Unruly People shows that in mid-Qing Guangdong banditry occurred mainly in the densely populated core Canton delta where state power was strongest, challenging the conventional wisdom that banditry was most prevalent in peripheral areas. Through extensive archival research, Antony reveals that this is because the local working poor had no other options to ensure their livelihood.
In 1780 the Qing government enacted the first of a series of special laws to deal specifically with Guangdong bandits who plundered on land and water. The new law was prompted by what officials described as a spiraling “bandit miasma” in the province that had been simmering for decades. To understand the need for the special laws, Unruly People takes a closer look at the complex relationships and interconnections between bandits, sworn brotherhoods, local communities, and the Qing state in Guangdong from 1760 to 1845.
Antony treats collective crime as a symptom of the dysfunction in local society and breakdown of the imperial legal system. He analyzes over 2,300 criminal cases found in palace and routine memorials in the Qing archives, as well as extant Chinese literary and foreign sources and fieldwork in rural Guangdong, to recreate vivid details of late imperial China’s underworld of crime and violence.
- List of Illustrations and Tables(第viii頁)
- Note to Readers(第x頁)
- 1. Introduction(第1頁)
- 2. An Age of Mounting Disorder(第14頁)
- Preventive Measures and Protective Strategies(第39頁)
- 3. Instructing the People and Disseminating the Laws(第41頁)
- 4. The Reach of the State(第56頁)
- 5. Community Security and Self-Defense(第80頁)
- Crimes, Criminals, and Community(第103頁)
- 6. The Structures of Crime(第105頁)
- 7. The Laboring Poor and Banditry(第126頁)
- 8. Bandits, Brotherhoods, and Collective Crime(第147頁)
- 9. Networks of Accomplices(第170頁)
- State and Local Law Enforcement(第191頁)
- 10. The Qing Code and Special Judicial Legislation(第193頁)
- 11. Enforcing the Laws and Suppressing the Criminals(第214頁)
- 12. Prosecution and Punishment(第234頁)
- 13. Conclusion(第257頁)