By Jeff Hornibrook
Jeff Hornibrook offers a distinct, microcosmic examine the method of industrialization in a single chinese language group on the flip of the 20th century. Industrialization got here past due to China, yet was once eventually embraced and hastened to help the state's strategic and army pursuits. In Pingxiang County within the highlands of Jiangxi Province, coalmining was once seasonal paintings; peasants rented mines from lineage leaders to paintings after the harvest. those traditions replaced in 1896 whilst the courtroom determined that the county's mines have been crucial for industrialization. international engineers and chinese language officers arrived to set up the recent social and financial order required for mechanized mining, person who might switch issues for individuals from all degrees of society. The outsiders developed a Westernized manufacturing unit city that sat uneasily in the current group. Mistreatment of the neighborhood inhabitants, together with the pressured buy of gentry-held houses and the combination of peasants into factory-style hard work schemes, sparked a chain of rebellions that wounded the empire and tore on the textile of the group. utilizing tales present in memoirs of elite chinese language and overseas engineers, correspondence among gentry and strong officers, travelogues of yankee missionaries and engineers, in addition to different assets, Hornibrook bargains a desirable historical past of the social and political results of industrialization in Pingxiang County.
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Additional info for A Great Undertaking: Mechanization and Social Change in a Late Imperial Chinese Coalmining Community
55 Coked coal’s burning temperature was lower than the much harder and purer anthracite. However, when it was fired it put out a constant heat with little smoke that allowed for controlled smelting. 56 Moreover, volatility of the coal was greatly reduced and therefore it could be left unburned longer. And, because the coked coal was pure, it could be transported more cheaply than if the coal was sent with shale and other heavy impurities. Peasant men completed these tasks in many parts of the county, searching for the locations close to home that held sufficient sources of mineral that could assure them of success in their efforts.
In locations where only poor timbers were abundant, miners had to replace the structures regularly or gamble with their lives as the wood lost its rigidity. In some mines, workers left strategic areas of the rock in place to prop up the ceiling above. 49 As has been suggested earlier, excavating wells of one hundred feet or more, especially when they are exposed to the seasonal rains, meant that the wells filled up with water and threatened the efficacy of the mines as well as the health of the men who worked in the deep shafts and tunnels.
And, because the coked coal was pure, it could be transported more cheaply than if the coal was sent with shale and other heavy impurities. Peasant men completed these tasks in many parts of the county, searching for the locations close to home that held sufficient sources of mineral that could assure them of success in their efforts. For the most part, the coalmines within the county limits predominated in three locations of the Luoxiao Mountains that formed the Jiangxi-Hunan provincial border.