Mutation and continuity in judicial practices of the Chinese inheritance system, 1902-1931
This thesis discusses the mutation and continuity in judicial practices of the Chinese inheritance system in the early twentieth century. It depicts how Chinese ritual and material forms of inheritance were gradually reconceptualized, influenced by a Western individual property system during legal and judicial reforms. It focuses mainly on three topics: local attitudes towards a Western inheritance system presented in survey reports of civil practices, the Dali Yuan’s compromise of new and old laws and norms, and local judicial practices of adjudicating succession cases involving widows and daughters in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. From the perspective of regional history, it sheds light on the implementation of the national laws and rules on local levels. Besides, with the concern of the mutual relation between the Dali Yuan and local judicial agencies, it will spot the differences of judicial practice between modern courts and county magistrate offices on substantial and procedural aspects.