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Merchant Lineage in Coastal Jinjiang, Quanzhou Prefecture during the Qing Dynasty

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Along with the promotion of Taiwan’s economic status in the mid-Qing Dynasty and the expansion of trade with the mainland, the merchants of Jinjiang County of Quanzhou Prefecture in the Qing Dynasty developed a business model focused on the growing cross-strait trade and coastal shipping in Southeast China. The success of these coastal traders in business was closely related to their full use of family and lineage. However, the links of family and lineage, at the same time, were problematical for these businessmen when exploiting economic opportunities. These complex family and lineage ties could either promote or obstruct the development of commercial capital depending on specific situations. Thus, the traditional argument that the family and lineage system hindered socio-economic development should be re-examined.


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