peasant "militia" system established in China about the 6th century AD. The fubing was first begun by the short-lived Western Wei (535-556/557) and Northern Zhou (557-581) dynasties in North China in an effort to prevent incursions by the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. Groups of peasants were given military training and organized into armed companies in which they were required to participate in times of emergency. The Tang dynasty (618-907) took over this system and made it part of the tax services required of all able-bodied peasants. The system began to collapse toward the middle of the Tang dynasty. Although it was never formally reinstated, the peasant militia system was frequently attempted by local gentry and officials as a way of pacifying the countryside in times of unrest. This was especially true in the latter part of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911/12), when the deterioration of the regular Imperial forces left the militia system as the only method for the government to control the increasing number of local rebellions.
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