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1 - Ideology and the Contours of Economic Change

from Part I - 1800–1950

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2022

Debin Ma
Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
Richard von Glahn
University of California, Los Angeles
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When visited by the British trade mission led by Lord George Macartney, who aimed to show off the best of Western trade and technology, the Qianlong Emperor of Qing China was known to have famously replied in 1792, “Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its borders. There is therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our own produce.” Qianlong’s statement came at the height of Qing’s glory, overseeing a remarkable tripling of population and a doubling of territory between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. No single political entity at the time achieved such size in both geography and population under such stability and durability.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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Further Reading

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Zhaoguang, Ge “葛兆光十八世纪中国的盛世危机” (Crisis in China’s Glorious Eighteenth Century), Feb. 19, 2019, Scholar
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Fansen, Wang 王汎森, “戊戌前后思想资源的变化以日本因素为例” (Changes in Intellectual Resources before and after the Hundred Days Reform), 二十一世纪 (Twenty-First Century) 45 (February 1998), 47–54.Google Scholar
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