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Taiwan Prefecture

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Taiwan Prefecture Chinese: 臺灣府; pinyin: Táiwān Fǔ was a prefecture of Taiwan under Qing rule1 The prefecture was established by the Qing dynasty government in 1684,2 after the island "became an integral part of the Chinese Empire" in 16833 The Taiwan Prefecture Gazetteer 臺灣府志; Taiwan Fu Zhi4 documented it as part of Fujian Province5 The Taiwan Prefecture Gazetteer was completed by Gao Gonggan in 1695, the 34th year of the reign of the Kangxi Emperor6


  • 1 1684–1723
  • 2 1723-1875
    • 21 Four Prefectures, Two Seaboard Divisions
  • 3 1875-1887
  • 4 1887-1895
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 Bibliography


When the Qing wrested the island from the control of the Kingdom of Tungning in 1683, Taiwan was made a prefecture under the administration of Fujian Province The new Prefecture "was divided into three hien or districts":7

  • Zhuluo County, the central western plains and the north;
  • Taiwan County zh, around the prefectural seat at Taiwan-fu
  • Fongshan County zh, which took up much of present-day Kaohsiung and Pingtung County

The aboriginal lands on the east coast were not under Qing jurisdiction this area was called Behind the Mountains 後山 by the Qing8 The seat of government, referred to as "Taiwan-fu" 臺灣府城; Táiwān fǔchéng, was located in modern-day Tainan, "which city had been in turn the capital of the Dutch, Koxinga, and the Chinese"9


Four Prefectures, Two Seaboard Divisionsedit

Prefectures from south to north:10

  • Fongshan hien: one town, 8 Chinese villages, 73 uncivilized native villages, 8 civilized native villages
  • Kagi hien: one town, 4 Chinese villages, 22 uncivilized native villages, 8 civilized native villages
  • Changhwa hien: one town, 16 villages

Seaboard Divisions:

  • Pescadores ting
  • Tamsui ting: one town, 132 farms, 70 native villages


An administrative change occurred in 1875, when Imperial Commissioner Shen Pao-chen demanded that another prefecture be added in Taiwan to revamp the administrative organization of the northern area of the island11 As a result, Taipeh Prefecture was created from part of Taiwan Prefecture


Taiwan Province officially "Fujian-Taiwan-Province" was established in 1887 The new province was reorganized into four prefectures: Taipeh, Taiwan, Tainan, and Taitung912 Tainan Prefecture was created from part of Taiwan Prefecture1314 Thus Taiwan Prefecture was reduced to the area of central Taiwan only, composed of the modern-day Miaoli County, Taichung City, Nantou County, Changhua County, and Yunlin County

The new prefecture was divided into four counties and one subprefecture: Taiwan County zh, Changhua County, Yunlin County, Miaoli County, and Puli Subprefecture zh9 The new prefecture seat was located at the central city of Toatun 大墩, which was also designated as the site of the new provincial capital, or Taiwan-fu However, during construction of the new Taiwan-fu, the provincial capital was temporarily relocated to the city of Taipeh Taipei15 One of the administrators of Taiwan Prefecture was Raymund Tu, a native priest of Taiwan16

Four years after development of Toatun began, the seat of Taipeh Taipei was officially declared the provincial capital17

In 1895, with the Treaty of Shimonoseki and the successful Japanese invasion of Taiwan, Taiwan Prefecture was abolished Under Japanese rule, the province was abolished in favor of Japanese-style divisions

See alsoedit

  • Zhou country subdivision
  • Taiwan under Qing rule
  • Tainan
  • Taichū Prefecture


  1. ^ Henckaerts, Jean-Marie 12 September 1996 The international status of Taiwan in the new world order: legal and political considerations Martinus Nijhoff Publishers p 268 ISBN 978-90-411-0929-3 
  2. ^ China: five thousand years of history and civilization City University of HK Press 30 April 2007 p 108 ISBN 978-962-937-140-1 
  3. ^ Davidson 1903, p 63
  4. ^ "Prefecture History" Taiwanpedia Retrieved 19 January 2012 
  5. ^ Teng, Emma 1 March 2006 Taiwan's imagined geography: Chinese colonial travel writing and pictures, 1683-1895 Harvard Univ Asia Center p 57 ISBN 978-0-674-02119-8 
  6. ^ Chinese Studies in History 42 International Arts and Sciences Press 2008 p 14 ISSN 0009-4633 OCLC 560417594 
  7. ^ Davidson 1903, p 64:"Taiwan was divided into three "hien" or districts, known as Choolo, Taiwan, and Fangshan, under civil magistrates, and one ''ting" or maritime division, Panghoo Pescadores under a marine magistrate These magistrates submitted themselves to the Taiwanfu or prefect, who in turn was under the authority of the censor of Taiwan, afterwards known as the Taotai, who was the highest authority in Taiwan, and was to make a circuit of the departments once annually"
  8. ^ 一六八四年滿清據台後,改為一府三縣 The capital and three counties of Taiwan in 1684, after the Qing seized Taiwan in Chinese Taiwanusnet Inc 2003 
  9. ^ a b c Davidson 1903, p 244
  10. ^ Davidson 1903, p 93
  11. ^ Skinner, George W; Baker, Hugh D R, eds 1977 The City in Late Imperial China Stanford University Press p 197 ISBN 978-0-8047-0892-0  |access-date= requires |url= help
  12. ^ Campbell, William 1915 Sketches from Formosa London: Marshall Brothers pp 278–9 OL 7051071M 
  13. ^ Gordon, Leonard H D 2007 Confrontation over Taiwan: nineteenth-century China and the powers Lexington Books ISBN 978-0-7391-1868-9 
  14. ^ The Chinese times 1890 Retrieved 19 January 2012 
  15. ^ Davidson 1903, p 245: "the seat of government which had been formerly at the old town of Taiwan-fu in the south, which city had been in turn the capital of the Dutch, Koxinga, and the Chinese, was now removed temporarily to the new city of Taipeh, which had been lately in course of constructionIn connection with this, it is necessary to go further and explain that it was the intention of the government to build a new capital city in the centre of the island near Changwha Accordingly, the new city was laid out and the construction of official yamens commenced The name of the new city became Taiwan-fu, or the capital city of Taiwan Formosa, and it was also to be the seat of a new prefecture called Taiwan"
  16. ^ David, M D 1985 Asia and Christianity Himalaya Pub House p 33 OCLC 557532654 
  17. ^ "From Aboriginal Homeland to Modern City: A Look at Taichung's Rich History" Taichung City Government 2011-12-27 Retrieved 2014-11-30 


  • Davidson, James W 1903 The Island of Formosa, Past and Present : history, people, resources, and commercial prospects : tea, camphor, sugar, gold, coal, sulphur, economical plants, and other productions London and New York: Macmillan & co OL 6931635M 

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