In the late Qing Dynasty, local practice was chaotic

2022-06-02 0 By

To suppress the War of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, the central power was gradually transferred to the local governments in the Qing Dynasty, including the power of punishment and killing controlled by the emperor.”Qing History draft · Criminal Law annals” contained that “when the provincial army was flourishing, local officials, in the case of bandits, often first zhengfa, and then played wen.The law did not specify who the local officials were, so in places far away from the emperor, local officials except the governor, even the tuanlian and the gentry could exercise the right to correct the local law.For example, Xianfeng three years (1853) February 8 “Fu Ji played to cover the zun party members to investigate the ferry in case of spies,” recorded that “if found evidence of spies, Xu People good to kill.”For example, on December 18 of the same year, “Wang Mao-yin played a special decree for those who acted under duet from the cast strictly prohibited the killing of the official army” records “the release of the people back home, long caught the thief, along the way to loot……If anyone commits such a crime, he will order the local officials to execute the right punishment immediately after they get hold of it, and the local people will be punished with no further punishment.”The Qing court had intended to cut the mess in a quick way to govern the local chaos and punish by punishment, but it caused the decline of imperial power and the loss of power of the central government, it can be said that penny wise and pound foolish.This is a counterexample of the traditional Chinese society adhering to the principle of “applying heavy codes in troubled times” to govern the country. The main reason is that the local legal system was completely out of control in the applicable objects, applicable procedures, applicable regions and applicable ways, which completely exceeded the normal system and had no institutional rationality at all. It was the beginning of the disorder of the country in the late Qing Dynasty.The applicable object of the local justice law is mainly aimed at the Taiping Rebellion army, the applicable object is the taiping army’s senior generals and officials, and the predecessor of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom worship leaders.During the taiping Rebellion, the Northern Twist Army rebelled and was completely annihilated from the third year of Xianfeng (1853) to the seventh year of Tongzhi (1868).People around the anti-Qing wave, such as the Shanghai Xiaodao Uprising.In the process of suppressing these uprisings, the Qing government consciously applied the local justice method, including the families of anti-Qing people, the people who offered help and the Qing army.Even if it is non-violent and anti-qing, the local law can still be applied.Such as Xianfeng three years (1853) May 16, “on the cabinet will make a false prophecy to confuse the people of the supervisor Qianjiang beheaded the Lord” recorded that has changed the supervisor Qianjiang false prophecy, demagged the people, after being informed immediately after zhengfa.Bandits around the opportunity to take advantage of the situation, they often with the Taiping army, twist army cooperation and even joined the Taiping army, twist army, the Qing army suffered a heavy blow.Local governors had to use local justice to crack down on bandits.In the first year of Xianfeng (1851) on September 29, Guangxi governor Zou Minghe reported that bandits should be divided into bandits, bandits and bandits.For those who committed serious crimes of love, the law should be followed immediately after the confession was made clear. Emperor Xianfeng instructed, “I know, and the law should be followed later.”Hui bandit refers to the secret society with the purpose of opposing qing Dynasty, the most representative of which is Tianyi Hui, many of whose members joined the Taiping Army.On February 10 of the third year of Xianfeng (1853), “Zeng Guofan wrote a report on various matters concerning the mobilization and recruitment of soldiers and the strict handling of the Congregation in Hunan”. It was mentioned that “last year yue went back to Chu, and most of those who joined the tianyi Association went back to Chu.Therefore, the members of the Heaven and Earth Association are one of the objects of local rectification.In the first year of Xianfeng (1851), on October 20, “He Mingke, the leader of the Cezang Azo Newspaper, was captured alive and executed by volley on the spot” recorded that he Mingke, the leader of the Xinyi World Association in Guangdong, was executed by volley on the spot after being captured and confirmed.In addition to the heaven and Earth club, there are also “string of children Club, Red and black Club, half side of money Club, one Stream of incense Club” and so on.The bandits can be divided into three types: soldiers and soldiers who loot everywhere, people who plunder at any time in war zones, people who steal in the vicinity of barracks, and loafers who fake themselves as Yuding.On February 20, the third year of Xianfeng (1853), “The Cabinet ordered Qi Shan and other local officials to investigate and bring to justice on the spot any local soldiers who had harassed the villages along the way and ordered all the local officials to strictly arrest them”, which recorded that all Guangdong soldiers who had harassed the villages along the way were to be investigated and brought to justice on the spot.Allow the regimental gentry to kill on sight any such hostiles they encounter.Ordinary ruffians, such as the wicked, the foolish, the shyster, the bachelor, and so on, can also be executed on the spot.Xianfeng three years (1853) March 17 “Chong Lun report to report after the preparations for the aftermath of the prevention of interference and other matters off” recorded the implementation of burning and killing robbery bandits, ruffians in the plot of evil perpetrators of the local justice and xiao show.Local justice has become the main and even the only way to improve local public security, local governance has completely gone beyond the law.Taiping soldiers and soldiers would open prisons and release prisoners wherever they went, and those who committed serious crimes were often their closest friends.In order to eradicate the Taiping Kingdom, the Qing court had to execute the prisoners first.Therefore, in The third year of Xianfeng (1853), in May, the emperor ordered Lu Yinggu, governor of Henan, to identify the prisoners in the states and counties close to the war zone with the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, and to bring to justice those who were awaiting execution for robbery and murder with firearms. The procedure of the autumn trial was abolished automatically.It can be said that in order to suppress the Taiping army, the local law has been above the Decrees of the Qing Dynasty and become a “life-saving straw” in the special period.If some officials were derelict in their duties or cowardly and fled during the war, they should also be executed on the spot.For example, on February 7 of the third year of Xianfeng (1853), “He Chun asked Xu Guangjin, who was now handed over to the Criminal Department for punishment, and Lu Jianying, to correct the law in front of the army.” It was believed that Xu Guangshan, governor of Huguang, was deliberately delayed when he was ordered to suppress the rebellion, which was a dereliction of duty.Lu Jianying, governor of Huguang, was ordered to suppress bandits on the way, heard that after the defeat of the road before the battle, so that the city fell, so please decree that it is before the army.The soldiers who ran away from the battle are also among the local legal procedures. The Constitution of local legal procedures has become the special and unique procedural law and criminal law used by the military and the people in wartime.The applied procedure was the conventional judicial procedure in qing Dynasty, which was complicated and long and could not meet the wartime needs.Therefore, the Qing Court formulated the Constitution of Local Justice, from which came the saying that “the constitution was originally set up for military affairs”.However, even streamlined procedures for on-site justice are subject to review to prevent abuse.According to the constitution, cases involving prefectures and counties close to provincial capitals should first be tried by prefectures and counties, then escorted to prefectures and provinces for reexamination, then to the review by inspectors, and finally to the governor, who should decide whether to execute justice on the ground.Occurred in prefectures and counties far away from the provincial capital cases, criminals are no longer escorted to the provincial capital, but will be recorded by the government or road, through the investigation secretary detailed report to the governor, the final decision by the governor.That is to say, the governor has the power of local justice.In the process of concrete application, this law has gradually become concrete.On the 19th day of the first month of the third year of Xianfeng (1853), “Yuan Sanjia played Chen Tuchen’s edict on military affairs”, the gang robbers who were captured alive were handed over to the prefecty-county officials for trial and justice, and they did not need to be escorted to the provincial capital.It also allowed vigilantes to bring those who resisted to justice in the process of arrest.During the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom period, it was a special case that prisoners were sent to the provincial capital. Under normal circumstances, all prefectures and counties could be interrogated and executed on the spot.It is worth noting that not only the subject of application was expanded, but also the target of application was intentionally expanded from taiping army leaders to all kinds of bandits who caused trouble by war.The premise for officials to apply the law on the spot was to be “informed” seriously, but even the emperor took the lead in openly violating it.Xianfeng three years (1853) August 3 “Ruichang newspaper caught the enemy and please should go to Huaiqing into the break” recorded the general association of odd Ling a newspaper said captured a suspicious person, after strict interrogation he admitted to lu name road talk, to rob for a living.As his confession was doubtful, Qilinga sent the prisoner to the yamen of the prefecture and imprisoned him temporarily. Then he ordered him to perform the proper fa immediately. Emperor Xianfeng, however, said, “You should do the proper fa immediately.In fact, this encouraged qing generals to bring criminals to justice on the spot if they suspected them of being taiping soldiers or other anti-Qing officers, or of committing robbery or theft, without having to be informed.This is not the law, the local officials with the power to kill people.The Archives of The Qing Government’s Suppression of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom recorded the number of prisoners executed in 17 years from the thirtieth year of Daoguang (1850) to the fifth year of Tongzhi (1866) : more than 28,000 who clearly indicated that they were executed on the spot, and more than 76,000 who were executed before them, totaling more than 100,000 people.According to the Records of the Qing Dynasty, only 6,293 people were executed in 23 years from the first year of the Reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736) to the 23rd year of the Reign of Emperor Qianlong (1758).It became the consensus of the qing court from the emperor down to the officials and gentry to suppress the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom with a quick victory.Specifically, at the beginning of the Taiping Rebellion and when it was about to fail, the local law was rarely applied.According to statistics, there were only 686 people in daoguang’s thirtieth year (1850), 747 in xianfeng’s second year (1852), and 974 in tongzhi’s fifth year (1866).When the Taiping Rebellion was flourishing, local zhengfa appeared frequently.The largest number was in the fifth year of Xianfeng (1855) with a population of more than 20,000, followed by the eleventh year of Xianfeng (1861) with a population of more than 10,000.At the same time, on the first day of November in the fifth year of Xianfeng (1855), it was recorded in “Hu Linyi’s report would defeat Puqi and ask them to give prizes to those who died in battle” that “more than 17,000 people were captured alive and executed on the spot.”This is the largest number of people that the archives have ever seen at one time. The local method has been out of control in the practice process and has become a deadly weapon.Applicable area The applicable area of the local righteous method is closely followed by the taiping army attack time and site development.From the 30th year of Daoguang (1850) to the first year of Xianfeng (1851), the in-situ rectification method was mainly applied to Guangxi.Because Guangxi was the birthplace of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, the emperor acquiesced to the local governor’s right to justice on the spot without any institutional basis.Such as Daoguang thirty years (1850) November 5, “Zheng Zushen and other newspapers captured Zhong Yachun and other hand in jintian and other circumstances fold” records “all captured alive each offense, according to the committee xu 悙 book, will all prefectural and county one by one, the crime of love is significant and was attacked the injured…To do justice where he sees it, to make an example of stubbornness.”In the second year of Xianfeng (1852), the Taiping army broke out from Yong ‘an on April 5 and entered Hunan on May 19.A part of the Pacific army entered Guizhou, hunan, Guizhou and other places began to apply the local justice method.In the third year of Xianfeng (1853), taiping troops captured Wuchang in January, captured Nanjing in March and made it the capital.In the following three years, the application area of the local justice method was extended to Jiangsu, Henan, Shanxi, Zhili, Shandong, Jiangxi, Fujian, Hubei and Shaanxi provinces.In henan, Shanxi, Zhili, Shandong and other regions where the Northern logging army passed through, the local rectification method was not widely used after the northern logging army was eliminated.Jiangxi and Hubei, which were occupied by the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, later became one of the 21 provinces of taiping Heavenly Kingdom, so it was an important region to apply the local justice method.In addition, fujian, Shaanxi, Guangdong, Hunan, Sichuan and Taiwan provinces have also adopted the local justice method.After the Tianjing Incident, taiping’s area of control was greatly reduced. Later, taiping conquered Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and moved to Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces.Therefore, from the sixth year of Xianfeng (1856) to the fifth year of Tongzhi (1866), the local rectification method was extended to Zhejiang, Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and other regions.Of course, in places where the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom had not yet been affected, as long as there were anti-Qing elements or even banditry, the local law was followed, which was simple and convenient.Beheaded and hanged was the conventional way of execution in the Qing Dynasty, and the death penalty or severe punishment approved by the two traditional law codes was mostly adopted to deter enemy bandits.For example, in the first year of Xianfeng (1851), on the seventh day of June, “Sai Shang A Zizhao appeased officers and soldiers and zhuang yong is equal to the village of Renyi, Zhongping and other three wins the battle fold” recorded nine bandits “immediately beheaded”.Xianfeng three years (1853) On February 18, “Lu Xianji reported anhui province shares of the bees to be temporarily stationed in Suzhou suppression do break” recorded the bandits were immediately beheaded xiao show.On March 14 of the same year, “Zhou Tianjue played a newspaper to suppress Lu Xialing and other shares of the four victory situation,” the record will be Li Bangzhi and other twelve people all the first show.Pian shou xiao shows that two connected hanging on the wood for public display, can be described as a new method in the late Qing Dynasty.Ling Chi is also applied to the in-situ method.For example, xianfeng four years (1854) leap July 12 “xiangrong reported division ships continued to win battles and land layout of defense and suppression cases,” recorded 110 thieves were executed.Some supplementary punishments, such as glaring and slashing, were successively applied to the execution on the spot.On September 27, 1854, in the fourth year of Xianfeng, “Zeng Guofan and others reported that the water division of the Army had won victory in Qin Zhou”, which recorded that 134 rebels captured alive were stabbed and tortured.For example, on December 22, the second year of Xianfeng (1852), xu Guangjin reported that the enemy leader Xiao Chaoguishi was shot to death, which recorded that Luo Wu and other senior officials of the Taiping Army had their hearts cut out immediately after being captured.In addition, there are shooting, drowning, mutilation, inches of cutting and other brutal corporal punishment in the ancient period reappeared in the world, not only restoring ancient ways, but also constantly increasing, horrible to see.During the suppression of local unrest in the late Qing Dynasty, the special penalty became the only penalty, completely abandoned the general trial procedure, deliberately misinterpreted the original intention of “using heavy codes in chaotic times”, let “use arbitrary punishment in chaotic times” become granted, lost governance reason and institutional reason, follow one’s will.This kind of arbitrary habit of punishment and rough and simple governance methods once formed, will be more unscrupulous, the court to re-restrict or regulate it is not easy.The law of criminal policy in this special period was the institutional inducement of the late Qing government.(Author: School of Law and Intellectual Property, Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University;Law School, South China University of Technology) source: People’s Court Daily