Invaluable and Unique Evidence of Chinese Life, Diplomacy, Trade and Politics
China from Empire to Republic: Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China 1854–1949 provides an excellent primary source collection, mainly in English, for the study of China and its relations with the Imperial West in the late Qing and Republican periods. The records included in this collection-- official correspondence, dispatches, reports, memoranda, and private and confidential letters-- constitute invaluable and often unique evidence of Chinese life, the economy and politics through the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion, the Revolution of 1911, the May 30 Movement, the two Sino-Japanese Wars, and the Chinese Civil War.
The Maritime Customs Service of China (MCS) was an international, although predominantly British-staffed bureaucracy (at senior levels) under the control of successive Chinese central governments from its founding in 1854 until January 1950. It was one of the most important institutions in China during this period, and was at the heart of Chinese trade, communications and international affairs.
This collection aims to provide excellent primary source materials that support Asian Studies and world history studies with a focus on Chinese politics, diplomacy, trade and economy. It will also appeal to scholars researching British imperial history and the history of modern globalization.
Examples of some of the content
- Correspondence – letters to and from the Inspector General, including official and semi-official correspondence and personal and confidential correspondence. Correspondence to/from the Shanghai, Harbin, Swatow and Hankow offices
- Office files – covering subjects policing the river at Shanghai; smuggling; opium and narcotics; Sino-Japanese disputes; personnel
- London Office files – including letter books, files on the organisation and closure of the Office; telegrams to and from the Office, histories of the Office
- Reports – on smuggling and anti-smuggling operations, global financial and economic situations during the Second World War
- Asian Studies
- Business & Economics
- Religion & Philosophy
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