Historical Geography Research ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 67-90.

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New Analysis on the Ranking System of Counties During the Qing Dynasty

Hu Heng   

  1. The Institute of Qing History, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2020-09-09 Online:2021-05-20 Published:2021-05-20

Abstract:

The ranking system of counties first emerged during Yongzheng’s reign, and was generally founded in the 12th year of Qianlong. However, up to 124 adjustments of descriptions and ranks on counties ranks still occurred during the 12th and 43rd year of Qianlong, most of which happened on lower-ranked counties changing into a Zuiyao (most significant) or Yao (significant) ranked ones. In the 43rd year of Qianlong, a new regulation on standardized adjustments of descriptions and ranks was promulgated. Although implemented strictly, many exceptional adjustments were still allowed down to Daoguang’s reign. Changes to description hardly happened during the reigns of Xianfeng and Tongzhi, only to emerge again from the end of Guangxu’s reign to Xuantong’s reign. Provinces had different modes of county distribution, including anti core-edge distribution, core-edge double centered distribution, linear distribution along a river, coastline or transit lines, similar distribution to developed towns, etc. Fuguo(附郭)counties were generally ranked higher than others in 1911, except for only 48 cases non-conformative to the rule. Moreover, as Hunan province showcases, ranks of counties were not in accordance with commercial benefits for the county magistrate.

Key words: county-level administrative regions, Chong-Fan-Pi-Nan System, fuguo counties, description on counties according to commercial benefits

CLC Number: 

  • K928