The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST6011SW Selected Themes in Traditional Chinese History:
Market Development and Government Finances in Late Imperial China
(For M.Phil. students only)

Semester 1 (2019-2020)

Lecture TimeWednesday 4:30pm-6:15pm

VenueLSK 201


Lecturer CHEUNG Sui Wai ((852) 3943 7115 /

Course Description

The five hundred years from the Ming to the Qing Dynasty witnessed China evolved from traditional to modern country. On one hand there was market development, and on the other the state, as a response to this development, revolutized its land and tax administration. This is a seminar course, so as to understand the changes in these five hundred years, students will be required to make presentation from assigned readings.

1. Household system

2. Maritime trade

3. Status food and coarse food

4. Long-distance trade

5. Population

6. Government intenvention

7. Money and Monetary system

Assessment & Assignments

50% Participation and attendance
50% Essay


Required Reading

Cheung Sui Wai, The Price of Rice: Market Integration in Eighteenth-Century China, Center of East Asian Studies, Western Washington University, 2008.


Recommended Reading

Ho Ping-ti, Studies on the Population of China 1368-1953, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974.

Dwight H. Perkins, Agricultural Development in China, 1368-1968. Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co., 1969.

Mark Elvin, The Pattern of the Chinese Past: A Social and Economic Interpretation, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1973.

C.C. Philip Huang, The Peasant Economy and Social Change in North China, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985,

James Z. Lee and Wang Feng, One Quarter of Humanity: Malthusian Mythology and Chinese Realities, 1700-2000, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: Europe, China and the Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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