The policy “supernumerary soldiers” (yangyubing) was one of the new strategies enforced by the Ch’ing emperors to continue the eight-banner system when they confronted new social and political situations after 1644. The term “supernumerary soldiers” in Manchu reads like “h?wa?abure cooha,” referring to “a young man brought up at state expense who was destined for military service and therefore exempt from the corv’ee.” Since the implementation of the policy in 1724, some emperors had regarded it as a social relief policy while others had emphasized its military functions. In reality, the number of the supernumerary soldiers had raised with time to one quarter of the total amount in the Metropolitan Banners, and the supernumerary soldiers were the candidates for the formal reservists, who engaged themselves in the defending work in provincial garrisons and were considered the avenue to improve the livelihood of the poor bannermen. However, under the circumstances of the fixed military establishment and the limited budget from the government, the issues of the expansion and regulation of the “supernumerary soldiers,” the adjustment and manipulation of the funds, the solutions to the livelihood of the poor bannermen, as well as the reason that the system could be operated continuously till the twentieth century, deserve further discussion. Therefore, this project aims to investigate the nature, the functions, and the evolvement of the “supernumerary soldiers” (yangyubing) policy in terms of the aspects of the qualification system and number changes of the supernumerary soldiers, the sources of funds and training methods, as well as the salary and livelihood issues.
|Effective start/end date||2017/08/01 → 2018/07/31|
- Eight-Banner system
- supernumerary soldiers(yangyubing)
- livelihood issue(s)
- Metropolitan Banners
- provincial garrison
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