Author: our team Zhang Ying
The more you read history, the more you will feel "unbelievable". A lot of historical knowledge that seems incredible at first glance and even makes people "don’t believe it" is real, but it happened in the past years.
Compared with those political and military events that are often talked about,The following economic and cultural knowledge, which also makes people feel "don’t believe in death", also epitomizes the rise and fall of dynasties.It is worth thinking deeply.
One: the Great Jin Dynasty did not cast money.
Successive dynasties founded the country, and currency issuance was a top priority. And Wang Chao didn’t even do it? The Jin dynasties thought: this is really not a thing.
Since the "Three Kingdoms Reunited", the Jin Dynasty, from the emperor to the officials, has been a competition and a release. Apart from internal strangulation, it has been a feast, a song and dance, an alchemy and a fight for wealth, and it has changed its fancy show "Wei and Jin demeanor". Even if the Yongjia Rebellion broke out and the Dajin became the Eastern Jin, it would still remain unchanged, and it would be impossible to get rid of it by being immersed in metaphysics and talking openly.The issue of currency, a 164-year history of the Jin and Jin Dynasties, has never been done.
What’s the money? In the Western Jin Dynasty, Cao Wei’s five baht money was mainly used, and it was beaten to the south of the Yangtze River to become the "Eastern Jin Dynasty", and all kinds of currencies in the Soochow period were churned out to continue to be used. The currency on the market in the Eastern Jin Dynasty is a mess. Plus a large number of precious metals, all of them have been embezzled by the rich and powerful to make luxury goods, and there is less and less money circulating in the market. As a result, there is not much money, and there is an increasingly serious phenomenon of "money shortage".
Ironically,The first reaction of the Eastern Jin Dynasty to this serious phenomenon was not to stabilize the currency, but to slap the head and think about simply abolishing the currency.When Emperor Andi was in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, someone put forward the "good idea" of "barter". Although it ran aground under the opposition of many ministers, the Eastern Jin Dynasty did nothing, and still allowed the chaos in the money market. The currency is so chaotic, of course, this dynasty is becoming more and more hopeless. The partial Eastern Jin Dynasty was finally usurped by the Liu and Song Dynasties in the absurdity of "not casting money".
Two: Planting cotton in Datang Garden
In the Tang dynasty, rich people cultivated flowers, and all kinds of precious flowers and plants competed for each other. However, during the period of Tang Xuanzong, Suleiman, an Arab traveler who visited the Tang Dynasty, saw a special exotic flower and grass in the garden of the Tang Dynasty: cotton. That’s right. Today, it is used to make cotton-padded clothes, which is necessary to keep out the cold in winter.In the middle Tang dynasty, it was still "on a par" with famous flowers such as peony and rose, and was specially designed for garden enjoyment.
During the Tang Dynasty, there were only Yunnan, Hainan and Xinjiang provinces in China, and some cotton was planted. As an "exotic" cotton, it was a precious flower at that time. More than just for fun. Cotton cloth made of cotton was also a precious luxury at that time. According to the statistics of the Order of Closing the City in the Tang Dynasty, the local price of one end of fine cotton cloth in the western regions is as high as 2,200 articles. Even the coarse denim needs 500 Wen at one end. Cotton-padded clothes made of cotton cloth were called "white-folded cloth" and "kapok fur" at that time, and the price of them sold to the mainland usually turned several times.It is equivalent to "putting precious flowers and plants on your body", which is standard for the rich.
When reading Du Fu’s famous sentence, "The cloth is as cold as iron for many years, and the charming children lie down and crack inside", many historical fans often wonder why Du Fu didn’t cover the quilt when he was so frozen. To tell the truth, I really couldn’t afford it at that time.
It was not until the Song and Yuan Dynasties that cotton planting techniques were gradually popularized in the mainland and gradually adapted to the soil and water in different regions. During the reign of Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, cotton planting was promoted by legislation throughout the country. Cotton, a luxury in the Tang and Song Dynasties, was "dependent on everyone’s wealth" in China.Cotton cotton-padded clothes, once a rare "imported product", became a specialty of China in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. They were not only the daily consumer goods of ordinary people in winter, but also exported abroad in large quantities along the Maritime Silk Road, earning enough money all over the world.
What is "making foreign things serve China"? Learn from the ancients in China how to plant cotton from the garden into the farmland.
Three: The civil servants in the Song Dynasty were very hard.
"Fu Song" is a happy time for literati, and the most enviable among literati is civil servants. Unofficial history often talked about the "sky-high income" of civil servants in the Song Dynasty. For example, the extravagant life of Kou Zhun Song Qi people lighting giant candles and drinking chicken tongue soup, and the happy scene of Bao Zheng Wang Anshi people’s "sky-high annual salary" and "salary basically does not move" have made many fans envy each other and wish to cross to Dasong to take the imperial examination. However, even if there is a chance to "cross", we must be cautious about it. Most civil servants in the Song Dynasty are far poorer than later generations imagined.
For example, in the Song Dynasty,Being a small official in the civil service, such as "county magistrate" and "main thin", the salary is pitiful.Basically, "poverty is not enough to support itself." It was not until Song Shenzong’s time that the salary was raised, but it was just "the county ordered the money to be 15 thousand, and the rice and wheat were 4 stones." Compared with the courtiers, this money is really not enough.
Civil servants at a slightly higher level have limited treatment.For example, Shi Jie, a famous scholar in Song Renzong, told imperial academy that his life was very simple on weekdays, but when he died, his wife was "overwhelmed with cold", that is, his wife and children couldn’t live, and they only had a way out with the support of Fan Zhongyan and others in Han Qi. Zeng Yi, the foreign minister of Song Shenzong, was also "poor because of his family". In the Southern Song Dynasty, Lu You passed the sentence in Kuizhou, which was considered as a "fat vacancy" among civil servants. After several years, he was also "thin in the gorge" and "bare in luggage". That is to say, you can get a round belly.
Why is this happening?First, there were so many civil servants in the Song Dynasty that they were called "redundant officials".According to Fan Zhongyan in the Northern Song Dynasty, "four or five people share one post". In the late Southern Song Dynasty, the total number of officials in the Song Dynasty was more than 43,000, and the territory was half that of the Northern Song Dynasty, and the number of officials was several times higher than that of the Northern Song Dynasty. There are so many officials to support, and no matter how rich they are, they can’t support them. Therefore, if most civil servants only rely on "wages", their lives will be hard.
Plus DaSong’s "ruling the world together with the literati", even if it is "cultivating scholars", of course, we must first pay close attention to the high-level literati.Not only a high-ranking official, but also retired senior officials, as well as giving "grace" to the children and students of retired senior officials, is a lot of money every year. At the end of the Northern Song Dynasty, the Huainan transshipment ambassador said that the taxes of twenty states in Huainan were not enough to give pensions to retired senior officials in Luoyang. In Song Renzong, there were more than 5,000 salaried idlers in China. Some people even have more than one consul and do nothing.
Officials who have money to support idle people and work honestly have a hard time.How can we not be poor and weak in such a great Song Dynasty?
Four: horsestapErni duancai road
A great event in the diplomatic history of "Kanggan heyday" in Qing Dynasty was "Magalny’s visit to China". During the Qianlong period, a huge mission led by British Lord Macartney visited the Qing Dynasty with the intention of opening the trade door of the Qing Dynasty, but it was rejected by the arrogant Qianlong. A visit, but the result is empty. But Magalny was not depressed, because,On this trip, he found another treasure in China: tea seedlings.
Can a mere tea seedling be comparable to a diplomatic event? In the eyes of the British at that time, this was really close.
Since the mid-18th century, China’s traditional tea drinking style has long been popular in European countries. The British have become the "iron powder" of tea. At that time, all classes of British society had the habit of "drinking afternoon tea", and the atmosphere of drinking tea spread all over Britain and even colonies on all continents. According to the statistics of the 18th century British scholar Stenton,British people, old and young, consume at least one pound of tea every year on average. Where did so much tea come from? You can only buy it from China.
As a result, unconsciously, tea trade became the "heavy head" of foreign exports in the Qing Dynasty. The export price of a load of tea in Guangzhou is only ten pounds. Reselling to the British mainland has soared to at least 106 pounds. Huge profits have also provoked British businessmen to flock to buy buy every year, bringing enough cash to buy them. By the 1780s, China’s annual tea export had exceeded 1.8 million pounds, making it easy for the British to earn money.
But this "easy money" scene, but with the horsetapThe arrival of Ernie and his party turned around.
Although the Qing government, which closed its doors to the outside world, took precautions against Magalny and his party. However, because the Qing officials had no concept of "intellectual property rights", they were defenseless against the "inspection" activities of Magyarni and his party. Therefore, during a trip to China, Macartney made an unannounced visit, which not only clearly recorded the process of tea planting and picking in China. I also got something good that many European countries couldn’t get at that time: tea seedlings.
Thus, from the end of the 18th century, China’s tea planting technology, so ruthless outflow.India under British rule, with this "stolen" technology and modern production, quickly came from behind in the field of tea.By the middle of the 19th century, Indian tea had become the "big head" of the international tea market. At the beginning of the 20th century, Indian tea and Ceylon tea accounted for 92% of the international market at that time, which had already "crushed" modern China tea.
Tea industry, a powerful industry that earned enough money in China, was cut off in less than half a century because of the outflow of several tea seedlings. It was not so much Macartney’s fault as the Qing Dynasty’s indifference to industrial technology, which brought modern China into the pit of backwardness and beatings.
References: Chen Zhonghai’s Debate on Waste of Money in Jin Dynasty, Qing Qiuzi’s Currency History, Wang Zhonghun’s Matou of Xizhou in Tang Dynasty, Zhu Bokang’s General History of China Economy, He Zhongli’s Salary of Officials in Song Dynasty, Political History of Song Dynasty, Zhang Hongjie’s Prosperous Hunger and Wang Xiuping’s 1
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