China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
In the 17–18th centuries, Manchuria (Northeast China) experienced large-scale population shifts, which affected the distribution of indigenous groups significantly. This paper discusses these shifts as occurring in three stages:
1) The first stage was closely related to the rise and expansion of the Manchu Jin/Qing state. A considerable part of the Manchu population relocated to the capital area and incorporated into the Eight Banners system. Following this movement, some other groups also moved southward towards the central region of the imperial state.
2) The second stage was caused by Russian movement toward the Amur basin. Threatened by Russian adventurers, most indigenous populations moved southward to settle in the Sungari-Non (Nen) River basin. The Qing government constructed several military bases in northern Manchuria and deployed Eight Banners garrisons to staff them. Some of these forces were called back from China proper, while many of these garrison troops consisted of indigenous peoples.
3) After the conflict with Russia was settled by the Treaty of Nerchinsk, the Qing state ‘s war against the Dzungars, induced the third stage of population shift. The government moved many Eight Banner troops to Mongolia. On the other hand, various ethnic groups flowed from Mongolia into Manchuria as refugees or captives.