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Synopsis

This book argues that the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century precipitated a transformation of marriage and property law in China that deprived women of their property rights and reduced their legal and economic autonomy. It describes how after a period during which women's property rights were steadily improving, and laws and practices affecting marriage and property were moving away from Confucian ideals, the Mongol occupation created a new constellation of property and gender relations that persisted to the end of the imperial era. It shows how the Mongol-Y¸an rule in China ironically created the conditions for radical changes in the law, which for the first time brought it into line with the goals of Learning the Way Confucians and which curtailed women's financial and personal autonomy. The book re-evaluates the Mongol invasion and its influence on Chinese law and society.

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