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(519 words)

Author(s): McCord, Edward A.
Militia, an institutionalized combination of military and civil roles, has had a long history in Chinese society. During the Warring States period (480-222 BCE), the idea of "placing the army among the people" (yu bing yu nong) facilitated the replacement of a small aristocratic military with larger armies of peasant-soldiers and played a key role in the imperial unification of the Qin dynasty. The term "militia" (minbing) can apply to a wide range of institutions in Chinese history. At one end, there were regular military systems with militia features, such as the fubing system of the…

Warlord Era

(1,024 words)

Author(s): McCord, Edward A.
The Warlord period, usually dated from 1916 to 1927, refers to a time of political disunity in China when competing military commanders dominated society and government by virtue of their command of military force. The Warlord period was foreshadowed in the late 19th century by the rise to political influence of regional army commanders who assisted the Qing dynasty in the defeat of the Taiping Rebellion and other major rebellions. Unlike the near political autonomy of 20th century warlords, tho…