Community, Trade, and Networks: Southern Fujian Province by Hugh R. Clark

By Hugh R. Clark

The research lines the commercial and demographic historical past of a nook of China's southeast coast from the 3rd to the 13th centuries, taking a look at the connection among alterations within the agrarian and concrete economies of the world and their connections to the increasing function of family and overseas exchange. It presents a formerly unexplored viewpoint at the function of commercialized creation and exchange in a neighborhood economic climate within the premodern period and demonstrates that alternate was once in a position to force switch in a premodern economic climate in a manner that has no longer mostly been famous.

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Additional info for Community, Trade, and Networks: Southern Fujian Province from the Third to the Thirteenth Century

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The agrarian economy Such was the demographic face of Quannan during the late Tang. A related question is: What were the immigrants doing? The most obvious answer is that they were tending the land. However, such a simple answer can mean several things. At no point in this study do I ever suggest that the majority of the regional population was doing anything other than "tending the land," but I do argue that what that meant was to change very significantly between the late Tang and the mature Song.

In the absence of any other supporting material one cannot take this as evidence of the first possibility. A second tantalizing scrap of information is a poem by Bao He, a literatus of the late eighth century, entitled "Sending the Esteemed Master Li to Quanzhou": The land by the sea lies beyond the realm of civilization, But the matched tally earns the Han official respect. 51 Bao's poem provides a different kind of testimony than does the first passage; it is, without a doubt, the first text to state that foreigners were coming to Quanzhou.

So it becomes important to establish exactly what it meant at this earlier stage. The demographic process described in the foregoing discussion was one of initial settlement and opening of land. It is probably correct to presume that such initial settlement everywhere — in south China, the forest and steppe lands of central and eastern Europe, the American West, or any of innumerable regions where agrarian culture has settled — is originally based on patterns of subsistence. In the absence of developed networks for commercial exchange, settlers lack markets to which they can send surplus production.

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