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Author Zhang, Lawrence, author
Title Power for a price : the purchase of official appointments in Qing China / Lawrence Zhang
Imprint Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Asia Center, 2023
book jacket
1 copy ordered for Modern History Library on 04-12-2022.
1 copy ordered for Fu Ssu-Nien Library on 05-04-2022.
Descript pages cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Series Harvard East Asian monographs; 456
Harvard East Asian monographs ; 456
Note Includes bibliographical references and index
General Principles -- Personnel Management -- Silver Revenue -- Climbing the Ladder -- Family Strategy -- Imperial Assent -- The Critical Response -- Conclusion: Historian's Hindsight
"The Qing-dynasty office purchase system (juanna), which allowed individuals to pay for appointments in the government, was regarded in traditional Chinese historiography as an inherently corrupt and anti-meritocratic practice. The institution enabled participants to become civil and military officials while avoiding the competitive government-run examination systems. Zhang's groundbreaking study, based on examination of a broad selection of new archival and other printed evidence-including a list of over 10,900 purchasers of offices from 1798-and narratives of purchase, contradicts this assessment through investigation of how observers and critics of the system, past and present, have informed this now widely held but questionably negative view. The author argues that, rather than seeing purchase as a last resort for those who failed to obtain official appointments via other means, office purchase was a preferred method for wealthy and well-connected individuals to leverage their social capital to the fullest extent. Office purchase was thus not only a useful device for raising funds for the state, but also became a political tool that tied the official elites' interests ever more closely to those of the state through literal investments in their positions and their potential to secure status and power"-- Provided by publisher
Subject Civil service -- China -- History
Political corruption -- China -- History
China -- Officials and employees -- Selection and appointment -- History
China -- Politics and government -- 1644-1912
China -- History -- Qing dynasty, 1644-1912
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