Zhu Yuanzhang and Early Ming Legislation: The Reordering of Chinese Society Following the Era of Mongol Rule

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Edward L. Farmer
BRILL, 1995 - Social Science - 259 pages
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This volume deals with the social legislation of Zhu Yuanzhang, who founded the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), following the era of Mongol rule in China. It recounts the circumstances under which the laws were enacted and what the Emperor claimed he was trying to accomplish - a restoration of traditional Chinese social norms. The contents of several codes are discussed in terms of the groups to which they applied and the range of activities they purported to regulate.
The early Ming codes formed one of the most comprehensive and cohesive bodies of law in all of Chinese history. Taken as a group, they constituted an autocrate's blueprint for the ideal society. The texts of three codifications - an imperial clan constitution, a general summary of the laws, and guidelines for village life - are translated as appendixes.
 

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Contents

Saving the World
18
Creating the New Order
33
Disillusion Crises and Adjustments
48
Four Ming Codes
64
Han China Restored
81
Ming Autocracy
100
The August Ming Ancestral Instruction
114
The Great Ming Commandment
150
The Placard of Peoples Instructions
195
The Contents of the Great Ming Code
210
References
224
Glossary
233
Index
252
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About the author (1995)

Edward L. Farmer, Ph.D. (1968) in History and Far Eastern Languages, Harvard University, is Professor of History and East Asian Studies at the University of Minnesota. He was editor of the journal "Ming Studies" for ten years (1975-1985) and is author of "Early Ming Government: The Evolution of Dual Capitals" (1976) and co-author of "Ming History: An Introductory Guide to Research" (1994).

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