UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The art of being dominated : strategies for interacting with the state in Ming-dynasty Liaodong, 1449-1618 Ma, Zoudan


Focusing on Liaodong, a military region in Ming-dynasty China (1368-1644), this thesis examines some of the strategies the local population deployed to manage the imposition of the state. The argument is that, whether in dealing with tax obligations, labour services, or conflict resolutions, the military households in Liaodong were able to employ a wide range of strategies to “work the system to their minimum disadvantage”. The strategies examined not only demonstrate the ability of the Ming population to thrive under the domination of the Ming state but also indicate the vitality and resourcefulness of the Liaodong society. This thesis thus complements existing scholarship on other parts of China and adds to our understanding of state-society relations in the Ming dynasty.

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