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Week 6 Lecture Notes

History And Economics Notes > Chinese Economic History Since 1850 Notes

This is an extract of our Week 6 Lecture Notes document, which we sell as part of our Chinese Economic History Since 1850 Notes collection written by the top tier of London School Of Economics And Political Science students.

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EH207: Topic 6 - Commercial Organization in Transition

Topic 6: Commercial Organization in Transition State, Society and Market

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State and commercial organization developed alongside each other in the longrun Guilds were an important social organization o John Major encountered problems in the Lower Yangzi with them o Silk weaver guild destroyed Chen Qiyuan's factory in Guangdong
? Guilds overlapped with lineage The problem was not that the State caused actively damaged prosperity o The bigger problem was they didn't do enough

The Problem of Traditional Chinese Commercial Organization

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"Chinese people are like loose sand" (Sun Zhongshan) o Founding father of Modern China o Like many revolutionaries, Sun spent a lot of time overseas The lack of social cohesion meant revolution and modernization were difficult Civic identity was important, but was not organized nationally o Social organization was organized along family lines o Migrant merchants were attached to their hometowns not their trading city Guild and other organizations were "feudal powers" o Searched for monopoly and rents
? A fundamental feature of guilds o Often overlapped with lineage and family Weber - A sociologist who invested the Chinese culture and lineage Secret societies were another important social group o Dynastic leaders were weary of them Commerce as a profession was ranked bottom, below handicrafts o In contrast to the West, where mercantilism was fundamental to Western ideology
? E.g. East India Company o Lack of commercial and contractual law made it difficult for large scale firms to become established What were the problems of family firm?
o There was no distinction between public and private o Corruption and nepotism o Difficult to transcend beyond your individual households o Capital accumulation and pooling of capital was limited to close circles and your lineage

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