Central Government Silver Treasury: Revenue, Expenditure and Inventory Statistics, ca. 1667-1899


Author: Zhihong Shi
The Silver Treasury of the Ministry of Revenue was the most important central government store in the Qing dynasty. It held all capital funds submitted to Beijing by provinces and was responsible for the release of all central government expenditures. This book is mainly based on Qing archives pertaining to the Silver Treasury, notably the Yellow Register copies of the Treasury, now held by the Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. As it is the first monograph on the subject of the Silver Treasury to be published in English, as well as giving a brief introduction to the history of its successive management systems, it also presents comprehensive tables of monthly revenues/expenditures and yearend inventories for the period 1667 to 1899.

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SHI Zhihong, gained his PhD from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1988. He is currently a Senior Researcher and Professor of Chinese Economic History at the Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Professor SHI is the author of several monographs and many articles on China’s agricultural and financial history.
Series Editors’ Preface to the Quantitative Economic History of China Series ... vii
List of Figures and Tables ... viii
Emperors of the Qing Dynasty ... xiv
Chinese Terms ... xv
Currencies Used during the Qing Dynasty ... xxii

Introduction ... 1
1 The Central Government’s Silver Treasury ... 4
1.1 Set-up and Evolution of the Three Stores ... 4
1.2 Management of the Silver Treasury ... 7

2 Silver Treasury Registers and Their Copies ... 14
2.1 Yellow Registers of the Silver Treasury ... 14
2.2 Copies of the Yellow Registers of the Silver Treasury ... 18
2.3 Use in this Book of Copies of Yellow Registers ... 23
2.3.1 Annual Aggregate Revenues, Expenditures and Their Surpluses/Defijicits ... 24
2.3.2 Annual Inventories of the Silver Treasury ... 25

3 Silver Treasury Revenues during the Qing Dynasty ... 27
3.1 Provisions to the Capital and Silver Treasury Revenues ... 27
3.2 Silver Treasury Revenues from Kangxi to Daoguang: 1662–1850 ... 35
3.3 Silver Treasury Revenues during Xianfeng and Tongzhi: 1851–1874 ... 45
3.4 Silver Treasury Revenues during Guangxu: 1875–1908 ... 52

4 Silver Treasury Expenditures and Payment Surpluses/Defijicits during the Qing Dynasty ... 64
4.1 From Kangxi to Daoguang ... 64
4.2 The XianfengTongzhi Period ... 79
4.3 Guangxu Period ... 86

5 Fluctuations in Inventories of the Silver Treasury during the Qing Dynasty ... 96
5.1 From Kangxi to Daoguang ... 96
5.2 Xianfeng, Tongzhi and Guangxu ... 102

Appendix A: Tables of Aggregate Revenue/Expenditure of the Silver Treasury ... 109
Appendix B: Inventories of the Silver Treasury under Diffferent Reigns ... 217

References ... 245
Index ... 250
All interested in the history of the Qing dynasty of China, especially those who pay close attention to the Qing’s financial history.