Reconstructing Order: Post-War Reconstruction after the Taiping Civil War, 1864-1874
- Author(s): Heselton, Christopher Carlton
- Advisor(s): Wasserstrom, Jeffrey N
- et al.
In the aftermath of the tumultuous Taiping Civil War (1851-1864), Qing officials began imagining a reconstruction of Chinese post-war society through broad programs that resettled refugees, demobilized the army, and rebuilt temples, roads, and academies. This was an ambitious program and unprecedented in the annals of Chinese history, seeking to radically restore Chinese society through government intervention. At the center of their plans, was an administration, the Reconstruction Bureau, that blurred the boundaries between state and elite circles to achieve their common goals of reconstructing order in the war-torn landscape. At the center of this project are a few important questions: how did they understand what they were doing? Why was it necessary to do this? What were their priorities? And above all else, what did reconstruction mean to them?