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Monographic Studies【Font:Small Big

Re-examination of the Election System of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the Early Modern Era

Author:   ZhuYing    Update Time:2015年06月02日

Unlike the random election by recommendation of traditional trade and commercial organizations, the election system of the Chamber of Commerce in early modern China involved completely new election regulations with a modern democratic coloring. The practice of elections in the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce demonstrates that institutional regulations were basically enforced in normal elections. The earlier conclusion that the upper class of industrialists and merchants used their overwhelming economic power to monopolize the leadership of the Chamber does not actually tally with the facts. In the late Qing and early Republican period, there was no serious embezzlement or bribery in elections for the Shanghai Chamber. However, from the 1920s on, the influence of a variety of factors led to factional disputes and election disturbances. In particular, the election system deviated from a normal to an abnormal orientation under the constraints of the political and military power behind different factions.



Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

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