The Founding of Shuangcheng Society
By examining the entire process of Shuangcheng settlement—from site selection, residence planning, settler recruitment, to final settlement—this chapter offers one of the first detailed studies of a government planning of a migrant society. While previous studies treat the Qing state as a passive figure in the frontier settlement in Manchuria, this chapter provides evidence of the Qing state’s active participation in and capacity for planning and settling a frontier. The chapter highlights one important strategy used by the state: during the settlement stage, the state eliminated existing social organizations among the settlers by scattering households from the same place of origin or same descent group among different villages. This boundary-clearing procedure provided a foundation for the state to build a two-tier hierarchy with metropolitan bannermen at the top and rural bannermen on the bottom.
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