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Protest with Chinese CharacteristicsDemonstrations, Riots, and Petitions in the Mid-Qing Dynasty$
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Ho-fung Hung

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152037

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152037.001.0001

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Riots Into Rebellion, 1776–1795

Riots Into Rebellion, 1776–1795

(p.102) 4 Riots Into Rebellion, 1776–1795
Protest with Chinese Characteristics

Ho-Fung Hung

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the second of the three waves of protest in mid-Qing China. It details the genesis and development of select representative cases of protest in 1776–1795, which were predominantly state resisting. Following the case studies, it discusses how these late-eighteenth-century resistances helped fuel the outbreak of large-scale, sustained armed uprisings, which peaked at the turn of the nineteenth century. In contrast to the 1740s and 1750s, when villagers and city dwellers alike frequently engaged the paternalist and activist state to request intervention or to influence state action to enhance their interests and rights, state-engaging protests declined in the 1776–1795 period. The reason for this decline is that the popular expectation of what the state could do for society slid with the state's falling capacity. Simultaneous to this decline was the rise of state-resisting violence, which could be broken down into three main categories: tax resistance, resistance to state intervention in social conflicts, and outlaws' resistance against state repression.

Keywords:   Chinese protest, Qing dynasty, mid-Qing period, state-resisting protest, tax resistance, state intervention, social conflict, state repression

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