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An investigation of land subletting during Republican period on Chengdu Plain

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Subletting land was widely practiced throughout the Chinese countryside during the early 20th century. The various modes of land subletting in the Chengdu Plains during the Republican period included sharecropping, contracted tenancy and a large-tract tenancy system. The subletting caused many conflicts among tenants, like the transfer of tax liability, etc. The reasons why there were so many lands being leased out were: (1) The ecological pressure caused by a surplus of people with little available land. (2) The civil customs of subletting land and national laws opposed each other but also complemented each other. (3) Subletting land was a supplement of the tenancy system, and also an economic activity driven by interests.


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