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From: H-WEST Coeditor Catherine Lavender <lavender@ucsub.Colorado.EDU> Subject: China & US West (was China as West)
> Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 12:56:53 -0700 (MST) > From: Katherine Morrissey <KMORRISS@napoleon.soc-sci.arizona.edu>
I forwarded the discussion about the comparison of the US West and China to my colleague, James Millward, [Millward@history.arizona.edu] who teaches the History of China and whose work is on Chinese frontiers. He contributes the following to the discussion:
"Lattimore is, of course, the most preeminent source on Chinese frontiers, and much of his work is still useful and thought- provoking. However, those interested should also see Thomas Barfield, _The Perilous Frontier- (Basil-Blackwell), a recent up- dating, reconsideration and slight revision of Lattimore's take on the northern and western frontiers. Other good studies of Chinese / Qing frontiers are Robert H. G. Lee's _The Manchurian Frontier in Ch'ing History_ (Harvard 1970) and John Shepherd's excellent (and comparative) _Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier, 1600-1800_ (Stanford 1993).
"It should be remembered that the nature of "Great Wall Frontier" which preoccupied Lattimore (and many westerners, who tend discuss the Chinese frontier as a timeless feature of Sino-"barbarian" relations) changed dramatically in the 17th century with the rise of the Qing (Manchu) empire. In fact, it was no longer a political frontier. (For an intriguing and iconoclastic discussion of the myth of "the Great Wall" see Arthur Waldron's _The Great Wall of China_ [Cambridge University Press, 1990]). Thereafter, with the Mongol threat permanently taken care of, a process of Han Chinese demographic expansion into Inner Asia began--it continues to this day--with profound and unprecedented implications for the societies, ecology, economy, culture, etc. of the plains, mountains and deserts of Inner Asia. The parallels to the US West of the expanding imperial frontier of the Qing are, to my mind, more poignant than those of earlier periods of Chinese history.
"I have written an article including some of these ruminations, some preliminary discussion of what the U.S. frontier studies historiography can tell scholars of modern China, an introduction to the independent development of "frontier studies" as an area of inquiry in China since the 18th century, and more bibliography. It is entitled "New Perspectives on the Qing Frontier" and is due for spring or summer 1995 publication in a _Remapping China_ (Stanford University Press)."
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