China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
This panel addresses the nexus between the establishment of the most successful conquest dynasty in Chinese history and the proliferation of laws, substatutes, administrative regulations and provincial ordinances that constituted a distinct legislative turn in Qing rule. This legislative turn codified practices that addressed taxation, administration, property, commerce, and criminal justice. The eighteenth century was a watershed in legal innovation and research shows that the legislative turn was fraught with complex ideological, political and cultural issues. Our panel will examine the tensions between the preservation of ethnic sovereignty that was critical to Qing rule and the deference to Confucian ideals that informed the Chinese legal heritage. Our panel asks whether this unprecedented accretion of statutes was coincidental or essential to the economic prosperity, social stability and institutional innovation that distinguished the high Qing? Was the legislative turn a predictable outgrowth of the Chinese legal heritage or a melding of Manchu and Han legal norms and institutions? Drawing on his research on the Duli Cunyi, a late nineteenth century exegesis of Qing law, Sun Jiahong provides an overview of the changing contours of Qing legislation. Taking anti-corruption legislation as a case study Nancy Park examines how laws were created under the Qing. Addressing the conflict and eventual integration of Manchu and Han legal practices and norms, Hu Xiangyu examines amnesties and the adjudication of fugitive slave cases in the early and high Qing. Similarly, Thomas Buoye analyzes ideological tensions underlying legislation that reshaped statutory pardons to care for aged parents.