Author Topic: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash  (Read 2063 times)

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Offline SquareEarth

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Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« on: April 03, 2015, 12:08:19 AM »
With the adoption of western mint machines during late Qing era, coins changed from being minted by casting to minted by striking.

The last stand of Cast Cash coin seemed to be this one: Yunnan's Min Guo Tong Bao or "Circulated Treasure of the Republic”, it was minted in 1915, and the last of its kind save for commemorative and fantasies.
Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 04:31:18 AM »
That is still the official "reign title" for China, since the end of the Qing.   

Offline SquareEarth

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Re: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 07:03:10 AM »
That is still the official "reign title" for China, since the end of the Qing.

It's questionable... I think it's safer to say that the RoC lacks a Reign Title System.

Before the invention of reign titles, Kings and emperors simply wrote down the the years without any indicator, if a bronze dagger inscription says it was made during "the fifth year", it could be the fifth year of any king or emperor. If fact, we could only know whose "fifth year" it was based on other informations (in the case of that dagger, since it was made under the supervision of "Chancellor of the State Lü Buwei", we could assume it's made during the fifth year of King Zheng of Qin (aka Qin Shihuangdi), or 242 BC. So it's possible for the Chinese to live without a reign title.

Fast forward two thousand years, by the time RoC was founded, China's neighbors have already adopted their own version of "Linear" year counting systems, used alongside their reign titles. The Japanese had their Imperial Years (Kōki) , in which the years were counted from the legendary Emperor Jimmu, so 1940 was Kōki 2600, but also Shōwa 15. Minguo Calendar strikes me as an example of a similar system to Kōki, but without a monarch.

Before it was decided that years should be counted from foundation of RoC, people tried to establish linear calendars base on Confucius or the Yellow Emperor, both calendars were used alongside Qing reign titles. And here, Minguo Calendar is used as a replacement for Confucius or Yellow Emperor Calendars (so 1912 was Minguo 1, not Yellow Emperor 4610 or Confucius 2463), not as a replacement for imperial reign titles.

Besides, Mingguo was used with its own negative counting system, so 1908 was 3 Years Prior to Minguo, not Guangxu 34. Which makes it even more similar to AD, AH, or Kōki, and less similar to a Chinese reign title.
Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao

Offline SquareEarth

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Re: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 07:32:51 AM »
Minguo Zhongbao
Heavy Treasure of the Republic.
It didn't know the RoC had a Zhongbao coin, did they have a yuanbao coin to make the set complete? (No, they didn't)

Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao

Offline SquareEarth

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Re: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 07:43:40 AM »
Fujian Tongbao
Since it was cheaper to strike than to cast, it was very rare for cast cash to be made, except during emergency.
Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 09:06:49 AM »
At this point 'Min Guo' is taken more as the equivalent of a dynasty name.    It can run with that status a couple hundred more years.    I think it was fortuitous use, which has not needed change despite much else happening.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 01:44:11 PM »
Can you argue that the emperors themselves created a distance between their name and the era name, so that, even when the two tended to merge towards the end of the empire, Min Guo has the character of an era name and is therefore independent of the identity or function of the ruler?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Republic of China, Min Guo Tong Bao, The Last Cash
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2015, 11:15:38 PM »
When Min Guo was first applied, nobody knew what was going to happen going forward.   It was part of the 4 character full name of the country, in place of a dynastic name (eg. "Great Ching").   Yuan Shih Kai tried but failed to make himself the new emperor around 1916.    There was a tremendous feeling of vacuum, exhilaration of missing the worse than useless sclerotic dynasty, and not wanting or needing it to be replaced.   Min Guo was idealist and hopeful.   If one president such as Sun Yat Sen had remained in place for 40 years, dates might have followed his name.   They had to use something.   In my 1942 Chinese dictionary, in the abstract of Chinese dynasties, it is listed as the current one, no special fanfare except it does not list how many rulers there had been.

All of my Chinese books use Min Guo dates for when they were printed, and emperor years for all prior dates.   Likewise my Japanese books.   There they will use the Japanese reign date first, then if the material refers to China, the Chinese ruler date.   Only incidentally will they give in parenthesis the "west date".   This is the first I have ever heard of linear calendars in China or Japan.

On the coins, it's only coincidence that the requirement for a 2 character reign title on cashpieces caught the beginning of the republic, and so used Min Guo.    Its aptness made it survive warlords and the 1949 division.   None of that was decided beforehand.  Usage itself has now created the situation.    Dynasties typically last a couple hundred years.   Min Guo presently fits nicely with that scheme.   Historically, emperors constantly bragged about their dynasty lasting 10,000 years.   I've never seen the People's Republic being that boastful.   They just go with the flow.