559 S., Paperback
Chinese Handicraft Regulations of the Qing Dynasty: Theory and Application
In recent years, regulatory texts issued by the central administration and the regional authorities of the Qing dynasty (1644–1922) have increasingly attracted the attention of historians in China and abroad. More and more materials of this type are being rediscovered and reproduced. This calls for a survey of the present research situation: Where are the sources and what research potential do they harbour? The regulations taken under scrutiny in this volume are related to the administration of crafts and transport in the service of the state. Case studies address the organization of building and printing, the manufacture of weapons, casting and distribution of copper cash, hydraulic engineering as well as river and sea transport. How practical and useful were the technical norms? How were the costs for public projects calculated; were the government accounts realistic? In which areas did work conflicts occur, and how were they settled? Could water transport be effectively controlled by the government? These studies are combined with more general considerations on the representation of craft processes, with state-of-the-field analyses of Chinese regulatory texts and of the research situation in European craft history. The volume concludes with a bibliography of the handicraft regulations that have so far been discovered.