When natural disaster threatened the Grand Canal network in the early nineteenth century, the Qing government faced a crisis of colossal proportions. Leonard discusses the Daoguang Emperor's handling of this crisis within the context of the strategic, institutional, and technological imperatives that had long shaped management of the canal. Her lucid explication is accompanied by maps and drawings that clearly illustrate both the setting and the technical details of the canal.
Jane Kate Leonard is Professor of Chinese History, University of Akron. Her most recent publications explore Chinese business history of the late imperial period.