation, fashioned the relationship between the present-day state and society in China. In this unique collection of reworked and illustrated essays, one of the leading scholars of Chinese history re-examines this relationship and argues that, contrary to previous scholarship, which emphasized the heavy hand of the state, it was radical responses within society to changes in commercial relations and social networks that led to a stable but dynamic “constitution” during the Ming dynasty. This imaginative reconsideration of existing scholarship also includes two essays first published here and a substantial introduction, and will be fascinating reading for scholars and students interested in China’s development.

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