The behavior of the local military officers was even more outrageous. The Fan were intimidated by these officers’ relatives and were easily bullied into trading horses and cattle with them. After the Ming-Qing transition, the Qing imperial court retained some Ming policies in order to maintain local government operations and in the interest of social stability. In 1748, Taozhou Guard was formally dissolved and converted into a subprefecture. In 1755, a third stele was erected in the City God temple of the New Fort. The specific language used in the stele evidences the close relationship between the Seven Associations and the former Guard. The central issue in the disputes between the local Han and the Fan was ownership of the nearby pastureland. The Seven Associations used institutions derived from the former Guard system and their worship of the Dragon Spirit both to assert their rights of ownership and also to configure the group’s internal organization.