The political functions of the southern capital of Ming China


Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Among the various dual- or multi-capital systems adopted by most major Chinese dynasties, the two-capital system of Ming China (1368-1644) was the most elaborate. Unlike the auxiliary capitals of the other Chinese dynasties, whose bureaucratic apparatuses were incomparable with those of the primary capitals, the auxiliary Southern Capital (Nanjing) of the Ming dynasty had an exactly identical administration with the same structure of power and bureaucratic agencies, as that possessed by the primary Northen Capital (Beijing). This paper, exploring the political functions of Nanjing, argues that the Ming auxiliary capital served as a training ground for junior officials to familiarize themselves with the state system and thus enrich their bureaucratic service experiences. It also regulated and adjusted the Ming bureaucratic machine by providing an acceptable retreat to those officials who lost the favor of or offended their suppriors and those who were elderly and physically infirm.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001


Fang, J. (2001, July). The political functions of the southern capital of Ming China. Paper presented at the 2001 Chineses Studies Association of Australia (CSAA) Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.


  • Development of Subject Knowledge
  • Social Sciences and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'The political functions of the southern capital of Ming China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.