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Article: A tale of two population crises in recent Chinese history

TitleA tale of two population crises in recent Chinese history
Authors
KeywordsEarth sciences
Meteorology and Climatology
Issue Date2013
PublisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0165-0009
Citation
Climatic Change, 2013, v. 116 n. 2, p. 285-308 How to Cite?
AbstractThe fall of the Ming dynasty in the first half of the 17th century and the Taiping Rebellion from 1851-1864 were two of the most chaotic periods in Chinese history, and each was accompanied by large-scale population collapses. The 'Kang-Qian Golden Age' (also known as 'High Qing'), during which population size expanded rapidly, falls in between the two. Scholars remain divided in their opinions concerning the above alternation of population growth and decline as to whether variations in population size or climate change should be identified as the root cause. In either case, the synergistic impact of population growth and climate change upon population growth dynamics is overlooked. In the present study, we utilized high-resolution empirical data, qualitative survey, statistical comparison and time-series analysis to investigate how the two factors worked synergistically to drive population cycles in 1600-1899. To facilitate our research, we posited a set of simplified pathways for population growth in historical agrarian China. Our results confirm that the interrelation between population growth, climate change and population crises in recent Chinese history basically followed our posited pathways. The recurrences of population crises were largely determined by the combination of population growth and climate change. Our results challenge classic Malthusian/post-Malthusian interpretations and historians' views of historical Chinese population cycles. © 2012 The Author(s).
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/147112
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.344
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 2.149
ISI Accession Number ID
References

An ZS (2000) The history and variability of the East Asian paleomonsoon climate. Quat Sci Rev 19:171–187 doi: 10.1016/S0277-3791(99)00060-8

Atwell WS (2002) Time, money, and the weather: Ming China and the 'great depression' of the mid-fifteenth century. J Asian Stud 61:83–113 doi: 10.2307/2700190

Chen F, Yu Z, Yang M, Ito E, Wang S, Madsen DB, Huang X, Zhao Y, Sato T, Birks HJB, Boomer I, Chen J, An C, Wuennemann B (2008) Holocene moisture evolution in arid central Asia and its out-of-phase relationship with Asian monsoon history. Quat Sci Rev 27:351–364 doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.10.017

Chen FH, Chen JH, Holmes J, Boomer I, Austin P, Gates JB, Wang NL, Brooks SJ, Zhang JW (2010) Moisture changes over the last millennium in arid central Asia: a review, synthesis and comparison with monsoon region. Quat Sci Rev 29:1055–1068 doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.01.005

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Fang JQ, Liu G (1992) Relationship between climatic change and the nomadic southward migrations in eastern Asia during historical times. Clim Chang 22:151–169 doi: 10.1007/BF00142964

Fang X, Ye Y, Zeng Z (2007) Extreme climate events, migration for cultivation and policies: a case study in the early Qing dynasty of China. Sci China Earth Sci 50:411–421 doi: 10.1007/s11430-007-2022-4

Galloway PR (1986) Long-term fluctuations in climate and population in the preindustrial era. Popul Dev Rev 12:1–24 doi: 10.2307/1973349

Galloway PR (1988) Basic patterns in annual variations in fertility, nuptiality, mortality, and prices in pre-industrial Europe. Popul Stud 42:275–303 doi: 10.1080/0032472031000143366

Ho PT (1955) The introduction of American food plants into China. Am Anthropol 57:191–201 doi: 10.1525/aa.1955.57.2.02a00020

Lee HF, Zhang DD (2010) Changes in climate and secular population cycles in China, 1000 CE to 1911. Clim Res 42:235–246 doi: 10.3354/cr00913

Lee J, Wang F, Cameron C (1994) Infant and child-mortality among the Qing nobility: Implications for 2 types of positive check. Popul Stud 48:395–411 doi: 10.1080/0032472031000147936

Lee J, Cameron C, Wang F (2002) Positive check or Chinese checks? J Asian Stud 61:591–607 doi: 10.2307/2700301

Lee HF, Fok L, Zhang DD (2008) Climatic change and Chinese population growth dynamics over the last millennium. Clim Chang 88:131–156 doi: 10.1007/s10584-007-9329-1

Lee HF, Zhang DD, Fok L (2009) Temperature, aridity thresholds, and population growth dynamics in China over the last millennium. Clim Res 39:131–147 doi: 10.3354/cr00816

Ren Z (1987) The abnormal periods of climate in China over the past 5000 years and their causes. Adv Atmos Sci 4:210–217 doi: 10.1007/BF02677067

Stenseth NC, Voje KL (2009) Easter Island: climate change might have contributed to past cultural and societal changes. Clim Res 39:111–114 doi: 10.3354/cr00809

Wang YC (1936) The rise of land tax and the fall of dynasties in Chinese history. Pac Aff 9:201–220 doi: 10.2307/2751407

Wang SW, Gong DY, Zhu JH (2001) Twentieth-century climatic warming in China in the context of the Holocene. Holocene 11:313–321 doi: 10.1191/095968301673172698

Wood JW (1998) A theory of preindustrial population dynamics - Demography, economy, and well-being in malthusian systems. Curr Anthropol 39:99–135 doi: 10.1086/204700

Zhang DD, Jim CY, Lin GCS, He YQ, Wang JJ, Lee HF (2006) Climatic change, wars and dynastic cycles in China over the last millennium. Clim Chang 76:459–477 doi: 10.1007/s10584-005-9024-z

Zhang DD, Brecke P, Lee HF, He YQ, Zhang J (2007a) Global climate change, war, and population decline in recent human history. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104:19214–19219 doi: 10.1073/pnas.0703073104

Zhang DD, Zhang J, Lee HF, He YQ (2007b) Climate change and war frequency in Eastern China over the last millennium. Hum Ecol 35:403–414 doi: 10.1007/s10745-007-9115-8

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLee, HFen_HK
dc.contributor.authorZhang, DDen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-05-28T08:17:53Z-
dc.date.available2012-05-28T08:17:53Z-
dc.date.issued2013en_HK
dc.identifier.citationClimatic Change, 2013, v. 116 n. 2, p. 285-308en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0165-0009en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/147112-
dc.description.abstractThe fall of the Ming dynasty in the first half of the 17th century and the Taiping Rebellion from 1851-1864 were two of the most chaotic periods in Chinese history, and each was accompanied by large-scale population collapses. The 'Kang-Qian Golden Age' (also known as 'High Qing'), during which population size expanded rapidly, falls in between the two. Scholars remain divided in their opinions concerning the above alternation of population growth and decline as to whether variations in population size or climate change should be identified as the root cause. In either case, the synergistic impact of population growth and climate change upon population growth dynamics is overlooked. In the present study, we utilized high-resolution empirical data, qualitative survey, statistical comparison and time-series analysis to investigate how the two factors worked synergistically to drive population cycles in 1600-1899. To facilitate our research, we posited a set of simplified pathways for population growth in historical agrarian China. Our results confirm that the interrelation between population growth, climate change and population crises in recent Chinese history basically followed our posited pathways. The recurrences of population crises were largely determined by the combination of population growth and climate change. Our results challenge classic Malthusian/post-Malthusian interpretations and historians' views of historical Chinese population cycles. © 2012 The Author(s).en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0165-0009en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofClimatic Changeen_HK
dc.rightsThe Author(s)en_US
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong Licenseen_US
dc.subjectEarth sciencesen_US
dc.subjectMeteorology and Climatologyen_US
dc.titleA tale of two population crises in recent Chinese historyen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://www.springerlink.com/link-out/?id=2104&code=810R8273M1145363&MUD=MPen_US
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_versionen_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s10584-012-0490-9en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84871408022en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros225520-
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dc.identifier.spage1en_HK
dc.identifier.epage24en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1573-1480en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000312715500008-
dc.publisher.placeNetherlandsen_HK
dc.description.otherSpringer Open Choice, 28 May 2012en_US
dc.identifier.citeulike10689286-

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