by Lau, Yun-woo

Abstract (Summary)
(Uncorrected OCR) Abstract of thcsis entitled "Factionalism in the Early Ching Period:

Conflict between the Northern and Southern Elite"

Submitted by LAU Yun-woo

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

at the University of Hong Kong in May, 1983

It is the attempt of this thesis to examine the cause and effect of the factional strife between the northern and southern elite in early Ching. The conclusion arrived at is that the far-reaching effect of the conflict between the Tung-Jin party and the Eunuch clique in late Ming is the decisive factor of the factional struggle in the early Ching Dynasty. The tradition of such conflict, however, ?an be traced back to the reign of the Tang and the Sung Dynasty. Chapter I is therefore a brief introduction to the existence and formation of this tradition, and an endeavour to analyse the confrontation betwecn the Tung-lin party and the Eunuch clique. The emphasis is placed more on the ethical values anu moral renewal of the Tung-lin party than on the confrontation itsclL Consequently the effcct of factional connict fermented and disseminated. The polit ical disturbanc\.:s in \.:arly Ching are self-explanatory phenomena of this effect.

The overwhelming dominance of the northern elite over the southerners in factional conllict was largely due to the special favour tcndered by Emperors Shun-chill, K'ang-hsi and Yung-cheng. The trend of these emperors' inclination towards the northerners was traced and examined in Chapter 2.

The development of factional strife in the reign of Emperor Shun-chih was outlined in Chapter 3 in connection with the "Methropolitan Examination" (k'o-ch'ang), "Kiangnan tax arrears" (tsou-hsiao) and "Laments in the Temple" (k'u-miao) cases. A logical explanation of the occurrence of these cases is only possible when they are reviewed in the light of factional strife. One of the undisputable outcome of such strife was that the influence and strength of the southerners in the hierarchical professional

statecraft was greatly diminished.

The Po-hsueh examination marked not only a political return of the southerners, especially those of Kiangnan province, but also a renewed confrontation between the northerners and southerners. The confrontation appeared in the form of political struggle as well as in the form of academic refutation over the merits of the Ch'eng-Chu school and the Lu-Wang School and ove the placement of the reign of Southern Ming in. the course of compiling the official history of Ming China. The Po-hsiieh examination by itself is more of political than of academic nature. The defeat of its original purpose is therefore inevitable, and this was studied in Chapter 4.

Chapter 5 is a narration of the entwined struggle between the northern and southern factions as manipulated by the political craftsmanship of Emperor K'ang-hsi. Its adverse effect on the execution of the policy of the Yellow River administration in

this period is also examined.

The factional conflict came to a temporary halt in the reign of Emperor Yungcheng. The surge of the strife ebbed in the face of merciless political purges and suppression. Emperor Yung-cheng's personal prestige and his unwavered determination in this respect are the major factors that bring an ephermeral settlement to the factional conflict in the early Ching Dynasty. An analysis of this development and the value systems of Emperor Yung-cheng, contrary to that of Emperor K'ang-hsi is found

m Chapter 6.

A summation of what has been discussed in the fore-going pages is given in the last chapter.


Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Hong Kong

School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:elite social sciences china politics and government 1644 1912


Date of Publication:01/01/1983

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