China The T'ang dynasty EARLY T'ANG (618-626) When Kao-tsu became emperor (reigned 618

-626), he was still only one among the contenders for control of the empire of the Sui. It was several years before the empire was entirely pacified. After the suppression of Hsьeh Chь and the pacification of the northwest, the T'ang had to contend with three principal rival forces: the Sui remnants commanded by Wang Shih-ch'ung at Lo-yang, the rebel Li Mi in Honan, the rebel Tou Chien-te in Hopeh, and Yь-wen Huachi, who had assassinated the previous Sui emperor Yang-ti and now led the remnants of the Sui's southern armies. Wang Shih-ch'ung set up a grandson of Yang-ti at Lo-yang as the new Sui emperor. Yь-wen Hua-chi led his armies to attack Loyang, and Wang Shih-ch'ung persuaded Li Mi to return to his allegiance with the Sui and help him fight Yь-wen Huachi. Li Mi defeated Yь-wen Hua-chi's armies but depleted his own forces seriously. Wang Shih-ch'ung, seeing the chance to dispose of his most immediate rival, took over Lo-yang and routed Li Mi's forces. Li Mi fled to Ch'ang-an and submitted to the T'ang. In the spring of 619 Wang Shih-ch'ung deposed the puppet Sui prince at Lo-yang and proclaimed himself emperor. The T'ang armies gradually forced him to give ground in Honan, and by 621 Kao-tsu's son Li Shih-min was besieging him in Lo-yang. At this time Wang Shih-ch'ung attempted to form an alliance with the most powerful of all the Sui rebels, Tou Chien-te, who controlled much of Hopeh and who had completed the defeat of Yь-wen Hua-chi's forces in 619. He held the key area of southern Hopeh, where he had successfully resisted both the T'ang armies and the forces of Wang and Li. Tou now agreed to come to the aid of the beleaguered Wang, but in the spring of 621 Li Shihmin attacked his army before it could lift the siege, routed it, and captured Tou. Wang then capitulated. The T'ang had thus disposed of its two most powerful rivals and extended its control over most of the eastern plain, the most populous and prosperous region of China. This was not the end of resistance to the T'ang conquest. Most of the surrendered rebel forces had been treated leniently, and their leaders were often confirmed in office or given posts in the T'ang administration. Tou and Wang, however, were dealt

with severely, Tou being executed and Wang murdered on his way to exile. At the end of 621 Tou's partisans in the northeast again rebelled under Liu Hei-t'a and recaptured most of the northeast. He was finally defeated by a T'ang army under the crown prince Chien-ch'eng at the beginning of 623. The prolonged resistance in Hopeh and the comparatively harsh T'ang conquest of the region were the beginning of resistance and hostility in the northeast that continued to some degree throughout the T'ang dynasty. Resistance was not confined to the northeast. Liu Wu-chou in the far north of Shansi, who had been a constant threat since 619, was finally defeated and killed by his former Turkish allies in 622. In the south during the confusion at the end of the Sui, Hsiao Hsien had set himself up as emperor of Liang, controlling the central Yangtze region, Kiangsi, Kwangtung, and Annam. The T'ang army descended the Yangtze from Szechwan with a great fleet and defeated Hsiao Hsien's forces in two crucial naval battles. In 621 Hsiao Hsien surrendered to the T'ang, who thus gained control of the central Yangtze and the far south. The southeast was occupied by another rebel, Li Tzu-t'ung, based in Chekiang. He, too, was decisively defeated near modern Nanking at the end of 621. As had been the case with Hsiao Hsien's dominions, the southeast was incorporated into the T'ang Empire with a minimum of fighting and resistance. A last southern rebellion by Fu Kungshih, a general who set up an independent regime at Nanking in 624, was speedily suppressed. After a decade of war and disorder, the empire was completely pacified and unified under the T'ang house East Asian Arts Painting and calligraphy. One school that flourished under Yьan official patronage was that of Buddhist and Taoist painting; important wall paintings were executed at the Yung-lo Temple in Shansi (now restored and moved to Jui-ch'eng). A number of royal patrons, including Kublai, the emperors Buyantu and Tog-temьr, and Kublai's greatgranddaughter Sengge, built an Imperial collection of important early works and also sponsored paintings that emphasized such themes as architecture and horses. Still, their activities were not a match for Sung royal patronage, and it was in this period that the amateur art of painters of the scholar

especially of realistic flowers and birds.class (in the tradition of Su Shih and his late Northern Sung colleagues) first came to dominate Chinese painting standards. Typical were the simply brushed orchid paintings of Cheng Ssu-hsiao. Whereas most painting had previously displayed technical refinement and had conservatively transmitted the heritage of the immediate past. From Wu-hsing in Chekiang. as reflected in his painting style and themes. A notable example is . In his official travels he collected paintings by Northern Sung masters that inspired him to revive and reinterpret the classical styles in his own fashion. The most distinguished of the scholar-painters was Chao Meng-fu. he altered his style to incorporate the primitive qualities of ancient painting. The restriction of the scholars' opportunities at court and the choice of many of them to withdraw into seclusion rather than serve the Mongols created a heightened sense of class identity and individual purpose. gradually evolving through modest individual departures. Eremitic rather than courtly values now shaped the art of painting as never before. stiff or peculiarly mannered renditions of vegetation and small animals. and the archaic flavour of clerical script in his brushwork. and a stylistic gulf sprang up between literati painters and court professionals that was not bridged until the 18th century. Calligraphy became a part of his design and frequently confirmed through historical references a link between subject matter and his eremitic choice of lifestyle. favouring the T'ang blue-and-green manner in his landscape painting. a fellow townsman and younger follower of Ch'ien Hsьan who became a high official and president of the Imperial Hanlin Academy. which in turn inspired their art. Ch'ien Hsьan was among the first to define this new direction. Like many Chinese scholars who espoused this amateur ideal. Style and subject were both intended to reflect closely the artist's own personality and mood rather than conforming to the wishes of a patron. selectively chosen and radically transformed by means of expressive calligraphic brushwork. the literati thenceforth typically based their styles on a wide-ranging knowledge of distant stylistic precedents. who painted this traditional symbol of political loyalty without any ground beneath as a comment on the grievous loss of China to foreign domination. he steadfastly declined an invitation to serve at court. A conservative painter before the Mongol conquest. Ch'ien Hsьan was obliged by demeaning circumstances to exchange his paintings in return for his family's livelihood.

and his standard script became the national model for book printing. New York City) and "Water Village" (1302. Four masters of the middle and later Yьan. Other gentlemen-painters who worked at the Yьan court perpetuated more conservative Sung styles. and Chang Yь. His well-studied writing style was praised in his time for its breadth of historical understanding. set the highest standard for the painting of plums. including Chao Meng-fu. however. Jen Jen-fa worked in great detail and was perhaps the last of China's great horse painters. Taipei). however. of revolutionary zeal. and suppression of the realistic and decorative in favour of an intentional plainness. The Yьan produced many fine calligraphers."Autumn Colours in the Ch'iao and Hua Mountains" (1296. The hand scrolls "Twin Pines and Level View" (The Metropolitan Museum of Art. came to be regarded as the foremost . which marks the integrity of the gentleman suspicious of too much skill. Li K'an carefully studied the varieties of bamboo during his official travels and wrote a systematic treatise on painting them. for a brush style too sweet and pleasing. often rivaling or even surpassing their Sung predecessors in the process. respectively) and furthered the new direction of scholarly landscape painting by applying the standards and techniques of calligraphy to painting. Wang Mien. Yang Wei-chen. a nostalgic. Palace Museum. it was the ideals of the retired scholars that had the most lasting effect on later Chinese art. who served not the Mongols but anti-Mongol forces at the end of the dynasty. he remains unsurpassed as a skilled bamboo painter. but he was later criticized for a lack of daring or expression of personality. brushwork more revealing of the inner spirit of the subject--or of the artist himself--than of outward appearance. Kao K'o-kung followed Mi Fu and Mi Yu-jen in painting cloudy landscapes that symbolized good government. all greatly influenced by Chao Meng-fu. The period was less innovative in calligraphy than in painting. potentially. This may be summed up as individuality of expression. deliberately archaistic landscape in the T'ang manner. who was the most influential. Peking) exemplify his reinterpretation of past masters (Li Ch'eng and Tung Yьan. understatement (p'ing-tan). he defended his court service through both the style and theme of his paintings. a symbol of irrepressible purity and. and awkwardness (cho). In retrospect. and Chao's primary accomplishment was to sum up and resynthesize the past. National Palace Museum.

painted with dynamic brushwork during occasional moods of inspiration between 1347 and 1350. he pays tribute to his Sung dynasty predecessors Su Tung-p'o and Wen T'ung. and utmost calm. like Huang Kungwang. He sometimes used strong colours as well. not representation. He used ink. Taipei). a grandson of Chao Meng-fu. minimal motion. Unlike the academicians. a prosperous gentleman and bibliophile forced by crippling taxation to give up his estates and become a wanderer. was inspired by Tung Yьan and Chь-jan. The cumulative effect of his masterpiece is obtained not by its fidelity to visible forms but by a profound feeling of oneness with nature that set an ideal standard for later scholarly painting. His most revered and perhaps only authentic surviving work is the hand scroll "Dwelling in the Fu-ch'un Mountains" (National Palace Museum. As a landscapist he eliminated all depictions of human beings. Wang Meng. The third of the Four Masters of the Yьan dynasty was Ni Tsan. He thus reduced the compositional pattern of Li Ch'eng (symbolizing lofty gentlemen in isolation from the court) to its simplest terms. whose manner he rendered. His brushwork was dense and energetic. which added a degree of visual charm and nostalgia to his painting that was lacking in the other three masters' work. achieving as Wu Chen had a sense of austere and monumental calm with the slenderest of means. poet. The combination in the Four Masters of a consistent philosophical and political attitude and a wide range of ink techniques made them models for later scholar-painters. derived from Tung Yьan but tangled and hoary and thereby imbued with a feeling of great antiquity. was the oldest. and painter who. in an album in the National Palace Museum (Taipei). both in their lives and in their art. a poor Taoist diviner. It is impossible to appreciate the work of the landscape painters of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties unless one is aware of how acutely conscious they were of their debt to . it was said. Quite different was the technique of the fourth Yьan master. in landscapes and bamboo painting alike. and. was his aim. with blunt brushwork. His bamboo paintings are also superb. Huang Kung-wang did not hesitate to go over his brushwork.exponents of this philosophy of painting in the Yьan period. Huang Kung-wang. for expression. This scholarly serenity was also expressed in the landscapes of Wu Chen. as sparingly as if it were gold. a Taoist recluse. He often drew heavily from Kuo Hsi or from what he perceived as T'ang traditions in his landscape compositions. which he filled with scholarly retreats.

largely putting an end to the conflict at court between professional and amateur styles that had been introduced in the Sung and played a significant role in the Ming.000 pre-Ch'ing paintings and calligraphy and cataloging them in successive editions of the Shih-ch'ь . Manchu emperors saw to it that conservative works in the scholaramateur style by Wang Hui. Thenceforward. was produced both by native court artists like Chiao Ping-chen. Wang Yьan-ch'i. The Ch'ien-lung Emperor was the most energetic of royal art patrons since Hui-tsung of the Sung. building an Imperial collection of over 4. but it came at the expense of the amateurism that had defined its purpose. East Asian Arts Painting and printmaking. In a sense. became an integral part of the total work of art. who. In regard to the former. as well as the colophons of admirers and connoisseurs. and by Giuseppe Castiglione. the artist's own inscription. The dual attraction of the Manchu rulers to unbridled decoration and to orthodox academicism characterized their patronage at court. applied to the model of Kuo Hsi. the amateur style was crowned victor. More thoroughly Westernized work. with great decorative skill. and other followers of Tung Ch'i-ch'ang were also well represented at court. who applied Western perspective to his illustrations of Keng-chih-t'u ("Rice and Silk Culture"). they favoured artists such as Yьan Chiang.the Yьan masters and how frequently they paid tribute to them both in their style and in their inscriptions. in the reign of K'ang-hsi. This politically effective aspect of Manchu patronage may have been less a specifically calculated strategy than a natural extension of their concerted attempts to cultivate and recruit the scholar class in order to establish their legitimacy. highly exotic from the Asian perspective. the mannered distortions that had cropped up in the late Ming partly as a result of Ming artists' exposure to an unfamiliar Western art. His depictions of Manchu hunts and battles provide a valuable visual record of the times. indeed. In the mid-18th century Castiglione produced a Sino-European technique that had considerable influence on court artists such as Tsou I-kuei. but he was ignored by literati critics. On the other hand. which were reproduced and distributed in the form of wood engravings in 1696.

copies of Huang Kung-wang's "Dwelling in the Fu-ch'un Mountains" and of Fan K'uan's "Travelers Among Mountains and Streams") and in his propensity for covering his collected masterpieces with multiple impressions of court seals and calligraphic inscriptions in a mediocre hand. retired to T'ai-ts'ang near modern Shanghai at the fall of the Ming." Wu Li. New York City).pao-chi. if short-lived. however. . Wang Yьan-ch'i. Wang Hui was a dazzling prodigy whose landscapes included successful forgeries of Northern Sung and Yьan masters and who did not hesitate to market the "amateur" practice. The conservatism of Ch'ing period painting was exemplified by the so-called "Six Masters" of the late 17th-early 18th century. fluency of execution in brushwork became the exclusive basis for appreciation. At court. including the so-called "Four Wangs. the P'ei-wen-chai shu-hua-p'u. Receiving no patronage from the Manchu court and leaving only a minor following before the latter half of the 19th century was a different group of artists. After Wang Wei" (The Metropolitan Museum of Art. was the only one of these six orthodox masters who fully lived up to Tung Ch'i-ch'ang's injunction to transform the styles of past models creatively. Wang Shih-min's grandson. however. making it the centre of a school of scholarly landscape painting that included his friend Wang Chien and the younger artist Wang Hui. The shortcomings of his taste. who had been a pupil of Tung Ch'i-ch'ang. They shared in common a rejection of Manchu political authority and the choice of an eremitic. often impoverished lifestyle that obliged them to trade their works for their sustenance in spite of their allegiance to amateur ideals. now frequently referred to as "Individualists. as he did in his tour de force "Wang River Villa. Wang Yьanch'i rose to high office under the K'ang-hsi Emperor and served as chief compiler of the Imperial painting and calligraphy catalog. the hardening of his style in his later years foreshadowed the decline of Ch'ing literati painting for lack of flexible innovation. were displayed in his preference for recent forgeries rather than the originals in his collection (notably." Collectively. In the works of most of these artists and of those who followed their lead. moment in the history of literati painting. and Yьn Shou-p'ing. Wang Shih-min. with little in the way of variation or genre detail to appeal to the imagination. By contrast. these artists represent a triumphant. composition became routinized. triggered in good part by the emotionally cathartic conquest of China by the Manchus. both among fellow scholars and at the Manchu court.

Cha Shih-piao. used repetitive forms and strong tonal contrasts to convey a pervasive feeling of repressive constraint. they pursued an emotional appeal reflective of their own temperaments. For example. Hsiao Yьn-ts'ung. He was the most prominent of the artists who came to be known as the "Eight Masters of Nanking. Drenowatz Collection). virtually all these artists reveal the influence of Tung Ch'i-ch'ang's compositional means. a Nanking artist whose budding political career was cut short by the Manchu conquest. propagated in part through woodblock catalogs illustrating Anhwei's vaunted ink and painting-paper products. the most enduring legacy of all. The group of artists now known as the "Anhwei School" (including Ting Yьn-p'eng. Another Individualist artist to join the Buddhist ranks was Hung-jen. a severe coolness based on the sparse. from the influence of Western art. Kung Hsien. Known by a sequence of names.. also express a feeling of melancholy. they often revealed the influence of Tung Ch'i-ch'ang's systematization of painting method. who became a somewhat misanthropic abbot at a Buddhist monastery near Nanking. However individualistic. Mei Ch'ing. The landscapes of K'un-ts'an (or Shih-ch'i). unlike the more conservative masters.Stylistically.A. In the 17th century. exemplar of a style that arose in the Hsin-an or Huichou district of southeastern Anhwei province and drew on the famed landscape of the nearby Huang Mountains. just like their more orthodox contemporaries. C. but. albeit belatedly recognized. Zьrich. lonely isolation. and Tai Pen-hsiao) mostly pursued an opposite emotional extreme from Kung Hsien and K'un-ts'an. Japan). Switz." Sumitomo Collection. His works were typically inspired by the densely tangled brushwork of Wang Meng of the Yьan (exemplified by his "Pao-en Temple. ownership of a Hung-jen painting became the mark of a knowing connoisseur. perhaps designed to protect . stood out among these Individualist masters and left. dry linear style of the Yьan artist Ni Tsan. and gloom in his landscapes (most impressive is his "Thousand Peaks and Myriad Ravines" in the Rietberg Museum. possibly. Oiso. both members of the deposed and decimated Ming royal family. though contemporary painters from Nanking did share solidity of form derived from Sung prototypes and. Two artists. when the Anhwei style became popular among wealthy collectors in the area of present-day Shanghai." This group was only loosely related stylistically.

China Industrialization for "self-strengthening. Their influence on Chinese art since then. He emerged from this with an eccentric style remarkable for its facility with extremes. withdrawn use of brush and ink." Tao-chi's extreme stand in favour of artistic individuality stands out against the growing scholasticism of Ch'ing painting and was an inspiration to the artists. renounced his Buddhist status. Kao Feng-han. Chin Nung. writing that his own method was "no method" and insisting that. creativity with the brush must be spontaneous and seamless.. like nature. His paintings of glowering birds and fish casting strange and ironic glances. alternating between a wet and wild manner and a dry. as well as his structurally interwoven studies of rocks and vegetation. Hua Yen. roughly grouped together as the "Eight Eccentrics" (including Cheng Hsieh. and Lo P'ing). with brush techniques that were free and unconventional and a daring use of colour. He traveled widely as an adult in such varied artistic regions as the Huang Mountains district of Anhwei province and Nanking and finally settled in the newly prosperous city of Yang-chou. are virtually without precedent in composition. until the late 19th century. although aspects of both the eccentric Hsь Wei and Tung Ch'i-ch'ang are discernible in his work. suffered or at least feigned a period of madness and muteness in the 1680s. has been profound. when a new individualist thrust appeared in Shanghai in response to the challenge of Western culture. he ridiculed traditionalism. based on the concept of i-hua. His esoteric inscriptions reveal a controlled intent rather than sheer lunacy and suggest a knowledgeable. Chu Ta's cousin Tao-chi was raised in secret in a Ch'an Buddhist community. who were patronized by the rich merchants in early 18th-century Yang-chou. The art of Chu Ta and Tao-chi was not firmly enshrined. the "unifying line. however. His work has a freshness inspired not by masters of the past but by an unfettered imagination. where in his later years he publicly acknowledged his royal identity. Chu Ta. if hard to unravel." . and engaged in professional practices. In his essay Hua yь lu ("Comments on Painting").his royal identity. commentary on China's contemporary predicament. especially in the 20th century. Huang Shen. or Pa-ta Shan-jen.

the Tientsin Machine Factory. In the second period (1872-94). was beset with bureaucratic malpractices. and the Fu-chou Navy Yard. and Tso Tsung-t'ang. In the first period of modern industrial development (1861-72). however. but thereafter it declined and was destroyed in 1884 during the Sino-French War--and the weapons industry was significant not so much for its direct military purpose as for the introduction of Western knowledge and techniques through the many educational facilities that were attached to each installation. and the sponsors tended to use the enterprises as a basis for their regional power. who sought to consolidate the Ch'ing power by introducing Western technology. the most important enterprises being the Kiangnan Arsenal in Shanghai. Under such . Leading among the several enterprises of the second period were the China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company and the K'ai-p'ing Coal Mines. who urged "the use of the barbarians' superior techniques to control the barbarians" and proposed to give the gentry stronger leadership than before in local administration. built 15 vessels during the five years after 1869 as scheduled. for example. business was spoiled by nepotism and corruption. and the operation shifted from direct government management to a government-supervised and merchantmanaged method. The central government not only was unable to supply capital but also looked for every opportunity to exploit these enterprises as it had exploited the monopolistic salt business after which those companies were modeled. weight shifted from the weapons industry to a wider field of manufacture. But the output was disappointing--the shipyard at Fu-chou. effort was focused on the manufacture of firearms and machines. There were many other smaller ones. The seat of decision making and responsibility was obscure. The ideological champion of the movement was Feng Kuei-fen. Li Hung-chang. These enterprises were sponsored by high provincial officials--the central figure was Li Hung-chang--but their management was left to joint operation by shareholders' representatives and the lower officials appointed by the sponsors. the Self-Strengthening Movement was launched by the anti-Taiping generals Tseng Kuo-fan. Management.Stimulated by the military training and techniques exhibited during the Westerners' cooperation against the Taiping and supported by Prince Kung in Peking.

The Ming emperors probably exercised more far-reaching influence in East Asia than any other native rulers of China. Russia. Chinese society as a whole did not change structurally before 1911. proved to be one of the stablest and longest dynasties of Chinese history. the East African coast. Mongolia. the sole exception was the sixth emperor. Compounding the problems were the compradors (Chinese agents employed by foreign firms in China) who. Spain. The Ming dynasty. modern writers. which was perpetuated under the succeeding Ch'ing dynasty. Britain. and Nam Viet regularly acknowledged Ming overlordship. . Each comprador belonged to an exclusive community by strong family or regional ties that focused his concerns on his community rather than on national interests. and Holland who appeared in China before the end of their dynasty was a condescending one. Though active in supplying capital and managerial personnel to the enterprises. which had been in decline since the 8th century. East Turkistan. the compradors themselves lacked technical training and knowledge and often indulged in speculation and embezzlement. who had two reigns separated by an interval of eight years. confusingly but correctly. Because of this reign-name practice. These shortcomings were deeply rooted in the late Ch'ing social conditions and more than offset efforts to construct and maintain the new enterprises. China The dynastic succession. acting as a link between Chinese commerce and the foreign firms in the treaty ports. and at times tribute was received from as far away as Japan. and Samarkand. Thus. and their attitude toward the representatives of Portugal. the Persian Gulf region. accumulated vast wealth from the new enterprises. Burma. which encompassed the reigns of 16 emperors. refer to the Wan-li emperor. Java and Sumatra. For the first time in Chinese history the Ming rulers regularly adopted only one reign name (nien-hao) each. Rulers of Korea. Siam. the enterprises inevitably slid into depression after some initial years of apparent success.circumstances. Modern Chinese honour the Ming emperors especially for having restored China's international power and prestige. Ceylon and South India.

The Oyrat leader Esen Taiji ambushed the Imperial army.for example. The only serious disruption of the peace occurred in 1449 when the eunuch Wang Chen led the Cheng-t'ung emperor (first reign 1435-49) into a disastrous military campaign against the Oyrat (western Mongols). chiefly under the eunuch admiral Cheng Ho. He also returned the empire's capital to Peking. But state administration began to suffer from exploitative domination of weak emperors by favoured eunuchs: Wang Chen in the 1440s. trying to assert control over his powerful uncles. the Hung-wu emperor. forced Esen to withdraw unsatisfied and for eight years dominated the government with emergency powers. and sent large naval expeditions overseas. and prosperity. or as Ming Shen-tsung. by his personal name. The former was an adventure-loving carouser. policies. simply as Wan-li. and tone that characterized the whole dynasty. to demand tribute from rulers as far away as Africa. For one period of 20 . provoked a rebellion on the part of the Prince of Yen and was overwhelmed in 1402. Yь Ch'ien. and besieged Peking. the empire enjoyed stability. Wang Chih in the 1470s and 1480s. resumed the throne as the T'ien-shun emperor (1457-64). or sometimes. He subjugated Nam Viet. The Hung-hsi (reigned 1424-25). as if the reign name were a personal name. and Liu Chin from 1505 to 1510. giving that city its modern name. After his death in 1398 his grandson and successor. the Chien-wen emperor. tranquillity. nevertheless. When the interim Ching-t'ai emperor (reigned 1449-57) fell ill in 1457. Hsьan-te (1425-35). having been released by the Mongols in 1450. the Cheng-t'ung emperor. incorrectly but conveniently. was one of the strongest and most colourful personalities of Chinese history. The Prince of Yen took the throne as the Yung-lo emperor (reigned 1402-24) and proved to be vigorous and aggressive. the latter a lavish patron of Taoist alchemists. His long reign established the governmental structure. captured the Emperor. For a century after the Yung-lo emperor. Chu I-chьn. The Ming dynasty's founder. able and conscientious rulers in the Confucian mode. and Hung-chih (1487-1505) emperors were. The Cheng-te (reigned 1505-21) and Chia-ching (1521-1566/67) emperors were among the less esteemed Ming emperors. personally campaigned against the reorganizing Mongols in the north. The Ming defense minister. Yь Ch'ien was executed as a traitor.

after Chang Chьcheng's death in 1582. it was brought under control in the 1560s.years. so that he made peace in 1571. when the Ashikaga shogunate offered nominal submission to China in exchange for generous trading privileges. it became the . The reign of the Wan-li emperor was a turning point of Ming history in other regards as well. Both emperors cruelly humiliated and punished hundreds of officials for their temerity in remonstrating. Chang Chь-cheng. under the vigorous new leadership of Altan Khan. Such sea raiders. and capable generals such as Ch'i Chi-kuang restored and maintained effective military defenses. a problem in Yьan times and from the earliest Ming years. during the regime of an unpopular grand secretary named Yen Sung. there was a high level of governmental stability. China's long peace ended in the Chia-ching emperor's reign. when Hideyoshi died and the Japanese withdrew. sometimes sending raiding parties far inland to terrorize cities and villages throughout the whole Yangtze Delta. during the last years of the Lung-ch'ing emperor (reigned 1566/67-1572) and the early years of the Chiaching emperor (1572-1620). Although coastal raiding was not totally suppressed. During the same era Japan-based sea raiders repeatedly plundered China's southeastern coast. But the Korean war dragged on indecisively until 1598. had been suppressed in the reign of the Yung-lo emperor. The court was dominated by the outstanding grand secretary of Ming history. Also in the 1560s Altan Khan was repeatedly defeated. were a constant nuisance on the northern frontier from 1542 on. the Chiaching emperor withdrew almost entirely from governmental cares. It made heavy demands on Ming resources and apparently precipitated a military decline in China. when Japanese forces under Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea. in 1550 Altan Khan raided the suburbs of Peking itself. In 1592. The Oyrat. Partisan wrangling among civil officials had flared up in the 1450s in reaction to Yь Ch'ien's dominance and again in the 1520s during a prolonged "rites controversy" provoked by the Chia-ching emperor on his accession. and during the 1550s corsair fleets looted the Shanghai-Ning-po region almost annually. For the next decade. But eventually changes in the official trade system provoked new discontent along the coast. Ming China was still strong and responsive enough to campaign effectively in support of its tributary neighbour.

In 1616 Nurhachi proclaimed a new dynasty. The Ch'ung-chen emperor (reigned 1627-44) tried to revitalize the deteriorating Ming government. Through the remainder of the Wan-li emperor's long reign a series of increasingly vicious partisan controversies absorbed the energies of officialdom. no reign name). whose sudden death after a reign of only one month in 1620 fueled new conflicts. the Prince of Lu (Chu I-hai. Taxes and conscriptions became more and more oppressive to the Chinese population. even threatening Peking in 1629 and 1638. reign name Hung-kuang). The Ming government became completely demoralized. chiefly those associated with a reformist clique called the Tung-lin party. Ming loyalists ineffectively resisted the Manchu Ch'ing dynasty from various refuges in the south for a generation. He banished Wei Chung-hsien but could not quell the partisan strife that was paralyzing the bureaucracy. A new threat had meantime appeared on the northern frontier. the most notorious eunuch of Chinese history. while the harassed emperor abandoned more and more of his responsibilities to eunuchs. Finally. and the Ch'ung-chen emperor committed suicide. and staffed the government with sycophants. The T'ien-chi emperor (reigned 1620-27) was too young and indecisive to provide needed leadership. quiet occupants of far eastern Manchuria from the beginning of the dynasty. were aroused in 1583 by an ambitious young leader named Nurhachi. and overwhelming victories over Ming forces in 1619 and 1621 gave him control of the whole northeastern segment of the Ming Empire. down to the Great Wall at Shan-hai-kuan. reign name Lung-wu). and the Prince of . Wei Chung-hsien. Their so-called Nan (Southern) Ming dynasty principally included the Prince of Fu (Chu Yusung. a domestic rebel named Li Tzu-ch'eng captured the capital in April 1644. only to have the Manchu seize the throne for themselves. The decline of bureaucratic discipline and morale continued under the T'ai-ch'ang emperor. the Prince of T'ang (Chu Yь-chien. The Manchu repeatedly raided within the Great Wall. The Manchu. The Ming commander at Shan-hai-kuan accepted Manchu help in an effort to punish Li Tzu-ch'eng and restore the dynasty. During the Wan-li emperor's latter years they steadily encroached on central Manchuria. In 1624 he finally gave almost totalitarian powers to his favourite. Wei brutally purged hundreds of officials. and banditry and rebellions spread in the interior.normal condition of court life.

The law was to be enforced impartially. One of his most influential reforms was the standardization of local administration. He convinced Hsiao Kung that the rank of nobility and the privileges attached to it should be awarded only to those who rendered good service to the state. A shortage of labour was met by recruiting able-bodied men from neighbouring states. without regard to status or position. which were then organized into prefectures under direct supervision of the court. since younger children were forced to move out and establish their . Until the 5th century BC China was dominated by the central-plain power Wei. especially for valour in battle. This policy of drawing workers to Ch'in had two consequences: an increase of production in Ch'in and a loss of manpower in the neighbouring states. Ch'in remained a secondary power until after the great reforms of Hsiao Kung (361-338 BC) and Shang Yang (Wei Yang). Another measure taken by Shang Yang was the encouragement of production. It was a step toward creating a unified state by combining various localities into counties. The result was a breakdown of the extended-family system.Kuei (Chu Yu-lang. a wealthy state with a new ruling house. and Wei. This deprived the existing nobility of their titles and privileges. This system was expanded to all China after unification in 221 BC. Shang Yang first took strong measures to establish the authority of law and royal decree. a successor to Chin. Shang Yang. Farmers were given incentive to reclaim wasteland. The loyalist coastal raider Cheng Ch'eng-kung (Koxinga) and his heirs held out on Taiwan until 1683. arousing much antagonism in the court. In the court of Ch'in he established a rare partnership with the ruler Hsiao Kung in the creation of the best organized state of their time. game and fishing reserves were also opened to cultivation. and by the eastern power Ch'i. Chao. reign name Yung-li). went westward seeking a chance to try out his ideas. especially in agriculture. In order to increase incentives. the Ch'in government levied a double tax on any male citizen who was not the master of a household. a frustrated bureaucrat in the court of Wei. China Struggle for power. especially from Han.

a reform of some importance for the development of trade and commerce. In 260 BC a decisive battle between Ch'in and Chao destroyed Chao's military strength. It befriended the more distant states while gradually absorbing the territories of those close to it. although the powers disagreed as to how it was to be done and on who was to be the universal king. As late as the 2nd century BC. was a challenge to Ch'i and Wei. and assassination. After Hsiao Kung's death. a cardinal virtue in the Confucian moral code. claimed the royal title in 325 BC. It was commonly felt that China ought to be unified politically. But Ch'i was overturned by an allied force of five states. Han scholars were still attacking the Ch'in family structure as failing to observe the principle of filial piety. Ch'in appealed to the self-interest of other powers in order to keep them from intervening in a military action it was taking against one of its neighbours. For a time the eastern power Ch'i had seemed the most likely to win. of course. Shang Yang also standardized the system of weights and measures.own households. and annexed Sung in 286 BC. The nuclear family became the prevalent form in Ch'in thereafter. Ch'in had acquired undisputed predominance over the other contending powers. son of Hsiao Kung. Within half a century. bribery. Chao. The adoption of the royal title by Ch'in. Hui-wang. including Ch'in. A common topic of debate in the courts of the other states was whether to establish friendly relations with Ch'in or to join with other states in order to resist Ch'in's expansion. crushed Yen in 314 BC. weak. It defeated Wei. Tablets of the Ch'in law substantiate the survival of Shang Yang's policies after his death. and totally at the mercy of the contending powers. ruling over a fragmentary domain: poor. Ch'in pursued a strategy of dividing its rivals and individually defeating them. although Ch'in was not able to complete its . The Ch'in strategists were ruthless: all means. succeeded Ch'i as the most formidable contender against Ch'in. the power with extensive territory in the northern frontier. espionage. Ch'in grew wealthy and powerful. What remained of the Chou royal court still survived. It continued maneuvering in order to prevent the others from uniting against it. Shang Yang was put to death by enemies at the Ch'in court. Under the joint labours of Hsiao Kung and Shang Yang. including lies. were pressed into the service of their state.

The Chinese took for granted that their emperor was everyone's overlord and that de facto (mostly hereditary) rulers of non-Chinese tribes. and states were properly his feudatories. The first ancestor was Hou Chi. Although the traditional historical system of the Chinese contains a Chou genealogy. who often rose in isolated rebellions but were gradually being assimilated. regions. the grandfather of Wen-wang. literally translated as "Lord of Millet. especially. China FOREIGN RELATIONS Whereas in Ming times the Chinese organized themselves along wholly bureaucratic and tightly centralized lines. confirm literary evidence of a Chou state. Foreign rulers were thus expected to honour and observe the Ming ritual calendar. Prior to and during the time of Tan Fu. and a new nation was formed. The fertility of the loess soil there apparently made a great impression on these people. to accept nominal appointments as members of the Ming nobility or military establishment. Under the leadership of Tan Fu they settled in the valley of the Wei River in the present province of Shensi. A walled city was built. no dates can be assigned to the ancestors. the Chou people seem to have migrated to avoid pressure from strong neighbours." He appears to have been a cultural hero and agricultural deity rather than a tribal chief. and. the Ming emperors maintained China's traditional feudal-seeming relationships with foreign peoples. Archaeological remains. The earliest plausible Chou ancestor was Tan Fu. China The Chou and Ch'in dynasties THE HISTORY OF THE CHOU (1111-255 BC) The origin of the Chou royal house is lost in the mists of time. Tributary envoys from continental . These included the aboriginal tribes of south and southwest China. to send periodic missions to the Ming capital to demonstrate fealty and present tribute of local commodities. possibly nomadic people to the north. who had already been engaged in farming when they entered their new homeland.conquest of Chao for several decades. including ruins of courtyards surrounded by walls and halls on platforms.

the combined tribute and trade activities were highly advantageous to foreigners--so much so that the Chinese early established limits for the size and cargoes of foreign missions and prescribed long intervals that must elapse between missions. The principal aim of Ming foreign policy was political: to maintain China's security and. other spices. where the Ministry of Rites offered them hospitality and arranged for their audiences with the emperor. and his transfer of the national capital from Nanking to Peking. and pepper. completed in 1421 after long preparations. They were the . The Yung-lo emperor was even more zealous: he personally campaigned into the Gobi (desert) five times. On the western and northern frontiers the principal exchange was in Chinese tea and steppe horses. were vigilant enough so that the Great Wall was restored and expanded to its present-day extent and dimensions. As early as the Yung-lo emperor's time the Mongols were divided into three groups that were often antagonistic to one another. both in the capital and on the coasts and frontiers. though less zealous than he in this regard. All envoys received valuable gifts in acknowledgement of the tribute they presented. copper coins and luxury goods (notably silks and porcelains) flowed out of China. and Canton in Kwangtung (for contacts with Southeast Asia). aligned in nine defense commands stretching from Manchuria to Kansu. They also were permitted to buy and sell private trade goods at specified. On balance. especially. Ch'ьan-chou in Fukien (for contacts with Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands). The frontier and coastal authorities forwarded foreign missions to the national capital. Frontier defense forces. was largely a reflection of his concern about the frontier. and similar rarities flowed in. The fact that the Mongols could not reunite themselves was a fortunate circumstance for Ming China. Thus. His successors. often called offices of trading ships) at three key ports on the southeast and south coasts: Ning-po in Chekiang (for Japanese contacts). to make certain the Mongols could not threaten China again. To this end the Hung-wu emperor repeatedly sent armies northward and northwestward to punish resurgent Mongol groups and prevent any reconsolidation of Mongol power. except for occasional raiding forays such as those by Esen Taiji and Altan Khan. kept China free from Mongol incursions.neighbours were received and entertained by local and provincial governments in the frontier zones. officially supervised markets. Those from overseas were welcomed by special maritime trade supervisorates (shih-po ssu.

which by late Ming times allowed the Oyrat to infiltrate and dominate Ha-mi and other parts of the northwestern frontier. As for foreign peoples other than the Mongols. western Mongols or Oyrat (also known as Eleuthes. They reflected an essentially defensive Chinese posture in the north. Shang-tu. and the Manchu to rise to power in the northeast. On one early voyage Cheng Ho intervened in a civil war in Java and established a new king there. and a group in the Ch'eng-te area known as the Urianghad tribes. the Persian Gulf. and as far as East Africa. the Indian Ocean. But he refused to intervene in dynastic upheavals in Nam Viet and Korea (where the Koryo fell to the Yi). he captured the hostile king of Ceylon and took him prisoner to China. The Urianghad tribes surrendered to the Hung-wu emperor and were incorporated into China's frontier defense system under a Chinese military headquarters. the Hsьan-te emperor similarly withdrew the command post that the Hung-wu emperor had established at the Mongols' old extramural capital. terminated active Chinese military control in Inner Mongolia. Kalmycks. the Ming attitude was on the whole unaggressive: so long as they were not disruptive. He did send an army to subdue T'u-lu-p'an in 1377 when the Turko-Mongol rulers of that oasis region rebelled and broke China's traditional transport routes to the west. The Hung-wu emperor made this his explicit policy. . even though Timur murdered Chinese envoys and planned to campaign against China. The Yung-lo emperor was much more aggressive. he rewarded them with virtual autonomy. and exposed the Peking area in particular to the possibility of probing raids from the nearby steppes. or Dzungar). Even though he threatened the Japanese with punitive expeditions if they persisted in marauding along China's coasts. on another. and he was unmoved by the rise of the Turko-Mongol empire of Timur in the far west at Samarkand. the Ming emperors left them to themselves. withdrawing the Chinese command post from their homeland beyond the Great Wall. The Yung-lo emperor also reacted to turbulence in Nam Viet by sending an expeditionary force that incorporated the area into the Ming domain as a province in 1407. These withdrawals isolated Manchuria from China proper. the eastern Mongols or Tatars. Because they served the Yung-lo emperor as a loyal rear guard during his seizure of the throne. He sent the eunuch admiral Cheng Ho on tribute-collecting voyages into Southeast Asia. he dealt with the problem by building strong fortresses and coastal-defense fleets that successfully repulsed the marauders.

after long and agonized discussion. for the most part officially condoned. and from about the mid-15th century Chinese readily collaborated with foreign traders in widespread smuggling. and. but they would not be rebuffed and by 1557 had taken control of a settlement at the walled-off end of a coastal peninsula (modern Macau) and were trading . These circumstances shaped the early China coast experiences of the Europeans. where they learned of the huge profits that could be made in the regional trade between the China coast and Southeast Asia. the Ming rulers prohibited private dealings between Chinese and foreigners and forbade any private voyaging abroad. and they welcomed it. The rules were so strict as to disrupt even coastal fishing and trading. On only two other occasions were Ming military forces active outside China's borders: in 1445-46 when Chinese troops pursued a rebellious border chief into Burma despite Burmese resistance. Such unrealistic prohibitions were unpopular and unenforceable. to keep the Chinese people from being contaminated by "barbarian" customs. and in 1592-98 when the Ming court undertook to help Choson (Korea under the Yi dynasty) repulse Japanese invaders. Becoming involved in what the Ming court considered smuggling and piracy. thousands of venturesome Chinese had migrated to become mercantile entrepreneurs in the various regions of Southeast Asia and even in Japan. the Portuguese were not welcomed to China. in a long and costly effort. Nam Viet was abandoned in 1428 after protracted guerrilla-style resistance had thoroughly undermined Chinese control there. also.After the Yung-lo era the Ming government reverted to the founding emperor's unaggressive policy toward foreign states. who first appeared in Ming China in 1514. to prepare to intervene there again in 1540. In order to preserve the government's monopolistic control of foreign contacts and trade. on which large populations in the south and southeast had traditionally depended for their livelihood. but the offer of ritual submission by a usurper gave the Chinese an opportunity to avoid war. The Portuguese had already established themselves in southern India and at Malacca. In efforts to enforce its laws the Ming court closed all maritime trade supervisorates except the one at Canton early in the 16th century. By late Ming times. A new civil war in Nam Viet provoked the Chinese. at least in part. and by the 1540s it had begun to reinvigorate coastal defenses against marauders throughout the southeast and the south.

which had the important responsibility of determining the official calendar. In 1637 a squadron of five English ships shot its way into Canton and disposed of its cargoes there. and were manufacturing Portuguese-type cannon for Ming use against the Manchu.periodically at nearby Canton. Russia. Jesuits had won influential converts at court (notably the grand secretary Hsь Kuang-ch'i. meanwhile. By the time of his death in 1610. the Mongols faced the problem of how to rule and extract . and by the end of the Ming dynasty the Russians' eastward expansion across Siberia had carried them finally to the shores of the Pacific north of the Amur River. had produced Chinese books on European science as well as theology. despite hostility in some quarters. Both European technology and European ideas were beginning to have some effect on China. Before the end of the dynasty. had sent peaceful missions overland to Peking. albeit still very limited. a church had been built in Peking under Imperial patronage. Jesuit communities were established in many cities of south and central China. Representatives of the Dutch East India Company. or Paul Hsь). took control of coastal Taiwan in 1624 and began developing trade contacts in nearby Fukien and Chekiang provinces. China CHINA UNDER THE MONGOLS Mongol government and administration. and soon they were developing active though illegal trade on the Kwangtung and Fukien coasts. In 1575 Spaniards from Manila visited Canton in a vain effort to get official trading privileges. Matteo Ricci was the successful pioneer. They also held official appointments in China's Directorate of Astronomy. after unsuccessfully trying to capture Macau from the Portuguese in 1622. beginning his work in 1583 well trained in the Chinese language and acquainted with Confucian learning. and Christianity was known and respected by many Chinese scholar-officials. Christian missionaries from Europe were handicapped by the bad reputation their trader countrymen had acquired in China. but the Jesuit tactic of accommodating to local customs eventually got the Jesuits admitted to the mainland. After their initial successes in northern China in 1211-15.

AD 907-960. and the WuYьeh (907-978). economically and culturally wealthy. these defectors were treated as "companions" (nцkцr) of the Mongols and were given positions similar to the higher ranks of the steppe aristocracy--their privileges included the administration and exploitation of fiefs considered as their private domain. mainly in the south: the Wu (902-937). Some of these separate regimes achieved relative internal stability. none attained enough strength to strive to unify China. the Ch'u (927-951). [Image] From the time of the T'ang dynasty until the Ch'ing dynasty. Nonetheless. Along the coast. They were assisted by Khitan and Chinese and even Juchen renegades. China THE SHIH-KUO (TEN KINGDOMS) China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period c. Between 907 and 960. and the south. China consisted of two parts: the north. the Ch'ien (Former) Shu (907-925). the Pei (Northern) Han (951-979). In South China. promoting . the Hou (Later) Shu (934-965). the Nan Han (917-971). the Min (909-945/946). in the upper Yangtze region in southwest China. militarily strong. and in the lower Yangtze region in southeast China were of great interest. the regional developments in South China. the Nan P'ing (924/925-963). 10 independent kingdoms emerged in China. sea trade expanded.material benefits from a largely sedentary population. the Min kingdom in modern Fukien and the Nan Han in modern Kwangtung and Kwangsi reflected sharp cultural differences. the Nan (Southern) T'ang (937-975/976). which arose in the 17th century. the last located in China's most rapidly advancing area--in and near the lower Yangtze Delta.

settling along rivers and streams and in confining plains and mountain valleys. Buddhism also flourished. When the limited number of copper coins could no longer meet the growing volume of trade. On land. These instruments. but the period also saw the rise of a printing industry that produced works for private buyers. These intellectual trends in Szechwan foreshadowed an eclectic synthesis of the three major teachings--Confucianism. This process turned South China into a cultural chessboard of great complexity. The best printing in the country during the Wu-tai and the Sung dynasty came from the regions of Szechwan and Fukien. Many eventually evolved along different lines. cultural production of the period was the editing and printing of the Confucian Classics and the Buddhist Tipitaka. and Buddhism. The beautiful landscape inspired poets who infused a refreshing vitality into old-style poetry and essays. The most famous. Usually protected from outside disturbances and invasions by the surrounding mountains. iron currency briefly went into circulation. . wave after wave of refugees moved southward. Growing commerce created a demand for money. were the direct ancestors of the paper money that emerged in the early 11th century. using a frontier agriculture but with highly developed irrigation and land reclamation. and previous immigrant groups. Usually they pushed aside the aboriginal minorities. a stronghold of Taoist religion. Increasing commerce also resulted in the development of various paper credit instruments. During the Wu-tai printing became common. Taoism. the people inserted into Confucian scholarship an admixture of Taoist philosophy. Somewhat later the private assay shops in Szechwan began to issue certificates of deposit to merchants who had left valuables at the shops for safekeeping. In southwest China the valley of modern Szechwan presented an interestingly different picture of continuous growth. earlier settlers. The ensuing shortage of copper was met by an increasing output of iron through more efficient methods and an elementary division of labour in production. it enjoyed peace and prosperity except for one decade of instability between the Ch'ien Shu and Hou Shu. In this region. with various subcultural pieces sandwiched between one another. The Buddhist monasteries owned large estates and were usually among the first to introduce new and better technology. which began to circulate.both urban prosperity and cultural diversity. the best known being drafts for transmitting funds called fei-ch'ien ("flying money"). and monumental.

cities. began to lead the country in both economic prosperity and cultural refinement. disintegration of the old order. The dark side. and promoted overseas commerce. After the surrender of the last Nan T'ang ruler. this period of disunity definitely had its dark side: militarism. along with it went many officials who were skilled in art. himself a renowned poet. China Economic development. and lakes fed an ever-increasing number of markets. refined culture developed away from the coast in such inland mountainous areas as modern Kiangsi. and an inevitable lowering of moral standards. southeast China retained its cultural excellence. Tax remissions were limited. slightly farther south. the unexcelled royal library in the capital at Nanking was moved to the north. followed the same pattern. Such development enhanced regional trade. where many farm products were processed into an ever-expanding variety of consumer goods. Interlocking streams. especially its core region of the Yangtze Delta. The Sung conquerors from the north recognized the high level of cultural development in this region. literature. and metropolitan areas. that the Ch'ing began to permit tax remissions on a large scale. At the end of the Pei Sung period the Nan Sung based itself in the lower Yangtze Delta and located its capital at Hang-chou. and highly selective crops combined to create the best model of intensive farming. The surrender of the Wu-Yьeh kingdom. stimulated other regions to adopt specialization. market towns. rivers. Moreover. after the consolidation of military victory. stemmed largely from underlying changes that were transforming China into a new pattern that would last for nearly a millennium. by the urgent need for revenues to carry on the conquest of China. and bibliography. In this region fertile soil.From the Wu-tai onward southeast China. the former capital of the Wu-Yьeh. In the 1640s and '50s the Manchu abolished all late Ming surtaxes and granted tax exemptions to areas ravaged by war. however. Thereafter. which shortly thereafter produced internationally coveted porcelain and where many great artists and scholar-officials attained positions of cultural leadership. irrigation networks. The . wars. It was not until the 1680s. however. As traditional histories stress.

A healthy tax base required that land be brought under cultivation. the restoration of agriculture was an important goal. which frequently inundated the eastern portion of the North China Plain. rice was transplanted to the best lands on the frontiers. In the late 17th century the resettlement of the Ch'eng-tu Basin in western China and of Hunan. required large-scale state management and coordination with the related water level of the Grand Canal. the major north-south waterway supplying Peking. and there was a gradual intensification of the cropping cycle. wheat in North China--retained their primacy in Ch'ing agriculture.permanent freezing of the ting (corvйe quotas) in 1712 and the subsequent merger of the ting and land tax into a single tax that was collected in silver were part of a long-term simplification of the tax system. Both on the frontiers and within China proper new lands were opened for settlement using the New World crops that had been introduced into China in the late 16th century. These water-control projects varied in scale with terrain and ecology. the cultivation of wheat and other northern staple grains continued to creep southward. while peanuts (groundnuts) were a new source of oil in the peasant diet. competed with rice and sugarcane for the best lands in South China and became an . or even cash in some areas. Hupeh. In the course of the dynasty. Because more than one-quarter of the total cultivated land had slipped off the tax rolls in the early 17th century. and the far southwest proceeded on this basis. This was an activity so characteristic of a new dynasty that one can speak of "hydraulic cycles" moving in tandem with political consolidations in China. Tobacco. Corn (maize) and the Irish potato permitted Chinese to cultivate the marginal hilly lands. tools. The commutation of levies from payment in kind to payment in money and the shift from registering males to registering land paralleled the increasing commercialization of the economy. The new dynasty began to resettle refugees on abandoned land with offers of tax exemptions for several years and grants of oxen. Land reclamation went hand in hand with the construction and reconstruction of watercontrol projects. seeds. another 16th-century import. The preferred crops--rice in central and South China. In central and South China irrigation systems were the foundation for rice cultivation and were largely the product of private investment and management. In North China control of the heavily silted Huang Ho (Yellow River). The sweet potato provided insurance against famine.

the economy resumed a commercial expansion that had begun in the 16th century. landlords. The tenant's position improved vis-а-vis the landlord's. The major exception was its successful effort to offset regional food shortages in years of crop failure. but the long-run trend was to reduce the number of monopolies. pearls. Once the economy had been restored.important cash crop. And yet the early Ch'ing was a period of economic growth and development. so named because they were intended to stabilize the supply. and land was increasingly used as a marketable commodity. A new kind of managerial landlord. There was a . Its rare interventions in trade were motivated by a desire to dampen economic fluctuations in employment. and ginseng. who used hired labour to grow market crops. There were state monopolies in salt. Every province was supposed to purchase or retain reserves in the "ever-normal" granaries located in each county. The ability of the government to respond effectively to food scarcity was dependent on its information gathering. and hence the price. prefectural. Even relatively uncommercialized hinterlands were thus armoured against famine. sugar. not growth. a wage-labour force arose in agriculture. the state did not actively intervene in what was becoming an extremely complex market economy. precious metals. With the imposition of the Ch'ing peace. emerged in the 18th century. Multiple layers of rights to the land generally benefited the tenant and improved incentives to maintain the fertility of the soil and to raise output. of grain. Systems that guaranteed tenants permanent rights of cultivation spread in the 18th century through the wet-rice cultivation zone and in some dryland cultivation systems. which included raw materials to be used in the textile industry as well as consumption goods such as tea. the Ch'ing state attempted to keep it running smoothly. and provincial reports. The state barely began to tap the growing revenue potential of trade. For the most part. This expansion in turn stimulated specialization in crops sent to market. and peasants to buy or rent land to produce cash crops. The Ch'ing government played a relatively minor role in the commercial economy. Profit enticed merchants. and tobacco. During the 18th century data on local grain prices became a regular feature of county. just as it failed to tap the expanding agricultural base. Its major goal was stability.

tea. and transferred funds from one region to another. when the ban on maritime trade was lifted. Reliance on written contracts for the purchase and mortgaging of land. and silk. issued private notes. accepted deposits. Although the majority of economic transactions continued to take place within local and intermediate markets. By the early 19th century. and commercial agriculture could be formalized and protected through written contract. After 1684. cotton. Business partnerships in mining.general shift from servile to contractual labour in agriculture that was part of a long trend toward the elimination of fixed status and the increased mobility of labour and land. In the 18th century Shanghai became a thriving entrepфt for the coastal trade that extended from Manchuria to South China. Japan. and money drafts and transfer accounts also helped ease the flow of funds. The demands of large-scale. longdistance trade had. Western traders flocked to Canton. Equally important processes of commercialization gained momentum with the recovery of the domestic economy. Customary law evolved outside the formal legal system to expedite economic transactions and enable strangers to do business with one another. The "Canton system" of trade that prevailed from that year until 1842 specified that Europeans had to trade through the . commerce. purchase of commodities and people. Promissory notes issued by native banks on behalf of merchants facilitated the purchase of large quantities of goods. inspired merchants to transform a metallic monetary system into one in which paper notes supplemented copper coins and silver. The most dramatic economic innovations of the 18th century resulted from the needs of long-distance traders for credit and new mechanisms that would ease the transfer of funds. Native banks. and the Philippines and the expanding trade conducted by Europeans. as they were called by foreigners in the 19th century. paper notes may have constituted one-third or more of the total volume of money in circulation. there was a significant expansion of interregional and national trade in grain. The 16th-century boom created new layers of rural markets that linked villages more firmly to a market network. made loans. which consisted of a junk trade with ports in Southeast Asia. without government participation. and hiring of wage labourers became commonplace. and foreign commerce was finally confined to this port in 1759. The early Ch'ing economy was intimately tied to foreign trade.

Perhaps 10. The Chinese economy had long been based on a metallic currency system in which copper cash was used for daily purchases and silver for large business transactions and taxes. The exchange ratio between silver and copper cash was responsive to fluctuations in the supply of the metals. the effect of foreign trade on the Chinese economy was direct and perceptible.000 Spanish silver dollars a year came into China during the early Ch'ing. a guild of Chinese firms that had monopoly rights to the trade in tea and silk. From 1719 to 1833 the tonnage of foreign ships trading at Canton increased more than 13-fold. and changes in the exchange ratio affected all citizens. and in the 18th century Spanish silver dollars became a common unit of account in the southeast and south. The major export was tea. Silk and porcelain were also exported in increasing quantities through the early 18th century. silver was primarily obtained from abroad. Although domestic production of copper increased.cohong. Its repercussions were not limited to the merchants and producers involved in specific export commodities but also had a general impact on domestic markets through the monetary system.000. and silver flowed into the Chinese economy. by 1833 tea exports were more than 28 times the export levels of 1719. The economic expansion of the 18th century brought rising demand for silver and copper. Although exports remained a small fraction of total output. After 1684 the net balance of trade was consistently in China's favour. .

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