By Jeff Hornibrook
Jeff Hornibrook presents a distinct, microcosmic examine the method of industrialization in a single chinese language neighborhood on the flip of the 20 th century. Industrialization got here past due to China, yet used to be finally embraced and hastened to help the state's strategic and armed forces pursuits. In Pingxiang County within the highlands of Jiangxi Province, coalmining used to be seasonal paintings; peasants rented mines from lineage leaders to paintings after the harvest. those traditions replaced in 1896 whilst the courtroom made up our minds that the county's mines have been crucial for industrialization. international engineers and chinese language officers arrived to set up the hot social and fiscal order required for mechanized mining, person who could switch issues for individuals from all degrees of society. The outsiders developed a Westernized manufacturing unit city that sat uneasily in the present neighborhood. Mistreatment of the neighborhood inhabitants, together with the compelled buy of gentry-held homes and the mixing of peasants into factory-style hard work schemes, sparked a sequence of rebellions that wounded the empire and tore on the cloth of the neighborhood. utilizing tales present in memoirs of elite chinese language and overseas engineers, correspondence among gentry and strong officers, travelogues of yankee missionaries and engineers, in addition to different resources, Hornibrook deals a desirable heritage of the social and political results of industrialization in Pingxiang County.
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Additional info for A Great Undertaking: Mechanization and Social Change in a Late Imperial Chinese Coalmining Community
The shaft of the native mine follows the vein from the surface, usually at an inclination of from 20 to 60 degrees. 40 Miners were required in this manner to descend into the rock and then crawl along the seams picking and digging their way to find the minerals they needed. 41 And even at that depth, the German engineer Baron von Richthofen explained, “[I]t proved to be very unsafe,” though some wells reached even greater depths. 42 22 A Great Undertaking Most of the mines were completed using simple farming tools the peasants brought from home.
90 Shanghai’s imports totaled more than 110,000 tons of coal annually in the early 1860s, an amount roughly equal to that estimated by Richthofen for Hunan Province. 91 These figures certainly do not point to a market devoid of the products required for their needs, nor do they suggest an economy devoid of expansionist capabilities. In fact, Pomeranz never provides a sense of what amount of coal would have been required to spark a transformation. Yet it is obvious that billions of tons of good-quality coal were available in mineral fields within the Jiangnan region.
A sense of a bond between the natural environment and the human-made community developed that each individual and each individual family counted on for survival throughout their lifetimes. 31 Even still, the deposits of high-grade bituminous coal were by far the most significant and abundant source of family-required resources and dependable byemployment in the county. 36 By the height of the Qing dynastic era in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Pingxiang County peasants developed and employed strategies to utilize the coal for personal needs and to incorporate 20 A Great Undertaking coalmining into their labor portfolios.