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Qing Dynasty Political Documents and Materials from the Grand Council of State

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Location:Rooms at the northwestern corner of the plaza south of the Gate of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing men)

Dates: 2001-06-18 through *

It was during the prosecution of the unsuccessful campaign against the Zunghars (from the 1729 onwards) that the Yongzheng Emperor (r. 1723-1735) created a new decision-making body which evolved after his death into the Grand Council of State. In the beginning this was an informal “inner council” of a few men, who could be called for consultations at any hour when messages from the battle front arrived. From the Emperor’s perspective, ad hoc committees such as this allowed his to evade the constraints imposed by the bureaucratic regulations of the outer court. Deliberative groups could be formed at need, dissolved after they had served their purposes, and staffed without regard to seniority and other bureaucratic rules.

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