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The Shanxi merchants in Beijing in the Qing Dynasty: An analysis based on 136 samples of merchants and their activities

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Based on 136 samples of merchants and their activities, this article analyzes the Shanxi merchants’ business activities in Beijing during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). The discussion focuses on the merchants’ native places, the type and scope of their business, how they managed their stores, successful and failed examples, and the governmental intervention to the merchants’ business. The Shanxi merchants in these samples include business owners, store managers, accountants, shop clerks, servants, and apprentices. Most stores discussed in this article are shops of medium and small sizes with limited amount of capital and few employees. In contrast to the studies of commerce and merchants that often focuses on famous merchants and large enterprises, this article attempts to provide supplemental information on stores of medium and small sizes.


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