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The White Lotus War : rebellion and suppression in late imperial China /
Yingcong Dai.
Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2019]
xxi, 642 pages : maps ; 24 cm
0295745452, 9780295745459, 9780295745466
More Details
Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2019]
contents note
Rebellion, 1796-1797 -- Quagmire, 1797-1798 -- Reform, 1799 -- Reversal, 1800 -- Finale, 1801-1805 -- Regulars and irregulars -- Cost.
"The White Lotus War examines the Qing dynasty's suppression campaign against the White Lotus Rebellion in central China at the turn of the nineteenth century, 1796-1805, marking the end of the Qing golden age and the start of dynastic decline. This study provides detailed accounts and in-depth analyses of the roots and dynamics of the Qing's failure to speedily put down the rebellion. Contrary to common belief in the gravity of the rebellion, it shows that the rebels were far from being able to seriously challenge the Qing and that the major reason the hostilities lasted so long was that the Qing military fought the war halfheartedly and took advantage of the campaign to pursue personal gains, which triggered strife between the throne and military and among military units. The White Lotus war represented a serious political crisis for the Qing, as its central government was no longer able to operate its military machine, which presaged the beginning of disintegration of Qing central power in the mid-nineteenth century. The White Lotus War challenges the assumption that the Qing relied upon local militias and fortification in the countryside to cut supplies and thereby exterminate the rebels. Rather, the Qing's hiring of hundreds of thousands of civilians to aid its operations became a pretext for generals and logistical leaders to misappropriate war funds, resulting in the high cost of the war. The mishandled demobilization of the militiamen then helped prolong the hostilities, when many dismissed troops turned into rebels themselves. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of late imperial and modern Chinese history, and of comparative empires and comparative warfare; the White Lotus war in China immediately preceded the Napoleonic wars in Europe"--
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (pages 481-598) and index.

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