Historical Geography Research ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (4): 83-99.

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Local Governance and Conflicting Interests: A Research on Demarcation Disputes Between Shaanxi and Suiyuan in the Early Years of the Republic of China

Wang Han   

  1. Department of History, Suzhou University, Suzhou 215123, China
  • Received:2020-03-07 Online:2020-12-20 Published:2021-01-19


The demarcation of Shaanxi and Suiyuan was an important political event in the adjustments of northwestern provincial boundaries in the early years of the Republic of China. In the course of the whole incident, from the central government and local governments at different levels in Shaanxi and Suiyuan, down to the Ikechao League princes and the local gentry in the disputed areas, the stake-holders made varying appeals from such as the perspectives of national decrees, border security, economic interests in the disputed areas, and decision-making power in grassroots social affairs, to to ask for their own interests. On the border of Mongolia and Shaanxi, the gentry owned the land in the disputed area through the land subscription in the end of Qing Dynasty. The core issue of the demarcation dispute is whether these ownership was still recognized in a new dynasty. In the process of disputes, which lasted for nearly eight years, the central government and local governments, local governments and local governments (both Shaanxi and Suiyuan), local forces and two levels of government competed for their own interests. In the end, the central government gave way to the fait accompli of the Shaanxi side, so the immigrants would not retreat. The local governments and gentry along the border in northern Shaanxi used their prestige and appealed to publicize and guide the people in the disputed area, formed a community of interests, and maintained the “legitimateness” of the right to speak in local social affairs.

Key words: local governance, interest appeal, Shaanxi demarcation, decree change

CLC Number: 

  • K928