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Order without Law: a study of Baxian business partnership in the late Qing Dynasty

Author: XieJing
Tutor: DengJianPeng
School: Central University for Nationalities
Course: Legal History
Keywords: late Qing Dynasty Ba County partnership order gametheory
CLC: D929
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 67
Quote: 0
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This article is focused on the order of industrial and commercial partnerships in Ba County in the late Qing Dynasty. The questions of what is the general condition of this order, how it formed and ran, what is the advantage and what is the disadvantage are all discussed.Chapter I includes two sections. Section I defines the concept of partnership in traditional China and reviews the existing research before. These works have some limitations, for instance, lack of method, narrow scope, inadequate material, etc. This article’s very purpose is to remedy these defects. Section II introduces the methods and materials in this research. It has a perspective of Law, in the way of making the important concept-the order as the starting point, and adopting the Game Theory as well as the theory of social control system for a specific analysis tool. In order to support these arguments, the main materials are Ba County Archives in the late Qing Dynasty.Chapter II describes the general conditions of funding modalities, transaction execution, profit and loss distribution practices and the change of partners. It concludes that the order of industrial and commercial partnerships in Ba county in this time is Relatively stable and mature.The structure of this part is partly learnt from the modern Partnership Act.Chapter III discusses how the order formed and ran without state formal law. The order relies on some kinds of subjects-partners themselves, other partners, social groups as well as the government, who utilize personal ethics, business practice and other rules to get to the goal. Then, the main functions, roles, status and the relationships between them are also discussed here.Chapter IV is a critical evaluation of the order. To begin with, it says that it is the best way to view this order in the perspective of Law other than economic facts. And then, it arrives at the conclusion that on one hand, this order was running stably relatively and being perfected in some certain extent. On the other hand, the reasonable rights of partners and those who trade with partners cannot be protected adequately, which causes the order’s lack of enough stability and perfection, and which leads to the end of the order. At last, this order was replaced by the modern system of partnership and joint-stock company coming from the West.

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