Banner Government and Local Control
This chapter uncovers a forgotten history of local agency in the first thirty years after the initial settlement. In this period, Shuangcheng saw the consolidation of both local administration and society. Although the state built the society from the top down, local government developed in response to localized social processes that marked the early years of settlement. These include local identity construction by different waves of migrants, conflicts between metropolitan and rural bannermen, and private cultivation of unassigned land by immigrants. It was not until 1852 that the central government embedded the local administration into the imperial system. This chapter enriches the understandings of local governance and state-society relations by emphasizing that the different interests of state representatives offered savvy settlers multiple channels to appeal to state authority to pursue their interests.
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