Offering a comparison with Yunnan, a southwestern region of the Qing Empire which also witnessed the native initiation of economic development, this chapter highlights the broader applicability of Xinjiang’s story for understanding the Qing empire: the Eurasian borderland societies, undergoing rapid commercialization since the sixteenth century, were the locus of imperial history, where the success and undoing of Qing empire took place. Also presenting the close parallel between developments in Qing Central Asia and British North India, where the imperial military financing also played a critical role in the expansion of the wealth and power of the “native” capitalists, this chapter illuminates the possibility of a truly coherent history of imperialism and capitalism, one that does not privilege the maritime world and the European vector of expansion, but highlights instead the convergence of political and economic transformations of the world on a global scale from the sixteenth century onward.
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