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Jiangnan gentry’s responses to “The great famine in 1877–1878”:The famine relief in north Jiangsu

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Although “The great famine in 1877–1878” breaking out in the early years of Emperor Guangxu’s reign has mainly struck North China areas, it has also great social impact on another important area—Jiangnan. The past surveys in academic circle basically ignore the meaning of this drought from the aspect of localism in Jiangnan. When an important movement of drought relief in modern China is mentioned, that is, the rise of charity relief in the late Qing Dynasty, the judgment is not totally accurate. In fact, when they were purely facing the drought, Jiangnan produced various responses carrying a firm stand of localism to protect their county and land. Among these responses, drought relief in the north of Jiangsu launched by gentries from Jiangnan is essentially a continuity of traditional drought relief in Jiangnan since the Ming and Qing dynasties.


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