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Open Access The Ambans of Tibet—Imperial Rule at the Inner Asian Periphery

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The Ambans of Tibet—Imperial Rule at the Inner Asian Periphery

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Chapter Summary

In the eighteenth century, China experienced an exceptional flourishing of dynastic government. The Qing emperor ruled successfully over an empire consisting of China proper and the Inner Asian regions of Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Tibet. In the newly conquered regions of the Inner Asian periphery such a process of power-balancing between central and local government was more difficult to achieve. The Qing government developed new administrative structures for political control. Imperial administrators interacted between the dynastic centre and a multitude of local identities in the peripheries. Like viceroys, proconsuls or governors in other empires of the early modern world, such imperial manpower was indispensable at crucial points in the spatial networks of the polity. In Tibet, representatives of the Qing court, the imperial ambans, fulfilled the important task to embody the imperial centre at the periphery.

Keywords: imperial ambans; Mongolia; Qing emperor; Tibet; Xinjiang



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