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The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies - Essay Example

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DEFINING MANCHURIA’S TOPOGRAPHY IN THE LIMITS OF TARTARY: MANCHURIA IN IMPERIAL AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIES NAME SUBJECT DATE The Chinese identity and its goal of homogeny as embodied today in its ‘One China Policy’ has long been a subject of an unstable foundation particularly of its multi-ethnic and relatively multi-nationalistic composition…
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The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies
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Download file to see previous pages Manchuria has come to represent the Northeastern part of the country and has made the established connection of the Qing Empire to its rise and later on to its development to what became China today. The article limits itself to the cartographic development of the area and the “Eastern Tours” (Ch dongxun) of its rulers together with the considerably patriotic acts they enforced to fortify Manchurian identity. Notably, the lack of discussion on the fundamental nationalistic roots of the totality of the people specifically of Manchuria and how they are removed, or differentiated, from all other ethnic groups fail to establish the association which brings forth the very epitome that makes a group of people. The flow of the article centers on four evidences that Elliott pronounces as the route to the establishment of Manchuria as a word to delineate a specific place defined in the map. The primary consideration is the “Eastern Tours” started by Kangxi emperor who made three tours during his reign with his travel in 1671 making him the first emperor returning to the Mukden and Changbai Mountains to visit his ancestor’s mausoleum. Next, his grandson Qianlong followed suit making four tours during his rule. The same custom was implemented by Jiaqing and Daoguang emperors who each made one visit. The latter making the final visit to Mukden of an emperor in 1829. Elliott argues that the emperors had more in mind than just getting familiar with their ancestors’ lands.1 He cites that the interest of Kangxi was toward an admiration of Changbai Mountains where he authorized a ritual of sacrifice to honor the place and poems of admiration to its regality such as “Ode to Mukden.”2 This next consideration made by Elliott centers on giving evidence of literary works to honor Manchuria. These poems of patriotic persuasion are a call for the reinforcement of Manchurian identity at a time when it was already weakening. “The publication of the Ode ought to therefore be seen as part of the Qianlong emperor's larger scheme to rekindle Manchu ethnic pride and encourage the preservation of putatively traditional customs, a program which mostly failed.”3 The third appraisal of the region is through immigration. The section in the article, ‘Manchuria for the Manchus,’ discusses the move toward reintegration of Manchuria where Han Chinese must first secure permission before they can gain access to the area freely. Elliott quotes Robert H. G. Lee that this seclusion enabled the region to be the only place where the Manchus and indigenous tribes outnumber the Chinese at that time, such being an internally political effort to maintain control.4 Finally, and the most extensive of his arguments, Elliott discusses the cartographic history of Manchuria as the main and most potent occurrence which led to the shaping of Manchuria as a place. The maps produced from the Qing dynasty’s espousal through the “Jesuit Atlas” also known as the “Kangxi Atlas”5 to the European maps authored by Jean-Baptiste D’Anville and also materializing in Japanese maps by Katsuragawa Hoshu demonstrates the demarcation of Manchuria as a region.6 The immigration as discussed in the essay is an important part of the divide between the Qing as Manchu and the rest of the population, particularly the heavily dense Han ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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