Historical Geography Research ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (1): 73-89.

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The Operation of the Quota System in Qing Dynasty: Focus on Ting, Feixian, Sub-Counties and Sub-Prefectures

Liang Zhiping   

  1. College of Marxism, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai 201418, China
  • Received:2021-03-29 Online:2022-02-20 Published:2022-07-08


In the Qing Dynasty, the imperial examinations were carried out through schools. The allocation of the quota was also the allocation of the state’s political resources and power in county-level administrative regions. There were various local administrative divisions, including not only prefectures and counties, but also Ting, Feixian (abolished county), sub-counties and sub-prefectures. However, according to the regulation, non-prefecture or non-county area was not allowed to set up schools. Through statistics and case analysis, this paper points out that in order to ensure a certain number of grassroots gentlemen and to reduce the over quota in different regions, a modified policy of establishing schools at the level of Ting and townships in former Feixian, as well as sub-counties and sub-prefectures, was adopted. To conclude, the Quota System seemed to be rigid but flexible in operation at the local level. Through appropriate adaptations, the effective distribution of national political resources and power in local areas was ensured.

Key words: Qing Dynasty, quota, Ting school, township school, sub-counties and prefectures

CLC Number: 

  • K928