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|Title:||A path to civil administration : the appointment of the“peichen ”and its political significance in the early northern Song era|
Civil service examinations
|Source:||東吳歷史學報 (Soochow journal of history), 2009, v. 22, p. 225-359 How to cite?|
|Journal:||東吳歷史學報 (Soochow journal of history)|
Based on the careers of the 'peichen' in the early Northern Song, this paper attempts to describe the efforts made by this new dynasty in establishing its civil administration. By strengthening the functions of the civil service examinations, the Northern Song tried to recruit a substantial number of literati to take posts in the bureaucracy thus putting an end to military domination since the period of the late Tang and the Five Dynasties. However the policy of having the bureaucracy literatized was to meet a setback caused by an insufficient supply of officials. Rapid territorial expansion had necessitated that the bureaucracy recruit a large number of officials, but the quantity needed was simply beyond the recruitment capacity with which the civil service examinations could provide. To fix the problem, the Northern Song had to put aside its discriminatory and preventive measures against the 'peichen' and appoint them to be officials. In the process of appointing the 'peichen', the Northern Song managed to achieve the effects of preventing revolts and promoting a sense of loyalty. First, the 'peichen' would not be assigned to assume duties in the areas of their home countries. Second, the 'peichen' who were disloyal to their former master would not be appointed. Third, a differentiation policy in terms of treatments and promotions was adopted to encourage the 'peichen' to take the civil service examinations held by the Northern Song; this policy was considered a way to cut off all kinds of affinity shown by the 'peichen' to their home countries. In the regions which were characterized by strategic importance, ethnic complexity, geographical remoteness and the prevalence of epidemics, the Northern Song showed its flexibility in maintaining the pre-existing administrative mechanism of the subjugated regimes.
|Appears in Collections:||Journal/Magazine Article|
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