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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Property Rights In Land, Agricultural Capitalism, And The Relative Decline Of Pre-Industrial China, Taisu Zhang Feb 2011

Property Rights In Land, Agricultural Capitalism, And The Relative Decline Of Pre-Industrial China, Taisu Zhang

Student Scholarship Papers

Scholars have long debated how legal institutions influenced the economic development of societies and civilizations. This Article sheds new light on this debate by reexamining, from a legal perspective, a crucial segment of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century economic divergence between England and China: By 1700, English agriculture had become predominantly capitalist, reliant on “managerial” farms worked chiefly by hired labor. On the other hand, Chinese agriculture counterproductively remained household-based throughout the Qing and Republican eras.

The explanation for this key agricultural divergence, which created multiple advantages for English proto-industry, lies in differences between Chinese and English property rights regimes ...


The Xinfang Phenomenon: Why The Chinese Prefer Administrative Petitioning Over Litigation, Taisu Zhang Aug 2008

The Xinfang Phenomenon: Why The Chinese Prefer Administrative Petitioning Over Litigation, Taisu Zhang

Student Scholarship Papers

In recent years, the Chinese public, when facing disputes with government officials, hav preferred a non-legal means of resolution, the Xinfang system, over litigation. Some scholars explain this by claiming that administrative litigation is less effective than Xinfang petitioning. Others argue that the Chinese have historically eschewed litigation and continue to do so habitually. This paper proposes a new explanation: Chinese have traditionally litigated administrative disputes, but only when legal procedure is not too adversarial and allows for the possibility of reconciliation through court-directed settlement. Since this possibility does not formally exist in modern Chinese administrative litigation, people tend to ...