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Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society$
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Rubie Watson and Patricia Buckley Ebrey

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780520069305

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520069305.001.0001

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Ch'ing Imperial Marriage and Problems of Rulership

Ch'ing Imperial Marriage and Problems of Rulership

(p.170) Five Ch'ing Imperial Marriage and Problems of Rulership
Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society

Evelyn S. Rawski

University of California Press

This chapter examines the marriages of the Manchu rulers of the Ch'ing dynasty, focusing on those closest to the throne: the sons and daughters of emperors and the emperor himself. The Ch'ing forbade intermarriage between the Manchu rulers and the civil elite of Han Chinese officials, thus using marriage to maintain the distinct identity of their special followers, the Chinese and Manchu bannermen. Whereas the Ch'ing adopted the traditional Han Chinese ritual code for wedding ceremonies, they did not adopt other, perhaps more fundamental, elements of Han marriage practices. In particular, Ch'ing empresses were not as powerful as their counterparts had been in Han Chinese dynasties, because their sons were not the presumptive heirs. The differences in the marriage systems of different dynasties were closely related to differences in their succession practices.

Keywords:   Machu rulers, Ch'ing dynasty, marriage, bannermen, Han dynasty

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