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Comparative Study of Three Military Families: The Li, Mao and Tsu Families in Liao-tung during the Late Ming and Early Ch'ing Dynasties
During the late Ming and early Ch’ing dynasties, several families developed their power by means of military positions. Among then, the three commanders Li Ch’enn-liang, Mao Wen-long, and Tsu Ta-shou were the most influential ones. Through the investigation of their family backgrounds, combination among family members, as well as their being in office in the Ming government, we could perceive their family characteristics. In addition, it will be helpful to know their patterns of management and development in the analysis of the ways that they consolidate their family powers, and the interaction between the central and local governments. The discussions of their performances during the wartime of Ming-Ch’ing, and of the relations between the Chinese empire and Manchu government by means of war, peace, or surrender, will reveal the growth and decline of the relative strengths of the two sides in northeast China. Henceforth, through the discourse of the rise and fall of the three families, we can present the position of the Liao-Tung military families in history. Although the Li, Mao and Tsu families did not prosper in the exactly same time, they share certain similarities in their rise with the family as a unit, manipulation of family power, the ability to control battlefield, the choice of politics position, and so on. Thus, we can do the research of the opponency between the Ming and Ch’ing as well as the transition of the political powers, in terms of the comparison of their rise, growth, decline, and collapse. The study will focus on:1. the danger of the frontier and the rise of military families in Liao-tung. 2. The patterns of management and development of the Li, Mao, Tsu families. 3. the tendencies of the Li, Mao, Tsu families during the confrontation between Ming and Manchu. And 4. the collapse of the military families after the regime was taken over.
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