China Essay

China Essay - the dynastic cycle model but rather in using...

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Bud Sauer October 12, 2009 HIST-206 Professor Fei Response Paper to Secondary Source “Presidential Adress: The Structure of Chinese History” by G. William Skinner In attempting to explain economic patterns throughout Chinese history, Skinner devises a novel model that relies on regional development data rather than a holistic empire-wide approach. Previous scholarship had focused on the “dynastic-cycle” model of growth which postulated that it was the state’s effectiveness in implementing policy as the deciding factor behind economic cycles. Skinner’s new approach involves identifying what he calls macroregions, or areas which have a largely independent economy focused around a core of one or two major cities. Skinner’s macroregions carve up China based primarily on river basins as demarcating lines. The cores of the macroregions are based on Skinner’s own central-place theory which places the central city at a site of highest interconnectedness with the outer region. Skinner advocates not completely abandoning
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Unformatted text preview: the dynastic cycle model, but rather in using it in conjunction with a regional cycle model. For instance, imperial policy was considerably more effective within the metropolitan centers than in the outer peripheries of Skinner’s macroregions. This lends support to the idea that economic cycles must be examined not from an empire-wide perspective, but from within each region and then in an even more narrow sense, from an urban-rural perspective. After outlining his case for the macroregion theory using North China and the Southeast Coast as examples, Skinner addresses some of the exogenous factors behind economic cycles within China. These shocks could include plagues, foreign invaders, or even climate change. Skinner emphasizes the regional nature of China in pointing out that oftentimes these shocks would only affect a certain area leaving others relatively untouched....
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China Essay - the dynastic cycle model but rather in using...

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