Drawing upon multilingual sources and archival material, Kwangmin Kim shows how the begs aligned themselves with the Qing to strengthen their own plantation-like economic system. As controllers of food supplies, commercial goods, and human resources, the begs had the political power to dictate the fortunes of governments in the region. Their political choice to cooperate with the Qing promoted an expansion of the Qing's emerging international trade at the same time that Europe was developing global capitalism and imperialism. Borderland Capitalism shows the Qing empire as a quintessentially early modern empire and points the way toward a new understanding of the rise of a global economy.
Issues explored in this book include the role of urbanization and long distance trade in allowing farmers in a few regions to specialize in crops most suitable to their particular region. Backing up this analysis of agricultural development is a careful examination of the quality of Chinese historical data. This classic volume, now available in a paperback edition, includes a new introduction assessing the continuing importance of this work to understanding the Chinese economy. It will be invaluable for a new generation of economists, historians, and Asian studies specialists and is part of Transaction's Asian Studies series.