Draft History of Qing
The Draft History of Qing (Chinese: 清史稿, pinyin: Qingshigao) is a draft of the official history of the Chinese Qing Dynasty compiled and written under Zhao Erxun by a team of more than 100 historians hired by the Republic of China's Beiyang government. The draft was published in 1928, but the final copy was never completed because of the Second World War and the Chinese Civil War caused a lack of funding for the project.
The Qing court had long established a Bureau of State Historiography and precompiled its own dynastic history. The massive book was started in 1914, and the rough copy was finished in about 1927. 1,100 copies of the Books were published. The Republic Government moved 400 of the original Draft into the northern provinces, where it re-edited the content twice, thus creating three different copies of the book. It was banned by the Nationalist government in 1930.
The draft attempts to follow the format of previous official histories, containing four sections:
- 纪 (Ji), containing information about relevant emperors
- 志 (Zhi), containing events that happened, i.e. astronomical events
- 表 (Biao), containing lists of people who held important posts or were royalty
- 传 (Zhuan), containing information concerning notable figures.
Because of the lack of funding, the authors were forced to publish quickly, and consequently this project was never finished, remaining in the draft stages. The authors openly acknowledged this, and admitted there may have been factual or superficial errors.
The draft was later criticized for being biased and against the Republican government's Xinhai Revolution. Notably, it does not have records of historical figures in the revolution, even those that had been born before the end of the Qing Dynasty, although it includes biographies of various others who were born after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty.
|Chinese Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Hsi-yuan Chen, 'Last chapter unfinished. The making of the official Qing History and the crisis of Traditional Chinese Historiography', in: Historiography East and West, 2 (2004), pp. 173-204. (Abstract)
- Preface, The Draft History of Qing Revised Edition, 1977, 中华书局.
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