Chapter

The Responses of Opium Growers to Eradication Campaigns and the Poppy Tax, 1907–1949

Lucien Bianco

in Opium Regimes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780520220096
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924499 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220096.003.0055
The Responses of Opium Growers to Eradication Campaigns and the Poppy Tax, 1907–1949

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This chapter focuses on the cultivators of opium whose livelihoods, and even survival, were directly affected by the state's opium regimes, explaining that growing opium could be a life-saving option for cultivators in bad times and a great boon in good. It notes that suppression and control led to a nightmare of oppressive demands by tax agents, or sometimes both in the same season. The chapter shows that the unevenness with which the state policed the rural sector in the Republican era added to the instability of the relations between them and the high degree of suspicion with which they viewed each other. It narrates that Guomindang campaigns made progress in the 1930s. But the project to rid China of opium—like the larger project which loomed behind it, the consolidation of the central state—remained far from complete when Japan invaded in 1937.

Keywords: opium cultivators; livelihoods; opium regimes; tax agents; rural sector; Republican era; Guomindang campaigns; central state; Japan

Chapter.  11739 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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