Frontiers of History in China

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 276–291 | Cite as

Agricultural reclamation policy and environmental changes in the northwest China during the Qing dynasty

  • Zhao Zhen Email author
Research Article


Northwest China, including the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, and a small part of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, was not only one of the earliest developed areas in history, but also one of the most ecologically fragile belts. The traditionally sustainable land reclamation and cultivation policies for the development of an agricultural economy adopted and implemented in administrations during different periods of the Qing dynasty, greatly raised farming and stock production. However, this led to imbalances in the originally fragile ecological environment. The negative effects such as rapidly expanding desertification, worsening water and soil erosions, increased cost of production, enlarged investment, vicious cycles and failing economy can serve as a lesson for contemporary development.


Northwest China Qing dynasty reclamation and cultivation ecological changes 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, School of HumanitiesRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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