Ch'ing Imperial Marriage and Problems of Rulership

Evelyn S. Rawski

in Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 1991 | ISBN: 9780520069305
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520910454 | DOI:
Ch'ing Imperial Marriage and Problems of Rulership

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This chapter examines the marriages of the Manchu rulers of the Ch'ing dynasty, focusing on those closest to the throne: the sons and daughters of emperors and the emperor himself. The Ch'ing forbade intermarriage between the Manchu rulers and the civil elite of Han Chinese officials, thus using marriage to maintain the distinct identity of their special followers, the Chinese and Manchu bannermen. Whereas the Ch'ing adopted the traditional Han Chinese ritual code for wedding ceremonies, they did not adopt other, perhaps more fundamental, elements of Han marriage practices. In particular, Ch'ing empresses were not as powerful as their counterparts had been in Han Chinese dynasties, because their sons were not the presumptive heirs. The differences in the marriage systems of different dynasties were closely related to differences in their succession practices.

Keywords: Machu rulers; Ch'ing dynasty; marriage; bannermen; Han dynasty

Chapter.  15136 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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