Since the middle of the 20th century, French medievalists have been interested in the economic relationships between city and countryside, while the French research has tended to neglect the political aspect of urban-rural relations. By utilizing the rich archives of the city of Béziers and the village of Vendres(Hérault), the author of the present article aims to contribute to this latter aspect focusing on the latter half of the 14th century.
The urban elites of Béziers--that is, those citizens in charge of municipal functions--showed their presence to the villagers of Vendres in diverse ways, including 1. royal officers of Béziers, 2. holders of ad hoc functions of a judicial or administrative nature, 3. collectors of royal subsidies and local/regional taxes in Biterrois, 4. consuls of Béziers, 5. moneylenders, buyers of wheat or of the right to levy property tax or income tax, 6. those who give personal aid or advice and 7. advocates/consultants. In roles 1 and 2, they exercised decision-making in judicial and administrative matters; in role 3 and 5, decision-making in financial matters, offering either monetary aid or investing in profit-making ventures; in role 4, assisting or directing the consuls of Vendres and in roles 6 and 7, giving aid and advice to those consuls. Landowners and lawyers are recruited in roles 1 and 2, businessmen in roles 3 and 5, and lawyers in role 7. In other words, the urban elites of Béziers had superiority over the leaders of Vendres, in terms of the economic, intellectual and political capital, by means of which, they both commanded and protected the village community, depending on the situation.
In order to cope with the difficult circumstances caused by the Hundred Years’ War, Vendres did not rely on the military protection of external powers, but chose to reinforce its self-defense capabilities instead. However, outside the military/defense domain, the village relied on the protection of the ruling elites of Béziers. While the governmental regime was changing from seigneury to monarchical state, the role of protector of village communities was no longer played by the seigneurs, but neither was the king yet involved; rather, it was the urban elites who filled the void for the time being.
In the research on Japan’s foreign loans to China during World War I(Nishihara［Kamezo］Shakkan 西原借款), which flourished during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the image of Terauchi Masatake, which he himself billed as being “fair and impartial”, also assumes his heavy reliance on Nishihara Kamezo in policy making regarding China. Behind this consensus lay the paucity of sources authored by Terauchi himself, in contrast to the huge body of materials left by Nishihara, resulting in having to see the character of the former through the eyes of the latter. Such an interpretation of Terauchi has contributed much to the formation of the conventional understanding of the former prime minister(1916-1918)as following the advice of Nishihara in the formation of the policy to give aid and cooperation to Duan Qirui regime in northern China and the plan to unify Korea and Manchuria in terms of railway transportation, finance and administration.
The present article begins with an examination of Terauchi’s perceptions of China, including the southern regions, in relation to Yasukawa Keiichiro, a close friend of Sun Yatsen. Secondly, the author focuses on the relationship between Terauchi and industrialist Okura Kihachiro, as described in Tsurumi Yusuke’s biography of Goto Shinpei, an aspect that the above-mentioned research on foreign loans to China has failed to touch upon. Finally, in relation to points one and two, the author offers a revision of Terauchi’s image by weaving the Yasukawa element into the relationships around Terauchi, while taking up the memoirs of Hayashi Gonsuke, which have also been overlooked in the research to date.
The author concludes that while Terauchi supported the northern Chinese warlord regime, he originally stressed the importance of detente between the north and the south, putting him in close approximation to the thinking of Yasukawa, Hara Takashi and Shoda Kazue, demonstrating a posture of restraint when compared to Nishihara, even when giving priority to the Duan regime as the First World War unfolded. Terauchi should be credited with political broad-mindedness and flexibility, and Nishihara, as well as Okura, who was involved in China policy-making for the previous Okuma Cabinet, should be viewed as contributing to policy decisions within the bounds of Terauchi’s own prerogative. Finally, Terauchi’s position regarding the unification of Korea and Manchuria was limited mostly to the financial aspects, while entrusting the rest to his Treasury Minister Shoda.