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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of the agrarian policy of the T'ai-p'ing t'ien-kuo Ohanjanian, Aram Haig

Abstract

The purposes of this thesis are to present a study of the agrarian policy of the Taipings as enunciated in the "Land System of the Heavenly Dynasty", to trace, through events during the existence of the T'ai-p'ing t'ien-kuo, salient attitudes toward the agrarian policy and to suggest, so far as possible, the degree to which the policy was successful. To accomplish these purposes in Chapter I and II, I have briefly discussed the ideological sources of the "Land System" - its origin, its nature and its sociological implications. Because there is neither a complete nor satisfactory translation of this document I have included my own translation of it. In Chapter III, I undertake to follow the course of the agrarian policy as it developed and changed during the period of the rebellion. Included in this section are descriptions of these shifts, while possible reasons for their occurrence are also offered. Because there are no Taiping documents dealing in detail with their overall economic policy during the early stages of the rebellion I have included a translation of Chapter 10 of Tsei-ch'ing hui-tsuan, by Chang Te-chien, a contemporary. As a study of the views of mainland Chinese and Soviet historians reveals considerable divergence of opinion on the implementation and intention of the agrarian policy I have included in Chaper V a survey of some of these views.

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