Chapter

From Divide and Rule to Combine and Count

TONG LAM

in A Passion for Facts

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267862
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950351 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267862.003.0003
From Divide and Rule to Combine and Count

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This chapter offers an overview of how the Qing empire counted different population segments. It argues that the act of counting was a way for the regime to enunciate its authority over a group of people, and a means of gauging how and to what degree a particular group was subjugated to its rule. The chapter also discusses the national census of the late Qing, which took place between 1909 and 1911, and analyzes how this new census represented a drastic departure from its predecessors. The rise of the national census in China was inseparable from the Qing's transformation from a dynastic empire to a nation-state based on the ideas of constitutionalism, popular sovereignty, and secularism.

Keywords: Qing; empire; census; China; nation-state

Chapter.  9979 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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