Three Departments and Six Ministries


Three Departments and Six Ministries

The Three Departments and Six Ministries system (zh-c|c=三省六部) was the main central administrative system adopted in ancient China. The system first took shape after the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD), was officially instituted in Sui Dynasty (589-618 AD), and matured during Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD). It replaced the Three Lords and Nine Ministers system that was instituted in Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). The three departments were the Secretariat (中書省), the Chancellery (門下省), and the Department of State Affairs (尚書省), while the six ministries referred to the Ministry for Personnel (吏部), Revenue (戶部), Rites (禮部), War (兵部), Justice (刑部) and Works (工部). [Li, 130.]

Overview

Under this system, the Department of State Affairs, which controlled the six ministries, was the highest executive institution of the imperial government. The Secretariat was the main policy-formulating agency that was responsible for proposing and drafting all imperial decrees. The main function of the Chancellery was to advise the emperor and the Secretariat. The head of the Secretariat or the Department of State Affairs was generally referred to as the Chancellor, next only to the emperor in rank and power.

The six ministries were direct administrative organs of the state and each was headed by a Minister (尚書) who was assisted by a Vice Minister (侍郎). The Ministry of Personnel was in charge of appointments, merit ratings, promotions, and demotions of officials, as well as granting of honorific titles.Hucker, 32.] The Ministry of Revenue was in charge of gathering census data, collecting taxes, and handling state revenues, while there were two offices of currency that were subordinate to it.Hucker, 33.] The Ministry of Rites was in charge of state ceremonies, rituals, and sacrifices; it also oversaw registers for Buddhist and Daoist priesthoods and even the reception of envoys from tributary states.Hucker, 33–35.] The Ministry of War was in charge of the appointments, promotions, and demotions of military officers, the maintenance of military installations, equipment, and weapons, as well as the courier system.Hucker, 35.] The Ministry of Justice was in charge of judicial and penal processes, but had no supervisory role over the Censorate or the Grand Court of Revision.Hucker, 36.] The Ministry of Works was in charge of government construction projects, hiring of artisans and laborers for temporary service, manufacturing government equipment, the maintenance of roads and canals, standardization of weights and measures, and the gathering of resources from the countryside.

History

The origin of the Three Departments and Six Ministries system can be traced as far as the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). The Han government adopted the so-called Three Lords and Nine Ministers system led by the Chancellor, the head of all civil service officials. After emperor Wu (156–87 BC), however, the Chancellor gradually lost his power. At the beginning of Cao Wei, a secretarial institution was established to assist the emperor, which was later expanded and renamed as the Secretariat. [Lu, 235.]

ee also

* Grand Secretariat
* Censorate
* Three Lords and Nine Ministers (Three Excellencies-Nine Ministers)

Notes

References

*cite book |author=Denis C. Twitchett, John K. Fairbank (Hrsg.)|title= The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 3, Sui and T'ang China, 589–906|page=p.179|publisher= Cambridge University Press|place= Cambridge|year= 1979|isbn= 0-521-21446-7
*cite book |last= Li |first= Konghuai |title= History of Administrative Systems in Ancient China|publisher= Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd. |year= 2007|language=Chinese |isbn= 978-962-04-2654-4
*cite book |last= Lu |first= Simian |title= The General History of China |publisher= New World Publishing |year= 2008|language=Chinese |isbn= 978-7-80228-569-9
*


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Three Lords and Nine Ministers — The Three Lords and Nine Ministers system (Chinese: 三公九卿) was a central administrative system adopted in ancient China that was officially instituted in Qin Dynasty (221 BC 206 BC) and was replaced by the Three Departments and Six Ministries… …   Wikipedia

  • HISTORICAL SURVEY: THE STATE AND ITS ANTECEDENTS (1880–2006) — Introduction It took the new Jewish nation about 70 years to emerge as the State of Israel. The immediate stimulus that initiated the modern return to Zion was the disappointment, in the last quarter of the 19th century, of the expectation that… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ALIYAH AND ABSORPTION — GENERAL SURVEY Introduction Aliyah, ascension or going up, is the coming of Jews as individuals or in groups, from exile or diaspora to live in the Land of Israel. Those who go up for this purpose are known as olim – a term used in the Bible for… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Central University of Finance and Economics — 中央财经大学 Motto 忠诚 团结 求实 创新 Motto in English Loyalty, Unity, Truth, Innovation Established 1949 Type National university …   Wikipedia

  • Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement — ▪ 2006 Introduction Trials of former heads of state, U.S. Supreme Court rulings on eminent domain and the death penalty, and high profile cases against former executives of large corporations were leading legal and criminal issues in 2005.… …   Universalium

  • Counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism organizations — Counterintelligence, and closely related counterterrorism, may well be a source of positive intelligence on the opposition s priorities and thinking, not just a defensive measure. Still, foreign intelligence capability is an important part of… …   Wikipedia

  • RELIGIOUS LIFE AND COMMUNITIES — Jews UNDER OTTOMAN RULE The Jews of the pre Zionist old yishuv, both sephardim (from the Orient) and ashkenazim (of European origin), dedicated their lives to the fulfillment of religious precepts: the study of the torah and the meticulous… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada — Departments of the Government of Canada Fisheries and Oceans Pêches et Océans …   Wikipedia

  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (New Zealand) — Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Agency overview Jurisdiction New Zealand Headquarters Executive Wing …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (India) — Republic of India This article is part of the series: Politics and Government of India …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.