Edward Rhoads explores this provocative and complicated question in Manchus and Han, analyzing the evolution of the Manchus from a hereditary military caste (the �banner people�) to a distinct ethnic group and then detailing the interplay and dialogue between the Manchu court and Han reformers that culminated in the dramatic changes of the early 20th century.
Until now, many scholars have assumed that the Manchus had been assimilated into Han culture long before the 1911 Revolution and were no longer separate and distinguishable. But Rhoads demonstrates that in many ways Manchus remained an alien, privileged, and distinct group. Manchus and Han is a pathbreaking study that will forever change the way historians of China view the events leading to the fall of the Qing dynasty. Likewise, it will clarify for ethnologists the unique origin of the Manchus as an occupational caste and their shifting relationship with the Han, from border people to rulers to ruled.
Winner of the Joseph Levenson Book Prize for Modern China, sponsored by The China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies
Edward J. M. Rhoads is professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of China's Republican Revolution: The Case of Kwangtung, 1895-1913.Winner of the Joseph Levenson Book Prize for Modern China, sponsored by The China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies
The new chapters and updated analyses in this Third Edition reflect recent, relevant court cases dealing with culture, race, gender, religion, and personal status. Drawing on court materials, state and federal legislation, and legal ethnographies, the text analyzes the ongoing tension between, on the one hand, the need of different groups for cultural autonomy and equal rights, and on the other, the necessity of national unity and security. The text integrates the authors' commentary with case descriptions set in historical, cultural, political, and economic context. While the authors' thesis is that law is an instrument of social policy that has generally furthered an assimilationist agenda in American society, they also point out how in different periods, under different circumstances, and with regard to different groups, law has also some opportunity for cultural autonomy.