The Imperial System: Durable and Resilient

  • Humphrey Ko


This chapter examines the existential threats to the Chinese imperial ruling system in the nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries. It presents an insight that emerged from this work: that despite the decline of imperial rule, this entrenched bureaucratic system, which was inherited from the previous dynasties and backed up by the military system of the Manchu people, was tougher and more regenerative even in decline than has previously been argued. All challenges were beaten back by the government in Beijing one way or another. This chapter points out that the empire collapsed structurally. That what eventually did demolish the empire was a decentralisation of industrial power and wealth.


Imperial State Legal Reform Imperial Structure Imperial System East India Company 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Humphrey Ko
    • 1
  1. 1.University China CentreOxfordUK

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