Centralizing the Manchu Military and the Transformation of Empire in Early Modern China


Henry Luce Foundation/ ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowships




My book project presents a major new approach to military centralization and the relationship between war-organization and the growth of empire in early modern China. Whereas previous accounts have assumed a particular form of military rationalization programmatically imposed by a powerful emperor in the 18th century, I argue instead that politically contingent developments beginning a century earlier shaped military and administrative institutions that lay the basis for the Qing conquest and rule of China and parts of Inner Asia. This included not only the consolidation of military leaders and appointments, but also the construction of a bureaucratic apparatus for the provision of equipment and rations, the financing of operations, and the administration of tens of thousands of officers.