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A history of China by Wolfram Eberhard

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Gene Smethers and PG Distributed

[Transcriber's Note: The following text contains numerous non-English
words containing diacritical marks not contained in the ASCII character
set. Characters accented by those marks, and the corresponding text
representations are as follows (where x represents the character being
accented). All such symbols in this text above the character being

  breve (u-shaped symbol):  [)x]
  caron (v-shaped symbol):  [vx]
  macron (straight line):   [=x]
  acute (egu) accent:       ['x]

Additionally, the author has spelled certain words inconsistently. Those
have been adjusted to be consistent where possible. Examples of such
adjustments are as follows:

  From                        To
Northwestern             North-western
Southwards               Southward
Programme                Program
re-introduced            reintroduced
practise                 practice
Lotos                    Lotus
Ju-Chen                  Juchen
cooperate                co-operate
life-time                lifetime
man-power                manpower
favor                    favour

In general such changes are made to be consistent with the predominate
usage in the text, or if there was not a predominate spelling, to the
more modern.]

The start of the book.











  1 Sources for the earliest history
  2 The Peking Man
  3 The Palaeolithic Age
  4 The Neolithic Age
  5 The eight principal prehistoric cultures
  6 The Yang-shao culture
  7 The Lung-shan culture
  8 The first petty States in Shansi

Chapter II: THE SHANG DYNASTY (_c_. 1600-1028 B.C.)

  1 Period, origin, material culture
  2 Writing and Religion
  3 Transition to feudalism


Chapter III: THE CHOU DYNASTY (_c_. 1028-257 B.C.)

  1 Cultural origin of the Chou and end of the Shang dynasty
  2 Feudalism in the new empire
  3 Fusion of Chou and Shang
  4 Limitation of the imperial power
  5 Changes in the relative strength of the feudal states
  6 Confucius
  7 Lao Tz[)u]

Chapter IV: THE CONTENDING STATES (481-256 B.C.):

  1 Social and military changes
  2 Economic changes
  3 Cultural changes

Chapter V: THE CH'IN DYNASTY (256-207 B.C.)

  1 Towards the unitary State
  2 Centralization in every field
  3 Frontier Defence. Internal collapse

            _THE MIDDLE AGES_

Chapter VI: THE HAN DYNASTY (206 B.C.-A.D. 220)

  1 Development of the gentry-state
  2 Situation of the Hsiung-nu empire; its relation to the
    Han empire. Incorporation of South China
  3 Brief feudal reaction. Consolidation of the gentry
  4 Turkestan policy. End of the Hsiung-nu empire
  5 Impoverishment. Cliques. End of the Dynasty
  6 The pseudo-socialistic dictatorship. Revolt of the "Red Eyebrows"
  7 Reaction and Restoration: the Later Han dynasty
  8 Hsiung-nu policy
  9 Economic situation. Rebellion of the "Yellow Turbans".
    Collapse of the Han dynasty
 10 Literature and Art


    (A) _The three kingdoms_ (A.D. 220-265)
  1 Social, intellectual, and economic problems during the
    period of the first division
  2 Status of the two southern Kingdoms
  3 The northern State of Wei

    (B) _The Western Chin dynasty_ (265-317)
  1 Internal situation in the Chin empire
  2 Effect on the frontier peoples
  3 Struggles for the throne
  4 Migration of Chinese
  5 Victory of the Huns. The Hun Han dynasty
    (later renamed the Earlier Chao dynasty)

    (C) _The alien empires in North China, down to the Toba_
       (A.D. 317-385)
  1 The Later Chao dynasty in eastern North China (Hun; 329-352)
  2 Earlier Yen dynasty in the north-east (proto-Mongol; 352-370),
    and the Earlier Ch'in dynasty in all north China (Tibetan; 351-394)
  3 The fragmentation of north China
  4 Sociological analysis of the two great alien empires
  5 Sociological analysis of the petty States
  6 Spread of Buddhism

    (D) _The Toba empire in North China_ (A.D. 385-550)
  1 The rise of the Toba State
  2 The Hun kingdom of the Hsia (407-431)
  3 Rise of the Toba to a great power
  4 Economic and social conditions
  5 Victory and retreat of Buddhism

    (E) _Succession States of the Toba_ (A.D. 550-580):
      _Northern Ch'i dynasty, Northern Chou dynasty_
  1 Reasons for the splitting of the Toba empire
  2 Appearance of the (Goek) Turks
  3 The Northern Ch'i dynasty; the Northern Chou dynasty

    (F) _The southern empires_
  1 Economic and social situation in the south
  2 Struggles between cliques under the Eastern Chin dynasty
    (A.D. 317-419)
  3 The Liu-Sung dynasty (A.D. 420-478) and the Southern Ch'i dynasty
    (A.D. 479-501)
  4 The Liang dynasty (A.D. 502-556)
  5 The Ch'en dynasty (A.D. 557-588) and its ending by the Sui
  6 Cultural achievements of the south


    (A) _The Sui dynasty_ (A.D. 580-618)
  1 Internal situation in the newly unified empire
  2 Relations with Turks and with Korea
  3 Reasons for collapse

    (B) _The T'ang dynasty_ (A.D. 618-906)
  1 Reforms and decentralization
  2 Turkish policy
  3 Conquest of Turkestan and Korea. Summit of power
  4 The reign of the empress Wu: Buddhism and capitalism
  5 Second blossoming of T'ang culture
  6 Revolt of a military governor
  7 The role of the Uighurs. Confiscation of the capital of the
  8 First successful peasant revolt. Collapse of the empire

                 _MODERN TIMES_


    (A) _The period of the Five Dynasties_ (906-960)
  1 Beginning of a new epoch
  2 Political situation in the tenth century
  3 Monopolistic trade in South China. Printing and paper money in the
  4 Political history of the Five Dynasties

    (B) _Period of Moderate Absolutism_
    (1) _The Northern Sung dynasty_
  1 Southward expansion
  2 Administration and army. Inflation
  3 Reforms and Welfare schemes
  4 Cultural situation (philosophy, religion, literature, painting)
  5 Military collapse

    (2) _The Liao (Kitan) dynasty in the north_ (937-1125)
  1 Sociological structure. Claim to the Chinese imperial throne
  2 The State of the Kara-Kitai

    (3) _The Hsi-Hsia State in the north_ (1038-1227)
  1 Continuation of Turkish traditions

    (4) _The empire of the Southern Sung dynasty_ (1127-1279)
  1 Foundation
  2 Internal situation
  3 Cultural situation; reasons for the collapse

    (5) _The empire of the Juchen in the north (i_ 115-1234)
  1 Rapid expansion from northern Korea to the Yangtze
  2 United front of all Chinese
  3 Start of the Mongol empire


    (A) _The Mongol Epoch_ (1280-1368)
  1 Beginning of new foreign rules
  2 "Nationality legislation"
  3 Military position
  4 Social situation
  5 Popular risings: National rising
  6 Cultural

    (B) _The Ming Epoch_ (1368-1644)
  1 Start. National feeling
  2 Wars against Mongols and Japanese
  3 Social legislation within the existing order
  4 Colonization and agricultural developments
  5 Commercial and industrial developments
  6 Growth of the small gentry
  7 Literature, art, crafts
  8 Politics at court
  9 Navy. Southward expansion
 10 Struggles between cliques
 11 Risings
 12 Machiavellism
 13 Foreign relations in the sixteenth century
 14 External and internal perils

    (C) _The Manchu Dynasty_ (1644-1911)
  1 Installation of the Manchus
  2 Decline in the eighteenth century
  3 Expansion in Central Asia; the first State treaty
  4 Culture
  5 Relations with the outer world
  6 Decline; revolts
  7 European Imperialism in the Far East
  8 Risings in Turkestan and within China: the T'ai P'ing Rebellion
  9 Collision with Japan; further Capitulations
 10 Russia in Manchuria
 11 Reform and reaction: The Boxer Rising
 12 End of the dynasty

Chapter XI: THE REPUBLIC (1912-1948)

  1 Social and intellectual position
  2 First period of the Republic: The warlords
  3 Second period of the Republic: Nationalist China
  4 The Sino-Japanese war (1937-1945)


  1 The growth of communism
  2 Nationalist China in Taiwan
  3 Communist China

Notes and References




1 Painted pottery from Kansu: Neolithic.
  _In the collection of the Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Berlin_.

2 Ancient bronze tripod found at Anyang.
  _From G. Ecke: Fruehe chinesische Bronzen aus der Sammlung Oskar
  Trautmann, Peking_ 1939, _plate_ 3.

3 Bronze plaque representing two horses fighting each other. Ordos
  region, animal style.
  _From V. Griessmaier: Sammlung Baron Eduard von der Heydt,
  Vienna 1936, illustration No. 6_.

4 Hunting scene: detail from the reliefs in the tombs at Wu-liang-tz'u.
  _From a print in the author's possession_.

5 Part of the "Great Wall".
  _Photo Eberhard_.

6 Sun Ch'uean, ruler of Wu.
  _From a painting by Yen Li-pen (c. 640-680_).

7 General view of the Buddhist cave-temples of Yuen-kang.
  In the foreground, the present village; in the background the rampart.
  _Photo H. Hammer-Morrisson_.

8 Detail from the Buddhist cave-reliefs of Lung-men.
  _From a print in the author's possession_.

9 Statue of Mi-lo (Maitreya, the next future Buddha), in the "Great
  Buddha Temple" at Chengting (Hopei).
  _Photo H. Hammer-Morrisson_.

10 Ladies of the Court: Clay models which accompanied the dead person to
   the grave. T'ang period.
   _In the collection of the Museum fuer Voelkerkunde. Berlin_.

11 Distinguished founder: a temple banner found at Khotcho, Turkestan.
  _Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Berlin. No. 1B 4524, illustration B 408_.

12 Ancient tiled pagoda at Chengting (Hopei).
   _Photo H. Hammer-Morrisson_.

13 Horse-training. Painting by Li Lung-mien. Late Sung period.
   _Manchu Royal House Collection_.

14 Aborigines of South China, of the "Black Miao" tribe, at a festival.
   China-ink drawing of the eighteenth century.
   _Collection of the Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Berlin. No. 1D 8756, 68_.

15 Pavilion on the "Coal Hill" at Peking, in which the last Ming emperor
   committed suicide.
   _Photo Eberhard_.

16 The imperial summer palace of the Manchu rulers, at Jehol.
   _Photo H. Hammer-Morrisson_.

17 Tower on the city wall of Peking.
   _Photo H. Hammer-Morrisson_.



1 Regions of the principal local cultures in prehistoric times

2 The principal feudal States in the feudal epoch (roughly 722-481 B.C.)

3 China in the struggle with the Huns or Hsiung-nu (roughly 128-100

4 The Toba empire (about A.D. 500)

5 The T'ang realm (about A.D. 750)

6 The State of the Later T'ang dynasty (923-935)


There are indeed enough Histories of China already: why yet another one?
Because the time has come for new departures; because we need to clear
away the false notions with which the general public is constantly being
fed by one author after another; because from time to time syntheses
become necessary for the presentation of the stage reached by research.

Histories of China fall, with few exceptions, into one or the other of
two groups, pro-Chinese and anti-Chinese: the latter used to
predominate, but today the former type is much more frequently found. We
have no desire to show that China's history is the most glorious or her
civilization the oldest in the world. A claim to the longest history
does not establish the greatness of a civilization; the importance of a
civilization becomes apparent in its achievements. A thousand years ago
China's civilization towered over those of the peoples of Europe. Today
the West is leading; tomorrow China may lead again. We need to realize
how China became what she is, and to note the paths pursued by the
Chinese in human thought and action. The lives of emperors, the great
battles, this or the other famous deed, matter less to us than the
discovery of the great forces that underlie these features and govern
the human element. Only when we have knowledge of those forces and
counter-forces can we realize the significance of the great
personalities who have emerged in China; and only then will the history
of China become intelligible even to those who have little knowledge of
the Far East and can make nothing of a mere enumeration of dynasties and

Views on China's history have radically changed in recent years. Until
about thirty years ago our knowledge of the earliest times in China
depended entirely on Chinese documents of much later date; now we are
able to rely on many excavations which enable us to check the written
sources. Ethnological, anthropological, and sociological research has
begun for China and her neighbours; thus we are in a position to write
with some confidence about the making of China, and about her ethnical
development, where formerly we could only grope in the dark. The claim
that "the Chinese race" produced the high Chinese civilization entirely
by its own efforts, thanks to its special gifts, has become just as
untenable as the other theory that immigrants from the West, some
conceivably from Europe, carried civilization to the Far East. We know
now that in early times there was no "Chinese race", there were not even
"Chinese", just as there were no "French" and no "Swiss" two thousand
years ago. The "Chinese" resulted from the amalgamation of many separate
peoples of different races in an enormously complicated and
long-drawn-out process, as with all the other high civilizations of the

The picture of ancient and medieval China has also been entirely changed
since it has been realized that the sources on which reliance has always
been placed were not objective, but deliberately and emphatically
represented a particular philosophy. The reports on the emperors and
ministers of the earliest period are not historical at all, but served
as examples of ideas of social policy or as glorifications of particular
noble families. Myths such as we find to this day among China's
neighbours were made into history; gods were made men and linked
together by long family trees. We have been able to touch on all these
things only briefly, and have had to dispense with any account of the
complicated processes that have taken place here.

The official dynastic histories apply to the course of Chinese history
the criterion of Confucian ethics; for them history is a textbook of
ethics, designed to show by means of examples how the man of high
character should behave or not behave. We have to go deeper, and try to
extract the historic truth from these records. Many specialized studies
by Chinese, Japanese, and Western scholars on problems of Chinese
history are now available and of assistance in this task. However, some
Chinese writers still imagine that they are serving their country by yet
again dishing up the old fables for the foreigner as history; and some
Europeans, knowing no better or aiming at setting alongside the
unedifying history of Europe the shining example of the conventional
story of China, continue in the old groove. To this day, of course, we
are far from having really worked through every period of Chinese
history; there are long periods on which scarcely any work has yet been
done. Thus the picture we are able to give today has no finality about
it and will need many modifications. But the time has come for a new
synthesis, so that criticism may proceed along the broadest possible
front and push our knowledge further forward.

The present work is intended for the general reader and not for the
specialist, who will devote his attention to particular studies and to
the original texts. In view of the wide scope of the work, I have had to
confine myself to placing certain lines of thought in the foreground and
paying less attention to others. I have devoted myself mainly to showing
the main lines of China's social and cultural development down to the
present day. But I have also been concerned not to leave out of account
China's relations with her neighbours. Now that we have a better
knowledge of China's neighbours, the Turks, Mongols, Tibetans, Tunguses,
Tai, not confined to the narratives of Chinese, who always speak only of
"barbarians", we are better able to realize how closely China has been
associated with her neighbours from the first day of her history to the
present time; how greatly she is indebted to them, and how much she has
given them. We no longer see China as a great civilization surrounded by
barbarians, but we study the Chinese coming to terms with their
neighbours, who had civilizations of quite different types but
nevertheless developed ones.

It is usual to split up Chinese history under the various dynasties that
have ruled China or parts thereof. The beginning or end of a dynasty
does not always indicate the beginning or the end of a definite period
of China's social or cultural development. We have tried to break
China's history down into the three large periods--"Antiquity", "The
Middle Ages", and "Modern Times". This does not mean that we compare
these periods with periods of the same name in Western history although,
naturally, we find some similarities with the development of society and
culture in the West. Every attempt towards periodization is to some
degree arbitrary: the beginning and end of the Middle Ages, for
instance, cannot be fixed to a year, because development is a continuous
process. To some degree any periodization is a matter of convenience,
and it should be accepted as such.

The account of Chinese history here given is based on a study of the
original documents and excavations, and on a study of recent research
done by Chinese, Japanese and Western scholars, including my own
research. In many cases, these recent studies produced new data or
arranged new data in a new way without an attempt to draw general
conclusions. By putting such studies together, by fitting them into the
pattern that already existed, new insights into social and cultural
processes have been gained. The specialist in the field will, I hope,
easily recognize the sources, primary or secondary, on which such new
insights represented in this book are based. Brief notes are appended
for each chapter; they indicate the most important works in English and
provide the general reader with an opportunity of finding further
information on the problems touched on. For the specialist brief hints
to international research are given, mainly in cases in which different
interpretations have been proposed.

Chinese words are transcribed according to the Wade-Giles system with
the exception of names for which already a popular way of transcription
exists (such as Peking). Place names are written without hyphen, if they
remain readable.




Chapter One


1 _Sources for the earliest history_

Until recently we were dependent for the beginnings of Chinese history
on the written Chinese tradition. According to these sources China's
history began either about 4000 B.C. or about 2700 B.C. with a
succession of wise emperors who "invented" the elements of a
civilization, such as clothing, the preparation of food, marriage, and a
state system; they instructed their people in these things, and so
brought China, as early as in the third millennium B.C., to an
astonishingly high cultural level. However, all we know of the origin of
civilizations makes this of itself entirely improbable; no other
civilization in the world originated in any such way. As time went on,
Chinese historians found more and more to say about primeval times. All
these narratives were collected in the great imperial history that
appeared at the beginning of the Manchu epoch. That book was translated
into French, and all the works written in Western languages until recent
years on Chinese history and civilization have been based in the last
resort on that translation.

Modern research has not only demonstrated that all these accounts are
inventions of a much later period, but has also shown _why_ such
narratives were composed. The older historical sources make no mention
of any rulers before 2200 B.C., no mention even of their names. The
names of earlier rulers first appear in documents of about 400 B.C.; the
deeds attributed to them and the dates assigned to them often do not
appear until much later. Secondly, it was shown that the traditional
chronology is wrong and another must be adopted, reducing all the dates
for the more ancient history, before 900 B.C. Finally, all narratives
and reports from China's earliest period have been dealt a mortal blow
by modern archaeology, with the excavations of recent years. There was
no trace of any high civilization in the third millennium B.C., and,
indeed, we can only speak of a real "Chinese civilization" from 1300
B.C. onward. The peoples of the China of that time had come from the
most varied sources; from 1300 B.C. they underwent a common process of
development that welded them into a new unity. In this sense and
emphasizing the cultural aspects, we are justified in using from then on
a new name, "Chinese", for the peoples of China. Those sections,
however, of their ancestral populations who played no part in the
subsequent cultural and racial fusion, we may fairly call "non-Chinese".
This distinction answers the question that continually crops up, whether
the Chinese are "autochthonons". They are autochthonons in the sense
that they formed a unit in the Far East, in the geographical region of
the present China, and were not immigrants from the Middle East.

2 _The Peking Man_

Man makes his appearance in the Far East at a time when remains in other
parts of the world are very rare and are disputed. He appears as the
so-called "Peking Man", whose bones were found in caves of
Chou-k'ou-tien south of Peking. The Peking Man is vastly different from
the men of today, and forms a special branch of the human race, closely
allied to the Pithecanthropus of Java. The formation of later races of
mankind from these types has not yet been traced, if it occurred at all.
Some anthropologists consider, however, that the Peking Man possessed
already certain characteristics peculiar to the yellow race.

The Peking Man lived in caves; no doubt he was a hunter, already in
possession of very simple stone implements and also of the art of making
fire. As none of the skeletons so far found are complete, it is assumed
that he buried certain bones of the dead in different places from the
rest. This burial custom, which is found among primitive peoples in
other parts of the world, suggests the conclusion that the Peking Man
already had religious notions. We have no knowledge yet of the length of
time the Peking Man may have inhabited the Far East. His first traces
are attributed to a million years ago, and he may have flourished in
500,000 B.C.

3 _The Palaeolithic Age_

After the period of the Peking Man there comes a great gap in our
knowledge. All that we know indicates that at the time of the Peking Man
there must have been a warmer and especially a damper climate in North
China and Inner Mongolia than today. Great areas of the Ordos region,
now dry steppe, were traversed in that epoch by small rivers and lakes
beside which men could live. There were elephants, rhinoceroses, extinct
species of stag and bull, even tapirs and other wild animals. About
50,000 B.C. there lived by these lakes a hunting people whose stone
implements (and a few of bone) have been found in many places. The
implements are comparable in type with the palaeolithic implements of
Europe (Mousterian type, and more rarely Aurignacian or even
Magdalenian). They are not, however, exactly like the European
implements, but have a character of their own. We do not yet know what
the men of these communities looked like, because as yet no indisputable
human remains have been found. All the stone implements have been found
on the surface, where they have been brought to light by the wind as it
swept away the loess. These stone-age communities seem to have lasted a
considerable time and to have been spread not only over North China but
over Mongolia and Manchuria. It must not be assumed that the stone age
came to an end at the same time everywhere. Historical accounts have
recorded, for instance, that stone implements were still in use in
Manchuria and eastern Mongolia at a time when metal was known and used
in western Mongolia and northern China. Our knowledge about the
palaeolithic period of Central and South China is still extremely
limited; we have to wait for more excavations before anything can be
said. Certainly, many implements in this area were made of wood or more
probably bamboo, such as we still find among the non-Chinese tribes of
the south-west and of South-East Asia. Such implements, naturally, could
not last until today.

About 25,000 B.C. there appears in North China a new human type, found
in upper layers in the same caves that sheltered Peking Man. This type
is beyond doubt not Mongoloid, and may have been allied to the Ainu, a
non-Mongol race still living in northern Japan. These, too, were a
palaeolithic people, though some of their implements show technical
advance. Later they disappear, probably because they were absorbed into
various populations of central and northern Asia. Remains of them have
been found in badly explored graves in northern Korea.

4 _The Neolithic age_

In the period that now followed, northern China must have gradually
become arid, and the formation of loess seems to have steadily advanced.
There is once more a great gap in our knowledge until, about 4000 B.C.,
we can trace in North China a purely Mongoloid people with a neolithic
culture. In place of hunters we find cattle breeders, who are even to
some extent agriculturists as well. This may seem an astonishing
statement for so early an age. It is a fact, however, that pure pastoral
nomadism is exceptional, that normal pastoral nomads have always added a
little farming to their cattle-breeding, in order to secure the needed
additional food and above all fodder, for the winter.

At this time, about 4000 B.C., the other parts of China come into view.
The neolithic implements of the various regions of the Far East are far
from being uniform; there are various separate cultures. In the
north-west of China there is a system of cattle-breeding combined with
agriculture, a distinguishing feature being the possession of finely
polished axes of rectangular section, with a cutting edge. Farther east,
in the north and reaching far to the south, is found a culture with axes
of round or oval section. In the south and in the coastal region from
Nanking to Tonking, Yuennan to Fukien, and reaching as far as the coasts
of Korea and Japan, is a culture with so-called shoulder-axes. Szechwan
and Yuennan represented a further independent culture.

All these cultures were at first independent. Later the shoulder-axe
culture penetrated as far as eastern India. Its people are known to
philological research as Austroasiatics, who formed the original stock
of the Australian aborigines; they survived in India as the Munda
tribes, in Indo-China as the Mon-Khmer, and also remained in pockets on
the islands of Indonesia and especially Melanesia. All these peoples had
migrated from southern China. The peoples with the oval-axe culture are
the so-called Papuan peoples in Melanesia; they, too, migrated from
southern China, probably before the others. Both groups influenced the
ancient Japanese culture. The rectangular-axe culture of north-west
China spread widely, and moved southward, where the Austronesian peoples
(from whom the Malays are descended) were its principal constituents,
spreading that culture also to Japan.

Thus we see here, in this period around 4000 B.C., an extensive mutual
penetration of the various cultures all over the Far East, including
Japan, which in the palaeolithic age was apparently without or almost
without settlers.

5 _The eight principal prehistoric cultures_

In the period roughly around 2500 B.C. the general historical view
becomes much clearer. Thanks to a special method of working, making use
of the ethnological sources available from later times together with the
archaeological sources, much new knowledge has been gained in recent
years. At this time there is still no trace of a Chinese realm; we find
instead on Chinese soil a considerable number of separate local
cultures, each developing on its own lines. The chief of these cultures,
acquaintance with which is essential to a knowledge of the whole later
development of the Far East, are as follows:

(a) _The north-east culture_, centred in the present provinces of Hopei
(in which Peking lies), Shantung, and southern Manchuria. The people of
this culture were ancestors of the Tunguses, probably mixed with an
element that is contained in the present-day Paleo-Siberian tribes.
These men were mainly hunters, but probably soon developed a little
primitive agriculture and made coarse, thick pottery with certain basic
forms which were long preserved in subsequent Chinese pottery (for
instance, a type of the so-called tripods). Later, pig-breeding became
typical of this culture.

(b) _The northern culture_ existed to the west of that culture, in the
region of the present Chinese province of Shansi and in the province of
Jehol in Inner Mongolia. These people had been hunters, but then became
pastoral nomads, depending mainly on cattle. The people of this culture
were the tribes later known as Mongols, the so-called proto-Mongols.
Anthropologically they belonged, like the Tunguses, to the Mongol race.

(c) The people of the culture farther west, the _north-west culture_,
were not Mongols. They, too, were originally hunters, and later became a
pastoral people, with a not inconsiderable agriculture (especially
growing wheat and millet). The typical animal of this group soon became
the horse. The horse seems to be the last of the great animals to be
domesticated, and the date of its first occurrence in domesticated form
in the Far East is not yet determined, but we can assume that by 2500
B.C. this group was already in the possession of horses. The horse has
always been a "luxury", a valuable animal which needed special care. For
their economic needs, these tribes depended on other animals, probably
sheep, goats, and cattle. The centre of this culture, so far as can be
ascertained from Chinese sources, were the present provinces of Shensi
and Kansu, but mainly only the plains. The people of this culture were
most probably ancestors of the later Turkish peoples. It is not
suggested, of course, that the original home of the Turks lay in the
region of the Chinese provinces of Shensi and Kansu; one gains the
impression, however, that this was a border region of the Turkish
expansion; the Chinese documents concerning that period do not suffice
to establish the centre of the Turkish territory.

(d) In the _west_, in the present provinces of Szechwan and in all the
mountain regions of the provinces of Kansu and Shensi, lived the
ancestors of the Tibetan peoples as another separate culture. They were
shepherds, generally wandering with their flocks of sheep and goats on
the mountain heights.

(e) In the _south_ we meet with four further cultures. One is very
primitive, the Liao culture, the peoples of which are the Austroasiatics
already mentioned. These are peoples who never developed beyond the
stage of primitive hunters, some of whom were not even acquainted with
the bow and arrow. Farther east is the Yao culture, an early
Austronesian culture, the people of which also lived in the mountains,
some as collectors and hunters, some going over to a simple type of
agriculture (denshiring). They mingled later with the last great culture
of the south, the Tai culture, distinguished by agriculture. The people
lived in the valleys and mainly cultivated rice.

The origin of rice is not yet known; according to some scholars, rice
was first cultivated in the area of present Burma and was perhaps at
first a perennial plant. Apart from the typical rice which needs much
water, there were also some strains of dry rice which, however, did not
gain much importance. The centre of this Tai culture may have been in
the present provinces of Kuangtung and Kuanghsi. Today, their
descendants form the principal components of the Tai in Thailand, the
Shan in Burma and the Lao in Laos. Their immigration into the areas of
the Shan States of Burma and into Thailand took place only in quite
recent historical periods, probably not much earlier than A.D. 1000.

Finally there arose from the mixture of the Yao with the Tai culture, at
a rather later time, the Yueeh culture, another early Austronesian
culture, which then spread over wide regions of Indonesia, and of which
the axe of rectangular section, mentioned above, became typical.

Thus, to sum up, we may say that, quite roughly, in the middle of the
third millennium we meet in the _north_ and west of present-day China
with a number of herdsmen cultures. In the _south_ there were a number
of agrarian cultures, of which the Tai was the most powerful, becoming
of most importance to the later China. We must assume that these
cultures were as yet undifferentiated in their social composition, that
is to say that as yet there was no distinct social stratification, but
at most beginnings of class-formation, especially among the nomad

[Illustration: Map 1. Regions of the principal local cultures in
prehistoric times. _Local cultures of minor importance have not been

6 _The Yang-shao culture_

The various cultures here described gradually penetrated one another,
especially at points where they met. Such a process does not yield a
simple total of the cultural elements involved; any new combination
produces entirely different conditions with corresponding new results
which, in turn, represent the characteristics of the culture that
supervenes. We can no longer follow this process of penetration in
detail; it need not by any means have been always warlike. Conquest of
one group by another was only one way of mutual cultural penetration. In
other cases, a group which occupied the higher altitudes and practiced
hunting or slash-and-burn agriculture came into closer contacts with
another group in the valleys which practiced some form of higher
agriculture; frequently, such contacts resulted in particular forms of
division of labour in a unified and often stratified new form of
society. Recent and present developments in South-East Asia present a
number of examples for such changes. Increase of population is certainly
one of the most important elements which lead to these developments. The
result, as a rule, was a stratified society being made up of at least
one privileged and one ruled stratum. Thus there came into existence
around 2000 B.C. some new cultures, which are well known
archaeologically. The most important of these are the Yang-shao culture
in the west and the Lung-shan culture in the east. Our knowledge of both
these cultures is of quite recent date and there are many enigmas still
to be cleared up.

The _Yang-shao culture_ takes its name from a prehistoric settlement in
the west of the present province of Honan, where Swedish investigators
discovered it. Typical of this culture is its wonderfully fine pottery,
apparently used as gifts to the dead. It is painted in three colours,
white, red, and black. The patterns are all stylized, designs copied
from nature being rare. We are now able to divide this painted pottery
into several sub-types of specific distribution, and we know that this
style existed from _c_. 2200 B.C. on. In general, it tends to disappear
as does painted pottery in other parts of the world with the beginning
of urban civilization and the invention of writing. The typical
Yang-shao culture seems to have come to an end around 1600 or 1500 B.C.
It continued in some more remote areas, especially of Kansu, perhaps to
about 700 B.C. Remnants of this painted pottery have been found over a
wide area from Southern Manchuria, Hopei, Shansi, Honan, Shensi to
Kansu; some pieces have also been discovered in Sinkiang. Thus far, it
seems that it occurred mainly in the mountainous parts of North and
North-West China. The people of this culture lived in villages near to
the rivers and creeks. They had various forms of houses, including
underground dwellings and animal enclosures. They practiced some
agriculture; some authors believe that rice was already known to them.
They also had domesticated animals. Their implements were of stone with
rare specimens of bone. The axes were of the rectangular type. Metal was
as yet unknown, but seems to have been introduced towards the end of the
period. They buried their dead on the higher elevations, and here the
painted pottery was found. For their daily life, they used predominantly
a coarse grey pottery.

After the discovery of this culture, its pottery was compared with the
painted pottery of the West, and a number of resemblances were found,
especially with the pottery of the Lower Danube basin and that of Anau,
in Turkestan. Some authors claim that such resemblances are fortuitous
and believe that the older layers of this culture are to be found in the
eastern part of its distribution and only the later layers in the west.
It is, they say, these later stages which show the strongest
resemblances with the West. Other authors believe that the painted
pottery came from the West where it occurs definitely earlier than in
the Far East; some investigators went so far as to regard the
Indo-Europeans as the parents of that civilization. As we find people
who spoke an Indo-European language in the Far East in a later period,
they tend to connect the spread of painted pottery with the spread of
Indo-European-speaking groups. As most findings of painted pottery in
the Far East do not stem from scientific excavations it is difficult to
make any decision at this moment. We will have to wait for more and
modern excavations.

From our knowledge of primeval settlement in West and North-West China
we know, however, that Tibetan groups, probably mixed with Turkish
elements, must have been the main inhabitants of the whole region in
which this painted pottery existed. Whatever the origin of the painted
pottery may be, it seems that people of these two groups were the main
users of it. Most of the shapes of their pottery are not found in later
Chinese pottery.

7 _The Lung-shan culture_

While the Yang-shao culture flourished in the mountain regions of
northern and western China around 2000 B.C., there came into existence
in the plains of eastern China another culture, which is called the
Lung-shan culture, from the scene of the principal discoveries.
Lung-shan is in the province of Shantung, near Chinan-fu. This culture,
discovered only about twenty-five years ago, is distinguished by a black
pottery of exceptionally fine quality and by a similar absence of metal.
The pottery has a polished appearance on the exterior; it is never
painted, and mostly without decoration; at most it may have incised
geometrical patterns. The forms of the vessels are the same as have
remained typical of Chinese pottery, and of Far Eastern pottery in
general. To that extent the Lung-shan culture may be described as one of
the direct predecessors of the later Chinese civilization.

As in the West, we find in Lung-shan much grey pottery out of which
vessels for everyday use were produced. This simple corded or matted
ware seems to be in connection with Tunguse people who lived in the
north-east. The people of the Lung-shan culture lived on mounds produced
by repeated building on the ruins of earlier settlements, as did the
inhabitants of the "Tells" in the Near East. They were therefore a
long-settled population of agriculturists. Their houses were of mud, and
their villages were surrounded with mud walls. There are signs that
their society was stratified. So far as is known at present, this
culture was spread over the present provinces of Shantung, Kiangsu,
Chekiang, and Anhui, and some specimens of its pottery went as far as
Honan and Shansi, into the region of the painted pottery. This culture
lasted in the east until about 1600 B.C., with clear evidence of rather
longer duration only in the south. As black pottery of a similar
character occurs also in the Near East, some authors believe that it has
been introduced into the Far East by another migration (Pontic
migration) following that migration which supposedly brought the painted
pottery. This theory has not been generally accepted because of the fact
that typical black pottery is limited to the plains of East China; if it
had been brought in from the West, we should expect to find it in
considerable amounts also in West China. Ordinary black pottery can be
simply the result of a special temperature in the pottery kiln; such
pottery can be found almost everywhere. The typical thin, fine black
pottery of Lung-shan, however, is in the Far East an eastern element,
and migrants would have had to pass through the area of the painted
pottery people without leaving many traces and without pushing their
predecessors to the East. On the basis of our present knowledge we
assume that the peoples of the Lung-shan culture were probably of Tai
and Yao stocks together with some Tunguses.

Recently, a culture of mound-dwellers in Eastern China has been
discovered, and a southern Chinese culture of people with impressed or
stamped pottery. This latter seems to be connected with the Yueeh tribes.
As yet, no further details are known.

8 _The first petty States in Shansi_

At the time in which, according to archaeological research, the painted
pottery flourished in West China, Chinese historical tradition has it
that the semi-historical rulers, Yao and Shun, and the first official
dynasty, the Hsia dynasty ruled over parts of China with a centre in
southern Shansi. While we dismiss as political myths the Confucianist
stories representing Yao and Shun as models of virtuous rulers, it may
be that a small state existed in south-western Shansi under a chieftain
Yao, and farther to the east another small state under a chieftain Shun,
and that these states warred against each other until Yao's state was
destroyed. These first small states may have existed around 2000 B.C.

On the cultural scene we first find an important element of progress:
bronze, in traces in the middle layers of the Yang-shao culture, about
1800 B.C.; that element had become very widespread by 1400 B.C. The
forms of the oldest weapons and their ornamentation show similarities
with weapons from Siberia; and both mythology and other indications
suggest that the bronze came into China from the north and was not
produced in China proper. Thus, from the present state of our knowledge,
it seems most correct to say that the bronze was brought to the Far East
through the agency of peoples living north of China, such as the Turkish
tribes who in historical times were China's northern neighbours (or
perhaps only individual families or clans, the so-called smith families
with whom we meet later in Turkish tradition), reaching the Chinese
either through these people themselves or through the further agency of
Mongols. At first the forms of the weapons were left unaltered. The
bronze vessels, however, which made their appearance about 1450 B.C. are
entirely different from anything produced in other parts of Asia; their
ornamentation shows, on the one hand, elements of the so-called "animal
style" which is typical of the steppe people of the Ordos area and of
Central Asia. But most of the other elements, especially the "filling"
between stylized designs, is recognizably southern (probably of the Tai
culture), no doubt first applied to wooden vessels and vessels made from
gourds, and then transferred to bronze. This implies that the art of
casting bronze very soon spread from North China, where it was first
practiced by Turkish peoples, to the east and south, which quickly
developed bronze industries of their own. There are few deposits of
copper and tin in North China, while in South China both metals are
plentiful and easily extracted, so that a trade in bronze from south to
north soon set in.

The origin of the Hsia state may have been a consequence of the progress
due to bronze. The Chinese tradition speaks of the Hsia _dynasty_, but
can say scarcely anything about it. The excavations, too, yield no
clear conclusions, so that we can only say that it flourished at the
time and in the area in which the painted pottery occurred, with a
centre in south-west Shansi. We date this dynasty now somewhere between
2000 and 1600 B.C. and believe that it was an agrarian culture with
bronze weapons and pottery vessels but without the knowledge of the art
of writing.


Chapter Two

THE SHANG DYNASTY (_c_. 1600-1028 B.C.)

1 _Period, origin, material culture_

About 1600 B.C. we come at last into the realm of history. Of the Shang
dynasty, which now followed, we have knowledge both from later texts and
from excavations and the documents they have brought to light. The Shang
civilization, an evident off-shoot of the Lung-shan culture (Tai, Yao,
and Tunguses), but also with elements of the Hsia culture (with Tibetan
and Mongol and/or Turkish elements), was beyond doubt a high
civilization. Of the origin of the Shang _State_ we have no details, nor
do we know how the Hsia culture passed into the Shang culture.

The central territory of the Shang realm lay in north-western Honan,
alongside the Shansi mountains and extending into the plains. It was a
peasant civilization with towns. One of these towns has been excavated.
It adjoined the site of the present town of Anyang, in the province of
Honan. The town, the Shang capital from _c_. 1300 to 1028 B.C., was
probably surrounded by a mud wall, as were the settlements of the
Lung-shan people. In the centre was what evidently was the ruler's
palace. Round this were houses probably inhabited by artisans; for the
artisans formed a sort of intermediate class, as dependents of the
ruling class. From inscriptions we know that the Shang had, in addition
to their capital, at least two other large cities and many smaller
town-like settlements and villages. The rectangular houses were built in
a style still found in Chinese houses, except that their front did not
always face south as is now the general rule. The Shang buried their
kings in large, subterranean, cross-shaped tombs outside the city, and
many implements, animals and human sacrifices were buried together with
them. The custom of large burial mounds, which later became typical of
the Chou dynasty, did not yet exist.

The Shang had sculptures in stone, an art which later more or less
completely disappeared and which was resuscitated only in post-Christian
times under the influence of Indian Buddhism. Yet, Shang culture cannot
well be called a "megalithic" culture. Bronze implements and especially
bronze vessels were cast in the town. We even know the trade marks of
some famous bronze founders. The bronze weapons are still similar to
those from Siberia, and are often ornamented in the so-called "animal
style", which was used among all the nomad peoples between the Ordos
region and Siberia until the beginning of the Christian era. On the
other hand, the famous bronze vessels are more of southern type, and
reveal an advanced technique that has scarcely been excelled since.
There can be no doubt that the bronze vessels were used for religious
service and not for everyday life. For everyday use there were
earthenware vessels. Even in the middle of the first millennium B.C.,
bronze was exceedingly dear, as we know from the records of prices.
China has always suffered from scarcity of metal. For that reason metal
was accumulated as capital, entailing a further rise in prices; when
prices had reached a sufficient height, the stocks were thrown on the
market and prices fell again. Later, when there was a metal coinage,
this cycle of inflation and deflation became still clearer. The metal
coinage was of its full nominal value, so that it was possible to coin
money by melting down bronze implements. As the money in circulation was
increased in this way, the value of the currency fell. Then it paid to
turn coin into metal implements. This once more reduced the money in
circulation and increased the value of the remaining coinage. Thus
through the whole course of Chinese history the scarcity of metal and
insufficiency of production of metal continually produced extensive
fluctuations of the stocks and the value of metal, amounting virtually
to an economic law in China. Consequently metal implements were never
universally in use, and vessels were always of earthenware, with the
further result of the early invention of porcelain. Porcelain vessels
have many of the qualities of metal ones, but are cheaper.

The earthenware vessels used in this period are in many cases already
very near to porcelain: there was a pottery of a brilliant white,
lacking only the glaze which would have made it into porcelain. Patterns
were stamped on the surface, often resembling the patterns on bronze
articles. This ware was used only for formal, ceremonial purposes. For
daily use there was also a perfectly simple grey pottery.

Silk was already in use at this time. The invention of sericulture must
therefore have dated from very ancient times in China. It undoubtedly
originated in the south of China, and at first not only the threads
spun by the silkworm but those made by other caterpillars were also
used. The remains of silk fabrics that have been found show already an
advanced weaving technique. In addition to silk, various plant fibres,
such as hemp, were in use. Woollen fabrics do not seem to have been yet

The Shang were agriculturists, but their implements were still rather
primitive. There was no real plough yet; hoes and hoe-like implements
were used, and the grain, mainly different kinds of millet and some
wheat, was harvested with sickles. The materials, from which these
implements were made, were mainly wood and stone; bronze was still too
expensive to be utilized by the ordinary farmer. As a great number of
vessels for wine in many different forms have been excavated, we can
assume that wine, made from special kinds of millet, was a popular

The Shang state had its centre in northern Honan, north of the Yellow
river. At various times, different towns were made into the capital
city; Yin-ch'ue, their last capital and the only one which has been
excavated, was their sixth capital. We do not know why the capitals were
removed to new locations; it is possible that floods were one of the
main reasons. The area under more or less organized Shang control
comprised towards the end of the dynasty the present provinces of Honan,
western Shantung, southern Hopei, central and south Shansi, east Shensi,
parts of Kiangsu and Anhui. We can only roughly estimate the size of the
population of the Shang state. Late texts say that at the time of the
annihilation of the dynasty, some 3.1 million free men and 1.1 million
serfs were captured by the conquerors; this would indicate a population
of at least some 4-5 millions. This seems a possible number, if we
consider that an inscription of the tenth century B.C. which reports
about an ordinary war against a small and unimportant western neighbour,
speaks of 13,081 free men and 4,812 serfs taken as prisoners.

Inscriptions mention many neighbours of the Shang with whom they were in
more or less continuous state of war. Many of these neighbours can now
be identified. We know that Shansi at that time was inhabited by Ch'iang
tribes, belonging to the Tibetan culture, as well as by Ti tribes,
belonging to the northern culture, and by Hsien-yuen and other tribes,
belonging to the north-western culture; the centre of the Ch'iang tribes
was more in the south-west of Shansi and in Shensi. Some of these tribes
definitely once formed a part of the earlier Hsia state. The
identification of the eastern neighbours of the Shang presents more
difficulties. We might regard them as representatives of the Tai and Yao

2 _Writing and Religion_

Not only the material but also the intellectual level attained in the
Shang period was very high. We meet for the first time with
writing--much later than in the Middle East and in India. Chinese
scholars have succeeded in deciphering some of the documents discovered,
so that we are able to learn a great deal from them. The writing is a
rudimentary form of the present-day Chinese script, and like it a
pictorial writing, but also makes use, as today, of many phonetic signs.
There were, however, a good many characters that no longer exist, and
many now used are absent. There were already more than 3,000 characters
in use of which some 1,000 can now be read. (Today newspapers use some
3,000 characters; scholars have command of up to 8,000; the whole of
Chinese literature, ancient and modern, comprises some 50,000
characters.) With these 3,000 characters the Chinese of the Shang period
were able to express themselves well.

The still existing fragments of writing of this period are found almost
exclusively on tortoiseshells or on other bony surfaces, and they
represent oracles. As early as in the Lung-shan culture there was
divination by means of "oracle bones", at first without written
characters. In the earliest period any bones of animals (especially
shoulder-bones) were used; later only tortoiseshell. For the purpose of
the oracle a depression was burnt in the shell so that cracks were
formed on the other side, and the future was foretold from their
direction. Subsequently particular questions were scratched on the
shells, and the answers to them; these are the documents that have come
down to us. In Anyang tens of thousands of these oracle bones with
inscriptions have been found. The custom of asking the oracle and of
writing the answers on the bones spread over the borders of the Shang
state and continued in some areas after the end of the dynasty.

The bronze vessels of later times often bear long inscriptions, but
those of the Shang period have only very brief texts. On the other hand,
they are ornamented with pictures, as yet largely unintelligible, of
countless deities, especially in the shape of animals or birds--pictures
that demand interpretation. The principal form on these bronzes is that
of the so-called T'ao-t'ieh, a hybrid with the head of a water-buffalo
and tiger's teeth.

The Shang period had a religion with many nature deities, especially
deities of fertility. There was no systematized pantheon, different
deities being revered in each locality, often under the most varied
names. These various deities were, however, similar in character, and
later it occurred often that many of them were combined by the priests
into a single god. The composite deities thus formed were officially
worshipped. Their primeval forms lived on, however, especially in the
villages, many centuries longer than the Shang dynasty. The sacrifices
associated with them became popular festivals, and so these gods or
their successors were saved from oblivion; some of them have lived on in
popular religion to the present day. The supreme god of the official
worship was called Shang Ti; he was a god of vegetation who guided all
growth and birth and was later conceived as a forefather of the races of
mankind. The earth was represented as a mother goddess, who bore the
plants and animals procreated by Shang Ti. In some parts of the Shang
realm the two were conceived as a married couple who later were parted
by one of their children. The husband went to heaven, and the rain is
the male seed that creates life on earth. In other regions it was
supposed that in the beginning of the world there was a world-egg, out
of which a primeval god came, whose body was represented by the earth:
his hair formed the plants, and his limbs the mountains and valleys.
Every considerable mountain was also itself a god and, similarly, the
river god, the thunder god, cloud, lightning, and wind gods, and many
others were worshipped.

In order to promote the fertility of the earth, it was believed that
sacrifices must be offered to the gods. Consequently, in the Shang realm
and the regions surrounding it there were many sorts of human
sacrifices; often the victims were prisoners of war. One gains the
impression that many wars were conducted not as wars of conquest but
only for the purpose of capturing prisoners, although the area under
Shang control gradually increased towards the west and the south-east, a
fact demonstrating the interest in conquest. In some regions men lurked
in the spring for people from other villages; they slew them, sacrificed
them to the earth, and distributed portions of the flesh of the
sacrifice to the various owners of fields, who buried them. At a later
time all human sacrifices were prohibited, but we have reports down to
the eleventh century A.D., and even later, that such sacrifices were
offered secretly in certain regions of central China. In other regions a
great boat festival was held in the spring, to which many crews came
crowded in long narrow boats. At least one of the boats had to capsize;
the people who were thus drowned were a sacrifice to the deities of
fertility. This festival has maintained its fundamental character to
this day, in spite of various changes. The same is true of other
festivals, customs, and conceptions, vestiges of which are contained at
least in folklore.

In addition to the nature deities which were implored to give fertility,
to send rain, or to prevent floods and storms, the Shang also
worshipped deceased rulers and even dead ministers as a kind of
intermediaries between man and the highest deity, Shang Ti. This
practice may be regarded as the forerunner of "ancestral worship" which
became so typical of later China.

3 _Transition to feudalism_

At the head of the Shang state was a king, posthumously called a "Ti",
the same word as in the name of the supreme god. We have found on bones
the names of all the rulers of this dynasty and even some of their
pre-dynastic ancestors. These names can be brought into agreement with
lists of rulers found in the ancient Chinese literature. The ruler seems
to have been a high priest, too; and around him were many other priests.
We know some of them now so well from the inscriptions that their
biographies could be written. The king seems to have had some kind of
bureaucracy. There were "ch'en", officials who served the ruler
personally, as well as scribes and military officials. The basic army
organization was in units of one hundred men which were combined as
"right", "left" and "central" units into an army of 300 men. But it
seems that the central power did not extend very far. In the more
distant parts of the realm were more or less independent lords, who
recognized the ruler only as their supreme lord and religious leader. We
may describe this as an early, loose form of the feudal system, although
the main element of real feudalism was still absent. The main
obligations of these lords were to send tributes of grain, to
participate with their soldiers in the wars, to send tortoise shells to
the capital to be used there for oracles, and to send occasionally
cattle and horses. There were some thirty such dependent states.
Although we do not know much about the general population, we know that
the rulers had a patrilinear system of inheritance. After the death of
the ruler his brothers followed him on the throne, the older brothers
first. After the death of all brothers, the sons of older or younger
brothers became rulers. No preference was shown to the son of the oldest
brother, and no preference between sons of main or of secondary wives is
recognizable. Thus, the Shang patrilinear system was much less extreme
than the later system. Moreover, the deceased wives of the rulers played
a great role in the cult, another element which later disappeared. From
these facts and from the general structure of Shang religion it has been
concluded that there was a strong matrilinear strain in Shang culture.
Although this cannot be proved, it seems quite plausible because we know
of matrilinear societies in the South of China at later times.

About the middle of the Shang period there occurred interesting
changes, probably under the influence of nomad peoples from the

In religion there appears some evidence of star-worship. The deities
seem to have been conceived as a kind of celestial court of Shang Ti,
as his "officials". In the field of material culture, horse-breeding
becomes more and more evident. Some authors believe that the art of
riding was already known in late Shang times, although it was certainly
not yet so highly developed that cavalry units could be used in war.
With horse-breeding the two-wheeled light war chariot makes its
appearance. The wheel was already known in earlier times in the form of
the potter's wheel. Recent excavations have brought to light burials in
which up to eighteen chariots with two or four horses were found
together with the owners of the chariots. The cart is not a Chinese
invention but came from the north, possibly from Turkish peoples. It has
been contended that it was connected with the war chariot of the Near
East: shortly before the Shang period there had been vast upheavals in
western Asia, mainly in connection with the expansion of peoples who
spoke Indo-European languages (Hittites, etc.) and who became successful
through the use of quick, light, two-wheeled war-chariots. It is
possible, but cannot be proved, that the war-chariot spread
through Central Asia in connection with the spread of such
Indo-European-speaking groups or by the intermediary of Turkish tribes.
We have some reasons to believe that the first Indo-European-speaking
groups arrived in the Far East in the middle of the second millennium
B.C. Some authors even connect the Hsia with these groups. In any case,
the maximal distribution of these people seems to have been to the
western borders of the Shang state. As in Western Asia, a Shang-time
chariot was manned by three men: the warrior who was a nobleman, his
driver, and his servant who handed him arrows or other weapons when
needed. There developed a quite close relationship between the nobleman
and his chariot-driver. The chariot was a valuable object, manufactured
by specialists; horses were always expensive and rare in China, and in
many periods of Chinese history horses were directly imported from
nomadic tribes in the North or West. Thus, the possessors of vehicles
formed a privileged class in the Shang realm; they became a sort of
nobility, and the social organization began to move in the direction of
feudalism. One of the main sports of the noblemen in this period, in
addition to warfare, was hunting. The Shang had their special hunting
grounds south of the mountains which surround Shansi province, along the
slopes of the T'ai-hang mountain range, and south to the shores of the
Yellow river. Here, there were still forests and swamps in Shang time,
and boars, deer, buffaloes and other animals, as well as occasional
rhinoceros and elephants, were hunted. None of these wild animals was
used as a sacrifice; all sacrificial animals, such as cattle, pigs,
etc., were domesticated animals.

Below the nobility we find large numbers of dependent people; modern
Chinese scholars call them frequently "slaves" and speak of a "slave
society". There is no doubt that at least some farmers were "free
farmers"; others were what we might call "serfs": families in hereditary
group dependence upon some noble families and working on land which the
noble families regarded as theirs. Families of artisans and craftsmen
also were hereditary servants of noble families--a type of social
organization which has its parallels in ancient Japan and in later India
and other parts of the world. There were also real slaves: persons who
were the personal property of noblemen. The independent states around
the Shang state also had serfs. When the Shang captured neighbouring
states, they resettled the captured foreign aristocracy by attaching
them as a group to their own noblemen. The captured serfs remained under
their masters and shared their fate. The same system was later practiced
by the Chou after their conquest of the Shang state.

The conquests of late Shang added more territory to the realm than could
be coped with by the primitive communications of the time. When the last
ruler of Shang made his big war which lasted 260 days against the tribes
in the south-east, rebellions broke out which lead to the end of the
dynasty, about 1028 B.C. according to the new chronology (1122 B.C. old




Chapter Three

THE CHOU DYNASTY (_c_. 1028-257 B.C.)

1 _Cultural origin of the Chou and end of the Shang dynasty_

The Shang culture still lacked certain things that were to become
typical of "Chinese" civilization. The family system was not yet the
strong patriarchal system of the later Chinese. The religion, too, in
spite of certain other influences, was still a religion of agrarian
fertility. And although Shang society was strongly stratified and showed
some tendencies to develop a feudal system, feudalism was still very
primitive. Although the Shang script was the precursor of later Chinese
script, it seemed to have contained many words which later disappeared,
and we are not sure whether Shang language was the same as the language
of Chou time. With the Chou period, however, we enter a period in which
everything which was later regarded as typically "Chinese" began to

During the time of the Shang dynasty the Chou formed a small realm in
the west, at first in central Shensi, an area which even in much later
times was the home of many "non-Chinese" tribes. Before the beginning of
the eleventh century B.C. they must have pushed into eastern Shensi, due
to pressures of other tribes which may have belonged to the Turkish
ethnic group. However, it is also possible that their movement was
connected with pressures from Indo-European groups. An analysis of their
tribal composition at the time of the conquest seems to indicate that
the ruling house of the Chou was related to the Turkish group, and that
the population consisted mainly of Turks and Tibetans. Their culture was
closely related to that of Yang-shao, the previously described
painted-pottery culture, with, of course, the progress brought by time.
They had bronze weapons and, especially, the war-chariot. Their eastward
migration, however, brought them within the zone of the Shang culture,
by which they were strongly influenced, so that the Chou culture lost
more and more of its original character and increasingly resembled the
Shang culture. The Chou were also brought into the political sphere of
the Shang, as shown by the fact that marriages took place between the
ruling houses of Shang and Chou, until the Chou state became nominally
dependent on the Shang state in the form of a dependency with special
prerogatives. Meanwhile the power of the Chou state steadily grew, while
that of the Shang state diminished more and more through the disloyalty
of its feudatories and through wars in the East. Finally, about 1028
B.C., the Chou ruler, named Wu Wang ("the martial king"), crossed his
eastern frontier and pushed into central Honan. His army was formed by
an alliance between various tribes, in the same way as happened again
and again in the building up of the armies of the rulers of the steppes.
Wu Wang forced a passage across the Yellow River and annihilated the
Shang army. He pursued its vestiges as far as the capital, captured the
last emperor of the Shang, and killed him. Thus was the Chou dynasty
founded, and with it we begin the actual history of China. The Chou
brought to the Shang culture strong elements of Turkish and also Tibetan
culture, which were needed for the release of such forces as could
create a new empire and maintain it through thousands of years as a
cultural and, generally, also a political unit.

2 _Feudalism in the new empire_

A natural result of the situation thus produced was the turning of the
country into a feudal state. The conquerors were an alien minority, so
that they had to march out and spread over the whole country. Moreover,
the allied tribal chieftains expected to be rewarded. The territory to
be governed was enormous, but the communications in northern China at
that time were similar to those still existing not long ago in southern
China--narrow footpaths from one settlement to another. It is very
difficult to build roads in the loess of northern China; and the
war-chariots that required roads had only just been introduced. Under
such conditions, the simplest way of administering the empire was to
establish garrisons of the invading tribes in the various parts of the
country under the command of their chieftains. Thus separate regions of
the country were distributed as fiefs. If a former subject of the Shang
surrendered betimes with the territory under his rule, or if there was
one who could not be overcome by force, the Chou recognized him as a
feudal lord.

We find in the early Chou time the typical signs of true feudalism:
fiefs were given in a ceremony in which symbolically a piece of earth
was handed over to the new fiefholder, and his instalment, his rights
and obligations were inscribed in a "charter". Most of the fiefholders
were members of the Chou ruling family or members of the clan to which
this family belonged; other fiefs were given to heads of the allied
tribes. The fiefholder (feudal lord) regarded the land of his fief, as
far as he and his clan actually used it, as "clan" land; parts of this
land he gave to members of his own branch-clan for their use without
transferring rights of property, thus creating new sub-fiefs and
sub-lords. In much later times the concept of landed property of a
_family_ developed, and the whole concept of "clan" disappeared. By 500
B.C., most feudal lords had retained only a dim memory that they
originally belonged to the Chi clan of the Chou or to one of the few
other original clans, and their so-called sub-lords felt themselves as
members of independent noble families. Slowly, then, the family names of
later China began to develop, but it took many centuries until, at the
time of the Han Dynasty, all citizens (slaves excluded) had accepted
family names. Then, reversely, families grew again into new clans.

Thus we have this picture of the early Chou state: the imperial central
power established in Shensi, near the present Sian; over a thousand
feudal states, great and small, often consisting only of a small
garrison, or sometimes a more considerable one, with the former
chieftain as feudal lord over it. Around these garrisons the old
population lived on, in the north the Shang population, farther east and
south various other peoples and cultures. The conquerors' garrisons were
like islands in a sea. Most of them formed new towns, walled, with a
rectangular plan and central crossroads, similar to the European towns
subsequently formed out of Roman encampments. This town plan has been
preserved to the present day.

This upper class in the garrisons formed the nobility; it was sharply
divided from the indigenous population around the towns The conquerors
called the population "the black-haired people", and themselves "the
hundred families". The rest of the town populations consisted often of
urban Shang people: Shang noble families together with their bondsmen
and serfs had been given to Chou fiefholders. Such forced resettlements
of whole populations have remained typical even for much later periods.
By this method new cities were provided with urban, refined people and,
most important, with skilled craftsmen and businessmen who assisted in
building the cities and in keeping them alive. Some scholars believe
that many resettled Shang urbanites either were or became businessmen;
incidentally, the same word "Shang" means "merchant", up to the present
time. The people of the Shang capital lived on and even attempted a
revolt in collaboration with some Chou people. The Chou rulers
suppressed this revolt, and then transferred a large part of this
population to Loyang. They were settled there in a separate community,
and vestiges of the Shang population were still to be found there in the
fifth century A.D.: they were entirely impoverished potters, still
making vessels in the old style.

3 _Fusion of Chou and Shang_

The conquerors brought with them, for their own purposes to begin with,
their rigid patriarchate in the family system and their cult of Heaven
(t'ien), in which the worship of sun and stars took the principal place;
a religion most closely related to that of the Turkish peoples and
derived from them. Some of the Shang popular deities, however, were
admitted into the official Heaven-worship. Popular deities became
"feudal lords" under the Heaven-god. The Shang conceptions of the soul
were also admitted into the Chou religion: the human body housed two
souls, the personality-soul and the life-soul. Death meant the
separation of the souls from the body, the life-soul also slowly dying.
The personality-soul, however, could move about freely and lived as long
as there were people who remembered it and kept it from hunger by means
of sacrifices. The Chou systematized this idea and made it into the
ancestor-worship that has endured down to the present time.

The Chou officially abolished human sacrifices, especially since, as
former pastoralists, they knew of better means of employing prisoners of
war than did the more agrarian Shang. The Chou used Shang and other
slaves as domestic servants for their numerous nobility, and Shang serfs
as farm labourers on their estates. They seem to have regarded the land
under their control as "state land" and all farmers as "serfs". A slave,
here, must be defined as an individual, a piece of property, who was
excluded from membership in human society but, in later legal texts, was
included under domestic animals and immobile property, while serfs as a
class depended upon another class and had certain rights, at least the
right to work on the land. They could change their masters if the land
changed its master, but they could not legally be sold individually.
Thus, the following, still rather hypothetical, picture of the land
system of the early Chou time emerges: around the walled towns of the
feudal lords and sub-lords, always in the plains, was "state land" which
produced millet and more and more wheat. Cultivation was still largely
"shifting", so that the serfs in groups cultivated more or less
standardized plots for a year or more and then shifted to other plots.
During the growing season they lived in huts on the fields; during the
winter in the towns in adobe houses. In this manner the yearly life
cycle was divided into two different periods. The produce of the serfs
supplied the lords, their dependants and the farmers themselves.
Whenever the lord found it necessary, the serfs had to perform also
other services for the lord. Farther away from the towns were the
villages of the "natives", nominally also subjects of the lord. In most
parts of eastern China, these, too, were agriculturists. They
acknowledged their dependence by sending "gifts" to the lord in the
town. Later these gifts became institutionalized and turned into a form
of tax. The lord's serfs, on the other hand, tended to settle near the
fields in villages of their own because, with growing urban population,
the distances from the town to many of the fields became too great. It
was also at this time of new settlements that a more intensive
cultivation with a fallow system began. At latest from the sixth century
B.C. on, the distinctions between both land systems became unclear; and
the pure serf-cultivation, called by the old texts the "well-field
system" because eight cultivating families used one common well,
disappeared in practice.

The actual structure of early Chou administration is difficult to
ascertain. The "Duke of Chou", brother of the first ruler, Wu Wang,
later regent during the minority of Wu Wang's son, and certainly one of
the most influential persons of this time, was the alleged creator of
the book _Chou-li_ which contains a detailed table of the bureaucracy of
the country. However, we know now from inscriptions that the bureaucracy
at the beginning of the Chou period was not much more developed than in
late Shang time. The _Chou-li_ gave an ideal picture of a bureaucratic
state, probably abstracted from actual conditions in feudal states
several centuries later.

The Chou capital, at Sian, was a twin city. In one part lived the
master-race of the Chou with the imperial court, in the other the
subjugated population. At the same time, as previously mentioned, the
Chou built a second capital, Loyang, in the present province of Honan.
Loyang was just in the middle of the new state, and for the purposes of
Heaven-worship it was regarded as the centre of the universe, where it
was essential that the emperor should reside. Loyang was another twin
city: in one part were the rulers' administrative buildings, in the
other the transferred population of the Shang capital, probably artisans
for the most part. The valuable artisans seem all to have been taken
over from the Shang, for the bronze vessels of the early Chou age are
virtually identical with those of the Shang age. The shapes of the
houses also remained unaltered, and probably also the clothing, though
the Chou brought with them the novelties of felt and woollen fabrics,
old possessions of their earlier period. The only fundamental material
change was in the form of the graves: in the Shang age house-like tombs
were built underground; now great tumuli were constructed in the fashion
preferred by all steppe peoples.

One professional class was severely hit by the changed
circumstances--the Shang priesthood. The Chou had no priests. As with
all the races of the steppes, the head of the family himself performed
the religious rites. Beyond this there were only shamans for certain
purposes of magic. And very soon Heaven-worship was combined with the
family system, the ruler being declared to be the Son of Heaven; the
mutual relations within the family were thus extended to the religious
relations with the deity. If, however, the god of Heaven is the father
of the ruler, the ruler as his son himself offers sacrifice, and so the
priest becomes superfluous. Thus the priests became "unemployed". Some
of them changed their profession. They were the only people who could
read and write, and as an administrative system was necessary they
obtained employment as scribes. Others withdrew to their villages and
became village priests. They organized the religious festivals in the
village, carried out the ceremonies connected with family events, and
even conducted the exorcism of evil spirits with shamanistic dances;
they took charge, in short, of everything connected with customary
observances and morality. The Chou lords were great respecters of
propriety. The Shang culture had, indeed, been a high one with an
ancient and highly developed moral system, and the Chou as rough
conquerors must have been impressed by the ancient forms and tried to
imitate them. In addition, they had in their religion of Heaven a
conception of the existence of mutual relations between Heaven and
Earth: all that went on in the skies had an influence on earth, and vice
versa. Thus, if any ceremony was "wrongly" performed, it had an evil
effect on Heaven--there would be no rain, or the cold weather would
arrive too soon, or some such misfortune would come. It was therefore of
great importance that everything should be done "correctly". Hence the
Chou rulers were glad to call in the old priests as performers of
ceremonies and teachers of morality similar to the ancient Indian rulers
who needed the Brahmans for the correct performance of all rites. There
thus came into existence in the early Chou empire a new social group,
later called "scholars", men who were not regarded as belonging to the
lower class represented by the subjugated population but were not
included in the nobility; men who were not productively employed but
belonged to a sort of independent profession. They became of very great
importance in later centuries.

In the first centuries of the Chou dynasty the ruling house steadily
lost power. Some of the emperors proved weak, or were killed at war;
above all, the empire was too big and its administration too
slow-moving. The feudal lords and nobles were occupied with their own
problems in securing the submission of the surrounding villages to their
garrisons and in governing them; they soon paid little attention to the
distant central authority. In addition to this, the situation at the
centre of the empire was more difficult than that of its feudal states
farther east. The settlements around the garrisons in the east were
inhabited by agrarian tribes, but the subjugated population around the
centre at Sian was made up of nomadic tribes of Turks and Mongols
together with semi-nomadic Tibetans. Sian lies in the valley of the
river Wei; the riverside country certainly belonged, though perhaps only
insecurely, to the Shang empire and was specially well adapted to
agriculture; but its periphery--mountains in the south, steppes in the
north--was inhabited (until a late period, to some extent to the present
day) by nomads, who had also been subjugated by the Chou. The Chou
themselves were by no means strong, as they had been only a small tribe
and their strength had depended on auxiliary tribes, which had now
spread over the country as the new nobility and lived far from the Chou.
The Chou emperors had thus to hold in check the subjugated but warlike
tribes of Turks and Mongols who lived quite close to their capital. In
the first centuries of the dynasty they were more or less successful,
for the feudal lords still sent auxiliary forces. In time, however,
these became fewer and fewer, because the feudal lords pursued their own
policy; and the Chou were compelled to fight their own battles against
tribes that continually rose against them, raiding and pillaging their
towns. Campaigns abroad also fell mainly on the shoulders of the Chou,
as their capital lay near the frontier.

It must not be simply assumed, as is often done by the Chinese and some
of the European historians, that the Turkish and Mongolian tribes were
so savage or so pugnacious that they continually waged war just for the
love of it. The problem is much deeper, and to fail to recognize this is
to fail to understand Chinese history down to the Middle Ages. The
conquering Chou established their garrisons everywhere, and these
garrisons were surrounded by the quarters of artisans and by the
villages of peasants, a process that ate into the pasturage of the
Turkish and Mongolian nomads. These nomads, as already mentioned,
pursued agriculture themselves on a small scale, but it occurred to them
that they could get farm produce much more easily by barter or by
raiding. Accordingly they gradually gave up cultivation and became pure
nomads, procuring the needed farm produce from their neighbours. This
abandonment of agriculture brought them into a precarious situation: if
for any reason the Chinese stopped supplying or demanded excessive
barter payment, the nomads had to go hungry. They were then virtually
driven to get what they needed by raiding. Thus there developed a mutual
reaction that lasted for centuries. Some of the nomadic tribes living
between garrisons withdrew, to escape from the growing pressure, mainly
into the province of Shansi, where the influence of the Chou was weak
and they were not numerous; some of the nomad chiefs lost their lives in
battle, and some learned from the Chou lords and turned themselves into
petty rulers. A number of "marginal" states began to develop; some of
them even built their own cities. This process of transformation of
agro-nomadic tribes into "warrior-nomadic" tribes continued over many
centuries and came to an end in the third or second century B.C.

The result of the three centuries that had passed was a symbiosis
between the urban aristocrats and the country-people. The rulers of the
towns took over from the general population almost the whole vocabulary
of the language which from now on we may call "Chinese". They naturally
took over elements of the material civilization. The subjugated
population had, meanwhile, to adjust itself to its lords. In the
organism that thus developed, with its unified economic system, the
conquerors became an aristocratic ruling class, and the subjugated
population became a lower class, with varied elements but mainly a
peasantry. From now on we may call this society "Chinese"; it has
endured to the middle of the twentieth century. Most later essential
societal changes are the result of internal development and not of
aggression from without.

4 _Limitation of the imperial power_

In 771 B.C. an alliance of northern feudal states had attacked the ruler
in his western capital; in a battle close to the city they had overcome
and killed him. This campaign appears to have set in motion considerable
groups from various tribes, so that almost the whole province of Shensi
was lost. With the aid of some feudal lords who had remained loyal, a
Chou prince was rescued and conducted eastward to the second capital,
Loyang, which until then had never been the ruler's actual place of
residence. In this rescue a lesser feudal prince, ruler of the feudal
state of Ch'in, specially distinguished himself. Soon afterwards this
prince, whose domain had lain close to that of the ruler, reconquered a
great part of the lost territory, and thereafter regarded it as his own
fief. The Ch'in family resided in the same capital in which the Chou
had lived in the past, and five hundred years later we shall meet with
them again as the dynasty that succeeded the Chou.

The new ruler, resident now in Loyang, was foredoomed to impotence. He
was now in the centre of the country, and less exposed to large-scale
enemy attacks; but his actual rule extended little beyond the town
itself and its immediate environment. Moreover, attacks did not entirely
cease; several times parts of the indigenous population living between
the Chou towns rose against the towns, even in the centre of the

Now that the emperor had no territory that could be the basis of a
strong rule and, moreover, because he owed his position to the feudal
lords and was thus under an obligation to them, he ruled no longer as
the chief of the feudal lords but as a sort of sanctified overlord; and
this was the position of all his successors. A situation was formed at
first that may be compared with that of Japan down to the middle of the
nineteenth century. The ruler was a symbol rather than an exerciser of
power. There had to be a supreme ruler because, in the worship of Heaven
which was recognized by all the feudal lords, the supreme sacrifices
could only be offered by the Son of Heaven in person. There could not be
a number of sons of heaven because there were not a number of heavens.
The imperial sacrifices secured that all should be in order in the
country, and that the necessary equilibrium between Heaven and Earth
should be maintained. For in the religion of Heaven there was a close
parallelism between Heaven and Earth, and every omission of a sacrifice,
or failure to offer it in due form, brought down a reaction from Heaven.
For these religious reasons a central ruler was a necessity for the
feudal lords. They needed him also for practical reasons. In the course
of centuries the personal relationship between the various feudal lords
had ceased. Their original kinship and united struggles had long been
forgotten. When the various feudal lords proceeded to subjugate the
territories at a distance from their towns, in order to turn their city
states into genuine territorial states, they came into conflict with
each other. In the course of these struggles for power many of the small
fiefs were simply destroyed. It may fairly be said that not until the
eighth and seventh centuries B.C. did the old garrison towns became real
states. In these circumstances the struggles between the feudal states
called urgently for an arbiter, to settle simple cases, and in more
difficult cases either to try to induce other feudal lords to intervene
or to give sanction to the new situation. These were the only governing
functions of the ruler from the time of the transfer to the second

5 _Changes in the relative strength of the feudal states_

In these disturbed times China also made changes in her outer frontiers.
When we speak of frontiers in this connection, we must take little
account of the European conception of a frontier. No frontier in that
sense existed in China until her conflict with the European powers. In
the dogma of the Chinese religion of Heaven, all the countries of the
world were subject to the Chinese emperor, the Son of Heaven. Thus there
could be no such thing as other independent states. In practice the
dependence of various regions on the ruler naturally varied: near the
centre, that is to say near the ruler's place of residence, it was most
pronounced; then it gradually diminished in the direction of the
periphery. The feudal lords of the inner territories were already rather
less subordinated than at the centre, and those at a greater distance
scarcely at all; at a still greater distance were territories whose
chieftains regarded themselves as independent, subject only in certain
respects to Chinese overlordship. In such a system it is difficult to
speak of frontiers. In practice there was, of course, a sort of
frontier, where the influence of the outer feudal lords ceased to exist.
The development of the original feudal towns into feudal states with
actual dominion over their territories proceeded, of course, not only in
the interior of China but also on its borders, where the feudal
territories had the advantage of more unrestricted opportunities of
expansion; thus they became more and more powerful. In the south (that
is to say, in the south of the Chou empire, in the present central
China) the garrisons that founded feudal states were relatively small
and widely separated; consequently their cultural system was largely
absorbed into that of the aboriginal population, so that they developed
into feudal states with a character of their own. Three of these
attained special importance--(1) Ch'u, in the neighbourhood of the
present Chungking and Hankow; (2) Wu, near the present Nanking; and (3)
Yueeh, near the present Hangchow. In 704 B.C. the feudal prince of Wu
proclaimed himself "Wang". "Wang", however was the title of the ruler of
the Chou dynasty. This meant that Wu broke away from the old Chou
religion of Heaven, according to which there could be only one ruler
(_wang_) in the world.

At the beginning of the seventh century it became customary for the
ruler to unite with the feudal lord who was most powerful at the time.
This feudal lord became a dictator, and had the military power in his
hands, like the shoguns in nineteenth-century Japan. If there was a
disturbance of the peace, he settled the matter by military means. The
first of these dictators was the feudal lord of the state of Ch'i, in
the present province of Shantung. This feudal state had grown
considerably through the conquest of the outer end of the peninsula of
Shantung, which until then had been independent. Moreover, and this was
of the utmost importance, the state of Ch'i was a trade centre. Much of
the bronze, and later all the iron, for use in northern China came from
the south by road and in ships that went up the rivers to Ch'i, where it
was distributed among the various regions of the north, north-east, and
north-west. In addition to this, through its command of portions of the
coast, Ch'i had the means of producing salt, with which it met the needs
of great areas of eastern China. It was also in Ch'i that money was
first used. Thus Ch'i soon became a place of great luxury, far
surpassing the court of the Chou, and Ch'i also became the centre of the
most developed civilization.

[Illustration: Map 2: The principal feudal States in the feudal epoch.
(_roughly 722-481 B.C._)]

After the feudal lord of Ch'i, supported by the wealth and power of his
feudal state, became dictator, he had to struggle not only against other
feudal lords, but also many times against risings among the most various
parts of the population, and especially against the nomad tribes in the
southern part of the present province of Shansi. In the seventh century
not only Ch'i but the other feudal states had expanded. The regions in
which the nomad tribes were able to move had grown steadily smaller, and
the feudal lords now set to work to bring the nomads of their country
under their direct rule. The greatest conflict of this period was the
attack in 660 B.C. against the feudal state of Wei, in northern Honan.
The nomad tribes seem this time to have been proto-Mongols; they made a
direct attack on the garrison town and actually conquered it. The
remnant of the urban population, no more than 730 in number, had to flee
southward. It is clear from this incident that nomads were still living
in the middle of China, within the territory of the feudal states, and
that they were still decidedly strong, though no longer in a position to
get rid entirely of the feudal lords of the Chou.

The period of the dictators came to an end after about a century,
because it was found that none of the feudal states was any longer
strong enough to exercise control over all the others. These others
formed alliances against which the dictator was powerless. Thus this
period passed into the next, which the Chinese call the period of the
Contending States.

6 _Confucius_

After this survey of the political history we must consider the
intellectual history of this period, for between 550 and 280 B.C. the
enduring fundamental influences in the Chinese social order and in the
whole intellectual life of China had their original. We saw how the
priests of the earlier dynasty of the Shang developed into the group of
so-called "scholars". When the Chou ruler, after the move to the second
capital, had lost virtually all but his religious authority, these
"scholars" gained increased influence. They were the specialists in
traditional morals, in sacrifices, and in the organization of festivals.
The continually increasing ritualism at the court of the Chou called for
more and more of these men. The various feudal lords also attracted
these scholars to their side, employed them as tutors for their
children, and entrusted them with the conduct of sacrifices and

China's best-known philosopher, Confucius (Chinese: K'ung Tz[)u], was
one of these scholars. He was born in 551 B.C. in the feudal state Lu in
the present province of Shantung. In Lu and its neighbouring state Sung,
institutions of the Shang had remained strong; both states regarded
themselves as legitimate heirs of Shang culture, and many traces of
Shang culture can be seen in Confucius's political and ethical ideas. He
acquired the knowledge which a scholar had to possess, and then taught
in the families of nobles, also helping in the administration of their
properties. He made several attempts to obtain advancement, either in
vain or with only a short term of employment ending in dismissal. Thus
his career was a continuing pilgrimage from one noble to another, from
one feudal lord to another, accompanied by a few young men, sons of
scholars, who were partly his pupils and partly his servants. Many of
these disciples seem to have been "illegitimate" sons of noblemen, i.e.
sons of concubines, and Confucius's own family seems to have been of the
same origin. In the strongly patriarchal and patrilinear system of the
Chou and the developing primogeniture, children of secondary wives had a
lower social status. Ultimately Confucius gave up his wanderings,
settled in his home town of Lu, and there taught his disciples until his
death in 479 B.C.

Such was briefly the life of Confucius. His enemies claim that he was a
political intriguer, inciting the feudal lords against each other in the
course of his wanderings from one state to another, with the intention
of somewhere coming into power himself. There may, indeed, be some truth
in that.

Confucius's importance lies in the fact that he systematized a body of
ideas, not of his own creation, and communicated it to a circle of
disciples. His teachings were later set down in writing and formed,
right down to the twentieth century, the moral code of the upper classes
of China. Confucius was fully conscious of his membership of a social
class whose existence was tied to that of the feudal lords. With their
disappearance, his type of scholar would become superfluous. The common
people, the lower class, was in his view in an entirely subordinate
position. Thus his moral teaching is a code for the ruling class.
Accordingly it retains almost unaltered the elements of the old cult of
Heaven, following the old tradition inherited from the northern peoples.
For him Heaven is not an arbitrarily governing divine tyrant, but the
embodiment of a system of legality. Heaven does not act independently,
but follows a universal law, the so-called "Tao". Just as sun, moon, and
stars move in the heavens in accordance with law, so man should conduct
himself on earth in accord with the universal law, not against it. The
ruler should not actively intervene in day-to-day policy, but should
only act by setting an example, like Heaven; he should observe the
established ceremonies, and offer all sacrifices in accordance with the
rites, and then all else will go well in the world. The individual, too,
should be guided exactly in his life by the prescriptions of the rites,
so that harmony with the law of the universe may be established.

A second idea of the Confucian system came also from the old conceptions
of the Chou conquerors, and thus originally from the northern peoples.
This is the patriarchal idea, according to which the family is the cell
of society, and at the head of the family stands the eldest male adult
as a sort of patriarch. The state is simply an extension of the family,
"state", of course, meaning simply the class of the feudal lords (the
"chuen-tz[)u]"). And the organization of the family is also that of the
world of the gods. Within the family there are a number of ties, all of
them, however, one-sided: that of father to son (the son having to obey
the father unconditionally and having no rights of his own;) that of
husband to wife (the wife had no rights); that of elder to younger
brother. An extension of these is the association of friend with friend,
which is conceived as an association between an elder and a younger
brother. The final link, and the only one extending beyond the family
and uniting it with the state, is the association of the ruler with the
subject, a replica of that between father and son. The ruler in turn is
in the position of son to Heaven. Thus in Confucianism the cult of
Heaven, the family system, and the state are welded into unity. The
frictionless functioning of this whole system is effected by everyone
adhering to the rites, which prescribe every important action. It is
necessary, of course, that in a large family, in which there may be up
to a hundred persons living together, there shall be a precisely
established ordering of relationships between individuals if there is
not to be continual friction. Since the scholars of Confucius's type
specialized in the knowledge and conduct of ceremonies, Confucius gave
ritualism a correspondingly important place both in spiritual and in
practical life.

So far as we have described it above, the teaching of Confucius was a
further development of the old cult of Heaven. Through bitter
experience, however, Confucius had come to realize that nothing could be
done with the ruling house as it existed in his day. So shadowy a figure
as the Chou ruler of that time could not fulfil what Confucius required
of the "Son of Heaven". But the opinions of students of Confucius's
actual ideas differ. Some say that in the only book in which he
personally had a hand, the so-called _Annals of Spring and Autumn_, he
intended to set out his conception of the character of a true emperor;
others say that in that book he showed how he would himself have acted
as emperor, and that he was only awaiting an opportunity to make himself
emperor. He was called indeed, at a later time, the "uncrowned ruler".
In any case, the _Annals of Spring and Autumn_ seem to be simply a dry
work of annals, giving the history of his native state of Lu on the
basis of the older documents available to him. In his text, however,
Confucius made small changes by means of which he expressed criticism or
recognition; in this way he indirectly made known how in his view a
ruler should act or should not act. He did not shrink from falsifying
history, as can today be demonstrated. Thus on one occasion a ruler had
to flee from a feudal prince, which in Confucius's view was impossible
behaviour for the ruler; accordingly he wrote instead that the ruler
went on a hunting expedition. Elsewhere he tells of an eclipse of the
sun on a certain day, on which in fact there was no eclipse. By writing
of an eclipse he meant to criticize the way a ruler had acted, for the
sun symbolized the ruler, and the eclipse meant that the ruler had not
been guided by divine illumination. The demonstration that the _Annals
of Spring and Autumn_ can only be explained in this way was the
achievement some thirty-five years ago of Otto Franke, and through this
discovery Confucius's work, which the old sinologists used to describe
as a dry and inadequate book, has become of special value to us. The
book ends with the year 481 B.C., and in spite of its distortions it is
the principal source for the two-and-a-half centuries with which it

Rendered alert by this experience, we are able to see and to show that
most of the other later official works of history follow the example of
the _Annals of Spring and Autumn_ in containing things that have been
deliberately falsified. This is especially so in the work called
_T'ung-chien kang-mu_, which was the source of the history of the
Chinese empire translated into French by de Mailla.

Apart from Confucius's criticism of the inadequate capacity of the
emperor of his day, there is discernible, though only in the form of
cryptic hints, a fundamentally important progressive idea. It is that a
nobleman (chuen-tz[)u] should not be a member of the ruling _elite_ by
right of birth alone, but should be a man of superior moral qualities.
From Confucius on, "chuen-tz[)u]" became to mean "a gentleman".
Consequently, a country should not be ruled by a dynasty based on
inheritance through birth, but by members of the nobility who show
outstanding moral qualification for rulership. That is to say, the rule
should pass from the worthiest to the worthiest, the successor first
passing through a period of probation as a minister of state. In an
unscrupulous falsification of the tradition, Confucius declared that
this principle was followed in early times. It is probably safe to
assume that Confucius had in view here an eventual justification of
claims to rulership of his own.

Thus Confucius undoubtedly had ideas of reform, but he did not interfere
with the foundations of feudalism. For the rest, his system consists
only of a social order and a moral teaching. Metaphysics, logic,
epistemology, i.e. branches of philosophy which played so great a part
in the West, are of no interest to him. Nor can he be described as the
founder of a religion; for the cult of Heaven of which he speaks and
which he takes over existed in exactly the same form before his day. He
is merely the man who first systematized those notions. He had no
successes in his lifetime and gained no recognition; nor did his
disciples or their disciples gain any general recognition; his work did
not become of importance until some three hundred years after his death,
when in the second century B.C. his teaching was adjusted to the new
social conditions: out of a moral system for the decaying feudal society
of the past centuries developed the ethic of the rising social order of
the gentry. The gentry (in much the same way as the European
bourgeoisie) continually claimed that there should be access for every
civilized citizen to the highest places in the social pyramid, and the
rules of Confucianism became binding on every member of society if he
was to be considered a gentleman. Only then did Confucianism begin to
develop into the imposing system that dominated China almost down to the
present day. Confucianism did not become a religion. It was comparable
to the later Japanese Shintoism, or to a group of customs among us which
we all observe, if we do not want to find ourselves excluded from our
community, but which we should never describe as religion. We stand up
when the national anthem is played, we give precedency to older people,
we erect war memorials and decorate them with flowers, and by these and
many other things show our sense of belonging. A similar but much more
conscious and much more powerful part was played by Confucianism in the
life of the average Chinese, though he was not necessarily interested in
philosophical ideas.

While the West has set up the ideal of individualism and is suffering
now because it no longer has any ethical system to which individuals
voluntarily submit; while for the Indians the social problem consisted
in the solving of the question how every man could be enabled to live
his life with as little disturbance as possible from his fellow-men,
Confucianism solved the problem of how families with groups of hundreds
of members could live together in peace and co-operation in a densely
populated country. Everyone knew his position in the family and so, in a
broader sense, in the state; and this prescribed his rights and duties.
We may feel that the rules to which he was subjected were pedantic; but
there was no limit to their effectiveness: they reduced to a minimum the
friction that always occurs when great masses of people live close
together; they gave Chinese society the strength through which it has
endured; they gave security to its individuals. China's first real
social crisis after the collapse of feudalism, that is to say, after the
fourth or third century B.C., began only in the present century with the
collapse of the social order of the gentry and the breakdown of the
family system.

7 _Lao Tz[)u]_

In eighteenth-century Europe Confucius was the only Chinese philosopher
held in regard; in the last hundred years, the years of Europe's
internal crisis, the philosopher Lao Tz[)u] steadily advanced in repute,
so that his book was translated almost a hundred times into various
European languages. According to the general view among the Chinese, Lao
Tz[)u] was an older contemporary of Confucius; recent Chinese and
Western research (A. Waley; H.H. Dubs) has contested this view and
places Lao Tz[)u] in the latter part of the fourth century B.C., or even
later. Virtually nothing at all is known about his life; the oldest
biography of Lao Tz[)u], written about 100 B.C., says that he lived as
an official at the ruler's court and, one day, became tired of the life
of an official and withdrew from the capital to his estate, where he
died in old age. This, too, may be legendary, but it fits well into the
picture given to us by Lao Tz[)u]'s teaching and by the life of his
later followers. From the second century A.D., that is to say at least
four hundred years after his death, there are legends of his migrating
to the far west. Still later narratives tell of his going to Turkestan
(where a temple was actually built in his honour in the Medieval
period); according to other sources he travelled as far as India or
Sogdiana (Samarkand and Bokhara), where according to some accounts he
was the teacher or forerunner of Buddha, and according to others of
Mani, the founder of Manichaeism. For all this there is not a vestige of
documentary evidence.

Lao Tz[)u]'s teaching is contained in a small book, the _Tao Te Ching_,
the "Book of the World Law and its Power". The book is written in quite
simple language, at times in rhyme, but the sense is so vague that
countless versions, differing radically from each other, can be based on
it, and just as many translations are possible, all philologically
defensible. This vagueness is deliberate.

Lao Tz[)u]'s teaching is essentially an effort to bring man's life on
earth into harmony with the life and law of the universe (Tao). This was
also Confucius's purpose. But while Confucius set out to attain that
purpose in a sort of primitive scientific way, by laying down a number
of rules of human conduct, Lao Tz[)u] tries to attain his ideal by an
intuitive, emotional method. Lao Tz[)u] is always described as a mystic,
but perhaps this is not entirely appropriate; it must be borne in mind
that in his time the Chinese language, spoken and written, still had
great difficulties in the expression of ideas. In reading Lao Tz[)u]'s
book we feel that he is trying to express something for which the
language of his day was inadequate; and what he wanted to express
belonged to the emotional, not the intellectual, side of the human
character, so that any perfectly clear expression of it in words was
entirely impossible. It must be borne in mind that the Chinese language
lacks definite word categories like substantive, adjective, adverb, or
verb; any word can be used now in one category and now in another, with
a few exceptions; thus the understanding of a combination like "white
horse" formed a difficult logical problem for the thinker of the fourth
century B.C.: did it mean "white" plus "horse"? Or was "white horse" no
longer a horse at all but something quite different?

Confucius's way of bringing human life into harmony with the life of the
universe was to be a process of assimilating Man as a social being, Man
in his social environment, to Nature, and of so maintaining his activity
within the bounds of the community. Lao Tz[)u] pursues another path, the
path for those who feel disappointed with life in the community. A
Taoist, as a follower of Lao Tz[)u] is called, withdraws from all social
life, and carries out none of the rites and ceremonies which a man of
the upper class should observe throughout the day. He lives in
self-imposed seclusion, in an elaborate primitivity which is often
described in moving terms that are almost convincing of actual
"primitivity". Far from the city, surrounded by Nature, the Taoist lives
his own life, together with a few friends and his servants, entirely
according to his nature. His own nature, like everything else,
represents for him a part of the Tao, and the task of the individual
consists in the most complete adherence to the Tao that is conceivable,
as far as possible performing no act that runs counter to the Tao. This
is the main element of Lao Tz[)u]'s doctrine, the doctrine of _wu-wei_,
"passive achievement".

Lao Tz[)u] seems to have thought that this doctrine could be applied to
the life of the state. He assumed that an ideal life in society was
possible if everyone followed his own nature entirely and no artificial
restrictions were imposed. Thus he writes: "The more the people are
forbidden to do this and that, the poorer will they be. The more sharp
weapons the people possess, the more will darkness and bewilderment
spread through the land. The more craft and cunning men have, the more
useless and pernicious contraptions will they invent. The more laws and
edicts are imposed, the more thieves and bandits there will be. 'If I
work through Non-action,' says the Sage, 'the people will transform
themselves.'"[1] Thus according to Lao Tz[)u], who takes the existence
of a monarchy for granted, the ruler must treat his subjects as follows:
"By emptying their hearts of desire and their minds of envy, and by
filling their stomachs with what they need; by reducing their ambitions
and by strengthening their bones and sinews; by striving to keep them
without the knowledge of what is evil and without cravings. Thus are the
crafty ones given no scope for tempting interference. For it is by
Non-action that the Sage governs, and nothing is really left

[Footnote 1: _The Way of Acceptance_: a new version of Lao Tz[)u]'s _Tao
Te Ching_, by Hermon Ould (Dakers, 1946), Ch. 57.]

[Footnote 2: _The Way of Acceptance_, Ch. 3.]

Lao Tz[)u] did not live to learn that such rule of good government would
be followed by only one sort of rulers--dictators; and as a matter of
fact the "Legalist theory" which provided the philosophic basis for
dictatorship in the third century B.C. was attributable to Lao Tz[)u].
He was not thinking, however, of dictatorship; he was an individualistic
anarchist, believing that if there were no active government all men
would be happy. Then everyone could attain unity with Nature for
himself. Thus we find in Lao Tz[)u], and later in all other Taoists, a
scornful repudiation of all social and official obligations. An answer
that became famous was given by the Taoist Chuang Tz[)u] (see below)
when it was proposed to confer high office in the state on him (the
story may or may not be true, but it is typical of Taoist thought): "I
have heard," he replied, "that in Ch'u there is a tortoise sacred to the
gods. It has now been dead for 3,000 years, and the king keeps it in a
shrine with silken cloths, and gives it shelter in the halls of a
temple. Which do you think that tortoise would prefer--to be dead and
have its vestigial bones so honoured, or to be still alive and dragging
its tail after it in the mud?" the officials replied: "No doubt it would
prefer to be alive and dragging its tail after it in the mud." Then
spoke Chuang Tz[)u]: "Begone! I, too, would rather drag my tail after me
in the mud!" (Chuang Tz[)u] 17, 10.)

The true Taoist withdraws also from his family. Typical of this is
another story, surely apocryphal, from Chuang Tz[)u] (Ch. 3, 3). At the
death of Lao Tz[)u] a disciple went to the family and expressed his
sympathy quite briefly and formally. The other disciples were
astonished, and asked his reason. He said: "Yes, at first I thought that
he was our man, but he is not. When I went to grieve, the old men were
bewailing him as though they were bewailing a son, and the young wept as
though they were mourning a mother. To bind them so closely to himself,
he must have spoken words which he should not have spoken, and wept
tears which he should not have wept. That, however, is a falling away
from the heavenly nature."

Lao Tz[)u]'s teaching, like that of Confucius, cannot be described as
religion; like Confucius's, it is a sort of social philosophy, but of
irrationalistic character. Thus it was quite possible, and later it
became the rule, for one and the same person to be both Confucian and
Taoist. As an official and as the head of his family, a man would think
and act as a Confucian; as a private individual, when he had retired far
from the city to live in his country mansion (often modestly described
as a cave or a thatched hut), or when he had been dismissed from his
post or suffered some other trouble, he would feel and think as a
Taoist. In order to live as a Taoist it was necessary, of course, to
possess such an estate, to which a man could retire with his servants,
and where he could live without himself doing manual work. This
difference between the Confucian and the Taoist found a place in the
works of many Chinese poets. I take the following quotation from an
essay by the statesman and poet Ts'ao Chih, of the end of the second
century A.D.:

"Master Mysticus lived in deep seclusion on a mountain in the
wilderness; he had withdrawn as in flight from the world, desiring to
purify his spirit and give rest to his heart. He despised official
activity, and no longer maintained any relations with the world; he
sought quiet and freedom from care, in order in this way to attain
everlasting life. He did nothing but send his thoughts wandering between
sky and clouds, and consequently there was nothing worldly that could
attract and tempt him.

[Illustration: 1 Painted pottery from Kansu: Neolithic. _In the
collection of the Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Berlin_.]

[Illustration: 2 Ancient bronze tripod found at Anyang. _From G. Ecke:
Fruehe chinesische Bronzen aus der Sammlung Oskar Trautmann, Peking_
1939, _plate_ 3.]

"When Mr. Rationalist heard of this man, he desired to visit him, in
order to persuade him to alter his views. He harnessed four horses, who
could quickly traverse the plain, and entered his light fast carriage.
He drove through the plain, leaving behind him the ruins of abandoned
settlements; he entered the boundless wilderness, and finally reached
the dwelling of Master Mysticus. Here there was a waterfall on one side,
and on the other were high crags; at the back a stream flowed deep down
in its bed, and in front was an odorous wood. The master wore a white
doeskin cap and a striped fox-pelt. He came forward from a cave buried
in the mountain, leaned against the tall crag, and enjoyed the prospect
of wild nature. His ideas floated on the breezes, and he looked as if
the wide spaces of the heavens and the countries of the earth were too
narrow for him; as if he was going to fly but had not yet left the
ground; as if he had already spread his wings but wanted to wait a
moment. Mr. Rationalist climbed up with the aid of vine shoots, reached
the top of the crag, and stepped up to him, saying very respectfully:

"'I have heard that a man of nobility does not flee from society, but
seeks to gain fame; a man of wisdom does not swim against the current,
but seeks to earn repute. You, however, despise the achievements of
civilization and culture; you have no regard for the splendour of
philanthropy and justice; you squander your powers here in the
wilderness and neglect ordered relations between man....'"

Frequently Master Mysticus and Mr. Rationalist were united in a single
person. Thus, Shih Ch'ung wrote in an essay on himself:

"In my youth I had great ambition and wanted to stand out above the
multitude. Thus it happened that at a little over twenty years of age I
was already a court official; I remained in the service for twenty-five
years. When I was fifty I had to give up my post because of an
unfortunate occurrence.... The older I became, the more I appreciated
the freedom I had acquired; and as I loved forest and plain, I retired
to my villa. When I built this villa, a long embankment formed the
boundary behind it; in front the prospect extended over a clear canal;
all around grew countless cypresses, and flowing water meandered round
the house. There were pools there, and outlook towers; I bred birds and
fishes. In my harem there were always good musicians who played dance
tunes. When I went out I enjoyed nature or hunted birds and fished. When
I came home, I enjoyed playing the lute or reading; I also liked to
concoct an elixir of life and to take breathing exercises,[3] because I
did not want to die, but wanted one day to lift myself to the skies,
like an immortal genius. Suddenly I was drawn back into the official
career, and became once more one of the dignitaries of the Emperor."

[Footnote 3: Both Taoist practices.]

Thus Lao Tz[)u]'s individualist and anarchist doctrine was not suited to
form the basis of a general Chinese social order, and its employment in
support of dictatorship was certainly not in the spirit of Lao Tz[)u].
Throughout history, however, Taoism remained the philosophic attitude of
individuals of the highest circle of society; its real doctrine never
became popularly accepted; for the strong feeling for nature that
distinguishes the Chinese, and their reluctance to interfere in the
sanctified order of nature by technical and other deliberate acts, was
not actually a result of Lao Tz[)u]'s teaching, but one of the
fundamentals from which his ideas started.

If the date assigned to Lao Tz[)u] by present-day research (the fourth
instead of the sixth century B.C.) is correct, he was more or less
contemporary with Chuang Tz[)u], who was probably the most gifted poet
among the Chinese philosophers and Taoists. A thin thread extends from
them as far as the fourth century A.D.: Huai-nan Tz[)u], Chung-ch'ang
T'ung, Yuean Chi (210-263), Liu Ling (221-300), and T'ao Ch'ien
(365-427), are some of the most eminent names of Taoist philosophers.
After that the stream of original thought dried up, and we rarely find a
new idea among the late Taoists. These gentlemen living on their estates
had acquired a new means of expressing their inmost feelings: they wrote
poetry and, above all, painted. Their poems and paintings contain in a
different outward form what Lao Tz[)u] had tried to express with the
inadequate means of the language of his day. Thus Lao Tz[)u]'s teaching
has had the strongest influence to this day in this field, and has
inspired creative work which is among the finest achievements of


Chapter Four


1 _Social and military changes_

The period following that of the Chou dictatorships is known as that of
the Contending States. Out of over a thousand states, fourteen remained,
of which, in the period that now followed, one after another
disappeared, until only one remained. This period is the fullest, or one
of the fullest, of strife in all Chinese history. The various feudal
states had lost all sense of allegiance to the ruler, and acted in
entire independence. It is a pure fiction to speak of a Chinese State in
this period; the emperor had no more power than the ruler of the Holy
Roman Empire in the late medieval period of Europe, and the so-called
"feudal states" of China can be directly compared with the developing
national states of Europe. A comparison of this period with late
medieval Europe is, indeed, of highest interest. If we adopt a political
system of periodization, we might say that around 500 B.C. the unified
feudal state of the first period of Antiquity came to an end and the
second, a period of the national states began, although formally, the
feudal system continued and the national states still retained many
feudal traits.

As none of these states was strong enough to control and subjugate the
rest, alliances were formed. The most favoured union was the north-south
axis; it struggled against an east-west league. The alliances were not
stable but broke up again and again through bribery or intrigue, which
produced new combinations. We must confine ourselves to mentioning the
most important of the events that took place behind this military

Through the continual struggles more and more feudal lords lost their
lands; and not only they, but the families of the nobles dependent on
them, who had received so-called sub-fiefs. Some of the landless nobles
perished; some offered their services to the remaining feudal lords as
soldiers or advisers. Thus in this period we meet with a large number of
migratory politicians who became competitors of the wandering scholars.
Both these groups recommended to their lord ways and means of gaining
victory over the other feudal lords, so as to become sole ruler. In
order to carry out their plans the advisers claimed the rank of a
Minister or Chancellor.

Realistic though these advisers and their lords were in their thinking,
they did not dare to trample openly on the old tradition. The emperor
might in practice be a completely powerless figurehead, but he belonged
nevertheless, according to tradition, to a family of divine origin,
which had obtained its office not merely by the exercise of force but
through a "divine mandate". Accordingly, if one of the feudal lords
thought of putting forward a claim to the imperial throne, he felt
compelled to demonstrate that his family was just as much of divine
origin as the emperor's, and perhaps of remoter origin. In this matter
the travelling "scholars" rendered valuable service as manufacturers of
genealogical trees. Each of the old noble families already had its
family tree, as an indispensable requisite for the sacrifices to
ancestors. But in some cases this tree began as a branch of that of the
imperial family: this was the case of the feudal lords who were of
imperial descent and whose ancestors had been granted fiefs after the
conquest of the country. Others, however, had for their first ancestor a
local deity long worshipped in the family's home country, such as the
ancient agrarian god Huang Ti, or the bovine god Shen Nung. Here the
"scholars" stepped in, turning the local deities into human beings and
"emperors". This suddenly gave the noble family concerned an imperial
origin. Finally, order was brought into this collection of ancient
emperors. They were arranged and connected with each other in
"dynasties" or in some other "historical" form. Thus at a stroke Huang
Ti, who about 450 B.C. had been a local god in the region of southern
Shansi, became the forefather of almost all the noble families,
including that of the imperial house of the Chou. Needless to say, there
would be discrepancies between the family trees constructed by the
various scholars for their lords, and later, when this problem had lost
its political importance, the commentators laboured for centuries on the
elaboration of an impeccable system of "ancient emperors"--and to this
day there are sinologists who continue to present these humanized gods
as historical personalities.

In the earlier wars fought between the nobles they were themselves the
actual combatants, accompanied only by their retinue. As the struggles
for power grew in severity, each noble hired such mercenaries as he
could, for instance the landless nobles just mentioned. Very soon it
became the custom to arm peasants and send them to the wars. This
substantially increased the armies. The numbers of soldiers who were
killed in particular battles may have been greatly exaggerated (in a
single battle in 260 B.C., for instance, the number who lost their lives
was put at 450,000, a quite impossible figure); but there must have been
armies of several thousand men, perhaps as many as 10,000. The
population had grown considerably by that time.

The armies of the earlier period consisted mainly of the nobles in their
war chariots; each chariot surrounded by the retinue of the nobleman.
Now came large troops of commoners as infantry as well, drawn from the
peasant population. To these, cavalry were first added in the fifth
century B.C., by the northern state of Chao (in the present Shansi),
following the example of its Turkish and Mongol neighbours. The general
theory among ethnologists is that the horse was first harnessed to a
chariot, and that riding came much later; but it is my opinion that
riders were known earlier, but could not be efficiently employed in war
because the practice had not begun of fighting in disciplined troops of
horsemen, and the art had not been learnt of shooting accurately with
the bow from the back of a galloping horse, especially shooting to the
rear. In any case, its cavalry gave the feudal state of Chao a military
advantage for a short time. Soon the other northern states copied it one
after another--especially Ch'in, in north-west China. The introduction
of cavalry brought a change in clothing all over China, for the former
long skirt-like garb could not be worn on horseback. Trousers and the
riding-cap were introduced from the north.

The new technique of war made it important for every state to possess as
many soldiers as possible, and where it could to reduce the enemy's
numbers. One result of this was that wars became much more sanguinary;
another was that men in other countries were induced to immigrate and
settle as peasants, so that the taxes they paid should provide the means
for further recruitment of soldiers. In the state of Ch'in, especially,
the practice soon started of using the whole of the peasantry
simultaneously as a rough soldiery. Hence that state was particularly
anxious to attract peasants in large numbers.

2 _Economic changes_

In the course of the wars much land of former noblemen had become free.
Often the former serfs had then silently become landowners. Others had
started to cultivate empty land in the area inhabited by the indigenous
population and regarded this land, which they themselves had made
fertile, as their private family property. There was, in spite of the
growth of the population, still much cultivable land available.
Victorious feudal lords induced farmers to come to their territory and
to cultivate the wasteland. This is a period of great migrations,
internal and external. It seems that from this period on not only
merchants but also farmers began to migrate southward into the area of
the present provinces of Kwangtung and Kwangsi and as far as Tonking.

As long as the idea that all land belonged to the great clans of the
Chou prevailed, sale of land was inconceivable; but when individual
family heads acquired land or cultivated new land, they regarded it as
their natural right to dispose of the land as they wished. From now on
until the end of the medieval period, the family head as representative
of the family could sell or buy land. However, the land belonged to the
family and not to him as a person. This development was favoured by the
spread of money. In time land in general became an asset with a market
value and could be bought and sold.

Another important change can be seen from this time on. Under the feudal
system of the Chou strict primogeniture among the nobility existed: the
fief went to the oldest son by the main wife. The younger sons were
given independent pieces of land with its inhabitants as new, secondary
fiefs. With the increase in population there was no more such land that
could be set up as a new fief. From now on, primogeniture was retained
in the field of ritual and religion down to the present time: only the
oldest son of the main wife represents the family in the ancestor
worship ceremonies; only the oldest son of the emperor could become his
successor. But the landed property from now on was equally divided among
all sons. Occasionally the oldest son was given some extra land to
enable him to pay the expenses for the family ancestral worship. Mobile
property, on the other side, was not so strictly regulated and often the
oldest son was given preferential treatment in the inheritance.

The technique of cultivation underwent some significant changes. The
animal-drawn plough seems to have been invented during this period, and
from now on, some metal agricultural implements like iron sickles and
iron plough-shares became more common. A fallow system was introduced so
that cultivation became more intensive. Manuring of fields was already
known in Shang time. It seems that the consumption of meat decreased
from this period on: less mutton and beef were eaten. Pig and dog
became the main sources of meat, and higher consumption of beans made
up for the loss of proteins. All this indicates a strong population
increase. We have no statistics for this period, but by 400 B.C. it is
conceivable that the population under the control of the various
individual states comprised something around twenty-five millions. The
eastern plains emerge more and more as centres of production.

The increased use of metal and the invention of coins greatly stimulated
trade. Iron which now became quite common, was produced mainly in
Shansi, other metals in South China. But what were the traders to do
with their profits? Even later in China, and almost down to recent
times, it was never possible to hoard large quantities of money.
Normally the money was of copper, and a considerable capital in the form
of copper coin took up a good deal of room and was not easy to conceal.
If anyone had much money, everyone in his village knew it. No one dared
to hoard to any extent for fear of attracting bandits and creating
lasting insecurity. On the other hand the merchants wanted to attain the
standard of living which the nobles, the landowners, used to have. Thus
they began to invest their money in land. This was all the easier for
them since it often happened that one of the lesser nobles or a peasant
fell deeply into debt to a merchant and found himself compelled to give
up his land in payment of the debt.

Soon the merchants took over another function. So long as there had been
many small feudal states, and the feudal lords had created lesser lords
with small fiefs, it had been a simple matter for the taxes to be
collected, in the form of grain, from the peasants through the agents of
the lesser lords. Now that there were only a few great states in
existence, the old system was no longer effectual. This gave the
merchants their opportunity. The rulers of the various states entrusted
the merchants with the collection of taxes, and this had great
advantages for the ruler: he could obtain part of the taxes at once, as
the merchant usually had grain in stock, or was himself a landowner and
could make advances at any time. Through having to pay the taxes to the
merchant, the village population became dependent on him. Thus the
merchants developed into the first administrative officials in the

In connection with the growth of business, the cities kept on growing.
It is estimated that at the beginning of the third century, the city of
Lin-chin, near the present Chi-nan in Shantung, had a population of
210,000 persons. Each of its walls had a length of 4,000 metres; thus,
it was even somewhat larger than the famous city of Loyang, capital of
China during the Later Han dynasty, in the second century A.D. Several
other cities of this period have been recently excavated and must have
had populations far above 10,000 persons. There were two types of
cities: the rectangular, planned city of the Chou conquerors, a seat of
administration; and the irregularly shaped city which grew out of a
market place and became only later an administrative centre. We do not
know much about the organization and administration of these cities, but
they seem to have had considerable independence because some of them
issued their own city coins.

When these cities grew, the food produced in the neighbourhood of the
towns no longer sufficed for their inhabitants. This led to the building
of roads, which also facilitated the transport of supplies for great
armies. These roads mainly radiated from the centre of consumption into
the surrounding country, and they were less in use for communication
between one administrative centre and another. For long journeys the
rivers were of more importance, since transport by wagon was always
expensive owing to the shortage of draught animals. Thus we see in this
period the first important construction of canals and a development of
communications. With the canal construction was connected the
construction of irrigation and drainage systems, which further promoted
agricultural production. The cities were places in which often great
luxury developed; music, dance, and other refinements were cultivated;
but the cities also seem to have harboured considerable industries.
Expensive and technically superior silks were woven; painters decorated
the walls of temples and palaces; blacksmiths and bronze-smiths produced
beautiful vessels and implements. It seems certain that the art of
casting iron and the beginnings of the production of steel were already
known at this time. The life of the commoners in these cities was
regulated by laws; the first codes are mentioned in 536 B.C. By the end
of the fourth century B.C. a large body of criminal law existed,
supposedly collected by Li K'uei, which became the foundation of all
later Chinese law. It seems that in this period the states of China
moved quickly towards a money economy, and an observer to whom the later
Chinese history was not known could have predicted the eventual
development of a capitalistic society out of the apparent tendencies.

So far nothing has been said in these chapters about China's foreign
policy. Since the central ruling house was completely powerless, and the
feudal lords were virtually independent rulers, little can be said, of
course, about any "Chinese" foreign policy. There is less than ever to
be said about it for this period of the "Contending States". Chinese
merchants penetrated southward, and soon settlers moved in increasing
numbers into the plains of the south-east. In the north, there were
continual struggles with Turkish and Mongol tribes, and about 300 B.C.
the name of the Hsiung-nu (who are often described as "The Huns of the
Far East") makes its first appearance. It is known that these northern
peoples had mastered the technique of horseback warfare and were far
ahead of the Chinese, although the Chinese imitated their methods. The
peasants of China, as they penetrated farther and farther north, had to
be protected by their rulers against the northern peoples, and since the
rulers needed their armed forces for their struggles within China, a
beginning was made with the building of frontier walls, to prevent
sudden raids of the northern peoples against the peasant settlements.
Thus came into existence the early forms of the "Great Wall of China".
This provided for the first time a visible frontier between Chinese and
non-Chinese. Along this frontier, just as by the walls of towns, great
markets were held at which Chinese peasants bartered their produce to
non-Chinese nomads. Both partners in this trade became accustomed to it
and drew very substantial profits from it. We even know the names of
several great horse-dealers who bought horses from the nomads and sold
them within China.

3 _Cultural changes_

Together with the economic and social changes in this period, there came
cultural changes. New ideas sprang up in exuberance, as would seem
entirely natural, because in times of change and crisis men always come
forward to offer solutions for pressing problems. We shall refer here
only briefly to the principal philosophers of the period.

Mencius (_c_. 372-289 B.C.) and Hsuen Tz[)u] (_c_. 298-238 B.C.) were
both followers of Confucianism. Both belonged to the so-called
"scholars", and both lived in the present Shantung, that is to say, in
eastern China. Both elaborated the ideas of Confucius, but neither of
them achieved personal success. Mencius (Meng Tz[)u]) recognized that
the removal of the ruling house of the Chou no longer presented any
difficulty. The difficult question for him was when a change of ruler
would be justified. And how could it be ascertained whom Heaven had
destined as successor if the existing dynasty was brought down? Mencius
replied that the voice of the "people", that is to say of the upper
class and its following, would declare the right man, and that this man
would then be Heaven's nominee. This theory persisted throughout the
history of China. Hsuen Tz[)u]'s chief importance lies in the fact that
he recognized that the "laws" of nature are unchanging but that man's
fate is determined not by nature alone but, in addition, by his own
activities. Man's nature is basically bad, but by working on himself
within the framework of society, he can change his nature and can
develop. Thus, Hsuen Tz[)u]'s philosophy contains a dynamic element, fit
for a dynamic period of history.

In the strongest contrast to these thinkers was the school of Mo Ti (at
some time between 479 and 381 B.C.). The Confucian school held fast to
the old feudal order of society, and was only ready to agree to a few
superficial changes. The school of Mo Ti proposed to alter the
fundamental principles of society. Family ethics must no longer be
retained; the principles of family love must be extended to the whole
upper class, which Mo Ti called the "people". One must love another
member of the upper class just as much as one's own father. Then the
friction between individuals and between states would cease. Instead of
families, large groups of people friendly to one another must be
created. Further one should live frugally and not expend endless money
on effete rites, as the Confucianists demanded. The expenditure on
weddings and funerals under the Confucianist ritual consumed so much
money that many families fell into debt and, if they were unable to pay
off the debt, sank from the upper into the lower class. In order to
maintain the upper class, therefore, there must be more frugality. Mo
Ti's teaching won great influence. He and his successors surrounded
themselves with a private army of supporters which was rigidly organized
and which could be brought into action at any time as its leader wished.
Thus the Mohists came forward everywhere with an approach entirely
different from that of the isolated Confucians. When the Mohists offered
their assistance to a ruler, they brought with them a group of technical
and military experts who had been trained on the same principles. In
consequence of its great influence this teaching was naturally hotly
opposed by the Confucianists.

We see clearly in Mo Ti's and his followers' ideas the influence of the
changed times. His principle of "universal love" reflects the breakdown
of the clans and the general weakening of family bonds which had taken
place. His ideal of social organization resembles organizations of
merchants and craftsmen which we know only of later periods. His stress
upon frugality, too, reflects a line of thought which is typical of
businessmen. The rationality which can also be seen in his metaphysical
ideas and which has induced modern Chinese scholars to call him an early
materialist is fitting to an age in which a developing money economy and
expanding trade required a cool, logical approach to the affairs of this

A similar mentality can be seen in another school which appeared from
the fifth century B.C. on, the "dialecticians". Here are a number of
names to mention: the most important are Kung-sun Lung and Hui Tz[)u],
who are comparable with the ancient Greek dialecticians and Sophists.
They saw their main task in the development of logic. Since, as we have
mentioned, many "scholars" journeyed from one princely court to another,
and other people came forward, each recommending his own method to the
prince for the increase of his power, it was of great importance to be
able to talk convincingly, so as to defeat a rival in a duel of words on
logical grounds.

Unquestionably, however, the most important school of this period was
that of the so-called Legalists, whose most famous representative was
Shang Yang (or Shang Tz[)u], died 338 B.C.). The supporters of this
school came principally from old princely families that had lost their
feudal possessions, and not from among the so-called scholars. They were
people belonging to the upper class who possessed political experience
and now offered their knowledge to other princes who still reigned.
These men had entirely given up the old conservative traditions of
Confucianism; they were the first to make their peace with the new
social order. They recognized that little or nothing remained of the old
upper class of feudal lords and their following. The last of the feudal
lords collected around the heads of the last remaining princely courts,
or lived quietly on the estates that still remained to them. Such a
class, with its moral and economic strength broken, could no longer
lead. The Legalists recognized, therefore, only the ruler and next to
him, as the really active and responsible man, the chancellor; under
these there were to be only the common people, consisting of the richer
and poorer peasants; the people's duty was to live and work for the
ruler, and to carry out without question whatever orders they received.
They were not to discuss or think, but to obey. The chancellor was to
draft laws which came automatically into operation. The ruler himself
was to have nothing to do with the government or with the application of
the laws. He was only a symbol, a representative of the equally inactive
Heaven. Clearly these theories were much the best suited to the
conditions of the break-up of feudalism about 300 B.C. Thus they were
first adopted by the state in which the old idea of the feudal state had
been least developed, the state of Ch'in, in which alien peoples were
most strongly represented. Shang Yang became the actual organizer of the
state of Ch'in. His ideas were further developed by Han Fei Tz[)u] (died
233 B.C.). The mentality which speaks out of his writings has closest
similarity to the famous Indian Arthashastra which originated slightly
earlier; both books exhibit a "Machiavellian" spirit. It must be
observed that these theories had little or nothing to do with the ideas
of the old cult of Heaven or with family allegiance; on the other hand,
the soldierly element, with the notion of obedience, was well suited to
the militarized peoples of the west. The population of Ch'in, organized
throughout on these principles, was then in a position to remove one
opponent after another. In the middle of the third century B.C. the
greater part of the China of that time was already in the hands of
Ch'in, and in 256 B.C. the last emperor of the Chou dynasty was
compelled, in his complete impotence, to abdicate in favour of the ruler
of Ch'in.

Apart from these more or less political speculations, there came into
existence in this period, by no mere chance, a school of thought which
never succeeded in fully developing in China, concerned with natural
science and comparable with the Greek natural philosophy. We have
already several times pointed to parallels between Chinese and Indian
thoughts. Such similarities may be the result of mere coincidence. But
recent findings in Central Asia indicate that direct connections between
India, Persia, and China may have started at a time much earlier than we
had formerly thought. Sogdian merchants who later played a great role in
commercial contacts might have been active already from 350 or 400 B.C.
on and might have been the transmitters of new ideas. The most important
philosopher of this school was Tsou Yen (flourished between 320 and 295
B.C.); he, as so many other Chinese philosophers of this time, was a
native of Shantung, and the ports of the Shantung coast may well have
been ports of entrance of new ideas from Western Asia as were the roads
through the Turkestan basin into Western China. Tsou Yen's basic ideas
had their root in earlier Chinese speculations: the doctrine that all
that exists is to be explained by the positive, creative, or the
negative, passive action (Yang and Yin) of the five elements, wood,
fire, earth, metal, and water (Wu hsing). But Tsou Yen also considered
the form of the world, and was the first to put forward the theory that
the world consists not of a single continent with China in the middle of
it, but of nine continents. The names of these continents sound like
Indian names, and his idea of a central world-mountain may well have
come from India. The "scholars" of his time were quite unable to
appreciate this beginning of science, which actually led to the
contention of this school, in the first century B.C., that the earth was
of spherical shape. Tsou Yen himself was ridiculed as a dreamer; but
very soon, when the idea of the reciprocal destruction of the elements
was applied, perhaps by Tsou Yen himself, to politics, namely when, in
connection with the astronomical calculations much cultivated by this
school and through the identification of dynasties with the five
elements, the attempt was made to explain and to calculate the duration
and the supersession of dynasties, strong pressure began to be brought
to bear against this school. For hundreds of years its books were
distributed and read only in secret, and many of its members were
executed as revolutionaries. Thus, this school, instead of becoming the
nucleus of a school of natural science, was driven underground. The
secret societies which started to arise clearly from the first century
B.C. on, but which may have been in existence earlier, adopted the
politico-scientific ideas of Tsou Yen's school. Such secret societies
have existed in China down to the present time. They all contained a
strong religious, but heterodox element which can often be traced back
to influences from a foreign religion. In times of peace they were
centres of a true, emotional religiosity. In times of stress, a
"messianic" element tended to become prominent: the world is bad and
degenerating; morality and a just social order have decayed, but the
coming of a savior is close; the saviour will bring a new, fair order
and destroy those who are wicked. Tsou Yen's philosophy seemed to allow
them to calculate when this new order would start; later secret
societies contained ideas from Iranian Mazdaism, Manichaeism and
Buddhism, mixed with traits from the popular religions and often couched
in terms taken from the Taoists. The members of such societies were,
typically, ordinary farmers who here found an emotional outlet for their
frustrations in daily life. In times of stress, members of the leading
_elite_ often but not always established contacts with these societies,
took over their leadership and led them to open rebellion. The fate of
Tsou Yen's school did not mean that the Chinese did not develop in the
field of sciences. At about Tsou Yen's lifetime, the first mathematical
handbook was written. From these books it is obvious that the interest
of the government in calculating the exact size of fields, the content
of measures for grain, and other fiscal problems stimulated work in this
field, just as astronomy developed from the interest of the government
in the fixation of the calendar. Science kept on developing in other
fields, too, but mainly as a hobby of scholars and in the shops of
craftsmen, if it did not have importance for the administration and
especially taxation and budget calculations.


Chapter Five

THE CH'IN DYNASTY (256-207 B.C.)

1 _Towards the unitary State_

In 256 B.C. the last ruler of the Chou dynasty abdicated in favour of
the feudal lord of the state of Ch'in. Some people place the beginning
of the Ch'in dynasty in that year, 256 B.C.; others prefer the date 221
B.C., because it was only in that year that the remaining feudal states
came to their end and Ch'in really ruled all China.

The territories of the state of Ch'in, the present Shensi and eastern
Kansu, were from a geographical point of view transit regions, closed
off in the north by steppes and deserts and in the south by almost
impassable mountains. Only between these barriers, along the rivers Wei
(in Shensi) and T'ao (in Kansu), is there a rich cultivable zone which
is also the only means of transit from east to west. All traffic from
and to Turkestan had to take this route. It is believed that strong
relations with eastern Turkestan began in this period, and the state of
Ch'in must have drawn big profits from its "foreign trade". The merchant
class quickly gained more and more importance. The population was
growing through immigration from the east which the government
encouraged. This growing population with its increasing means of
production, especially the great new irrigation systems, provided a
welcome field for trade which was also furthered by the roads, though
these were actually built for military purposes.

The state of Ch'in had never been so closely associated with the feudal
communities of the rest of China as the other feudal states. A great
part of its population, including the ruling class, was not purely
Chinese but contained an admixture of Turks and Tibetans. The other
Chinese even called Ch'in a "barbarian state", and the foreign influence
was, indeed, unceasing. This was a favourable soil for the overcoming of
feudalism, and the process was furthered by the factors mentioned in the
preceding chapter, which were leading to a change in the social
structure of China. Especially the recruitment of the whole population,
including the peasantry, for war was entirely in the interest of the
influential nomad fighting peoples within the state. About 250 B.C.,
Ch'in was not only one of the economically strongest among the feudal
states, but had already made an end of its own feudal system.

Every feudal system harbours some seeds of a bureaucratic system of
administration: feudal lords have their personal servants who are not
recruited from the nobility, but who by their easy access to the lord
can easily gain importance. They may, for instance, be put in charge of
estates, workshops, and other properties of the lord and thus acquire
experience in administration and an efficiency which are obviously of
advantage to the lord. When Chinese lords of the preceding period, with
the help of their sub-lords of the nobility, made wars, they tended to
put the newly-conquered areas not into the hands of newly-enfeoffed
noblemen, but to keep them as their property and to put their
administration into the hands of efficient servants; these were the
first bureaucratic officials. Thus, in the course of the later Chou
period, a bureaucratic system of administration had begun to develop,
and terms like "district" or "prefecture" began to appear, indicating
that areas under a bureaucratic administration existed beside and inside
areas under feudal rule. This process had gone furthest in Ch'in and was
sponsored by the representatives of the Legalist School, which was best
adapted to the new economic and social situation.

A son of one of the concubines of the penultimate feudal ruler of Ch'in
was living as a hostage in the neighbouring state of Chao, in what is
now northern Shansi. There he made the acquaintance of an unusual man,
the merchant Lue Pu-wei, a man of education and of great political
influence. Lue Pu-wei persuaded the feudal ruler of Ch'in to declare this
son his successor. He also sold a girl to the prince to be his wife, and
the son of this marriage was to be the famous and notorious Shih
Huang-ti. Lue Pu-wei came with his protege to Ch'in, where he became his
Prime Minister, and after the prince's death in 247 B.C. Lue Pu-wei
became the regent for his young son Shih Huang-ti (then called Cheng).
For the first time in Chinese history a merchant, a commoner, had
reached one of the highest positions in the state. It is not known what
sort of trade Lue Pu-wei had carried on, but probably he dealt in horses,
the principal export of the state of Chao. As horses were an absolute
necessity for the armies of that time, it is easy to imagine that a
horse-dealer might gain great political influence.

Soon after Shih Huang-ti's accession Lue Pu-wei was dismissed, and a new
group of advisers, strong supporters of the Legalist school, came into
power. These new men began an active policy of conquest instead of the
peaceful course which Lue Pu-wei had pursued. One campaign followed
another in the years from 230 to 222, until all the feudal states had
been conquered, annexed, and brought under Shih Huang-ti's rule.

2 _Centralization in every field_

The main task of the now gigantic realm was the organization of
administration. One of the first acts after the conquest of the other
feudal states was to deport all the ruling families and other important
nobles to the capital of Ch'in; they were thus deprived of the basis of
their power, and their land could be sold. These upper-class families
supplied to the capital a class of consumers of luxury goods which
attracted craftsmen and businessmen and changed the character of the
capital from that of a provincial town to a centre of arts and crafts.
It was decided to set up the uniform system of administration throughout
the realm, which had already been successfully introduced in Ch'in: the
realm was split up into provinces and the provinces into prefectures;
and an official was placed in charge of each province or prefecture.
Originally the prefectures in Ch'in had been placed directly under the
central administration, with an official, often a merchant, being
responsible for the collection of taxes; the provinces, on the other
hand, formed a sort of military command area, especially in the
newly-conquered frontier territories. With the growing militarization of
Ch'in, greater importance was assigned to the provinces, and the
prefectures were made subordinate to them. Thus the officials of the
provinces were originally army officers but now, in the reorganization
of the whole realm, the distinction between civil and military
administration was abolished. At the head of the province were a civil
and also a military governor, and both were supervised by a controller
directly responsible to the emperor. Since there was naturally a
continual struggle for power between these three officials, none of them
was supreme and none could develop into a sort of feudal lord. In this
system we can see the essence of the later Chinese administration.

[Illustration: 3 Bronze plaque representing two horses fighting each
other. Ordos region, animal style. _From V. Griessmaier: Sammlung Baron
Eduard von der Heydt, Vienna_ 1936, _illustration No_. 6.]

[Illustration: 4 Hunting scene: detail from the reliefs in the tombs at
Wu-liang-tz'u. _From a print in the author's possession_.]

[Illustration: 5 Part of the 'Great Wall'. _Photo Eberhard_.]

Owing to the centuries of division into independent feudal states, the
various parts of the country had developed differently. Each province
spoke a different dialect which also contained many words borrowed from
the language of the indigenous population; and as these earlier
populations sometimes belonged to different races with different
languages, in each state different words had found their way into the
Chinese dialects. This caused divergences not only in the spoken but in
the written language, and even in the characters in use for writing.
There exist to this day dictionaries in which the borrowed words of that
time are indicated, and keys to the various old forms of writing also
exist. Thus difficulties arose if, for instance, a man from the old
territory of Ch'in was to be transferred as an official to the east: he
could not properly understand the language and could not read the
borrowed words, if he could read at all! For a large number of the
officials of that time, especially the officers who became military
governors, were certainly unable to read. The government therefore
ordered that the language of the whole country should be unified, and
that a definite style of writing should be generally adopted. The words
to be used were set out in lists, so that the first lexicography came
into existence simply through the needs of practical administration, as
had happened much earlier in Babylon. Thus, the few recently found
manuscripts from pre-Ch'in times still contain a high percentage of
Chinese characters which we cannot read because they were local
characters; but all words in texts after the Ch'in time can be read
because they belong to the standardized script. We know now that all
classical texts of pre-Ch'in time as we have them today, have been
re-written in this standardized script in the second century B.C.: we do
not know which words they actually contained at the time when they were
composed, nor how these words were actually pronounced, a fact which
makes the reconstruction of Chinese language before Ch'in very

The next requirement for the carrying on of the administration was the
unification of weights and measures and, a surprising thing to us, of
the gauge of the tracks for wagons. In the various feudal states there
had been different weights and measures in use, and this had led to
great difficulties in the centralization of the collection of taxes. The
centre of administration, that is to say the new capital of Ch'in, had
grown through the transfer of nobles and through the enormous size of
the administrative staff into a thickly populated city with very large
requirements of food. The fields of the former state of Ch'in alone
could not feed the city; and the grain supplied in payment of taxation
had to be brought in from far around, partly by cart. The only roads
then existing consisted of deep cart-tracks. If the axles were not of
the same length for all carts, the roads were simply unusable for many
of them. Accordingly a fixed length was laid down for axles. The
advocates of all these reforms were also their beneficiaries, the

The first principle of the Legalist school, a principle which had been
applied in Ch'in and which was to be extended to the whole realm, was
that of the training of the population in discipline and obedience, so
that it should become a convenient tool in the hands of the officials.
This requirement was best met by a people composed as far as possible
only of industrious, uneducated, and tax-paying peasants. Scholars and
philosophers were not wanted, in so far as they were not directly
engaged in work commissioned by the state. The Confucianist writings
came under special attack because they kept alive the memory of the old
feudal conditions, preaching the ethic of the old feudal class which had
just been destroyed and must not be allowed to rise again if the state
was not to suffer fresh dissolution or if the central administration was
not to be weakened. In 213 B.C. there took place the great holocaust of
books which destroyed the Confucianist writings with the exception of
one copy of each work for the State Library. Books on practical subjects
were not affected. In the fighting at the end of the Ch'in dynasty the
State Library was burnt down, so that many of the old works have only
come down to us in an imperfect state and with doubtful accuracy. The
real loss arose, however, from the fact that the new generation was
little interested in the Confucianist literature, so that when, fifty
years later, the effort was made to restore some texts from the oral
tradition, there no longer existed any scholars who really knew them by
heart, as had been customary in the past.

In 221 B.C. Shih Huang-ti had become emperor of all China. The judgments
passed on him vary greatly: the official Chinese historiography rejects
him entirely--naturally, for he tried to exterminate Confucianism, while
every later historian was himself a Confucian. Western scholars often
treat him as one of the greatest men in world history. Closer research
has shown that Shih Huang-ti was evidently an average man without any
great gifts, that he was superstitious, and shared the tendency of his
time to mystical and shamanistic notions. His own opinion was that he
was the first of a series of ten thousand emperors of his dynasty (Shih
Huang-ti means "First Emperor"), and this merely suggests megalomania.
The basic principles of his administration had been laid down long
before his time by the philosophers of the Legalist school, and were
given effect by his Chancellor Li Ss[)u]. Li Ss[)u] was the really great
personality of that period. The Legalists taught that the ruler must do
as little as possible himself. His Ministers were there to act for him.
He himself was to be regarded as a symbol of Heaven. In that capacity
Shih Huang-ti undertook periodical journeys into the various parts of
the empire, less for any practical purpose of inspection than for
purposes of public worship. They corresponded to the course of the sun,
and this indicates that Shih Huang-ti had adopted a notion derived from
the older northern culture of the nomad peoples.

He planned the capital in an ambitious style but, although there was
real need for extension of the city, his plans can scarcely be regarded
as of great service. His enormous palace, and also his mausoleum which
was built for him before his death, were constructed in accordance with
astral notions. Within the palace the emperor continually changed his
residential quarters, probably not only from fear of assassination but
also for astral reasons. His mausoleum formed a hemispherical dome, and
all the stars of the sky were painted on its interior.

3 _Frontier defence. Internal collapse_

When the empire had been unified by the destruction of the feudal
states, the central government became responsible for the protection of
the frontiers from attack from without. In the south there were only
peoples in a very low state of civilization, who could offer no serious
menace to the Chinese. The trading colonies that gradually extended to
Canton and still farther south served as Chinese administrative centres
for provinces and prefectures, with small but adequate armies of their
own, so that in case of need they could defend themselves. In the north
the position was much more difficult. In addition to their conquest
within China, the rulers of Ch'in had pushed their frontier far to the
north. The nomad tribes had been pressed back and deprived of their best
pasturage, namely the Ordos region. When the livelihood of nomad peoples
is affected, when they are threatened with starvation, their tribes
often collect round a tribal leader who promises new pasturage and
better conditions of life for all who take part in the common campaigns.
In this way the first great union of tribes in the north of China came
into existence in this period, forming the realm of the Hsiung-nu under
their first leader, T'ou-man. This first realm of the Hsiung-nu was not
yet extensive, but its ambitious and warlike attitude made it a danger
to Ch'in. It was therefore decided to maintain a large permanent army in
the north. In addition to this, the frontier walls already existing in
the mountains were rebuilt and made into a single great system. Thus
came into existence in 214 B.C., out of the blood and sweat of countless
pressed labourers, the famous Great Wall.

On one of his periodical journeys the emperor fell ill and died. His
death was the signal for the rising of many rebellious elements. Nobles
rose in order to regain power and influence; generals rose because they
objected to the permanent pressure from the central administration and
their supervision by controllers; men of the people rose as popular
leaders because the people were more tormented than ever by forced
labour, generally at a distance from their homes. Within a few months
there were six different rebellions and six different "rulers".
Assassinations became the order of the day; the young heir to the throne
was removed in this way and replaced by another young prince. But as
early as 206 B.C. one of the rebels, Liu Chi (also called Liu Pang),
entered the capital and dethroned the nominal emperor. Liu Chi at first
had to retreat and was involved in hard fighting with a rival, but
gradually he succeeded in gaining the upper hand and defeated not only
his rival but also the other eighteen states that had been set up anew
in China in those years.





Chapter Six

THE HAN DYNASTY (206 B.C.-A.D. 220)

I _Development of the gentry-state_

In 206 B.C. Liu Chi assumed the title of Emperor and gave his dynasty
the name of the Han Dynasty. After his death he was given as emperor the
name of Kao Tsu.[4] The period of the Han dynasty may be described as
the beginning of the Chinese Middle Ages, while that of the Ch'in
dynasty represents the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages; for
under the Han dynasty we meet in China with a new form of state, the
"gentry state". The feudalism of ancient times has come definitely to
its end.

[Footnote 4: From then on, every emperor was given after his death an
official name as emperor, under which he appears in the Chinese sources.
We have adopted the original or the official name according to which of
the two has come into the more general use in Western books.]

Emperor Kao Tsu came from eastern China, and his family seems to have
been a peasant family; in any case it did not belong to the old
nobility. After his destruction of his strongest rival, the removal of
the kings who had made themselves independent in the last years of the
Ch'in dynasty was a relatively easy task for the new autocrat, although
these struggles occupied the greater part of his reign. A much more
difficult question, however, faced him: How was the empire to be
governed? Kao Tsu's old friends and fellow-countrymen, who had helped
him into power, had been rewarded by appointment as generals or high
officials. Gradually he got rid of those who had been his best comrades,
as so many upstart rulers have done before and after him in every
country in the world. An emperor does not like to be reminded of a very
humble past, and he is liable also to fear the rivalry of men who
formerly were his equals. It is evident that little attention was paid
to theories of administration; policy was determined mainly by practical
considerations. Kao Tsu allowed many laws and regulations to remain in
force, including the prohibition of Confucianist writings. On the other
hand, he reverted to the allocation of fiefs, though not to old noble
families but to his relatives and some of his closest adherents,
generally men of inferior social standing. Thus a mixed administration
came into being: part of the empire was governed by new feudal princes,
and another part split up into provinces and prefectures and placed
directly under the central power through its officials.

But whence came the officials? Kao Tsu and his supporters, as farmers
from eastern China, looked down upon the trading population to which
farmers always regard themselves as superior. The merchants were ignored
as potential officials although they had often enough held official
appointments under the former dynasty. The second group from which
officials had been drawn under the Ch'in was that of the army officers,
but their military functions had now, of course, fallen to Kao Tsu's
soldiers. The emperor had little faith, however, in the loyalty of
officers, even of his own, and apart from that he would have had first
to create a new administrative organization for them. Accordingly he
turned to another class which had come into existence, the class later
called the _gentry_, which in practice had the power already in its

The term "gentry" has no direct parallel in Chinese texts; the later
terms "shen-shih" and "chin-shen" do not quite cover this concept. The
basic unit of the gentry class are families, not individuals. Such
families often derive their origin from branches of the Chou nobility.
But other gentry families were of different and more recent origin in
respect to land ownership. Some late Chou and Ch'in officials of
non-noble origin had become wealthy and had acquired land; the same was
true for wealthy merchants and finally, some non-noble farmers who were
successful in one or another way, bought additional land reaching the
size of large holdings. All "gentry" families owned substantial estates
in the provinces which they leased to tenants on a kind of contract
basis. The tenants, therefore, cannot be called "serfs" although their
factual position often was not different from the position of serfs. The
rents of these tenants, usually about half the gross produce, are the
basis of the livelihood of the gentry. One part of a gentry family
normally lives in the country on a small home farm in order to be able
to collect the rents. If the family can acquire more land and if this
new land is too far away from the home farm to make collection of rents
easy, a new home farm is set up under the control of another branch of
the family. But the original home remains to be regarded as the real
family centre.

In a typical gentry family, another branch of the family is in the
capital or in a provincial administrative centre in official positions.
These officials at the same time are the most highly educated members
of the family and are often called the "literati". There are also always
individual family members who are not interested in official careers or
who failed in their careers and live as free "literati" either in the
big cities or on the home farms. It seems, to judge from much later
sources, that the families assisted their most able members to enter the
official careers, while those individuals who were less able were used
in the administration of the farms. This system in combination with the
strong familism of the Chinese, gave a double security to the gentry
families. If difficulties arose in the estates either by attacks of
bandits or by war or other catastrophes, the family members in official
positions could use their influence and power to restore the property in
the provinces. If, on the other hand, the family members in official
positions lost their positions or even their lives by displeasing the
court, the home branch could always find ways to remain untouched and
could, in a generation or two, recruit new members and regain power and
influence in the government. Thus, as families, the gentry was secure,
although failures could occur to individuals. There are many gentry
families who remained in the ruling _elite_ for many centuries, some
over more than a thousand years, weathering all vicissitudes of life.
Some authors believe that Chinese leading families generally pass
through a three- or four-generation cycle: a family member by his
official position is able to acquire much land, and his family moves
upward. He is able to give the best education and other facilities to
his sons who lead a good life. But either these sons or the grandsons
are spoiled and lazy; they begin to lose their property and status. The
family moves downward, until in the fourth or fifth generation a new
rise begins. Actual study of families seems to indicate that this is not
true. The main branch of the family retains its position over centuries.
But some of the branch families, created often by the less able family
members, show a tendency towards downward social mobility.

It is clear from the above that a gentry family should be interested in
having a fair number of children. The more sons they have, the more
positions of power the family can occupy and thus, the more secure it
will be; the more daughters they have, the more "political" marriages
they can conclude, i.e. marriages with sons of other gentry families in
positions of influence. Therefore, gentry families in China tend to be,
on the average, larger than ordinary families, while in our Western
countries the leading families usually were smaller than the lower class
families. This means that gentry families produced more children than
was necessary to replenish the available leading positions; thus, some
family members had to get into lower positions and had to lose status.
In view of this situation it was very difficult for lower class families
to achieve access into this gentry group. In European countries the
leading _elite_ did not quite replenish their ranks in the next
generation, so that there was always some chance for the lower classes
to move up into leading ranks. The gentry society was, therefore, a
comparably stable society with little upward social mobility but with
some downward mobility. As a whole and for reasons of gentry
self-interest, the gentry stood for stability and against change.

The gentry members in the bureaucracy collaborated closely with one
another because they were tied together by bonds of blood or marriage.
It was easy for them to find good tutors for their children, because a
pupil owed a debt of gratitude to his teacher and a child from a gentry
family could later on nicely repay this debt; often, these teachers
themselves were members of other gentry families. It was easy for sons
of the gentry to get into official positions, because the people who had
to recommend them for office were often related to them or knew the
position of their family. In Han time, local officials had the duty to
recommend young able men; if these men turned out to be good, the
officials were rewarded, if not they were blamed or even punished. An
official took less of a chance, if he recommended a son of an
influential family, and he obliged such a candidate so that he could
later count on his help if he himself should come into difficulties.
When, towards the end of the second century B.C., a kind of examination
system was introduced, this attitude was not basically changed.

The country branch of the family by the fact that it controlled large
tracts of land, supplied also the logical tax collectors: they had the
standing and power required for this job. Even if they were appointed in
areas other than their home country (a rule which later was usually
applied), they knew the gentry families of the other district or were
related to them and got their support by appointing their members as
their assistants.

Gentry society continued from Kao Tsu's time to 1948, but it went
through a number of phases of development and changed considerably in
time. We will later outline some of the most important changes. In
general the number of politically leading gentry families was around one
hundred (texts often speak of "the hundred families" in this time) and
they were concentrated in the capital; the most important home seats of
these families in Han time were close to the capital and east of it or
in the plains of eastern China, at that time the main centre of grain

We regard roughly the first one thousand years of "Gentry Society" as
the period of the Chinese "Middle Ages", beginning with the Han dynasty;
the preceding time of the Ch'in was considered as a period of
transition, a time in which the feudal period of "Antiquity" came to a
formal end and a new organization of society began to become visible.
Even those authors who do not accept a sociological classification of
periods and many authors who use Marxist categories, believe that with
Ch'in and Han a new era in Chinese history began.


2 _Situation of the Hsiung-nu empire; its relation to the Han empire.
Incorporation of South China_

In the time of the Ch'in dynasty there had already come into unpleasant
prominence north of the Chinese frontier the tribal union, then
relatively small, of the Hsiung-nu. Since then, the Hsiung-nu empire had
destroyed the federation of the Yueeh-chih tribes (some of which seem to
have been of Indo-European language stock) and incorporated their people
into their own federation; they had conquered also the less well
organized eastern pastoral tribes, the Tung-hu and thus had become a
formidable power. Everything goes to show that it had close relations
with the territories of northern China. Many Chinese seem to have
migrated to the Hsiung-nu empire, where they were welcome as artisans
and probably also as farmers; but above all they were needed for the
staffing of a new state administration. The scriveners in the newly
introduced state secretariat were Chinese and wrote Chinese, for at that
time the Hsiung-nu apparently had no written language. There were
Chinese serving as administrators and court officials, and even as
instructors in the army administration, teaching the art of warfare
against non-nomads. But what was the purpose of all this? Mao Tun, the
second ruler of the Hsiung-nu, and his first successors undoubtedly
intended ultimately to conquer China, exactly as many other northern
peoples after them planned to do, and a few of them did. The main
purpose of this was always to bring large numbers of peasants under the
rule of the nomad rulers and so to solve, once for all, the problem of
the provision of additional winter food. Everything that was needed, and
everything that seemed to be worth trying to get as they grew more
civilized, would thus be obtained better and more regularly than by
raids or by tedious commercial negotiations. But if China was to be
conquered and ruled there must exist a state organization of equal
authority to hers; the Hsiung-nu ruler must himself come forward as Son
of Heaven and develop a court ceremonial similar to that of a Chinese
emperor. Thus the basis of the organization of the Hsiung-nu state lay
in its rivalry with the neighbouring China; but the details naturally
corresponded to the special nature of the Hsiung-nu social system. The
young Hsiung-nu feudal state differed from the ancient Chinese feudal
state not only in depending on a nomad economy with only supplementary
agriculture, but also in possessing, in addition to a whole class of
nobility and another of commoners, a stratum of slavery to be analysed
further below. Similar to the Chou state, the Hsiung-nu state contained,
especially around the ruler, an element of court bureaucracy which,
however, never developed far enough to replace the basically feudal
character of administration.

Thus Kao Tsu was faced in Mao Tun not with a mere nomad chieftain but
with the most dangerous of enemies, and Kao Tsu's policy had to be
directed to preventing any interference of the Hsiung-nu in North
Chinese affairs, and above all to preventing alliances between Hsiung-nu
and Chinese. Hsiung-nu alone, with their technique of horsemen's
warfare, would scarcely have been equal to the permanent conquest of the
fortified towns of the north and the Great Wall, although they
controlled a population which may have been in excess of 2,000,000
people. But they might have succeeded with Chinese aid. Actually a
Chinese opponent of Kao Tsu had already come to terms with Mao Tun, and
in 200 B.C. Kao Tsu was very near suffering disaster in northern Shansi,
as a result of which China would have come under the rule of the
Hsiung-nu. But it did not come to that, and Mao Tun made no further
attempt, although the opportunity came several times. Apparently the
policy adopted by his court was not imperialistic but national, in the
uncorrupted sense of the word. It was realized that a country so thickly
populated as China could only be administered from a centre within
China. The Hsiung-nu would thus have had to abandon their home territory
and rule in China itself. That would have meant abandoning the flocks,
abandoning nomad life, and turning into Chinese. The main supporters of
the national policy, the first principle of which was loyalty to the old
ways of life, seem to have been the tribal chieftains. Mao Tun fell in
with their view, and the Hsiung-nu maintained their state as long as
they adhered to that principle--for some seven hundred years. Other
nomad peoples, Toba, Mongols, and Manchus, followed the opposite policy,
and before long they were caught in the mechanism of the much more
highly developed Chinese economy and culture, and each of them
disappeared from the political scene in the course of a century or so.

The national line of policy of the Hsiung-nu did not at all mean an end
of hostilities and raids on Chinese territory, so that Kao Tsu declared
himself ready to give the Hsiung-nu the foodstuffs and clothing
materials they needed if they would make an end of their raids. A treaty
to this effect was concluded, and sealed by the marriage of a Chinese
princess with Mao Tun. This was the first international treaty in the
Far East between two independent powers mutually recognized as equals,
and the forms of international diplomacy developed in this time remained
the standard forms for the next thousand years. The agreement was
renewed at the accession of each new ruler, but was never adhered to
entirely by either side. The needs of the Hsiung-nu increased with the
expansion of their empire and the growing luxury of their court; the
Chinese, on the other hand, wanted to give as little as possible, and no
doubt they did all they could to cheat the Hsiung-nu. Thus, in spite of
the treaties the Hsiung-nu raids went on. With China's progressive
consolidation, the voluntary immigration of Chinese into the Hsiung-nu
empire came to an end, and the Hsiung-nu actually began to kidnap
Chinese subjects. These were the main features of the relations between
Chinese and Hsiung-nu almost until 100 B.C.

In the extreme south, around the present-day Canton, another independent
empire had been formed in the years of transition, under the leadership
of a Chinese. The narrow basis of this realm was no doubt provided by
the trading colonies, but the indigenous population of Yueeh tribes was
insufficiently civilized for the building up of a state that could have
maintained itself against China. Kao Tsu sent a diplomatic mission to
the ruler of this state, and invited him to place himself under Chinese
suzerainty (196 B.C.). The ruler realized that he could offer no serious
resistance, while the existing circumstances guaranteed him virtual
independence and he yielded to Kao Tsu without a struggle.

3 _Brief feudal reaction. Consolidation of the gentry_

Kao Tsu died in 195 B.C. From then to 179 the actual ruler was his
widow, the empress Lue, while children were officially styled emperors.
The empress tried to remove all the representatives of the emperor's
family and to replace them with members of her own family. To secure her
position she revived the feudal system, but she met with strong
resistance from the dynasty and its supporters who already belonged in
many cases to the new gentry, and who did not want to find their
position jeopardized by the creation of new feudal lords.

On the death of the empress her opponents rose, under the leadership of
Kao Tsu's family. Every member of the empress's family was exterminated,
and a son of Kao Tsu, known later under the name of Wen Ti (Emperor
Wen), came to the throne. He reigned from 179 to 157 B.C. Under him
there were still many fiefs, but with the limitation which the emperor
Kao Tsu had laid down shortly before his death: only members of the
imperial family should receive fiefs, to which the title of King was
attached. Thus all the more important fiefs were in the hands of the
imperial family, though this did not mean that rivalries came to an end.

On the whole Wen Ti's period of rule passed in comparative peace. For
the first time since the beginning of Chinese history, great areas of
continuous territory were under unified rule, without unending internal
warfare such as had existed under Shih Huang-ti and Kao Tsu. The
creation of so extensive a region of peace produced great economic
advance. The burdens that had lain on the peasant population were
reduced, especially since under Wen Ti the court was very frugal. The
population grew and cultivated fresh land, so that production increased
and with it the exchange of goods. The most outstanding sign of this was
the abandonment of restrictions on the minting of copper coin, in order
to prevent deflation through insufficiency of payment media. As a
consequence more taxes were brought in, partly in kind, partly in coin,
and this increased the power of the central government. The new gentry
streamed into the towns, their standard of living rose, and they made
themselves more and more into a class apart from the general population.
As people free from material cares, they were able to devote themselves
to scholarship. They went back to the old writings and studied them once
more. They even began to identify themselves with the nobles of feudal
times, to adopt the rules of good behaviour and the ceremonial described
in the Confucianist books, and very gradually, as time went on, to make
these their textbooks of good form. From this point the Confucianist
ideals first began to penetrate the official class recruited from the
gentry, and then the state organization itself. It was expected that an
official should be versed in Confucianism, and schools were set up for
Confucianist education. Around 100 B.C. this led to the introduction of
the examination system, which gradually became the one method of
selection of new officials. The system underwent many changes, but
remained in operation in principle until 1904. The object of the
examinations was not to test job efficiency but command of the ideals of
the gentry and knowledge of the literature inculcating them: this was
regarded as sufficient qualification for any position in the service of
the state.

In theory this path to training of character and to admission to the
state service was open to every "respectable" citizen. Of the
traditional four "classes" of Chinese society, only the first two,
officials (_shih_) and farmers (_nung_) were always regarded as fully
"respectable" (_liang-min_). Members of the other two classes, artisans
(_kung_) and merchants (_shang_), were under numerous restrictions.
Below these were classes of "lowly people" (_ch'ien-min_) and below
these the slaves which were not part of society proper. The privileges
and obligations of these categories were soon legally fixed. In
practice, during the first thousand years of the existence of the
examination system no peasant had a chance to become an official by
means of the examinations. In the Han period the provincial officials
had to propose suitable young persons for examination, and so for
admission to the state service, as was already mentioned. In addition,
schools had been instituted for the sons of officials; it is interesting
to note that there were, again and again, complaints about the low level
of instruction in these schools. Nevertheless, through these schools all
sons of officials, whatever their capacity or lack of capacity, could
become officials in their turn. In spite of its weaknesses, the system
had its good side. It inoculated a class of people with ideals that were
unquestionably of high ethical value. The Confucian moral system gave a
Chinese official or any member of the gentry a spiritual attitude and an
outward bearing which in their best representatives has always commanded
respect, an integrity that has always preserved its possessors, and in
consequence Chinese society as a whole, from moral collapse, from
spiritual nihilism, and has thus contributed to the preservation of
Chinese cultural values in spite of all foreign conquerors.

In the time of Wen Ti and especially of his successors, the revival at
court of the Confucianist ritual and of the earlier Heaven-worship
proceeded steadily. The sacrifices supposed to have been performed in
ancient times, the ritual supposed to have been prescribed for the
emperor in the past, all this was reintroduced. Obviously much of it was
spurious: much of the old texts had been lost, and when fragments were
found they were arbitrarily completed. Moreover, the old writing was
difficult to read and difficult to understand; thus various things were
read into the texts without justification. The new Confucians who came
forward as experts in the moral code were very different men from their
predecessors; above all, like all their contemporaries, they were
strongly influenced by the shamanistic magic that had developed in the
Ch'in period.

Wen Ti's reign had brought economic advance and prosperity;
intellectually it had been a period of renaissance, but like every such
period it did not simply resuscitate what was old, but filled the
ancient moulds with an entirely new content. Socially the period had
witnessed the consolidation of the new upper class, the gentry, who
copied the mode of life of the old nobility. This is seen most clearly
in the field of law. In the time of the Legalists the first steps had
been taken in the codification of the criminal law. They clearly
intended these laws to serve equally for all classes of the people. The
Ch'in code which was supposedly Li K'uei's code, was used in the Han
period, and was extensively elaborated by Siao Ho (died 193 B.C.) and
others. This code consisted of two volumes of the chief laws for grave
cases, one of mixed laws for the less serious cases, and six volumes on
the imposition of penalties. In the Han period "decisions" were added,
so that about A.D. 200 the code had grown to 26,272 paragraphs with over
17,000,000 words. The collection then consisted of 960 volumes. This
colossal code has been continually revised, abbreviated, or expanded,
and under its last name of "Collected Statues of the Manchu Dynasty" it
retained its validity down to the present century.

Alongside this collection there was another book that came to be
regarded and used as a book of precedences. The great Confucianist
philosopher Tung Chung-shu (179-104 B.C.), a firm supporter of the
ideology of the new gentry class, declared that the classic Confucianist
writings, and especially the book _Ch'un-ch'iu_, "Annals of Spring and
Autumn", attributed to Confucius himself, were essentially books of
legal decisions. They contained "cases" and Confucius's decisions of
them. Consequently any case at law that might arise could be decided by
analogy with the cases contained in "Annals of Spring and Autumn". Only
an educated person, of course, a member of the gentry, could claim that
his action should be judged by the decisions of Confucius and not by the
code compiled for the common people, for Confucius had expressly stated
that his rules were intended only for the upper class. Thus, right down
to modern times an educated person could be judged under regulations
different from those applicable to the common people, or if judged on
the basis of the laws, he had to expect a special treatment. The
principle of the "equality before the law" which the Legalists had
advocated and which fitted well into the absolutistic, totalitarian
system of the Ch'in, had been attacked by the feudal nobility at that
time and was attacked by the new gentry of the Han time. Legalist
thinking remained an important undercurrent for many centuries to come,
but application of the equalitarian principle was from now on never
seriously considered.

Against the growing influence of the officials belonging to the gentry
there came a last reaction. It came as a reply to the attempt of a
representative of the gentry to deprive the feudal princes of the whole
of their power. In the time of Wen Ti's successor a number of feudal
kings formed an alliance against the emperor, and even invited the
Hsiung-nu to join them. The Hsiung-nu did not do so, because they saw
that the rising had no prospect of success, and it was quelled. After
that the feudal princes were steadily deprived of rights. They were
divided into two classes, and only privileged ones were permitted to
live in the capital, the others being required to remain in their
domains. At first, the area was controlled by a "minister" of the
prince, an official of the state; later the area remained under normal
administration and the feudal prince kept only an empty title; the tax
income of a certain number of families of an area was assigned to him
and transmitted to him by normal administrative channels. Often, the
number of assigned families was fictional in that the actual income was
from far fewer families. This system differs from the Near Eastern
system in which also no actual enforcement took place, but where
deserving men were granted the right to collect themselves the taxes of
a certain area with certain numbers of families.

Soon after this the whole government was given the shape which it
continued to have until A.D. 220, and which formed the point of
departure for all later forms of government. At the head of the state
was the emperor, in theory the holder of absolute power in the state
restricted only by his responsibility towards "Heaven", i.e. he had to
follow and to enforce the basic rules of morality, otherwise "Heaven"
would withdraw its "mandate", the legitimation of the emperor's rule,
and would indicate this withdrawal by sending natural catastrophes. Time
and again we find emperors publicly accusing themselves for their faults
when such catastrophes occurred; and to draw the emperor's attention to
actual or made-up calamities or celestial irregularities was one way to
criticize an emperor and to force him to change his behaviour. There are
two other indications which show that Chinese emperors--excepting a few
individual cases--at least in the first ten centuries of gentry society
were not despots: it can be proved that in some fields the
responsibility for governmental action did not lie with the emperor but
with some of his ministers. Secondly, the emperor was bound by the law
code: he could not change it nor abolish it. We know of cases in which
the ruler disregarded the code, but then tried to "defend" his arbitrary
action. Each new dynasty developed a new law code, usually changing only
details of the punishment, not the basic regulations. Rulers could issue
additional "regulations", but these, too, had to be in the spirit of
the general code and the existing moral norms. This situation has some
similarity to the situation in Muslim countries. At the ruler's side
were three counsellors who had, however, no active functions. The real
conduct of policy lay in the hands of the "chancellor", or of one of the
"nine ministers". Unlike the practice with which we are familiar in the
West, the activities of the ministries (one of them being the court
secretariat) were concerned primarily with the imperial palace. As,
however, the court secretariat, one of the nine ministries, was at the
same time a sort of imperial statistical office, in which all economic,
financial, and military statistical material was assembled, decisions on
issues of critical importance for the whole country could and did come
from it. The court, through the Ministry of Supplies, operated mines and
workshops in the provinces and organized the labour service for public
constructions. The court also controlled centrally the conscription for
the general military service. Beside the ministries there was an
extensive administration of the capital with its military guards. The
various parts of the country, including the lands given as fiefs to
princes, had a local administration, entirely independent of the central
government and more or less elaborated according to their size. The
regional administration was loosely associated with the central
government through a sort of primitive ministry of the interior, and
similarly the Chinese representatives in the protectorates, that is to
say the foreign states which had submitted to Chinese protective
overlordship, were loosely united with a sort of foreign ministry in the
central government. When a rising or a local war broke out, that was the
affair of the officer of the region concerned. If the regional troops
were insufficient, those of the adjoining regions were drawn upon; if
even these were insufficient, a real "state of war" came into being;
that is to say, the emperor appointed eight generals-in-chief, mobilized
the imperial troops, and intervened. This imperial army then had
authority over the regional and feudal troops, the troops of the
protectorates, the guards of the capital, and those of the imperial
palace. At the end of the war the imperial army was demobilized and the
generals-in-chief were transferred to other posts.

In all this there gradually developed a division into civil and military
administration. A number of regions would make up a province with a
military governor, who was in a sense the representative of the imperial
army, and who was supposed to come into activity only in the event of

This administration of the Han period lacked the tight organization that
would make precise functioning possible. On the other hand, an
extremely important institution had already come into existence in a
primitive form. As central statistical authority, the court secretariat
had a special position within the ministries and supervised the
administration of the other offices. Thus there existed alongside the
executive a means of independent supervision of it, and the resulting
rivalry enabled the emperor or the chancellor to detect and eliminate
irregularities. Later, in the system of the T'ang period (A.D. 618-906),
this institution developed into an independent censorship, and the
system was given a new form as a "State and Court Secretariat", in which
the whole executive was comprised and unified. Towards the end of the
T'ang period the permanent state of war necessitated the permanent
commissioning of the imperial generals-in-chief and of the military
governors, and as a result there came into existence a "Privy Council of
State", which gradually took over functions of the executive. The system
of administration in the Han and in the T'ang period is shown in the
following table:

  _Han epoch_                    _T'ang epoch_

  1. Emperor                          1. Emperor

  2. Three counsellors to the emperor 2. Three counsellors and three
     (with no active functions)          assistants (with no active

  3. Eight supreme generals (only     3. Generals and Governors-General
     appointed in time of war)           (only appointed in time of
                                         war; but in practice
                                         continuously in office)

  4. ---------------------------      4. (a) State secretariat
                                          (1) Central secretariat
                                          (2) Secretariat of the Crown
                                          (3) Secretariat of the Palace
                                              and imperial historical
                                         (b) Emperor's Secretariat
                                          (1) Private Archives
                                          (2) Court Adjutants' Office
                                          (3) Harem administration

  5. Court administration             5. Court administration
     (Ministries)                        (Ministries)
    (1) Ministry for state              (1) Ministry for state
        sacrifices                          sacrifices
    (2) Ministry for imperial           (2) Ministry for imperial
        coaches and horses                  coaches and horses
    (3) Ministry for justice at         (3) Ministry for justice at
        court                               court
    (4) Ministry for receptions         (4) Ministry for receptions
                                            (i.e. foreign affairs)
  (5) Ministry for ancestors'         (5) Ministry for ancestors'
        temples                             temples
    (6) Ministry for supplies to        (6) Ministry for supplies to
        the court                           the court
    (7) Ministry for the harem          (7) Economic and financial
    (8) Ministry for the palace         (8) Ministry for the payment
        guards                              of salaries
    (9) Ministry for the court          (9) Ministry for armament
        (state secretariat)                 and magazines

  6. Administration of the             6. Administration of the
     capital:                             capital:
    (1) Crown prince's palace           (1) Crown prince's palace
    (2) Security service for the        (2) Palace guards and guards'
        capital                             office
    (3) Capital administration:         (3) Arms production department
        (a) Guards of the capital
        (b) Guards of the city gates
        (c) Building department
                                        (4) Labour service department
                                        (5) Building department
                                        (6) Transport department
                                        (7) Department for education
                                            (of sons of officials!)

  7. Ministry of the Interior          7. Ministry of the Interior
     (Provincial administration)              (Provincial administration)

  8. Foreign Ministry                  8. ---------------------------

                                       9. Censorship (Audit council)

There is no denying that according to our standard this whole system was
still elementary and "personal", that is to say, attached to the
emperor's person--though it should not be overlooked that we ourselves
are not yet far from a similar phase of development. To this day the
titles of not a few of the highest officers of state--the Lord Privy
Seal, for instance--recall that in the past their offices were conceived
as concerned purely with the personal service of the monarch. In one
point, however, the Han administrative set-up was quite modern: it
already had a clear separation between the emperor's private treasury
and the state treasury; laws determined which of the two received
certain taxes and which had to make certain payments. This separation,
which in Europe occurred not until the late Middle Ages, in China was
abolished at the end of the Han Dynasty.

The picture changes considerably to the advantage of the Chinese as
soon as we consider the provincial administration. The governor of a
province, and each of his district officers or prefects, had a staff
often of more than a hundred officials. These officials were drawn from
the province or prefecture and from the personal friends of the
administrator, and they were appointed by the governor or the prefect.
The staff was made up of officials responsible for communications with
the central or provincial administration (private secretary, controller,
finance officer), and a group of officials who carried on the actual
local administration. There were departments for transport, finance,
education, justice, medicine (hygiene), economic and military affairs,
market control, and presents (which had to be made to the higher
officials at the New Year and on other occasions). In addition to these
offices, organized in a quite modern style, there was an office for
advising the governor and another for drafting official documents and

The interesting feature of this system is that the provincial
administration was _de facto_ independent of the central administration,
and that the governor and even his prefects could rule like kings in
their regions, appointing and discharging as they chose. This was a
vestige of feudalism, but on the other hand it was a healthy check
against excessive centralization. It is thanks to this system that even
the collapse of the central power or the cutting off of a part of the
empire did not bring the collapse of the country. In a remote frontier
town like Tunhuang, on the border of Turkestan, the life of the local
Chinese went on undisturbed whether communication with the capital was
maintained or was broken through invasions by foreigners. The official
sent from the centre would be liable at any time to be transferred
elsewhere; and he had to depend on the practical knowledge of his
subordinates, the members of the local families of the gentry. These
officials had the local government in their hands, and carried on the
administration of places like Tunhuang through a thousand years and
more. The Hsin family, for instance, was living there in 50 B.C. and was
still there in A.D. 950; and so were the Yin, Ling-hu, Li, and K'ang

All the officials of the various offices or Ministries were appointed
under the state examination system, but they had no special professional
training; only for the more important subordinate posts were there
specialists, such as jurists, physicians, and so on. A change came
towards the end of the T'ang period, when a Department of Commerce and
Monopolies was set up; only specialists were appointed to it, and it was
placed directly under the emperor. Except for this, any official could
be transferred from any ministry to any other without regard to his

4 _Turkestan policy. End of the Hsiung-nu empire_

In the two decades between 160 and 140 B.C. there had been further
trouble with the Hsiung-nu, though there was no large-scale fighting.
There was a fundamental change of policy under the next emperor, Wu (or
Wu Ti, 141-86 B.C.). The Chinese entered for the first time upon an
active policy against the Hsiung-nu. There seem to have been several
reasons for this policy, and several objectives. The raids of the
Hsiung-nu from the Ordos region and from northern Shansi had shown
themselves to be a direct menace to the capital and to its extremely
important hinterland. Northern Shansi is mountainous, with deep ravines.
A considerable army on horseback could penetrate some distance to the
south before attracting attention. Northern Shensi and the Ordos region
are steppe country, in which there were very few Chinese settlements and
through which an army of horsemen could advance very quickly. It was
therefore determined to push back the Hsiung-nu far enough to remove
this threat. It was also of importance to break the power of the
Hsiung-nu in the province of Kansu, and to separate them as far as
possible from the Tibetans living in that region, to prevent any union
between those two dangerous adversaries. A third point of importance was
the safeguarding of caravan routes. The state, and especially the
capital, had grown rich through Wen Ti's policy. Goods streamed into the
capital from all quarters. Commerce with central Asia had particularly
increased, bringing the products of the Middle East to China. The
caravan routes passed through western Shensi and Kansu to eastern
Turkestan, but at that time the Hsiung-nu dominated the approaches to
Turkestan and were in a position to divert the trade to themselves or
cut it off. The commerce brought profit not only to the caravan traders,
most of whom were probably foreigners, but to the officials in the
provinces and prefectures through which the routes passed. Thus the
officials in western China were interested in the trade routes being
brought under direct control, so that the caravans could arrive
regularly and be immune from robbery. Finally, the Chinese government
may well have regarded it as little to its honour to be still paying
dues to the Hsiung-nu and sending princesses to their rulers, now that
China was incomparably wealthier and stronger than at the time when that
policy of appeasement had begun.

[Illustration: Map 3. China in the struggle with the Huns or Hsiung Nu
(_roughly 128-100 B.C._)]

The first active step taken was to try, in 133 B.C., to capture the
head of the Hsiung-nu state, who was called a _shan-yue_ but the
_shan-yue_ saw through the plan and escaped. There followed a period of
continuous fighting until 119 B.C. The Chinese made countless attacks,
without lasting success. But the Hsiung-nu were weakened, one sign of
this being that there were dissensions after the death of the _shan-yue_
Chuen-ch'en, and in 127 B.C. his son went over to the Chinese. Finally
the Chinese altered their tactics, advancing in 119 B.C. with a strong
army of cavalry, which suffered enormous losses but inflicted serious
loss on the Hsiung-nu. After that the Hsiung-nu withdrew farther to the
north, and the Chinese settled peasants in the important region of

Meanwhile, in 125 B.C., the famous Chang Ch'ien had returned. He had
been sent in 138 to conclude an alliance with the Yueeh-chih against the
Hsiung-nu. The Yueeh-chih had formerly been neighbours of the Hsiung-nu
as far as the Ala Shan region, but owing to defeat by the Hsiung-nu
their remnants had migrated to western Turkestan. Chang Ch'ien had
followed them. Politically he had no success, but he brought back
accurate information about the countries in the far west, concerning
which nothing had been known beyond the vague reports of merchants. Now
it was learnt whence the foreign goods came and whither the Chinese
goods went. Chang Ch'ien's reports (which are one of the principal
sources for the history of central Asia at that remote time)
strengthened the desire to enter into direct and assured commercial
relations with those distant countries. The government evidently thought
of getting this commerce into its own hands. The way to do this was to
impose "tribute" on the countries concerned. The idea was that the
missions bringing the annual "tribute" would be a sort of state
bartering commissions. The state laid under tribute must supply
specified goods at its own cost, and received in return Chinese produce,
the value of which was to be roughly equal to the "tribute". Thus Chang
Ch'ien's reports had the result that, after the first successes against
the Hsiung-nu, there was increased interest in a central Asian policy.
The greatest military success were the campaigns of General Li Kuang-li
to Ferghana in 104 and 102 B.C. The result of the campaigns was to bring
under tribute all the small states in the Tarim basin and some of the
states of western Turkestan. From now on not only foreign consumer goods
came freely into China, but with them a great number of other things,
notably plants such as grape, peach, pomegranate.

In 108 B.C. the western part of Korea was also conquered. Korea was
already an important transit region for the trade with Japan. Thus this
trade also came under the direct influence of the Chinese government.
Although this conquest represented a peril to the eastern flank of the
Hsiung-nu, it did not by any means mean that they were conquered. The
Hsiung-nu while weakened evaded the Chinese pressure, but in 104 B.C.
and again in 91 they inflicted defeats on the Chinese. The Hsiung-nu
were indirectly threatened by Chinese foreign policy, for the Chinese
concluded an alliance with old enemies of the Hsiung-nu, the Wu-sun, in
the north of the Tarim basin. This made the Tarim basin secure for the
Chinese, and threatened the Hsiung-nu with a new danger in their rear.
Finally the Chinese did all they could through intrigue, espionage, and
sabotage to promote disunity and disorder within the Hsiung-nu, though
it cannot be seen from the Chinese accounts how far the Chinese were
responsible for the actual conflicts and the continual changes of
_shan-yue_. Hostilities against the Hsiung-nu continued incessantly,
after the death of Wu Ti, under his successor, so that the Hsiung-nu
were further weakened. In consequence of this it was possible to rouse
against them other tribes who until then had been dependent on them--the
Ting-ling in the north and the Wu-huan in the east. The internal
difficulties of the Hsiung-nu increased further.

Wu Ti's active policy had not been directed only against the Hsiung-nu.
After heavy fighting he brought southern China, with the region round
Canton, and the south-eastern coast, firmly under Chinese dominion--in
this case again on account of trade interests. No doubt there were
already considerable colonies of foreign merchants in Canton and other
coastal towns, trading in Indian and Middle East goods. The traders seem
often to have been Sogdians. The southern wars gave Wu Ti the control of
the revenues from this commerce. He tried several times to advance
through Yuennan in order to secure a better land route to India, but
these attempts failed. Nevertheless, Chinese influence became stronger
in the south-west.

In spite of his long rule, Wu Ti did not leave an adult heir, as the
crown prince was executed, with many other persons, shortly before Wu
Ti's death. The crown prince had been implicated in an alleged attempt
by a large group of people to remove the emperor by various sorts of
magic. It is difficult to determine today what lay behind this affair;
probably it was a struggle between two cliques of the gentry. Thus a
regency council had to be set up for the young heir to the throne; it
included a member of a Hsiung-nu tribe. The actual government was in the
hands of a general and his clique until the death of the heir to the
throne, and at the beginning of his successor's reign.

At this time came the end of the Hsiung-nu empire--a foreign event of
the utmost importance. As a result of the continual disastrous wars
against the Chinese, in which not only many men but, especially, large
quantities of cattle fell into Chinese hands, the livelihood of the
Hsiung-nu was seriously threatened; their troubles were increased by
plagues and by unusually severe winters. To these troubles were added
political difficulties, including unsettled questions in regard to the
succession to the throne. The result of all this was that the Hsiung-nu
could no longer offer effective military resistance to the Chinese.
There were a number of _shan-yue_ ruling contemporaneously as rivals, and
one of them had to yield to the Chinese in 58 B.C.; in 51 he came as a
vassal to the Chinese court. The collapse of the Hsiung-nu empire was
complete. After 58 B.C. the Chinese were freed from all danger from that
quarter and were able, for a time, to impose their authority in Central

5 _Impoverishment. Cliques. End of the Dynasty_

In other respects the Chinese were not doing as well as might have been
assumed. The wars carried on by Wu Ti and his successors had been
ruinous. The maintenance of large armies of occupation in the new
regions, especially in Turkestan, also meant a permanent drain on the
national funds. There was a special need for horses, for the people of
the steppes could only be fought by means of cavalry. As the Hsiung-nu
were supplying no horses, and the campaigns were not producing horses
enough as booty, the peasants had to rear horses for the government.
Additional horses were bought at very high prices, and apart from this
the general financing of the wars necessitated increased taxation of the
peasants, a burden on agriculture no less serious than was the enrolment
of many peasants for military service. Finally, the new external trade
did not by any means bring the advantages that had been hoped for. The
tribute missions brought tribute but, to begin with, this meant an
obligation to give presents in return; moreover, these missions had to
be fed and housed in the capital, often for months, as the official
receptions took place only on New Year's Day. Their maintenance entailed
much expense, and meanwhile the members of the missions traded privately
with the inhabitants and the merchants of the capital, buying things
they needed and selling things they had brought in addition to the
tribute. The tribute itself consisted mainly of "precious articles",
which meant strange or rare things of no practical value. The emperor
made use of them as elements of personal luxury, or made presents of
some of them to deserving officials. The gifts offered by the Chinese in
return consisted mainly of silk. Silk was received by the government as
a part of the tax payments and formed an important element of the
revenue of the state. It now went abroad without bringing in any
corresponding return. The private trade carried on by the members of the
missions was equally unserviceable to the Chinese. It, too, took from
them goods of economic value, silk and gold, which went abroad in
exchange for luxury articles of little or no economic importance, such
as glass, precious stones, or stud horses, which in no way benefited the
general population. Thus in this last century B.C. China's economic
situation grew steadily and fairly rapidly worse. The peasants, more
heavily taxed than ever, were impoverished, and yet the exchequer became
not fuller but emptier, so that gold began even to be no longer
available for payments. Wu Ti was aware of the situation and called
different groups together to discuss the problems of economics. Under
the name "Discussions on Salt and Iron" the gist of these talks is
preserved and shows that one group under the leadership of Sang
Hung-yang (143-80 B.C.) was business-oriented and thinking in economic
terms, while their opponents, mainly Confucianists, regarded the
situation mainly as a moral crisis. Sang proposed an "equable
transportation" and a "standardization" system and favoured other state
monopolies and controls; these ideas were taken up later and continued
to be discussed, again and again.

Already under Wu Ti there had been signs of a development which now
appeared constantly in Chinese history. Among the new gentry, families
entered into alliances with each other, sealed their mutual allegiance
by matrimonial unions, and so formed large cliques. Each clique made it
its concern to get the most important government positions into its
hands, so that it should itself control the government. Under Wu Ti, for
example, almost all the important generals had belonged to a certain
clique, which remained dominant under his two successors. Two of the
chief means of attaining power were for such a clique to give the
emperor a girl from its ranks as wife, and to see to it that all the
eunuchs around the emperor should be persons dependent on the clique.
Eunuchs came generally from the poorer classes; they were launched at
court by members of the great cliques, or quite openly presented to the

The chief influence of the cliques lay, however, in the selection of
officials. It is not surprising that the officials recommended only sons
of people in their own clique--their family or its closest associates.
On top of all this, the examiners were in most cases themselves members
of the same families to which the provincial officials belonged. Thus it
was made doubly certain that only those candidates who were to the
liking of the dominant group among the gentry should pass.

Surrounded by these cliques, the emperors became in most cases powerless
figureheads. At times energetic rulers were able to play off various
cliques against each other, and so to acquire personal power; but the
weaker emperors found themselves entirely in the hands of cliques. Not a
few emperors in China were removed by cliques which they had attempted
to resist; and various dynasties were brought to their end by the
cliques; this was the fate of the Han dynasty.

The beginning of its fall came with the activities of the widow of the
emperor Yuean Ti. She virtually ruled in the name of her
eighteen-year-old son, the emperor Ch'eng Ti (32-7 B.C.), and placed all
her brothers, and also her nephew, Wang Mang, in the principal
government posts. They succeeded at first in either removing the
strongest of the other cliques or bringing them into dependence. Within
the Wang family the nephew Wang Mang steadily advanced, securing direct
supporters even in some branches of the imperial family; these
personages declared their readiness to join him in removing the existing
line of the imperial house. When Ch'eng Ti died without issue, a young
nephew of his (Ai Ti, 6-1 B.C.) was placed on the throne by Wang Mang,
and during this period the power of the Wangs and their allies grew
further, until all their opponents had been removed and the influence of
the imperial family very greatly reduced. When Ai Ti died, Wang Mang
placed an eight-year-old boy on the throne, himself acting as regent;
four years later the boy fell ill and died, probably with Wang Mang's
aid. Wang Mang now chose a one-year-old baby, but soon after he felt
that the time had come for officially assuming the rulership. In A.D. 8
he dethroned the baby, ostensibly at Heaven's command, and declared
himself emperor and first of the Hsin ("new") dynasty. All the members
of the old imperial family in the capital were removed from office and
degraded to commoners, with the exception of those who had already been
supporting Wang Mang. Only those members who held unimportant posts at a
distance remained untouched.

Wang Mang's "usurpation" is unusual from two points of view. First, he
paid great attention to public opinion and induced large masses of the
population to write petitions to the court asking the Han ruler to
abdicate; he even fabricated "heavenly omina" in his own favour and
against the Han dynasty in order to get wide support even from
intellectuals. Secondly, he inaugurated a formal abdication ceremony,
culminating in the transfer of the imperial seal to himself. This
ceremony became standard for the next centuries. The seal was made of a
precious stone, once presented to the Ch'in dynasty ruler before he
ascended the throne. From now on, the possessor of this seal was the
legitimate ruler.

6 _The pseudo-socialistic dictatorship. Revolt of the "Red Eyebrows"_

Wang Mang's dynasty lasted only from A.D. 9 to 23; but it was one of the
most stirring periods of Chinese history. It is difficult to evaluate
Wang Mang, because all we know about him stems from sources hostile
towards him. Yet we gain the impression that some of his innovations,
such as the legalization of enthronement through the transfer of the
seal; the changes in the administration of provinces and in the
bureaucratic set-up in the capital; and even some of his economic
measures were so highly regarded that they were retained or
reintroduced, although this happened in some instances centuries later
and without mentioning Wang Mang's name. But most of his policies and
actions were certainly neither accepted nor acceptable. He made use of
every conceivable resource in order to secure power to his clique. As
far as possible he avoided using open force, and resorted to a
high-level propaganda. Confucianism, the philosophic basis of the power
of the gentry, served him as a bait; he made use of the so-called "old
character school" for his purposes. When, after the holocaust of books,
it was desired to collect the ancient classics again, texts were found
under strange circumstances in the walls of Confucius's house; they were
written in an archaic script. The people who occupied themselves with
these books were called the old character school. The texts came under
suspicion; most scholars had little belief in their genuineness. Wang
Mang, however, and his creatures energetically supported the cult of
these ancient writings. The texts were edited and issued, and in the
process, as can now be seen, certain things were smuggled into them that
fitted in well with Wang Mang's intentions. He even had other texts
reissued with falsifications. He now represented himself in all his
actions as a man who did with the utmost precision the things which the
books reported of rulers or ministers of ancient times. As regent he had
declared that his model was the brother of the first emperor of the Chou
dynasty; as emperor he took for his exemplar one of the mythical
emperors of ancient China; of his new laws he claimed that they were
simply revivals of decrees of the golden age. In all this he appealed to
the authority of literature that had been tampered with to suit his
aims. Actually, such laws had never before been customary; either Wang
Mang completely misinterpreted passages in an ancient text to suit his
purpose, or he had dicta that suited him smuggled into the text. There
can be no question that Wang Mang and his accomplices began by
deliberately falsifying and deceiving. However, as time went on, he
probably began to believe in his own frauds.

Wang Mang's great series of certain laws has brought him the name of
"the first Socialist on the throne of China". But closer consideration
reveals that these measures, ostensibly and especially aimed at the good
of the poor, were in reality devised simply in order to fill the
imperial exchequer and to consolidate the imperial power. When we read
of the turning over of great landed estates to the state, do we not
imagine that we are faced with a modern land reform? But this applied
only to the wealthiest of all the landowners, who were to be deprived in
this way of their power. The prohibition of private slave-owning had a
similar purpose, the state reserving to itself the right to keep slaves.
Moreover, landless peasants were to receive land to till, at the expense
of those who possessed too much. This admirable law, however, was not
intended seriously to be carried into effect. Instead, the setting up of
a system of state credits for peasants held out the promise, in spite of
rather reduced interest rates, of important revenue. The peasants had
never been in a position to pay back their private debts together with
the usurious interest, but there were at least opportunities of coming
to terms with a private usurer, whereas the state proved a merciless
creditor. It could dispossess the peasant, and either turn his property
into a state farm, convey it to another owner, or make the peasant a
state slave. Thus this measure worked against the interest of the
peasants, as did the state monopoly of the exploitation of mountains and
lakes. "Mountains and lakes" meant the uncultivated land around
settlements, the "village commons", where people collected firewood or
went fishing. They now had to pay money for fishing rights and for the
right to collect wood, money for the emperor's exchequer. The same
purpose lay behind the wine, salt, and iron tool monopolies. Enormous
revenues came to the state from the monopoly of minting coin, when old
metal coin of full value was called in and exchanged for debased coin.
Another modern-sounding institution, that of the "equalization offices",
was supposed to buy cheap goods in times of plenty in order to sell them
to the people in times of scarcity at similarly low prices, so
preventing want and also preventing excessive price fluctuations. In
actual fact these state offices formed a new source of profit, buying
cheaply and selling as dearly as possible.

Thus the character of these laws was in no way socialistic; nor,
however, did they provide an El Dorado for the state finances, for Wang
Mang's officials turned all the laws to their private advantage. The
revenues rarely reached the capital; they vanished into the pockets of
subordinate officials. The result was a further serious lowering of the
level of existence of the peasant population, with no addition to the
financial resources of the state. Yet Wang Mang had great need of money,
because he attached importance to display and because he was planning a
new war. He aimed at the final destruction of the Hsiung-nu, so that
access to central Asia should no longer be precarious and it should thus
be possible to reduce the expense of the military administration of
Turkestan. The war would also distract popular attention from the
troubles at home. By way of preparation for war, Wang Mang sent a
mission to the Hsiung-nu with dishonouring proposals, including changes
in the name of the Hsiung-nu and in the title of the _shan-yue_. The name
Hsiung-nu was to be given the insulting change of Hsiang-nu, meaning
"subjugated slaves". The result was that risings of the Hsiung-nu took
place, whereupon Wang Mang commanded that the whole of their country
should be partitioned among fifteen _shan-yue_ and declared the country
to be a Chinese province. Since this declaration had no practical
result, it robbed Wang Mang of the increased prestige he had sought and
only further infuriated the Hsiung-nu. Wang Mang concentrated a vast
army on the frontier. Meanwhile he lost the whole of the possessions in

But before Wang Mang's campaign against the Hsiung-nu could begin, the
difficulties at home grew steadily worse. In A.D. 12 Wang Mang felt
obliged to abrogate all his reform legislation because it could not be
carried into effect; and the economic situation proved more lamentable
than ever. There were continual risings, which culminated in A.D. 18 in
a great popular insurrection, a genuine revolutionary rising of the
peasants, whose distress had grown beyond bearing through Wang Mang's
ill-judged measures. The rebels called themselves "Red Eyebrows"; they
had painted their eyebrows red by way of badge and in order to bind
their members indissolubly to their movement. The nucleus of this rising
was a secret society. Such secret societies, usually are harmless, but
may, in emergency situations, become an immensely effective instrument
in the hands of the rural population. The secret societies then organize
the peasants, in order to achieve a forcible settlement of the matter in
dispute. Occasionally, however, the movement grows far beyond its
leaders' original objective and becomes a popular revolutionary
movement, directed against the whole ruling class. That is what happened
on this occasion. Vast swarms of peasants marched to the capital,
killing all officials and people of position on their way. The troops
sent against them by Wang Mang either went over to the Red Eyebrows or
copied them, plundering wherever they could and killing officials. Owing
to the appalling mass murders and the fighting, the forces placed by
Wang Mang along the frontier against the Hsiung-nu received no
reinforcements and, instead of attacking the Hsiung-nu, themselves went
over to plundering, so that ultimately the army simply disintegrated.
Fortunately for China, the _shan-yue_ of the time did not take advantage
of his opportunity, perhaps because his position within the Hsiung-nu
empire was too insecure.

Scarcely had the popular rising begun when descendants of the deposed
Han dynasty appeared and tried to secure the support of the upper class.
They came forward as fighters against the usurper Wang Mang and as
defenders of the old social order against the revolutionary masses. But
the armies which these Han princes were able to collect were no better
than those of the other sides. They, too, consisted of poor and hungry
peasants, whose aim was to get money or goods by robbery; they too,
plundered and murdered more than they fought.

However, one prince by the name of Liu Hsiu gradually gained the upper
hand. The basis of his power was the district of Nanyang in Honan, one
of the wealthiest agricultural centres of China at that time and also
the centre of iron and steel production. The big landowners, the gentry
of Nanyang, joined him, and the prince's party conquered the capital.
Wang Mang, placing entire faith in his sanctity, did not flee; he sat in
his robes in the throne-room and recited the ancient writings, convinced
that he would overcome his adversaries by the power of his words. But a
soldier cut off his head (A.D. 22). The skull was kept for two hundred
years in the imperial treasury. The fighting, nevertheless, went on.
Various branches of the prince's party fought one another, and all of
them fought the Red Eyebrows. In those years millions of men came to
their end. Finally, in A.D. 24, Liu Hsiu prevailed, becoming the first
emperor of the second Han dynasty, also called the Later Han dynasty;
his name as emperor was Kuang-wu Ti (A.D. 25-57).

7 _Reaction and Restoration: the Later Han dynasty_

Within the country the period that followed was one of reaction and
restoration. The massacres of the preceding years had so reduced the
population that there was land enough for the peasants who remained
alive. Moreover, their lords and the moneylenders of the towns were
generally no longer alive, so that many peasants had become free of
debt. The government was transferred from Sian to Loyang, in the present
province of Honan. This brought the capital nearer to the great
wheat-producing regions, so that the transport of grain and other taxes
in kind to the capital was cheapened. Soon this cleared foundation was
covered by a new stratum, a very sparse one, of great landowners who
were supporters and members of the new imperial house, largely
descendants of the landowners of the earlier Han period. At first they
were not much in evidence, but they gained power more and more rapidly.
In spite of this, the first half-century of the Later Han period was one
of good conditions on the land and economic recovery.

8 _Hsiung-nu policy_

In foreign policy the first period of the Later Han dynasty was one of
extraordinary success, both in the extreme south and in the question of
the Hsiung-nu. During the period of Wang Mang's rule and the fighting
connected with it, there had been extensive migration to the south and
south-west. Considerable regions of Chinese settlement had come into
existence in Yuennan and even in Annam and Tongking, and a series of
campaigns under General Ma Yuan (14 B.C.-A.D. 49) now added these
regions to the territory of the empire. These wars were carried on with
relatively small forces, as previously in the Canton region, the natives
being unable to offer serious resistance owing to their inferiority in
equipment and civilization. The hot climate, however, to which the
Chinese soldiers were unused, was hard for them to endure.

The Hsiung-nu, in spite of internal difficulties, had regained
considerable influence in Turkestan during the reign of Wang Mang. But
the king of the city state of Yarkand had increased his power by
shrewdly playing off Chinese and Hsiung-nu against each other, so that
before long he was able to attack the Hsiung-nu. The small states in
Turkestan, however, regarded the overlordship of the distant China as
preferable to that of Yarkand or the Hsiung-nu both of whom, being
nearer, were able to bring their power more effectively into play.
Accordingly many of the small states appealed for Chinese aid. Kuang-wu
Ti met this appeal with a blank refusal, implying that order had only
just been restored in China and that he now simply had not the resources
for a campaign in Turkestan. Thus, the king of Yarkand was able to
extend his power over the remainder of the small states of Turkestan,
since the Hsiung-nu had been obliged to withdraw. Kuang-wu Ti had
several frontier wars with the Hsiung-nu without any decisive result.
But in the years around A.D. 45 the Hsiung-nu had suffered several
severe droughts and also great plagues of locusts, so that they had lost
a large part of their cattle. They were no longer able to assert
themselves in Turkestan and at the same time to fight the Chinese in the
south and the Hsien-pi and the Wu-huan in the east. These two peoples,
apparently largely of Mongol origin, had been subject in the past to
Hsiung-nu overlordship. They had spread steadily in the territories
bordering Manchuria and Mongolia, beyond the eastern frontier of the
Hsiung-nu empire. Living there in relative peace and at the same time in
possession of very fertile pasturage, these two peoples had grown in
strength. And since the great political collapse of 58 B.C. the
Hsiung-nu had not only lost their best pasturage in the north of the
provinces of Shensi and Shansi, but had largely grown used to living in
co-operation with the Chinese. They had become much more accustomed to
trade with China, exchanging animals for textiles and grain, than to
warfare, so that in the end they were defeated by the Hsien-pi and
Wu-huan, who had held to the older form of purely warlike nomad life.
Weakened by famine and by the wars against Wu-huan and Hsien-pi, the
Hsiung-nu split into two, one section withdrawing to the north.

The southern Hsiung-nu were compelled to submit to the Chinese in order
to gain security from their other enemies. Thus the Chinese were able to
gain a great success without moving a finger: the Hsiung-nu, who for
centuries had shown themselves again and again to be the most dangerous
enemies of China, were reduced to political insignificance. About a
hundred years earlier the Hsiung-nu empire had suffered defeat; now half
of what remained of it became part of the Chinese state. Its place was
taken by the Hsien-pi and Wu-huan, but at first they were of much less

In spite of the partition, the northern Hsiung-nu attempted in the years
between A.D. 60 and 70 to regain a sphere of influence in Turkestan;
this seemed the easier for them since the king of Yarkand had been
captured and murdered, and Turkestan was more or less in a state of
confusion. The Chinese did their utmost to play off the northern against
the southern Hsiung-nu and to maintain a political balance of power in
the west and north. So long as there were a number of small states in
Turkestan, of which at least some were friendly to China, Chinese trade
caravans suffered relatively little disturbance on their journeys.
Independent states in Turkestan had proved more profitable for trade
than when a large army of occupation had to be maintained there. When,
however, there appeared to be the danger of a new union of the two
parts of the Hsiung-nu as a restoration of a large empire also
comprising all Turkestan, the Chinese trading monopoly was endangered.
Any great power would secure the best goods for itself, and there would
be no good business remaining for China. For these reasons a great
Chinese campaign was undertaken against Turkestan in A.D. 73 under Tou
Ku. Mainly owing to the ability of the Chinese deputy commander Pan
Ch'ao, the whole of Turkestan was quickly conquered. Meanwhile the
emperor Ming Ti (A.D. 58-75) had died, and under the new emperor Chang
Ti (76-88) the "isolationist" party gained the upper hand against the
clique of Tou Ku and Pan Ch'ao: the danger of the restoration of a
Hsiung-nu empire, the isolationists contended, no longer existed;
Turkestan should be left to itself; the small states would favour trade
with China of their own accord. Meanwhile, a considerable part of
Turkestan had fallen away from China, for Chang Ti sent neither money
nor troops to hold the conquered territories. Pan Ch'ao nevertheless
remained in Turkestan (at Kashgar and Khotan) where he held on amid
countless difficulties. Although he reported (A.D. 78) that the troops
could feed themselves in Turkestan and needed neither supplies nor money
from home, no reinforcements of any importance were sent; only a few
hundred or perhaps a thousand men, mostly released criminals, reached
him. Not until A.D. 89 did the Pan Ch'ao clique return to power when the
mother of the young emperor Ho Ti (89-105) took over the government
during his minority: she was a member of the family of Tou Ku. She was
interested in bringing to a successful conclusion the enterprise which
had been started by members of her family and its followers. In
addition, it can be shown that a number of other members of the "war
party" had direct interests in the west, mainly in form of landed
estates. Accordingly, a campaign was started in 89 under her brother
against the northern Hsiung-nu, and it decided the fate of Turkestan in
China's favour. Turkestan remained firmly in Chinese possession until
the death of Pan Ch'ao in 102. Shortly afterwards heavy fighting broke
out again: the Tanguts advanced from the south in an attempt to cut off
Chinese access to Turkestan. The Chinese drove back the Tanguts and
maintained their hold on Turkestan, though no longer absolutely.

9 _Economic situation. Rebellion of the "Yellow Turbans". Collapse of
the Han dynasty_

The economic results of the Turkestan trade in this period were not so
unfavourable as in the earlier Han period. The army of occupation was
incomparably smaller, and under Pan Ch'ao's policy the soldiers were fed
and paid in Turkestan itself, so that the cost to China remained small.
Moreover, the drain on the national income was no longer serious
because, in the intervening period, regular Chinese settlements had been
planted in Turkestan including Chinese merchants, so that the trade no
longer remained entirely in the hands of foreigners.

In spite of the economic consolidation at the beginning of the Later Han
dynasty, and in spite of the more balanced trade, the political
situation within China steadily worsened from A.D. 80 onwards. Although
the class of great landowners was small, a number of cliques formed
within it, and their mutual struggle for power soon went beyond the
limits of court intrigue. New actors now came upon the stage, namely the
eunuchs. With the economic improvement there had been a general increase
in the luxury at the court of the Han emperors, and the court steadily
increased in size. The many hundred wives and concubines in the palace
made necessary a great army of eunuchs. As they had the ear of the
emperor and so could influence him, the eunuchs formed an important
political factor. For a time the main struggle was between the group of
eunuchs and the group of scholars. The eunuchs served a particular
clique to which some of the emperor's wives belonged. The scholars, that
is to say the ministers, together with members of the ministries and the
administrative staff, served the interests of another clique. The
struggles grew more and more sanguinary in the middle of the second
century A.D. It soon proved that the group with the firmest hold in the
provinces had the advantage, because it was not easy to control the
provinces from a distance. The result was that, from about A.D. 150,
events at court steadily lost importance, the lead being taken by the
generals commanding the provincial troops. It would carry us too far to
give the details of all these struggles. The provincial generals were at
first Ts'ao Ts'ao, Lue Pu, Yuean Shao, and Sun Ts'e; later came Liu Pei.
All were striving to gain control of the government, and all were
engaged in mutual hostilities from about 180 onwards. Each general was
also trying to get the emperor into his hands. Several times the last
emperor of the Later Han dynasty, Hsien Ti (190-220), was captured by
one or another of the generals. As the successful general was usually
unable to maintain his hold on the capital, he dragged the poor emperor
with him from place to place until he finally had to give him up to
another general. The point of this chase after the emperor was that
according to the idea introduced earlier by Wang Mang the first ruler of
a new dynasty had to receive the imperial seals from the last emperor
of the previous dynasty. The last emperor must abdicate in proper form.
Accordingly, each general had to get possession of the emperor to begin
with, in order at the proper time to take over the seals.

By about A.D. 200 the new conditions had more or less crystallized.
There remained only three great parties. The most powerful was that of
Ts'ao Ts'ao, who controlled the north and was able to keep permanent
hold of the emperor. In the west, in the province of Szechwan, Liu Pei
had established himself, and in the south-east Sun Ts'e's brother.

But we must not limit our view to these generals' struggles. At this
time there were two other series of events of equal importance with
those. The incessant struggles of the cliques against each other
continued at the expense of the people, who had to fight them and pay
for them. Thus, after A.D. 150 the distress of the country population
grew beyond all limits. Conditions were as disastrous as in the time of
Wang Mang. And once more, as then, a popular movement broke out, that of
the so-called "Yellow Turbans". This was the first of the two important
events. This popular movement had a characteristic which from now on
became typical of all these risings of the people. The intellectual
leaders of the movement, Chang Ling and others, were members of a
particular religious sect. This sect was influenced by Iranian Mazdaism
on the one side and by certain ideas from Lao Tz[)u] on the other side;
and these influences were superimposed on popular rural as well as,
perhaps, local tribal religious beliefs and superstitions. The sect had
roots along the coastal settlements of Eastern China, where it seems to
have gained the support of the peasantry and their local priests. These
priests of the people were opposed to the representatives of the
official religion, that is to say the officials drawn from the gentry.
In small towns and villages the temples of the gods of the fruits of the
field, of the soil, and so on, were administered by authorized local
officials, and these officials also carried out the prescribed
sacrifices. The old temples of the people were either done away with (we
have many edicts of the Han period concerning the abolition of popular
forms of religious worship), or their worship was converted into an
official cult: the all-powerful gentry extended their domination over
religion as well as all else. But the peasants regarded their local
unauthorized priests as their natural leaders against the gentry and
against gentry forms of religion. One branch, probably the main branch
of this movement, developed a stronghold in Eastern Szechwan province,
where its members succeeded to create a state of their own which
retained its independence for a while. It is the only group which
developed real religious communities in which men and women
participated, extensive welfare schemes existed and class differences
were discouraged. It had a real church organization with dioceses,
communal friendship meals and a confession ritual; in short, real piety
developed as it could not develop in the official religions. After the
annihilation of this state, remnants of the organization can be traced
through several centuries, mainly in central and south China. It may
well be that the many "Taoistic" traits which can be found in the
religions of late and present-day Mongolian and Tibetan tribes, can be
derived from this movement of the Yellow Turbans.

The rising of the Yellow Turbans began in 184; all parties, cliques and
generals alike, were equally afraid of the revolutionaries, since these
were a threat to the gentry as such, and so to all parties. Consequently
a combined army of considerable size was got together and sent against
the rebels. The Yellow Turbans were beaten.

During these struggles it became evident that Ts'ao Ts'ao with his
troops had become the strongest of all the generals. His troops seem to
have consisted not of Chinese soldiers alone, but also of Hsiung-nu. It
is understandable that the annals say nothing about this, and it can
only be inferred from the facts. It appears that in order to reinforce
their armies the generals recruited not only Chinese but foreigners. The
generals operating in the region of the present-day Peking had soldiers
of the Wu-huan and Hsien-pi, and even of the Ting-ling; Liu Pei, in the
west, made use of Tanguts, and Ts'ao Ts'ao clearly went farthest of all
in this direction; he seems to have been responsible for settling
nineteen tribes of Hsiung-nu in the Chinese province of Shansi between
180 and 200, in return for their armed aid. In this way Ts'ao Ts'ao
gained permanent power in the empire by means of these troops, so that
immediately after his death his son Ts'ao P'ei, with the support of
powerful allied families, was able to force the emperor to abdicate and
to found a new dynasty, the Wei dynasty (A.D. 220).

This meant, however, that a part of China which for several centuries
had been Chinese was given up to the Hsiung-nu. This was not, of course,
what Ts'ao Ts'ao had intended; he had given the Hsiung-nu some area of
pasturage in Shansi with the idea that they should be controlled and
administered by the officials of the surrounding district. His plan had
been similar to what the Chinese had often done with success: aliens
were admitted into the territory of the empire in a body, but then the
influence of the surrounding administrative centres was steadily
extended over them, until the immigrants completely lost their own
nationality and became Chinese. The nineteen tribes of Hsiung-nu,
however, were much too numerous, and after the prolonged struggles in
China the provincial administration proved much too weak to be able to
carry out the plan. Thus there came into existence here, within China, a
small Hsiung-nu realm ruled by several _shan-yue_. This was the second
major development, and it became of the utmost importance to the history
of the next four centuries.

10 _Literature and Art_

With the development of the new class of the gentry in the Han period,
there was an increase in the number of those who were anxious to
participate in what had been in the past an exclusively aristocratic
possession--education. Thus it is by no mere chance that in this period
many encyclopaedias were compiled. Encyclopaedias convey knowledge in an
easily grasped and easily found form. The first compilation of this sort
dates from the third century B.C. It was the work of Lue Pu wei, the
merchant who was prime minister and regent during the minority of Shih
Huang-ti. It contains general information concerning ceremonies,
customs, historic events, and other things the knowledge of which was
part of a general education. Soon afterwards other encyclopaedias
appeared, of which the best known is the Book of the Mountains and Seas
(_Shan Hai Ching_). This book, arranged according to regions of the
world, contains everything known at the time about geography, natural
philosophy, and the animal and plant world, and also about popular
myths. This tendency to systemization is shown also in the historical
works. The famous _Shih Chi_, one of our main sources for Chinese
history, is the first historical work of the modern type, that is to
say, built up on a definite plan, and it was also the model for all
later official historiography. Its author, Ss[)u]-ma Ch'ien (born 135
B.C.), and his father, made use of the material in the state archives
and of private documents, old historical and philosophical books,
inscriptions, and the results of their own travels. The philosophical
and historical books of earlier times (with the exception of those of
the nature of chronicles) consisted merely of a few dicta or reports of
particular events, but the _Shih Chi_ is a compendium of a mass of
source-material. The documents were abbreviated, but the text of the
extracts was altered as little as possible, so that the general result
retains in a sense the value of an original source. In its arrangement
the _Shih Chi_ became a model for all later historians: the first part
is in the form of annals, and there follow tables concerning the
occupants of official posts and fiefs, and then biographies of various
important personalities, though the type of the comprehensive biography
did not appear till later. The _Shih Chi_ also, like later historical
works, contains many monographs dealing with particular fields of
knowledge, such as astronomy, the calendar, music, economics, official
dress at court, and much else. The whole type of construction differs
fundamentally from such works as those of Thucydides or Herodotus. The
Chinese historical works have the advantage that the section of annals
gives at once the events of a particular year, the monographs describe
the development of a particular field of knowledge, and the biographical
section offers information concerning particular personalities. The
mental attitude is that of the gentry: shortly after the time of
Ss[)u]-ma Ch'ien an historical department was founded, in which members
of the gentry worked as historians upon the documents prepared by
representatives of the gentry in the various government offices.

In addition to encyclopaedias and historical works, many books of
philosophy were written in the Han period, but most of them offer no
fundamentally new ideas. They were the product of the leisure of rich
members of the gentry, and only three of them are of importance. One is
the work of Tung Chung-shu, already mentioned. The second is a book by
Liu An called _Huai-nan Tz[)u]_. Prince Liu An occupied himself with
Taoism and allied problems, gathered around him scholars of different
schools, and carried on discussions with them. Many of his writings are
lost, but enough is extant to show that he was one of the earliest
Chinese alchemists. The question has not yet been settled, but it is
probable that alchemy first appeared in China, together with the cult of
the "art" of prolonging life, and was later carried to the West, where
it flourished among the Arabs and in medieval Europe.

The third important book of the Han period was the _Lun Heng_ (Critique
of Opinions) of Wang Ch'ung, which appeared in the first century of the
Christian era. Wang Ch'ung advocated rational thinking and tried to pave
the way for a free natural science, in continuation of the beginnings
which the natural philosophers of the later Chou period had made. The
book analyses reports in ancient literature and customs of daily life,
and shows how much they were influenced by superstition and by ignorance
of the facts of nature. From this attitude a modern science might have
developed, as in Europe towards the end of the Middle Ages; but the
gentry had every reason to play down this tendency which, with its
criticism of all that was traditional, might have proceeded to an attack
on the dominance of the gentry and their oppression especially of the
merchants and artisans. It is fascinating to observe how it was the
needs of the merchants and seafarers of Asia Minor and Greece that
provided the stimulus for the growth of the classic sciences, and how on
the contrary the growth of Chinese science was stifled because the
gentry were so strongly hostile to commerce and navigation, though both
had always existed.

There were great literary innovations in the field of poetry. The
splendour and elegance at the new imperial court of the Han dynasty
attracted many poets who sang the praises of the emperor and his court
and were given official posts and dignities. These praises were in the
form of grandiloquent, overloaded poetry, full of strange similes and
allusions, but with little real feeling. In contrast, the many women
singers and dancers at the court, mostly slaves from southern China,
introduced at the court southern Chinese forms of song and poem, which
were soon adopted and elaborated by poets. Poems and dance songs were
composed which belonged to the finest that Chinese poetry can show--full
of natural feeling, simple in language, moving in content.

Our knowledge of the arts is drawn from two sources--literature, and the
actual discoveries in the excavations. Thus we know that most of the
painting was done on silk, of which plenty came into the market through
the control of silk-producing southern China. Paper had meanwhile been
invented in the second century B.C., by perfecting the techniques of
making bark-cloth and felt. Unfortunately nothing remains of the actual
works that were the first examples of what the Chinese everywhere were
beginning to call "art". "People", that is to say the gentry, painted as
a social pastime, just as they assembled together for poetry,
discussion, or performances of song and dance; they painted as an
aesthetic pleasure and rarely as a means of earning. We find philosophic
ideas or greetings, emotions, and experiences represented by
paintings--paintings with fanciful or ideal landscapes; paintings
representing life and environment of the cultured class in idealized
form, never naturalistic either in fact or in intention. Until recently
it was an indispensable condition in the Chinese view that an artist
must be "cultured" and be a member of the gentry--distinguished,
unoccupied, wealthy. A man who was paid for his work, for instance for a
portrait for the ancestral cult, was until late time regarded as a
craftsman, not as an artist. Yet, these "craftsmen" have produced in Han
time and even earlier, many works which, in our view, undoubtedly belong
to the realm of art. In the tombs have been found reliefs whose
technique is generally intermediate between simple outline engraving and
intaglio. The lining-in is most frequently executed in scratched lines.
The representations, mostly in strips placed one above another, are of
lively historical scenes, scenes from the life of the dead, great ritual
ceremonies, or adventurous scenes from mythology. Bronze vessels have
representations in inlaid gold and silver, mostly of animals. The most
important documents of the painting of the Han period have also been
found in tombs. We see especially ladies and gentlemen of society, with
richly ornamented, elegant, expensive clothing that is very reminiscent
of the clothing customary to this day in Japan. There are also artistic
representations of human figures on lacquer caskets. While sculpture was
not strongly developed, the architecture of the Han must have been
magnificent and technically highly complex. Sculpture and temple
architecture received a great stimulus with the spread of Buddhism in
China. According to our present knowledge, Buddhism entered China from
the south coast and through Central Asia at latest in the first century
B.C.; it came with foreign merchants from India or Central Asia.
According to Indian customs, Brahmans, the Hindu caste providing all
Hindu priests, could not leave their homes. As merchants on their trips
which lasted often several years, did not want to go without religious
services, they turned to Buddhist priests as well as to priests of Near
Eastern religions. These priests were not prevented from travelling and
used this opportunity for missionary purposes. Thus, for a long time
after the first arrival of Buddhists, the Buddhist priests in China were
foreigners who served foreign merchant colonies. The depressed
conditions of the people in the second century A.D. drove members of the
lower classes into their arms, while the parts of Indian science which
these priests brought with them from India aroused some interest in
certain educated circles. Buddhism, therefore, undeniably exercised an
influence at the end of the Han dynasty, although no Chinese were
priests and few, if any, gentry members were adherents of the religious

With the end of the Han period a further epoch of Chinese history comes
to its close. The Han period was that of the final completion and
consolidation of the social order of the gentry. The period that
followed was that of the conflicts of the Chinese with the populations
on their northern borders.


Chapter Seven


(A) The three kingdoms (220-265)

1 _Social, intellectual, and economic problems during the first

The end of the Han period was followed by the three and a half centuries
of the first division of China into several kingdoms, each with its own
dynasty. In fact, once before during the period of the Contending
States, China had been divided into a number of states, but at least in
theory they had been subject to the Chou dynasty, and none of the
contending states had made the claim to be the legitimate ruler of all
China. In this period of the "first division" several states claimed to
be legitimate rulers, and later Chinese historians tried to decide which
of these had "more right" to this claim. At the outset (220-280) there
were three kingdoms (Wei, Wu, Shu Han); then came an unstable reunion
during twenty-seven years (280-307) under the rule of the Western Chin.
This was followed by a still sharper division between north and south:
while a wave of non-Chinese nomad dynasties poured over the north, in
the south one Chinese clique after another seized power, so that dynasty
followed dynasty until finally, in 580, a united China came again into
existence, adopting the culture of the north and the traditions of the

In some ways, the period from 220 to 580 can be compared with the period
of the coincidentally synchronous breakdown of the Roman Empire: in both
cases there was no great increase in population, although in China
perhaps no over-all decrease in population as in the Roman Empire;
decrease occurred, however, in the population of the great Chinese
cities, especially of the capital; furthermore we witness, in both
empires, a disorganization of the monetary system, i.e. in China the
reversal to a predominance of natural economy after some 400 years of
money economy. Yet, this period cannot be simply dismissed as a
transition period, as was usually done by the older European works on
China. The social order of the gentry, whose birth and development
inside China we followed, had for the first time to defend itself
against views and systems entirely opposed to it; for the Turkish and
Mongol peoples who ruled northern China brought with them their
traditions of a feudal nobility with privileges of birth and all that
they implied. Thus this period, socially regarded, is especially that of
the struggle between the Chinese gentry and the northern nobility, the
gentry being excluded at first as a direct political factor in the
northern and more important part of China. In the south the gentry
continued in the old style with a constant struggle between cliques, the
only difference being that the class assumed a sort of "colonial"
character through the formation of gigantic estates and through
association with the merchant class.

To throw light on the scale of events, we need to have figures of
population. There are no figures for the years around A.D. 220, and we
must make do with those of 140; but in order to show the relative
strength of the three states it is the ratio between the figures that
matters. In 140 the regions which later belonged to Wei had roughly
29,000,000 inhabitants; those later belonging to Wu had 11,700,000;
those which belonged later to Shu Han had a bare 7,500,000. (The figures
take no account of the primitive native population, which was not yet
included in the taxation lists.) The Hsiung-nu formed only a small part
of the population, as there were only the nineteen tribes which had
abandoned one of the parts, already reduced, of the Hsiung-nu empire.
The whole Hsiung-nu empire may never have counted more than some
3,000,000. At the time when the population of what became the Wei
territory totalled 29,000,000 the capital with its immediate environment
had over a million inhabitants. The figure is exclusive of most of the
officials and soldiers, as these were taxable in their homes and so were
counted there. It is clear that this was a disproportionate
concentration round the capital.

It was at this time that both South and North China felt the influence
of Buddhism, which until A.D. 220 had no more real effect on China than
had, for instance, the penetration of European civilization between 1580
and 1842. Buddhism offered new notions, new ideals, foreign science, and
many other elements of culture, with which the old Chinese philosophy
and science had to contend. At the same time there came with Buddhism
the first direct knowledge of the great civilized countries west of
China. Until then China had regarded herself as the only existing
civilized country, and all other countries had been regarded as
barbaric, for a civilized country was then taken to mean a country with
urban industrial crafts and agriculture. In our present period, however,
China's relations with the Middle East and with southern Asia were so
close that the existence of civilized countries outside China had to be
admitted. Consequently, when alien dynasties ruled in northern China and
a new high civilization came into existence there, it was impossible to
speak of its rulers as barbarians any longer. Even the theory that the
Chinese emperor was the Son of Heaven and enthroned at the centre of the
world was no longer tenable. Thus a vast widening of China's
intellectual horizon took place.

Economically, our present period witnessed an adjustment in South China
between the Chinese way of life, which had penetrated from the north,
and that of the natives of the south. Large groups of Chinese had to
turn over from wheat culture in dry fields to rice culture in wet
fields, and from field culture to market gardening. In North China the
conflict went on between Chinese agriculture and the cattle breeding of
Central Asia. Was the will of the ruler to prevail and North China to
become a country of pasturage, or was the country to keep to the
agrarian tradition of the people under this rule? The Turkish and Mongol
conquerors had recently given up their old supplementary agriculture and
had turned into pure nomads, obtaining the agricultural produce they
needed by raiding or trade. The conquerors of North China were now faced
with a different question: if they were to remain nomads, they must
either drive the peasants into the south, or make them into slave
herdsmen, or exterminate them. There was one more possibility: they
might install themselves as a ruling upper class, as nobles over the
subjugated native peasants. The same question was faced much later by
the Mongols, and at first they answered it differently from the peoples
of our present period. Only by attention to this problem shall we be in
a position to explain why the rule of the Turkish peoples did not last,
why these peoples were gradually absorbed and disappeared.

2 _Status of the two southern Kingdoms_

When the last emperor of the Han period had to abdicate in favour of
Ts'ao P'ei and the Wei dynasty began, China was in no way a unified
realm. Almost immediately, in 221, two other army commanders, who had
long been independent, declared themselves emperors. In the south-west
of China, in the present province of Szechwan, the Shu Han dynasty was
founded in this way, and in the south-east, in the region of the present
Nanking, the Wu dynasty.

The situation of the southern kingdom of Shu Han (221-263) corresponded
more or less to that of the Chungking regime in the Second World War.
West of it the high Tibetan mountains towered up; there was very little
reason to fear any major attack from that direction. In the north and
east the realm was also protected by difficult mountain country. The
south lay relatively open, but at that time there were few Chinese
living there, but only natives with a relatively low civilization. The
kingdom could only be seriously attacked from two corners--through the
north-west, where there was a negotiable plateau, between the Ch'in-ling
mountains in the north and the Tibetan mountains in the west, a plateau
inhabited by fairly highly developed Tibetan tribes; and secondly
through the south-east corner, where it would be possible to penetrate
up the Yangtze. There was in fact incessant fighting at both these
dangerous corners.

Economically, Shu Han was not in a bad position. The country had long
been part of the Chinese wheat lands, and had a fairly large Chinese
peasant population in the well irrigated plain of Ch'engtu. There was
also a wealthy merchant class, supplying grain to the surrounding
mountain peoples and buying medicaments and other profitable Tibetan
products. And there were trade routes from here through the present
province of Yuennan to India.

Shu Han's difficulty was that its population was not large enough to be
able to stand against the northern State of Wei; moreover, it was
difficult to carry out an offensive from Shu Han, though the country
could defend itself well. The first attempt to find a remedy was a
campaign against the native tribes of the present Yuennan. The purpose of
this was to secure manpower for the army and also slaves for sale; for
the south-west had for centuries been a main source for traffic in
slaves. Finally it was hoped to gain control over the trade to India.
All these things were intended to strengthen Shu Han internally, but in
spite of certain military successes they produced no practical result,
as the Chinese were unable in the long run to endure the climate or to
hold out against the guerrilla tactics of the natives. Shu Han tried to
buy the assistance of the Tibetans and with their aid to carry out a
decisive attack on Wei, whose dynastic legitimacy was not recognized by
Shu Han. The ruler of Shu Han claimed to be a member of the imperial
family of the deposed Han dynasty, and therefore to be the rightful,
legitimate ruler over China. His descent, however, was a little
doubtful, and in any case it depended on a link far back in the past.
Against this the Wei of the north declared that the last ruler of the
Han dynasty had handed over to them with all due form the seals of the
state and therewith the imperial prerogative. The controversy was of no
great practical importance, but it played a big part in the Chinese
Confucianist school until the twelfth century, and contributed largely
to a revision of the old conceptions of legitimacy.

The political plans of Shu Han were well considered and far-seeing. They
were evolved by the premier, a man from Shantung named Chu-ko Liang; for
the ruler died in 226 and his successor was still a child. But Chu-ko
Liang lived only for a further eight years, and after his death in 234
the decline of Shu Han began. Its political leaders no longer had a
sense of what was possible. Thus Wei inflicted several defeats on Shu
Han, and finally subjugated it in 263.

The situation of the state of Wu was much less favourable than that of
Shu Han, though this second southern kingdom lasted from 221 to 280. Its
country consisted of marshy, water-logged plains, or mountains with
narrow valleys. Here Tai peoples had long cultivated their rice, while
in the mountains Yao tribes lived by hunting and by simple agriculture.
Peasants immigrating from the north found that their wheat and pulse did
not thrive here, and slowly they had to gain familiarity with rice
cultivation. They were also compelled to give up their sheep and cattle
and in their place to breed pigs and water buffaloes, as was done by the
former inhabitants of the country. The lower class of the population was
mainly non-Chinese; above it was an upper class of Chinese, at first
relatively small, consisting of officials, soldiers, and merchants in a
few towns and administrative centres. The country was poor, and its only
important economic asset was the trade in metals, timber, and other
southern products; soon there came also a growing overseas trade with
India and the Middle East, bringing revenues to the state in so far as
the goods were re-exported from Wu to the north.

Wu never attempted to conquer the whole of China, but endeavoured to
consolidate its own difficult territory with a view to building up a
state on a firm foundation. In general, Wu played mainly a passive part
in the incessant struggles between the three kingdoms, though it was
active in diplomacy. The Wu kingdom entered into relations with a man
who in 232 had gained control of the present South Manchuria and shortly
afterwards assumed the title of king. This new ruler of "Yen", as he
called his kingdom, had determined to attack the Wei dynasty, and hoped,
by putting pressure on it in association with Wu, to overrun Wei from
north and south. Wei answered this plan very effectively by recourse to
diplomacy and it began by making Wu believe that Wu had reason to fear
an attack from its western neighbour Shu Han. A mission was also
dispatched from Wei to negotiate with Japan. Japan was then emerging
from its stone age and introducing metals; there were countless small
principalities and states, of which the state of Yamato, then ruled by a
queen, was the most powerful. Yamato had certain interests in Korea,
where it already ruled a small coastal strip in the east. Wei offered
Yamato the prospect of gaining the whole of Korea if it would turn
against the state of Yen in South Manchuria. Wu, too, had turned to
Japan, but the negotiations came to nothing, since Wu, as an ally of
Yen, had nothing to offer. The queen of Yamato accordingly sent a
mission to Wei; she had already decided in favour of that state. Thus
Wei was able to embark on war against Yen, which it annihilated in 237.
This wrecked Wu's diplomatic projects, and no more was heard of any
ambitious plans of the kingdom of Wu.

The two southern states had a common characteristic: both were
condottiere states, not built up from their own population but conquered
by generals from the north and ruled for a time by those generals and
their northern troops. Natives gradually entered these northern armies
and reduced their percentage of northerners, but a gulf remained between
the native population, including its gentry, and the alien military
rulers. This reduced the striking power of the southern states.

On the other hand, this period had its positive element. For the first
time there was an emperor in south China, with all the organization that
implied. A capital full of officials, eunuchs, and all the satellites of
an imperial court provided incentives to economic advance, because it
represented a huge market. The peasants around it were able to increase
their sales and grew prosperous. The increased demand resulted in an
increase of tillage and a thriving trade. Soon the transport problem had
to be faced, as had happened long ago in the north, and new means of
transport, especially ships, were provided, and new trade routes opened
which were to last far longer than the three kingdoms; on the other
hand, the costs of transport involved fresh taxation burdens for the
population. The skilled staff needed for the business of administration
came into the new capital from the surrounding districts, for the
conquerors and new rulers of the territory of the two southern dynasties
had brought with them from the north only uneducated soldiers and
almost equally uneducated officers. The influx of scholars and
administrators into the chief cities produced cultural and economic
centres in the south, a circumstance of great importance to China's
later development.

3 _The northern State of Wei_

The situation in the north, in the state of Wei (220-265) was anything
but rosy. Wei ruled what at that time were the most important and
richest regions of China, the plain of Shensi in the west and the great
plain east of Loyang, the two most thickly populated areas of China. But
the events at the end of the Han period had inflicted great economic
injury on the country. The southern and south-western parts of the Han
empire had been lost, and though parts of Central Asia still gave
allegiance to Wei, these, as in the past, were economically more of a
burden than an asset, because they called for incessant expenditure. At
least the trade caravans were able to travel undisturbed from and to
China through Turkestan. Moreover, the Wei kingdom, although much
smaller than the empire of the Han, maintained a completely staffed
court at great expense, because the rulers, claiming to rule the whole
of China, felt bound to display more magnificence than the rulers of the
southern dynasties. They had also to reward the nineteen tribes of the
Hsiung-nu in the north for their military aid, not only with cessions of
land but with payments of money. Finally, they would not disarm but
maintained great armies for the continual fighting against the southern
states. The Wei dynasty did not succeed, however, in closely
subordinating the various army commanders to the central government.
Thus the commanders, in collusion with groups of the gentry, were able
to enrich themselves and to secure regional power. The inadequate
strength of the central government of Wei was further undermined by the
rivalries among the dominant gentry. The imperial family (Ts'ao Pei, who
reigned from 220 to 226, had taken as emperor the name of Wen Ti) was
descended from one of the groups of great landowners that had formed in
the later Han period. The nucleus of that group was a family named
Ts'ui, of which there is mention from the Han period onward and which
maintained its power down to the tenth century; but it remained in the
background and at first held entirely aloof from direct intervention in
high policy. Another family belonging to this group was the Hsia-hou
family which was closely united to the family of Wen Ti by adoption; and
very soon there was also the Ss[)u]-ma family. Quite naturally Wen Ti,
as soon as he came into power, made provision for the members of these
powerful families, for only thanks to their support had he been able to
ascend the throne and to maintain his hold on the throne. Thus we find
many members of the Hsia-hou and Ss[)u]-ma families in government
positions. The Ss[)u]-ma family especially showed great activity, and at
the end of Wen Ti's reign their power had so grown that a certain
Ss[)u]-ma I was in control of the government, while the new emperor Ming
Ti (227-233) was completely powerless. This virtually sealed the fate of
the Wei dynasty, so far as the dynastic family was concerned. The next
emperor was installed and deposed by the Ss[)u]-ma family; dissensions
arose within the ruling family, leading to members of the family
assassinating one another. In 264 a member of the Ss[)u]-ma family
declared himself king; when he died and was succeeded by his son
Ss[)u]-ma Yen, the latter, in 265, staged a formal act of renunciation
of the throne of the Wei dynasty and made himself the first ruler of the
new Chin dynasty. There is nothing to gain by detailing all the
intrigues that led up to this event: they all took place in the
immediate environment of the court and in no way affected the people,
except that every item of expenditure, including all the bribery, had to
come out of the taxes paid by the people.

With such a situation at court, with the bad economic situation in the
country, and with the continual fighting against the two southern
states, there could be no question of any far-reaching foreign policy.
Parts of eastern Turkestan still showed some measure of allegiance to
Wei, but only because at the time it had no stronger opponent. The
Hsiung-nu beyond the frontier were suffering from a period of depression
which was at the same time a period of reconstruction. They were
beginning slowly to form together with Mongol elements a new unit, the
Juan-juan, but at this time were still politically inactive. The
nineteen tribes within north China held more and more closely together
as militarily organized nomads, but did not yet represent a military
power and remained loyal to the Wei. The only important element of
trouble seems to have been furnished by the Hsien-pi tribes, who had
joined with Wu-huan tribes and apparently also with vestiges of the
Hsiung-nu in eastern Mongolia, and who made numerous raids over the
frontier into the Wei empire. The state of Yen, in southern Manchuria,
had already been destroyed by Wei in 238 thanks to Wei's good relations
with Japan. Loose diplomatic relations were maintained with Japan in the
period that followed; in that period many elements of Chinese
civilization found their way into Japan and there, together with
settlers from many parts of China, helped to transform the culture of
ancient Japan.

(B) The Western Chin dynasty (A.D. 265-317)

1 _Internal situation in the Chin empire_

The change of dynasty in the state of Wei did not bring any turn in
China's internal history. Ss[)u]-ma Yen, who as emperor was called Wu Ti
(265-289), had come to the throne with the aid of his clique and his
extraordinarily large and widely ramified family. To these he had to
give offices as reward. There began at court once more the same
spectacle as in the past, except that princes of the new imperial family
now played a greater part than under the Wei dynasty, whose ruling house
had consisted of a small family. It was now customary, in spite of the
abolition of the feudal system, for the imperial princes to receive
large regions to administer, the fiscal revenues of which represented
their income. The princes were not, however, to exercise full authority
in the style of the former feudal lords: their courts were full of
imperial control officials. In the event of war it was their duty to
come forward, like other governors, with an army in support of the
central government. The various Chin princes succeeded, however, in
making other governors, beyond the frontiers of their regions, dependent
on them. Also, they collected armies of their own independently of the
central government and used those armies to pursue personal policies.
The members of the families allied with the ruling house, for their
part, did all they could to extend their own power. Thus the first ruler
of the dynasty was tossed to and fro between the conflicting interests
and was himself powerless. But though intrigue was piled on intrigue,
the ruler who, of course, himself had come to the head of the state by
means of intrigues, was more watchful than the rulers of the Wei dynasty
had been, and by shrewd counter-measures he repeatedly succeeded in
playing off one party against another, so that the dynasty remained in
power. Numerous widespread and furious risings nevertheless took place,
usually led by princes. Thus during this period the history of the
dynasty was of an extraordinarily dismal character.

In spite of this, the Chin troops succeeded in overthrowing the second
southern state, that of Wu (A.D. 280), and in so restoring the unity of
the empire, the Shu Han realm having been already conquered by the Wei.
After the destruction of Wu there remained no external enemy that
represented a potential danger, so that a general disarmament was
decreed (280) in order to restore a healthy economic and financial
situation. This disarmament applied, of course, to the troops directly
under the orders of the dynasty, namely the troops of the court and the
capital and the imperial troops in the provinces. Disarmament could
not, however, be carried out in the princes' regions, as the princes
declared that they needed personal guards. The dismissal of the troops
was accompanied by a decree ordering the surrender of arms. It may be
assumed that the government proposed to mint money with the metal of the
weapons surrendered, for coin (the old coin of the Wei dynasty) had
become very scarce; as we indicated previously, money had largely been
replaced by goods so that, for instance, grain and silks were used for
the payment of salaries. China, from _c_. 200 A.D. on until the eighth
century, remained in a period of such partial "natural economy".

Naturally the decree for the surrender of weapons remained a
dead-letter. The discharged soldiers kept their weapons at first and
then preferred to sell them. A large part of them was acquired by the
Hsiung-nu and the Hsien-pi in the north of China; apparently they
usually gave up land in return. In this way many Chinese soldiers,
though not all by any means, went as peasants to the regions in the
north of China and beyond the frontier. They were glad to do so, for the
Hsiung-nu and the Hsien-pi had not the efficient administration and
rigid tax collection of the Chinese; and above all, they had no great
landowners who could have organized the collection of taxes. For their
part, the Hsiung-nu and the Hsien-pi had no reason to regret this
immigration of peasants, who could provide them with the farm produce
they needed. And at the same time they were receiving from them large
quantities of the most modern weapons.

This ineffective disarmament was undoubtedly the most pregnant event of
the period of the western Chin dynasty. The measure was intended to save
the cost of maintaining the soldiers and to bring them back to the land
as peasants (and taxpayers); but the discharged men were not given land
by the government. The disarmament achieved nothing, not even the
desired increase in the money in circulation; what did happen was that
the central government lost all practical power, while the military
strength both of the dangerous princes within the country and also of
the frontier people was increased. The results of these mistaken
measures became evident at once and compelled the government to arm

2 _Effect on the frontier peoples_

Four groups of frontier peoples drew more or less advantage from the
demobilization law--the people of the Toba, the Tibetans, and the
Hsien-pi in the north, and the nineteen tribes of the Hsiung-nu within
the frontiers of the empire. In the course of time all sorts of
complicated relations developed among those ascending peoples as well
as between them and the Chinese.

The Toba (T'o-pa) formed a small group in the north of the present
province of Shansi, north of the city of Tat'ungfu, and they were about
to develop their small state. They were primarily of Turkish origin, but
had absorbed many tribes of the older Hsiung-nu and the Hsien-pi. In
considering the ethnical relationships of all these northern peoples we
must rid ourselves of our present-day notions of national unity. Among
the Toba there were many Turkish tribes, but also Mongols, and probably
a Tungus tribe, as well as perhaps others whom we cannot yet analyse.
These tribes may even have spoken different languages, much as later not
only Mongol but also Turkish was spoken in the Mongol empire. The
political units they formed were tribal unions, not national states.

Such a union or federation can be conceived of, structurally, as a cone.
At the top point of the cone there was the person of the ruler of the
federation. He was a member of the leading family or clan of the leading
tribe (the two top layers of the cone). If we speak of the Toba as of
Turkish stock, we mean that according to our present knowledge, this
leading tribe (_a_) spoke a language belonging to the Turkish language
family and (_b_) exhibited a pattern of culture which belonged to the
type called above in Chapter One as "North-western Culture". The next
layer of the cone represented the "inner circle of tribes", i.e. such
tribes as had joined with the leading tribe at an early moment. The
leading family of the leading tribe often took their wives from the
leading families of the "inner tribes", and these leaders served as
advisors and councillors to the leader of the federation. The next lower
layer consisted of the "outer tribes", i.e. tribes which had joined the
federation only later, often under strong pressure; their number was
always much larger than the number of the "inner tribes", but their
political influence was much weaker. Every layer below that of the
"outer tribes" was regarded as inferior and more or less "unfree". There
was many a tribe which, as a tribe, had to serve a free tribe; and there
were others who, as tribes, had to serve the whole federation. In
addition, there were individuals who had quit or had been forced to quit
their tribe or their home and had joined the federation leader as his
personal "bondsmen"; further, there were individual slaves and, finally,
there were the large masses of agriculturists who had been conquered by
the federation. When such a federation was dissolved, by defeat or inner
dissent, individual tribes or groups of tribes could join a new
federation or could resume independent life.

Typically, such federations exhibited two tendencies. In the case of
the Hsiung-nu we indicated already previously that the leader of the
federation repeatedly attempted to build up a kind of bureaucratic
system, using his bondsmen as a nucleus. A second tendency was to
replace the original tribal leaders by members of the family of the
federation leader. If this initial step, usually first taken when "outer
tribes" were incorporated, was successful, a reorganization was
attempted: instead of using tribal units in war, military units on the
basis of "Groups of Hundred", "Groups of Thousand", etc., were created
and the original tribes were dissolved into military regiments. In the
course of time, and especially at the time of the dissolution of a
federation, these military units had gained social coherence and
appeared to be tribes again; we are probably correct in assuming that
all "tribes" which we find from this time on were already "secondary"
tribes of this type. A secondary tribe often took its name from its
leader, but it could also revive an earlier "primary tribe" name.

The Toba represented a good example for this "cone" structure of
pastoral society. Also the Hsiung-nu of this time seem to have had a
similar structure. Incidentally, we will from now on call the Hsiung-nu
"Huns" because Chinese sources begin to call them "Hu", a term which
also had a more general meaning (all non-Chinese in the north and west
of China) as well as a more special meaning (non-Chinese in Central Asia
and India).

The Tibetans fell apart into two sub-groups, the Ch'iang and the Ti.
Both names appeared repeatedly as political conceptions, but the
Tibetans, like all other state-forming groups of peoples, sheltered in
their realms countless alien elements. In the course of the third and
second centuries B.C. the group of the Ti, mainly living in the
territory of the present Szechwan, had mixed extensively with remains of
the Yueeh-chih; the others, the Ch'iang, were northern Tibetans or
so-called Tanguts; that is to say, they contained Turkish and Mongol
elements. In A.D. 296 there began a great rising of the Ti, whose leader
Ch'i Wan-nien took on the title emperor. The Ch'iang rose with them, but
it was not until later, from 312, that they pursued an independent
policy. The Ti State, however, though it had a second emperor, very soon
lost importance, so that we shall be occupied solely with the Ch'iang.

As the tribal structure of Tibetan groups was always weak and as
leadership developed among them only in times of war, their states
always show a military rather than a tribal structure, and the
continuation of these states depended strongly upon the personal
qualities of their leaders. Incidentally, Tibetans fundamentally were
sheep-breeders and not horse-breeders and, therefore, they always
showed inclination to incorporate infantry into their armies. Thus,
Tibetan states differed strongly from the aristocratically organized
"Turkish" states as well as from the tribal, non-aristocratic "Mongol"
states of that period.

The Hsien-pi, according to our present knowledge, were under "Mongol"
leadership, i.e. we believe that the language of the leading group
belonged to the family of Mongolian languages and that their culture
belonged to the type described above as "Northern culture". They had, in
addition, a strong admixture of Hunnic tribes. Throughout the period
during which they played a part in history, they never succeeded in
forming any great political unit, in strong contrast to the Huns, who
excelled in state formation. The separate groups of the Hsien-pi pursued
a policy of their own; very frequently Hsien-pi fought each other, and
they never submitted to a common leadership. Thus their history is
entirely that of small groups. As early as the Wei period there had been
small-scale conflicts with the Hsien-pi tribes, and at times the tribes
had some success. The campaigns of the Hsien-pi against North China now
increased, and in the course of them the various tribes formed firmer
groupings, among which the Mu-jung tribes played a leading part. In 281,
the year after the demobilization law, this group marched south into
China, and occupied the region round Peking. After fierce fighting, in
which the Mu-jung section suffered heavy losses, a treaty was signed in
289, under which the Mu-jung tribe of the Hsien-pi recognized Chinese
overlordship. The Mu-jung were driven to this step mainly because they
had been continually attacked from southern Manchuria by another
Hsien-pi tribe, the Yue-wen, the tribe most closely related to them. The
Mu-jung made use of the period of their so-called subjection to organize
their community in North China.

South of the Toba were the nineteen tribes of the Hsiung-nu or Huns, as
we are now calling them. Their leader in A.D. 287, Liu Yuean, was one of
the principal personages of this period. His name is purely Chinese, but
he was descended from the Hun _shan-yue_, from the family and line of Mao
Tun. His membership of that long-famous noble line and old ruling family
of Huns gave him a prestige which he increased by his great organizing

3 _Struggles for the throne_

We shall return to Liu Yuean later; we must now cast another glance at
the official court of the Chin. In that court a family named Yang had
become very powerful, a daughter of this family having become empress.
When, however, the emperor died, the wife of the new emperor Hui Ti
(290-306) secured the assassination of the old empress Yang and of her
whole family. Thus began the rule at court of the Chia family. In 299
the Chia family got rid of the heir to the throne, to whom they
objected, assassinating this prince and another one. This event became
the signal for large-scale activity on the part of the princes, each of
whom was supported by particular groups of families. The princes had not
complied with the disarmament law of 280 and so had become militarily
supreme. The generals newly appointed in the course of the imperial
rearmament at once entered into alliance with the princes, and thus were
quite unreliable as officers of the government. Both the generals and
the princes entered into agreements with the frontier peoples to assure
their aid in the struggle for power. The most popular of these
auxiliaries were the Hsien-pi, who were fighting for one of the princes
whose territory lay in the east. Since the Toba were the natural enemies
of the Hsien-pi, who were continually contesting their hold on their
territory, the Toba were always on the opposite side to that supported
by the Hsien-pi, so that they now supported generals who were ostensibly
loyal to the government. The Huns, too, negotiated with several generals
and princes and received tempting offers. Above all, all the frontier
peoples were now militarily well equipped, continually receiving new war
material from the Chinese who from time to time were co-operating with

In A.D. 300 Prince Lun assassinated the empress Chia and removed her
group. In 301 he made himself emperor, but in the same year he was
killed by the prince of Ch'i. This prince was killed in 302 by the
prince of Ch'ang-sha, who in turned was killed in 303 by the prince of
Tung-hai. The prince of Ho-chien rose in 302 and was killed in 306; the
prince of Ch'engtu rose in 303, conquered the capital in 305, and then,
in 306, was himself removed. I mention all these names and dates only to
show the disunion within the ruling groups.

4 _Migration of Chinese_

All these struggles raged round the capital, for each of the princes
wanted to secure full power and to become emperor. Thus the border
regions remained relatively undisturbed. Their population suffered much
less from the warfare than the unfortunate people in the neighbourhood
of the central government. For this reason there took place a mass
migration of Chinese from the centre of the empire to its periphery.
This process, together with the shifting of the frontier peoples, is one
of the most important events of that epoch. A great number of Chinese
migrated especially into the present province of Kansu, where a governor
who had originally been sent there to fight the Hsien-pi had created a
sort of paradise by his good administration and maintenance of peace.
The territory ruled by this Chinese, first as governor and then in
increasing independence, was surrounded by Hsien-pi, Tibetans, and other
peoples, but thanks to the great immigration of Chinese and to its
situation on the main caravan route to Turkestan, it was able to hold
its own, to expand, and to become prosperous.

Other groups of Chinese peasants migrated southward into the
territories of the former state of Wu. A Chinese prince of the house of
the Chin was ruling there, in the present Nanking. His purpose was to
organize that territory, and then to intervene in the struggles of the
other princes. We shall meet him again at the beginning of the Hun rule
over North China in 317, as founder and emperor of the first south
Chinese dynasty, which was at once involved in the usual internal and
external struggles. For the moment, however, the southern region was
relatively at peace, and was accordingly attracting settlers.

Finally, many Chinese migrated northward, into the territories of the
frontier peoples, not only of the Hsien-pi but especially of the Huns.
These alien peoples, although in the official Chinese view they were
still barbarians, at least maintained peace in the territories they
ruled, and they left in peace the peasants and craftsmen who came to
them, even while their own armies were involved in fighting inside
China. Not only peasants and craftsmen came to the north but more and
more educated persons. Members of families of the gentry that had
suffered from the fighting, people who had lost their influence in
China, were welcomed by the Huns and appointed teachers and political
advisers of the Hun nobility.

5 _Victory of the Huns. The Hun Han dynasty (later renamed the Earlier
Chao dynasty_)

With its self-confidence thus increased, the Hun council of nobles
declared that in future the Huns should no longer fight now for one and
now for another Chinese general or prince. They had promised loyalty to
the Chinese emperor, but not to any prince. No one doubted that the
Chinese emperor was a complete nonentity and no longer played any part
in the struggle for power. It was evident that the murders would
continue until one of the generals or princes overcame the rest and made
himself emperor. Why should not the Huns have the same right? Why should
not they join in this struggle for the Chinese imperial throne?

There were two arguments against this course, one of which was already
out of date. The Chinese had for many centuries set down the Huns as
uncultured barbarians; but the inferiority complex thus engendered in
the Huns had virtually been overcome, because in the course of time
their upper class had deliberately acquired a Chinese education and so
ranked culturally with the Chinese. Thus the ruler Liu Yuean, for
example, had enjoyed a good Chinese education and was able to read all
the classical texts. The second argument was provided by the rigid
conceptions of legitimacy to which the Turkish-Hunnic aristocratic
society adhered. The Huns asked themselves: "Have we, as aliens, any
right to become emperors and rulers in China, when we are not descended
from an old Chinese family?" On this point Liu Yuean and his advisers
found a good answer. They called Liu Yuean's dynasty the "Han dynasty",
and so linked it with the most famous of all the Chinese dynasties,
pointing to the pact which their ancestor Mao Tun had concluded five
hundred years earlier with the first emperor of the Han dynasty and
which had described the two states as "brethren". They further recalled
the fact that the rulers of the Huns were closely related to the Chinese
ruling family, because Mao Tun and his successors had married Chinese
princesses. Finally, Liu Yuean's Chinese family name, Liu, had also been
the family name of the rulers of the Han dynasty. Accordingly the Hun
Lius came forward not as aliens but as the rightful successors in
continuation of the Han dynasty, as legitimate heirs to the Chinese
imperial throne on the strength of relationship and of treaties.

Thus the Hun Liu Yuean had no intention of restoring the old empire of
Mao Tun, the empire of the nomads; he intended to become emperor of
China, emperor of a country of farmers. In this lay the fundamental
difference between the earlier Hun empire and this new one. The question
whether the Huns should join in the struggle for the Chinese imperial
throne was therefore decided among the Huns themselves in 304 in the
affirmative, by the founding of the "Hun Han dynasty". All that remained
was the practical question of how to hold out with their small army of
50,000 men if serious opposition should be offered to the "barbarians".

Meanwhile Liu Yuean provided himself with court ceremonial on the Chinese
model, in a capital which, after several changes, was established at
P'ing-ch'eng in southern Shansi. He attracted more and more of the
Chinese gentry, who were glad to come to this still rather barbaric but
well-organized court. In 309 the first attack was made on the Chinese
capital, Loyang. Liu Yuean died in the following year, and in 311, under
his successor Liu Ts'ung (310-318), the attack was renewed and Loyang
fell. The Chin emperor, Huai Ti, was captured and kept a prisoner in
P'ing-ch'eng until in 313 a conspiracy in his favour was brought to
light in the Hun empire, and he and all his supporters were killed.
Meanwhile the Chinese clique of the Chin dynasty had hastened to make a
prince emperor in the second capital, Ch'ang-an (Min Ti, 313-316) while
the princes' struggles for the throne continued. Nobody troubled about
the fate of the unfortunate emperor in his capital. He received no
reinforcements, so that he was helpless in face of the next attack of
the Huns, and in 316 he was compelled to surrender like his predecessor.
Now the Hun Han dynasty held both capitals, which meant virtually the
whole of the western part of North China, and the so-called "Western
Chin dynasty" thus came to its end. Its princes and generals and many of
its gentry became landless and homeless and had to flee into the south.

(C) The alien empires in North China, down to the Toba (A.D. 317-385)

1 _The Later Chao dynasty in eastern North China (Hun_; 329-352)

At this time the eastern part of North China was entirely in the hands
of Shih Lo, a former follower of Liu Yuean. Shih Lo had escaped from
slavery in China and had risen to be a military leader among
detribalized Huns. In 310 he had not only undertaken a great campaign
right across China to the south, but had slaughtered more than 100,000
Chinese, including forty-eight princes of the Chin dynasty, who had
formed a vast burial procession for a prince. This achievement added
considerably to Shih Lo's power, and his relations with Liu Ts'ung,
already tense, became still more so. Liu Yuean had tried to organize the
Hun state on the Chinese model, intending in this way to gain efficient
control of China; Shih Lo rejected Chinese methods, and held to the old
warrior-nomad tradition, making raids with the aid of nomad fighters. He
did not contemplate holding the territories of central and southern
China which he had conquered; he withdrew, and in the two years 314-315
he contented himself with bringing considerable expanses in
north-eastern China, especially territories of the Hsien-pi, under his
direct rule, as a base for further raids. Many Huns in Liu Ts'ung's
dominion found Shih Lo's method of rule more to their taste than living
in a state ruled by officials, and they went over to Shih Lo and joined
him in breaking entirely with Liu Ts'ung. There was a further motive for
this: in states founded by nomads, with a federation of tribes as their
basis, the personal qualities of the ruler played an important part. The
chiefs of the various tribes would not give unqualified allegiance to
the son of a dead ruler unless the son was a strong personality or gave
promise of becoming one. Failing that, there would be independence
movements. Liu Ts'ung did not possess the indisputable charisma of his
predecessor Liu Yuean; and the Huns looked with contempt on his court
splendour, which could only have been justified if he had conquered all
China. Liu Ts'ung had no such ambition; nor had his successor Liu Yao
(319-329), who gave the Hun Han dynasty retroactively, from its start
with Liu Yuean, the new name of "Earlier Chao dynasty" (304-329). Many
tribes then went over to Shih Lo, and the remainder of Liu Yao's empire
was reduced to a precarious existence. In 329 the whole of it was
annexed by Shih Lo.

Although Shih Lo had long been much more powerful than the emperors of
the "Earlier Chao dynasty", until their removal he had not ventured to
assume the title of emperor. The reason for this seems to have lain in
the conceptions of nobility held by the Turkish peoples in general and
the Huns in particular, according to which only those could become
_shan-yue_ (or, later, emperor) who could show descent from the Tu-ku
tribe the rightful _shan-yue_ stock. In accordance with this conception,
all later Hun dynasties deliberately disowned Shih Lo. For Shih Lo,
after his destruction of Liu Yao, no longer hesitated: ex-slave as he
was, and descended from one of the non-noble stocks of the Huns, he made
himself emperor of the "Later Chao dynasty" (329-352).

Shih Lo was a forceful army commander, but he was a man without
statesmanship, and without the culture of his day. He had no Chinese
education; he hated the Chinese and would have been glad to make north
China a grazing ground for his nomad tribes of Huns. Accordingly he had
no desire to rule all China. The part already subjugated, embracing the
whole of north China with the exception of the present province of
Kansu, sufficed for his purpose.

The governor of that province was a loyal subject of the Chinese Chin
dynasty, a man famous for his good administration, and himself a
Chinese. After the execution of the Chin emperor Huai Ti by the Huns in
313, he regarded himself as no longer bound to the central government;
he made himself independent and founded the "Earlier Liang dynasty",
which was to last until 376. This mainly Chinese realm was not very
large, although it had admitted a broad stream of Chinese emigrants from
the dissolving Chin empire; but economically the Liang realm was very
prosperous, so that it was able to extend its influence as far as
Turkestan. During the earlier struggles Turkestan had been virtually in
isolation, but now new contacts began to be established. Many traders
from Turkestan set up branches in Liang. In the capital there were whole
quarters inhabited only by aliens from western and eastern Turkestan and
from India. With the traders came Buddhist monks; trade and Buddhism
seemed to be closely associated everywhere. In the trading centres
monasteries were installed in the form of blocks of houses within strong
walls that successfully resisted many an attack. Consequently the
Buddhists were able to serve as bankers for the merchants, who deposited
their money in the monasteries, which made a charge for its custody; the
merchants also warehoused their goods in the monasteries. Sometimes the
process was reversed, a trade centre being formed around an existing
monastery. In this case the monastery also served as a hostel for the
merchants. Economically this Chinese state in Kansu was much more like a
Turkestan city state that lived by commerce than the agrarian states of
the Far East, although agriculture was also pursued under the Earlier

From this trip to the remote west we will return first to the Hun
capital. From 329 onward Shih Lo possessed a wide empire, but an
unstable one. He himself felt at all times insecure, because the Huns
regarded him, on account of his humble origin, as a "revolutionary". He
exterminated every member of the Liu family, that is to say the old
_shan-yue_ family, of whom he could get hold, in order to remove any
possible pretender to the throne; but he could not count on the loyalty
of the Hun and other Turkish tribes under his rule. During this period
not a few Huns went over to the small realm of the Toba; other Hun
tribes withdrew entirely from the political scene and lived with their
herds as nomad tribes in Shansi and in the Ordos region. The general
insecurity undermined the strength of Shih Lo's empire. He died in 333,
and there came to the throne, after a short interregnum, another
personality of a certain greatness, Shih Hu (334-349). He transferred
the capital to the city of Yeh, in northern Honan, where the rulers of
the Wei dynasty had reigned. There are many accounts of the magnificence
of the court of Yeh. Foreigners, especially Buddhist monks, played a
greater part there than Chinese. On the one hand, it was not easy for
Shih Hu to gain the active support of the educated Chinese gentry after
the murders of Shih Lo and, on the other hand, Shih Hu seems to have
understood that foreigners without family and without other relations to
the native population, but with special skills, are the most reliable
and loyal servants of a ruler. Indeed, his administration seems to have
been good, but the regime remained completely parasitic, with no
support of the masses or the gentry. After Shih Hu's death there were
fearful combats between his sons; ultimately a member of an entirely
different family of Hun origin seized power, but was destroyed in 352 by
the Hsien-pi, bringing to an end the Later Chao dynasty.

2 _Earlier Yen dynasty in the north-east (proto-Mongol; 352-370), and
the Earlier Ch'in dynasty in all north China (Tibetan; 351-394_)

In the north, proto-Mongol Hsien-pi tribes had again made themselves
independent; in the past they had been subjects of Liu Yuean and then of
Shih Lo. A man belonging to one of these tribes, the tribe of the
Mu-jung, became the leader of a league of tribes, and in 337 founded the
state of Yen. This proto-Mongol state of the Mu-jung, which the
historians call the "Earlier Yen" state, conquered parts of southern
Manchuria and also the state of Kao-li in Korea, and there began then an
immigration of Hsien-pi into Korea, which became noticeable at a later
date. The conquest of Korea, which was still, as in the past, a Japanese
market and was very wealthy, enormously strengthened the state of Yen.
Not until a little later, when Japan's trade relations were diverted to
central China, did Korea's importance begin to diminish. Although this
"Earlier Yen dynasty" of the Mu-jung officially entered on the heritage
of the Huns, and its regime was therefore dated only from 352 (until
370), it failed either to subjugate the whole realm of the "Later Chao"
or effectively to strengthen the state it had acquired. This old Hun
territory had suffered economically from the anti-agrarian nomad
tendency of the last of the Hun emperors; and unremunerative wars
against the Chinese in the south had done nothing to improve its
position. In addition to this, the realm of the Toba was dangerously
gaining strength on the flank of the new empire. But the most dangerous
enemy was in the west, on former Hun soil, in the province of
Shensi--Tibetans, who finally came forward once more with claims to
dominance. These were Tibetans of the P'u family, which later changed
its name to Fu. The head of the family had worked his way up as a leader
of Tibetan auxiliaries under the "Later Chao", gaining more and more
power and following. When under that dynasty the death of Shih Hu marked
the beginning of general dissolution, he gathered his Tibetans around
him in the west, declared himself independent of the Huns, and made
himself emperor of the "Earlier Ch'in dynasty" (351-394). He died in
355, and was followed after a short interregnum by Fu Chien (357-385),
who was unquestionably one of the most important figures of the fourth
century. This Tibetan empire ultimately defeated the "Earlier Yen
dynasty" and annexed the realm of the Mu-jung. Thus the Mu-jung Hsien-pi
came under the dominion of the Tibetans; they were distributed among a
number of places as garrisons of mounted troops.

The empire of the Tibetans was organized quite differently from the
empires of the Huns and the Hsien-pi tribes. The Tibetan organization
was purely military and had nothing to do with tribal structure. This
had its advantages, for the leader of such a formation had no need to
take account of tribal chieftains; he was answerable to no one and
possessed considerable personal power. Nor was there any need for him to
be of noble rank or descended from an old family. The Tibetan ruler Fu
Chien organized all his troops, including the non-Tibetans, on this
system, without regard to tribal membership.

Fu Chien's state showed another innovation: the armies of the Huns and
the Hsien-pi had consisted entirely of cavalry, for the nomads of the
north were, of course, horsemen; to fight on foot was in their eyes not
only contrary to custom but contemptible. So long as a state consisted
only of a league of tribes, it was simply out of the question to
transform part of the army into infantry. Fu Chien, however, with his
military organization that paid no attention to the tribal element,
created an infantry in addition to the great cavalry units, recruiting
for it large numbers of Chinese. The infantry proved extremely valuable,
especially in the fighting in the plains of north China and in laying
siege to fortified towns. Fu Chien thus very quickly achieved military
predominance over the neighbouring states. As we have seen already, he
annexed the "Earlier Yen" realm of the proto-Mongols (370), but he also
annihilated the Chinese "Earlier Liang" realm (376) and in the same year
the small Turkish Toba realm. This made him supreme over all north China
and stronger than any alien ruler before him. He had in his possession
both the ancient capitals, Ch'ang-an and Loyang; the whole of the rich
agricultural regions of north China belonged to him; he also controlled
the routes to Turkestan. He himself had a Chinese education, and he
attracted Chinese to his court; he protected the Buddhists; and he tried
in every way to make the whole country culturally Chinese. As soon as Fu
Chien had all north China in his power, as Liu Yuean and his Huns had
done before him, he resolved, like Liu Yuean, to make every effort to
gain the mastery over all China, to become emperor of China. Liu Yuean's
successors had not had the capacity for which such a venture called; Fu
Chien was to fail in it for other reasons. Yet, from a military point
of view, his chances were not bad. He had far more soldiers under his
command than the Chinese "Eastern Chin dynasty" which ruled the south,
and his troops were undoubtedly better. In the time of the founder of
the Tibetan dynasty the southern empire had been utterly defeated by his
troops (354), and the south Chinese were no stronger now.

Against them the north had these assets: the possession of the best
northern tillage, the control of the trade routes, and "Chinese" culture
and administration. At the time, however, these represented only
potentialities and not tangible realities. It would have taken ten to
twenty years to restore the capacities of the north after its
devastation in many wars, to reorganize commerce, and to set up a really
reliable administration, and thus to interlock the various elements and
consolidate the various tribes. But as early as 383 Fu Chien started his
great campaign against the south, with an army of something like a
million men. At first the advance went well. The horsemen from the
north, however, were men of the mountain country, and in the soggy
plains of the Yangtze region, cut up by hundreds of water-courses and
canals, they suffered from climatic and natural conditions to which they
were unaccustomed. Their main strength was still in cavalry; and they
came to grief. The supplies and reinforcements for the vast army failed
to arrive in time; units did not reach the appointed places at the
appointed dates. The southern troops under the supreme command of Hsieh
Hsuean, far inferior in numbers and militarily of no great efficiency,
made surprise attacks on isolated units before these were in regular
formation. Some they defeated, others they bribed; they spread false
reports. Fu Chien's army was seized with widespread panic, so that he
was compelled to retreat in haste. As he did so it became evident that
his empire had no inner stability: in a very short time it fell into
fragments. The south Chinese had played no direct part in this, for in
spite of their victory they were not strong enough to advance far to the

3 _The fragmentation of north China_

The first to fall away from the Tibetan ruler was a noble of the
Mu-jung, a member of the ruling family of the "Earlier Yen dynasty", who
withdrew during the actual fighting to pursue a policy of his own. With
the vestiges of the Hsien-pi who followed him, mostly cavalry, he fought
his way northward into the old homeland of the Hsien-pi and there, in
central Hopei, founded the "Later Yen dynasty" (384-409), himself
reigning for twelve years. In the remaining thirteen years of the
existence of that dynasty there were no fewer than five rulers, the
last of them a member of another family. The history of this Hsien-pi
dynasty, as of its predecessor, is an unedifying succession of
intrigues; no serious effort was made to build up a true state.

In the same year 384 there was founded, under several other Mu-jung
princes of the ruling family of the "Earlier Yen dynasty", the "Western
Yen dynasty" (384-394). Its nucleus was nothing more than a detachment
of troops of the Hsien-pi which had been thrown by Fu Chien into the
west of his empire, in Shensi, in the neighbourhood of the old capital
Ch'ang-an. There its commanders, on learning the news of Fu Chien's
collapse, declared their independence. In western China, however, far
removed from all liaison with the main body of the Hsien-pi, they were
unable to establish themselves, and when they tried to fight their way
to the north-east they were dispersed, so that they failed entirely to
form an actual state.

There was a third attempt in 384 to form a state in north China. A
Tibetan who had joined Fu Chien with his followers declared himself
independent when Fu Chien came back, a beaten man, to Shensi. He caused
Fu Chien and almost the whole of his family to be assassinated, occupied
the capital, Ch'ang-an, and actually entered into the heritage of Fu
Chien. This Tibetan dynasty is known as the "Later Ch'in dynasty"
(384-417). It was certainly the strongest of those founded in 384, but
it still failed to dominate any considerable part of China and remained
of local importance, mainly confined to the present province of Shensi.
Fu Chien's empire nominally had three further rulers, but they did not
exert the slightest influence on events.

With the collapse of the state founded by Fu Chien, the tribes of
Hsien-pi who had left their homeland in the third century and migrated
to the Ordos region proceeded to form their own state: a man of the
Hsien-pi tribe of the Ch'i-fu founded the so-called "Western Ch'in
dynasty" (385-431). Like the other Hsien-pi states, this one was of weak
construction, resting on the military strength of a few tribes and
failing to attain a really secure basis. Its territory lay in the east
of the present province of Kansu, and so controlled the eastern end of
the western Asian caravan route, which might have been a source of
wealth if the Ch'i-fu had succeeded in attracting commerce by discreet
treatment and in imposing taxation on it. Instead of this, the bulk of
the long-distance traffic passed through the Ordos region, a little
farther north, avoiding the Ch'i-fu state, which seemed to the merchants
to be too insecure. The Ch'i-fu depended mainly on cattle-breeding in
the remote mountain country in the south of their territory, a region
that gave them relative security from attack; on the other hand, this
made them unable to exercise any influence on the course of political
events in western China.

Mention must be made of one more state that rose from the ruins of Fu
Chien's empire. It lay in the far west of China, in the western part of
the present province of Kansu, and was really a continuation of the
Chinese "Earlier Liang" realm, which had been annexed ten years earlier
(376) by Fu Chien. A year before his great march to the south, Fu Chien
had sent the Tibetan Lue Kuang into the "Earlier Liang" region in order
to gain influence over Turkestan. As mentioned previously, after the
great Hun rulers Fu Chien was the first to make a deliberate attempt to
secure cultural and political overlordship over the whole of China.
Although himself a Tibetan, he never succumbed to the temptation of
pursuing a "Tibetan" policy; like an entirely legitimate ruler of China,
he was concerned to prevent the northern peoples along the frontier from
uniting with the Tibetan peoples of the west for political ends. The
possession of Turkestan would avert that danger, which had shown signs
of becoming imminent of late: some tribes of the Hsien-pi had migrated
as far as the high mountains of Tibet and had imposed themselves as a
ruling class on the still very primitive Tibetans living there. From
this symbiosis there began to be formed a new people, the so-called
T'u-yue-hun, a hybridization of Mongol and Tibetan stock with a slight
Turkish admixture. Lue Kuang had considerable success in Turkestan; he
had brought considerable portions of eastern Turkestan under Fu Chien's
sovereignty and administered those regions almost independently. When
the news came of Fu Chien's end, he declared himself an independent
ruler, of the "Later Liang" dynasty (386-403). Strictly speaking, this
was simply a trading State, like the city-states of Turkestan: its basis
was the transit traffic that brought it prosperity. For commerce brought
good profit to the small states that lay right across the caravan route,
whereas it was of doubtful benefit, as we know, to agrarian China as a
whole, because the luxury goods which it supplied to the court were paid
for out of the production of the general population.

This "Later Liang" realm was inhabited not only by a few Tibetans and
many Chinese, but also by Hsien-pi and Huns. These heterogeneous
elements with their divergent cultures failed in the long run to hold
together in this long but extremely narrow strip of territory, which was
almost incapable of military defence. As early as 397 a group of Huns in
the central section of the country made themselves independent, assuming
the name of the "Northern Liang" (397-439). These Huns quickly conquered
other parts of the "Later Liang" realm, which then fell entirely to
pieces. Chinese again founded a state, "West Liang" (400-421) in western
Kansu, and the Hsien-pi founded "South Liang" (379-414) in eastern
Kansu. Thus the "Later Liang" fell into three parts, more or less
differing ethnically, though they could not be described as ethnically
unadulterated states.

4 _Sociological analysis of the two great alien empires_

The two great empires of north China at the time of its division had
been founded by non-Chinese--the first by the Hun Liu Yuean, the second
by the Tibetan Fu Chien. Both rulers went to work on the same principle
of trying to build up truly "Chinese" empires, but the traditions of
Huns and Tibetans differed, and the two experiments turned out
differently. Both failed, but not for the same reasons and not with the
same results. The Hun Liu Yuean was the ruler of a league of feudal
tribes, which was expected to take its place as an upper class above the
unchanged Chinese agricultural population with its system of officials
and gentry. But Liu Yuean's successors were national reactionaries who
stood for the maintenance of the nomad life against that new plan of
transition to a feudal class of urban nobles ruling an agrarian
population. Liu Yuean's more far-seeing policy was abandoned, with the
result that the Huns were no longer in a position to rule an immense
agrarian territory, and the empire soon disintegrated. For the various
Hun tribes this failure meant falling back into political
insignificance, but they were able to maintain their national character
and existence.

Fu Chien, as a Tibetan, was a militarist and soldier, in accordance with
the past of the Tibetans. Under him were grouped Tibetans without tribal
chieftains; the great mass of Chinese; and dispersed remnants of tribes
of Huns, Hsien-pi, and others. His organization was militaristic and,
outside the military sphere, a militaristic bureaucracy. The Chinese
gentry, so far as they still existed, preferred to work with him rather
than with the feudalist Huns. These gentry probably supported Fu Chien's
southern campaign, for, in consequence of the wide ramifications of
their families, it was to their interest that China should form a single
economic unit. They were, of course, equally ready to work with another
group, one of southern Chinese, to attain the same end by other means,
if those means should prove more advantageous: thus the gentry were not
a reliable asset, but were always ready to break faith. Among other
things, Fu Chien's southern campaign was wrecked by that faithlessness.
When an essentially military state suffers military defeat, it can only
go to pieces. This explains the disintegration of that great empire
within a single year into so many diminutive states, as already

5 _Sociological analysis of the petty States_

The states that took the place of Fu Chien's empire, those many
diminutive states (the Chinese speak of the period of the Sixteen
Kingdoms), may be divided from the economic point of view into two
groups--trading states and warrior states; sociologically they also fall
into two groups, tribal states and military states.

The small states in the west, in Kansu (the Later Liang and the Western,
Northern, and Southern Liang), were trading states: they lived on the
earnings of transit trade with Turkestan. The eastern states were
warrior states, in which an army commander ruled by means of an armed
group of non-Chinese and exploited an agricultural population. It is
only logical that such states should be short-lived, as in fact they all

Sociologically regarded, during this period only the Southern and
Northern Liang were still tribal states. In addition to these came the
young Toba realm, which began in 385 but of which mention has not yet
been made. The basis of that state was the tribe, not the family or the
individual; after its political disintegration the separate tribes
remained in existence. The other states of the east, however, were
military states, made up of individuals with no tribal allegiance but
subject to a military commandant. But where there is no tribal
association, after the political downfall of a state founded by ethnical
groups, those groups sooner or later disappear as such. We see this in
the years immediately following Fu Chien's collapse: the Tibetan
ethnical group to which he himself belonged disappeared entirely from
the historical scene. The two Tibetan groups that outlasted him, also
forming military states and not tribal states, similarly came to an end
shortly afterwards for all time. The Hsien-pi groups in the various
fragments of the empire, with the exception of the petty states in
Kansu, also continued, only as tribal fragments led by a few old ruling
families. They, too, after brief and undistinguished military rule, came
to an end; they disappeared so completely that thereafter we no longer
find the term Hsien-pi in history. Not that they had been exterminated.
When the social structure and its corresponding economic form fall to
pieces, there remain only two alternatives for its individuals. Either
they must go over to a new form, which in China could only mean that
they became Chinese; many Hsien-pi in this way became Chinese in the
decades following 384. Or, they could retain their old way of living in
association with another stock of similar formation; this, too, happened
in many cases. Both these courses, however, meant the end of the
Hsien-pi as an independent ethnical unit. We must keep this process and
its reasons in view if we are to understand how a great people can
disappear once and for all.

The Huns, too, so powerful in the past, were suddenly scarcely to be
found any longer. Among the many petty states there were many Hsien-pi
kingdoms, but only a single, quite small Hun state, that of the Northern
Liang. The disappearance of the Huns was, however, only apparent; at
this time they remained in the Ordos region and in Shansi as separate
nomad tribes with no integrating political organization; their time had
still to come.

6 _Spread of Buddhism_

According to the prevalent Chinese view, nothing of importance was
achieved during this period in north China in the intellectual sphere;
there was no culture in the north, only in the south. This is natural:
for a Confucian this period, the fourth century, was one of degeneracy
in north China, for no one came into prominence as a celebrated
Confucian. Nothing else could be expected, for in the north the gentry,
which had been the class that maintained Confucianism since the Han
period, had largely been destroyed; from political leadership especially
it had been shut out during the periods of alien rule. Nor could we
expect to find Taoists in the true sense, that is to say followers of
the teaching of Lao Tz[)u], for these, too, had been dependent since the
Han period on the gentry. Until the fourth century, these two had
remained the dominant philosophies.

What could take their place? The alien rulers had left little behind
them. Most of them had been unable to write Chinese, and in so far as
they were warriors they had no interest in literature or in political
philosophy, for they were men of action. Few songs and poems of theirs
remain extant in translations from their language into Chinese, but
these preserve a strong alien flavour in their mental attitude and in
their diction. They are the songs of fighting men, songs that were sung
on horseback, songs of war and its sufferings. These songs have nothing
of the excessive formalism and aestheticism of the Chinese, but give
expression to simple emotions in unpolished language with a direct
appeal. The epic of the Turkish peoples had clearly been developed
already, and in north China it produced a rudimentary ballad literature,
to which four hundred years later no less attention was paid than to the
emotional world of contemporary songs. The actual literature, however,
and the philosophy of this period are Buddhist. How can we explain that
Buddhism had gained such influence?

It will be remembered that Buddhism came to China overland and by sea in
the Han epoch. The missionary monks who came from abroad with the
foreign merchants found little approval among the Chinese gentry. They
were regarded as second-rate persons belonging, according to Chinese
notions, to an inferior social class. Thus the monks had to turn to the
middle and lower classes in China. Among these they found widespread
acceptance, not of their profound philosophic ideas, but of their
doctrine of the after life. This doctrine was in a certain sense
revolutionary: it declared that all the high officials and superiors who
treated the people so unjustly and who so exploited them, would in their
next reincarnation be born in poor circumstances or into inferior rank
and would have to suffer punishment for all their ill deeds. The poor
who had to suffer undeserved evils would be born in their next life into
high rank and would have a good time. This doctrine brought a ray of
light, a promise, to the country people who had suffered so much since
the later Han period of the second century A.D. Their situation remained
unaltered down to the fourth century; and under their alien rulers the
Chinese country population became Buddhist.

The merchants made use of the Buddhist monasteries as banks and
warehouses. Thus they, too, were well inclined towards Buddhism and gave
money and land for its temples. The temples were able to settle peasants
on this land as their tenants. In those times a temple was a more
reliable landlord than an individual alien, and the poorer peasants
readily became temple tenants; this increased their inclination towards

The Indian, Sogdian, and Turkestani monks were readily allowed to settle
by the alien rulers of China, who had no national prejudice against
other aliens. The monks were educated men and brought some useful
knowledge from abroad. Educated Chinese were scarcely to be found, for
the gentry retired to their estates, which they protected as well as
they could from their alien ruler. So long as the gentry had no prospect
of regaining control of the threads of political life that extended
throughout China, they were not prepared to provide a class of officials
and scholars for the anti-Confucian foreigners, who showed interest only
in fighting and trading. Thus educated persons were needed at the courts
of the alien rulers, and Buddhists were therefore engaged. These foreign
Buddhists had all the important Buddhist writings translated into
Chinese, and so made use of their influence at court for religious
propaganda. This does not mean that every text was translated from
Indian languages; especially in the later period many works appeared
which came not from India but from Sogdia or Turkestan, or had even been
written in China by Sogdians or other natives of Turkestan, and were
then translated into Chinese. In Turkestan, Khotan in particular became
a centre of Buddhist culture. Buddhism was influenced by vestiges of
indigenous cults, so that Khotan developed a special religious
atmosphere of its own; deities were honoured there (for instance, the
king of Heaven of the northerners) to whom little regard was paid
elsewhere. This "Khotan Buddhism" had special influence on the Buddhist
Turkish peoples.

Big translation bureaux were set up for the preparation of these
translations into Chinese, in which many copyists simultaneously took
down from dictation a translation made by a "master" with the aid of a
few native helpers. The translations were not literal, but were
paraphrases, most of them greatly reduced in length, glosses were
introduced when the translator thought fit for political or doctrinal
reasons, or when he thought that in this way he could better adapt the
texts to Chinese feeling.

Buddhism, quite apart from the special case of "Khotan Buddhism",
underwent extensive modification on its way across Central Asia. Its
main Indian form (Hinayana) was a purely individualistic religion of
salvation without a God--related in this respect to genuine Taoism--and
based on a concept of two classes of people: the monks who could achieve
salvation and, secondly, the masses who fed the monks but could not
achieve salvation. This religion did not gain a footing in China; only
traces of it can be found in some Buddhistic sects in China. Mahayana
Buddhism, on the other hand, developed into a true popular religion of
salvation. It did not interfere with the indigenous deities and did not
discountenance life in human society; it did not recommend Nirvana at
once, but placed before it a here-after with all the joys worth striving
for. In this form Buddhism was certain of success in Asia. On its way
from India to China it divided into countless separate streams, each
characterized by a particular book. Every nuance, from profound
philosophical treatises to the most superficial little tracts written
for the simplest of souls, and even a good deal of Turkestan shamanism
and Tibetan belief in magic, found their way into Buddhist writings, so
that some Buddhist monks practiced Central Asian Shamanism.

In spite of Buddhism, the old religion of the peasants retained its
vitality. Local diviners, Chinese shamans (_wu_), sorcerers, continued
their practices, although from now on they sometimes used Buddhist
phraseology. Often, this popular religion is called "Taoism ", because a
systematization of the popular pantheon was attempted, and Lao Tz[)u]
and other Taoists played a role in this pantheon. Philosophic Taoism
continued in this time, aside from the church-Taoism of Chang Ling and,
naturally, all kinds of contacts between these three currents occurred.
The Chinese state cult, the cult of Heaven saturated with Confucianism,
was another living form of religion. The alien rulers, in turn, had
brought their own mixture of worship of Heaven and shamanism. Their
worship of Heaven was their official "representative" religion; their
shamanism the private religion of the individual in his daily life. The
alien rulers, accordingly, showed interest in the Chinese shamans as
well as in the shamanistic aspects of Mahayana Buddhism. Not
infrequently competitions were arranged by the rulers between priests of
the different religious systems, and the rulers often competed for the
possession of monks who were particularly skilled in magic or

But what was the position of the "official" religion? Were the aliens to
hold to their own worship of heaven, or were they to take over the
official Chinese cult, or what else? This problem posed itself already
in the fourth century, but it was left unsolved.

(D) The Toba empire in North China (A.D. 385-550)

1 _The rise of the Toba State_

On the collapse of Fu Chien's empire one more state made its appearance;
it has not yet been dealt with, although it was the most important one.
This was the empire of the Toba, in the north of the present province of
Shansi. Fu Chien had brought down the small old Toba state in 376, but
had not entirely destroyed it. Its territory was partitioned, and part
was placed under the administration of a Hun: in view of the old rivalry
between Toba and Huns, this seemed to Fu Chien to be the best way of
preventing any revival of the Toba. However, a descendant of the old
ruling family of the Toba succeeded, with the aid of related families,
in regaining power and forming a small new kingdom. Very soon many
tribes which still lived in north China and which had not been broken up
into military units, joined him. Of these there were ultimately 119,
including many Hun tribes from Shansi and also many Hsien-pi tribes.
Thus the question who the Toba were is not easy to answer. The leading
tribe itself had migrated southward in the third century from the
frontier territory between northern Mongolia and northern Manchuria.
After this migration the first Toba state, the so-called Tai state, was
formed (338-376); not much is known about it. The tribes that, from 385
after the break-up of the Tibetan empire, grouped themselves round this
ruling tribe, were both Turkish and Mongol; but from the culture and
language of the Toba we think it must be inferred that the ruling tribe
itself as well as the majority of the other tribes were Turkish; in any
case, the Turkish element seems to have been stronger than the

Thus the new Toba kingdom was a tribal state, not a military state. But
the tribes were no longer the same as in the time of Liu Yuean a hundred
years earlier. Their total population must have been quite small; we
must assume that they were but the remains of 119 tribes rather than 119
full-sized tribes. Only part of them were still living the old nomad
life; others had become used to living alongside Chinese peasants and
had assumed leadership among the peasants. These Toba now faced a
difficult situation. The country was arid and mountainous and did not
yield much agricultural produce. For the many people who had come into
the Toba state from all parts of the former empire of Fu Chien, to say
nothing of the needs of a capital and a court which since the time of
Liu Yuean had been regarded as the indispensable entourage of a ruler who
claimed imperial rank, the local production of the Chinese peasants was
not enough. All the government officials, who were Chinese, and all the
slaves and eunuchs needed grain to eat. Attempts were made to settle
more Chinese peasants round the new capital, but without success;
something had to be done. It appeared necessary to embark on a campaign
to conquer the fertile plain of eastern China. In the course of a number
of battles the Hsien-pi of the "Later Yen" were annihilated and eastern
China conquered (409).

Now a new question arose: what should be done with all those people?
Nomads used to enslave their prisoners and use them for watching their
flocks. Some tribal chieftains had adopted the practice of establishing
captives on their tribal territory as peasants. There was an opportunity
now to subject the millions of Chinese captives to servitude to the
various tribal chieftains in the usual way. But those captives who were
peasants could not be taken away from their fields without robbing the
country of its food; therefore it would have been necessary to spread
the tribes over the whole of eastern China, and this would have added
immensely to the strength of the various tribes and would have greatly
weakened the central power. Furthermore almost all Chinese officials at
the court had come originally from the territories just conquered. They
had come from there about a hundred years earlier and still had all
their relatives in the east. If the eastern territories had been placed
under the rule of separate tribes, and the tribes had been distributed
in this way, the gentry in those territories would have been destroyed
and reduced to the position of enslaved peasants. The Chinese officials
accordingly persuaded the Toba emperor not to place the new territories
under the tribes, but to leave them to be administered by officials of
the central administration. These officials must have a firm footing in
their territory, for only they could extract from the peasants the grain
required for the support of the capital. Consequently the Toba
government did not enslave the Chinese in the eastern territory, but
made the local gentry into government officials, instructing them to
collect as much grain as possible for the capital. This Chinese local
gentry worked in close collaboration with the Chinese officials at
court, a fact which determined the whole fate of the Toba empire.

The Hsien-pi of the newly conquered east no longer belonged to any
tribe, but only to military units. They were transferred as soldiers to
the Toba court and placed directly under the government, which was thus
notably strengthened, especially as the millions of peasants under their
Chinese officials were also directly responsible to the central
administration. The government now proceeded to convert also its own
Toba tribes into military formations. The tribal men of noble rank were
brought to the court as military officers, and so were separated from
the common tribesmen and the slaves who had to remain with the herds.
This change, which robbed the tribes of all means of independent action,
was not carried out without bloodshed. There were revolts of tribal
chieftains which were ruthlessly suppressed. The central government had
triumphed, but it realized that more reliance could be placed on Chinese
than on its own people, who were used to independence. Thus the Toba
were glad to employ more and more Chinese, and the Chinese pressed more
and more into the administration. In this process the differing social
organizations of Toba and Chinese played an important part. The Chinese
have patriarchal families with often hundreds of members. When a member
of a family obtains a good position, he is obliged to make provision for
the other members of his family and to secure good positions for them
too; and not only the members of his own family but those of allied
families and of families related to it by marriage. In contrast the Toba
had a patriarchal nuclear family system; as nomad warriors with no fixed
abode, they were unable to form extended family groups. Among them the
individual was much more independent; each one tried to do his best for
himself. No Toba thought of collecting a large clique around himself;
everybody should be the artificer of his own fortune. Thus, when a
Chinese obtained an official post, he was followed by countless others;
but when a Toba had a position he remained alone, and so the
sinification of the Toba empire went on incessantly.

2 _The Hun kingdom of the Hsia (407-431_)

At the rebuilding of the Toba empire, however, a good many Hun tribes
withdrew westward into the Ordos region beyond the reach of the Toba,
and there they formed the Hun "Hsia" kingdom. Its ruler, Ho-lien
P'o-p'o, belonged to the family of Mao Tun and originally, like Liu
Yuean, bore the sinified family name Liu; but he altered this to a Hun
name, taking the family name of Ho-lien. This one fact alone
demonstrates that the Hsia rejected Chinese culture and were
nationalistic Hun. Thus there were now two realms in North China, one
undergoing progressive sinification, the other falling back to the old
traditions of the Huns.

3 _Rise of the Toba to a great Power_

The present province of Szechwan, in the west, had belonged to Fu
Chien's empire. At the break-up of the Tibetan state that province
passed to the southern Chinese empire and gave the southern Chinese
access, though it was very difficult access, to the caravan route
leading to Turkestan. The small states in Kansu, which dominated the
route, now passed on the traffic along two routes, one northward to the
Toba and the other alien states in north China, the other through
north-west Szechwan to south China. In this way the Kansu states were
strengthened both economically and politically, for they were able to
direct the commerce either to the northern states or to south China as
suited them. When the South Chinese saw the break-up of Fu Chien's
empire into numberless fragments, Liu Yue, who was then all-powerful at
the South Chinese court, made an attempt to conquer the whole of western
China. A great army was sent from South China into the province of
Shensi, where the Tibetan empire of the "Later Ch'in" was situated. The
Ch'in appealed to the Toba for help, but the Toba were themselves too
hotly engaged to be able to spare troops. They also considered that
South China would be unable to maintain these conquests, and that they
themselves would find them later an easy prey. Thus in 417 the state of
"Later Ch'in" received a mortal blow from the South Chinese army. Large
numbers of the upper class fled to the Toba. As had been foreseen, the
South Chinese were unable to maintain their hold over the conquered
territory, and it was annexed with ease by the Hun Ho-lien P'o-p'o. But
why not by the Toba?

Towards the end of the fourth century, vestiges of Hun, Hsien-pi, and
other tribes had united in Mongolia to form the new people of the
Juan-juan (also called Ju-juan or Jou-jan). Scholars disagree as to
whether the Juan-juan were Turks or Mongols; European investigators
believe them to have been identical with the Avars who appeared in the
Near East in 558 and later in Europe, and are inclined, on the strength
of a few vestiges of their language, to regard them as Mongols.
Investigations concerning the various tribes, however, show that among
the Juan-juan there were both Mongol and Turkish tribes, and that the
question cannot be decided in favour of either group. Some of the tribes
belonging to the Juan-juan had formerly lived in China. Others had lived
farther north or west and came into the history of the Far East now for
the first time.

This Juan-juan people threatened the Toba in the rear, from the north.
It made raids into the Toba empire for the same reasons for which the
Huns in the past had raided agrarian China; for agriculture had made
considerable progress in the Toba empire. Consequently, before the Toba
could attempt to expand southward, the Juan-juan peril must be removed.
This was done in the end, after a long series of hard and not always
successful struggles. That was why the Toba had played no part in the
fighting against South China, and had been unable to take immediate
advantage of that fighting.

After 429 the Juan-juan peril no longer existed, and in the years that
followed the whole of the small states of the west were destroyed, one
after another, by the Toba--the "Hsia kingdom" in 431, bringing down
with it the "Western Ch'in", and the "Northern Liang" in 439. The
non-Chinese elements of the population of those countries were moved
northward and served the Toba as soldiers; the Chinese also, especially
the remains of the Kansu "Western Liang" state (conquered in 420), were
enslaved, and some of them transferred to the north. Here again,
however, the influence of the Chinese gentry made itself felt after a
short time. As we know, the Chinese of "Western Liang" in Kansu had
originally migrated there from eastern China. Their eastern relatives
who had come under Toba rule through the conquest of eastern China and
who through their family connections with Chinese officials of the Toba
empire had found safety, brought their influence to bear on behalf of
the Chinese of Kansu, so that several families regained office and
social standing.

[Illustration: Map 4: The Toba empire (_about A.D. 500_)]

Their expansion into Kansu gave the Toba control of the commerce with
Turkestan, and there are many mentions of tribute missions to the Toba
court in the years that followed, some even from India. The Toba also
spread in the east. And finally there was fighting with South China
(430-431), which brought to the Toba empire a large part of the province
of Honan with the old capital, Loyang. Thus about 440 the Toba must be
described as the most powerful state in the Far East, ruling the whole
of North China.

4 _Economic and social conditions_

The internal changes of which there had only been indications in the
first period of the Toba empire now proceeded at an accelerated pace.
There were many different factors at work. The whole of the civil
administration had gradually passed into Chinese hands, the Toba
retaining only the military administration. But the wars in the south
called for the services of specialists in fortification and in infantry
warfare, who were only to be found among the Chinese. The growing
influence of the Chinese was further promoted by the fact that many Toba
families were exterminated in the revolts of the tribal chieftains, and
others were wiped out in the many battles. Thus the Toba lost ground
also in the military administration.

The wars down to A.D. 440 had been large-scale wars of conquest,
lightning campaigns that had brought in a great deal of booty. With
their loot the Toba developed great magnificence and luxury. The
campaigns that followed were hard and long-drawn-out struggles,
especially against South China, where there was no booty, because the
enemy retired so slowly that they could take everything with them. The
Toba therefore began to be impoverished, because plunder was the main
source of their wealth. In addition to this, their herds gradually
deteriorated, for less and less use was made of them; for instance,
horses were little required for the campaign against South China, and
there was next to no fighting in the north. In contrast with the
impoverishment of the Toba, the Chinese gentry grew not only more
powerful but more wealthy.

The Toba seem to have tried to prevent this development by introducing
the famous "land equalization system" (_chuen-t'ien_), one of their most
important innovations. The direct purposes of this measure were to
resettle uprooted farm population; to prevent further migrations of
farmers; and to raise production and taxes. The founder of this system
was Li An-shih, member of a Toba family and later husband of an imperial
princess. The plan was basically accepted in 477, put into action in
485, and remained the land law until _c_. 750. Every man and every
woman had a right to receive a certain amount of land for lifetime.
After their death, the land was redistributed. In addition to this
"personal land" there was so-called "mulberry land" on which farmers
could plant mulberries for silk production; but they also could plant
other crops under the trees. This land could be inherited from father to
son and was not redistributed. Incidentally we know many similar
regulations for trees in the Near East and Central Asia. As the tax was
levied upon the personal land in form of grain, and on the tree land in
form of silk, this regulation stimulated the cultivation of diversified
crops on the tree land which then was not taxable. The basic idea behind
this law was, that all land belonged to the state, a concept for which
the Toba could point to the ancient Chou but which also fitted well for
a dynasty of conquest. The new "_chuen-t'ien_" system required a complete
land and population survey which was done in the next years. We know
from much later census fragments that the government tried to enforce
this equalization law, but did not always succeed; we read statements
such as "X has so and so much land; he has a claim on so and so much
land and, therefore, has to get so and so much"; but there are no
records that X ever received the land due to him.

One consequence of the new land law was a legal fixation of the social
classes. Already during Han time (and perhaps even earlier) a
distinction had been made between "free burghers" (_liang-min_) and
"commoners" (_ch'ien-min_). This distinction had continued as informal
tradition until, now, it became a legal concept. Only "burghers", i.e.
gentry and free farmers, were real citizens with all rights of a free
man. The "commoners" were completely or partly unfree and fell under
several heads. Ranking as the lowest class were the real slaves (_nu_),
divided into state and private slaves. By law, slaves were regarded as
pieces of property, not as members of human society. They were, however,
forced to marry and thus, as a class, were probably reproducing at a
rate similar to that of the normal population, while slaves in Europe
reproduced at a lower rate than the population. The next higher class
were serfs (_fan-hu_), hereditary state servants, usually descendants of
state slaves. They were obliged to work three months during the year for
the state and were paid for this service. They were not registered in
their place of residence but under the control of the Ministry of
Agriculture which distributed them to other offices, but did not use
them for farm work. Similar in status to them were the private bondsmen
(_pu-ch'ue_), hereditarily attached to gentry families. These serfs
received only 50 per cent of the land which a free burgher received
under the land law. Higher than these were the service families
(_tsa-hu_), who were registered in their place of residence, but had to
perform certain services; here we find "tomb families" who cared for the
imperial tombs, "shepherd families", postal families, kiln families,
soothsayer families, medical families, and musician families. Each of
these categories of commoners had its own laws; each had to marry within
the category. No intermarriage or adoption was allowed. It is
interesting to observe that a similar fixation of the social status of
citizens occurred in the Roman Empire from _c_. A.D. 300 on.

Thus in the years between 440 and 490 there were great changes not only
in the economic but in the social sphere. The Toba declined in number
and influence. Many of them married into rich families of the Chinese
gentry and regarded themselves as no longer belonging to the Toba. In
the course of time the court was completely sinified.

The Chinese at the court now formed the leading element, and they tried
to persuade the emperor to claim dominion over all China, at least in
theory, by installing his capital in Loyang, the old centre of China.
This transfer had the advantage for them personally that the territories
in which their properties were situated were close to that capital, so
that the grain they produced found a ready market. And it was indeed no
longer possible to rule the great Toba empire, now covering the whole of
North China from North Shansi. The administrative staff was so great
that the transport system was no longer able to bring in sufficient
food. For the present capital did not lie on a navigable river, and all
the grain had to be carted, an expensive and unsafe mode of transport.
Ultimately, in 493-4, the Chinese gentry officials secured the transfer
of the capital to Loyang. In the years 490 to 499 the Toba emperor Wen
Ti (471-499) took further decisive steps required by the stage reached
in internal development. All aliens were prohibited from using their own
language in public life. Chinese became the official language. Chinese
clothing and customs also became general. The system of administration
which had largely followed a pattern developed by the Wei dynasty in the
early third century, was changed and took a form which became the model
for the T'ang dynasty in the seventh century. It is important to note
that in this period, for the first time, an office for religious affairs
was created which dealt mainly with Buddhistic monasteries. While after
the Toba period such an office for religious affairs disappeared again,
this idea was taken up later by Japan when Japan accepted a Chinese-type
of administration.

[Illustration: 6 Sun Ch'uean, ruler of Wu. _From a painting by Yen
Li-pen (c_. 640-680).]

[Illustration: 7 General view of the Buddhist cave-temples of Yuen-kang.
In the foreground, the present village; in the background, the rampart.
_Photo H. Hammer-Morrisson_.]

Owing to his bringing up, the emperor no longer regarded himself as Toba
but as Chinese; he adopted the Chinese culture, acting as he was bound
to do if he meant to be no longer an alien ruler in North China. Already
he regarded himself as emperor of all China, so that the South Chinese
empire was looked upon as a rebel state that had to be conquered. While,
however, he succeeded in everything else, the campaign against the south
failed except for some local successes.

The transfer of the capital to Loyang was a blow to the Toba nobles.
Their herds became valueless, for animal products could not be carried
over the long distance to the new capital. In Loyang the Toba nobles
found themselves parted from their tribes, living in an unaccustomed
climate and with nothing to do, for all important posts were occupied by
Chinese. The government refused to allow them to return to the north.
Those who did not become Chinese by finding their way into Chinese
families grew visibly poorer and poorer.

5 _Victory and retreat of Buddhism_

What we said in regard to the religious position of the other alien
peoples applied also to the Toba. As soon, however, as their empire
grew, they, too, needed an "official" religion of their own. For a few
years they had continued their old sacrifices to Heaven; then another
course opened to them. The Toba, together with many Chinese living in
the Toba empire, were all captured by Buddhism, and especially by its
shamanist element. One element in their preference of Buddhism was
certainly the fact that Buddhism accepted all foreigners alike--both the
Toba and the Chinese were "foreign" converts to an essentially Indian
religion; whereas the Confucianist Chinese always made the non-Chinese
feel that in spite of all their attempts they were still "barbarians"
and that only real Chinese could be real Confucianists.

Secondly, it can be assumed that the Toba rulers by fostering Buddhism
intended to break the power of the Chinese gentry. A few centuries
later, Buddhism was accepted by the Tibetan kings to break the power of
the native nobility, by the Japanese to break the power of a federation
of noble clans, and still later by the Burmese kings for the same
reason. The acceptance of Buddhism by rulers in the Far East always
meant also an attempt to create a more autocratic, absolutistic regime.
Mahayana Buddhism, as an ideal, desired a society without clear-cut
classes under one enlightened ruler; in such a society all believers
could strive to attain the ultimate goal of salvation.

Throughout the early period of Buddhism in the Far East, the question
had been discussed what should be the relations between the Buddhist
monks and the emperor, whether they were subject to him or not. This was
connected, of course, with the fact that to the early fourth century the
Buddhist monks were foreigners who, in the view prevalent in the Far
East, owed only a limited allegiance to the ruler of the land. The
Buddhist monks at the Toba court now submitted to the emperor, regarding
him as a reincarnation of Buddha. Thus the emperor became protector of
Buddhism and a sort of god. This combination was a good substitute for
the old Chinese theory that the emperor was the Son of Heaven; it
increased the prestige and the splendour of the dynasty. At the same
time the old shamanism was legitimized under a Buddhist
reinterpretation. Thus Buddhism became a sort of official religion. The
emperor appointed a Buddhist monk as head of the Buddhist state church,
and through this "Pope" he conveyed endowments on a large scale to the
church. T'an-yao, head of the state church since 460, induced the state
to attach state slaves, i.e. enslaved family members of criminals, and
their families to state temples. They were supposed to work on temple
land and to produce for the upkeep of the temples and monasteries. Thus,
the institution of "temple slaves" was created, an institution which
existed in South Asia and Burma for a long time, and which greatly
strengthened the economic position of Buddhism.

Like all Turkish peoples, the Toba possessed a myth according to which
their ancestors came into the world from a sacred grotto. The Buddhists
took advantage of this conception to construct, with money from the
emperor, the vast and famous cave-temple of Yuen-kang, in northern
Shansi. If we come from the bare plains into the green river valley, we
may see to this day hundreds of caves cut out of the steep cliffs of the
river bank. Here monks lived in their cells, worshipping the deities of
whom they had thousands of busts and reliefs sculptured in stone, some
of more than life-size, some diminutive. The majestic impression made
today by the figures does not correspond to their original effect, for
they were covered with a layer of coloured stucco.

We know only few names of the artists and craftsmen who made these
objects. Probably some at least were foreigners from Turkestan, for in
spite of the predominantly Chinese character of these sculptures, some
of them are reminiscent of works in Turkestan and even in the Near East.
In the past the influences of the Near East on the Far East--influences
traced back in the last resort to Greece--were greatly exaggerated; it
was believed that Greek art, carried through Alexander's campaign as far
as the present Afghanistan, degenerated there in the hands of Indian
imitators (the so-called Gandhara art) and ultimately passed on in more
and more distorted forms through Turkestan to China. Actually, however,
some eight hundred years lay between Alexander's campaign and the Toba
period sculptures at Yuen-kang and, owing to the different cultural
development, the contents of the Greek and the Toba-period art were
entirely different. We may say, therefore, that suggestions came from
the centre of the Greco-Bactrian culture (in the present Afghanistan)
and were worked out by the Toba artists; old forms were filled with a
new content, and the elements in the reliefs of Yuen-kang that seem to us
to be non-Chinese were the result of this synthesis of Western
inspiration and Turkish initiative. It is interesting to observe that
all steppe rulers showed special interest in sculpture and, as a rule,
in architecture; after the Toba period, sculpture flourished in China in
the T'ang period, the period of strong cultural influence from Turkish
peoples, and there was a further advance of sculpture and of the
cave-dwellers' worship in the period of the "Five Dynasties" (906-960;
three of these dynasties were Turkish) and in the Mongol period.

But not all Buddhists joined the "Church", just as not all Taoists had
joined the Church of Chang Ling's Taoism. Some Buddhists remained in the
small towns and villages and suffered oppression from the central
Church. These village Buddhist monks soon became instigators of a
considerable series of attempts at revolution. Their Buddhism was of the
so-called "Maitreya school", which promised the appearance on earth of a
new Buddha who would do away with all suffering and introduce a Golden
Age. The Chinese peasantry, exploited by the gentry, came to the support
of these monks whose Messianism gave the poor a hope in this world. The
nomad tribes also, abandoned by their nobles in the capital and
wandering in poverty with their now worthless herds, joined these monks.
We know of many revolts of Hun and Toba tribes in this period, revolts
that had a religious appearance but in reality were simply the result of
the extreme impoverishment of these remaining tribes.

In addition to these conflicts between state and popular Buddhism,
clashes between Buddhists and representatives of organized Taoism
occurred. Such fights, however, reflected more the power struggle
between cliques than between religious groups. The most famous incident
was the action against the Buddhists in 446 which brought destruction to
many temples and monasteries and death to many monks. Here, a mighty
Chinese gentry faction under the leadership of the Ts'ui family had
united with the Taoist leader K'ou Ch'ien-chih against another faction
under the leadership of the crown prince.

With the growing influence of the Chinese gentry, however, Confucianism
gained ground again, until with the transfer of the capital to Loyang it
gained a complete victory, taking the place of Buddhism and becoming
once more as in the past the official religion of the state. This
process shows us once more how closely the social order of the gentry
was associated with Confucianism.

(E) Succession States of the Toba (A.D. 550-580): Northern Ch'i dynasty,
Northern Chou dynasty

1 _Reasons for the splitting of the Toba empire_

Events now pursued their logical course. The contrast between the
central power, now become entirely Chinese, and the remains of the
tribes who were with their herds mainly in Shansi and the Ordos region
and were hopelessly impoverished, grew more and more acute. From 530
onward the risings became more and more formidable. A few Toba who still
remained with their old tribes placed themselves at the head of the
rebels and conquered not only the whole of Shansi but also the capital,
where there was a great massacre of Chinese and pro-Chinese Toba. The
rebels were driven back; in this a man of the Kao family distinguished
himself, and all the Chinese and pro-Chinese gathered round him. The Kao
family, which may have been originally a Hsien-pi family, had its
estates in eastern China and so was closely associated with the eastern
Chinese gentry, who were the actual rulers of the Toba State. In 534
this group took the impotent emperor of their own creation to the city
of Yeh in the east, where he reigned _de jure_ for a further sixteen
years. Then he was deposed, and Kao Yang made himself the first emperor
of the Northern Ch'i dynasty (550-577).

The national Toba group, on the other hand, found another man of the
imperial family and established him in the west. After a short time this
puppet was removed from the throne and a man of the Yue-wen family made
himself emperor, founding the "Northern Chou dynasty" (557-580). The
Hsien-pi family of Yue-wen was a branch of the Hsien-pi, but was closely
connected with the Huns and probably of Turkish origin. All the still
existing remains of Toba tribes who had eluded sinification moved into
this western empire.

The splitting of the Toba empire into these two separate realms was the
result of the policy embarked on at the foundation of the empire. Once
the tribal chieftains and nobles had been separated from their tribes
and organized militarily, it was inevitable that the two elements should
have different social destinies. The nobles could not hold their own
against the Chinese; if they were not actually eliminated in one way or
another, they disappeared into Chinese families. The rest, the people of
the tribe, became destitute and were driven to revolt. The northern
peoples had been unable to perpetuate either their tribal or their
military organization, and the Toba had been equally unsuccessful in
their attempt to perpetuate the two forms of organization alongside each

These social processes are of particular importance because the ethnical
disappearance of the northern peoples in China had nothing to do with
any racial inferiority or with any particular power of assimilation; it
was a natural process resulting from the different economic, social, and
cultural organizations of the northern peoples and the Chinese.

2 _Appearance of the (Goek) Turks_

The Toba had liberated themselves early in the fifth century from the
Juan-juan peril. None of the fighting that followed was of any great
importance. The Toba resorted to the old means of defence against
nomads--they built great walls. Apart from that, after their move
southward to Loyang, their new capital, they were no longer greatly
interested in their northern territories. When the Toba empire split
into the Ch'i and the Northern Chou, the remaining Juan-juan entered
into treaties first with one realm and then with the other: each realm
wanted to secure the help of the Juan-juan against the other.

Meanwhile there came unexpectedly to the fore in the north a people
grouped round a nucleus tribe of Huns, the tribal union of the
"T'u-chueeh", that is to say the Goek Turks, who began to pursue a policy
of their own under their khan. In 546 they sent a mission to the western
empire, then in the making, of the Northern Chou, and created the first
bonds with it, following which the Northern Chou became allies of the
Turks. The eastern empire, Ch'i, accordingly made terms with the
Juan-juan, but in 552 the latter suffered a crushing defeat at the hands
of the Turks, their former vassals. The remains of the Juan-juan either
fled to the Ch'i state or went reluctantly into the land of the Chou.
Soon there was friction between the Juan-juan and the Ch'i, and in 555
the Juan-juan in that state were annihilated. In response to pressure
from the Turks, the Juan-juan in the western empire of the Northern Chou
were delivered up to them and killed in the same year. The Juan-juan
then disappeared from the history of the Far East. They broke up into
their several tribes, some of which were admitted into the Turks' tribal
league. A few years later the Turks also annihilated the Ephtalites,
who had been allied with the Juan-juan; this made the Turks the dominant
power in Central Asia. The Ephtalites (Yeh-ta, Haytal) were a mixed
group which contained elements of the old Yueeh-chih and spoke an
Indo-European language. Some scholars regard them as a branch of the
Tocharians of Central Asia. One menace to the northern states of China
had disappeared--that of the Juan-juan. Their place was taken by a much
more dangerous power, the Turks.

3 _The Northern Ch'i dynasty; the Northern Chou dynasty_

In consequence of this development the main task of the Northern Chou
state consisted in the attempt to come to some settlement with its
powerful Turkish neighbours, and meanwhile to gain what it could from
shrewd negotiations with its other neighbours. By means of intrigues and
diplomacy it intervened with some success in the struggles in South
China. One of the pretenders to the throne was given protection; he was
installed in the present Hankow as a quasi-feudal lord depending on
Chou, and there he founded the "Later Liang dynasty" (555-587). In this
way Chou had brought the bulk of South China under its control without
itself making any real contribution to that result.

Unlike the Chinese state of Ch'i, Chou followed the old Toba tradition.
Old customs were revived, such as the old sacrifice to Heaven and the
lifting of the emperor on to a carpet at his accession to the throne;
family names that had been sinified were turned into Toba names again,
and even Chinese were given Toba names; but in spite of this the inner
cohesion had been destroyed. After two centuries it was no longer
possible to go back to the old nomad, tribal life. There were also too
many Chinese in the country, with whom close bonds had been forged
which, in spite of all attempts, could not be broken. Consequently there
was no choice but to organize a state essentially similar to that of the
great Toba empire.

There is just as little of importance that can be said of the internal
politics of the Ch'i dynasty. The rulers of that dynasty were thoroughly
repulsive figures, with no positive achievements of any sort to their
credit. Confucianism had been restored in accordance with the Chinese
character of the state. It was a bad time for Buddhists, and especially
for the followers of the popularized Taoism. In spite of this, about
A.D. 555 great new Buddhist cave-temples were created in Lung-men, near
Loyang, in imitation of the famous temples of Yuen-kang.

The fighting with the western empire, the Northern Chou state, still
continued, and Ch'i was seldom successful. In 563 Chou made preparations
for a decisive blow against Ch'i, but suffered defeat because the Turks,
who had promised aid, gave none and shortly afterwards began campaigns
of their own against Ch'i. In 571 Ch'i had some success in the west
against Chou, but then it lost parts of its territory to the South
Chinese empire, and finally in 576-7 it was defeated by Chou in a great
counter-offensive. Thus for some three years all North China was once
more under a single rule, though of nothing approaching the strength of
the Toba at the height of their power. For in all these campaigns the
Turks had played an important part, and at the end they annexed further
territory in the north of Ch'i, so that their power extended far into
the east.

Meanwhile intrigue followed intrigue at the court of Chou; the mutual
assassinations within the ruling group were as incessant as in the last
years of the great Toba empire, until the real power passed from the
emperor and his Toba entourage to a Chinese family, the Yang. Yang
Chien's daughter was the wife of a Chou emperor; his son was married to
a girl of the Hun family Tu-ku; her sister was the wife of the father of
the Chou emperor. Amid this tangled relationship in the imperial house
it is not surprising that Yang Chien should attain great power. The
Tu-ku were a very old family of the Hun nobility; originally the name
belonged to the Hun house from which the _shan-yue_ had to be descended.
This family still observed the traditions of the Hun rulers, and
relationship with it was regarded as an honour even by the Chinese.
Through their centuries of association with aristocratically organized
foreign peoples, some of the notions of nobility had taken root among
the Chinese gentry; to be related with old ruling houses was a welcome
means of evidencing or securing a position of special distinction among
the gentry. Yang Chien gained useful prestige from his family
connections. After the leading Chinese cliques had regained predominance
in the Chou empire, much as had happened before in the Toba empire, Yang
Chien's position was strong enough to enable him to massacre the members
of the imperial family and then, in 581, to declare himself emperor.
Thus began the Sui dynasty, the first dynasty that was once more to rule
all China.

But what had happened to the Toba? With the ending of the Chou empire
they disappeared for all time, just as the Juan-juan had done a little
earlier. So far as the tribes did not entirely disintegrate, the people
of the tribes seem during the last years of Toba and Chou to have joined
Turkish and other tribes. In any case, nothing more is heard of them as
a people, and they themselves lived on under the name of the tribe that
led the new tribal league.

Most of the Toba nobility, on the other hand, became Chinese. This
process can be closely followed in the Chinese annals. The tribes that
had disintegrated in the time of the Toba empire broke up into families
of which some adopted the name of the tribe as their family name, while
others chose Chinese family names. During the centuries that followed,
in some cases indeed down to modern times, these families continue to
appear, often playing an important part in Chinese history.

(F) The Southern Empires

1 _Economic and social situation in the south_

During the 260 years of alien rule in North China, the picture of South
China also was full of change. When in 317 the Huns had destroyed the
Chinese Chin dynasty in the north, a Chin prince who normally would not
have become heir to the throne declared himself, under the name Yuean Ti,
the first emperor of the "Eastern Chin dynasty" (317-419). The capital
of this new southern empire adjoined the present Nanking. Countless
members of the Chinese gentry had fled from the Huns at that time and
had come into the southern empire. They had not done so out of loyalty
to the Chinese dynasty or out of national feeling, but because they saw
little prospect of attaining rank and influence at the courts of the
alien rulers, and because it was to be feared that the aliens would turn
the fields into pasturage, and also that they would make an end of the
economic and monetary system which the gentry had evolved for their own

But the south was, of course, not uninhabited. There were already two
groups living there--the old autochthonous population, consisting of
Yao, Tai and Yueeh, and the earlier Chinese immigrants from the north,
who had mainly arrived in the time of the Three Kingdoms, at the
beginning of the third century A.D. The countless new immigrants now
came into sharp conflict with the old-established earlier immigrants.
Each group looked down on the other and abused it. The two immigrant
groups in particular not only spoke different dialects but had developed
differently in respect to manners and customs. A look for example at
Formosa in the years after 1948 will certainly help in an understanding
of this situation: analogous tensions developed between the new
refugees, the old Chinese immigrants, and the native Formosan
population. But let us return to the southern empires.

The two immigrant groups also differed economically and socially: the
old immigrants were firmly established on the large properties they had
acquired, and dominated their tenants, who were largely autochthones; or
they had engaged in large-scale commerce. In any case, they possessed
capital, and more capital than was usually possessed by the gentry of
the north. Some of the new immigrants, on the other hand, were military
people. They came with empty hands, and they had no land. They hoped
that the government would give them positions in the military
administration and so provide them with means; they tried to gain
possession of the government and to exclude the old settlers as far as
possible. The tension was increased by the effect of the influx of
Chinese in bringing more land into cultivation, thus producing a boom
period such as is produced by the opening up of colonial land. Everyone
was in a hurry to grab as much land as possible. There was yet a further
difference between the two groups of Chinese: the old settlers had long
lost touch with the remainder of their families in the north. They had
become South Chinese, and all their interests lay in the south. The new
immigrants had left part of their families in the north under alien
rule. Their interests still lay to some extent in the north. They were
working for the reconquest of the north by military means; at times
individuals or groups returned to the north, while others persuaded the
rest of their relatives to come south. It would be wrong to suppose that
there was no inter-communication between the two parts into which China
had fallen. As soon as the Chinese gentry were able to regain any
footing in the territories under alien rule, the official relations,
often those of belligerency, proceeded alongside unofficial intercourse
between individual families and family groupings, and these latter were,
as a rule, in no way belligerent.

The lower stratum in the south consisted mainly of the remains of the
original non-Chinese population, particularly in border and southern
territories which had been newly annexed from time to time. In the
centre of the southern state the way of life of the non-Chinese was very
quickly assimilated to that of the Chinese, so that the aborigines were
soon indistinguishable from Chinese. The remaining part of the lower
class consisted of impoverished Chinese peasants. This whole lower
section of the population rarely took any active and visible part in
politics, except at times in the form of great popular risings.

Until the third century, the south had been of no great economic
importance, in spite of the good climate and the extraordinary fertility
of the Yangtze valley. The country had been too thinly settled, and the
indigenous population had not become adapted to organized trade. After
the move southward of the Chin dynasty the many immigrants had made the
country of the lower Yangtze more thickly populated, but not
over-populated. The top-heavy court with more than the necessary number
of officials (because there was still hope for a reconquest of the north
which would mean many new jobs for administrators) was a great consumer;
prices went up and stimulated local rice production. The estates of the
southern gentry yielded more than before, and naturally much more than
the small properties of the gentry in the north where, moreover, the
climate is far less favourable. Thus the southern landowners were able
to acquire great wealth, which ultimately made itself felt in the

One very important development was characteristic in this period in the
south, although it also occurred in the north. Already in pre-Han times,
some rulers had gardens with fruit trees. The Han emperors had large
hunting parks which were systematically stocked with rare animals; they
also had gardens and hot-houses for the production of vegetables for the
court. These "gardens" (_yuean_) were often called "manors" (_pieh-yeh_)
and consisted of fruit plantations with luxurious buildings. We hear
soon of water-cooled houses for the gentry, of artificial ponds for
pleasure and fish breeding, artificial water-courses, artificial
mountains, bamboo groves, and parks with parrots, ducks, and large
animals. Here, the wealthy gentry of both north and south, relaxed from
government work, surrounded by their friends and by women. These manors
grew up in the hills, on the "village commons" where formerly the
villagers had collected their firewood and had grazed their animals.
Thus, the village commons begin to disappear. The original farm land was
taxed, because it produced one of the two products subject to taxation,
namely grain or mulberry leaves for silk production. But the village
common had been and remained tax-free because it did not produce taxable
things. While land-holdings on the farmland were legally restricted in
their size, the "gardens" were unrestricted. Around A.D. 500 the ruler
allowed high officials to have manors of three hundred mou size, while
in the north a family consisting of husband and wife and children below
fifteen years of age were allowed a farm of sixty mou only; but we hear
of manors which were many times larger than the allowed size of three
hundred. These manors began to play an important economic role, too:
they were cultivated by tenants and produced fishes, vegetables, fruit
and bamboo for the market, thus they gave more income than ordinary rice
or wheat land.

With the creation of manors the total amount of land under cultivation
increased, though not the amount of grain-producing land. We gain the
impression that from _c_. the third century A.D. on to the eleventh
century the intensity of cultivation was generally lower than in the
period before.

The period from _c_. A.D. 300 on also seems to be the time of the second
change in Chinese dietary habits. The first change occurred probably
between 400 and 100 B.C. when the meat-eating Chinese reduced their meat
intake greatly, gave up eating beef and mutton and changed over to some
pork and dog meat. This first change was the result of increase of
population and decrease of available land for pasturage. Cattle breeding
in China was then reduced to the minimum of one cow or water-buffalo per
farm for ploughing. Wheat was the main staple for the masses of the
people. Between A.D. 300 and 600 rice became the main staple in the
southern states although, theoretically, wheat could have been grown and
some wheat probably was grown in the south. The vitamin and protein
deficiencies which this change from wheat to rice brought forth, were
made up by higher consumption of vegetables, especially beans, and
partially also by eating of fish and sea food. In the north, rice became
the staple food of the upper class, while wheat remained the main food
of the lower classes. However, new forms of preparation of wheat, such
as dumplings of different types, were introduced. The foreign rulers
consumed more meat and milk products. Chinese had given up the use of
milk products at the time of the first change, and took to them to some
extent only in periods of foreign rule.

2 _Struggles between cliques under the Eastern Chin dynasty_ (A.D.

The officials immigrating from the north regarded the south as colonial
country, and so as more or less uncivilized. They went into its
provinces in order to get rich as quickly as possible, and they had no
desire to live there for long: they had the same dislike of a provincial
existence as had the families of the big landowners. Thus as a rule the
bulk of the families remained in the capital, close to the court.
Thither the products accumulated in the provinces were sent, and they
found a ready sale, as the capital was also a great and long-established
trading centre with a rich merchant class. Thus in the capital there was
every conceivable luxury and every refinement of civilization. The
people of the gentry class, who were maintained in the capital by
relatives serving in the provinces as governors or senior officers,
themselves held offices at court, though these gave them little to do.
They had time at their disposal, and made use of it--in much worse
intrigues than ever before, but also in music and poetry and in the
social life of the harems. There is no question at all that the highest
refinement of the civilization of the Far East between the fourth and
the sixth century was to be found in South China, but the accompaniments
of this over-refinement were terrible.

We cannot enter into all the intrigues recorded at this time. The
details are, indeed, historically unimportant. They were concerned only
with the affairs of the court and its entourage. Not a single ruler of
the Eastern Chin dynasty possessed personal or political qualities of
any importance. The rulers' power was extremely limited because, with
the exception of the founder of the state, Yuean Ti, who had come rather
earlier, they belonged to the group of the new immigrants, and so had no
firm footing and were therefore caught at once in the net of the newly
re-grouping gentry class.

The emperor Yuean Ti lived to see the first great rising. This rising
(under Wang Tun) started in the region of the present Hankow, a region
that today is one of the most important in China; it was already a
centre of special activity. To it lead all the trade routes from the
western provinces of Szechwan and Kweichow and from the central
provinces of Hupei, Hunan, and Kiangsi. Normally the traffic from those
provinces comes down the Yangtze, and thus in practice this region is
united with that of the lower Yangtze, the environment of Nanking, so
that Hankow might just as well have been the capital as Nanking. For
this reason, in the period with which we are now concerned the region of
the present Hankow was several times the place of origin of great
risings whose aim was to gain control of the whole of the southern

Wang Tun had grown rich and powerful in this region; he also had near
relatives at the imperial court; so he was able to march against the
capital. The emperor in his weakness was ready to abdicate but died
before that stage was reached. His son, however, defeated Wang Tun with
the aid of General Yue Liang (A.D. 323). Yue Liang was the empress's
brother; he, too, came from a northern family. Yuean Ti's successor also
died early, and the young son of Yue Liang's sister came to the throne as
Emperor Ch'eng (326-342); his mother ruled as regent, but Yue Liang
carried on the actual business of government. Against this clique rose
Su Chuen, another member of the northern gentry, who had made himself
leader of a bandit gang in A.D. 300 but had then been given a military
command by the dynasty. In 328 he captured the capital and kidnapped the
emperor, but then fell before the counterthrust of the Yue Liang party.
The domination of Yue Liang's clique continued after the death of the
twenty-one-years-old emperor. His twenty-year-old brother was set in
his place; he, too, died two years later, and his two-year-old son
became emperor (Mu Ti, 345-361).

Meanwhile this clique was reinforced by the very important Huan family.
This family came from the same city as the imperial house and was a very
old gentry family of that city. One of the family attained a high post
through personal friendship with Yue Liang: on his death his son Huan Wen
came into special prominence as military commander.

Huan Wen, like Wang Tun and others before him, tried to secure a firm
foundation for his power, once more in the west. In 347 he reconquered
Szechwan and deposed the local dynasty. Following this, Huan Wen and the
Yue family undertook several joint campaigns against northern states--the
first reaction of the south against the north, which in the past had
always been the aggressor. The first fighting took place directly to the
north, where the collapse of the "Later Chao" seemed to make
intervention easy. The main objective was the regaining of the regions
of eastern Honan, northern Anhui and Kiangsu, in which were the family
seats of Huan's and the emperor's families, as well as that of the Hsieh
family which also formed an important group in the court clique. The
purpose of the northern campaigns was not, of course, merely to defend
private interests of court cliques: the northern frontier was the weak
spot of the southern empire, for its plains could easily be overrun. It
was then observed that the new "Earlier Ch'in" state was trying to
spread from the north-west eastwards into this plain, and Ch'in was
attacked in an attempt to gain a more favourable frontier territory.
These expeditions brought no important practical benefit to the south;
and they were not embarked on with full force, because there was only
the one court clique at the back of them, and that not whole-heartedly,
since it was too much taken up with the politics of the court.

Huan Wen's power steadily grew in the period that followed. He sent his
brothers and relatives to administer the regions along the upper
Yangtze; those fertile regions were the basis of his power. In 371 he
deposed the reigning emperor and appointed in his place a frail old
prince who died a year later, as required, and was replaced by a child.
The time had now come when Huan Wen might have ascended the throne
himself, but he died. None of his family could assemble as much power as
Huan Wen had done. The equality of strength of the Huan and the Hsieh
saved the dynasty for a time.

In 383 came the great assault of the Tibetan Fu Chien against the
south. As we know, the defence was carried out more by the methods of
diplomacy and intrigue than by military means, and it led to the
disaster in the north already described. The successes of the southern
state especially strengthened the Hsieh family, whose generals had come
to the fore. The emperor (Hsiao Wu Ti, 373-396), who had come to the
throne as a child, played no part in events at any time during his
reign. He occupied himself occasionally with Buddhism, and otherwise
only with women and wine. He was followed by his five-year-old son. At
this time there were some changes in the court clique. In the Huan
family Huan Hsuean, a son of Huan Wen, came especially into prominence.
He parted from the Hsieh family, which had been closest to the emperor,
and united with the Wang (the empress's) and Yin families. The Wang, an
old Shansi family, had already provided two empresses, and was therefore
strongly represented at court. The Yin had worked at first with the
Hsieh, especially as the two families came from the same region, but
afterwards the Yin went over to Huan Hsuean. At first this new clique had
success, but later one of its generals, Liu Lao-chih, went over to the
Hsieh clique, and its power declined. Wang Kung was killed, and Yin
Chung-k'an fell away from Huan Hsuean and was killed by him in 399. Huan
Hsuean himself, however, held his own in the regions loyal to him. Liu
Lao-chih had originally belonged to the Hsieh clique, and his family
came from a region not far from that of the Hsieh. He was very
ambitious, however, and always took the side which seemed most to his
own interest. For a time he joined Huan Hsuean; then he went over to the
Hsieh, and finally returned to Huan Hsuean in 402 when the latter reached
the height of his power. At that moment Liu Lao-chih was responsible for
the defence of the capital from Huan Hsuean, but instead he passed over
to him. Thus Huan Hsuean conquered the capital, deposed the emperor, and
began a dynasty of his own. Then came the reaction, led by an earlier
subordinate of Liu Lao-chih, Liu Yue. It may be assumed that these two
army commanders were in some way related, though the two branches of
their family must have been long separated. Liu Yue had distinguished
himself especially in the suppression of a great popular rising which,
around the year 400, had brought wide stretches of Chinese territory
under the rebels' power, beginning with the southern coast. This rising
was the first in the south. It was led by members of a secret society
which was a direct continuation of the "Yellow Turbans" of the latter
part of the second century A.D. and of organized church-Taoism. The
whole course of this rising of the exploited and ill-treated lower
classes was very similar to that of the popular rising of the "Yellow
Turbans". The movement spread as far as the neighbourhood of Canton,
but in the end it was suppressed, mainly by Liu Yue.

Through these achievements Liu Yue's military power and political
influence steadily increased; he became the exponent of all the cliques
working against the Huan clique. He arranged for his supporters to
dispose of Huan Hsuean's chief collaborators; and then, in 404, he
himself marched on the capital. Huan Hsuean had to flee, and in his
flight he was killed in the upper Yangtze region. The emperor was
restored to his throne, but he had as little to say as ever, for the
real power was Liu Yue's.

Before making himself emperor, Liu Yue began his great northern campaign,
aimed at the conquest of the whole of western China. The Toba had
promised to remain neutral, and in 415 he was able to conquer the "Later
Ch'in" in Shensi. The first aim of this campaign was to make more
accessible the trade routes to Central Asia, which up to now had led
through the difficult mountain passes of Szechwan; to this end treaties
of alliance had been concluded with the states in Kansu against the
"Later Ch'in". In the second place, this war was intended to increase Liu
Yue's military strength to such an extent that the imperial crown would
be assured to him; and finally he hoped to cut the claws of pro-Huan
Hsuean elements in the "Later Ch'in" kingdom who, for the sake of the
link with Turkestan, had designs on Szechwan.

3 _The Liu-Sung dynasty_ (A.D. 420-478) _and the Southern Ch'i dynasty_

After his successes in 416-17 in Shensi, Liu Yue returned to the capital,
and shortly after he lost the chief fruits of his victory to Ho-lien
P'o-p'o, the Hun ruler in the north, while Liu Yue himself was occupied
with the killing of the emperor (419) and the installation of a puppet.
In 420 the puppet had to abdicate and Liu Yue became emperor. He called
his dynasty the Sung dynasty, but to distinguish it from another and
more famous Sung dynasty of later time his dynasty is also called the
Liu-Sung dynasty.

The struggles and intrigues of cliques against each other continued as
before. We shall pass quickly over this period after a glance at the
nature of these internal struggles.

Part of the old imperial family and its following fled northward from
Liu Yue and surrendered to the Toba. There they agitated for a campaign
of vengeance against South China, and they were supported at the court
of the Toba by many families of the gentry with landed interests in the
south. Thus long-continued fighting started between Sung and Toba,
concerned mainly with the domains of the deposed imperial family and
its following. This fighting brought little success to south China, and
about 450 it produced among the Toba an economic and social crisis that
brought the wars to a temporary close. In this pause the Sung turned to
the extreme south, and tried to gain influence there and in Annam. The
merchant class and the gentry families of the capital who were allied
with it were those chiefly interested in this expansion.

About 450 began the Toba policy of shifting the central government to
the region of the Yellow River, to Loyang; for this purpose the frontier
had to be pushed farther south. Their great campaign brought the Toba in
450 down to the Yangtze. The Sung suffered a heavy defeat; they had to
pay tribute, and the Toba annexed parts of their northern territory.

The Sung emperors who followed were as impotent as their predecessors
and personally much more repulsive. Nothing happened at court but
drinking, licentiousness, and continual murders.

From 460 onward there were a number of important risings of princes; in
some of them the Toba had a hand. They hoped by supporting one or
another of the pretenders to gain overlordship over the whole of the
southern empire. In these struggles in the south the Hsiao family,
thanks mainly to General Hsiao Tao-ch'eng, steadily gained in power,
especially as the family was united by marriage with the imperial house.
In 477 Hsiao Tao-ch'eng finally had the emperor killed by an accomplice,
the son of a shamaness; he set a boy on the throne and made himself
regent. Very soon after this the boy emperor and all the members of the
imperial family were murdered, and Hsiao Tao-ch'eng created the
"Southern Ch'i" dynasty (479-501). Once more the remaining followers of
the deposed dynasty fled northward to the Toba, and at once fighting
between Toba and the south began again.

This fighting ended with a victory for the Toba and with the final
establishment of the Toba in the new capital of Loyang. South China was
heavily defeated again and again, but never finally conquered. There
were intervals of peace. In the years between 480 and 490 there was less
disorder in the south, at all events in internal affairs. Princes were
more often appointed to governorships, and the influence of the cliques
was thus weakened. In spite of this, a stable regime was not built up,
and in 494 a prince rose against the youthful emperor. This prince, with
the help of his clique including the Ch'en family, which later attained
importance, won the day, murdered the emperor, and became emperor
himself. All that is recorded about him is that he fought unsuccessfully
against the Toba, and that he had the whole of his own family killed out
of fear that one of its members might act exactly as he had done. After
his death there were conflicts between the emperor's few remaining
relatives; in these the Toba again had a hand. The victor was a person
named Hsiao Yen; he removed the reigning emperor in the usual way and
made himself emperor. Although he belonged to the imperial family, he
altered the name of the dynasty, and reigned from 502 as the first
emperor of the "Liang dynasty".

[Illustration: 8 Detail from the Buddhist cave-reliefs of Lung-men.
_From a print in the author's possession_.]

[Illustration: 9 Statue of Mi-lo (Maitreya, the next future Buddha), in
the 'Great Buddha Temple' at Chengting (Hopei). _Photo H.

4 _The Liang dynasty_ (A.D. 502-556)

The fighting with the Toba continued until 515. As a rule the Toba were
the more successful, not at least through the aid of princes of the
deposed "Southern Ch'i dynasty" and their followers. Wars began also in
the west, where the Toba tried to cut off the access of the Liang to the
caravan routes to Turkestan. In 507, however, the Toba suffered an
important defeat. The southern states had tried at all times to work
with the Kansu states against the northern states; the Toba now followed
suit and allied themselves with a large group of native chieftains of
the south, whom they incited to move against the Liang. This produced
great native unrest, especially in the provinces by the upper Yangtze.
The natives, who were steadily pushed back by the Chinese peasants, were
reduced to migrating into the mountain country or to working for the
Chinese in semi-servile conditions; and they were ready for revolt and
very glad to work with the Toba. The result of this unrest was not
decisive, but it greatly reduced the strength of the regions along the
upper Yangtze. Thus the main strength of the southern state was more
than ever confined to the Nanking region.

The first emperor of the Liang dynasty, who assumed the name Wu Ti
(502-549), became well known in the Western world owing to his love of
literature and of Buddhism. After he had come to the throne with the aid
of his followers, he took no further interest in politics; he left that
to his court clique. From now on, however, the political initiative
really belonged to the north. At this time there began in the Toba
empire the risings of tribal leaders against the government which we
have fully described above. One of these leaders, Hou Ching, who had
become powerful as a military leader in the north, tried in 547 to
conclude a private alliance with the Liang to strengthen his own
position. At the same time the ruler of the northern state of the
"Northern Ch'i", then in process of formation, himself wanted to
negotiate an alliance with the Liang, in order to be able to get rid of
Hou Ching. There was indecision in Liang. Hou Ching, who had been
getting into difficulties, now negotiated with a dissatisfied prince in
Liang, invaded the country in 548 with the prince's aid, captured the
capital in 549, and killed Emperor Wu. Hou Ching now staged the usual
spectacle: he put a puppet on the imperial throne, deposed him eighteen
months later and made himself emperor.

This man of the Toba on the throne of South China was unable, however,
to maintain his position; he had not sufficient backing. He was at war
with the new rulers in the northern empire, and his own army, which was
not very large, melted away; above all, he proceeded with excessive
harshness against the helpers who had gained access for him to the
Liang, and thereafter he failed to secure a following from among the
leading cliques at court. In 552 he was driven out by a Chinese army led
by one of the princes and was killed.

The new emperor had been a prince in the upper Yangtze region, and his
closest associates were engaged there. They did not want to move to the
distant capital, Nanking, because their private financial interests
would have suffered. The emperor therefore remained in the city now
called Hankow. He left the eastern territory in the hands of two
powerful generals, one of whom belonged to the Ch'en family, which he no
longer had the strength to remove. In this situation the generals in the
east made themselves independent, and this naturally produced tension at
once between the east and the west of the Liang empire; this tension was
now exploited by the leaders of the Chou state then in the making in the
north. On the invitation of a clique in the south and with its support,
the Chou invaded the present province of Hupei and in 555 captured the
Liang emperor's capital. They were now able to achieve their old
ambition: a prince of the Chou dynasty was installed as a feudatory of
the north, reigning until 587 in the present Hankow. He was permitted to
call his quasi-feudal territory a kingdom and his dynasty, as we know
already, the "Later Liang dynasty".

5 _The Ch'en dynasty (A.D. 557-588) and its ending by the Sui_

The more important of the independent generals in the east, Ch'en
Pa-hsien, installed a shadow emperor, forced him to abdicate, and made
himself emperor. The Ch'en dynasty which thus began was even feebler
than the preceding dynasties. Its territory was confined to the lower
Yangtze valley. Once more cliques and rival pretenders were at work and
prevented any sort of constructive home policy. Abroad, certain
advantages were gained in north China over the Northern Ch'i dynasty,
but none of any great importance.

Meanwhile in the north Yang Chien had brought into power the Chinese
Sui dynasty. It began by liquidating the quasi-feudal state of the
"Later Liang". Then followed, in 588-9, the conquest of the Ch'en
empire, almost without any serious resistance. This brought all China
once more under united rule, and a period of 360 years of division was

6 _Cultural achievements of the south_

For nearly three hundred years the southern empire had witnessed
unceasing struggles between important cliques, making impossible any
peaceful development within the country. Culturally, however, the period
was rich in achievement. The court and the palaces of wealthy members of
the gentry attracted scholars and poets, and the gentry themselves had
time for artistic occupations. A large number of the best-known Chinese
poets appeared in this period, and their works plainly reflect the
conditions of that time: they are poems for the small circle of scholars
among the gentry and for cultured patrons, spiced with quotations and
allusions, elaborate in metre and construction, masterpieces of
aesthetic sensitivity--but unintelligible except to highly educated
members of the aristocracy. The works were of the most artificial type,
far removed from all natural feeling.

Music, too, was never so assiduously cultivated as at this time. But the
old Chinese music disappeared in the south as in the north, where
dancing troupes and women musicians in the Sogdian commercial colonies
of the province of Kansu established the music of western Turkestan.
Here in the south, native courtesans brought the aboriginal, non-Chinese
music to the court; Chinese poets wrote songs in Chinese for this music,
and so the old Chinese music became unfashionable and was forgotten. The
upper class, the gentry, bought these girls, often in large numbers, and
organized them in troupes of singers and dancers, who had to appear on
festal occasions and even at the court. For merchants and other people
who lacked full social recognition there were brothels, a quite natural
feature wherever there were considerable commercial colonies or
collections of merchants, including the capital of the southern empire.

In their ideology, as will be remembered, the Chinese gentry were always
in favour of Confucianism. Here in the south, however, the association
with Confucianism was less serious, the southern gentry, with their
relations with the merchant class, having acquired the character of
"colonial" gentry. They were brought up as Confucians, but were
interested in all sorts of different religious movements, and
especially in Buddhism. A different type of Buddhism from that in the
north had spread over most of the south, a meditative Buddhism that was
very close ideologically to the original Taoism, and so fulfilled the
same social functions as Taoism. Those who found the official life with
its intrigues repulsive, occupied themselves with meditative Buddhism.
The monks told of the sad fate of the wicked in the life to come, and
industriously filled the gentry with apprehension, so that they tried to
make up for their evil deeds by rich gifts to the monasteries. Many
emperors in this period, especially Wu Ti of the Liang dynasty, inclined
to Buddhism. Wu Ti turned to it especially in his old age, when he was
shut out entirely from the tasks of a ruler and was no longer satisfied
with the usual pleasures of the court. Several times he instituted
Buddhist ceremonies of purification on a large scale in the hope of so
securing forgiveness for the many murders he had committed.

Genuine Taoism also came to the fore again, and with it the popular
religion with its magic, now amplified with the many local deities that
had been taken over from the indigenous population of the south. For a
time it became the fashion at court to pass the time in learned
discussions between Confucians, Buddhists, and Taoists, which were quite
similar to the debates between learned men centuries earlier at the
wealthy little Indian courts. For the court clique this was more a
matter of pastime than of religious controversy. It seems thoroughly in
harmony with the political events that here, for the first time in the
history of Chinese philosophy, materialist currents made their
appearance, running parallel with Machiavellian theories of power for
the benefit of the wealthiest of the gentry.

             Principal dynasties of North and South China

                        _North and South_

                   Western Chin dynasty (A.D. 265-317)

           _North_                           _South_

   1. Earlier Chao (Hsiung-nu) 304-329  1. Eastern Chin (Chinese) 317-419
   2. Later Chao (Hsiung-nu)   328-352
   3. Earlier Ch'in (Tibetans) 351-394
   4. Later Ch'in (Tibetans)   384-417
   5. Western Ch'in (Hsiung-nu)385-431
   6. Earlier Yen (Hsien-pi)   352-370
   7. Later Yen (Hsien-pi)     384-409
   8. Western Yen (Hsien-pi)   384-395
   9. Southern Yen (Hsien-pi)  398-410
  10. Northern Yen (Hsien-pi)  409-436
  11. Tai (Toba)               338-376
  12. Earlier Liang (Chinese)  313-376
  13. Northern Liang (Hsiung-nu)
  14. Western Liang (Chinese?) 400-421
  15. Later Liang (Tibetans)   386-403
  16. Southern Liang (Hsien-pi)
  17. Hsia (Hsiung-nu)         407-431
  18. Toba (Turks)             385-550
                                        2. Liu-Sung               420-478
                                        3. Southern Ch'i          479-501
  19. Northern Ch'i (Chinese?)550-576   4. Liang                  502-556
  20. Northern Chou (Toba)    557-579   5. Ch'en                  557-588
  21. Sui (Chinese)           580-618   6. Sui                    580-618


Chapter Eight


(A) The Sui dynasty (A.D. 580-618)

1 _Internal situation in the newly unified empire_

The last of the northern dynasties, the Northern Chou, had been brought
to an end by Yang Chien: rapid campaigns had made an end of the
remaining petty states, and thus the Sui dynasty had come into power.
China, reunited after 360 years, was again under Chinese rule. This
event brought about a new epoch in the history of the Far East. But the
happenings of 360 years could not be wiped out by a change of dynasty.
The short Sui period can only be described as a period of transition to
unified forms.

In the last resort the union of the various parts of China proceeded
from the north. The north had always, beyond question, been militarily
superior, because its ruling class had consisted of warlike peoples. Yet
it was not a northerner who had united China but a Chinese though, owing
to mixed marriages, he was certainly not entirely unrelated to the
northern peoples. The rule, however, of the actual northern peoples was
at an end. The start of the Sui dynasty, while the Chou still held the
north, was evidence, just like the emergence in the north-east some
thirty years earlier of the Northern Ch'i dynasty, that the Chinese
gentry with their landowning basis had gained the upper hand over the
warrior nomads.

The Chinese gentry had not come unchanged out of that struggle.
Culturally they had taken over many things from the foreigners,
beginning with music and the style of their clothing, in which they had
entirely adopted the northern pattern, and including other elements of
daily life. Among the gentry were now many formerly alien families who
had gradually become entirely Chinese. On the other hand, the
foreigners' feudal outlook had influenced the gentry, so that a sense
of distinctions of rank had developed among them. There were Chinese
families who regarded themselves as superior to the rest, just as had
been the case among the northern peoples, and who married only among
themselves or with the ruling house and not with ordinary families of
the gentry. They paid great attention to their genealogies, had the
state keep records of them and insisted that the dynastic histories
mentioned their families and their main family members. Lists of
prominent gentry families were set up which mentioned the home of each
clan, so that pretenders could easily be detected. The rules of giving
personal names were changed so that it became possible to identify a
person's genealogical position within the family. At the same time the
contempt of the military underwent modification; the gentry were even
ready to take over high military posts, and also to profit by them.

The new Sui empire found itself faced with many difficulties. During the
three and a half centuries of division, north and south had developed in
different ways. They no longer spoke the same language in everyday life
(we distinguish to this day between a Nanking and Peking "High Chinese",
to say nothing of dialects). The social and economic structures were
very different in the two parts of the country. How could unity be
restored in these things?

Then there was the problem of population. The north-eastern plain had
always been thickly populated; it had early come under Toba rule and had
been able to develop further. The region round the old northern capital
Ch'ang-an, on the other hand, had suffered greatly from the struggles
before the Toba period and had never entirely recovered. Meanwhile, in
the south the population had greatly increased in the region north of
Nanking, while the regions south of the Yangtze and the upper Yangtze
valley were more thinly peopled. The real South, i.e. the modern
provinces of Fukien, Kwangtung and Kwangsi, was still underdeveloped,
mainly because of the malaria there. In the matter of population the
north unquestionably remained prominent.

The founder of the Sui dynasty, known by his reign name of Wen Ti
(589-604), came from the west, close to Ch'ang-an. There he and his
following had their extensive domains. Owing to the scanty population
there and the resulting shortage of agricultural labourers, these
properties were very much less productive than the small properties in
the north-east. This state of things was well known in the south, and it
was expected, with good reason, that the government would try to
transfer parts of the population to the north-west, in order to settle a
peasantry round the capital for the support of its greatly increasing
staff of officials, and to satisfy the gentry of the region. This
produced several revolts in the south.

As an old soldier who had long been a subject of the Toba, Wen Ti had no
great understanding of theory: he was a practical man. He was
anti-intellectual and emotionally attached to Buddhism; he opposed
Confucianism for emotional reasons and believed that it could give him
no serviceable officials of the sort he wanted. He demanded from his
officials the same obedience and sense of duty as from his soldiers; and
he was above all thrifty, almost miserly, because he realized that the
finances of his state could only be brought into order by the greatest
exertions. The budget had to be drawn up for the vast territory of the
empire without any possibility of saying in advance whether the revenues
would come in and whether the transport of dues to the capital would

This cautious calculation was entirely justified, but it aroused great
opposition. Both east and south were used to a much better style of
living; yet the gentry of both regions were now required to cut down
their consumption. On top of this they were excluded from the conduct of
political affairs. In the past, under the Northern Ch'i empire in the
north-east and under the Ch'en empire in the south, there had been
thousands of positions at court in which the whole of the gentry could
find accommodation of some kind. Now the central government was far in
the west, and other people were its administrators. In the past the
gentry had a profitable and easily accessible market for their produce
in the neighbouring capital; now the capital was far away, entailing
long-distance transport at heavy risk with little profit.

The dissatisfied circles of the gentry in the north-east and in the
south incited Prince Kuang to rebellion. The prince and his followers
murdered the emperor and set aside the heir-apparent; and Kuang came to
the throne, assuming the name of Yang Ti. His first act was to transfer
the capital back to the east, to Loyang, close to the grain-producing
regions. His second achievement was to order the construction of great
canals, to facilitate the transport of grain to the capital and to
provide a valuable new market for the producers in the north-east and
the south. It was at this time that the first forerunner of the famous
"Imperial Canal" was constructed, the canal that connects the Yangtze
with the Yellow River. Small canals, connecting various streams, had
long been in existence, so that it was possible to travel from north to
south by water, but these canals were not deep enough or broad enough to
take large freight barges. There are records of lighters of 500 and even
800 tons capacity! These are dimensions unheard of in the West in those
times. In addition to a serviceable canal to the south, Yang Ti made
another that went north almost to the present Peking.

Hand in hand with these successes of the north-eastern and southern
gentry went strong support for Confucianism, and a reorganization of the
Confucian examination system. As a rule, however, the examinations were
circumvented as an unimportant formality; the various governors were
ordered each to send annually to the capital three men with the required
education, for whose quality they were held personally responsible;
merchants and artisans were expressly excluded.

2 _Relations with Turks and with Korea_

In foreign affairs an extraordinarily fortunate situation for the Sui
dynasty had come into existence. The T'u-chueeh, the Turks, much the
strongest people of the north, had given support now to one and now to
another of the northern kingdoms, and this, together with their many
armed incursions, had made them the dominant political factor in the
north. But in the first year of the Sui period (581) they split into two
sections, so that the Sui had hopes of gaining influence over them. At
first both sections of the Turks had entered into alliance with China,
but this was not a sufficient safeguard for the Sui, for one of the
Turkish khans was surrounded by Toba who had fled from the vanished
state of the Northern Chou, and who now tried to induce the Turks to
undertake a campaign for the reconquest of North China. The leader of
this agitation was a princess of the Yue-wen family, the ruling family of
the Northern Chou. The Chinese fought the Turks several times; but much
more effective results were gained by their diplomatic missions, which
incited the eastern against the western Turks and vice versa, and also
incited the Turks against the Toba clique. In the end one of the
sections of Turks accepted Chinese overlordship, and some tribes of the
other section were brought over to the Chinese side; also, fresh
disunion was sown among the Turks.

Under the emperor Yang Ti, P'ei Chue carried this policy further. He
induced the Toeloes tribes to attack the T'u-yue-hun, and then himself
attacked the latter, so destroying their power. The T'u-yue-hun were a
people living in the extreme north of Tibet, under a ruling class
apparently of Hsien-pi origin; the people were largely Tibetan. The
purpose of the conquest of the T'u-yue-hun was to safeguard access to
Central Asia. An effective Turkestan policy was, however, impossible so
long as the Turks were still a formidable power. Accordingly, the
intrigues that aimed at keeping the two sections of Turks apart were
continued. In 615 came a decisive counter-attack from the Turks. Their
khan, Shih-pi, made a surprise assault on the emperor himself, with all
his following, in the Ordos region, and succeeded in surrounding them.
They were in just the same desperate situation as when, eight centuries
earlier, the Chinese emperor had been beleaguered by Mao Tun. But the
Chinese again saved themselves by a trick. The young Chinese commander,
Li Shih-min, succeeded in giving the Turks the impression that large
reinforcements were on the way; a Chinese princess who was with the
Turks spread the rumour that the Turks were to be attacked by another
tribe--and Shih-pi raised the siege, although the Chinese had been
entirely defeated.

In the Sui period the Chinese were faced with a further problem. Korea
or, rather, the most important of the three states in Korea, had
generally been on friendly terms with the southern state during the
period of China's division, and for this reason had been more or less
protected from its North Chinese neighbours. After the unification of
China, Korea had reason for seeking an alliance with the Turks, in order
to secure a new counterweight against China.

A Turco-Korean alliance would have meant for China a sort of
encirclement that might have grave consequences. The alliance might be
extended to Japan, who had certain interests in Korea. Accordingly the
Chinese determined to attack Korea, though at the same time negotiations
were set on foot. The fighting, which lasted throughout the Sui period,
involved technical difficulties, as it called for combined land and sea
attacks; in general it brought little success.

3 _Reasons for collapse_

The continual warfare entailed great expense, and so did the intrigues,
because they depended for their success on bribery. Still more expensive
were the great canal works. In addition to this, the emperor Yang Ti,
unlike his father, was very extravagant. He built enormous palaces and
undertook long journeys throughout the empire with an immense following.
All this wrecked the prosperity which his father had built up and had
tried to safeguard. The only productive expenditure was that on the
canals, and they could not begin to pay in so short a period. The
emperor's continual journeys were due, no doubt, in part simply to the
pursuit of pleasure, though they were probably intended at the same time
to hinder risings and to give the emperor direct control over every part
of the country. But the empire was too large and too complex for its
administration to be possible in the midst of journeying.

[Illustration: Map 5: The T'ang realm (_about A.D. 750_)]

The whole of the chancellery had to accompany the emperor, and all the
transport necessary for the feeding of the emperor and his government
had continually to be diverted to wherever he happened to be staying.
All this produced disorder and unrest. The gentry, who at first had so
strongly supported the emperor and had been able to obtain anything they
wanted from him, now began to desert him and set up pretenders. From 615
onward, after the defeat at the hands of the Turks, risings broke out
everywhere. The emperor had to establish his government in the south,
where he felt safer. There, however, in 618, he was assassinated by
conspirators led by Toba of the Yue-wen family. Everywhere now
independent governments sprang up, and for five years China was split up
into countless petty states.

(B) The T'ang dynasty (A.D. 618-906)

1 _Reforms and decentralization_

The hero of the Turkish siege, Li Shih-min, had allied himself with the
Turks in 615-16. There were special reasons for his ability to do this.
In his family it had been a regular custom to marry women belonging to
Toba families, so that he naturally enjoyed the confidence of the Toba
party among the Turks. There are various theories as to the origin of
his family, the Li. The family itself claimed to be descended from the
ruling family of the Western Liang. It is doubtful whether that family
was purely Chinese, and in any case Li Shih-min's descent from it is a
matter of doubt. It is possible that his family was a sinified Toba
family, or at least came from a Toba region. However this may be, Li
Shih-min continued the policy which had been pursued since the beginning
of the Sui dynasty by the members of the deposed Toba ruling family of
the Northern Chou--the policy of collaboration with the Turks in the
effort to remove the Sui.

The nominal leadership in the rising that now began lay in the hands of
Li Shih-min's father, Li Yuean; in practice Li Shih-min saw to
everything. At the end of 617 he was outside the first capital of the
Sui, Ch'ang-an, with a Turkish army that had come to his aid on the
strength of the treaty of alliance. After capturing Ch'ang-an he
installed a puppet emperor there, a grandson of Yang Ti. In 618 the
puppet was dethroned and Li Yuean, the father, was made emperor, in the
T'ang dynasty. Internal fighting went on until 623, and only then was
the whole empire brought under the rule of the T'ang.

Great reforms then began. A new land law aimed at equalizing ownership,
so that as far as possible all peasants should own the same amount of
land and the formation of large estates be prevented. The law aimed also
at protecting the peasants from the loss of their land. The law was,
however, nothing but a modification of the Toba land law (_chuen-t'ien_),
and it was hoped that now it would provide a sound and solid economic
foundation for the empire. From the first, however, members of the
gentry who were connected with the imperial house were given a
privileged position; then officials were excluded from the prohibition
of leasing, so that there continued to be tenant farmers in addition to
the independent peasants. Moreover, the temples enjoyed special
treatment, and were also exempted from taxation. All these exceptions
brought grist to the mills of the gentry, and so did the failure to
carry into effect many of the provisions of the law. Before long a new
gentry had been formed, consisting of the old gentry together with those
who had directly aided the emperor's ascent to the throne. From the
beginning of the eighth century there were repeated complaints that
peasants were "disappearing". They were entering the service of the
gentry as tenant farmers or farm workers, and owing to the privileged
position of the gentry in regard to taxation, the revenue sank in
proportion as the number of independent peasants decreased. One of the
reasons for the flight of farmers may have been the corvee laws
connected with the "equal land" system: small families were much less
affected by the corvee obligation than larger families with many sons.
It may be, therefore, that large families or at least sons of the sons
in large families moved away in order to escape these obligations. In
order to prevent irregularities, the T'ang renewed the old "_pao-chia_"
system, as a part of a general reform of the administration in 624. In
this system groups of five families were collectively responsible for
the payment of taxes, the corvee, for crimes committed by individuals
within one group, and for loans from state agencies. Such a system is
attested for pre-Christian times already; it was re-activated in the
eleventh century and again from time to time, down to the present.

Yet the system of land equalization soon broke down and was abolished
officially around A.D. 780. But the classification of citizens into
different classes, first legalized under the Toba, was retained and even
more refined.

As early as in the Han period there had been a dual administration--the
civil and, independent of it, the military administration. One and the
same area would belong to a particular administrative prefecture
(_chuen_) and at the same time to a particular military prefecture
(_chou_). This dual organization had persisted during the Toba period
and, at first, remained unchanged in the beginning of the T'ang.

The backbone of the military power in the seventh century was the
militia, some six hundred units of an average of a thousand men,
recruited from the general farming population for short-term service:
one month in five in the areas close to the capital. These men formed a
part of the emperor's guards and were under the command of members of
the Shensi gentry. This system which had its direct parallels in the Han
time and evolved out of a Toba system, broke down when short offensive
wars were no longer fought. Other imperial guards were staffed with
young sons of the gentry who were stationed in the most delicate parts
of the palaces. The emperor T'ai-tsung had his personal bodyguard, a
part of his own army of conquest, consisting of his former bondsmen
(_pu-ch'ue_). The ranks of the Army of conquest were later filled by
descendants of the original soldiers and by orphans.

In the provinces, the armies of the military prefectures gradually lost
their importance when wars became longer and militiamen proved
insufficient. Many of the soldiers here were convicts and exiles. It is
interesting to note that the title of the commander of these armies,
_tu-tu_, in the fourth century meant a commander in the church-Taoist
organization; it was used by the Toba and from the seventh century on
became widely accepted as title among the Uighurs, Tibetans, Sogdians,
Turks and Khotanese.

When the prefectural armies and the militia forces weakened, special
regional armies were created (from 678 on); this institution had existed
among the Toba, but they had greatly reduced these armies after 500. The
commanders of these new T'ang armies soon became more important than the
civil administrators, because they commanded a number of districts
making up a whole province. This assured a better functioning of the
military machine, but put the governors-general in a position to pursue
a policy of their own, even against the central government. In addition
to this, the financial administration of their commands was put under
them, whereas in the past it had been in the hands of the civil
administration of the various provinces. The civil administration was
also reorganized (see the table on pages 83-84).

Towards the end of the T'ang period the state secretariat was set up in
two parts: it was in possession of all information about the economic
and political affairs of the empire, and it made the actual decisions.
Moreover, a number of technical departments had been created--in all, a
system that might compare favourably with European systems of the
eighteenth century. At the end of the T'ang period there was added to
this system a section for economic affairs, working quite independently
of it and directly under the emperor; it was staffed entirely with
economic or financial experts, while for the staffing of the other
departments no special qualification was demanded besides the passing of
the state examinations. In addition to these, at the end of the T'ang
period a new department was in preparation, a sort of Privy Council, a
mainly military organization, probably intended to control the generals
(section 3 of the table on page 83), just as the state secretariat
controlled the civil officials. The Privy Council became more and more
important in the tenth century and especially in the Mongol epoch. Its
absence in the early T'ang period gave the military governors much too
great freedom, ultimately with baneful results.

At first, however, the reforms of A.D. 624 worked well. The
administration showed energy, and taxes flowed in. In the middle of the
eighth century the annual budget of the state included the following
items: over a million tons of grain for the consumption of the capital
and the palace and for salaries of civil and military officials;
twenty-seven million pieces of textiles, also for the consumption of
capital and palace and army, and for supplementary purchases of grain;
two million strings of money (a string nominally held a thousand copper
coins) for salaries and for the army. This was much more than the state
budget of the Han period. The population of the empire had also
increased; it seems to have amounted to some fifty millions. In the
capital a large staff of officials had been created to meet all
administrative needs. The capital grew enormously, at times containing
two million people. Great numbers of young members of the gentry
streamed into the capital for the examinations held under the Confucian

The crowding of people into the capital and the accumulation of
resources there promoted a rich cultural life. We know of many poets of
that period whose poems were real masterpieces; and artists whose works
were admired centuries later. These poets and artists were the pioneers
of the flourishing culture of the later T'ang period. Hand in hand with
this went luxury and refinement of manners. For those who retired from
the bustle of the capital to work on their estates and to enjoy the
society of their friends, there was time to occupy themselves with
Taoism and Buddhism, especially meditative Buddhism. Everyone, of
course, was Confucian, as was fitting for a member of the gentry, but
Confucianism was so taken for granted that it was not discussed. It was
the basis of morality for the gentry, but held no problems. It no longer
contained anything of interest.

Conditions had been much the same once before, at the court of the Han
emperors, but with one great difference: at that time everything of
importance took place in the capital; now, in addition to the actual
capital, Ch'ang-an, there was the second capital, Loyang, in no way
inferior to the other in importance; and the great towns in the south
also played their part as commercial and cultural centres that had
developed in the 360 years of division between north and south. There
the local gentry gathered to lead a cultivated life, though not quite in
the grand style of the capital. If an official was transferred to the
Yangtze, it no longer amounted to a punishment as in the past; he would
not meet only uneducated people, but a society resembling that of the
capital. The institution of governors-general further promoted this
decentralization: the governor-general surrounded himself with a little
court of his own, drawn from the local gentry and the local
intelligentsia. This placed the whole edifice of the empire on a much
broader foundation, with lasting results.

2 _Turkish policy_

The foreign policy of this first period of the T'ang, lasting until
about 690, was mainly concerned with the Turks and Turkestan. There were
still two Turkish realms in the Far East, both of considerable strength
but in keen rivalry with each other. The T'ang had come into power with
the aid of the eastern Turks, but they admitted the leader of the
western Turks to their court; he had been at Ch'ang-an in the time of
the Sui. He was murdered, however, by Chinese at the instigation of the
eastern Turks. The next khan of the eastern Turks nevertheless turned
against the T'ang, and gave his support to a still surviving pretender
to the throne representing the Sui dynasty; the khan contended that the
old alliance of the eastern Turks had been with the Sui and not with the
T'ang. The T'ang therefore tried to come to terms once more with the
western Turks, who had been affronted by the assassination; but the
negotiations came to nothing in face of an approach made by the eastern
Turks to the western, and of the distrust of the Chinese with which all
the Turks were filled. About 624 there were strong Turkish invasions,
carried right up to the capital. Suddenly, however, for reasons not
disclosed by the Chinese sources, the Turks withdrew, and the T'ang were
able to conclude a fairly honourable peace. This was the time of the
maximum power of the eastern Turks. Shortly afterwards disturbances
broke out (627), under the leadership of Turkish Uighurs and their
allies. The Chinese took advantage of these disturbances, and in a great
campaign in 629-30 succeeded in overthrowing the eastern Turks; the khan
was taken to the imperial court in Ch'ang-an, and the Chinese emperor
made himself "Heavenly Khan" of the Turks. In spite of the protest of
many of the ministers, who pointed to the result of the settlement
policy of the Later Han dynasty, the eastern Turks were settled in the
bend of the upper Hwang-ho and placed more or less under the
protectorate of two governors-general. Their leaders were admitted into
the Chinese army, and the sons of their nobles lived at the imperial
court. No doubt it was hoped in this way to turn the Turks into Chinese,
as had been done with the Toba, though for entirely different reasons.
More than a million Turks were settled in this way, and some of them
actually became Chinese later and gained important posts.

In general, however, this in no way broke the power of the Turks. The
great Turkish empire, which extended as far as Byzantium, continued to
exist. The Chinese success had done no more than safeguard the frontier
from a direct menace and frustrate the efforts of the supporters of the
Sui dynasty and the Toba dynasty, who had been living among the eastern
Turks and had built on them. The power of the western Turks remained a
lasting menace to China, especially if they should succeed in
co-operating with the Tibetans. After the annihilation of the T'u-yue-hun
by the Sui at the very beginning of the seventh century, a new political
unit had formed in northern Tibet, the T'u-fan, who also seem to have
had an upper class of Turks and Mongols and a Tibetan lower class. Just
as in the Han period, Chinese policy was bound to be directed to
preventing a union between Turks and Tibetans. This, together with
commercial interests, seems to have been the political motive of the
Chinese Turkestan policy under the T'ang.

3 _Conquest of Turkestan and Korea. Summit of power_

The Turkestan wars began in 639 with an attack on the city-state of
Kao-ch'ang (Khocho). This state had been on more or less friendly terms
with North China since the Toba period, and it had succeeded again and
again in preserving a certain independence from the Turks. Now, however,
Kao-ch'ang had to submit to the western Turks, whose power was
constantly increasing. China made that submission a pretext for war. By
640 the whole basin of Turkestan was brought under Chinese dominance.
The whole campaign was really directed against the western Turks, to
whom Turkestan had become subject. The western Turks had been crippled
by two internal events, to the advantage of the Chinese: there had been
a tribal rising, and then came the rebellion and the rise of the Uighurs
(640-650). These events belong to Turkish history, and we shall confine
ourselves here to their effects on Chinese history. The Chinese were
able to rely on the Uighurs; above all, they were furnished by the Toeloes
Turks with a large army, with which they turned once more against
Turkestan in 647-48, and now definitely established their rule there.

The active spirit at the beginning of the T'ang rule had not been the
emperor but his son Li Shih-min, who was not, however, named as heir to
the throne because he was not the eldest son. The result of this was
tension between Li Shih-min and his father and brothers, especially the
heir to the throne. When the brothers learned that Li Shih-min was
claiming the succession, they conspired against him, and in 626, at the
very moment when the western Turks had made a rapid incursion and were
once more threatening the Chinese capital, there came an armed collision
between the brothers, in which Li Shih-min was the victor. The brothers
and their families were exterminated, the father compelled to abdicate,
and Li Shih-min became emperor, assuming the name T'ai Tsung (627-649).
His reign marked the zenith of the power of China and of the T'ang
dynasty. Their inner struggles and the Chinese penetration of Turkestan
had weakened the position of the Turks; the reorganization of the
administration and of the system of taxation, the improved transport
resulting from the canals constructed under the Sui, and the useful
results of the creation of great administrative areas under strong
military control, had brought China inner stability and in consequence
external power and prestige. The reputation which she then obtained as
the most powerful state of the Far East endured when her inner stability
had begun to deteriorate. Thus in 638 the Sassanid ruler Jedzgerd sent a
mission to China asking for her help against the Arabs. Three further
missions came at intervals of a good many years. The Chinese declined,
however, to send a military expedition to such a distance; they merely
conferred on the ruler the title of a Chinese governor; this was of
little help against the Arabs, and in 675 the last ruler, Peruz, fled to
the Chinese court.

The last years of T'ai Tsung's reign were filled with a great war
against Korea, which represented a continuation of the plans of the Sui
emperor Yang Ti. This time Korea came firmly into Chinese possession. In
661, under T'ai Tsung's son, the Korean fighting was resumed, this time
against Japanese who were defending their interests in Korea. This was
the period of great Japanese enthusiasm for China. The Chinese system of
administration was copied, and Buddhism was adopted, together with every
possible element of Chinese culture. This meant increased trade with
Japan, bringing in large profits to China, and so the Korean middleman
was to be eliminated.

T'ai Tsung's son, Kao Tsung (650-683), merely carried to a conclusion
what had been begun. Externally China's prestige continued at its
zenith. The caravans streamed into China from western and central Asia,
bringing great quantities of luxury goods. At this time, however, the
foreign colonies were not confined to the capital but were installed in
all the important trading ports and inland trade centres. The whole
country was covered by a commercial network; foreign merchants who had
come overland to China met others who had come by sea. The foreigners
set up their own counting-houses and warehouses; whole quarters of the
capital were inhabited entirely by foreigners who lived as if they were
in their own country. They brought with them their own religions:
Manichaeism, Mazdaism, and Nestorian Christianity. The first Jews came
into China, apparently as dealers in fabrics, and the first Arabian
Mohammedans made their appearance. In China the foreigners bought
silkstuffs and collected everything of value that they could find,
especially precious metals. Culturally this influx of foreigners
enriched China; economically, as in earlier periods, it did not; its
disadvantages were only compensated for a time by the very beneficial
results of the trade with Japan, and this benefit did not last long.

4 _The reign of the empress Wu: Buddhism and capitalism_

The pressure of the western Turks had been greatly weakened in this
period, especially as their attention had been diverted to the west,
where the advance of Islam and of the Arabs was a new menace for them.
On the other hand, from 650 onward the Tibetans gained immensely in
power, and pushed from the south into the Tarim basin. In 678 they
inflicted a heavy defeat on the Chinese, and it cost the T'ang decades
of diplomatic effort before they attained, in 699, their aim of breaking
up the Tibetans' realm and destroying their power. In the last year of
Kao Tsung's reign, 683, came the first of the wars of liberation of the
northern Turks, known until then as the western Turks, against the
Chinese. And with the end of Kao Tsung's reign began the decline of the
T'ang regime. Most of the historians attribute it to a woman, the later
empress Wu. She had been a concubine of T'ai Tsung, and after his death
had become a Buddhist nun--a frequent custom of the time--until Kao
Tsung fell in love with her and made her a concubine of his own. In the
end he actually divorced the empress and made the concubine empress
(655). She gained more and more influence, being placed on a par with
the emperor and soon entirely eliminating him in practice; in 680 she
removed the rightful heir to the throne and put her own son in his
place; after Kao Tsung's death in 683 she became regent for her son.
Soon afterward she dethroned him in favour of his twenty-two-year-old
brother; in 690 she deposed him too and made herself empress in the
"Chou dynasty" (690-701). This officially ended the T'ang dynasty.

Matters, however, were not so simple as this might suggest. For
otherwise on the empress's deposition there would not have been a mass
of supporters moving heaven and earth to treat the new empress Wei
(705-712) in the same fashion. There is every reason to suppose that
behind the empress Wu there was a group opposing the ruling clique. In
spite of everything, the T'ang government clique was very pro-Turkish,
and many Turks and members of Toba families had government posts and,
above all, important military commands. No campaign of that period was
undertaken without Turkish auxiliaries. The fear seems to have been felt
in some quarters that this T'ang group might pursue a military policy
hostile to the gentry. The T'ang group had its roots mainly in western
China; thus the eastern Chinese gentry were inclined to be hostile to
it. The first act of the empress Wu had been to transfer the capital to
Loyang in the east. Thus, she tried to rely upon the co-operation of the
eastern gentry which since the Northern Chou and Sui dynasties had been
out of power. While the western gentry brought their children into
government positions by claiming family privileges (a son of a high
official had the right to a certain position without having passed the
regular examinations), the sons of the eastern gentry had to pass
through the examinations. Thus, there were differences in education and
outlook between both groups which continued long after the death of the
empress. In addition, the eastern gentry, who supported the empress Wu
and later the empress Wei, were closely associated with the foreign
merchants of western Asia and the Buddhist Church to which they adhered.
In gratitude for help from the Buddhists, the empress Wu endowed them
with enormous sums of money, and tried to make Buddhism a sort of state
religion. A similar development had taken place in the Toba and also in
the Sui period. Like these earlier rulers, the empress Wu seems to have
aimed at combining spiritual leadership with her position as ruler of
the empire.

In this epoch Buddhism helped to create the first beginnings of
large-scale capitalism. In connection with the growing foreign trade,
the monasteries grew in importance as repositories of capital; the
temples bought more and more land, became more and more wealthy, and so
gained increasing influence over economic affairs. They accumulated
large quantities of metal, which they stored in the form of bronze
figures of Buddha, and with these stocks they exercised controlling
influence over the money market. There is a constant succession of
records of the total weight of the bronze figures, as an indication of
the money value they represented. It is interesting to observe that
temples and monasteries acquired also shops and had rental income from
them. They further operated many mills, as did the owners of private
estates (now called "_chuang_") and thus controlled the price of flour,
and polished rice.

The cultural influence of Buddhism found expression in new and improved
translations of countless texts, and in the passage of pilgrims along
the caravan routes, helped by the merchants, as far as western Asia and
India, like the famous Hsuean-tsang. Translations were made not only from
Indian or other languages into Chinese, but also, for instance, from
Chinese into the Uighur and other Turkish tongues, and into Tibetan,
Korean, and Japanese.

The attitude of the Turks can only be understood when we realize that
the background of events during the time of empress Wu was formed by the
activities of groups of the eastern Chinese gentry. The northern Turks,
who since 630 had been under Chinese overlordship, had fought many wars
of liberation against the Chinese; and through the conquest of
neighbouring Turks they had gradually become once more, in the
decade-and-a-half after the death of Kao Tsung, a great Turkish realm.
In 698 the Turkish khan, at the height of his power, demanded a Chinese
prince for his daughter--not, as had been usual in the past, a princess
for his son. His intention, no doubt, was to conquer China with the
prince's aid, to remove the empress Wu, and to restore the T'ang
dynasty--but under Turkish overlordship! Thus, when the empress Wu sent
a member of her own family, the khan rejected him and demanded the
restoration of the deposed T'ang emperor. To enforce this demand, he
embarked on a great campaign against China. In this the Turks must have
been able to rely on the support of a strong group inside China, for
before the Turkish attack became dangerous the empress Wu recalled the
deposed emperor, at first as "heir to the throne"; thus she yielded to
the khan's principal demand.

In spite of this, the Turkish attacks did not cease. After a series of
imbroglios within the country in which a group under the leadership of
the powerful Ts'ui gentry family had liquidated the supporters of the
empress Wu shortly before her death, a T'ang prince finally succeeded in
killing empress Wei and her clique. At first, his father ascended the
throne, but was soon persuaded to abdicate in favour of his son, now
called emperor Hsueang Tsung (713-755), just as the first ruler of the
T'ang dynasty had done. The practice of abdicating--in contradiction
with the Chinese concept of the ruler as son of Heaven and the duties of
a son towards his father--seems to have impressed Japan where similar
steps later became quite common. With Hsuean Tsung there began now a
period of forty-five years, which the Chinese describe as the second
blossoming of T'ang culture, a period that became famous especially for
its painting and literature.

5 _Second blossoming of T'ang culture_

The T'ang literature shows the co-operation of many favourable factors.
The ancient Chinese classical style of official reports and decrees
which the Toba had already revived, now led to the clear prose style of
the essayists, of whom Han Yue (768-825) and Liu Tsung-yuean (747-796)
call for special mention. But entirely new forms of sentences make their
appearance in prose writing, with new pictures and similes brought from
India through the medium of the Buddhist translations. Poetry was also
enriched by the simple songs that spread in the north under Turkish
influence, and by southern influences. The great poets of the T'ang
period adopted the rules of form laid down by the poetic art of the
south in the fifth century; but while at that time the writing of poetry
was a learned pastime, precious and formalistic, the T'ang poets brought
to it genuine feeling. Widespread fame came to Li T'ai-po (701-762) and
Tu Fu (712-770); in China two poets almost equal to these two in
popularity were Po Chue-i (772-846) and Yuean Chen (779-831), who in their
works kept as close as possible to the vernacular.

New forms of poetry rarely made their appearance in the T'ang period,
but the existing forms were brought to the highest perfection. Not until
the very end of the T'ang period did there appear the form of a "free"
versification, with lines of no fixed length. This form came from the
indigenous folk-songs of south-western China, and was spread through the
agency of the _filles de joie_ in the tea-houses. Before long it became
the custom to string such songs together in a continuous series--the
first step towards opera. For these song sequences were sung by way of
accompaniment to the theatrical productions. The Chinese theatre had
developed from two sources--from religious games, bullfights and
wrestling, among Turkish and Mongol peoples, which developed into
dancing displays; and from sacrificial games of South Chinese origin.
Thus the Chinese theatre, with its union with music, should rather be
called opera, although it offers a sort of pantomimic show. What
amounted to a court conservatoire trained actors and musicians as early
as in the T'ang period for this court opera. These actors and musicians
were selected from the best-looking "commoners", but they soon tended to
become a special caste with a legal status just below that of

In plastic art there are fine sculptures in stone and bronze, and we
have also technically excellent fabrics, the finest of lacquer, and
remains of artistic buildings; but the principal achievement of the
T'ang period lies undoubtedly in the field of painting. As in poetry, in
painting there are strong traces of alien influences; even before the
T'ang period, the painter Hsieh Ho laid down the six fundamental laws of
painting, in all probability drawn from Indian practice. Foreigners were
continually brought into China as decorators of Buddhist temples, since
the Chinese could not know at first how the new gods had to be
presented. The Chinese regarded these painters as craftsmen, but admired
their skill and their technique and learned from them.

The most famous Chinese painter of the T'ang period is Wu Tao-tz[)u],
who was also the painter most strongly influenced by Central Asian
works. As a pious Buddhist he painted pictures for temples among others.
Among the landscape painters, Wang Wei (721-759) ranks first; he was
also a famous poet and aimed at uniting poem and painting into an
integral whole. With him begins the great tradition of Chinese landscape
painting, which attained its zenith later, in the Sung epoch.

Porcelain had been invented in China long ago. There was as yet none of
the white porcelain that is preferred today; the inside was a
brownish-yellow; but on the whole it was already technically and
artistically of a very high quality. Since porcelain was at first
produced only for the requirements of the court and of high
dignitaries--mostly in state factories--a few centuries later the T'ang
porcelain had become a great rarity. But in the centuries that followed,
porcelain became an important new article of Chinese export. The Chinese
prisoners taken by the Arabs in the great battle of Samarkand (751), the
first clash between the world of Islam and China, brought to the West
the knowledge of Chinese culture, of several Chinese crafts, of the art
of papermaking, and also of porcelain.

The emperor Hsuean Tsung gave active encouragement to all things
artistic. Poets and painters contributed to the elegance of his
magnificent court ceremonial. As time went on he showed less and less
interest in public affairs, and grew increasingly inclined to Taoism and
mysticism in general--an outcome of the fact that the conduct of matters
of state was gradually taken out of his hands. On the whole, however,
Buddhism was pushed into the background in favour of Confucianism, as a
reaction from the unusual privileges that had been accorded to the
Buddhists in the past fifteen years under the empress Wu.

6 _Revolt of a military governor_

At the beginning of Hsuean Tsung's reign the capital had been in the east
at Loyang; then it was transferred once more to Ch'ang-an in the west
due to pressure of the western gentry. The emperor soon came under the
influence of the unscrupulous but capable and energetic Li Lin-fu, a
distant relative of the ruler. Li was a virtual dictator at the court
from 736 to 752, who had first advanced in power by helping the
concubine Wu, a relative of the famous empress Wu, and by continually
playing the eastern against the western gentry. After the death of the
concubine Wu, he procured for the emperor a new concubine named Yang, of
a western family. This woman, usually called "Concubine Yang" (Yang
Kui-fei), became the heroine of countless stage-plays and stories and
even films; all the misfortunes that marked the end of Hsuean Tsung's
reign were attributed solely to her. This is incorrect, as she was but a
link in the chain of influences that played upon the emperor. Naturally
she found important official posts for her brothers and all her
relatives; but more important than these was a military governor named
An Lu-shan (703-757). His mother was a Turkish shamaness, his father, a
foreigner probably of Sogdian origin. An Lu-shan succeeded in gaining
favour with the Li clique, which hoped to make use of him for its own
ends. Chinese sources describe him as a prodigy of evil, and it will be
very difficult today to gain a true picture of his personality. In any
case, he was certainly a very capable officer. His rise started from a
victory over the Kitan in 744. He spent some time establishing relations
with the court and then went back to resume operations against the
Kitan. He made so much of the Kitan peril that he was permitted a larger
army than usual, and he had command of 150,000 troops in the
neighbourhood of Peking. Meanwhile Li Lin-fu died. He had sponsored An
as a counterbalance against the western gentry. When now, within the
clique of Li Lin-fu, the Yang family tried to seize power, they turned
against An Lu-shan. But he marched against the capital, Ch'ang-an, with
200,000 men; on his way he conquered Loyang and made himself emperor
(756: Yen dynasty). T'ang troops were sent against him under the
leadership of the Chinese Kuo Tz[)u]-i, a Kitan commander, and a Turk,
Ko-shu Han.

The first two generals had considerable success, but Ko-shu Han, whose
task was to prevent access to the western capital, was quickly defeated
and taken prisoner. The emperor fled betimes, and An Lu-shan captured
Ch'ang-an. The emperor now abdicated; his son, emperor Su Tsung
(756-762), also fled, though not with him into Szechwan, but into
north-western Shensi. There he defended himself against An Lu-shan and
his capable general Shih Ss[)u]-ming (himself a Turk), and sought aid in
Central Asia. A small Arab troop came from the caliph Abu-Jafar, and
also small bands from Turkestan; of more importance was the arrival of
Uighur cavalry in substantial strength. At the end of 757 there was a
great battle in the neighbourhood of the capital, in which An Lu-shan
was defeated by the Uighurs; shortly afterwards he was murdered by one
of his eunuchs. His followers fled; Loyang was captured and looted by
the Uighurs. The victors further received in payment from the T'ang
government 10,000 rolls of silk with a promise of 20,000 rolls a year;
the Uighur khan was given a daughter of the emperor as his wife. An
Lu-shan's general, the Turk Shih Ss[)u]-ming, entered into An Lu-shan's
heritage, and dominated so large a part of eastern China that the
Chinese once more made use of the Uighurs to bring him down. The
commanders in the fighting against Shih Ss[)u]-ming this time were once
more Kuo Tz[)u]-i and the Kitan general, together with P'u-ku Huai-en, a
member of a Toeloes family that had long been living in China. At first
Shih Ss[)u]-ming was victorious, and he won back Loyang, but then he was
murdered by his own son, and only by taking advantage of the
disturbances that now arose were the government troops able to quell the
dangerous rising.

In all this, two things seem interesting and important. To begin with,
An Lu-shan had been a military governor. His rising showed that while
this new office, with its great command of power, was of value in
attacking external enemies, it became dangerous, especially if the
central power was weak, the moment there were no external enemies of any
importance. An Lu-shan's rising was the first of many similar ones in
the later T'ang period. The gentry of eastern China had shown themselves
entirely ready to support An Lu-shan against the government, because
they had hoped to gain advantage as in the past from a realm with its
centre once more in the east. In the second place, the important part
played by aliens in events within China calls for notice: not only were
the rebels An Lu-shan and Shih Ss[)u]-ming non-Chinese, but so also were
most of the generals opposed to them. But they regarded themselves as
Chinese, not as members of another national group. The Turkish Uighurs
brought in to help against them were fighting actually against Turks,
though they regarded those Turks as Chinese. We must not bring to the
circumstances of those times the present-day notions with regard to
national feeling.

7 _The role of the Uighurs. Confiscation of the capital of the

This rising and its sequels broke the power of the dynasty, and also of
the empire. The extremely sanguinary wars had brought fearful suffering
upon the population. During the years of the rising, no taxes came in
from the greater part of the empire, but great sums had to be paid to
the peoples who had lent aid to the empire. And the looting by
government troops and by the auxiliaries injured the population as much
as the war itself did.

When the emperor Su Tsung died, in 762, Tengri, the khan of the Uighurs,
decided to make himself ruler over China. The events of the preceding
years had shown him that China alone was entirely defenceless. Part of
the court clique supported him, and only by the intervention of P'u-ku
Huai-en, who was related to Tengri by marriage, was his plan frustrated.
Naturally there were countless intrigues against P'u-ku Huai-en. He
entered into alliance with the Tibetan T'u-fan, and in this way the
union of Turks and Tibetans, always feared by the Chinese, had come into
existence. In 763 the Tibetans captured and burned down the western
capital, while P'u-ku Huai-en with the Uighurs advanced from the north.
Undoubtedly this campaign would have been successful, giving an entirely
different turn to China's destiny, if P'u-ku Huai-en had not died in 765
and the Chinese under Kuo Tz[)u]-i had not succeeded in breaking up the
alliance. The Uighurs now came over into an alliance with the Chinese,
and the two allies fell upon the Tibetans and robbed them of their
booty. China was saved once more.

Friendship with the Uighurs had to be paid for this time even more
dearly. They crowded into the capital and compelled the Chinese to buy
horses, in payment for which they demanded enormous quantities of
silkstuffs. They behaved in the capital like lords, and expected to be
maintained at the expense of the government. The system of military
governors was adhered to in spite of the country's experience of them,
while the difficult situation throughout the empire, and especially
along the western and northern frontiers, facing the Tibetans and the
more and more powerful Kitan, made it necessary to keep considerable
numbers of soldiers permanently with the colours. This made the military
governors stronger and stronger; ultimately they no longer remitted any
taxes to the central government, but spent them mainly on their armies.
Thus from 750 onward the empire consisted of an impotent central
government and powerful military governors, who handed on their
positions to their sons as a further proof of their independence. When
in 781 the government proposed to interfere with the inheriting of the
posts, there was a great new rising, which in 783 again extended as far
as the capital; in 784 the T'ang government at last succeeded in
overcoming it. A compromise was arrived at between the government and
the governors, but it in no way improved the situation. Life became more
and more difficult for the central government. In 780, the "equal land"
system was finally officially given up and with it a tax system which
was based upon the idea that every citizen had the same amount of land
and, therefore, paid the same amount of taxes. The new system tried to
equalize the tax burden and the corvee obligation, but not the land.
This change may indicate a step towards greater freedom for private
enterprise. Yet it did not benefit the government, as most of the tax
income was retained by the governors and was used for their armies and
their own court.

In the capital, eunuchs ruled in the interests of various cliques.
Several emperors fell victim to them or to the drinking of "elixirs of
long life".

Abroad, the Chinese lost their dominion over Turkestan, for which
Uighurs and Tibetans competed. There is nothing to gain from any full
description of events at court. The struggle between cliques soon became
a struggle between eunuchs and literati, in much the same way as at the
end of the second Han dynasty. Trade steadily diminished, and the state
became impoverished because no taxes were coming in and great armies had
to be maintained, though they did not even obey the government.

Events that exerted on the internal situation an influence not to be
belittled were the break-up of the Uighurs (from 832 onward) the
appearance of the Turkish Sha-t'o, and almost at the same time, the
dissolution of the Tibetan empire (from 842). Many other foreigners had
placed themselves under the Uighurs living in China, in order to be able
to do business under the political protection of the Uighur embassy, but
the Uighurs no longer counted, and the T'ang government decided to seize
the capital sums which these foreigners had accumulated. It was hoped in
this way especially to remedy the financial troubles of the moment,
which were partly due to a shortage of metal for minting. As the trading
capital was still placed with the temples as banks, the government
attacked the religion of the Uighurs, Manichaeism, and also the
religions of the other foreigners, Mazdaism, Nestorianism, and
apparently also Islam. In 843 alien religions were prohibited; aliens
were also ordered to dress like Chinese. This gave them the status of
Chinese citizens and no longer of foreigners, so that Chinese justice
had a hold over them. That this law abolishing foreign religions was
aimed solely at the foreigners' capital is shown by the proceedings at
the same time against Buddhism which had long become a completely
Chinese Church. Four thousand, six hundred Buddhist temples, 40,000
shrines and monasteries were secularized, and all statues were required
to be melted down and delivered to the government, even those in private
possession. Two hundred and sixty thousand, five hundred monks were to
become ordinary citizens once more. Until then monks had been free of
taxation, as had millions of acres of land belonging to the temples and
leased to tenants or some 150,000 temple slaves.

Thus the edict of 843 must not be described as concerned with religion:
it was a measure of compulsion aimed at filling the government coffers.
All the property of foreigners and a large part of the property of the
Buddhist Church came into the hands of the government. The law was not
applied to Taoism, because the ruling gentry of the time were, as so
often before, Confucianist and at the same time Taoist. As early as 846
there came a reaction: with the new emperor, Confucians came into power
who were at the same time Buddhists and who now evicted some of the
Taoists. From this time one may observe closer co-operation between
Confucianism and Buddhism; not only with meditative Buddhism (Dhyana) as
at the beginning of the T'ang epoch and earlier, but with the main
branch of Buddhism, monastery Buddhism (Vinaya). From now onward the
Buddhist doctrines of transmigration and retribution, which had been
really directed against the gentry and in favour of the common people,
were turned into an instrument serving the gentry: everyone who was
unfortunate in this life must show such amenability to the government
and the gentry that he would have a chance of a better existence at
least in the next life. Thus the revolutionary Buddhist doctrine of
retribution became a reactionary doctrine that was of great service to
the gentry. One of the Buddhist Confucians in whose works this revised
version makes its appearance most clearly was Niu Seng-yu, who was at
once summoned back to court in 846 by the new emperor. Three new large
Buddhist sects came into existence in the T'ang period. One of them, the
school of the Pure Land (_Ching-t'u tsung_, since 641) required of its
mainly lower class adherents only the permanent invocation of the Buddha
Amithabha who would secure them a place in the "Western Paradise"--a
place without social classes and economic troubles. The cult of
Maitreya, which was always more revolutionary, receded for a while.

8 _First successful peasant revolt. Collapse of the empire_

The chief sufferers from the continual warfare of the military
governors, the sanguinary struggles between the cliques, and the
universal impoverishment which all this fighting produced, were, of
course, the common people. The Chinese annals are filled with records of
popular risings, but not one of these had attained any wide extent, for
want of organization. In 860 began the first great popular rising, a
revolt caused by famine in the province of Chekiang. Government troops
suppressed it with bloodshed. Further popular risings followed. In 874
began a great rising in the south of the present province of Hopei, the
chief agrarian region.

The rising was led by a peasant, Wang Hsien-chih, together with Huang
Ch'ao, a salt merchant, who had fallen into poverty and had joined the
hungry peasants, forming a fighting group of his own. It is important to
note that Huang was well educated. It is said that he failed in the
state examination. Huang is not the first merchant who became rebel. An
Lu-shan, too, had been a businessman for a while. It was pointed out
that trade had greatly developed in the T'ang period; of the lower
Yangtze region people it was said that "they were so much interested in
business that they paid no attention to agriculture". Yet merchants were
subject to many humiliating conditions. They could not enter the
examinations, except by illegal means. In various periods, from the Han
time on, they had to wear special dress. Thus, a law from _c_. A.D. 300
required them to wear a white turban on which name and type of business
was written, and to wear one white and one black shoe. They were subject
to various taxes, but were either not allowed to own land, or were
allotted less land than ordinary citizens. Thus they could not easily
invest in land, the safest investment at that time. Finally, the
government occasionally resorted to the method which was often used in
the Near East: when in 782 the emperor ran out of money, he requested
the merchants of the capital to "loan" him a large sum--a request which
in fact was a special tax.

Wang and Huang both proved good organizers of the peasant masses, and in
a short time they had captured the whole of eastern China, without the
military governors being able to do anything against them, for the
provincial troops were more inclined to show sympathy to the peasant
armies than to fight them. The terrified government issued an order to
arm the people of the other parts of the country against the rebels;
naturally this helped the rebels more than the government, since the
peasants thus armed went over to the rebels. Finally Wang was offered a
high office. But Huang urged him not to betray his own people, and Wang
declined the offer. In the end the government, with the aid of the
troops of the Turkish Sha-t'o, defeated Wang and beheaded him (878).
Huang Ch'ao now moved into the south-east and the south, where in 879 he
captured and burned down Canton; according to an Arab source, over
120,000 foreign merchants lost their lives in addition to the Chinese.
From Canton Huang Ch'ao returned to the north, laden with loot from that
wealthy commercial city. His advance was held up again by the Sha-t'o
troops; he turned away to the lower Yangtze, and from there marched
north again. At the end of 880 he captured the eastern capital. The
emperor fled from the western capital, Ch'ang-an, into Szechwan, and
Huang Ch'ao now captured with ease the western capital as well, and
removed every member of the ruling family on whom he could lay hands. He
then made himself emperor, in a Ch'i dynasty. It was the first time that
a peasant rising had succeeded against the gentry.

There was still, however, the greatest disorder in the empire. There
were other peasant armies on the move, armies that had deserted their
governors and were fighting for themselves; finally, there were still a
few supporters of the imperial house and, above all, the Turkish
Sha-t'o, who had a competent commander with the sinified name of Li
K'o-yung. The Sha-t'o, who had remained loyal to the government,
revolted the moment the government had been overthrown. They ran the
risk, however, of defeat at the hands of an alien army of the Chinese
government's, commanded by an Uighur, and they therefore fled to the
Tatars. In spite of this, the Chinese entered again into relations with
the Sha-t'o, as without them there could be no possibility of getting
rid of Huang Ch'ao. At the end of 881 Li K'o-yung fell upon the capital;
there was a fearful battle. Huang Ch'ao was able to hold out, but a
further attack was made in 883 and he was defeated and forced to flee;
in 884 he was killed by the Sha-t'o.

This popular rising, which had only been overcome with the aid of
foreign troops, brought the end of the T'ang dynasty. In 885 the T'ang
emperor was able to return to the capital, but the only question now was
whether China should be ruled by the Sha-t'o under Li K'o-yung or by
some other military commander. In a short time Chu Ch'uean-chung, a
former follower of Huang Ch'ao, proved to be the strongest of the
commanders. In 890 open war began between the two leaders. Li K'o-yung
was based on Shansi; Chu Ch'uean-chung had control of the plains in the
east. Meanwhile the governors of Szechwan in the west and Chekiang in
the south-east made themselves independent. Both declared themselves
kings or emperors and set up dynasties of their own (from 895).

Within the capital, the emperor was threatened several times by revolts,
so that he had to flee and place himself in the hands of Li K'o-yung as
the only leader on whose loyalty he could count. Soon after this,
however, the emperor fell into the hands of Chu Ch'uean-chung, who killed
the whole entourage of the emperor, particularly the eunuchs; after a
time he had the emperor himself killed, set a puppet--as had become
customary--on the throne, and at the beginning of 907 took over the rule
from him, becoming emperor in the "Later Liang dynasty".

That was the end of the T'ang dynasty, at the beginning of which China
had risen to unprecedented power. Its downfall had been brought about by
the military governors, who had built up their power and had become
independent hereditary satraps, exploiting the people for their own
purposes, and by their continual mutual struggles undermining the
economic structure of the empire. In addition to this, the empire had
been weakened first by its foreign trade and then by the dependence on
foreigners, especially Turks, into which it had fallen owing to internal
conditions. A large part of the national income had gone abroad. Such is
the explanation of the great popular risings which ultimately brought
the dynasty to its end.




 Chapter Nine


(A) The period of transition: the Five Dynasties (A.D. 906-960)

1 _Beginning of a new epoch_

The rebellion of Huang Ch'ao in fact meant the end of the T'ang dynasty
and the division of China into a number of independent states. Only for
reasons of convenience we keep the traditional division into dynasties
and have our new period begin with the official end of the T'ang dynasty
in 906. We decided to call the new thousand years of Chinese history
"Modern Times" in order to indicate that from _c_. 860 on changes in
China's social structure came about which set this epoch off from the
earlier thousand years which we called "The Middle Ages". Any division
into periods is arbitrary as changes do not happen from one year to the
next. The first beginnings of the changes which lead to the "Modern
Times" actually can be seen from the end of An Lu-shan's rebellion on,
from _c_. A.D. 780 on, and the transformation was more or less completed
only in the middle of the eleventh century.

If we want to characterize the "Modern Times" by one concept, we would
have to call this epoch the time of the emergence of a middle class, and
it will be remembered that the growth of the middle class in Europe was
also the decisive change between the Middle Ages and Modern Times in
Europe. The parallelism should, however, not be overdone. The gentry
continued to play a role in China during the Modern Times, much more
than the aristocracy did in Europe. The middle class did not ever really
get into power during the whole period.

While we will discuss the individual developments later in some detail,
a few words about the changes in general might be given already here.
The wars which followed Huang Ch'ao's rebellion greatly affected the
ruling gentry. A number of families were so strongly affected that they
lost their importance and disappeared. Commoners from the followers of
Huang Ch'ao or other armies succeeded to get into power, to acquire
property and to enter the ranks of the gentry. At about A.D. 1000 almost
half of the gentry families were new families of low origin. The state,
often ruled by men who had just moved up, was no more interested in the
aristocratic manners of the old gentry families, especially no more
interested in their genealogies. When conditions began to improve after
A.D. 1000, and when the new families felt themselves as real gentry
families, they tried to set up a mechanism to protect the status of
their families. In the eleventh century private genealogies began to be
kept, so that any claim against the clan could be checked. Clans set up
rules of behaviour and procedure to regulate all affairs of the clan
without the necessity of asking the state to interfere in case of
conflict. Many such "clan rules" exist in China and also in Japan which
took over this innovation. Clans set apart special pieces of land as
clan land; the income of this land was to be used to secure a minimum of
support for every clan member and his own family, so that no member ever
could fall into utter poverty. Clan schools which were run by income
from special pieces of clan land were established to guarantee an
education for the members of the clan, again in order to make sure that
the clan would remain a part of the _elite_. Many clans set up special
marriage rules for clan members, and after some time cross-cousin
marriages between two or three families were legally allowed; such
marriages tended to fasten bonds between clans and to prevent the loss
of property by marriage. While on the one hand, a new "clan
consciousness" grew up among the gentry families in order to secure
their power, tax and corvee legislation especially in the eleventh
century induced many families to split up into small families.

It can be shown that over the next centuries, the power of the family
head increased. He was now regarded as owner of the property, not only
mere administrator of family property. He got power over life and death
of his children. This increase of power went together with a change of
the position of the ruler. The period transition (until _c_. A.D. 1000)
was followed by a period of "moderate absolutism" (until 1278) in which
emperors as persons played a greater role than before, and some
emperors, such as Shen Tsung (in 1071), even declared that they regarded
the welfare of the masses as more important than the profit of the
gentry. After 1278, however, the personal influence of the emperors grew
further towards absolutism and in times became pure despotism.

Individuals, especially family heads, gained more freedom in "Modern
Times". Not only the period of transition, but also the following period
was a time of much greater social mobility than existed in the Middle
Ages. By various legal and/or illegal means people could move up into
positions of power and wealth: we know of many merchants who succeeded
in being allowed to enter the state examinations and thus got access to
jobs in the administration. Large, influential gentry families in the
capital protected sons from less important families and thus gave them a
chance to move into the gentry. Thus, these families built up a
clientele of lesser gentry families which assisted them and upon the
loyalty of which they could count. The gentry can from now on be divided
into two parts. First, there was a "big gentry" which consisted of much
fewer families than in earlier times and which directed the policy in
the capital; and secondly, there was a "small gentry" which was
operating mainly in the provincial cities, directing local affairs and
bound by ties of loyalty to big gentry families. Gentry cliques now
extended into the provinces and it often became possible to identify a
clique with a geographical area, which, however, usually did not
indicate particularistic tendencies.

Individual freedom did not show itself only in greater social mobility.
The restrictions which, for instance, had made the craftsmen and
artisans almost into serfs, were gradually lifted. From the early
sixteenth century on, craftsmen were free and no more subject to forced
labour services for the state. Most craftsmen in this epoch still had
their shops in one lane or street and lived above their shops, as they
had done in the earlier period. But from now on, they began to organize
in guilds of an essentially religious character, as similar guilds in
other parts of Asia at the same time also did. They provided welfare
services for their members, made some attempts towards standardization
of products and prices, imposed taxes upon their members, kept their
streets clean and tried to regulate salaries. Apprentices were initiated
in a kind of semi-religious ceremony, and often meetings took place in
temples. No guild, however, connected people of the same craft living in
different cities. Thus, they did not achieve political power.
Furthermore, each trade had its own guild; in Peking in the nineteenth
century there existed over 420 different guilds. Thus, guilds failed to
achieve political influence even within individual cities.

Probably at the same time, regional associations, the so-called
"_hui-kuan"_ originated. Such associations united people from one city
or one area who lived in another city. People of different trades, but
mainly businessmen, came together under elected chiefs and councillors.
Sometimes, such regional associations could function as pressure groups,
especially as they were usually financially stronger than the guilds.
They often owned city property or farm land. Not all merchants, however,
were so organized. Although merchants remained under humiliating
restrictions as to the colour and material of their dress and the
prohibition to ride a horse, they could more often circumvent such
restrictions and in general had much more freedom in this epoch.

Trade, including overseas trade, developed greatly from now on. Soon we
find in the coastal ports a special office which handled custom and
registration affairs, supplied interpreters for foreigners, received
them officially and gave good-bye dinners when they left. Down to the
thirteenth century, most of this overseas trade was still in the hands
of foreigners, mainly Indians. Entrepreneurs hired ships, if they were
not ship-owners, hired trained merchants who in turn hired sailors
mainly from the South-East Asian countries, and sold their own
merchandise as well as took goods on commission. Wealthy Chinese gentry
families invested money in such foreign enterprises and in some cases
even gave their daughters in marriage to foreigners in order to profit
from this business.

We also see an emergence of industry from the eleventh century on. We
find men who were running almost monopolistic enterprises, such as
preparing charcoal for iron production and producing iron and steel at
the same time; some of these men had several factories, operating under
hired and qualified managers with more than 500 labourers. We find
beginnings of a labour legislation and the first strikes (A.D. 782 the
first strike of merchants in the capital; 1601 first strike of textile

Some of these labourers were so-called "vagrants", farmers who had
secretly left their land or their landlord's land for various reasons,
and had shifted to other regions where they did not register and thus
did not pay taxes. Entrepreneurs liked to hire them for industries
outside the towns where supervision by the government was not so strong;
naturally, these "vagrants" were completely at the mercy of their

Since _c_. 780 the economy can again be called a money economy; more and
more taxes were imposed in form of money instead of in kind. This
pressure forced farmers out of the land and into the cities in order to
earn there the cash they needed for their tax payments. These men
provided the labour force for industries, and this in turn led to the
strong growth of the cities, especially in Central China where trade and
industries developed most.

Wealthy people not only invested in industrial enterprises, but also
began to make heavy investments in agriculture in the vicinity of
cities in order to increase production and thus income. We find men who
drained lakes in order to create fields below the water level for easy
irrigation; others made floating fields on lakes and avoided land tax
payments; still others combined pig and fish breeding in one operation.

The introduction of money economy and money taxes led to a need for more
coinage. As metal was scarce and minting very expensive, iron coins were
introduced, silver became more and more common as means of exchange, and
paper money was issued. As the relative value of these moneys changed
with supply and demand, speculation became a flourishing business which
led to further enrichment of people in business. Even the government
became more money-minded: costs of operations and even of wars were
carefully calculated in order to achieve savings; financial specialists
were appointed by the government, just as clans appointed such men for
the efficient administration of their clan properties.

Yet no real capitalism or industrialism developed until towards the end
of this epoch, although at the end of the twelfth century almost all
conditions for such a development seemed to be given.

2 _Political situation in the tenth century_

The Chinese call the period from 906 to 960 the "period of the Five
Dynasties" (_Wu Tai_). This is not quite accurate. It is true that there
were five dynasties in rapid succession in North China; but at the same
time there were ten other dynasties in South China. The ten southern
dynasties, however, are regarded as not legitimate. The south was much
better off with its illegitimate dynasties than the north with the
legitimate ones. The dynasties in the south (we may dispense with giving
their names) were the realms of some of the military governors so often
mentioned above. These governors had already become independent at the
end of the T'ang epoch; they declared themselves kings or emperors and
ruled particular provinces in the south, the chief of which covered the
territory of the present provinces of Szechwan, Kwangtung and Chekiang.
In these territories there was comparative peace and economic
prosperity, since they were able to control their own affairs and were
no longer dependent on a corrupt central government. They also made
great cultural progress, and they did not lose their importance later
when they were annexed in the period of the Sung dynasty.

As an example of these states one may mention the small state of Ch'u in
the present province of Hunan. Here, Ma Yin, a former carpenter (died
931), had made himself a king. He controlled some of the main trade
routes, set up a clean administration, bought up all merchandise which
the merchants brought, but allowed them to export only local products,
mainly tea, iron and lead. This regulation gave him a personal income of
several millions every year, and in addition fostered the exploitation
of the natural resources of this hitherto retarded area.

3 _Monopolistic trade in South China. Printing and paper money in the

The prosperity of the small states of South China was largely due to the
growth of trade, especially the tea trade. The habit of drinking tea
seems to have been an ancient Tibetan custom, which spread to
south-eastern China in the third century A.D. Since then there had been
two main centres of production, Szechwan and south-eastern China. Until
the eleventh century Szechwan had remained the leading producer, and tea
had been drunk in the Tibetan fashion, mixed with flour, salt, and
ginger. It then began to be drunk without admixture. In the T'ang epoch
tea drinking spread all over China, and there sprang up a class of
wholesalers who bought the tea from the peasants, accumulated stocks,
and distributed them. From 783 date the first attempts of the state to
monopolize the tea trade and to make it a source of revenue; but it
failed in an attempt to make the cultivation a state monopoly. A tea
commissariat was accordingly set up to buy the tea from the producers
and supply it to traders in possession of a state licence. There
naturally developed then a pernicious collaboration between state
officials and the wholesalers. The latter soon eliminated the small
traders, so that they themselves secured all the profit; official
support was secured by bribery. The state and the wholesalers alike were
keenly interested in the prevention of tea smuggling, which was strictly

The position was much the same with regard to salt. We have here for the
first time the association of officials with wholesalers or even with a
monopoly trade. This was of the utmost importance in all later times.
Monopoly progressed most rapidly in Szechwan, where there had always
been a numerous commercial community. In the period of political
fragmentation Szechwan, as the principal tea-producing region and at the
same time an important producer of salt, was much better off than any
other part of China. Salt in Szechwan was largely produced by,
technically, very interesting salt wells which existed there since _c_.
the first century B.C. The importance of salt will be understood if we
remember that a grown-up person in China uses an average of twelve
pounds of salt per year. The salt tax was the top budget item around
A.D. 900.

South-eastern China was also the chief centre of porcelain production,
although china clay is found also in North China. The use of porcelain
spread more and more widely. The first translucent porcelain made its
appearance, and porcelain became an important article of commerce both
within the country and for export. Already the Muslim rulers of Baghdad
around 800 used imported Chinese porcelain, and by the end of the
fourteenth century porcelain was known in Eastern Africa. Exports to
South-East Asia and Indonesia, and also to Japan gained more and more
importance in later centuries. Manufacture of high quality porcelain
calls for considerable amounts of capital investment and working
capital; small manufacturers produce too many second-rate pieces; thus
we have here the first beginnings of an industry that developed
industrial towns such as Ching-te, in which the majority of the
population were workers and merchants, with some 10,000 families alone
producing porcelain. Yet, for many centuries to come, the state
controlled the production and even the design of porcelain and
appropriated most of the production for use at court or as gifts.

The third important new development to be mentioned was that of
printing, which since _c_. 770 was known in the form of wood-block
printing. The first reference to a printed book dated from 835, and the
most important event in this field was the first printing of the
Classics by the orders of Feng Tao (882-954) around 940. The first
attempts to use movable type in China occurred around 1045, although
this invention did not get general acceptance in China. It was more
commonly used in Korea from the thirteenth century on and revolutionized
Europe from 1538 on. It seems to me that from the middle of the
twentieth century on, the West, too, shows a tendency to come back to
the printing of whole pages, but replacing the wood blocks by
photographic plates or other means. In the Far East, just as in Europe,
the invention of printing had far-reaching consequences. Books, which
until then had been very dear, because they had to be produced by
copyists, could now be produced cheaply and in quantity. It became
possible for a scholar to accumulate a library of his own and to work in
a wide field, where earlier he had been confined to a few books or even
a single text. The results were the spread of education, beginning with
reading and writing, among wider groups, and the broadening of
education: a large number of texts were read and compared, and no longer
only a few. Private libraries came into existence, so that the imperial
libraries were no longer the only ones. Publishing soon grew in extent,
and in private enterprise works were printed that were not so serious
and politically important as the classic books of the past. Thus a new
type of literature, the literature of entertainment, could come into
existence. Not all these consequences showed themselves at once; some
made their first appearance later, in the Sung period.

A fourth important innovation, this time in North China, was the
introduction of prototypes of paper money. The Chinese copper "cash" was
difficult or expensive to transport, simply because of its weight. It
thus presented great obstacles to trade. Occasionally a region with an
adverse balance of trade would lose all its copper money, with the
result of a local deflation. From time to time, iron money was
introduced in such deficit areas; it had for the first time been used in
Szechwan in the first century B.C., and was there extensively used in
the tenth century when after the conquest of the local state all copper
was taken to the east by the conquerors. So long as there was an orderly
administration, the government could send it money, though at
considerable cost; but if the administration was not functioning well,
the deflation continued. For this reason some provinces prohibited the
export of copper money from their territory at the end of the eighth
century. As the provinces were in the hands of military governors, the
central government could do next to nothing to prevent this. On the
other hand, the prohibition automatically made an end of all external
trade. The merchants accordingly began to prepare deposit certificates,
and in this way to set up a sort of transfer system. Soon these deposit
certificates entered into circulation as a sort of medium of payment at
first again in Szechwan, and gradually this led to a banking system and
the linking of wholesale trade with it. This made possible a much
greater volume of trade. Towards the end of the T'ang period the
government began to issue deposit certificates of its own: the merchant
deposited his copper money with a government agency, receiving in
exchange a certificate which he could put into circulation like money.
Meanwhile the government could put out the deposited money at interest,
or throw it into general circulation. The government's deposit
certificates were now printed. They were the predecessors of the paper
money used from the time of the Sung.

4 _Political history of the Five Dynasties_

The southern states were a factor not to be ignored in the calculations
of the northern dynasties. Although the southern kingdoms were involved
in a confusion of mutual hostilities, any one of them might come to the
fore as the ally of Turks or other northern powers. The capital of the
first of the five northern dynasties (once more a Liang dynasty, but not
to be confused with the Liang dynasty of the south in the sixth century)
was, moreover, quite close to the territories of the southern dynasties,
close to the site of the present K'ai-feng, in the fertile plain of
eastern China with its good means of transport. Militarily the town
could not be held, for its one and only defence was the Yellow River.
The founder of this Later Liang dynasty, Chu Ch'uean-chung (906), was
himself an eastern Chinese and, as will be remembered, a past supporter
of the revolutionary Huang Ch'ao, but he had then gone over to the T'ang
and had gained high military rank.

His northern frontier remained still more insecure than the southern,
for Chu Ch'uean-chung did not succeed in destroying the Turkish general
Li K'o-yung; on the contrary, the latter continually widened the range
of his power. Fortunately he, too, had an enemy at his back--the Kitan
(or Khitan), whose ruler had made himself emperor in 916, and so staked
a claim to reign over all China. The first Kitan emperor held a middle
course between Chu and Li, and so was able to establish and expand his
empire in peace. The striking power of his empire, which from 937 onward
was officially called the Liao empire, grew steadily, because the old
tribal league of the Kitan was transformed into a centrally commanded
military organization.

To these dangers from abroad threatening the Later Liang state internal
troubles were added. Chu Ch'uean-chung's dynasty was one of the three
Chinese dynasties that have ever come to power through a popular rising.
He himself was of peasant origin, and so were a large part of his
subordinates and helpers. Many of them had originally been independent
peasant leaders; others had been under Huang Ch'ao. All of them were
opposed to the gentry, and the great slaughter of the gentry of the
capital, shortly before the beginning of Chu's rule, had been welcomed
by Chu and his followers. The gentry therefore would not co-operate with
Chu and preferred to join the Turk Li K'o-yung. But Chu could not
confidently rely on his old comrades. They were jealous of his success
in gaining the place they all coveted, and were ready to join in any
independent enterprise as opportunity offered. All of them, moreover, as
soon as they were given any administrative post, busied themselves with
the acquisition of money and wealth as quickly as possible. These abuses
not only ate into the revenues of the state but actually produced a
common front between the peasantry and the remnants of the gentry
against the upstarts.

In 917, after Li K'o-yung's death, the Sha-t'o Turks beat off an attack
from the Kitan, and so were safe for a time from the northern menace.
They then marched against the Liang state, where a crisis had been
produced in 912 after the murder of Chu Ch'uean-chung by one of his sons.
The Liang generals saw no reason why they should fight for the dynasty,
and all of them went over to the enemy. Thus the "Later T'ang dynasty"
(923-936) came into power in North China, under the son of Li K'o-yung.

The dominant element at this time was quite clearly the Chinese gentry,
especially in western and central China. The Sha-t'o themselves must
have been extraordinarily few in number, probably little more than
100,000 men. Most of them, moreover, were politically passive, being
simple soldiers. Only the ruling family and its following played any
active part, together with a few families related to it by marriage. The
whole state was regarded by the Sha-t'o rulers as a sort of family
enterprise, members of the family being placed in the most important
positions. As there were not enough of them, they adopted into the
family large numbers of aliens of all nationalities. Military posts were
given to faithful members of Li K'o-yung's or his successor's bodyguard,
and also to domestic servants and other clients of the family. Thus,
while in the Later Liang state elements from the peasantry had risen in
the world, some of these neo-gentry reaching the top of the social
pyramid in the centuries that followed, in the Sha-t'o state some of its
warriors, drawn from the most various peoples, entered the gentry class
through their personal relations with the ruler. But in spite of all
this the bulk of the officials came once more from the Chinese. These
educated Chinese not only succeeded in winning over the rulers
themselves to the Chinese cultural ideal, but persuaded them to adopt
laws that substantially restricted the privileges of the Sha-t'o and
brought advantages only to the Chinese gentry. Consequently all the
Chinese historians are enthusiastic about the "Later T'ang", and
especially about the emperor Ming Ti, who reigned from 927 onward, after
the assassination of his predecessor. They also abused the Liang because
they were against the gentry.

In 936 the Later T'ang dynasty gave place to the Later Chin dynasty
(936-946), but this involved no change in the structure of the empire.
The change of dynasty meant no more than that instead of the son
following the father the son-in-law had ascended the throne. It was of
more importance that the son-in-law, the Sha-t'o Turk Shih Ching-t'ang,
succeeded in doing this by allying himself with the Kitan and ceding to
them some of the northern provinces. The youthful successor, however, of
the first ruler of this dynasty was soon made to realize that the Kitan
regarded the founding of his dynasty as no more than a transition stage
on the way to their annexation of the whole of North China. The old
Sha-t'o nobles, who had not been sinified in the slightest, suggested a
preventive war; the actual court group, strongly sinified, hesitated,
but ultimately were unable to avoid war. The war was very quickly
decided by several governors in eastern China going over to the Kitan,
who had promised them the imperial title. In the course of 946-7 the
Kitan occupied the capital and almost the whole of the country. In 947
the Kitan ruler proclaimed himself emperor of the Kitan and the Chinese.

[Illustration: Map 6: The State of the later T'ang dynasty]

The Chinese gentry seem to have accepted this situation because a Kitan
emperor was just as acceptable to them as a Sha-t'o emperor; but the
Sha-t'o were not prepared to submit to the Kitan regime, because under
it they would have lost their position of privilege. At the head of this
opposition group stood the Sha-t'o general Liu Chih-yuan, who founded
the "Later Han dynasty" (947-950). He was able to hold out against the
Kitan only because in 947 the Kitan emperor died and his son had to
leave China and retreat to the north; fighting had broken out between
the empress dowager, who had some Chinese support, and the young heir to
the throne. The new Turkish dynasty, however, was unable to withstand
the internal Chinese resistance. Its founder died in 948, and his son,
owing to his youth, was entirely in the hands of a court clique. In his
effort to free himself from the tutelage of this group he made a
miscalculation, for the men on whom he thought he could depend were
largely supporters of the clique. So he lost his throne and his life,
and a Chinese general, Kuo Wei, took his place, founding the "Later Chou
dynasty" (951-959).

A feature of importance was that in the years of the short-lived "Later
Han dynasty" a tendency showed itself among the Chinese military leaders
to work with the states in the south. The increase in the political
influence of the south was due to its economic advance while the north
was reduced to economic chaos by the continual heavy fighting, and by
the complete irresponsibility of the Sha-t'o ruler in financial matters:
several times in this period the whole of the money in the state
treasury was handed out to soldiers to prevent them from going over to
some enemy or other. On the other hand, there was a tendency in the
south for the many neighbouring states to amalgamate, and as this
process took place close to the frontier of North China the northern
states could not passively look on. During the "Later Han" period there
were wars and risings, which continued in the time of the "Later Chou".

On the whole, the few years of the rule of the second emperor of the
"Later Chou" (954-958) form a bright spot in those dismal fifty-five
years. Sociologically regarded, that dynasty formed merely a transition
stage on the way to the Sung dynasty that now followed: the Chinese
gentry ruled under the leadership of an upstart who had risen from the
ranks, and they ruled in accordance with the old principles of gentry
rule. The Sha-t'o, who had formed the three preceding dynasties, had
been so reduced that they were now a tiny minority and no longer
counted. This minority had only been able to maintain its position
through the special social conditions created by the "Later Liang"
dynasty: the Liang, who had come from the lower classes of the
population, had driven the gentry into the arms of the Sha-t'o Turks. As
soon as the upstarts, in so far as they had not fallen again or been
exterminated, had more or less assimilated themselves to the old gentry,
and on the other hand the leaders of the Sha-t'o had become numerically
too weak, there was a possibility of resuming the old form of rule.

There had been certain changes in this period. The north-west of China,
the region of the old capital Ch'ang-an, had been so ruined by the
fighting that had gone on mainly there and farther north, that it was
eliminated as a centre of power for a hundred years to come; it had been
largely depopulated. The north was under the rule of the Kitan: its
trade, which in the past had been with the Huang-ho basin, was now
perforce diverted to Peking, which soon became the main centre of the
power of the Kitan. The south, particularly the lower Yangtze region and
the province of Szechwan, had made economic progress, at least in
comparison with the north; consequently it had gained in political

One other event of this time has to be mentioned: the great persecution
of Buddhism in 955, but not only because 30,336 temples and monasteries
were secularized and only some 2,700 with 61,200 monks were left.
Although the immediate reason for this action seems to have been that
too many men entered the monasteries in order to avoid being taken as
soldiers, the effect of the law of 955 was that from now on the
Buddhists were put under regulations which clarified once and for ever
their position within the framework of a society which had as its aim to
define clearly the status of each individual within each social class.
Private persons were no more allowed to erect temples and monasteries.
The number of temples per district was legally fixed. A person could
become monk only if the head of the family gave its permission. He had
to be over fifteen years of age and had to know by heart at least one
hundred pages of texts. The state took over the control of the
ordinations which could be performed only after a successful
examination. Each year a list of all monks had to be submitted to the
government in two copies. Monks had to carry six identification cards
with them, one of which was the ordination diploma for which a fee had
to be paid to the government (already since 755). The diploma was, in
the eleventh century, issued by the Bureau of Sacrifices, but the money
was collected by the Ministry of Agriculture. It can be regarded as a
payment _in lieu_ of land tax. The price was in the eleventh century 130
strings, which represented the value of a small farm or the value of
some 17,000 litres of grain. The price of the diploma went up to 220
strings in 1101, and the then government sold 30,000 diplomas per year
in order to get still more cash. But as diplomas could be traded, a
black market developed, on which they were sold for as little as twenty

(B) Period of Moderate Absolutism

(1) The Northern Sung dynasty

1 _Southward expansion_

The founder of the Sung dynasty, Chao K'uang-yin, came of a Chinese
military family living to the south of Peking. He advanced from general
to emperor, and so differed in no way from the emperors who had preceded
him. But his dynasty did not disappear as quickly as the others; for
this there were several reasons. To begin with, there was the simple
fact that he remained alive longer than the other founders of dynasties,
and so was able to place his rule on a firmer foundation. But in
addition to this he followed a new course, which in certain ways
smoothed matters for him and for his successors, in foreign policy.

This Sung dynasty, as Chao K'uang-yin named it, no longer turned against
the northern peoples, particularly the Kitan, but against the south.
This was not exactly an heroic policy: the north of China remained in
the hands of the Kitan. There were frequent clashes, but no real effort
was made to destroy the Kitan, whose dynasty was now called "Liao". The
second emperor of the Sung was actually heavily defeated several times
by the Kitan. But they, for their part, made no attempt to conquer the
whole of China, especially since the task would have become more and
more burdensome the farther south the Sung expanded. And very soon there
were other reasons why the Kitan should refrain from turning their whole
strength against the Chinese.

[Illustration: 10 Ladies of the Court: clay models which accompanied
the dead person to the grave. T'ang period. _In the collection of the
Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Berlin_.]

[Illustration: 11 Distinguished founder: a temple banner found at
Khotcho, Turkestan. _Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Berlin, No. 1B_ 4524,
_illustration B_ 408.]

As we said, the Sung turned at once against the states in the south.
Some of the many small southern states had made substantial economic and
cultural advance, but militarily they were not strong. Chao K'uang-yin
(named as emperor T'ai Tsu) attacked them in succession. Most of them
fell very quickly and without any heavy fighting, especially since the
Sung dealt mildly with the defeated rulers and their following. The
gentry and the merchants in these small states could not but realize the
advantages of a widened and well-ordered economic field, and they were
therefore entirely in favour of the annexation of their country so soon
as it proved to be tolerable. And the Sung empire could only endure and
gain strength if it had control of the regions along the Yangtze and
around Canton, with their great economic resources. The process of
absorbing the small states in the south continued until 980. Before it
was ended, the Sung tried to extend their influence in the south beyond
the Chinese border, and secured a sort of protectorate over parts of
Annam (973). This sphere of influence was politically insignificant and
not directly of any economic importance; but it fulfilled for the Sung
the same functions which colonial territories fulfilled for Europeans,
serving as a field of operation for the commercial class, who imported
raw materials from it--mainly, it is true, luxury articles such as
special sorts of wood, perfumes, ivory, and so on--and exported Chinese
manufactures. As the power of the empire grew, this zone of influence
extended as far as Indonesia: the process had begun in the T'ang period.
The trade with the south had not the deleterious effects of the trade
with Central Asia. There was no sale of refined metals, and none of
fabrics, as the natives produced their own textiles which sufficed for
their needs. And the export of porcelain brought no economic injury to
China, but the reverse.

This Sung policy was entirely in the interest of the gentry and of the
trading community which was now closely connected with them. Undoubtedly
it strengthened China. The policy of nonintervention in the north was
endurable even when peace with the Kitan had to be bought by the payment
of an annual tribute. From 1004 onwards, 100,000 ounces of silver and
200,000 bales of silk were paid annually to the Kitan, amounting in
value to about 270,000 strings of cash, each of 1,000 coins. The state
budget amounted to some 20,000,000 strings of cash. In 1038 the payments
amounted to 500,000 strings, but the budget was by then much larger. One
is liable to get a false impression when reading of these big payments
if one does not take into account what percentage they formed of the
total revenues of the state. The tribute to the Kitan amounted to less
than 2 per cent of the revenue, while the expenditure on the army
accounted for 25 per cent of the budget. It cost much less to pay
tribute than to maintain large armies and go to war. Financial
considerations played a great part during the Sung epoch. The taxation
revenue of the empire rose rapidly after the pacification of the south;
soon after the beginning of the dynasty the state budget was double that
of the T'ang. If the state expenditure in the eleventh century had not
continually grown through the increase in military expenditure--in spite
of everything!--there would have come a period of great prosperity in
the empire.

2 _Administration and army. Inflation_

The Sung emperor, like the rulers of the transition period, had gained
the throne by his personal abilities as military leader; in fact, he had
been made emperor by his soldiers as had happened to so many emperors in
later Imperial Rome. For the next 300 years we observe a change in the
position of the emperor. On the one hand, if he was active and
intelligent enough, he exercised much more personal influence than the
rulers of the Middle Ages. On the other hand, at the same time, the
emperors were much closer to their ministers as before. We hear of
ministers who patted the ruler on the shoulders when they retired from
an audience; another one fell asleep on the emperor's knee and was not
punished for this familiarity. The emperor was called "_kuan-chia_"
(Administrator) and even called himself so. And in the early twelfth
century an emperor stated "I do not regard the empire as my personal
property; my job is to guide the people". Financially-minded as the Sung
dynasty was, the cost of the operation of the palace was calculated, so
that the emperor had a budget: in 1068 the salaries of all officials in
the capital amounted to 40,000 strings of money per month, the armies
100,000, and the emperor's ordinary monthly budget was 70,000 strings.
For festivals, imperial birthdays, weddings and burials extra allowances
were made. Thus, the Sung rulers may be called "moderate absolutists"
and not despots.

One of the first acts of the new Sung emperor, in 963, was a fundamental
reorganization of the administration of the country. The old system of a
civil administration and a military administration independent of it was
brought to an end and the whole administration of the country placed in
the hands of civil officials. The gentry welcomed this measure and gave
it full support, because it enabled the influence of the gentry to grow
and removed the fear of competition from the military, some of whom did
not belong by birth to the gentry. The generals by whose aid the empire
had been created were put on pension, or transferred to civil
employment, as quickly as possible. The army was demobilized, and this
measure was bound up with the settlement of peasants in the regions
which war had depopulated, or on new land. Soon after this the revenue
noticeably increased. Above all, the army was placed directly under the
central administration, and the system of military governors was thus
brought to an end. The soldiers became mercenaries of the state, whereas
in the past there had been conscription. In 975 the army had numbered
only 378,000, and its cost had not been insupportable. Although the
numbers increased greatly, reaching 912,000 in 1017 and 1,259,000 in
1045, this implied no increase in military strength; for men who had
once been soldiers remained with the army even when they were too old
for service. Moreover, the soldiers grew more and more exacting; when
detachments were transferred to another region, for instance, the
soldiers would not carry their baggage; an army of porters had to be
assembled. The soldiers also refused to go to regions remote from their
homes until they were given extra pay. Such allowances gradually became
customary, and so the military expenditure grew by leaps and bounds
without any corresponding increase in the striking power of the army.

The government was unable to meet the whole cost of the army out of
taxation revenue. The attempt was made to cover the expenditure by
coining fresh money. In connection with the increase in commercial
capital described above, and the consequent beginning of an industry,
China's metal production had greatly increased. In 1050 thirteen times
as much silver, eight times as much copper, and fourteen times as much
iron was produced as in 800. Thus the circulation of the copper currency
was increased. The cost of minting, however, amounted in China to about
75 per cent and often over 100 per cent of the value of the money
coined. In addition to this, the metal was produced in the south, while
the capital was in the north. The coin had therefore to be carried a
long distance to reach the capital and to be sent on to the soldiers in
the north.

To meet the increasing expenditure, an unexampled quantity of new money
was put into circulation. The state budget increased from 22,200,000 in
A.D. 1000 to 150,800,000 in 1021. The Kitan state coined a great deal of
silver, and some of the tribute was paid to it in silver. The greatly
increased production of silver led to its being put into circulation in
China itself. And this provided a new field of speculation, through the
variations in the rates for silver and for copper. Speculation was also
possible with the deposit certificates, which were issued in quantities
by the state from the beginning of the eleventh century, and to which
the first true paper money was soon added. The paper money and the
certificates were redeemable at a definite date, but at a reduction of
at least 3 per cent of their value; this, too, yielded a certain revenue
to the state.

The inflation that resulted from all these measures brought profit to
the big merchants in spite of the fact that they had to supply directly
or indirectly all non-agricultural taxes (in 1160 some 40,000,000
strings annually), especially the salt tax (50 per cent), wine tax (36
per cent), tea tax (7 per cent) and customs (7 per cent). Although the
official economic thinking remained Confucian, i.e. anti-business and
pro-agrarian, we find in this time insight in price laws, for instance,
that peace times and/or decrease of population induce deflation. The
government had always attempted to manipulate the prices by
interference. Already in much earlier times, again and again, attempts
had been made to lower the prices by the so-called "ever-normal
granaries" of the government which threw grain on the market when prices
were too high and bought grain when prices were low. But now, in
addition to such measures, we also find others which exhibit a deeper
insight: in a period of starvation, the scholar and official Fan
Chung-yen instead of officially reducing grain prices, raised the prices
in his district considerably. Although the population got angry,
merchants started to import large amounts of grain; as soon as this
happened, Fan (himself a big landowner) reduced the price again. Similar
results were achieved by others by just stimulating merchants to import
grain into deficit areas.

With the social structure of medieval Europe, similar financial and
fiscal developments which gave new chances to merchants, eventually led
to industrial capitalism and industrial society. In China, however, the
gentry in their capacity of officials hindered the growth of independent
trade, and permitted its existence only in association with themselves.
As they also represented landed property, it was in land that the
newly-formed capital was invested. Thus we see in the Sung period, and
especially in the eleventh century, the greatest accumulation of estates
that there had ever been up to then in China.

Many of these estates came into origin as gifts of the emperor to
individuals or to temples, others were created on hillsides on land
which belonged to the villages. From this time on, the rest of the
village commons in China proper disappeared. Villagers could no longer
use the top-soil of the hills as fertilizer, or the trees as firewood
and building material. In addition, the hillside estates diverted the
water of springs and creeks, thus damaging severely the irrigation works
of the villagers in the plains. The estates (_chuang_) were controlled
by appointed managers who often became hereditary managers. The tenants
on the estates were quite often non-registered migrants, of whom we
spoke previously as "vagrants", and as such they depended upon the
managers who could always denounce them to the authorities which would
lead to punishment because nobody was allowed to leave his home without
officially changing his registration. Many estates operated mills and
even textile factories with non-registered weavers. Others seem to have
specialized in sheep breeding. Present-day village names ending with
-_chuang_ indicate such former estates. A new development in this period
were the "clan estates" (_i-chuang_), created by Fan Chung-yen
(989-1052) in 1048. The income of these clan estates were used for the
benefit of the whole clan, were controlled by clan-appointed managers
and had tax-free status, guaranteed by the government which regarded
them as welfare institutions. Technically, they might better be called
corporations because they were similar in structure to some of our
industrial corporations. Under the Chinese economic system, large-scale
landowning always proved socially and politically injurious. Up to very
recent times the peasant who rented his land paid 40-50 per cent of the
produce to the landowner, who was responsible for payment of the normal
land tax. The landlord, however, had always found means of evading
payment. As each district had to yield a definite amount of taxation,
the more the big landowners succeeded in evading payment the more had to
be paid by the independent small farmers. These independent peasants
could then either "give" their land to the big landowner and pay rent to
him, thus escaping from the attentions of the tax-officer, or simply
leave the district and secretly enter another one where they were not
registered. In either case the government lost taxes.

Large-scale landowning proved especially injurious in the Sung period,
for two reasons. To begin with, the official salaries, which had always
been small in China, were now totally inadequate, and so the officials
were given a fixed quantity of land, the yield of which was regarded as
an addition to salary. This land was free from part of the taxes. Before
long the officials had secured the liberation of the whole of their land
from the chief taxes. In the second place, the taxation system was
simplified by making the amount of tax proportional to the amount of
land owned. The lowest bracket, however, in this new system of taxation
comprised more land than a poor peasant would actually own, and this was
a heavy blow to the small peasant-owners, who in the past had paid a
proportion of their produce. Most of them had so little land that they
could barely live on its yield. Their liability to taxation was at all
times a very heavy burden to them while the big landowners got off
lightly. Thus this measure, though administratively a saving of
expense, proved unsocial.

All this made itself felt especially in the south with its great estates
of tax-evading landowners. Here the remaining small peasant-owners had
to pay the new taxes or to become tenants of the landowners and lose
their property. The north was still suffering from the war-devastation
of the tenth century. As the landlords were always the first sufferers
from popular uprisings as well as from war, they had disappeared,
leaving their former tenants as free peasants. From this period on, we
have enough data to observe a social "law ": as the capital was the
largest consumer, especially of high-priced products such as vegetables
which could not be transported over long distances, the gentry always
tried to control the land around the capital. Here, we find the highest
concentration of landlords and tenants. Production in this circle
shifted from rice and wheat to mulberry trees for silk, and vegetables
grown under the trees. These urban demands resulted in the growth of an
"industrial" quarter on the outskirts of the capital, in which
especially silk for the upper classes was produced. The next circle also
contained many landlords, but production was more in staple foods such
as wheat and rice which could be transported. Exploitation in this
second circle was not much less than in the first circle, because of
less close supervision by the authorities. In the third circle we find
independent subsistence farmers. Some provincial capitals, especially in
Szechwan, exhibited a similar pattern of circles. With the shift of the
capital, a complete reorganization appeared: landlords and officials
gave up their properties, cultivation changed, and a new system of
circles began to form around the new capital. We find, therefore, the
grotesque result that the thinly populated province of Shensi in the
north-west yielded about a quarter of the total revenues of the state:
it had no large landowners, no wealthy gentry, with their evasion of
taxation, only a mass of newly-settled small peasants' holdings. For
this reason the government was particularly interested in that province,
and closely watched the political changes in its neighbourhood. In 990 a
man belonging to a sinified Toba family, living on the border of Shensi,
had made himself king with the support of remnants of Toba tribes. In
1034 came severe fighting, and in 1038 the king proclaimed himself
emperor, in the Hsia dynasty, and threatened the whole of north-western
China. Tribute was now also paid to this state (250,000 strings), but
the fight against it continued, to save that important province.

These were the main events in internal and external affairs during the
Sung period until 1068. It will be seen that foreign affairs were of
much less importance than developments in the country.

3 _Reforms and Welfare schemes_

The situation just described was bound to produce a reaction. In spite
of the inflationary measures the revenue fell, partly in consequence of
the tax evasions of the great landowners. It fell from 150,000,000 in
1021 to 116,000,000 in 1065. Expenditure did not fall, and there was a
constant succession of budget deficits. The young emperor Shen Tsung
(1068-1085) became convinced that the policy followed by the ruling
clique of officials and gentry was bad, and he gave his adhesion to a
small group led by Wang An-shih (1021-1086). The ruling gentry clique
represented especially the interests of the large tea producers and
merchants in Szechwan and Kiangsi. It advocated a policy of
_laisser-faire_ in trade: it held that everything would adjust itself.
Wang An-shih himself came from Kiangsi and was therefore supported at
first by the government clique, within which the Kiangsi group was
trying to gain predominance over the Szechwan group. But Wang An-shih
came from a poor family, as did his supporters, for whom he quickly
secured posts. They represented the interests of the small landholders
and the small dealers. This group succeeded in gaining power, and in
carrying out a number of reforms, all directed against the monopolist
merchants. Credits for small peasants were introduced, and officials
were given bigger salaries, in order to make them independent and to
recruit officials who were not big landowners. The army was greatly
reduced, and in addition to the paid soldiery a national militia was
created. Special attention was paid to the province of Shensi, whose
conditions were taken more or less as a model.

It seems that one consequence of Wang's reforms was a strong fall in the
prices, i.e. a deflation; therefore, as soon as the first decrees were
issued, the large plantation owners and the merchants who were allied to
them, offered furious opposition. A group of officials and landlords who
still had large properties in the vicinity of Loyang--at that time a
quiet cultural centre--also joined them. Even some of Wang An-shih's
former adherents came out against him. After a few years the emperor was
no longer able to retain Wang An-shih and had to abandon the new policy.
How really economic interests were here at issue may be seen from the
fact that for many of the new decrees which were not directly concerned
with economic affairs, such, for instance, as the reform of the
examination system, Wang An-shih was strongly attacked though his
opponents had themselves advocated them in the past and had no practical
objection to offer to them. The contest, however, between the two groups
was not over. The monopolistic landowners and their merchants had the
upper hand from 1086 to 1102, but then the advocates of the policy
represented by Wang again came into power for a short time. They had but
little success to show, as they did not remain in power long enough and,
owing to the strong opposition, they were never able to make their
control really effective.

Basically, both groups were against allowing the developing middle class
and especially the merchants to gain too much freedom, and whatever
freedom they in fact gained, came through extra-legal or illegal
practices. A proverb of the time said "People hate their ruler as
animals hate the net (of the hunter)". The basic laws of medieval times
which had attempted to create stable social classes remained: down to
the nineteenth century there were slaves, different classes of serfs or
"commoners", and free burghers. Craftsmen remained under work
obligation. Merchants were second-class people. Each class had to wear
dresses of special colour and material, so that the social status of a
person, even if he was not an official and thus recognizable by his
insignia, was immediately clear when one saw him. The houses of
different classes differed from one another by the type of tiles, the
decorations of the doors and gates; the size of the main reception room
of the house was prescribed and was kept small for all non-officials;
and even size and form of the tombs was prescribed in detail for each
class. Once a person had a certain privilege, he and his descendants
even if they had lost their position in the bureaucracy, retained these
privileges over generations. All burghers were admitted to the
examinations and, thus, there was a certain social mobility allowed
within the leading class of the society, and a new "small gentry"
developed by this system.

Yet, the wars of the transition period had created a feeling of
insecurity within the gentry. The eleventh and twelfth centuries were
periods of extensive social legislation in order to give the lower
classes some degree of security and thus prevent them from attempting to
upset the status quo. In addition to the "ever-normal granaries" of the
state, "social granaries" were revived, into which all farmers of a
village had to deliver grain for periods of need. In 1098 a bureau for
housing and care was created which created homes for the old and
destitute; 1102 a bureau for medical care sent state doctors to homes
and hospitals as well as to private homes to care for poor patients;
from 1104 a bureau of burials took charge of the costs of burials of
poor persons. Doctors as craftsmen were under corvee obligation and
could easily be ordered by the state. Often, however, Buddhist priests
took charge of medical care, burial costs and hospitalization. The state
gave them premiums if they did good work. The Ministry of Civil Affairs
made the surveys of cases and costs, while the Ministry of Finances paid
the costs. We hear of state orphanages in 1247, a free pharmacy in 1248,
state hospitals were reorganized in 1143. In 1167 the government gave
low-interest loans to poor persons and (from 1159 on) sold cheap grain
from state granaries. Fire protection services in large cities were
organized. Finally, from 1141 on, the government opened up to
twenty-three geisha houses for the entertainment of soldiers who were
far from home in the capital and had no possibility for other
amusements. Public baths had existed already some centuries ago; now
Buddhist temples opened public baths as social service.

Social services for the officials were also extended. Already from the
eighth century on, offices were closed every tenth day and during
holidays, a total of almost eighty days per year. Even criminals got
some leave and exiles had the right of a home leave once every three
years. The pensions for retired officials after the age of seventy which
amounted to 50 per cent of the salary from the eighth century on, were
again raised, though widows did not receive benefits.

4 _Cultural situation (philosophy, religion, literature, painting_)

Culturally the eleventh century was the most active period China had so
far experienced, apart from the fourth century B.C. As a consequence of
the immensely increased number of educated people resulting from the
invention of printing, circles of scholars and private schools set up by
scholars were scattered all over the country. The various philosophical
schools differed in their political attitude and in the choice of
literary models with which they were politically in sympathy. Thus Wang
An-shih and his followers preferred the rigid classic style of Han Yue
(768-825) who lived in the T'ang period and had also been an opponent of
the monopolistic tendencies of pre-capitalism. For the Wang An-shih
group formed itself into a school with a philosophy of its own and with
its own commentaries on the classics. As the representative of the small
merchants and the small landholders, this school advocated policies of
state control and specialized in the study and annotation of classical
books which seemed to favour their ideas.

But the Wang An-shih school was unable to hold its own against the
school that stood for monopolist trade capitalism, the new philosophy
described as Neo-Confucianism or the Sung school. Here Confucianism and
Buddhism were for the first time united. In the last centuries,
Buddhistic ideas had penetrated all of Chinese culture: the slaughtering
of animals and the executions of criminals were allowed only on certain
days, in accordance with Buddhist rules. Formerly, monks and nuns had to
greet the emperor as all citizens had to do; now they were exempt from
this rule. On the other hand, the first Sung emperor was willing to
throw himself to the earth in front of the Buddha statues, but he was
told he did not have to do it because he was the "Buddha of the present
time" and thus equal to the God. Buddhist priests participated in the
celebrations on the emperor's birthday, and emperors from time to time
gave free meals to large crowds of monks. Buddhist thought entered the
field of justice: in Sung time we hear complaints that judges did not
apply the laws and showed laxity, because they hoped to gain religious
merit by sparing the lives of criminals. We had seen how the main
current of Buddhism had changed from a revolutionary to a reactionary
doctrine. The new greater gentry of the eleventh century adopted a
number of elements of this reactionary Buddhism and incorporated them in
the Confucianist system. This brought into Confucianism a metaphysic
which it had lacked in the past, greatly extending its influence on the
people and at the same time taking the wind out of the sails of
Buddhism. The greater gentry never again placed themselves on the side
of the Buddhist Church as they had done in the T'ang period. When they
got tired of Confucianism, they interested themselves in Taoism of the
politically innocent, escapist, meditative Buddhism.

Men like Chou Tun-i (1017-1073) and Chang Tsai (1020-1077) developed a
cosmological theory which could measure up with Buddhistic cosmology and
metaphysics. But perhaps more important was the attempt of the
Neo-Confucianists to explain the problem of evil. Confucius and his
followers had believed that every person could perfect himself by
overcoming the evil in him. As the good persons should be the _elite_
and rule the others, theoretically everybody who was a member of human
society, could move up and become a leader. It was commonly assumed that
human nature is good or indifferent, and that human feelings are evil
and have to be tamed and educated. When in Han time with the
establishment of the gentry society and its social classes, the idea
that any person could move up to become a leader if he only perfected
himself, appeared to be too unrealistic, the theory of different grades
of men was formed which found its clearest formulation by Han Yue: some
people have a good, others a neutral, and still others a bad nature;
therefore, not everybody can become a leader. The Neo-Confucianists,
especially Ch'eng Hao (1032-1085) and Ch'eng I (1033-1107), tried to
find the reasons for this inequality. According to them, nature is
neutral; but physical form originates with the combination of nature
with Material Force (_ch'i_). This combination produces individuals in
which there is a lack of balance or harmony. Man should try to transform
physical form and recover original nature. The creative force by which
such a transformation is possible is _jen_, love, the creative,
life-giving quality of nature itself.

It should be remarked that Neo-Confucianism accepts an inequality of
men, as early Confucianism did; and that _jen_, love, in its practical
application has to be channelled by _li_, the system of rules of
behaviour. The _li_, however, always started from the idea of a
stratified class society. Chu Hsi (1130-1200), the famous scholar and
systematizer of Neo-Confucian thoughts, brought out rules of behaviour
for those burghers who did not belong to the gentry and could not,
therefore, be expected to perform all _li_; his "simplified _li_"
exercised a great influence not only upon contemporary China, but also
upon Korea and Annam and there strengthened a hitherto looser
patriarchal, patrilinear family system.

The Neo-Confucianists also compiled great analytical works of history
and encyclopaedias whose authority continued for many centuries. They
interpreted in these works all history in accordance with their outlook;
they issued new commentaries on all the classics in order to spread
interpretations that served their purposes. In the field of commentary
this school of thought was given perfect expression by Chu Hsi, who also
wrote one of the chief historical works. Chu Hsi's commentaries became
standard works for centuries, until the beginning of the twentieth
century. Yet, although Chu became the symbol of conservatism, he was
quite interested in science, and in this field he had an open eye for

The Sung period is so important, because it is also the time of the
greatest development of Chinese science and technology. Many new
theories, but also many practical, new inventions were made. Medicine
made substantial progress. About 1145 the first autopsy was made, on the
body of a South Chinese captive. In the field of agriculture, new
varieties of rice were developed, new techniques applied, new plants

The Wang An-shih school of political philosophy had opponents also in
the field of literary style, the so-called Shu Group (Shu means the
present province of Szechwan), whose leaders were the famous Three Sus.
The greatest of the three was Su Tung-p'o (1036-1101); the others were
his father, Su Shih, and his brother, Su Che. It is characteristic of
these Shu poets, and also of the Kiangsi school associated with them,
that they made as much use as they could of the vernacular. It had not
been usual to introduce the phrases of everyday life into poetry, but Su
Tung-p'o made use of the most everyday expressions, without diminishing
his artistic effectiveness by so doing; on the contrary, the result was
to give his poems much more genuine feeling than those of other poets.
These poets were in harmony with the writings of the T'ang period poet
Po Chue-i (772-846) and were supported, like Neo-Confucianism, by
representatives of trade capitalism. Politically, in their conservatism
they were sharply opposed to the Wang An-shih group. Midway between the
two stood the so-called Loyang-School, whose greatest leaders were the
historian and poet Ss[)u]-ma Kuang (1019-1086) and the philosopher-poet
Shao Yung (1011-1077).

In addition to its poems, the Sung literature was famous for the
so-called _pi-chi_ or miscellaneous notes. These consist of short notes
of the most various sort, notes on literature, art, politics,
archaeology, all mixed together. The _pi-chi_ are a treasure-house for
the history of the culture of the time; they contain many details, often
of importance, about China's neighbouring peoples. They were intended to
serve as suggestions for learned conversation when scholars came
together; they aimed at showing how wide was a scholar's knowledge. To
this group we must add the accounts of travel, of which some of great
value dating from the Sung period are still extant; they contain
information of the greatest importance about the early Mongols and also
about Turkestan and South China.

While the Sung period was one of perfection in all fields of art,
painting undoubtedly gained its highest development in this time. We
find now two main streams in painting: some painters preferred the
decorative, pompous, but realistic approach, with great attention to the
detail. Later theoreticians brought this school in connection with one
school of meditative Buddhism, the so-called northern school. Men who
belonged to this school of painting often were active court officials or
painted for the court and for other representative purposes. One of the
most famous among them, Li Lung-mien (ca. 1040-1106), for instance
painted the different breeds of horses in the imperial stables. He was
also famous for his Buddhistic figures. Another school, later called the
southern school, regarded painting as an intimate, personal expression.
They tried to paint inner realities and not outer forms. They, too, were
educated, but they did not paint for anybody. They painted in their
country houses when they felt in the mood for expression. Their
paintings did not stress details, but tried to give the spirit of a
landscape, for in this field they excelled most. Best known of them is
Mi Fei (ca. 1051-1107), a painter as well as a calligrapher, art
collector, and art critic. Typically, his paintings were not much liked
by the emperor Hui Tsung (ruled 1101-1125) who was one of the greatest
art collectors and whose catalogue of his collection became very famous.
He created the Painting Academy, an institution which mainly gave
official recognition to painters in form of titles which gave the
painter access to and status at court. Ma Yuean (_c_. 1190-1224), member
of a whole painter's family, and Hsia Kui (_c_. 1180-1230) continued the
more "impressionistic" tradition. Already in Sung time, however, many
painters could and did paint in different styles, "copying", i.e.
painting in the way of T'ang painters, in order to express their
changing emotions by changed styles, a fact which often makes the dating
of Chinese paintings very difficult.

Finally, art craft has left us famous porcelains of the Sung period. The
most characteristic production of that time is the green porcelain known
as "Celadon". It consists usually of a rather solid paste, less like
porcelain than stoneware, covered with a green glaze; decoration is
incised, not painted, under the glaze. In the Sung period, however, came
the first pure white porcelain with incised ornamentation under the
glaze, and also with painting on the glaze. Not until near the end of
the Sung period did the blue and white porcelain begin (blue painting on
a white ground). The cobalt needed for this came from Asia Minor. In
exchange for the cobalt, Chinese porcelain went to Asia Minor. This
trade did not, however, grow greatly until the Mongol epoch; later
really substantial orders were placed in China, the Chinese executing
the patterns wanted in the West.

5 _Military collapse_

In foreign affairs the whole eleventh century was a period of diplomatic
manoeuvring, with every possible effort to avoid war. There was
long-continued fighting with the Kitan, and at times also with the
Turco-Tibetan Hsia, but diplomacy carried the day: tribute was paid to
both enemies, and the effort was made to stir up the Kitan against the
Hsia and vice versa; the other parties also intrigued in like fashion.
In 1110 the situation seemed to improve for the Sung in this game, as a
new enemy appeared in the rear of the Liao (Kitan), the Tungusic Juchen
(Jurchen), who in the past had been more or less subject to the Kitan.
In 1114 the Juchen made themselves independent and became a political
factor. The Kitan were crippled, and it became an easy matter to attack
them. But this pleasant situation did not last long. The Juchen
conquered Peking, and in 1125 the Kitan empire was destroyed; but in the
same year the Juchen marched against the Sung. In 1126 they captured
the Sung capital; the emperor and his art-loving father, who had retired
a little earlier, were taken prisoner, and the Northern Sung dynasty was
at an end.

The collapse came so quickly because the whole edifice of security
between the Kitan and the Sung was based on a policy of balance and of
diplomacy. Neither state was armed in any way, and so both collapsed at
the first assault from a military power.

(2) The Liao (Kitan) dynasty in the north (937-1125)

1 _Social structure. Claim to the Chinese imperial throne_

The Kitan, a league of tribes under the leadership of an apparently
Mongol tribe, had grown steadily stronger in north-eastern Mongolia
during the T'ang epoch. They had gained the allegiance of many tribes in
the west and also in Korea and Manchuria, and in the end, about A.D.
900, had become the dominant power in the north. The process of growth
of this nomad power was the same as that of other nomad states, such as
the Toba state, and therefore need not be described again in any detail
here. When the T'ang dynasty was deposed, the Kitan were among the
claimants to the Chinese throne, feeling fully justified in their claim
as the strongest power in the Far East. Owing to the strength of the
Sha-t'o Turks, who themselves claimed leadership in China, the expansion
of the Kitan empire slowed down. In the many battles the Kitan suffered
several setbacks. They also had enemies in the rear, a state named
Po-hai, ruled by Tunguses, in northern Korea, and the new Korean state
of Kao-li, which liberated itself from Chinese overlordship in 919.

In 927 the Kitan finally destroyed Po-hai. This brought many Tungus
tribes, including the Jurchen (Juchen), under Kitan dominance. Then, in
936, the Kitan gained the allegiance of the Turkish general Shih
Ching-t'ang, and he was set on the Chinese throne as a feudatory of the
Kitan. It was hoped now to secure dominance over China, and accordingly
the Mongol name of the dynasty was altered to "Liao dynasty" in 937,
indicating the claim to the Chinese throne. Considerable regions of
North China came at once under the direct rule of the Liao. As a whole,
however, the plan failed: the feudatory Shih Ching-t'ang tried to make
himself independent; Chinese fought the Liao; and the Chinese sceptre
soon came back into the hands of a Sha-t'o dynasty (947). This ended the
plans of the Liao to conquer the whole of China.

For this there were several reasons. A nomad people was again ruling
the agrarian regions of North China. This time the representatives of
the ruling class remained military commanders, and at the same time
retained their herds of horses. As early as 1100 they had well over
10,000 herds, each of more than a thousand animals. The army commanders
had been awarded large regions which they themselves had conquered. They
collected the taxes in these regions, and passed on to the state only
the yield of the wine tax. On the other hand, in order to feed the
armies, in which there were now many Chinese soldiers, the frontier
regions were settled, the soldiers working as peasants in times of
peace, and peasants being required to contribute to the support of the
army. Both processes increased the interest of the Kitan ruling class in
the maintenance of peace. That class was growing rich, and preferred
living on the income from its properties or settlements to going to war,
which had become a more and more serious matter after the founding of
the great Sung empire, and was bound to be less remunerative. The herds
of horses were a further excellent source of income, for they could be
sold to the Sung, who had no horses. Then, from 1004 onward, came the
tribute payments from China, strengthening the interest in the
maintenance of peace. Thus great wealth accumulated in Peking, the
capital of the Liao; in this wealth the whole Kitan ruling class
participated, but the tribes in the north, owing to their remoteness,
had no share in it. In 988 the Chinese began negotiations, as a move in
their diplomacy, with the ruler of the later realm of the Hsia; in 990
the Kitan also negotiated with him, and they soon became a third partner
in the diplomatic game. Delegations were continually going from one to
another of the three realms, and they were joined by trade missions.
Agreement was soon reached on frontier questions, on armament, on
questions of demobilization, on the demilitarization of particular
regions, and so on, for the last thing anyone wanted was to fight.

Then came the rising of the tribes of the north. They had remained
military tribes; of all the wealth nothing reached them, and they were
given no military employment, so that they had no hope of improving
their position. The leadership was assumed by the tribe of the Juchen
(1114). In a campaign of unprecedented rapidity they captured Peking,
and the Liao dynasty was ended (1125), a year earlier, as we know, than
the end of the Sung.

2 _The State of the Kara-Kitai_

A small troop of Liao, under the command of a member of the ruling
family, fled into the west. They were pursued without cessation, but
they succeeded in fighting their way through. After a few years of
nomad life in the mountains of northern Turkestan, they were able to
gain the collaboration of a few more tribes, and with them they then
invaded western Turkestan. There they founded the "Western Liao" state,
or, as the western sources call it, the "Kara-Kitai" state, with its
capital at Balasagun. This state must not be regarded as a purely Kitan
state. The Kitan formed only a very thin stratum, and the real power was
in the hands of autochthonous Turkish tribes, to whom the Kitan soon
became entirely assimilated in culture. Thus the history of this state
belongs to that of western Asia, especially as the relations of the
Kara-Kitai with the Far East were entirely broken off. In 1211 the state
was finally destroyed.

(3) The Hsi-Hsia State in the north (1038-1227)

1 _Continuation of Turkish traditions_

After the end of the Toba state in North China in 550, some tribes of
the Toba, including members of the ruling tribe with the tribal name
Toba, withdrew to the borderland between Tibet and China, where they
ruled over Tibetan and Tangut tribes. At the beginning of the T'ang
dynasty this tribe of Toba joined the T'ang. The tribal leader received
in return, as a distinction, the family name of the T'ang dynasty, Li.
His dependence on China was, however, only nominal and soon came
entirely to an end. In the tenth century the tribe gained in strength.
It is typical of the long continuance of old tribal traditions that a
leader of the tribe in the tenth century married a woman belonging to
the family to which the khans of the Hsiung-nu and all Turkish ruling
houses had belonged since 200 B.C. With the rise of the Kitan in the
north and of the Tibetan state in the south, the tribe decided to seek
the friendship of China. Its first mission, in 982, was well received.
Presents were sent to the chieftain of the tribe, he was helped against
his enemies, and he was given the status of a feudatory of the Sung; in
988 the family name of the Sung, Chao, was conferred on him. Then the
Kitan took a hand. They over-trumped the Sung by proclaiming the tribal
chieftain king of Hsia (990). Now the small state became interesting. It
was pampered by Liao and Sung in the effort to win it over or to keep
its friendship. The state grew; in 1031 its ruler resumed the old family
name of the Toba, thus proclaiming his intention to continue the Toba
empire; in 1034 he definitely parted from the Sung, and in 1038 he
proclaimed himself emperor in the Hsia dynasty, or, as the Chinese
generally called it, the "Hsi-Hsia", which means the Western Hsia. This
name, too, had associations with the old Hun tradition; it recalled the
state of Ho-lien P'o-p'o in the early fifth century. The state soon
covered the present province of Kansu, small parts of the adjoining
Tibetan territory, and parts of the Ordos region. It attacked the
province of Shensi, but the Chinese and the Liao attached the greatest
importance to that territory. Thus that was the scene of most of the

[Illustration: 12 Ancient tiled pagoda at Chengting (Hopei). _Photo H.

[Illustration: 13 Horse-training. Painting by Li Lung-mien. Late Sung
period. _Manchu Royal House Collection_.] The Hsia state had a ruling
group of Toba, but these Toba had become entirely tibetanized. The
language of the country was Tibetan; the customs were those of the
Tanguts. A script was devised, in imitation of the Chinese script. Only
in recent years has it begun to be studied.

In 1125, when the Tungusic Juchen destroyed the Liao, the Hsia also lost
large territories in the east of their country, especially the province
of Shensi, which they had conquered; but they were still able to hold
their own. Their political importance to China, however, vanished, since
they were now divided from southern China and as partners were no longer
of the same value to it. Not until the Mongols became a power did the
Hsia recover some of their importance; but they were among the first
victims of the Mongols: in 1209 they had to submit to them, and in 1227,
the year of the death of Genghiz Khan, they were annihilated.

(4) The empire of the Southern Sung dynasty (1127-1279)

1 _Foundation_

In the disaster of 1126, when the Juchen captured the Sung capital and
destroyed the Sung empire, a brother of the captive emperor escaped. He
made himself emperor in Nanking and founded the "Southern Sung" dynasty,
whose capital was soon shifted to the present Hangchow. The foundation
of the new dynasty was a relatively easy matter, and the new state was
much more solid than the southern kingdoms of 800 years earlier, for the
south had already been economically supreme, and the great families that
had ruled the state were virtually all from the south. The loss of the
north, i.e. the area north of the Yellow River and of parts of Kiangsu,
was of no importance to this governing group and meant no loss of
estates to it. Thus the transition from the Northern to the Southern
Sung was not of fundamental importance. Consequently the Juchen had no
chance of success when they arranged for Liu Yue, who came of a northern
Chinese family of small peasants and had become an official, to be
proclaimed emperor in the "Ch'i" dynasty in 1130. They hoped that this
puppet might attract the southern Chinese, but seven years later they
dropped him.

2 _Internal situation_

As the social structure of the Southern Sung empire had not been
changed, the country was not affected by the dynastic development. Only
the policy of diplomacy could not be pursued at once, as the Juchen were
bellicose at first and would not negotiate. There were therefore several
battles at the outset (in 1131 and 1134), in which the Chinese were
actually the more successful, but not decisively. The Sung military
group was faced as early as in 1131 with furious opposition from the
greater gentry, led by Ch'in K'ui, one of the largest landowners of all.
His estates were around Nanking, and so in the deployment region and the
region from which most of the soldiers had to be drawn for the defensive
struggle. Ch'in K'ui secured the assassination of the leader of the
military party, General Yo Fei, in 1141, and was able to conclude peace
with the Juchen. The Sung had to accept the status of vassals and to pay
annual tribute to the Juchen. This was the situation that best pleased
the greater gentry. They paid hardly any taxes (in many districts the
greater gentry directly owned more than 30 per cent of the land, in
addition to which they had indirect interests in the soil), and they
were now free from the war peril that ate into their revenues. The
tribute amounted only to 500,000 strings of cash. Popular literature,
however, to this day represents Ch'in K'ui as a traitor and Yo Fei as a
national hero.

In 1165 it was agreed between the Sung and the Juchen to regard each
other as states with equal rights. It is interesting to note here that
in the treaties during the Han time with the Hsiung-nu, the two
countries called one another brothers--with the Chinese ruler as the
older and thus privileged brother; but the treaties since the T'ang time
with northern powers and with Tibetans used the terms father-in-law and
son-in-law. The foreign power was the "father-in-law", i.e. the older
and, therefore, in a certain way the more privileged; the Chinese were
the "son-in-law", the representative of the paternal lineage and,
therefore, in another respect also the more privileged! In spite of such
agreements with the Juchen, fighting continued, but it was mainly of the
character of frontier engagements. Not until 1204 did the military
party, led by Han T'o-wei, regain power; it resolved upon an active
policy against the north. In preparation for this a military reform was
carried out. The campaign proved a disastrous failure, as a result of
which large territories in the north were lost. The Sung sued for
peace; Han T'o-wei's head was cut off and sent to the Juchen. In this
way peace was restored in 1208. The old treaty relationship was now
resumed, but the relations between the two states remained tense.
Meanwhile the Sung observed with malicious pleasure how the Mongols were
growing steadily stronger, first destroying the Hsia state and then
aiming the first heavy blows against the Juchen. In the end the Sung
entered into alliance with the Mongols (1233) and joined them in
attacking the Juchen, thus hastening the end of the Juchen state.

The Sung now faced the Mongols, and were defenceless against them. All
the buffer states had gone. The Sung were quite without adequate
military defence. They hoped to stave off the Mongols in the same way as
they had met the Kitan and the Juchen. This time, however, they
misjudged the situation. In the great operations begun by the Mongols in
1273 the Sung were defeated over and over again. In 1276 their capital
was taken by the Mongols and the emperor was made prisoner. For three
years longer there was a Sung emperor, in flight from the Mongols, until
the last emperor perished near Macao in South China.

3 _Cultural situation; reasons for the collapse_

The Southern Sung period was again one of flourishing culture. The
imperial court was entirely in the power of the greater gentry; several
times the emperors, who personally do not deserve individual mention,
were compelled to abdicate. They then lived on with a court of their
own, devoting themselves to pleasure in much the same way as the
"reigning" emperor. Round them was a countless swarm of poets and
artists. Never was there a time so rich in poets, though hardly one of
them was in any way outstanding. The poets, unlike those of earlier
times, belonged to the lesser gentry who were suffering from the
prevailing inflation. Salaries bore no relation to prices. Food was not
dear, but the things which a man of the upper class ought to have were
far out of reach: a big house cost 2,000 strings of cash, a concubine
800 strings. Thus the lesser gentry and the intelligentsia all lived on
their patrons among the greater gentry--with the result that they were
entirely shut out of politics. This explains why the literature of the
time is so unpolitical, and also why scarcely any philosophical works
appeared. The writers took refuge more and more in romanticism and
flight from realities.

The greater gentry, on the other hand, led a very elegant life, building
themselves magnificent palaces in the capital. They also speculated in
every direction. They speculated in land, in money, and above all in
the paper money that was coming more and more into use. In 1166 the
paper circulation exceeded the value of 10,000,000 strings!

It seems that after 1127 a good number of farmers had left Honan and the
Yellow River plains when the Juchen conquered these places and showed
little interest in fostering agriculture; more left the border areas of
Southern Sung because of permanent war threat. Many of these lived
miserably as tenants on the farms of the gentry between Nanking and
Hangchow. Others migrated farther to the south, across Kiangsi into
southern Fukien. These migrants seem to have been the ancestors of the
Hakka which in the following centuries continued their migration towards
the south and who from the nineteenth century on were most strongly
concentrated in Kwangtung and Kwangsi provinces as free farmers on hill
slopes or as tenants of local landowners in the plains.

The influx of migrants and the increase of tenants and their poverty
seriously threatened the state and cut down its defensive strength more
and more.

At this stage, Chia Ssu-tao drafted a reform law. Chia had come to the
court through his sister becoming the emperor's concubine, but he
himself belonged to the lesser gentry. His proposal was that state funds
should be applied to the purchase of land in the possession of the
greater gentry over and above a fixed maximum. Peasants were to be
settled on this land, and its yield was to belong to the state, which
would be able to use it to meet military expenditure. In this way the
country's military strength was to be restored. Chia's influence lasted
just ten years, until 1275. He began putting the law into effect in the
region south of Nanking, where the principal estates of the greater
gentry were then situated. He brought upon himself, of course, the
mortal hatred of the greater gentry, and paid for his action with his
life. The emperor, in entering upon this policy, no doubt had hoped to
recover some of his power, but the greater gentry brought him down. The
gentry now openly played into the hands of the approaching Mongols, so
hastening the final collapse of the Sung. The peasants and the lesser
gentry would have fought the Mongols if it had been possible; but the
greater gentry enthusiastically went over to the Mongols, hoping to save
their property and so their influence by quickly joining the enemy. On a
long view they had not judged badly. The Mongols removed the members of
the gentry from all political posts, but left them their estates; and
before long the greater gentry reappeared in political life. And when,
later, the Mongol empire in China was brought down by a popular rising,
the greater gentry showed themselves to be the most faithful allies of
the Mongols!

(5) The empire of the Juchen in the north (1115-1234)

1 _Rapid expansion from northern Korea to the Yangtze_

The Juchen in the past had been only a small league of Tungus tribes,
whose name is preserved in that of the present Tungus tribe of the
Jurchen, which came under the domination of the Kitan after the collapse
of the state of Po-hai in northern Korea. We have already briefly
mentioned the reasons for their rise. After their first successes
against the Kitan (1114), their chieftain at once proclaimed himself
emperor (1115), giving his dynasty the name "Chin" (The Golden). The
Chin quickly continued their victorious progress. In 1125 the Kitan
empire was destroyed. It will be remembered that the Sung were at once
attacked, although they had recently been allied with the Chin against
the Kitan. In 1126 the Sung capital was taken. The Chin invasions were
pushed farther south, and in 1130 the Yangtze was crossed. But the Chin
did not hold the whole of these conquests. Their empire was not yet
consolidated. Their partial withdrawal closed the first phase of the
Chin empire.

2 _United front of all Chinese_

But a few years after this maximum expansion, a withdrawal began which
went on much more quickly than usual in such cases. The reasons were to
be found both in external and in internal politics. The Juchen had
gained great agrarian regions in a rapid march of conquest. Once more
great cities with a huge urban population and immense wealth had fallen
to alien conquerors. Now the Juchen wanted to enjoy this wealth as the
Kitan had done before them. All the Juchen people counted as citizens of
the highest class; they were free from taxation and only liable to
military service. They were entitled to take possession of as much
cultivable land as they wanted; this they did, and they took not only
the "state domains" actually granted to them but also peasant
properties, so that Chinese free peasants had nothing left but the worst
fields, unless they became tenants on Juchen estates. A united front was
therefore formed between all Chinese, both peasants and landowning
gentry, against the Chin, such as it had not been possible to form
against the Kitan. This made an important contribution later to the
rapid collapse of the Chin empire.

The Chin who had thus come into possession of the cultivable land and
at the same time of the wealth of the towns, began a sort of competition
with each other for the best winnings, especially after the government
had returned to the old Sung capital, Pien-liang (now K'ai-feng, in
eastern Honan). Serious crises developed in their own ranks. In 1149 the
ruler was assassinated by his chancellor (a member of the imperial
family), who in turn was murdered in 1161. The Chin thus failed to
attain what had been secured by all earlier conquerors, a reconciliation
of the various elements of the population and the collaboration of at
least one group of the defeated Chinese.

3 _Start of the Mongol empire_

The cessation of fighting against the Sung brought no real advantage in
external affairs, though the tribute payments appealed to the greed of
the rulers and were therefore welcomed. There could be no question of
further campaigns against the south, for the Hsia empire in the west had
not been destroyed, though some of its territory had been annexed; and a
new peril soon made its appearance in the rear of the Chin. When in the
tenth century the Sha-t'o Turks had to withdraw from their dominating
position in China, because of their great loss of numbers and
consequently of strength, they went back into Mongolia and there united
with the Ta-tan (Tatars), among whom a new small league of tribes had
formed towards the end of the eleventh century, consisting mainly of
Mongols and Turks. In 1139 one of the chieftains of the Juchen rebelled
and entered into negotiations with the South Chinese. He was killed, but
his sons and his whole tribe then rebelled and went into Mongolia, where
they made common cause with the Mongols. The Chin pursued them, and
fought against them and against the Mongols, but without success.
Accordingly negotiations were begun, and a promise was given to deliver
meat and grain every year and to cede twenty-seven military strongholds.
A high title was conferred on the tribal leader of the Mongols, in the
hope of gaining his favour. He declined it, however, and in 1147 assumed
the title of emperor of the "greater Mongol empire". This was the
beginning of the power of the Mongols, who remained thereafter a
dangerous enemy of the Chin in the north, until in 1189 Genghiz Khan
became their leader and made the Mongols the greatest power of central
Asia. In any case, the Chin had reason to fear the Mongols from 1147
onward, and therefore were the more inclined to leave the Sung in peace.

In 1210 the Mongols began the first great assault against the Chin, the
moment they had conquered the Hsia. In the years 1215-17 the Mongols
took the military key-positions from the Chin. After that there could be
no serious defence of the Chin empire. There came a respite only because
the Mongols had turned against the West. But in 1234 the empire finally
fell to the Mongols.

Many of the Chin entered the service of the Mongols, and with their
permission returned to Manchuria; there they fell back to the cultural
level of a warlike nomad people. Not until the sixteenth century did
these Tunguses recover, reorganize, and appear again in history this
time under the name of Manchus.

The North Chinese under Chin rule did not regard the Mongols as enemies
of their country, but were ready at once to collaborate with them. The
Mongols were even more friendly to them than to the South Chinese, and
treated them rather better.


Chapter Ten


(A) The Mongol Epoch (1280-1368)

1 _Beginning of new foreign rules_

During more than half of the third period of "Modern Times" which now
began, China was under alien rule. Of the 631 years from 1280 to 1911,
China was under national rulers for 276 years and under alien rule for
355. The alien rulers were first the Mongols, and later the Tungus
Manchus. It is interesting to note that the alien rulers in the earlier
period came mainly from the north-west, and only in modern times did
peoples from the north-east rule over China. This was due in part to the
fact that only peoples who had attained a certain level of civilization
were capable of dominance. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, eastern
Mongolia and Manchuria were at a relatively low level of civilization,
from which they emerged only gradually through permanent contact with
other nomad peoples, especially Turks. We are dealing here, of course,
only with the Mongol epoch in China and not with the great Mongol
empire, so that we need not enter further into these questions.

Yet another point is characteristic: the Mongols were the first alien
people to rule the whole of China; the Manchus, who appeared in the
seventeenth century, were the second and last. All alien peoples before
these two ruled only parts of China. Why was it that the Mongols were
able to be so much more successful than their predecessors? In the first
place the Mongol political league was numerically stronger than those of
the earlier alien peoples; secondly, the military organization and
technical equipment of the Mongols were exceptionally advanced for their
day. It must be borne in mind, for instance, that during their many
years of war against the Sung dynasty in South China the Mongols already
made use of small cannon in laying siege to towns. We have no exact
knowledge of the number of Mongols who invaded and occupied China, but
it is estimated that there were more than a million Mongols living in
China. Not all of them, of course, were really Mongols! The name covered
Turks, Tunguses, and others; among the auxiliaries of the Mongols were
Uighurs, men from Central Asia and the Middle East, and even Europeans.
When the Mongols attacked China they had the advantage of all the arts
and crafts and all the new technical advances of western and central
Asia and of Europe. Thus they had attained a high degree of technical
progress, and at the same time their number was very great.

2 "_Nationality legislation_"

It was only after the Hsia empire in North China, and then the empire of
the Juchen, had been destroyed by the Mongols, and only after long and
remarkably modern tactical preparation, that the Mongols conquered South
China, the empire of the Sung dynasty. They were now faced with the
problem of ruling their great new empire. The conqueror of that empire,
Kublai, himself recognized that China could not be treated in quite the
same way as the Mongols' previous conquests; he therefore separated the
empire in China from the rest of the Mongol empire. Mongol China became
an independent realm within the Mongol empire, a sort of Dominion. The
Mongol rulers were well aware that in spite of their numerical strength
they were still only a minority in China, and this implied certain
dangers. They therefore elaborated a "nationality legislation", the
first of its kind in the Far East. The purpose of this legislation was,
of course, to be the protection of the Mongols. The population of
conquered China was divided into four groups--(1) Mongols, themselves
falling into four sub-groups (the oldest Mongol tribes, the White
Tatars, the Black Tatars, the Wild Tatars); (2) Central Asian
auxiliaries (Naimans, Uighurs, and various other Turkish people,
Tanguts, and so on); (3) North Chinese; (4) South Chinese. The Mongols
formed the privileged ruling class. They remained militarily organized,
and were distributed in garrisons over all the big towns of China as
soldiers, maintained by the state. All the higher government posts were
reserved for them, so that they also formed the heads of the official
staffs. The auxiliary peoples were also admitted into the government
service; they, too, had privileges, but were not all soldiers but in
many cases merchants, who used their privileged position to promote
business. Not a few of these merchants were Uighurs and Mohammedans;
many Uighurs were also employed as clerks, as the Mongols were very
often unable to read and write Chinese, and the government offices were
bilingual, working in Mongolian and Chinese. The clever Uighurs quickly
learned enough of both languages for official purposes, and made
themselves indispensable assistants to the Mongols. Persian, the main
language of administration in the western parts of the Mongol empire
besides Uighuric, also was a _lingua franca_ among the new rulers of

In the Mongol legislation the South Chinese had the lowest status, and
virtually no rights. Intermarriage with them was prohibited. The Chinese
were not allowed to carry arms. For a time they were forbidden even to
learn the Mongol or other foreign languages. In this way they were to be
prevented from gaining official positions and playing any political
part. Their ignorance of the languages of northern, central, and western
Asia also prevented them from engaging in commerce like the foreign
merchants, and every possible difficulty was put in the way of their
travelling for commercial purposes. On the other hand, foreigners were,
of course, able to learn Chinese, and so to gain a footing in Chinese
internal trade.

Through legislation of this type the Mongols tried to build up and to
safeguard their domination over China. Yet their success did not last a
hundred years.

3 _Military position_

In foreign affairs the Mongol epoch was for China something of a
breathing space, for the great wars of the Mongols took place at a
remote distance from China and without any Chinese participation. Only a
few concluding wars were fought under Kublai in the Far East. The first
was his war against Japan (1281): it ended in complete failure, the
fleet being destroyed by a storm. In this campaign the Chinese furnished
ships and also soldiers. The subjection of Japan would have been in the
interest of the Chinese, as it would have opened a market which had been
almost closed against them in the Sung period. Mongol wars followed in
the south. In 1282 began the war against Burma; in 1284 Annam and
Cambodia were conquered; in 1292 a campaign was started against Java. It
proved impossible to hold Java, but almost the whole of Indo-China came
under Mongol rule, to the satisfaction of the Chinese, for Indo-China
had already been one of the principal export markets in the Sung period.
After that, however, there was virtually no more warfare, apart from
small campaigns against rebellious tribes. The Mongol soldiers now lived
on their pay in their garrisons, with nothing to do. The old campaigners
died and were followed by their sons, brought up also as soldiers; but
these young Mongols were born in China, had seen nothing of war, and
learned of the soldiers' trade either nothing or very little; so that
after about 1320 serious things happened. An army nominally 1,000 strong
was sent against a group of barely fifty bandits and failed to defeat
them. Most of the 1,000 soldiers no longer knew how to use their
weapons, and many did not even join the force. Such incidents occurred
again and again.

4 _Social situation_

The results, however, of conditions within the country were of much more
importance than events abroad. The Mongols made Peking their capital as
was entirely natural, for Peking was near their homeland Mongolia. The
emperor and his entourage could return to Mongolia in the summer, when
China became too hot or too humid for them; and from Peking they were
able to maintain contact with the rest of the Mongol empire. But as the
city had become the capital of a vast empire, an enormous staff of
officials had to be housed there, consisting of persons of many
different nationalities. The emperor naturally wanted to have a
magnificent capital, a city really worthy of so vast an empire. As the
many wars had brought in vast booty, there was money for the building of
great palaces, of a size and magnificence never before seen in China.
They were built by Chinese forced labour, and to this end men had to be
brought from all over the empire--poor peasants, whose fields went out
of cultivation while they were held in bondage far away. If they ever
returned home, they were destitute and had lost their land. The rich
gentry, on the other hand, were able to buy immunity from forced labour.
The immense increase in the population of Peking (the huge court with
its enormous expenditure, the mass of officials, the great merchant
community, largely foreigners, and the many servile labourers),
necessitated vast supplies of food. Now, as mentioned in earlier
chapters, since the time of the Later T'ang the region round Nanking had
become the main centre of production in China, and the Chinese
population had gone over more and more to the consumption of rice
instead of pulse or wheat. As rice could not be grown in the north,
practically the whole of the food supplies for the capital had to be
brought from the south. The transport system taken over by the Mongols
had not been created for long-distance traffic of this sort. The capital
of the Sung had lain in the main centre of production. Consequently, a
great fleet had suddenly to be built, canals and rivers had to be
regulated, and some new canals excavated. This again called for a vast
quantity of forced labour, often brought from afar to the points at
which it was needed. The Chinese peasants had suffered in the Sung
period. They had been exploited by the large landowners. The Mongols had
not removed these landowners, as the Chinese gentry had gone over to
their side. The Mongols had deprived them of their political power, but
had left them their estates, the basis of their power. In past changes
of dynasty the gentry had either maintained their position or been
replaced by a new gentry: the total number of their class had remained
virtually unchanged. Now, however, in addition to the original gentry
there were about a million Mongols, for whose maintenance the peasants
had also to provide, and their standard of maintenance was high. This
was an enormous increase in the burdens of the peasantry.

Two other elements further pressed on the peasants in the Mongol
epoch--organized religion and the traders. The upper classes among the
Chinese had in general little interest in religion, but the Mongols,
owing to their historical development, were very religious. Some of them
and some of their allies were Buddhists, some were still shamanists. The
Chinese Buddhists and the representatives of popular Taoism approached
the Mongols and the foreign Buddhist monks trying to enlist the interest
of the Mongols and their allies. The old shamanism was unable to compete
with the higher religions, and the Mongols in China became Buddhist or
interested themselves in popular Taoism. They showed their interest
especially by the endowment of temples and monasteries. The temples were
given great estates, and the peasants on those estates became temple
servants. The land belonging to the temples was free from taxation.

We have as yet no exact statistics of the Mongol epoch, only
approximations. These set the total area under cultivation at some six
million _ch'ing_ (a _ch'ing_ is the ideal size of the farm worked by a
peasant family, but it was rarely held in practice); the population
amounted to fourteen or fifteen million families. Of this total tillage
some 170,000 _ch'ing_ were allotted to the temples; that is to say, the
farms for some 400,000 peasant families were taken from the peasants and
no longer paid taxes to the state. The peasants, however, had to make
payments to the temples. Some 200,000 _ch'ing_ with some 450,000 peasant
families were turned into military settlements; that is to say, these
peasants had to work for the needs of the army. Their taxes went not to
the state but to the army. Moreover, in the event of war they had to
render service to the army. In addition to this, all higher officials
received official properties, the yield of which represented part
payment of their salaries. Then, Mongol nobles and dignitaries received
considerable grants of land, which was taken away from the free
peasants; the peasants had then to work their farms as tenants and to
pay dues to their landlords, no longer to the state. Finally, especially
in North China, many peasants were entirely dispossessed, and their land
was turned into pasturage for the Mongols' horses; the peasants
themselves were put to forced labour. On top of this came the
exploitation of the peasants by the great landowners of the past. All
this meant an enormous diminution in the number of free peasants and
thus of taxpayers. As the state was involved in more expenditure than in
the past owing to the large number of Mongols who were its virtual
pensioners, the taxes had to be continually increased. Meanwhile the
many peasants working as tenants of the great landlords, the temples,
and the Mongol nobles were entirely at their mercy. In this period, a
second migration of farmers into the southern provinces, mainly Fukien
and Kwangtung, took place; it had its main source in the lower Yangtze
valley. A few gentry families whose relatives had accompanied the Sung
emperor on their flight to the south, also settled with their followers
in the Canton basin.

The many merchants from abroad, especially those belonging to the
peoples allied to the Mongols, also had in every respect a privileged
position in China. They were free of taxation, free to travel all over
the country, and received privileged treatment in the use of means of
transport. They were thus able to accumulate great wealth, most of which
went out of China to their own country. This produced a general
impoverishment of China. Chinese merchants fell more and more into
dependence on the foreign merchants; the only field of action really
remaining to them was the local trade within China and the trade with
Indo-China, where the Chinese had the advantage of knowing the language.

The impoverishment of China began with the flow abroad of her metallic
currency. To make up for this loss, the government was compelled to
issue great quantities of paper money, which very quickly depreciated,
because after a few years the government would no longer accept the
money at its face value, so that the population could place no faith in
it. The depreciation further impoverished the people.

Thus we have in the Mongol epoch in China the imposing picture of a
commerce made possible with every country from Europe to the Pacific;
this, however, led to the impoverishment of China. We also see the
rising of mighty temples and monumental buildings, but this again only
contributed to the denudation of the country. The Mongol epoch was thus
one of continual and rapid impoverishment in China, simultaneously with
a great display of magnificence. The enthusiastic descriptions of the
Mongol empire in China offered by travellers from the Near East or from
Europe, such as Marco Polo, give an entirely false picture: as
foreigners they had a privileged position, living in the cities and
seeing nothing of the situation of the general population.

5 _Popular risings: National rising_

It took time for the effects of all these factors to become evident. The
first popular rising came in 1325. Statistics of 1329 show that there
were then some 7,600,000 persons in the empire who were starving; as
this was only the figure of the officially admitted sufferers, the
figure may have been higher. In any case, seven-and-a-half millions were
a substantial percentage of the total population, estimated at
45,000,000. The risings that now came incessantly were led by men of the
lower orders--a cloth-seller, a fisherman, a peasant, a salt smuggler,
the son of a soldier serving a sentence, an office messenger, and so on.
They never attacked the Mongols as aliens, but always the rich in
general, whether Chinese or foreign. Wherever they came, they killed all
the rich and distributed their money and possessions.

As already mentioned, the Mongol garrisons were unable to cope with
these risings. But how was it that the Mongol rule did not collapse
until some forty years later? The Mongols parried the risings by raising
loans from the rich and using the money to recruit volunteers to fight
the rebels. The state revenues would not have sufficed for these
payments, and the item was not one that could be included in the
military budget. What was of much more importance was that the gentry
themselves recruited volunteers and fought the rebels on their own
account, without the authority or the support of the government. Thus it
was the Chinese gentry, in their fear of being killed by the insurgents,
who fought them and so bolstered up the Mongol rule.

In 1351 the dykes along the Yellow River burst. The dykes had to be
reconstructed and further measures of conservancy undertaken. To this
end the government impressed 170,000 men. Following this action, great
new revolts broke out. Everywhere in Honan, Kiangsu, and Shantung, the
regions from which the labourers were summoned, revolutionary groups
were formed, some of them amounting to 100,000 men. Some groups had a
religious tinge; others declared their intention to restore the emperors
of the Sung dynasty. Before long great parts of central China were
wrested from the hands of the government. The government recognized the
menace to its existence, but resorted to contradictory measures. In 1352
southern Chinese were permitted to take over certain official positions.
In this way it was hoped to gain the full support of the gentry, who had
a certain interest in combating the rebel movements. On the other hand,
the government tightened up its nationality laws. All the old
segregation laws were brought back into force, with the result that in a
few years the aim of the rebels became no longer merely the expulsion of
the rich but also the expulsion of the Mongols: a social movement thus
became a national one. A second element contributed to the change in the
character of the popular rising. The rebels captured many towns. Some of
these towns refused to fight and negotiated terms of submission. In
these cases the rebels did not murder the whole of the gentry, but took
some of them into their service. The gentry did not agree to this out of
sympathy with the rebels, but simply in order to save their own lives.
Once they had taken the step, however, they could not go back; they had
no alternative but to remain on the side of the rebels.

In 1352 Kuo Tz[)u]-hsing rose in southern Honan. Kuo was the son of a
wandering soothsayer and a blind beggar-woman. He had success; his group
gained control of a considerable region round his home. There was no
longer any serious resistance from the Mongols, for at this time the
whole of eastern China was in full revolt. In 1353 Kuo was joined by a
man named Chu Yuean-chang, the son of a small peasant, probably a tenant
farmer. Chu's parents and all his relatives had died from a plague,
leaving him destitute. He had first entered a monastery and become a
monk. This was a favourite resource--and has been almost to the present
day--for poor sons of peasants who were threatened with starvation. As a
monk he had gone about begging, until in 1353 he returned to his home
and collected a group, mostly men from his own village, sons of peasants
and young fellows who had already been peasant leaders. Monks were often
peasant leaders. They were trusted because they promised divine aid, and
because they were usually rather better educated than the rest of the
peasants. Chu at first also had contacts with a secret society, a branch
of the White Lotus Society which several times in the course of Chinese
history has been the nucleus of rebellious movements. Chu took his small
group which identified itself by a red turban and a red banner to Kuo,
who received him gladly, entered into alliance with him, and in sign of
friendship gave him his daughter in marriage. In 1355 Kuo died, and Chu
took over his army, now many thousands strong. In his campaigns against
towns in eastern China, Chu succeeded in winning over some capable
members of the gentry. One was the chairman of a committee that yielded
a town to Chu; another was a scholar whose family had always been
opposed to the Mongols, and who had himself suffered injustice several
times in his official career, so that he was glad to join Chu out of
hatred of the Mongols.

These men gained great influence over Chu, and persuaded him to give up
attacking rich individuals, and instead to establish an assured control
over large parts of the country. He would then, they pointed out, be
permanently enriched, while otherwise he would only be in funds at the
moment of the plundering of a town. They set before him strategic plans
with that aim. Through their counsel Chu changed from the leader of a
popular rising into a fighter against the dynasty. Of all the peasant
leaders he was now the only one pursuing a definite aim. He marched
first against Nanking, the great city of central China, and captured it
with ease. He then crossed the Yangtze, and conquered the rich provinces
of the south-east. He was a rebel who no longer slaughtered the rich or
plundered the towns, and the whole of the gentry with all their
followers came over to him _en masse_. The armies of volunteers went
over to Chu, and the whole edifice of the dynasty collapsed.

The years 1355-1368 were full of small battles. After his conquest of
the whole of the south, Chu went north. In 1368 his generals captured
Peking almost without a blow. The Mongol ruler fled on horseback with
his immediate entourage into the north of China, and soon after into
Mongolia. The Mongol dynasty had been brought down, almost without
resistance. The Mongols in the isolated garrisons marched northward
wherever they could. A few surrendered to the Chinese and were used in
southern China as professional soldiers, though they were always
regarded with suspicion. The only serious resistance offered came from
the regions in which other Chinese popular leaders had established
themselves, especially the remote provinces in the west and south-west,
which had a different social structure and had been relatively little
affected by the Mongol regime.

Thus the collapse of the Mongols came for the following reasons: (1)
They had not succeeded in maintaining their armed strength or that of
their allies during the period of peace that followed Kublai's conquest.
The Mongol soldiers had become effeminate through their life of idleness
in the towns. (2) The attempt to rule the empire through Mongols or
other aliens, and to exclude the Chinese gentry entirely from the
administration, failed through insufficient knowledge of the sources of
revenue and through the abuses due to the favoured treatment of aliens.
The whole country, and especially the peasantry, was completely
impoverished and so driven into revolt. (3) There was also a
psychological reason. In the middle of the fourteenth century it was
obvious to the Mongols that their hold over China was growing more and
more precarious, and that there was little to be got out of the
impoverished country: they seem in consequence to have lost interest in
the troublesome task of maintaining their rule, preferring, in so far as
they had not already entirely degenerated, to return to their old home
in the north. It is important to bear in mind these reasons for the
collapse of the Mongols, so that we may compare them later with the
reasons for the collapse of the Manchus.

No mention need be made here of the names of the Mongol rulers in China
after Kublai. After his death in 1294, grandsons and great-grandsons of
his followed each other in rapid succession on the throne; not one of
them was of any personal significance. They had no influence on the
government of China. Their life was spent in intriguing against one
another. There were seven Mongol emperors after Kublai.

6 _Cultural_

During the Mongol epoch a large number of the Chinese scholars withdrew
from official life. They lived in retirement among their friends, and
devoted themselves mainly to the pursuit of the art of poetry, which had
been elaborated in the Later Sung epoch, without themselves arriving at
any important innovations in form. Their poems were built up
meticulously on the rules laid down by the various schools; they were
routine productions rather than the outcome of any true poetic
inspiration. In the realm of prose the best achievements were the
"miscellaneous notes" already mentioned, collections of learned essays.
The foreigners who wrote in Chinese during this epoch are credited with
no better achievements by the Chinese historians of literature. Chief of
them were a statesman named Yeh-lue Ch'u-ts'ai, a Kitan in the service of
the Mongols; and a Mongol named T'o-t'o (Tokto). The former accompanied
Genghiz Khan in his great campaign against Turkestan, and left a very
interesting account of his journeys, together with many poems about
Samarkand and Turkestan. His other works were mainly letters and poems
addressed to friends. They differ in no way in style from the Chinese
literary works of the time, and are neither better nor worse than those
works. He shows strong traces of Taoist influence, as do other
contemporary writers. We know that Genghiz Khan was more or less
inclined to Taoism, and admitted a Taoist monk to his camp (1221-1224).
This man's account of his travels has also been preserved, and with the
numerous European accounts of Central Asia written at this time it forms
an important source. The Mongol Tokto was the head of an historical
commission that issued the annals of the Sung dynasty, the Kitan, and
the Juchen dynasty. The annals of the Sung dynasty became the largest of
all the historical works, but they were fiercely attacked from the first
by Chinese critics on account of their style and their hasty
composition, and, together with the annals of the Mongol dynasty, they
are regarded as the worst of the annals preserved. Tokto himself is less
to blame for this than the circumstance that he was compelled to work in
great haste, and had not time to put into order the overwhelming mass of
his material.

The greatest literary achievements, however, of the Mongol period belong
beyond question to the theatre (or, rather, opera). The emperors were
great theatre-goers, and the wealthy private families were also
enthusiasts, so that gradually people of education devoted themselves to
writing librettos for the operas, where in the past this work had been
left to others. Most of the authors of these librettos remained unknown:
they used pseudonyms, partly because playwriting was not an occupation
that befitted a scholar, and partly because in these works they
criticized the conditions of their day. These works are divided in
regard to style into two groups, those of the "southern" and the
"northern" drama; these are distinguished from each other in musical
construction and in their intellectual attitude: in general the northern
works are more heroic and the southern more sentimental, though there
are exceptions. The most famous northern works of the Mongol epoch are
_P'i-p'a-chi_ ("The Story of a Lute"), written about 1356, probably by
Kao Ming, and _Chao-shih ku-erh-chi_ ("The Story of the Orphan of Chao
"), a work that enthralled Voltaire, who made a paraphrase of it; its
author was the otherwise unknown Chi Chuen-hsiang. One of the most famous
of the southern dramas is _Hsi-hsiang-chi_ ("The Romance of the Western
Chamber"), by Wang Shih-fu and Kuan Han-ch'ing. Kuan lived under the
Juchen dynasty as a physician, and then among the Mongols. He is said to
have written fifty-eight dramas, many of which became famous.

In the fine arts, foreign influence made itself felt during the Mongol
epoch much more than in literature. This was due in part to the Mongol
rulers' predilection for the Lamaism that was widespread in their
homeland. Lamaism is a special form of Buddhism which developed in
Tibet, where remnants of the old national Tibetan cult (_Bon_) were
fused with Buddhism into a distinctive religion. During the rise of the
Mongols this religion, which closely resembled the shamanism of the
ancient Mongols, spread in Mongolia, and through the Mongols it made
great progress in China, where it had been insignificant until their
time. Religious sculpture especially came entirely under Tibetan
influence (particularly that of the sculptor Aniko, who came from Nepal,
where he was born in 1244). This influence was noticeable in the Chinese
sculptor Liu Yuean; after him it became stronger and stronger, lasting
until the Manchu epoch.

In architecture, too, Indian and Tibetan influence was felt in this
period. The Tibetan pagodas came into special prominence alongside the
previously known form of pagoda, which has many storeys, growing smaller
as they go upward; these towers originally contained relics of Buddha
and his disciples. The Tibetan pagoda has not this division into
storeys, and its lower part is much larger in circumference, and often
round. To this day Peking is rich in pagodas in the Tibetan style.

The Mongols also developed in China the art of carpet-knotting, which to
this day is found only in North China in the zone of northern influence.
There were carpets before these, but they were mainly of felt. The
knotted carpets were produced in imperial workshops--only, of course,
for the Mongols, who were used to carpets. A further development
probably also due to West Asian influence was that of cloisonne
technique in China in this period.

Painting, on the other hand, remained free from alien influence, with
the exception of the craft painting for the temples. The most famous
painters of the Mongol epoch were Chao Meng-fu (also called Chao
Chung-mu, 1254-1322), a relative of the deposed imperial family of the
Sung dynasty, and Ni Tsan (1301-1374).

(B) The Ming Epoch (1368-1644)

1 _Start. National feeling_

It was necessary to give special attention to the reasons for the
downfall of Mongol rule in China, in order to make clear the cause and
the character of the Ming epoch that followed it. It is possible that
the erroneous impression might be gained that the Mongol epoch in China
was entirely without merits, and that the Mongol rule over China
differed entirely from the Mongol rule over other countries of Asia.
Chinese historians have no good word to say of the Mongol epoch and
avoid the subject as far as they can. It is true that the union of the
national Mongol culture with Chinese culture, as envisaged by the Mongol
rulers, was not a sound conception, and consequently did not endure for
long. Nevertheless, the Mongol epoch in China left indelible traces, and
without it China's further development would certainly have taken a
different course.

The many popular risings during the latter half of the period of Mongol
rule in China were all of a purely economic and social character, and at
first they were not directed at all against the Mongols as
representatives of an alien people. The rising under Chu Yuean-chang,
which steadily gained impetus, was at first a purely social movement;
indeed, it may fairly be called revolutionary. Chu was of the humblest
origin; he became a monk and a peasant leader at one and the same time.
Only three times in Chinese history has a man of the peasantry become
emperor and founder of a dynasty. The first of these three men founded
the Han dynasty; the second founded the first of the so-called "Five
Dynasties" in the tenth century; Chu was the third.

Not until the Mongols had answered Chu's rising with a tightening of the
nationality laws did the revolutionary movement become a national
movement, directed against the foreigners as such. And only when Chu
came under the influence of the first people of the gentry who joined
him, whether voluntarily or perforce, did what had been a revolutionary
movement become a struggle for the substitution of one dynasty for
another without interfering with the existing social system. Both these
points were of the utmost importance to the whole development of the
Ming epoch.

The Mongols were driven out fairly quickly and without great difficulty.
The Chinese drew from the ease of their success a sense of superiority
and a clear feeling of nationalism. This feeling should not be
confounded with the very old feeling of Chinese as a culturally superior
group according to which, at least in theory though rarely in practice,
every person who assimilated Chinese cultural values and traits was a
"Chinese". The roots of nationalism seem to lie in the Southern Sung
period, growing up in the course of contacts with the Juchen and
Mongols; but the discriminatory laws of the Mongols greatly fostered
this feeling. From now on, it was regarded a shame to serve a foreigner
as official, even if he was a ruler of China.

2 _Wars against Mongols and Japanese_

It had been easy to drive the Mongols out of China, but they were never
really beaten in their own country. On the contrary, they seem to have
regained strength after their withdrawal from China: they reorganized
themselves and were soon capable of counter-thrusts, while Chinese
offensives had as a rule very little success, and at all events no
decisive success. In the course of time, however, the Chinese gained a
certain influence over Turkestan, but it was never absolute, always
challenged. After the Mongol empire had fallen to pieces, small states
came into existence in Turkestan, for a long time with varying fortunes;
the most important one during the Ming epoch was that of Hami, until in
1473 it was occupied by the city-state of Turfan. At this time China
actively intervened in the policy of Turkestan in a number of combats
with the Mongols. As the situation changed from time to time, these
city-states united more or less closely with China or fell away from her
altogether. In this period, however, Turkestan was of no military or
economic importance to China.

In the time of the Ming there also began in the east and south the
plague of Japanese piracy. Japanese contacts with the coastal provinces
of China (Kiangsu, Chekiang and Fukien) had a very long history:
pilgrims from Japan often went to these places in order to study
Buddhism in the famous monasteries of Central China; businessmen sold at
high prices Japanese swords and other Japanese products here and bought
Chinese products; they also tried to get Chinese copper coins which had
a higher value in Japan. Chinese merchants co-operated with Japanese
merchants and also with pirates in the guise of merchants. Some Chinese
who were or felt persecuted by the government, became pirates
themselves. This trade-piracy had started already at the end of the Sung
dynasty, when Japanese navigation had become superior to Korean shipping
which had in earlier times dominated the eastern seaboard. These
conditions may even have been one of the reasons why the Mongols tried
to subdue Japan. As early as 1387 the Chinese had to begin the building
of fortifications along the eastern and southern coasts of the country;
The Japanese attacks now often took the character of organized raids: a
small, fast-sailing flotilla would land in a bay, as far as possible
without attracting notice; the soldiers would march against the nearest
town, generally overcoming it, looting, and withdrawing. The defensive
measures adopted from time to time during the Ming epoch were of little
avail, as it was impossible effectively to garrison the whole coast.
Some of the coastal settlements were transferred inland, to prevent the
Chinese from co-operating with the Japanese, and to give the Japanese so
long a march inland as to allow time for defensive measures. The
Japanese pirates prevented the creation of a Chinese navy in this period
by their continual threats to the coastal cities in which the shipyards
lay. Not until much later, at a time of unrest in Japan in 1467, was
there any peace from the Japanese pirates.

The Japanese attacks were especially embarrassing for the Chinese
government for one other reason. Large armies had to be kept all along
China's northern border, from Manchuria to Central Asia. Food supplies
could not be collected in north China which did not have enough
surplusses. Canal transportation from Central China was not reliable, as
the canals did not always have enough water and were often clogged by
hundreds of ships. And even if canals were used, grain still had to be
transported by land from the end of the canals to the frontier. The Ming
government therefore, had organized an overseas flotilla of grain ships
which brought grain from Central China directly to the front in
Liao-tung and Manchuria. And these ships, vitally important, were so
often attacked by the pirates, that this plan later had to be given up

These activities along the coast led the Chinese to the belief that
basically all foreigners who came by ships were "barbarians"; when
towards the end of the Ming epoch the Japanese were replaced by
Europeans who did not behave much differently and were also
pirate-merchants, the nations of Western Europe, too, were regarded as
"barbarians" and were looked upon with great suspicion. On the other
side, continental powers, even if they were enemies, had long been
regarded as "states", sometimes even as equals. Therefore, when at a
much later time the Chinese came into contact with Russians, their
attitude towards them was similar to that which they had taken towards
other Asian continental powers.

3 _Social legislation within the existing order_

At the time when Chu Yuean-chang conquered Peking, in 1368, becoming the
recognized emperor of China (Ming dynasty), it seemed as though he would
remain a revolutionary in spite of everything. His first laws were
directed against the rich. Many of the rich were compelled to migrate to
the capital, Nanking, thus losing their land and the power based on it.
Land was redistributed among poor peasants; new land registers were also
compiled, in order to prevent the rich from evading taxation. The number
of monks living in idleness was cut down and precisely determined; the
possessions of the temples were reduced, land exempted from taxation
being thus made taxable--all this, incidentally, although Chu had
himself been a monk! These laws might have paved the way to social
harmony and removed the worst of the poverty of the Mongol epoch. But
all this was frustrated in the very first years of Chu's reign. The laws
were only half carried into effect or not at all, especially in the
hinterland of the present Shanghai. That region had been conquered by
Chu at the very beginning of the Ming epoch; in it lived the wealthy
landowners who had already been paying the bulk of the taxes under the
Mongols. The emperor depended on this wealthy class for the financing of
his great armies, and so could not be too hard on it.

Chu Yuean-chang and his entourage were also unable to free themselves
from some of the ideas of the Mongol epoch. Neither Chu, nor anybody
else before and long after him discussed the possibility of a form of
government other than that of a monarchy. The first ever to discuss this
question, although very timidly, was Huang Tsung-hsi (1610-1695), at the
end of the Ming dynasty. Chu's conception of an emperor was that of an
absolute monarch, master over life and death of his subjects; it was
formed by the Mongol emperors with their magnificence and the huge
expenditure of their life in Peking; Chu was oblivious of the fact that
Peking had been the capital of a vast empire embracing almost the whole
of Asia, and expenses could well be higher than for a capital only of
China. It did not occur to Chu and his supporters that they could have
done without imperial state and splendour; on the contrary, they felt
compelled to display it. At first Chu personally showed no excessive
signs of this tendency, though they emerged later; but he conferred
great land grants on all his relatives, friends, and supporters; he
would give to a single person land sufficient for 20,000 peasant
families; he ordered the payment of state pensions to members of the
imperial family, just as the Mongols had done, and the total of these
pension payments was often higher than the revenue of the region
involved. For the capital alone over eight million _shih_ of grain had
to be provided in payment of pensions--that is to say, more than 160,000
tons! These pension payments were in themselves a heavy burden on the
state; not only that, but they formed a difficult transport problem! We
have no close figure of the total population at the beginning of the
Ming epoch; about 1500 it is estimated to have been 53,280,000, and this
population had to provide some 266,000,000 _shih_ in taxes. At the
beginning of the Ming epoch the population and revenue must, however,
have been smaller.

The laws against the merchants and the restrictions under which the
craftsmen worked, remained essentially as they had been under the Sung,
but now the remaining foreign merchants of Mongol time also fell under
these laws, and their influence quickly diminished. All craftsmen, a
total of some 300,000 men with families, were still registered and had
to serve the government in the capital for three months once every three
years; others had to serve ten days per month, if they lived close by.
They were a hereditary caste as were the professional soldiers, and not
allowed to change their occupation except by special imperial
permission. When a craftsman or soldier died, another family member had
to replace him; therefore, families of craftsmen were not allowed to
separate into small nuclear families, in which there might not always be
a suitable male. Yet, in an empire as large as that of the Ming, this
system did not work too well: craftsmen lost too much time in travelling
and often succeeded in running away while travelling. Therefore, from
1505 on, they had to pay a tax instead of working for the government,
and from then on the craftsmen became relatively free.

4 _Colonization and agricultural developments_

As already mentioned, the Ming had to keep a large army along the
northern frontiers. But they also had to keep armies in south China,
especially in Yuennan. Here, the Mongol invasions of Burma and Thailand
had brought unrest among the tribes, especially the Shan. The Ming did
not hold Burma but kept it in a loose dependency as "tributary nation".
In order to supply armies so far away from all agricultural surplus
centres, the Ming resorted to the old system of "military colonies"
which seems to have been invented in the second century B.C. and is
still used even today (in Sinkiang). Soldiers were settled in camps
called _ying_, and therefore there are so many place names ending with
_ying_ in the outlying areas of China. They worked as state farmers and
accumulated surplusses which were used in case of war in which these
same farmers turned soldiers again. Many criminals were sent to these
state farms, too. This system, especially in south China, transformed
territories formerly inhabited by native tribes or uninhabited, into
solidly Chinese areas. In addition to these military colonies, a steady
stream of settlers from Central China and the coast continued to move
into Kwangtung and Hunan provinces. They felt protected by the army
against attacks by natives. Yet Ming texts are full of reports on major
and minor clashes with the natives, from Kiangsi and Fukien to Kwangtung
and Kwangsi.

But the production of military colonies was still not enough to feed the
armies, and the government in Chu's time resorted to a new design. It
promised to give merchants who transported grain from Central China to
the borders, government salt certificates. Upon the receipt, the
merchants could acquire a certain amount of salt and sell it with high
profits. Soon, these merchants began to invest some of their capital in
local land which was naturally cheap. They then attracted farmers from
their home countries as tenants. The rent of the tenants, paid in form
of grain, was then sold to the army, and the merchant's gains
increased. Tenants could easily be found: the density of population in
the Yangtze plains had further increased since the Sung time. This
system of merchant colonization did not last long, because soon, in
order to curb the profits of the merchants, money was given instead of
salt certificates, and the merchants lost interest in grain transports.
Thus, grain prices along the frontiers rose and the effectiveness of the
armies was diminished.

Although the history of Chinese agriculture is as yet only partially
known, a number of changes in this field, which began to show up from
Sung time on, seem to have produced an "agricultural revolution" in Ming
time. We have already mentioned the Sung attempts to increase production
near the big cities by deep-lying fields, cultivation on and in lakes.
At the same time, there was an increase in cultivation of mountain
slopes by terracing and by distributing water over the terraces in
balanced systems. New irrigation machines, especially the so-called
Persian wheel, were introduced in the Ming time. Perhaps the most
important innovation, however, was the introduction of rice from
Indo-China's kingdom Champa in 1012 into Fukien from where it soon
spread. This rice had three advantages over ordinary Chinese rice: it
was drought-resistant and could, therefore, be planted in areas with
poor or even no irrigation. It had a great productivity, and it could be
sown very early in the year. At first it had the disadvantage that it
had a vegetation period of a hundred days. But soon, the Chinese
developed a quick-growing Champa rice, and the speediest varieties took
only sixty days from transplantation into the fields to the harvest.
This made it possible to grow two rice harvests instead of only one and
more than doubled the production. Rice varieties which grew again after
being cut and produced a second, but very much smaller harvest,
disappeared from now on. Furthermore, fish were kept in the ricefields
and produced not only food for the farmers but also fertilized the
fields, so that continuous cultivation of ricefields without any
decrease in fertility became possible. Incidentally, fish control the
malaria mosquitoes; although the Chinese did not know this fact, large
areas in South China which had formerly been avoided by Chinese because
of malaria, gradually became inhabitable.

The importance of alternating crops was also discovered and from now on,
the old system of fallow cultivation was given up and continuous
cultivation with, in some areas, even more than one harvest per field
per year, was introduced even in wheat-growing areas. Considering that
under the fallow system from one half to one third of all fields
remained uncultivated each year, the increase in production under the
new system must have been tremendous. We believe that the population
revolution which in China started about 1550, was the result of this
earlier agrarian revolution. From the eighteenth century on we get
reports on depletion of fields due to wrong application of the new

Another plant deeply affected Chinese agriculture: cotton. It is often
forgotten that, from very early times, the Chinese in the south had used
kapok and similar fibres, and that the cocoons of different kinds of
worms had been used for silk. Real cotton probably came from Bengal over
South-East Asia first to the coastal provinces of China and spread
quickly into Fukien and Kwangtung in Sung time.

On the other side, cotton reached China through Central Asia, and
already in the thirteenth century we find it in Shensi in north-western
China. Farmers in the north could in many places grow cotton in summer
and wheat in winter, and cotton was a high-priced product. They ginned
the cotton with iron rods; a mechanical cotton gin was introduced not
until later. The raw cotton was sold to merchants who transported it
into the industrial centre of the time, the Yangtze valley, and who
re-exported cotton cloth to the north. Raw cotton, loosened by the
string of the bow (a method which was known since Sung), could now in
the north also be used for quilts and padded winter garments.

5 _Commercial and industrial developments_

Intensivation and modernization of agriculture led to strong population
increases especially in the Yangtze valley from Sung time on. Thus, in
this area commerce and industry also developed most quickly.
Urbanization was greatest here. Nanking, the new Ming capital, grew
tremendously because of the presence of the court and administration,
and even when later the capital was moved, Nanking continued to remain
the cultural capital of China. The urban population needed textiles and
food. From Ming time on, fashions changed quickly as soon as government
regulations which determined colour and material of the dress of each
social class were relaxed or as soon as they could be circumvented by
bribery or ingenious devices. Now, only factories could produce the
amounts which the consumers wanted. We hear of many men who started out
with one loom and later ended up with over forty looms, employing many
weavers. Shanghai began to emerge as a centre of cotton cloth
production. A system of middle-men developed who bought raw cotton and
raw silk from the producers and sold it to factories.

Consumption in the Yangtze cities raised the value of the land around
the cities. The small farmers who were squeezed out, migrated to the
south. Absentee landlords in cities relied partly on migratory, seasonal
labour supplied by small farmers from Chekiang who came to the Yangtze
area after they had finished their own harvest. More and more,
vegetables and mulberries or cotton were planted in the vicinity of the
cities. As rice prices went up quickly a large organization of rice
merchants grew up. They ran large ships up to Hankow where they bought
rice which was brought down from Hunan in river boats by smaller
merchants. The small merchants again made contracts with the local
gentry who bought as much rice from the producers as they could and sold
it to these grain merchants. Thus, local grain prices went up and we
hear of cases where the local population attacked the grain boats in
order to prevent the depletion of local markets.

Next to these grain merchants, the above-mentioned salt merchants have
to be mentioned again. Their centre soon became the city of Hsin-an, a
city on the border of Chekiang and Anhui, or in more general terms, the
cities in the district of Hui-chou. When the grain transportation to the
frontiers came to an end in early Ming time, the Hsin-an merchants
specialized first in silver trade. Later in Ming time, they spread their
activities all over China and often monopolized the salt, silver, rice,
cotton, silk or tea businesses. In the sixteenth century they had
well-established contacts with smugglers on the Fukien coast and brought
foreign goods into the interior. Their home was also close to the main
centres of porcelain production in Kiangsi which was exported to
overseas and to the urban centres. The demand for porcelain had
increased so much that state factories could not fulfil it. The state
factories seem often to have suffered from a lack of labour: indented
artisans were imported from other provinces and later sent back on state
expenses or were taken away from other state industries. Thus, private
porcelain factories began to develop, and in connection with quickly
changing fashions a great diversification of porcelain occurred.

One other industry should also be mentioned. With the development of
printing, which will be discussed below, the paper industry was greatly
stimulated. The state also needed special types of paper for the paper
currency. Printing and book selling became a profitable business, and
with the application of block print to textiles (probably first used in
Sung time) another new field of commercial activity was opened.

As already mentioned, silver in form of bars had been increasingly used
as currency in Sung time. The yearly government production of silver was
_c_. 10,000 kg. Mongol currency was actually based upon silver. The
Ming, however, reverted to copper as basic unit, in addition to the use
of paper money. This encouraged the use of silver for speculative

The development of business changed the face of cities. From Sung time
on, the division of cities into wards with gates which were closed
during the night, began to break down. Ming cities had no more wards.
Business was no more restricted to official markets but grew up in all
parts of the cities. The individual trades were no more necessarily all
in one street. Shops did not have to close at sunset. The guilds
developed and in some cases were able to exercise locally some influence
upon the officials.

6 _Growth of the small gentry_

With the spread of book printing, all kinds of books became easily
accessible, including reprints of examination papers. Even businessmen
and farmers increasingly learned to read and to write, and many people
now could prepare themselves for the examinations. Attendance, however,
at the examinations cost a good deal. The candidate had to travel to the
local or provincial capital, and for the higher examinations to the
capital of the country; he had to live there for several months and, as
a rule, had to bribe the examiners or at least to gain the favour of
influential people. There were many cases of candidates becoming
destitute. Most of them were heavily in debt when at last they gained a
position. They naturally set to work at once to pay their debts out of
their salary, and to accumulate fresh capital to meet future
emergencies. The salaries of officials were, however, so small that it
was impossible to make ends meet; and at the same time every official
was liable with his own capital for the receipt in full of the taxes for
the collection of which he was responsible. Consequently every official
began at once to collect more taxes than were really due, so as to be
able to cover any deficits, and also to cover his own cost of
living--including not only the repayment of his debts but the
acquisition of capital or land so as to rise in the social scale. The
old gentry had been rich landowners, and had no need to exploit the
peasants on such a scale.

The Chinese empire was greater than it had been before the Mongol epoch,
and the population was also greater, so that more officials were needed.
Thus in the Ming epoch there began a certain democratization, larger
sections of the population having the opportunity of gaining government
positions; but this democratization brought no benefit to the general
population but resulted in further exploitation of the peasants.

The new "small gentry" did not consist of great families like the
original gentry. When, therefore, people of that class wanted to play a
political part in the central government, or to gain a position there,
they had either to get into close touch with one of the families of the
gentry, or to try to approach the emperor directly. In the immediate
entourage of the emperor, however, were the eunuchs. A good many members
of the new class had themselves castrated after they had passed their
state examination. Originally eunuchs were forbidden to acquire
education. But soon the Ming emperors used the eunuchs as a tool to
counteract the power of gentry cliques and thus to strengthen their
personal power. When, later, eunuchs controlled appointments to
government posts, long established practices of bureaucratic
administration were eliminated and the court, i.e. the emperor and his
tools, the eunuchs, could create a rule by way of arbitrary decisions, a
despotic rule. For such purposes, eunuchs had to have education, and
these new educated eunuchs, when they had once secured a position, were
able to gain great influence in the immediate entourage of the emperor;
later such educated eunuchs were preferred, especially as many offices
were created which were only filled by eunuchs and for which educated
eunuchs were needed. Whole departments of eunuchs came into existence at
court, and these were soon made use of for confidential business of the
emperor's outside the palace.

These eunuchs worked, of course, in the interest of their families. On
the other hand, they were very ready to accept large bribes from the
gentry for placing the desires of people of the gentry before the
emperor and gaining his consent. Thus the eunuchs generally accumulated
great wealth, which they shared with their small gentry relatives. The
rise of the small gentry class was therefore connected with the
increased influence of the eunuchs at court.

7 _Literature, art, crafts_

The growth of the small gentry which had its stronghold in the
provincial towns and cities, as well as the rise of the merchant class
and the liberation of the artisans, are reflected in the new literature
of Ming time. While the Mongols had developed the theatre, the novel may
be regarded as the typical Ming creation. Its precursors were the
stories of story-tellers centuries ago. They had developed many styles,
one of which, for instance, consisted of prose with intercalated poetic
parts (_pien-wen_). Buddhists monks had used these forms of popular
literature and spread their teachings in similar forms; due to them,
many Indian stories and tales found their way into the Chinese
folklore. Soon, these stories of story-tellers or monks were written
down, and out of them developed the Chinese classical novel. It
preserved many traits of the stories: it was cut into chapters
corresponding with the interruptions which the story-teller made in
order to collect money; it was interspersed with poems. But most of all,
it was written in everyday language, not in the language of the gentry.
To this day every Chinese knows and reads with enthusiasm
_Shui-hu-chuan_ ("The Story of the River Bank"), probably written about
1550 by Wang Tao-k'un, in which the ruling class was first described in
its decay. Against it are held up as ideals representatives of the
middle class in the guise of the gentleman brigand. Every Chinese also
knows the great satirical novel _Hsi-yu-chi_ ("The Westward Journey"),
by Feng Meng-lung (1574-1645), in which ironical treatment is meted out
to all religions and sects against a mythological background, with a
freedom that would not have been possible earlier. The characters are
not presented as individuals but as representatives of human types: the
intellectual, the hedonist, the pious man, and the simpleton, are drawn
with incomparable skill, with their merits and defects. A third famous
novel is _San-kuo yen-i_ ("The Tale of the Three Kingdoms"), by Lo
Kuan-chung. Just as the European middle class read with avidity the
romances of chivalry, so the comfortable class in China was enthusiastic
over romanticized pictures of the struggle of the gentry in the third
century. "The Tale of the Three Kingdoms" became the model for countless
historical novels of its own and subsequent periods. Later, mainly in
the sixteenth century, the sensational and erotic novel developed, most
of all in Nanking. It has deeply influenced Japanese writers, but was
mercilessly suppressed by the Chinese gentry which resented the
frivolity of this wealthy and luxurious urban class of middle or small
gentry families who associated with rich merchants, actors, artists and
musicians. Censorship of printed books had started almost with the
beginning of book printing as a private enterprise: to the famous
historian, anti-Buddhist and conservative Ou-yang Hsiu (1007-1072), the
enemy of Wang An-shih, belongs the sad glory of having developed the
first censorship rules. Since Ming time, it became a permanent feature
of Chinese governments.

The best known of the erotic novels is the _Chin-p'ing-mei_ which, for
reasons of our own censors can be published only in expurgated
translations. It was written probably towards the end of the sixteenth
century. This novel, as all others, has been written and re-written by
many authors, so that many different versions exist. It might be pointed
out that many novels were printed in Hui-chou, the commercial centre of
the time.

The short story which formerly served the entertainment of the educated
only and which was, therefore, written in classical Chinese, now also
became a literary form appreciated by the middle classes. The collection
_Chin-ku ch'i-kuan_ ("Strange Stories of New Times and Old"), compiled
by Feng Meng-lung, is the best-known of these collections in vernacular

Little original work was done in the Ming epoch in the fields generally
regarded as "literature" by educated Chinese, those of poetry and the
essay. There are some admirable essays, but these are only isolated
examples out of thousands. So also with poetry: the poets of the gentry,
united in "clubs", chose the poets of the Sung epoch as their models to

The Chinese drama made further progress in the Ming epoch. Many of the
finest Chinese dramas were written under the Ming; they are still
produced again and again to this day. The most famous dramatists of the
Ming epoch are Wang Shih-chen (1526-1590) and T'ang Hsien-tsu
(1556-1617). T'ang wrote the well-known drama _Mu-tan-ting_ ("The Peony
Pavilion"), one of the finest love-stories of Chinese literature, full
of romance and remote from all reality. This is true also of the other
dramas by T'ang, especially his "Four Dreams", a series of four plays.
In them a man lives in dream through many years of his future life, with
the result that he realizes the worthlessness of life and decides to
become a monk.

Together with the development of the drama (or, rather, the opera) in
the Ming epoch went an important endeavour in the modernization of
music, the attempt to create a "well-tempered scale" made in 1584 by Chu
Tsai-yue. This solved in China a problem which was not tackled till later
in Europe. The first Chinese theorists of music who occupied themselves
with this problem were Ching Fang (77-37 B.C.) and Ho Ch'eng-t'ien (A.D.

In the Mongol epoch, most of the Chinese painters had lived in central
China; this remained so in the Ming epoch. Of the many painters of the
Ming epoch, all held in high esteem in China, mention must be made
especially of Ch'in Ying (_c_. 1525), T'ang Yin (1470-1523), and Tung
Ch'i-ch'ang (1555-1636). Ch'in Ying painted in the Academic Style,
indicating every detail, however small, and showing preference for a
turquoise-green ground. T'ang Yin was the painter of elegant women; Tung
became famous especially as a calligraphist and a theoretician of the
art of painting; a textbook of the art was written by him.

Just as puppet plays and shadow theatre are the "opera of the common
man" and took a new development in Ming time, the wood-cut and
block-printing developed largely as a cheap substitute of real
paintings. The new urbanites wanted to have paintings of the masters and
found in the wood-cut which soon became a multi-colour print a cheap
mass medium. Block printing in colours, developed in the Yangtze valley,
was adopted by Japan and found its highest refinement there. But the
Ming are also famous for their monumental architecture which largely
followed Mongol patterns. Among the most famous examples is the famous
Great Wall which had been in dilapidation and was rebuilt; the great
city walls of Peking; and large parts of the palaces of Peking, begun in
the Mongol epoch. It was at this time that the official style which we
may observe to this day in North China was developed, the style employed
everywhere, until in the age of concrete it lost its justification.

In the Ming epoch the porcelain with blue decoration on a white ground
became general; the first examples, from the famous kilns in
Ching-te-chen, in the province of Kiangsi, were relatively coarse, but
in the fifteenth century the production was much finer. In the sixteenth
century the quality deteriorated, owing to the disuse of the cobalt from
the Middle East (perhaps from Persia) in favour of Sumatra cobalt, which
did not yield the same brilliant colour. In the Ming epoch there also
appeared the first brilliant red colour, a product of iron, and a start
was then made with three-colour porcelain (with lead glaze) or
five-colour (enamel). The many porcelains exported to western Asia and
Europe first influenced European ceramics (Delft), and then were
imitated in Europe (Boettger); the early European porcelains long showed
Chinese influence (the so-called onion pattern, blue on a white ground).
In addition to the porcelain of the Ming epoch, of which the finest
specimens are in the palace at Istanbul, especially famous are the
lacquers (carved lacquer, lacquer painting, gold lacquer) of the Ming
epoch and the cloisonne work of the same period. These are closely
associated with the contemporary work in Japan.

8 _Politics at court_

After the founding of the dynasty by Chu Yuean-chang, important questions
had to be dealt with apart from the social legislation. What was to be
done, for instance, with Chu's helpers? Chu, like many revolutionaries
before and after him, recognized that these people had been serviceable
in the years of struggle but could no longer remain useful. He got rid
of them by the simple device of setting one against another so that they
murdered one another. In the first decades of his rule the dangerous
cliques of gentry had formed again, and were engaged in mutual
struggles. The most formidable clique was led by Hu Wei-yung. Hu was a
man of the gentry of Chu's old homeland, and one of his oldest
supporters. Hu and his relations controlled the country after 1370,
until in 1380 Chu succeeded in beheading Hu and exterminating his
clique. New cliques formed before long and were exterminated in turn.

Chu had founded Nanking in the years of revolution, and he made it his
capital. In so doing he met the wishes of the rich grain producers of
the Yangtze delta. But the north was the most threatened part of his
empire, so that troops had to be permanently stationed there in
considerable strength. Thus Peking, where Chu placed one of his sons as
"king", was a post of exceptional importance.

In Chu Yuean-chang's last years (he was named T'ai Tsu as emperor)
difficulties arose in regard to the dynasty. The heir to the throne died
in 1391; and when the emperor himself died in 1398, the son of the late
heir-apparent was installed as emperor (Hui Ti, 1399-1402). This choice
had the support of some of the influential Confucian gentry families of
the south. But a protest against his enthronement came from the other
son of Chu Yuean-chang, who as king in Peking had hoped to become
emperor. With his strong army this prince, Ch'eng Tsu, marched south and
captured Nanking, where the palaces were burnt down. There was a great
massacre of supporters of the young emperor, and the victor made himself
emperor (better known under his reign name, Yung-lo). As he had
established himself in Peking, he transferred the capital to Peking,
where it remained throughout the Ming epoch. Nanking became a sort of
subsidiary capital.

This transfer of the capital to the north, as the result of the victory
of the military party and Buddhists allied to them, produced a new
element of instability: the north was of military importance, but the
Yangtze region remained the economic centre of the country. The
interests of the gentry of the Yangtze region were injured by the
transfer. The first Ming emperor had taken care to make his court
resemble the court of the Mongol rulers, but on the whole had exercised
relative economy. Yung-lo (1403-1424), however, lived in the actual
palaces of the Mongol rulers, and all the luxury of the Mongol epoch was
revived. This made the reign of Yung-lo the most magnificent period of
the Ming epoch, but beneath the surface decay had begun. Typical of the
unmitigated absolutism which developed now, was the word of one of the
emperor's political and military advisors, significantly a Buddhist
monk: "I know the way of heaven. Why discuss the hearts of the people?"

9 _Navy. Southward expansion_

After the collapse of Mongol rule in Indo-China, partly through the
simple withdrawal of the Mongols, and partly through attacks from
various Chinese generals, there were independence movements in
south-west China and Indo-China. In 1393 wars broke out in Annam.
Yung-lo considered that the time had come to annex these regions to
China and so to open a new field for Chinese trade, which was suffering
continual disturbance from the Japanese. He sent armies to Yuennan and
Indo-China; at the same time he had a fleet built by one of his eunuchs,
Cheng Ho. The fleet was successfully protected from attack by the
Japanese. Cheng Ho, who had promoted the plan and also carried it out,
began in 1405 his famous mission to Indo-China, which had been envisaged
as giving at least moral support to the land operations, but was also
intended to renew trade connections with Indo-China, where they had been
interrupted by the collapse of Mongol rule. Cheng Ho sailed past
Indo-China and ultimately reached the coast of Arabia. His account of
his voyage is an important source of information about conditions in
southern Asia early in the fifteenth century. Cheng Ho and his fleet
made some further cruises, but they were discontinued. There may have
been several reasons, (1) As state enterprises, the expeditions were
very costly. Foreign goods could be obtained more cheaply and with less
trouble if foreign merchants came themselves to China or Chinese
merchants travelled at their own risk. (2) The moral success of the
naval enterprises was assured. China was recognized as a power
throughout southern Asia, and Annam had been reconquered. (3) After the
collapse of the Mongol emperor Timur, who died in 1406, there no longer
existed any great power in Central Asia, so that trade missions from the
kingdom of the Shahruk in North Persia were able to make their way to
China, including the famous mission of 1409-1411. (4) Finally, the fleet
would have had to be permanently guarded against the Japanese, as it had
been stationed not in South China but in the Yangtze region. As early as
1411 the canals had been repaired, and from 1415 onward all the traffic
of the country went by the canals, so evading the Japanese peril. This
ended the short chapter of Chinese naval history.

These travels of Cheng Ho seem to have had one more cultural result: a
large number of fairy-tales from the Middle East were brought to China,
or at all events reached China at that time. The Chinese, being a
realistically-minded people, have produced few fairy-tales of their own.
The bulk of their finest fairy-tales were brought by Buddhist monks, in
the course of the first millennium A.D., from India by way of Central
Asia. The Buddhists made use of them to render their sermons more
interesting and impressive. As time went on, these stories spread all
over China, modified in harmony with the spirit of the people and
adapted to the Chinese environment. Only the fables failed to strike
root in China: the matter-of-fact Chinese was not interested in animals
that talked and behaved to each other like human beings. In addition,
however, to these early fairy-tales, there was another group of stories
that did not spread throughout China, but were found only in the
south-eastern coastal provinces. These came from the Middle East,
especially from Persia. The fairy-tales of Indian origin spread not only
to Central Asia but at the same time to Persia, where they found a very
congenial soil. The Persians made radical changes in the stories and
gave them the form in which they came to Europe by various
routes--through North Africa to Spain and France; through
Constantinople, Venice, or Genoa to France; through Russian Turkestan to
Russia, Finland, and Sweden; through Turkey and the Balkans to Hungary
and Germany. Thus the stories found a European home. And this same
Persian form was carried by sea in Cheng Ho's time to South China. Thus
we have the strange experience of finding some of our own finest
fairy-tales in almost the same form in South China.

10 _Struggles between cliques_

Yung-lo's successor died early. Under the latter's son, the emperor
Hsuean Tsung (1426-1435; reign name Hsuean-te), fixed numbers of
candidates were assigned for the state examinations. It had been found
that almost the whole of the gentry in the Yangtze region sat at the
examinations; and that at these examinations their representatives made
sure, through their mutual relations, that only their members should
pass, so that the candidates from the north were virtually excluded. The
important military clique in the north protested against this, and a
compromise was arrived at: at every examination one-third of the
candidates must come from the north and two-thirds from the south. This
system lasted for a long time, and led to many disputes.

At his death Hsuean Tsung left the empire to his eight-year-old son Ying
Tsung (1436-49 and 1459-64), who was entirely in the hands of the Yang
clique, which was associated with his grandmother. Soon, however,
another clique, led by the eunuch Wang Chen, gained the upper hand at
court. The Mongols were very active at this time, and made several raids
on the province of Shansi; Wang Chen proposed a great campaign against
them, and in this campaign he took with him the young emperor, who had
reached his twenty-first birthday in 1449. The emperor had grown up in
the palace and knew nothing of the world outside; he was therefore glad
to go with Wang Chen; but that eunuch had also lived in the palace and
also knew nothing of the world, and in particular of war. Consequently
he failed in the organization of reinforcements for his army, some
100,000 strong; after a few brief engagements the Oirat-Mongol prince
Esen had the imperial army surrounded and the emperor a prisoner. The
eunuch Wang Chen came to his end, and his clique, of course, no longer
counted. The Mongols had no intention of killing the emperor; they
proposed to hold him to ransom, at a high price. The various cliques at
court cared little, however, about their ruler. After the fall of the
Wang clique there were two others, of which one, that of General Yue,
became particularly powerful, as he had been able to repel a Mongol
attack on Peking. Yue proclaimed a new emperor--not the captive emperor's
son, a baby, but his brother, who became the emperor Ching Tsung. The
Yang clique insisted on the rights of the imperial baby. From all this
the Mongols saw that the Chinese were not inclined to spend a lot of
money on their imperial captive. Accordingly they made an enormous
reduction in the ransom demanded, and more or less forced the Chinese to
take back their former emperor. The Mongols hoped that this would at
least produce political disturbances by which they might profit, once
the old emperor was back in Peking. And this did soon happen. At first
the ransomed emperor was pushed out of sight into a palace, and Ching
Tsung continued to reign. But in 1456 Ching Tsung fell ill, and a
successor to him had to be chosen. The Yue clique wanted to have the son
of Ching Tsung; the Yang clique wanted the son of the deposed emperor
Ying Tsung. No agreement was reached, so that in the end a third clique,
led by the soldier Shih Heng, who had helped to defend Peking against
the Mongols, found its opportunity, and by a _coup d'etat_ reinstated
the deposed emperor Ying Tsung.

This was not done out of love for the emperor, but because Shih Heng
hoped that under the rule of the completely incompetent Ying Tsung he
could best carry out a plan of his own, to set up his own dynasty. It is
not so easy, however, to carry a conspiracy to success when there are
several rival parties, each of which is ready to betray any of the
others. Shih Heng's plan became known before long, and he himself was
beheaded (1460).

The next forty years were filled with struggles between cliques, which
steadily grew in ferocity, particularly since a special office, a sort
of secret police headquarters, was set up in the palace, with functions
which it extended beyond the palace, with the result that many people
were arrested and disappeared. This office was set up by the eunuchs and
the clique at their back, and was the first dictatorial organ created in
the course of a development towards despotism that made steady progress
in these years.

In 1505 Wu Tsung came to the throne, an inexperienced youth of fifteen
who was entirely controlled by the eunuchs who had brought him up. The
leader of the eunuchs was Liu Chin, who had the support of a group of
people of the gentry and the middle class. Liu Chin succeeded within a
year in getting rid of the eunuchs at court who belonged to other
cliques and were working against him. After that he proceeded to
establish his power. He secured in entirely official form the emperor's
permission for him to issue all commands himself; the emperor devoted
himself only to his pleasures, and care was taken that they should keep
him sufficiently occupied to have no chance to notice what was going on
in the country. The first important decree issued by Liu Chin resulted
in the removal from office or the punishment or murder of over three
hundred prominent persons, the leaders of the cliques opposed to him. He
filled their posts with his own supporters, until all the higher posts
in every department were in the hands of members of his group. He
collected large sums of money which he quite openly extracted from the
provinces as a special tax for his own benefit. When later his house was
searched there were found 240,000 bars and 57,800 pieces of gold (a bar
was equivalent of ten pieces), 791,800 ounces and 5,000,000 bars of
silver (a bar was five ounces), three bushels of precious stones, two
gold cuirasses, 3,000 gold rings, and much else--of a total value
exceeding the annual budget of the state! The treasure was to have been
used to finance a revolt planned by Liu Chin and his supporters.

Among the people whom Liu Chin had punished were several members of the
former clique of the Yang, and also the philosopher Wang Yang-ming, who
later became so famous, a member of the Wang family which was allied to
the Yang. In 1510 the Yang won over one of the eunuchs in the palace and
so became acquainted with Liu Chin's plans. When a revolt broke out in
western China, this eunuch (whose political allegiance was, of course,
unknown to Liu Chin) secured appointment as army commander. With the
army intended for the crushing of the revolt, Liu Chin's palace was
attacked when he was asleep, and he and all his supporters were
arrested. Thus the other group came into power in the palace, including
the philosopher Wang Yang-ming (1473-1529). Liu Chin's rule had done
great harm to the country, as enormous taxation had been expended for
the private benefit of his clique. On top of this had been the young
emperor's extravagance: his latest pleasures had been the building of
palaces and the carrying out of military games; he constantly assumed
new military titles and was burning to go to war.

11 _Risings_

The emperor might have had a good opportunity for fighting, for his
misrule had resulted in a great popular rising which began in the west,
in Szechwan, and then spread to the east. As always, the rising was
joined by some ruined scholars, and the movement, which had at first
been directed against the gentry as such, was turned into a movement
against the government of the moment. No longer were all the wealthy and
all officials murdered, but only those who did not join the movement. In
1512 the rebels were finally overcome, not so much by any military
capacity of the government armies as through the loss of the rebels'
fleet of boats in a typhoon.

In 1517 a new favourite of the emperor's induced him to make a great
tour in the north, to which the favourite belonged. The tour and the
hunting greatly pleased the emperor, so that he continued his
journeying. This was the year in which the Portuguese Fernao Pires de
Andrade landed in Canton--the first modern European to enter China.

In 1518 Wang Yang-ming, the philosopher general, crushed a rising in
Kiangsi. The rising had been the outcome of years of unrest, which had
two causes: native risings of the sort we described above, and loss for
the gentry due to the transfer of the capital. The province of Kiangsi
was a part of the Yangtze region, and the great landowners there had
lived on the profit from their supplies to Nanking. When the capital was
moved to Peking, their takings fell. They placed themselves under a
prince who lived in Nanking. This prince regarded Wang Yang-ming's move
into Kiangsi as a threat to him, and so rose openly against the
government and supported the Kiangsi gentry. Wang Yang-ming defeated
him, and so came into the highest favour with the incompetent emperor.
When peace had been restored in Nanking, the emperor dressed himself up
as an army commander, marched south, and made a triumphal entry into

One other aspect of Wang Yang-ming's expeditions has not yet been
studied: he crushed also the so-called salt-merchant rebels in the
southernmost part of Kiangsi and adjoining Kwangtung. These
merchants-turned-rebels had dominated a small area, off and on since
the eleventh century. At this moment, they seem to have had connections
with the rich inland merchants of Hsin-an and perhaps also with
foreigners. Information is still too scanty to give more details, but a
local movement as persistent as this one deserves attention.

Wang Yang-ming became acquainted as early as 1519 with the first
European rifles, imported by the Portuguese who had landed in 1517. (The
Chinese then called them Fu-lan-chi, meaning Franks. Wang was the first
Chinese who spoke of the "Franks".) The Chinese had already had mortars
which hurled stones, as early as the second century A.D. In the seventh
or eighth century their mortars had sent stones of a couple of
hundredweights some four hundred yards. There is mention in the eleventh
century of cannon which apparently shot with a charge of a sort of
gunpowder. The Mongols were already using true cannon in their sieges.
In 1519, the first Portuguese were presented to the Chinese emperor in
Nanking, where they were entertained for about a year in a hostel, a
certain Lin Hsuen learned about their rifles and copied them for Wang
Yang-ming. In general, however, the Chinese had no respect for the
Europeans, whom they described as "bandits" who had expelled the lawful
king of Malacca and had now come to China as its representatives. Later
they were regarded as a sort of Japanese, because they, too, practiced

12 _Machiavellism_

All main schools of Chinese philosophy were still based on Confucius.
Wang Yang-ming's philosophy also followed Confucius, but he liberated
himself from the Neo-Confucian tendency as represented by Chu Hsi, which
started in the Sung epoch and continued to rule in China in his time and
after him; he introduced into Confucian philosophy the conception of
"intuition". He regarded intuition as the decisive philosophic
experience; only through intuition could man come to true knowledge.
This idea shows an element of meditative Buddhism along lines which the
philosopher Lu Hsiang-shan (1139-1192) had first developed, while
classical Neo-Confucianism was more an integration of monastic Buddhism
into Confucianism. Lu had felt himself close to Wang An-shih
(1021-1086), and this whole school, representing the small gentry of the
Yangtze area, was called the Southern or the Lin-ch'uan school,
Lin-ch'uan in Kiangsi being Wang An-shih's home. During the Mongol
period, a Taoist group, the _Cheng-i-chiao_ (Correct Unity Sect) had
developed in Lin-ch'uan and had accepted some of the Lin-ch'uan
school's ideas. Originally, this group was a continuation of Chang
Ling's church Taoism. Through the _Cheng-i_ adherents, the Southern
school had gained political influence on the despotic Mongol rulers. The
despotic Yung-lo emperor had favoured the monk Tao-yen (_c_. 1338-1418)
who had also Taoist training and proposed a philosophy which also
stressed intuition. He was, incidentally, in charge of the compilation
of the largest encyclopaedia ever written, the _Yung-lo ta-tien_
commissioned by the Yung-lo emperor.

Wang Yang-ming followed the Lin-ch'uan tradition. The introduction of
the conception of intuition, a highly subjective conception, into the
system of a practical state philosophy like Confucianism could not but
lead in the practice of the statesman to Machiavellism. The statesman
who followed the teaching of Wang Yang-ming had the opportunity of
justifying whatever he did by his intuition.

Wang Yang-ming failed to gain acceptance for his philosophy. His
disciples also failed to establish his doctrine in China, because it
served the interests of an individual despot against those of the gentry
as a class, and the middle class, which might have formed a
counterweight against them, was not yet politically ripe for the seizure
of the opportunity here offered to it. In Japan, however, Wang's
doctrine gained many followers, because it admirably served the
dictatorial state system which had developed in that country.
Incidentally, Chiang Kai-shek in those years in which he showed Fascist
tendencies, also got interested in Wang Yang-ming.

13 _Foreign relations in the sixteenth century_

The feeble emperor Wu Tsung died in 1521, after an ineffective reign,
without leaving an heir. The clique then in power at court looked among
the possible pretenders for the one who seemed least likely to do
anything, and their choice fell on the fifteen-year-old Shih Tsung, who
was made emperor. The forty-five years of his reign were filled in home
affairs with intrigues between the cliques at court, with growing
distress in the country, and with revolts on a larger and larger scale.
Abroad there were wars with Annam, increasing raids by the Japanese,
and, above all, long-continued fighting against the famous Mongol ruler
Yen-ta, from 1549 onward. At one time Yen-ta reached Peking and laid
siege to it. The emperor, who had no knowledge of affairs, and to whom
Yen-ta had been represented as a petty bandit, was utterly dismayed and
ready to do whatever Yen-ta asked; in the end he was dissuaded from
this, and an agreement was arrived at with Yen-ta for state-controlled
markets to be set up along the frontier, where the Mongols could
dispose of their goods against Chinese goods on very favourable terms.
After further difficulties lasting many years, a compromise was arrived
at: the Mongols were earning good profits from the markets, and in 1571
Yen-ta accepted a Chinese title. On the Chinese side, this Mongol trade,
which continued in rather different form in the Manchu epoch, led to the
formation of a local merchant class in the frontier province of Shansi,
with great experience in credit business; later the first Chinese
bankers came almost entirely from this quarter.

After a brief interregnum there came once more to the throne a
ten-year-old boy, the emperor Shen Tsung (reign name Wan-li; 1573-1619).
He, too, was entirely under the influence of various cliques, at first
that of his tutor, the scholar Chang Chue-chan. About the time of the
death, in 1582, of Yen-ta we hear for the first time of a new people. In
1581 there had been unrest in southern Manchuria. The Mongolian tribal
federation of the Tuemet attacked China, and there resulted collisions
not only with the Chinese but between the different tribes living there.
In southern and central Manchuria were remnants of the Tungus Juchen.
The Mongols had subjugated the Juchen, but the latter had virtually
become independent after the collapse of Mongol rule over China. They
had formed several tribal alliances, but in 1581-83 these fought each
other, so that one of the alliances to all intents was destroyed. The
Chinese intervened as mediators in these struggles, and drew a
demarcation line between the territories of the various Tungus tribes.
All this is only worth mention because it was from these tribes that
there developed the tribal league of the Manchus, who were then to rule
China for some three hundred years.

In 1592 the Japanese invaded Korea. This was their first real effort to
set foot on the continent, a purely imperialistic move. Korea, as a
Chinese vassal, appealed for Chinese aid. At first the Chinese army had
no success, but in 1598 the Japanese were forced to abandon Korea. They
revenged themselves by intensifying their raids on the coast of central
China; they often massacred whole towns, and burned down the looted
houses. The fighting in Korea had its influence on the Tungus tribes: as
they were not directly involved, it contributed to their further

The East India Company was founded in 1600. At this time, while the
English were trying to establish themselves in India, the Chinese tried
to gain increased influence in the south by wars in Annam, Burma, and
Thailand (1594-1604). These wars were for China colonial wars, similar
to the colonial fighting by the British in India. But there began to be
defined already at that time in the south of Asia the outlines of the
states as they exist at the present time.

In 1601 the first European, the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, succeeded in
gaining access to the Chinese court, through the agency of a eunuch. He
made some presents, and the Chinese regarded his visit as a mission from
Europe bringing tribute. Ricci was therefore permitted to remain in
Peking. He was an astronomer and was able to demonstrate to his Chinese
colleagues the latest achievements of European astronomy. In 1613, after
Ricci's death, the Jesuits and some Chinese whom they had converted were
commissioned to reform the Chinese calendar. In the time of the Mongols,
Arabs had been at work in Peking as astronomers, and their influence had
continued under the Ming until the Europeans came. By his astronomical
labours Ricci won a place of honour in Chinese literature; he is the
European most often mentioned.

The missionary work was less effective. The missionaries penetrated by
the old trade routes from Canton and Macao into the province of Kiangsi
and then into Nanking. Kiangsi and Nanking were their chief centres.
They soon realized that missionary activity that began in the lower
strata would have no success; it was necessary to work from above,
beginning with the emperor, and then, they hoped, the whole country
could be converted to Christianity. When later the emperors of the Ming
dynasty were expelled and fugitives in South China, one of the
pretenders to the throne was actually converted--but it was politically
too late. The missionaries had, moreover, mistaken ideas as to the
nature of Chinese religion; we know today that a universal adoption of
Christianity in China would have been impossible even if an emperor had
personally adopted that foreign faith: there were emperors who had been
interested in Buddhism or in Taoism, but that had been their private
affair and had never prevented them, as heads of the state, from
promoting the religious system which politically was the most
expedient--that is to say, usually Confucianism. What we have said here
in regard to the Christian mission at the Ming court is applicable also
to the missionaries at the court of the first Manchu emperors, in the
seventeenth century. Early in the eighteenth century missionary activity
was prohibited--not for religious but for political reasons, and only
under the pressure of the Capitulations in the nineteenth century were
the missionaries enabled to resume their labours.

14 _External and internal perils_

Towards the end of the reign of Wan-li, about 1620, the danger that
threatened the empire became more and more evident. The Manchus
complained, no doubt with justice, of excesses on the part of Chinese
officials; the friction constantly increased, and the Manchus began to
attack the Chinese cities in Manchuria. In 1616, after his first
considerable successes, their leader Nurhachu assumed the imperial
title; the name of the dynasty was Tai Ch'ing (interpreted as "The great
clarity", but probably a transliteration of a Manchurian word meaning
"hero"). In 1618, the year in which the Thirty Years War started in
Europe, the Manchus conquered the greater part of Manchuria, and in 1621
their capital was Liaoyang, then the largest town in Manchuria.

But the Manchu menace was far from being the only one. On the south-east
coast a pirate made himself independent; later, with his family, he
dominated Formosa and fought many battles with the Europeans there
(European sources call him Coxinga). In western China there came a great
popular rising, in which some of the natives joined, and which spread
through a large part of the southern provinces. This rising was
particularly sanguinary, and when it was ultimately crushed by the
Manchus the province of Szechwan, formerly so populous, was almost
depopulated, so that it had later to be resettled. And in the province
of Shantung in the east there came another great rising, also very
sanguinary, that of the secret society of the "White Lotus". We have
already pointed out that these risings of secret societies were always a
sign of intolerable conditions among the peasantry. This was now the
case once more. All the elements of danger which we mentioned at the
outset of this chapter began during this period, between 1610 and 1640,
to develop to the full.

Then there were the conditions in the capital itself. The struggles
between cliques came to a climax. On the death of Shen Tsung (or Wan-li;
1573-1619), he was succeeded by his son, who died scarcely a month
later, and then by his sixteen-year-old grandson. The grandson had been
from his earliest youth under the influence of a eunuch, Wei
Chung-hsien, who had castrated himself. With the emperor's wet-nurse and
other people, mostly of the middle class, this man formed a powerful
group. The moment the new emperor ascended the throne, Wei was
all-powerful. He began by murdering every eunuch who did not belong to
his clique, and then murdered the rest of his opponents. Meanwhile the
gentry had concluded among themselves a defensive alliance that was a
sort of party; this party was called the Tung-lin Academy. It was
confined to literati among the gentry, and included in particular the
literati who had failed to make their way at court, and who lived on
their estates in Central China and were trying to gain power themselves.
This group was opposed to Wei Chung-hsien, who ruthlessly had every
discoverable member murdered. The remainder went into hiding and
organized themselves secretly under another name. As the new emperor had
no son, the attempt was made to foist a son upon him; at his death in
1627, eight women of the harem were suddenly found to be pregnant! He
was succeeded by his brother, who was one of the opponents of Wei
Chung-hsien and, with the aid of the opposing clique, was able to bring
him to his end. The new emperor tried to restore order at court and in
the capital by means of political and economic decrees, but in spite of
his good intentions and his unquestionable capacity he was unable to
cope with the universal confusion. There was insurrection in every part
of the country. The gentry, organized in their "Academies", and secretly
at work in the provinces, no longer supported the government; the
central power no longer had adequate revenues, so that it was unable to
pay the armies that should have marched against all the rebels and also
against external enemies. It was clear that the dynasty was approaching
its end, and the only uncertainty was as to its successor. The various
insurgents negotiated or fought with each other; generals loyal to the
government won occasional successes against the rebels; other generals
went over to the rebels or to the Manchus. The two most successful
leaders of bands were Li Tz[)u]-ch'eng and Chang Hsien-chung. Li came
from the province of Shensi; he had come to the fore during a disastrous
famine in his country. The years around 1640 brought several widespread
droughts in North China, a natural phenomenon that was repeated in the
nineteenth century, when unrest again ensued. Chang Hsien-chung returned
for a time to the support of the government, but later established
himself in western China. It was typical, however, of all these
insurgents that none of them had any great objective in view. They
wanted to get enough to eat for themselves and their followers; they
wanted to enrich themselves by conquest; but they were incapable of
building up an ordered and new administration. Li ultimately made
himself "king" in the province of Shensi and called his dynasty "Shun",
but this made no difference: there was no distribution of land among the
peasants serving in Li's army; no plan was set into operation for the
collection of taxes; not one of the pressing problems was faced.

Meanwhile the Manchus were gaining support. Almost all the Mongol
princes voluntarily joined them and took part in the raids into North
China. In 1637 the united Manchus and Mongols conquered Korea. Their
power steadily grew. What the insurgents in China failed to achieve, the
Manchus achieved with the aid of their Chinese advisers: they created a
new military organization, the "Banner Organization". The men fit for
service were distributed among eight "banners", and these banners became
the basis of the Manchu state administration. By this device the
Manchus emerged from the stage of tribal union, just as before them
Turks and other northern peoples had several times abandoned the
traditional authority of a hierarchy of tribal leaders, a system of
ruling families, in favour of the authority, based on efficiency, of
military leaders. At the same time the Manchus set up a central
government with special ministries on the Chinese model. In 1638 the
Manchus appeared before Peking, but they retired once more. Manchu
armies even reached the province of Shantung. They were hampered by the
death at the critical moment of the Manchu ruler Abahai (1626-1643). His
son Fu Lin was not entirely normal and was barely six years old; there
was a regency of princes, the most prominent among them being Prince

Meanwhile Li Tz[)u]-ch'eng broke through to Peking. The city had a
strong garrison, but owing to the disorganization of the government the
different commanders were working against each other; and the soldiers
had no fighting spirit because they had no pay for a long time. Thus the
city fell, on April 24th, 1644, and the last Ming emperor killed
himself. A prince was proclaimed emperor; he fled through western and
southern China, continually trying to make a stand, but it was too late;
without the support of the gentry he had no resource, and ultimately, in
1659, he was compelled to flee into Burma.

Thus Li Tz[)u]-ch'eng was now emperor. It should have been his task
rapidly to build up a government, and to take up arms against the other
rebels and against the Manchus. Instead of this he behaved in such a way
that he was unable to gain any support from the existing officials in
the capital; and as there was no one among his former supporters who had
any positive, constructive ideas, just nothing was done.

This, however, improved the chances of all the other aspirants to the
imperial throne. The first to realize this clearly, and also to possess
enough political sagacity to avoid alienating the gentry, was General Wu
San-kui, who was commanding on the Manchu front. He saw that in the
existing conditions in the capital he could easily secure the imperial
throne for himself if only he had enough soldiers. Accordingly he
negotiated with the Manchu Prince Dorgon, formed an alliance with the
Manchus, and with them entered Peking on June 6th, 1644. Li
Tz[)u]-ch'eng quickly looted the city, burned down whatever he could,
and fled into the west, continually pursued by Wu San-kui. In the end he
was abandoned by all his supporters and killed by peasants. The Manchus,
however, had no intention of leaving Wu San-kui in power: they
established themselves in Peking, and Wu became their general.

(C) The Manchu Dynasty (1644-1911)

1 _Installation of Manchus_

The Manchus had gained the mastery over China owing rather to China's
internal situation than to their military superiority. How was it that
the dynasty could endure for so long, although the Manchus were not
numerous, although the first Manchu ruler (Fu Lin, known under the rule
name Shun-chih; 1644-1662) was a psychopathic youth, although there were
princes of the Ming dynasty ruling in South China, and although there
were strong groups of rebels all over the country? The Manchus were
aliens; at that time the national feeling of the Chinese had already
been awakened; aliens were despised. In addition to this, the Manchus
demanded that as a sign of their subjection the Chinese should wear
pigtails and assume Manchurian clothing (law of 1645). Such laws could
not but offend national pride. Moreover, marriages between Manchus and
Chinese were prohibited, and a dual government was set up, with Manchus
always alongside Chinese in every office, the Manchus being of course in
the superior position. The Manchu soldiers were distributed in military
garrisons among the great cities, and were paid state pensions, which
had to be provided by taxation. They were the master race, and had no
need to work. Manchus did not have to attend the difficult state
examinations which the Chinese had to pass in order to gain an
appointment. How was it that in spite of all this the Manchus were able
to establish themselves?

The conquering Manchu generals first went south from eastern China, and
in 1645 captured Nanking, where a Ming prince had ruled. The region
round Nanking was the economic centre of China. Soon the Manchus were in
the adjoining southern provinces, and thus they conquered the whole of
the territory of the landowning gentry, who after the events of the
beginning of the seventeenth century had no longer trusted the Ming
rulers. The Ming prince in Nanking was just as incapable, and surrounded
by just as evil a clique, as the Ming emperors of the past. The gentry
were not inclined to defend him. A considerable section of the gentry
were reduced to utter despair; they had no desire to support the Ming
any longer; in their own interest they could not support the rebel
leaders; and they regarded the Manchus as just a particular sort of
"rebels". Interpreting the refusal of some Sung ministers to serve the
foreign Mongols as an act of loyalty, it was now regarded as shameful to
desert a dynasty when it came to an end and to serve the new ruler, even
if the new regime promised to be better. Many thousands of officials,
scholars, and great landowners committed suicide. Many books, often
really moving and tragic, are filled with the story of their lives. Some
of them tried to form insurgent bands with their peasants and went into
the mountains, but they were unable to maintain themselves there. The
great bulk of the elite soon brought themselves to collaborate with the
conquerors when they were offered tolerable conditions. In the end the
Manchus did not interfere in the ownership of land in central China.

At the time when in Europe Louis XIV was reigning, the Thirty Years War
was coming to an end, and Cromwell was carrying out his reforms in
England, the Manchus conquered the whole of China. Chang Hsien-chung and
Li Tz[)u]-ch'eng were the first to fall; the pirate Coxinga lasted a
little longer and was even able to plunder Nanking in 1659, but in 1661
he had to retire to Formosa. Wu San-kui, who meanwhile had conquered
western China, saw that the situation was becoming difficult for him.
His task was to drive out the last Ming pretenders for the Manchus. As
he had already been opposed to the Ming in 1644, and as the Ming no
longer had any following among the gentry, he could not suddenly work
with them against the Manchus. He therefore handed over to the Manchus
the last Ming prince, whom the Burmese had delivered up to him in 1661.
Wu San-kui's only possible allies against the Manchus were the gentry.
But in the west, where he was in power, the gentry counted for nothing;
they had in any case been weaker in the west, and they had been
decimated by the insurrection of Chang Hsien-chung. Thus Wu San-kui was
compelled to try to push eastwards, in order to unite with the gentry of
the Yangtze region against the Manchus. The Manchus guessed Wu San-kui's
plan, and in 1673, after every effort at accommodation had failed, open
war came. Wu San-kui made himself emperor, and the Manchus marched
against him. Meanwhile, the Chinese gentry of the Yangtze region had
come to terms with the Manchus, and they gave Wu San-kui no help. He
vegetated in the south-west, a region too poor to maintain an army that
could conquer all China, and too small to enable him to last
indefinitely as an independent power. He was able to hold his own until
his death, although, with the loss of the support of the gentry, he had
no prospect of final success. Not until 1681 was his successor, his
grandson Wu Shih-fan, defeated. The end of the rule of Wu San-kui and
his successor marked the end of the national governments of China; the
whole country was now under alien domination, for the simple reason that
all the opponents of the Manchus had failed. Only the Manchus were
accredited with the ability to bring order out of the universal
confusion, so that there was clearly no alternative but to put up with
the many insults and humiliations they inflicted--with the result that
the national feeling that had just been aroused died away, except where
it was kept alive in a few secret societies. There will be more to say
about this, once the works which were suppressed by the Manchus are

In the first phase of the Manchu conquest the gentry had refused to
support either the Ming princes or Wu San-kui, or any of the rebels, or
the Manchus themselves. A second phase began about twenty years after
the capture of Peking, when the Manchus won over the gentry by desisting
from any interference with the ownership of land, and by the use of
Manchu troops to clear away the "rebels" who were hostile to the gentry.
A reputable government was then set up in Peking, free from eunuchs and
from all the old cliques; in their place the government looked for
Chinese scholars for its administrative posts. Literati and scholars
streamed into Peking, especially members of the "Academies" that still
existed in secret, men who had been the chief sufferers from the
conditions at the end of the Ming epoch. The young emperor Sheng Tsu
(1663-1722; K'ang-hsi is the name by which his rule was known, not his
name) was keenly interested in Chinese culture and gave privileged
treatment to the scholars of the gentry who came forward. A rapid
recovery quite clearly took place. The disturbances of the years that
had passed had got rid of the worst enemies of the people, the
formidable rival cliques and the individuals lusting for power; the
gentry had become more cautious in their behaviour to the peasants; and
bribery had been largely stamped out. Finally, the empire had been
greatly expanded. All these things helped to stabilize the regime of the

2 _Decline in the eighteenth century_

The improvement continued until the middle of the eighteenth century.
About the time of the French Revolution there began a continuous
decline, slow at first and then gathering speed. The European works on
China offer various reasons for this: the many foreign wars (to which we
shall refer later) of the emperor, known by the name of his ruling
period, Ch'ien-lung, his craze for building, and the irruption of the
Europeans into Chinese trade. In the eighteenth century the court
surrounded itself with great splendour, and countless palaces and other
luxurious buildings were erected, but it must be borne in mind that so
great an empire as the China of that day possessed very considerable
financial strength, and could support this luxury. The wars were
certainly not inexpensive, as they took place along the Russian
frontier and entailed expenditure on the transport of reinforcements and
supplies; the wars against Turkestan and Tibet were carried on with
relatively small forces. This expenditure should not have been beyond
the resources of an ordered budget. Interestingly enough, the period
between 1640 and 1840 belongs to those periods for which almost no
significant work in the field of internal social and economic
developments has been made; Western scholars have been too much
interested in the impact of Western economy and culture or in the
military events. Chinese scholars thus far have shown a prejudice
against the Manchu dynasty and were mainly interested in the study of
anti-Manchu movements and the downfall of the dynasty. On the other
hand, the documentary material for this period is extremely extensive,
and many years of work are necessary to reach any general conclusions
even in one single field. The following remarks should, therefore, be
taken as very tentative and preliminary, and they are, naturally,

[Illustration: 14 Aborigines of South China, of the 'Black Miao' tribe,
at a festival. China-ink drawing of the eighteenth century. _Collection
of the Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Berlin. No. 1D 8756, 68_.]

[Illustration: 15 Pavilion on the 'Coal Hill' at Peking, in which the
last Ming emperor committed suicide. _Photo Eberhard_.]


The decline of the Manchu dynasty began at a time when the European
trade was still insignificant, and not as late as after 1842, when China
had to submit to the foreign Capitulations. These cannot have been the
true cause of the decline. Above all, the decline was not so noticeable
in the state of the Exchequer as in a general impoverishment of China.
The number of really wealthy persons among the gentry diminished, but
the middle class, that is to say the people who had education but little
or no money and property, grew steadily in number.

One of the deeper reasons for the decline of the Manchu dynasty seems to
lie in the enormous increase in the population. Here are a few Chinese

            _Year_                     _Population_

  1578(before the Manchus) 10,621,463 families or 60,692,856 individuals
              1662         19,203,233     "      100,000,000     "  [*]
              1710         23,311,236     "      116,000,000     "  [*]
              1729         25,480,498     "      127,000,000     "  [*]
              1741                        "      143,411,559     "
              1754                               184,504,493     "
              1778                               242,965,618     "
              1796                               275,662,414     "
              1814                               374,601,132     "
              1850                               414,493,899     "
             (1953)                             (601,938,035     ")

                        [*] Approximately

It may be objected that these figures are incorrect and exaggerated.
Undoubtedly they contain errors. But the first figure (for 1578) of some
sixty millions is in close agreement with all other figures of early
times; the figure for 1850 seems high, but cannot be far wrong, for even
after the great T'ai P'ing Rebellion of 1851, which, together with its
after-effects, costs the lives of countless millions, all statisticians
of today estimate the population of China at more than four hundred
millions. If we enter these data together with the census of 1953 into a
chart (see p. 273), a fairly smooth curve emerges; the special features
are that already under the Ming the population was increasing and,
secondly, that the high rate of increase in the population began with
the long period of internal peace since about 1700. From that time
onwards, all China's wars were fought at so great a distance from China
proper that the population was not directly affected. Moreover, in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Manchus saw to the maintenance
of the river dykes, so that the worst inundations were prevented. Thus
there were not so many of the floods which had often cost the lives of
many million people in China; and there were no internal wars, with
their heavy cost in lives.

But while the population increased, the tillage failed to increase in
the needed proportion. I have, unfortunately, no statistics for all
periods; but the general tendency is shown by the following table:

          _Date    Cultivated area_    mou _per person_
                       _in_ mou

  1578          701,397,600               11.6
  1662          531,135,800
  1719          663,113,200
  1729          878,176,000                6.1
 (1953)      (1,627,930,000)              (2.7)

Six _mou_ are about one acre. In 1578, there were 66 _mou_ land per
family of the total population. This was close to the figures regarded
as ideal by Chinese early economists for the producing family (100
_mou_) considering the fact that about 80 per cent of all families at
that time were producers. By 1729 it was only 35 _mou_ per family, i.e.
the land had to produce almost twice as much as before. We have shown
that the agricultural developments in the Ming time greatly increased
the productivity of the land. This then, obviously resulted in an
increase of population. But by the middle of the eighteenth century,
assuming that production doubled since the sixteenth century, population
pressure was again as heavy as it had been then. And after _c_. 1750,
population pressure continued to build up to the present time.

Internal colonization continued during the Manchu time; there was a
continuous, but slow flow of people into Kwangsi, Kweichow, Yuennan. In
spite of laws which prohibited emigration, Chinese also moved into
South-East Asia. Chinese settlement in Manchuria was allowed only in the
last years of the Manchus. But such internal colonization or emigration
could alleviated the pressure only in some areas, while it continued to
build up in others.

In Europe as well as in Japan, we find a strong population increase; in
Europe at almost the same time as in China. But before population
pressure became too serious in Europe or Japan, industry developed and
absorbed the excess population. Thus, farms did not decrease too much in
size. Too small farms are always and in many ways uneconomical. With the
development of industries, the percentage of farm population decreased.
In China, however, the farm population was still as high as 73.3 per
cent of the total population in 1932 and the percentage rose to 81 per
cent in 1950.

From the middle of the seventeenth century on, commercial activities,
especially along the coast, continued to increase and we find gentry
families who equip sons who were unwilling or not capable to study and
to enter the ranks of the officials, but who were too unruly to sit in
villages and collect the rent from the tenants of the family, with money
to enter business. The newly settled areas of Kwangtung and Kwangsi were
ideal places for them: here they could sell Chinese products to the
native tribes or to the new settlers at high prices. Some of these men
introduced new techniques from the old provinces of China into the
"colonial" areas and set up dye factories, textile factories, etc., in
the new towns of the south. But the greatest stimulus for these
commercial activities was foreign, European trade. American silver which
had flooded Europe in the sixteenth century, began to flow into China
from the beginning of the seventeenth century on. The influx was stopped
not until between 1661 and 1684 when the government again prohibited
coastal shipping and removed coastal settlements into the interior in
order to stop piracy along the coasts of Fukien and independence
movements on Formosa. But even during these twenty-three years, the
price of silver was so low that home production was given up because it
did not pay off. In the eighteenth century, silver again continued to
enter China, while silk and tea were exported. This demand led to a
strong rise in the prices of silk and tea, and benefited the merchants.
When, from the late eighteenth century on, opium began to be imported,
the silver left China again. The merchants profited this time from the
opium trade, but farmers had to suffer: the price of silver went up, and
taxes had to be paid in silver, while farm products were sold for
copper. By 1835, the ounce of silver had a value of 2,000 copper coins
instead of one thousand before 1800. High gains in commerce prevented
investment in industries, because they would give lower and later
profits than commerce. From the nineteenth century on, more and more
industrial goods were offered by importers which also prevented
industrialization. Finally, the gentry basically remained
anti-industrial and anti-business. They tried to operate necessary
enterprises such as mining, melting, porcelain production as far as
possible as government establishments; but as the operators were
officials, they were not too business-minded and these enterprises did
not develop well. The businessmen certainly had enough capital, but they
invested it in land instead of investing it in industries which could at
any moment be taken away by the government, controlled by the officials
or forced to sell at set prices, and which were always subject to
exploitation by dishonest officials. A businessman felt secure only when
he had invested in land, when he had received an official title upon the
payment of large sums of money, or when he succeeded to push at least
one of his sons into the government bureaucracy. No doubt, in spite of
all this, Chinese business and industry kept on developing in the Manchu
time, but they did not develop at such a speed as to transform the
country from an agrarian into a modern industrial nation.

3 _Expansion in Central Asia; the first State treaty_

The rise of the Manchu dynasty actually began under the K'ang-hsi rule
(1663-1722). The emperor had three tasks. The first was the removal of
the last supporters of the Ming dynasty and of the generals, such as Wu
San-kui, who had tried to make themselves independent. This necessitated
a long series of campaigns, most of them in the south-west or south of
China; these scarcely affected the population of China proper. In 1683
Formosa was occupied and the last of the insurgent army commanders was
defeated. It was shown above that the situation of all these leaders
became hopeless as soon as the Manchus had occupied the rich Yangtze
region and the intelligentsia and the gentry of that region had gone
over to them.

A quite different type of insurgent commander was the Mongol prince
Galdan. He, too, planned to make himself independent of Manchu
overlordship. At first the Mongols had readily supported the Manchus,
when the latter were making raids into China and there was plenty of
booty. Now, however, the Manchus, under the influence of the Chinese
gentry whom they brought, and could not but bring, to their court, were
rapidly becoming Chinese in respect to culture. Even in the time of
K'ang-hsi the Manchus began to forget Manchurian; they brought tutors to
court to teach the young Manchus Chinese. Later even the emperors did
not understand Manchurian! As a result of this process, the Mongols
became alienated from the Manchurians, and the situation began once more
to be the same as at the time of the Ming rulers. Thus Galdan tried to
found an independent Mongol realm, free from Chinese influence.

The Manchus could not permit this, as such a realm would have threatened
the flank of their homeland, Manchuria, and would have attracted those
Manchus who objected to sinification. Between 1690 and 1696 there were
battles, in which the emperor actually took part in person. Galdan was
defeated. In 1715, however, there were new disturbances, this time in
western Mongolia. Tsewang Rabdan, whom the Chinese had made khan of the
Oeloet, rose against the Chinese. The wars that followed, extending far
into Turkestan and also involving its Turkish population together with
the Dzungars, ended with the Chinese conquest of the whole of Mongolia
and of parts of eastern Turkestan. As Tsewang Rabdan had tried to extend
his power as far as Tibet, a campaign was undertaken also into Tibet,
Lhasa was occupied, a new Dalai Lama was installed there as supreme
ruler, and Tibet was made into a protectorate. Since then Tibet has
remained to this day under some form of Chinese colonial rule.

This penetration of the Chinese into Turkestan took place just at the
time when the Russians were enormously expanding their empire in Asia,
and this formed the third problem for the Manchus. In 1650 the Russians
had established a fort by the river Amur. The Manchus regarded the Amur
(which they called the "River of the Black Dragon") as part of their own
territory, and in 1685 they destroyed the Russian settlement. After this
there were negotiations, which culminated in 1689 in the Treaty of
Nerchinsk. This treaty was the first concluded by the Chinese state with
a European power. Jesuit missionaries played a part in the negotiations
as interpreters. Owing to the difficulties of translation the text of
the treaty, in Chinese, Russian, and Manchurian, contained some
obscurities, particularly in regard to the frontier line. Accordingly,
in 1727 the Russians asked for a revision of the old treaty. The Chinese
emperor, whose rule name was Yung-cheng, arranged for the negotiations
to be carried on at the frontier, in the town of Kyakhta, in Mongolia,
where after long discussions a new treaty was concluded. Under this
treaty the Russians received permission to set up a legation and a
commercial agency in Peking, and also to maintain a church. This was the
beginning of the foreign Capitulations. From the Chinese point of view
there was nothing special in a facility of this sort. For some fifteen
centuries all the "barbarians" who had to bring tribute had been given
houses in the capital, where their envoys could wait until the emperor
would receive them--usually on New Year's Day. The custom had sprung up
at the reception of the Huns. Moreover, permission had always been given
for envoys to be accompanied by a few merchants, who during the envoy's
stay did a certain amount of business. Furthermore the time had been
when the Uighurs were permitted to set up a temple of their own. At the
time of the permission given to the Russians to set up a "legation", a
similar office was set up (in 1729) for "Uighur" peoples (meaning
Mohammedans), again under the control of an office, called the Office
for Regulation of Barbarians. The Mohammedan office was placed under two
Mohammedan leaders who lived in Peking. The Europeans, however, had
quite different ideas about a "legation", and about the significance of
permission to trade. They regarded this as the opening of diplomatic
relations between states on terms of equality, and the carrying on of
trade as a special privilege, a sort of Capitulation. This reciprocal
misunderstanding produced in the nineteenth century a number of serious
political conflicts. The Europeans charged the Chinese with breach of
treaties, failure to meet their obligations, and other such things,
while the Chinese considered that they had acted with perfect

4 _Culture_

In this K'ang-hsi period culture began to flourish again. The emperor
had attracted the gentry, and so the intelligentsia, to his court
because his uneducated Manchus could not alone have administered the
enormous empire; and he showed great interest in Chinese culture,
himself delved deeply into it, and had many works compiled, especially
works of an encyclopaedic character. The encyclopaedias enabled
information to be rapidly gained on all sorts of subjects, and thus were
just what an interested ruler needed, especially when, as a foreigner,
he was not in a position to gain really thorough instruction in things
Chinese. The Chinese encyclopaedias of the seventeenth and especially of
the eighteenth century were thus the outcome of the initiative of the
Manchurian emperor, and were compiled for his information; they were not
due, like the French encyclopaedias of the eighteenth century, to a
movement for the spread of knowledge among the people. For this latter
purpose the gigantic encyclopaedias of the Manchus, each of which fills
several bookcases, were much too expensive and were printed in much too
limited editions. The compilations began with the great geographical
encyclopaedia of Ku Yen-wu (1613-1682), and attained their climax in the
gigantic eighteenth-century encyclopaedia _T'u-shu chi-ch'eng_,
scientifically impeccable in the accuracy of its references to sources.
Here were already the beginnings of the "Archaeological School", built
up in the course of the eighteenth century. This school was usually
called "Han school" because the adherents went back to the commentaries
of the classical texts written in Han time and discarded the orthodox
explanations of Chu Hsi's school of Sung time. Later, its most prominent
leader was Tai Chen (1723-1777). Tai was greatly interested in
technology and science; he can be regarded as the first philosopher who
exhibited an empirical, scientific way of thinking. Late nineteenth and
early twentieth century Chinese scholarship is greatly obliged to him.

The most famous literary works of the Manchu epoch belong once more to
the field which Chinese do not regard as that of true literature--the
novel, the short story, and the drama. Poetry did exist, but it kept to
the old paths and had few fresh ideas. All the various forms of the Sung
period were made use of. The essayists, too, offered nothing new, though
their number was legion. One of the best known is Yuean Mei (1716-1797),
who was also the author of the collection of short stories _Tse-pu-yue_
("The Master did not tell"), which is regarded very highly by the
Chinese. The volume of short stories entitled _Liao-chai chich-i_, by
P'u Sung-lin (1640-1715?), is world-famous and has been translated into
every civilized language. Both collections are distinguished by their
simple but elegant style. The short story was popular among the greater
gentry; it abandoned the popular style it had in the Ming epoch, and
adopted the polished language of scholars.

The Manchu epoch has left to us what is by general consent the finest
novel in Chinese literature, _Hung-lou-meng_ ("The Dream of the Red
Chamber"), by Ts'ao Hsueeh-ch'in, who died in 1763. It describes the
downfall of a rich and powerful family from the highest rank of the
gentry, and the decadent son's love of a young and emotional lady of the
highest circles. The story is clothed in a mystical garb that does
something to soften its tragic ending. The interesting novel _Ju-lin
wai-shih_ ("Private Reports from the Life of Scholars"), by Wu
Ching-tz[)u] (1701-1754), is a mordant criticism of Confucianism with
its rigid formalism, of the social system, and of the examination
system. Social criticism is the theme of many novels. The most modern in
spirit of the works of this period is perhaps the treatment of feminism
in the novel _Ching-hua-yuean_, by Li Yu-chen (d. 1830), which demanded
equal rights for men and women.

The drama developed quickly in the Manchu epoch, particularly in
quantity, especially since the emperors greatly appreciated the theatre.
A catalogue of plays compiled in 1781 contains 1,013 titles! Some of
these dramas were of unprecedented length. One of them was played in 26
parts containing 240 acts; a performance took two years to complete!
Probably the finest dramas of the Manchu epoch are those of Li Yue (born
1611), who also became the first of the Chinese dramatic critics. What
he had to say about the art of the theatre, and about aesthetics in
general, is still worth reading.

About the middle of the nineteenth century the influence of Europe
became more and more marked. Translation began with Yen Fu (1853-1921),
who translated the first philosophical and scientific books and books on
social questions and made his compatriots acquainted with Western
thought. At the same time Lin Shu (1852-1924) translated the first
Western short stories and novels. With these two began the new style,
which was soon elaborated by Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, a collaborator of Sun
Yat-sen's, and by others, and which ultimately produced the "literary
revolution" of 1917. Translation has continued to this day; almost every
book of outstanding importance in world literature is translated within
a few months of its appearance, and on the average these translations
are of a fairly high level.

Particularly fine work was produced in the field of porcelain in the
Manchu epoch. In 1680 the famous kilns in the province of Kiangsi were
reopened, and porcelain that is among the most artistically perfect in
the world was fired in them. Among the new colours were especially green
shades (one group is known as _famille verte_) and also black and yellow
compositions. Monochrome porcelain also developed further, including
very fine dark blue, brilliant red (called "ox-blood"), and white. In
the eighteenth century, however, there began an unmistakable decline,
which has continued to this day, although there are still a few
craftsmen and a few kilns that produce outstanding work (usually
attempts to imitate old models), often in small factories.

In painting, European influence soon shows itself. The best-known
example of this is Lang Shih-ning, an Italian missionary whose original
name was Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766); he began to work in China in
1715. He learned the Chinese method of painting, but introduced a number
of technical tricks of European painters, which were adopted in general
practice in China, especially by the official court painters: the
painting of the scholars who lived in seclusion remained uninfluenced.
Dutch flower-painting also had some influence in China as early as the
eighteenth century.

The missionaries played an important part at court. The first Manchu
emperors were as generous in this matter as the Mongols had been, and
allowed the foreigners to work in peace. They showed special interest in
the European science introduced by the missionaries; they had less
sympathy for their religious message. The missionaries, for their part,
sent to Europe enthusiastic accounts of the wonderful conditions in
China, and so helped to popularize the idea that was being formed in
Europe of an "enlightened", a constitutional, monarchy. The leaders of
the Enlightenment read these reports with enthusiasm, with the result
that they had an influence on the French Revolution. Confucius was found
particularly attractive, and was regarded as a forerunner of the
Enlightenment. The "Monadism" of the philosopher Leibniz was influenced
by these reports.

The missionaries gained a reputation at court as "scientists", and in
this they were of service both to China and to Europe. The behaviour of
the European merchants who followed the missions, spreading gradually in
growing numbers along the coasts of China, was not by any means so
irreproachable. The Chinese were certainly justified when they declared
that European ships often made landings on the coast and simply looted,
just as the Japanese had done before them. Reports of this came to the
court, and as captured foreigners described themselves as "Christians"
and also seemed to have some connection with the missionaries living at
court, and as disputes had broken out among the missionaries themselves
in connection with papal ecclesiastical policy, in the Yung-cheng period
(1723-1736; the name of the emperor was Shih Tsung) Christianity was
placed under a general ban, being regarded as a secret political

5 _Relations with the outer world_

During the Yung-cheng period there was long-continued guerrilla fighting
with natives in south-west China. The pressure of population in China
sought an outlet in emigration. More and more Chinese moved into the
south-west, and took the land from the natives, and the fighting was the
consequence of this.

At the beginning of the Ch'ien-lung period (1736-1796), fighting started
again in Turkestan. Mongols, now called Kalmuks, defeated by the
Chinese, had migrated to the Ili region, where after heavy fighting they
gained supremacy over some of the Kazaks and other Turkish peoples
living there and in western Turkestan. Some Kazak tribes went over to
the Russians, and in 1735 the Russian colonialists founded the town of
Orenburg in the western Kazak region. The Kalmuks fought the Chinese
without cessation until, in 1739, they entered into an agreement under
which they ceded half their territory to Manchu China, retaining only
the Ili region. The Kalmuks subsequently reunited with other sections of
the Kazaks against the Chinese. In 1754 peace was again concluded with
China, but it was followed by raids on both sides, so that the Manchus
determined to enter on a great campaign against the Ili region. This
ended with a decisive victory for the Chinese (1755). In the years that
followed, however, the Chinese began to be afraid that the various Kazak
tribes might unite in order to occupy the territory of the Kalmuks,
which was almost unpopulated owing to the mass slaughter of Kalmuks by
the Chinese. Unrest began among the Mohammedans throughout the
neighbouring western Turkestan, and the same Chinese generals who had
fought the Kalmuks marched into Turkestan and captured the Mohammedan
city states of Uch, Kashgar, and Yarkand.

The reinforcements for these campaigns, and for the garrisons which in
the following decades were stationed in the Ili region and in the west
of eastern Turkestan, marched along the road from Peking that leads
northward through Mongolia to the far distant Uliassutai and Kobdo. The
cost of transport for one _shih_ (about 66 lb.) amounted to 120 pieces
of silver. In 1781 certain economies were introduced, but between 1781
and 1791 over 30,000 tons, making some 8 tons a day, was transported to
that region. The cost of transport for supplies alone amounted in the
course of time to the not inconsiderable sum of 120,000,000 pieces of
silver. In addition to this there was the cost of the transported goods
and of the pay of soldiers and of the administration. These figures
apply to the period of occupation, of relative peace: during the actual
wars of conquest the expenditure was naturally far higher. Thus these
campaigns, though I do not think they brought actual economic ruin to
China, were nevertheless a costly enterprise, and one which produced
little positive advantage.

In addition to this, these wars brought China into conflict with the
European colonial powers. In the years during which the Chinese armies
were fighting in the Ili region, the Russians were putting out their
feelers in that direction, and the Chinese annals show plainly how the
Russians intervened in the fighting with the Kalmuks and Kazaks. The Hi
region remained thereafter a bone of contention between China and
Russia, until it finally went to Russia, bit by bit, between 1847 and
1881. The Kalmuks and Kazaks played a special part in Russo-Chinese
relations. The Chinese had sent a mission to the Kalmuks farthest west,
by the lower Volga, and had entered into relations with them, as early
as 1714. As Russian pressure on the Volga region continually grew, these
Kalmuks (mainly the Turgut tribe), who had lived there since 1630,
decided to return into Chinese territory (1771). During this enormously
difficult migration, almost entirely through hostile territory, a large
number of the Turgut perished; 85,000, however, reached the Hi region,
where they were settled by the Chinese on the lands of the eastern
Kalmuks, who had been largely exterminated.

In the south, too, the Chinese came into direct touch with the European
powers. In 1757 the English occupied Calcutta, and in 1766 the province
of Bengal. In 1767 a Manchu general, Ming Jui, who had been victorious
in the fighting for eastern Turkestan, marched against Burma, which was
made a dependency once more in 1769. And in 1790-1791 the Chinese
conquered Nepal, south of Tibet, because Nepalese had made two attacks
on Tibet. Thus English and Chinese political interests came here into

For the Ch'ien-lung period's many wars of conquest there seem to have
been two main reasons. The first was the need for security. The Mongols
had to be overthrown because otherwise the homeland of the Manchus was
menaced; in order to make sure of the suppression of the eastern
Mongols, the western Mongols (Kalmuks) had to be overthrown; to make
them harmless, Turkestan and the Ili region had to be conquered; Tibet
was needed for the security of Turkestan and Mongolia--and so on. Vast
territories, however, were conquered in this process which were of no
economic value, and most of which actually cost a great deal of money
and brought nothing in. They were conquered simply for security. That
advantage had been gained: an aggressor would have to cross great areas
of unproductive territory, with difficult conditions for reinforcements,
before he could actually reach China. In the second place, the Chinese
may actually have noticed the efforts that were being made by the
European powers, especially Russia and England, to divide Asia among
themselves, and accordingly they made sure of their own good share.

6 _Decline; revolts_

The period of Ch'ien-lung is not only that of the greatest expansion of
the Chinese empire, but also that of the greatest prosperity under the
Manchu regime. But there began at the same time to be signs of internal
decline. If we are to fix a particular year for this, perhaps it should
be the year 1774, in which came the first great popular rising, in the
province of Shantung. In 1775 there came another popular rising, in
Honan--that of the "Society of the White Lotus". This society, which had
long existed as a secret organization and had played a part in the Ming
epoch, had been reorganized by a man named Liu Sung. Liu Sung was
captured and was condemned to penal servitude. His followers, however,
regrouped themselves, particularly in the province of Anhui. These
risings had been produced, as always, by excessive oppression of the
people by the government or the governing class. As, however, the anger
of the population was naturally directed also against the idle Manchus
of the cities, who lived on their state pensions, did no work, and
behaved as a ruling class, the government saw in these movements a
nationalist spirit, and took drastic steps against them. The popular
leaders now altered their program, and acclaimed a supposed descendant
from the Ming dynasty as the future emperor. Government troops caught
the leader of the "White Lotus" agitation, but he succeeded in escaping.
In the regions through which the society had spread, there then began a
sort of Inquisition, of exceptional ferocity. Six provinces were
affected, and in and around the single city of Wuch'ang in four months
more than 20,000 people were beheaded. The cost of the rising to the
government ran into millions. In answer to this oppression, the popular
leaders tightened their organization and marched north-west from the
western provinces of which they had gained control. The rising was
suppressed only by a very big military operation, and not until 1802.
There had been very heavy fighting between 1793 and 1802--just when in
Europe, in the French Revolution, another oppressed population won its

The Ch'ien-lung emperor abdicated on New Year's Day, 1795, after ruling
for sixty years. He died in 1799. His successor was Jen Tsung
(1796-1821; reign name: Chia-ch'ing). In the course of his reign the
rising of the "White Lotus" was suppressed, but in 1813 there began a
new rising, this time in North China--again that of a secret
organization, the "Society of Heaven's Law". One of its leaders bribed
some eunuchs, and penetrated with a group of followers into the palace;
he threw himself upon the emperor, who was only saved through the
intervention of his son. At the same time the rising spread in the
provinces. Once more the government succeeded in suppressing it and
capturing the leaders. But the memory of these risings was kept alive
among the Chinese people. For the government failed to realize that the
actual cause of the risings was the general impoverishment, and saw in
them a nationalist movement, thus actually arousing a national
consciousness, stronger than in the Ming epoch, among the middle and
lower classes of the people, together with hatred of the Manchus. They
were held responsible for every evil suffered, regardless of the fact
that similar evils had existed earlier.

7 _European Imperialism in the Far East_

With the Tao-kuang period (1821-1850) began a new period in Chinese
history, which came to an end only in 1911.

In foreign affairs these ninety years were marked by the steadily
growing influence of the Western powers, aimed at turning China into a
colony. Culturally this period was that of the gradual infiltration of
Western civilization into the Far East; it was recognized in China that
it was necessary to learn from the West. In home affairs we see the
collapse of the dynasty and the destruction of the unity of the empire;
of four great civil wars, one almost brought the dynasty to its end.
North and South China, the coastal area and the interior, developed in
different ways.

Great Britain had made several attempts to improve her trade relations
with China, but the mission of 1793 had no success, and that of 1816
also failed. English merchants, like all foreign merchants, were only
permitted to settle in a small area adjoining Canton and at Macao, and
were only permitted to trade with a particular group of monopolists,
known as the "Hong". The Hong had to pay taxes to the state, but they
had a wonderful opportunity of enriching themselves. The Europeans were
entirely at their mercy, for they were not allowed to travel inland, and
they were not allowed to try to negotiate with other merchants, to
secure lower prices by competition.

The Europeans concentrated especially on the purchase of silk and tea;
but what could they import into China? The higher the price of the goods
and the smaller the cargo space involved, the better were the chances of
profit for the merchants. It proved, however, that European woollens or
luxury goods could not be sold; the Chinese would probably have been
glad to buy food, but transport was too expensive to permit profitable
business. Thus a new article was soon discovered--opium, carried from
India to China: the price was high and the cargo space involved was very
small. The Chinese were familiar with opium, and bought it readily.
Accordingly, from 1800 onwards opium became more and more the chief
article of trade, especially for the English, who were able to bring it
conveniently from India. Opium is harmful to the people; the opium trade
resulted in certain groups of merchants being inordinately enriched; a
great deal of Chinese money went abroad. The government became
apprehensive and sent Lin Tse-hsue as its commissioner to Canton. In 1839
he prohibited the opium trade and burned the chests of opium found in
British possession. The British view was that to tolerate the Chinese
action might mean the destruction of British trade in the Far East and
that, on the other hand, it might be possible by active intervention to
compel the Chinese to open other ports to European trade and to shake
off the monopoly of the Canton merchants. In 1840 British ships-of-war
appeared off the south-eastern coast of China and bombarded it. In 1841
the Chinese opened negotiations and dismissed Lin Tse-hsue. As the
Chinese concessions were regarded as inadequate, hostilities continued;
the British entered the Yangtze estuary and threatened Nanking. In this
first armed conflict with the West, China found herself defenceless
owing to her lack of a navy, and it was also found that the European
weapons were far superior to those of the Chinese. In 1842 China was
compelled to capitulate: under the Treaty of Nanking Hong Kong was ceded
to Great Britain, a war indemnity was paid, certain ports were thrown
open to European trade, and the monopoly was brought to an end. A great
deal of opium came, however, into China through smuggling--regrettably,
for the state lost the customs revenue!

This treaty introduced the period of the Capitulations. It contained
the dangerous clause which added most to China's misfortunes--the Most
Favoured Nation clause, providing that if China granted any privilege to
any other state, that privilege should also automatically be granted to
Great Britain. In connection with this treaty it was agreed that the
Chinese customs should be supervised by European consuls; and a trade
treaty was granted. Similar treaties followed in 1844 with France and
the United States. The missionaries returned; until 1860, however, they
were only permitted to work in the treaty ports. Shanghai was thrown
open in 1843, and developed with extraordinary rapidity from a town to a
city of a million and a centre of world-wide importance.

The terms of the Nanking Treaty were not observed by either side; both
evaded them. In order to facilitate the smuggling, the British had
permitted certain Chinese junks to fly the British flag. This also
enabled these vessels to be protected by British ships-of-war from
pirates, which at that time were very numerous off the southern coast
owing to the economic depression. The Chinese, for their part, placed
every possible obstacle in the way of the British. In 1856 the Chinese
held up a ship sailing under the British flag, pulled down its flag, and
arrested the crew on suspicion of smuggling. In connection with this and
other events, Britain decided to go to war. Thus began the "Lorcha War"
of 1857, in which France joined for the sake of the booty to be
expected. Britain had just ended the Crimean War, and was engaged in
heavy fighting against the Moguls in India. Consequently only a small
force of a few thousand men could be landed in China; Canton, however,
was bombarded, and also the forts of Tientsin. There still seemed no
prospect of gaining the desired objectives by negotiation, and in 1860 a
new expedition was fitted out, this time some 20,000 strong. The troops
landed at Tientsin and marched on Peking; the emperor fled to Jehol and
did not return; he died in 1861. The new Treaty of Tientsin (1860)
provided for (a) the opening of further ports to European traders; (b)
the session of Kowloon, the strip of land lying opposite Hong Kong; (c)
the establishment of a British legation in Peking; (d) freedom of
navigation along the Yangtze; (e) permission for British subjects to
purchase land in China; (f) the British to be subject to their own
consular courts and not to the Chinese courts; (g) missionary activity
to be permitted throughout the country. In addition to this, the
commercial treaty was revised, the opium trade was permitted once more,
and a war indemnity was to be paid by China. In the eyes of Europe,
Britain had now succeeded in turning China not actually into a colony,
but at all events into a semi-colony; China must be expected soon to
share the fate of India. China, however, with her very different
conceptions of intercourse between states, did not realize the full
import of these terms; some of them were regarded as concessions on
unimportant points, which there was no harm in granting to the trading
"barbarians", as had been done in the past; some were regarded as simple
injustices, which at a given moment could be swept away by
administrative action.

But the result of this European penetration was that China's balance of
trade was adverse, and became more and more so, as under the commercial
treaties she could neither stop the importation of European goods nor
set a duty on them; and on the other hand she could not compel
foreigners to buy Chinese goods. The efflux of silver brought general
impoverishment to China, widespread financial stringency to the state,
and continuous financial crises and inflation. China had never had much
liquid capital, and she was soon compelled to take up foreign loans in
order to pay her debts. At that time internal loans were out of the
question (the first internal loan was floated in 1894): the population
did not even know what a state loan meant; consequently the loans had to
be issued abroad. This, however, entailed the giving of securities,
generally in the form of economic privileges. Under the Most Favoured
Nation clause, however, these privileges had then to be granted to other
states which had made no loans to China. Clearly a vicious spiral, which
in the end could only bring disaster.

The only exception to the general impoverishment, in which not only the
peasants but the old upper classes were involved, was a certain section
of the trading community and the middle class, which had grown rich
through its dealings with the Europeans. These people now accumulated
capital, became Europeanized with their staffs, acquired land from the
impoverished gentry, and sent their sons abroad to foreign universities.
They founded the first industrial undertakings, and learned European
capitalist methods. This class was, of course, to be found mainly in the
treaty ports in the south and in their environs. The south, as far north
as Shanghai, became more modern and more advanced; the north made no
advance. In the south, European ways of thought were learnt, and Chinese
and European theories were compared. Criticism began. The first
revolutionary societies were formed in this atmosphere in the south.

8 _Risings in Turkestan and within China: the T'ai P'ing Rebellion_

But the emperor Hsuean Tsung (reign name Tao-kuang), a man in poor health
though not without ability, had much graver anxieties than those caused
by the Europeans. He did not yet fully realize the seriousness of the
European peril.

[Illustration: 16 The imperial summer palace of the Manchu rulers, at
Jehol. _Photo H. Hammer-Morrisson_.]

[Illustration: 17 Tower on the city wall of Peking. _Photo H.

In Turkestan, where Turkish Mohammedans lived under
Chinese rule, conditions were far from being as the Chinese desired. The
Chinese, a fundamentally rationalistic people, regarded religion as a
purely political matter, and accordingly required every citizen to take
part in the official form of worship. Subject to that, he might
privately belong to any other religion. To a Mohammedan, this was
impossible and intolerable. The Mohammedans were only ready to practice
their own religion, and absolutely refused to take part in any other.
The Chinese also tried to apply to Turkestan in other matters the same
legislation that applied to all China, but this proved irreconcilable
with the demands made by Islam on its followers. All this produced
continual unrest.

Turkestan had a feudal system of government with a number of feudal
lords (_beg_), who tried to maintain their influence and who had the
support of the Mohammedan population. The Chinese had come to Turkestan
as soldiers and officials, to administer the country. They regarded
themselves as the lords of the land and occupied themselves with the
extraction of taxes. Most of the officials were also associated with the
Chinese merchants who travelled throughout Turkestan and as far as
Siberia. The conflicts implicit in this situation produced great
Mohammedan risings in the nineteenth century. The first came in
1825-1827; in 1845 a second rising flamed up, and thirty years later
these revolts led to the temporary loss of the whole of Turkestan.

In 1848, native unrest began in the province of Hunan, as a result of
the constantly growing pressure of the Chinese settlers on the native
population; in the same year there was unrest farther south, in the
province of Kwangsi, this time in connection with the influence of the
Europeans. The leader was a quite simple man of Hakka blood, Hung
Hsiu-ch'uean (born 1814), who gathered impoverished Hakka peasants round
him as every peasant leader had done in the past. Very often the nucleus
of these peasant movements had been a secret society with a particular
religious tinge; this time the peasant revolutionaries came forward as
at the same time the preachers of a new religion of their own. Hung had
heard of Christianity from missionaries (1837), and he mixed up
Christian ideas with those of ancient China and proclaimed to his
followers a doctrine that promised the Kingdom of God on earth. He
called himself "Christ's younger brother", and his kingdom was to be
called _T'ai P'ing_ ("Supreme Peace"). He made his first comrades,
charcoal makers, local doctors, peddlers and farmers, into kings, and
made himself emperor. At bottom the movement, like all similar ones
before it, was not religious but social; and it produced a great
response from the peasants. The program of the T'ai P'ing, in some
points influenced by Christian ideas but more so by traditional Chinese
thought, was in many points revolutionary: (a) all property was communal
property; (b) land was classified into categories according to its
fertility and equally distributed among men and women. Every producer
kept of the produce as much as he and his family needed and delivered
the rest into the communal granary; (c) administration and tax systems
were revised; (d) women were given equal rights: they fought together
with men in the army and had access to official position. They had to
marry, but monogamy was requested; (e) the use of opium, tobacco and
alcohol was prohibited, prostitution was illegal; (f) foreigners were
regarded as equals, capitulations as the Manchus had accepted were not
recognized. A large part of the officials, and particularly of the
soldiers sent against the revolutionaries, were Manchus, and
consequently the movement very soon became a nationalist movement, much
as the popular movement at the end of the Mongol epoch had done. Hung
made rapid progress; in 1852 he captured Hankow, and in 1853 Nanking,
the important centre in the east. With clear political insight he made
Nanking his capital. In this he returned to the old traditions of the
beginning of the Ming epoch, no doubt expecting in this way to attract
support from the eastern Chinese gentry, who had no liking for a capital
far away in the north. He made a parade of adhesion to the ancient
Chinese tradition: his followers cut off their pigtails and allowed
their hair to grow as in the past.

He did not succeed, however, in carrying his reforms from the stage of
sporadic action to a systematic reorganization of the country, and he
also failed to enlist the elements needed for this as for all other
administrative work, so that the good start soon degenerated into a
terrorist regime.

Hung's followers pressed on from Nanking, and in 1853-1855 they advanced
nearly to Tientsin; but they failed to capture Peking itself.

The new T'ai P'ing state faced the Europeans with big problems. Should
they work with it or against it? The T'ai P'ing always insisted that
they were Christians; the missionaries hoped now to have the opportunity
of converting all China to Christianity. The T'ai P'ing treated the
missionaries well but did not let them operate. After long hesitation
and much vacillation, however, the Europeans placed themselves on the
side of the Manchus. Not out of any belief that the T'ai P'ing movement
was without justification, but because they had concluded treaties with
the Manchu government and given loans to it, of which nothing would
have remained if the Manchus had fallen; because they preferred the weak
Manchu government to a strong T'ai P'ing government; and because they
disliked the socialistic element in many of the measured adopted by the
T'ai P'ing.

At first it seemed as if the Manchus would be able to cope unaided with
the T'ai P'ing, but the same thing happened as at the end of the Mongol
rule: the imperial armies, consisting of the "banners" of the Manchus,
the Mongols, and some Chinese, had lost their military skill in the long
years of peace; they had lost their old fighting spirit and were glad to
be able to live in peace on their state pensions. Now three men came to
the fore--a Mongol named Seng-ko-lin-ch'in, a man of great personal
bravery, who defended the interests of the Manchu rulers; and two
Chinese, Tseng Kuo-fan (1811-1892) and Li Hung-chang (1823-1901), who
were in the service of the Manchus but used their position simply to
further the interests of the gentry. The Mongol saved Peking from
capture by the T'ai P'ing. The two Chinese were living in central China,
and there they recruited, Li at his own expense and Tseng out of the
resources at his disposal as a provincial governor, a sort of militia,
consisting of peasants out to protect their homes from destruction by
the peasants of the T'ai P'ing. Thus the peasants of central China, all
suffering from impoverishment, were divided into two groups, one
following the T'ai P'ing, the other following Tseng Kuo-fan. Tseng's
army, too, might be described as a "national" army, because Tseng was
not fighting for the interests of the Manchus. Thus the peasants, all
anti-Manchu, could choose between two sides, between the T'ai P'ing and
Tseng Kuo-fan. Although Tseng represented the gentry and was thus
against the simple common people, peasants fought in masses on his side,
for he paid better, and especially more regularly. Tseng, being a good
strategist, won successes and gained adherents. Thus by 1856 the T'ai
P'ing were pressed back on Nanking and some of the towns round it; in
1864 Nanking was captured.

While in the central provinces the T'ai P'ing rebellion was raging,
China was suffering grave setbacks owing to the Lorcha War of 1856; and
there were also great and serious risings in other parts of the country.
In 1855 the Yellow River had changed its course, entering the sea once
more at Tientsin, to the great loss of the regions of Honan and Anhui.
In these two central provinces the peasant rising of the so-called "Nien
Fei" had begun, but it only became formidable after 1855, owing to the
increasing misery of the peasants. This purely peasant revolt was not
suppressed by the Manchu government until 1868, after many collisions.
Then, however, there began the so-called "Mohammedan risings". Here
there are, in all, five movements to distinguish: (1) the Mohammedan
rising in Kansu (1864-5); (2) the Salar movement in Shensi; (3) the
Mohammedan revolt in Yuennan (1855-1873); (4) the rising in Kansu (1895);
(5) the rebellion of Yakub Beg in Turkestan (from 1866 onward).

While we are fairly well informed about the other popular risings of
this period, the Mohammedan revolts have not yet been well studied. We
know from unofficial accounts that these risings were suppressed with
great brutality. To this day there are many Mohammedans in, for
instance, Yuennan, but the revolt there is said to have cost a million
lives. The figures all rest on very rough estimates: in Kansu the
population is said to have fallen from fifteen millions to one million;
the Turkestan revolt is said to have cost ten million lives. There are
no reliable statistics; but it is understandable that at that time the
population of China must have fallen considerably, especially if we bear
in mind the equally ferocious suppression of the risings of the T'ai
P'ing and the Nien Fei within China, and smaller risings of which we
have made no mention.

The Mohammedan risings were not elements of a general Mohammedan revolt,
but separate events only incidentally connected with each other. The
risings had different causes. An important factor was the general
distress in China. This was partly due to the fact that the officials
were exploiting the peasant population more ruthlessly than ever. In
addition to this, owing to the national feeling which had been aroused
in so unfortunate a way, the Chinese felt a revulsion against
non-Chinese, such as the Salars, who were of Turkish race. Here there
were always possibilities of friction, which might have been removed
with a little consideration but which swelled to importance through the
tactless behaviour of Chinese officials. Finally there came divisions
among the Mohammedans of China which led to fighting between themselves.

All these risings were marked by two characteristics. They had no
general political aim such as the founding of a great and universal
Islamic state. Separate states were founded, but they were too small to
endure; they would have needed the protection of great states. But they
were not moved by any pan-Islamic idea. Secondly, they all took place on
Chinese soil, and all the Mohammedans involved, except in the rising of
the Salars, were Chinese. These Chinese who became Mohammedans are
called Dungans. The Dungans are, of course, no longer pure Chinese,
because Chinese who have gone over to Islam readily form mixed
marriages with Islamic non-Chinese, that is to say with Turks and

The revolt, however, of Yakub Beg in Turkestan had a quite different
character. Yakub Beg (his Chinese name was An Chi-yeh) had risen to the
Chinese governorship when he made himself ruler of Kashgar. In 1866 he
began to try to make himself independent of Chinese control. He
conquered Ili, and then in a rapid campaign made himself master of all

His state had a much better prospect of endurance than the other
Mohammedan states. He had full control of it from 1874. Turkestan was
connected with China only by the few routes that led between the desert
and the Tibetan mountains. The state was supported against China by
Russia, which was continually pressing eastward, and in the south by
Great Britain, which was pressing towards Tibet. Farther west was the
great Ottoman empire; the attempt to gain direct contact with it was not
hopeless in itself, and this was recognized at Istanbul. Missions went
to and fro, and Turkish officers came to Yakub Beg and organized his
army; Yakub Beg recognized the Turkish sultan as Khalif. He also
concluded treaties with Russia and Great Britain. But in spite of all
this he was unable to maintain his hold of Turkestan. In 1877 the famous
Chinese general Tso Tsung-t'ang (1812-1885), who had fought against the
T'ai P'ing and also against the Mohammedans in Kansu, marched into
Turkestan and ended Yakub Beg's rule.

Yakub was defeated, however, not so much by Chinese superiority as by a
combination of circumstances. In order to build up his kingdom he was
compelled to impose heavy taxation, and this made him unpopular with his
own followers: they had to pay taxes under the Chinese, but the Chinese
collection had been much less rigorous than that of Yakub Beg. It was
technically impossible for the Ottoman empire to give him any aid, even
had its internal situation permitted it. Britain and Russia would
probably have been glad to see a weakening of the Chinese hold over
Turkestan, but they did not want a strong new state there, once they had
found that neither of them could control the country while it was in
Yakub Beg's hands. In 1881 Russia occupied the Ili region, Yakub's first
conquest. In the end the two great powers considered it better for
Turkestan to return officially into the hands of the weakened China,
hoping that in practice they would be able to bring Turkestan more and
more under their control. Consequently, when in 1880, three years after
the removal of Yakub Beg, China sent a mission to Russia with the
request for the return of the Ili region to her, Russia gave way, and
the Treaty of Ili was concluded, ending for the time the Russian
penetration of Turkestan. In 1882 the Manchu government raised
Turkestan to a "new frontier" (Sinkiang) with a special administration.

This process of colonial penetration of Turkestan continued. Until the
end of the first world war there was no fundamental change in the
situation in the country, owing to the rivalry between Great Britain and
Russia. But after 1920 a period began in which Turkestan became almost
independent, under a number of rulers of parts of the country. Then,
from 1928 onward, a more and more thorough penetration by Russia began,
so that by 1940 Turkestan could almost be called a Soviet Republic. The
second world war diverted Russian attention to the West, and at the same
time compelled the Chinese to retreat into the interior from the
Japanese, so that by 1943 the country was more firmly held by the
Chinese government than it had been for seventy years. After the
creation of the People's Democracy mass immigration into Sinkiang began,
in connection with the development of oil fields and of many new
industries in the border area between Sinkiang and China proper. Roads
and air communications opened Sinkiang. Yet, the differences between
immigrant Chinese and local, Muslim Turks, continue to play a role.

9 _Collision with Japan; further Capitulations_

The reign of Wen Tsung (reign name Hsien-feng 1851-1861) was marked
throughout by the T'ai P'ing and other rebellions and by wars with the
Europeans, and that of Mu Tsung (reign name T'ung-chih: 1862-1874) by
the great Mohammedan disturbances. There began also a conflict with
Japan which lasted until 1945. Mu Tsung came to the throne as a child of
five, and never played a part of his own. It had been the general rule
for princes to serve as regents for minors on the imperial throne, but
this time the princes concerned won such notoriety through their
intrigues that the Peking court circles decided to entrust the regency
to two concubines of the late emperor. One of these, called Tz[)u] Hsi
(born 1835), of the Manchu tribe of the Yehe-Nara, quickly gained the
upper hand. The empress Tz[)u] Hsi was one of the strongest
personalities of the later nineteenth century who played an active part
in Chinese political life. She played a more active part than any
emperor had played for many decades.

Meanwhile great changes had taken place in Japan. The restoration of the
Meiji had ended the age of feudalism, at least on the surface. Japan
rapidly became Westernized, and at the same time entered on an
imperialist policy. Her aims from 1868 onward were clear, and remained
unaltered until the end of the second World War: she was to be
surrounded by a wide girdle of territories under Japanese domination, in
order to prevent the approach of any enemy to the Japanese homeland.
This girdle was divided into several zones--(1) the inner zone with the
Kurile Islands, Sakhalin, Korea, the Ryukyu archipelago, and Formosa;
(2) the outer zone with the Marianne, Philippine, and Caroline Islands,
eastern China, Manchuria, and eastern Siberia; (3) the third zone, not
clearly defined, including especially the Netherlands Indies,
Indo-China, and the whole of China, a zone of undefined extent. The
outward form of this subjugated region was to be that of the Greater
Japanese Empire, described as the Imperium of the Yellow Race (the main
ideas were contained in the Tanaka Memorandum 1927 and in the Tada
Interview of 1936). Round Japan, moreover, a girdle was to be created of
producers of raw materials and purchasers of manufactures, to provide
Japanese industry with a market. Japan had sent a delegation of amity to
China as early as 1869, and a first Sino-Japanese treaty was signed in
1871; from then on, Japan began to carry out her imperialistic plans. In
1874 she attacked the Ryukyu islands and Formosa on the pretext that
some Japanese had been murdered there. Under the treaty of 1874 Japan
withdrew once more, only demanding a substantial indemnity; but in 1876,
in violation of the treaty and without a declaration of war, she annexed
the Ryukyu Islands. In 1876 began the Japanese penetration into Korea;
by 1885 she had reached the stage of a declaration that Korea was a
joint sphere of interest of China and Japan; until then China's
protectorate over Korea had been unchallenged. At the same time (1876)
Great Britain had secured further Capitulations in the Chefoo
Convention; in 1862 France had acquired Cochin China, in 1864 Cambodia,
in 1874 Tongking, and in 1883 Annam. This led in 1884 to war between
France and China, in which the French did not by any means gain an
indubitable victory; but the Treaty of Tientsin left them with their

Meanwhile, at the beginning of 1875, the young Chinese emperor died of
smallpox, without issue. Under the influence of the two empresses, who
still remained regents, a cousin of the dead emperor, the three-year-old
prince Tsai T'ien was chosen as emperor Te Tsung (reign name Kuang-hsue:
1875-1909). He came of age in 1889 and took over the government of the
country. The empress Tz[)u] Hsi retired, but did not really relinquish
the reins.

In 1894 the Sino-Japanese War broke out over Korea, as an outcome of the
undefined position that had existed since 1885 owing to the
imperialistic policy of the Japanese. China had created a North China
squadron, but this was all that can be regarded as Chinese preparation
for the long-expected war. The Governor General of Chihli (now
Hopei--the province in which Peking is situated), Li Hung-chang, was a
general who had done good service, but he lost the war, and at
Shimonoseki (1895) he had to sign a treaty on very harsh terms, in which
China relinquished her protectorate over Korea and lost Formosa. The
intervention of France, Germany, and Russia compelled Japan to content
herself with these acquisitions, abandoning her demand for South

10 _Russia in Manchuria_

After the Crimean War, Russia had turned her attention once more to the
East. There had been hostilities with China over eastern Siberia, which
were brought to an end in 1858 by the Treaty of Aigun, under which China
ceded certain territories in northern Manchuria. This made possible the
founding of Vladivostok in 1860. Russia received Sakhalin from Japan in
1875 in exchange for the Kurile Islands. She received from China the
important Port Arthur as a leased territory, and then tried to secure
the whole of South Manchuria. This brought Japan's policy of expansion
into conflict with Russia's plans in the Far East. Russia wanted
Manchuria in order to be able to pursue a policy in the Pacific; but
Japan herself planned to march into Manchuria from Korea, of which she
already had possession. This imperialist rivalry made war inevitable:
Russia lost the war; under the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 Russia gave
Japan the main railway through Manchuria, with adjoining territory. Thus
Manchuria became Japan's sphere of influence and was lost to the Manchus
without their being consulted in any way. The Japanese penetration of
Manchuria then proceeded stage by stage, not without occasional
setbacks, until she had occupied the whole of Manchuria from 1932 to
1945. After the end of the second world war, Manchuria was returned to
China, with certain reservations in favour of the Soviet Union, which
were later revoked.

11 _Reform and reaction: the Boxer Rising_

China had lost the war with Japan because she was entirely without
modern armament. While Japan went to work at once with all her energy to
emulate Western industrialization, the ruling class in China had shown a
marked repugnance to any modernization; and the centre of this
conservatism was the dowager empress Tz[)u] Hsi. She was a woman of
strong personality, but too uneducated--in the modern sense--to be able
to realize that modernization was an absolute necessity for China if it
was to remain an independent state. The empress failed to realize that
the Europeans were fundamentally different from the neighbouring tribes
or the pirates of the past; she had not the capacity to acquire a
general grasp of the realities of world politics. She felt instinctively
that Europeanization would wreck the foundations of the power of the
Manchus and the gentry, and would bring another class, the middle class
and the merchants, into power.

There were reasonable men, however, who had seen the necessity of
reform--especially Li Hung-chang, who has already been mentioned. In
1896 he went on a mission to Moscow, and then toured Europe. The
reformers were, however, divided into two groups. One group advocated
the acquisition of a certain amount of technical knowledge from abroad
and its introduction by slow reforms, without altering the social
structure of the state or the composition of the government. The others
held that the state needed fundamental changes, and that superficial
loans from Europe were not enough. The failure in the war with Japan
made the general desire for reform more and more insistent not only in
the country but in Peking. Until now Japan had been despised as a
barbarian state; now Japan had won! The Europeans had been despised; now
they were all cutting bits out of China for themselves, extracting from
the government one privilege after another, and quite openly dividing
China into "spheres of interest", obviously as the prelude to annexation
of the whole country.

In Europe at that time the question was being discussed over and over
again, why Japan had so quickly succeeded in making herself a modern
power, and why China was not succeeding in doing so; the Japanese were
praised for their capacity and the Chinese blamed for their lassitude.
Both in Europe and in Chinese circles it was overlooked that there were
fundamental differences in the social structures of the two countries.
The basis of the modern capitalist states of the West is the middle
class. Japan had for centuries had a middle class (the merchants) that
had entered into a symbiosis with the feudal lords. For the middle class
the transition to modern capitalism, and for the feudal lords the way to
Western imperialism, was easy. In China there was only a weak middle
class, vegetating under the dominance of the gentry; the middle class
had still to gain the strength to liberate itself before it could become
the support for a capitalistic state. And the gentry were still strong
enough to maintain their dominance and so to prevent a radical
reconstruction; all they would agree to were a few reforms from which
they might hope to secure an increase of power for their own ends.

In 1895 and in 1698 a scholar, K'ang Yo-wei, who was admitted into the
presence of the emperor, submitted to him memoranda in which he called
for radical reform. K'ang was a scholar who belonged to the empiricist
school of philosophy of the early Manchu period, the so-called Han
school. He was a man of strong and persuasive personality, and had such
an influence on the emperor that in 1898 the emperor issued several
edicts ordering the fundamental reorganization of education, law, trade,
communications, and the army. These laws were not at all bad in
themselves; they would have paved the way for a liberalization of
Chinese society. But they aroused the utmost hatred in the conservative
gentry and also in the moderate reformers among the gentry. K'ang Yo-wei
and his followers, to whom a number of well-known modern scholars
belonged, had strong support in South China. We have already mentioned
that owing to the increased penetration of European goods and ideas,
South China had become more progressive than the north; this had added
to the tension already existing for other reasons between north and
south. In foreign policy the north was more favourable to Russia and
radically opposed to Japan and Great Britain; the south was in favour of
co-operation with Britain and Japan, in order to learn from those two
states how reform could be carried through. In the north the men of the
south were suspected of being anti-Manchu and revolutionary in feeling.
This was to some extent true, though K'ang Yo-wei and his friends were
as yet largely unconscious of it.

When the empress Tz[)u] Hsi saw that the emperor was actually thinking
about reforms, she went to work with lightning speed. Very soon the
reformers had to flee; those who failed to make good their escape were
arrested and executed. The emperor was made a prisoner in a palace near
Peking, and remained a captive until his death; the empress resumed her
regency on his behalf. The period of reforms lasted only for a few
months of 1898. A leading part in the extermination of the reformers was
played by troops from Kansu under the command of a Mohammedan, Tung
Fu-hsiang. General Yuean Shih-k'ai, who was then stationed at Tientsin in
command of 7,000 troops with modern equipment, the only ones in China,
could have removed the empress and protected the reformers; but he was
already pursuing a personal policy, and thought it safer to give the
reformers no help.

There now began, from 1898, a thoroughly reactionary rule of the dowager
empress. But China's general situation permitted no breathing-space. In
1900 came the so-called Boxer Rising, a new popular movement against the
gentry and the Manchus similar to the many that had preceded it. The
Peking government succeeded, however, in negotiations that brought the
movement into the service of the government and directed it against the
foreigners. This removed the danger to the government and at the same
time helped it against the hated foreigners. But incidents resulted
which the Peking government had not anticipated. An international army
was sent to China, and marched from Tientsin against Peking, to liberate
the besieged European legations and to punish the government. The
Europeans captured Peking (1900); the dowager empress and her prisoner,
the emperor, had to flee; some of the palaces were looted. The peace
treaty that followed exacted further concessions from China to the
Europeans and enormous war indemnities, the payment of which continued
into the 1940's, though most of the states placed the money at China's
disposal for educational purposes. When in 1902 the dowager empress
returned to Peking and put the emperor back into his palace-prison, she
was forced by what had happened to realize that at all events a certain
measure of reform was necessary. The reforms, however, which she
decreed, mainly in 1904, were very modest and were never fully carried
out. They were only intended to make an impression on the outer world
and to appease the continually growing body of supporters of the reform
party, especially numerous in South China. The south remained,
nevertheless, a focus of hostility to the Manchus. After his failure in
1898, K'ang Yo-wei went to Europe, and no longer played any important
political part. His place was soon taken by a young Chinese physician
who had been living abroad, Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), who turned the
reform party into a middle-class revolutionary party.

12 _End of the dynasty_

Meanwhile the dowager empress held her own. General Yuean Shih-k'ai, who
had played so dubious a part in 1898, was not impeccably loyal to her,
and remained unreliable. He was beyond challenge the strongest man in
the country, for he possessed the only modern army; but he was still
biding his time.

In 1908 the dowager empress fell ill; she was seventy-four years old.
When she felt that her end was near, she seems to have had the captive
emperor Te Tsung assassinated (at 5 p.m. on November 14th); she herself
died next day (November 15th, 2 p.m.): she was evidently determined that
this man, whom she had ill-treated and oppressed all his life, should
not regain independence. As Te Tsung had no children, she nominated on
the day of her death the two-year-old prince P'u Yi as emperor (reign
name Hsuean-t'ung, 1909-1911).

The fact that another child was to reign and a new regency to act for
him, together with all the failures in home and foreign policy, brought
further strength to the revolutionary party. The government believed
that it could only maintain itself if it allowed Yuean Shih-k'ai, the
commander of the modern troops, to come to power. The chief regent,
however, worked against Yuean Shih-k'ai and dismissed him at the
beginning of 1909; Yuean's supporters remained at their posts. Yuean
himself now entered into relations with the revolutionaries, whose
centre was Canton, and whose undisputed leader was now Sun Yat-sen. At
this time Sun and his supporters had already made attempts at
revolution, but without success, as his following was as yet too small.
It consisted mainly of young intellectuals who had been educated in
Europe and America; the great mass of the Chinese people remained
unconvinced: the common people could not understand the new ideals, and
the middle class did not entirely trust the young intellectuals.

The state of China in 1911 was as lamentable as could be: the European
states, Russia, America, and Japan regarded China as a field for their
own plans, and in their calculations paid scarcely any attention to the
Chinese government. Foreign capital was penetrating everywhere in the
form of loans or railway and other enterprises. If it had not been for
the mutual rivalries of the powers, China would long ago have been
annexed by one of them. The government needed a great deal of money for
the payment of the war indemnities, and for carrying out the few reforms
at last decided on. In order to get money from the provinces, it had to
permit the viceroys even more freedom than they already possessed. The
result was a spectacle altogether resembling that of the end of the
T'ang dynasty, about A.D. 900: the various governors were trying to make
themselves independent. In addition to this there was the revolutionary
movement in the south.

The government made some concession to the progressives, by providing
the first beginnings of parliamentary rule. In 1910 a national assembly
was convoked. It had a Lower House with representatives of the provinces
(provincial diets were also set up), and an Upper House, in which sat
representatives of the imperial house, the nobility, the gentry, and
also the protectorates. The members of the Upper House were all
nominated by the regent. It very soon proved that the members of the
Lower House, mainly representatives of the provincial gentry, had a much
more practical outlook than the routineers of Peking. Thus the Lower
House grew in importance, a fact which, of course, brought grist to the
mills of the revolutionary movement.

In 1910 the first risings directed actually against the regency took
place, in the province of Hunan. In 1911 the "railway disturbances"
broke out in western China as a reply of the railway shareholders in the
province of Szechwan to the government decree of nationalization of all
the railways. The modernist students, most of whom were sons of
merchants who owned railway shares, supported the movement, and the
government was unable to control them. At the same time a great
anti-Manchu revolution began in Wuch'ang, one of the cities of which
Wuhan, on the Yangtze, now consists. The revolution was the result of
government action against a group of terrorists. Its leader was an
officer named Li Yuean-hung. The Manchus soon had some success in this
quarter, but the other provincial governors now rose in rapid
succession, repudiated the Manchus, and declared themselves independent.
Most of the Manchu garrisons in the provinces were murdered. The
governors remained at the head of their troops in their provinces, and
for the moment made common cause with the revolutionaries, from whom
they meant to break free at the first opportunity. The Manchus
themselves failed at first to realize the gravity of the revolutionary
movement; they then fell into panic-stricken desperation. As a last
resource, Yuean Shih-k'ai was recalled (November 10th, 1911) and made
prime minister.

Yuean's excellent troops were loyal to his person, and he could have made
use of them in fighting on behalf of the dynasty. But a victory would
have brought no personal gain to him; for his personal plans he
considered that the anti-Manchu side provided the springboard he needed.
The revolutionaries, for their part, had no choice but to win over Yuean
Shih-k'ai for the sake of his troops, since they were not themselves
strong enough to get rid of the Manchus, or even to wrest concessions
from them, so long as the Manchus were defended by Yuean's army. Thus
Yuean and the revolutionaries were forced into each other's arms. He then
began negotiations with them, explaining to the imperial house that the
dynasty could only be saved by concessions. The revolutionaries--apart
from their desire to neutralize the prime minister and general, if not
to bring him over to their side--were also readier than ever to
negotiate, because they were short of money and unable to obtain loans
from abroad, and because they could not themselves gain control of the
individual governors. The negotiations, which had been carried on at
Shanghai, were broken off on December 18th, 1911, because the
revolutionaries demanded a republic, but the imperial house was only
ready to grant a constitutional monarchy.

Meanwhile the revolutionaries set up a provisional government at
Nanking (December 29th, 1911), with Sun Yat-sen as president and Li
Yuean-hung as vice-president. Yuean Shih-k'ai now declared to the imperial
house that the monarchy could no longer be defended, as his troops were
too unreliable, and he induced the Manchu government to issue an edict
on February 12th, 1912, in which they renounced the throne of China and
declared the Republic to be the constitutional form of state. The young
emperor of the Hsuean-t'ung period, after the Japanese conquest of
Manchuria in 1931, was installed there. He was, however, entirely
without power during the melancholy years of his nominal rule, which
lasted until 1945.

In 1912 the Manchu dynasty came in reality to its end. On the news of
the abdication of the imperial house, Sun Yat-sen resigned in Nanking,
and recommended Yuean Shih-k'ai as president.


Chapter Eleven

THE REPUBLIC (1912-1948)

1 _Social and intellectual position_

In order to understand the period that now followed, let us first
consider the social and intellectual position in China in the period
between 1911 and 1927. The Manchu dynasty was no longer there, nor were
there any remaining real supporters of the old dynasty. The gentry,
however, still existed. Alongside it was a still numerically small
middle class, with little political education or enlightenment.

The political interests of these two groups were obviously in conflict.
But after 1912 there had been big changes. The gentry were largely in a
process of decomposition. They still possessed the basis of their
existence, their land, but the land was falling in value, as there were
now other opportunities of capital investment, such as export-import,
shareholding in foreign enterprises, or industrial undertakings. It is
important to note, however, that there was not much fluid capital at
their disposal. In addition to this, cheaper rice and other foodstuffs
were streaming from abroad into China, bringing the prices for Chinese
foodstuffs down to the world market prices, another painful business
blow to the gentry. Silk had to meet the competition of Japanese silk
and especially of rayon; the Chinese silk was of very unequal quality
and sold with difficulty. On the other hand, through the influence of
the Western capitalistic system, which was penetrating more and more
into China, land itself became "capital", an object of speculation for
people with capital; its value no longer depended entirely on the rents
it could yield but, under certain circumstances, on quite other
things--the construction of railways or public buildings, and so on.
These changes impoverished and demoralized the gentry, who in the course
of the past century had grown fewer in number. The gentry were not in a
position to take part fully in the capitalist manipulations, because
they had never possessed much capital; their wealth had lain entirely
in their land, and the income from their rents was consumed quite
unproductively in luxurious living.

Moreover, the class solidarity of the gentry was dissolving. In the
past, politics had been carried on by cliques of gentry families, with
the emperor at their head as an unchangeable institution. This edifice
had now lost its summit; the struggles between cliques still went on,
but entirely without the control which the emperor's power had after all
exercised, as a sort of regulative element in the play of forces among
the gentry. The arena for this competition had been the court. After the
destruction of the arena, the field of play lost its boundaries: the
struggles between cliques no longer had a definite objective; the only
objective left was the maintenance or securing of any and every hold on
power. Under the new conditions cliques or individuals among the gentry
could only ally themselves with the possessors of military power, the
generals or governors. In this last stage the struggle between rival
groups turned into a rivalry between individuals. Family ties began to
weaken and other ties, such as between school mates, or origin from the
same village or town, became more important than they had been before.
For the securing of the aim in view any means were considered
justifiable. Never was there such bribery and corruption among the
officials as in the years after 1912. This period, until 1927, may
therefore be described as a period of dissolution and destruction of the
social system of the gentry.

Over against this dying class of the gentry stood, broadly speaking, a
tripartite opposition. To begin with, there was the new middle class,
divided and without clear political ideas; anti-dynastic of course, but
undecided especially as to the attitude it should adopt towards the
peasants who, to this day, form over 80 per cent of the Chinese
population. The middle class consisted mainly of traders and bankers,
whose aim was the introduction of Western capitalism in association with
foreign powers. There were also young students who were often the sons
of old gentry families and had been sent abroad for study with grants
given them by their friends and relatives in the government; or sons of
businessmen sent away by their fathers. These students not always
accepted the ideas of their fathers; they were influenced by the
ideologies of the West, Marxist or non-Marxist, and often created clubs
or groups in the University cities of Europe or the United States. Such
groups of people who had studied together or passed the exams together,
had already begun to play a role in politics in the nineteenth century.
Now, the influence of such organizations of usually informal character
increased. Against the returned students who often had difficulties in
adjustment, stood the students at Chinese Universities, especially the
National University in Peking (Peita). They represented people of the
same origin, but of the lower strata of the gentry or of business; they
were more nationalistic and politically active and often less influenced
by Western ideologies.

In the second place, there was a relatively very small genuine
proletariat, the product of the first activities of big capitalists in
China, found mainly in Shanghai. Thirdly and finally, there was a
gigantic peasantry, uninterested in politics and uneducated, but ready
to give unthinking allegiance to anyone who promised to make an end of
the intolerable conditions in the matter of rents and taxes, conditions
that were growing steadily worse with the decay of the gentry. These
peasants were thinking of popular risings on the pattern of all the
risings in the history of China--attacks on the towns and the killing of
the hated landowners, officials, and moneylenders, that is to say of the

Such was the picture of the middle class and those who were ready to
support it, a group with widely divergent interests, held together only
by its opposition to the gentry system and the monarchy. It could not
but be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve political
success with such a group. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the "Father of the
Republic", accordingly laid down three stages of progress in his many
works, of which the best-known are _San-min chu-i_, ("The Three
Principles of the People"), and _Chien-kuo fang-lueeh_ ("Plans for the
Building up of the Realm"). The three phases of development through
which republican China was to pass were: the phase of struggle against
the old system, the phase of educative rule, and the phase of truly
democratic government. The phase of educative rule was to be a sort of
authoritarian system with a democratic content, under which the people
should be familiarized with democracy and enabled to grow politically
ripe for true democracy.

Difficult as was the internal situation from the social point of view,
it was no less difficult in economic respects. China had recognized that
she must at least adopt Western technical and industrial progress in
order to continue to exist as an independent state. But the building up
of industry demanded large sums of money. The existing Chinese banks
were quite incapable of providing the capital needed; but the acceptance
of capital from abroad led at once, every time, to further political
capitulations. The gentry, who had no cash worth mention, were violently
opposed to the capitalization of their properties, and were in favour of
continuing as far as possible to work the soil in the old style. Quite
apart from all this, all over the country there were generals who had
come from the ranks of the gentry, and who collected the whole of the
financial resources of their region for the support of their private
armies. Investors had little confidence in the republican government so
long as they could not tell whether the government would decide in
favour of its right or of its left wing.

No less complicated was the intellectual situation at this time.
Confucianism, and the whole of the old culture and morality bound up
with it, was unacceptable to the middle-class element. In the first
place, Confucianism rejected the principle, required at least in theory
by the middle class, of the equality of all people; secondly, the
Confucian great-family system was irreconcilable with middle-class
individualism, quite apart from the fact that the Confucian form of
state could only be a monarchy. Every attempt to bolster up Confucianism
in practice or theory was bound to fail and did fail. Even the gentry
could scarcely offer any real defence of the Confucian system any
longer. With Confucianism went the moral standards especially of the
upper classes of society. Taoism was out of the question as a
substitute, because of its anarchistic and egocentric character.
Consequently, in these years, part of the gentry turned to Buddhism and
part to Christianity. Some of the middle class who had come under
European influence also turned to Christianity, regarding it as a part
of the European civilization they had to adopt. Others adhered to modern
philosophic systems such as pragmatism and positivism. Marxist doctrines
spread rapidly.

Education was secularized. Great efforts were made to develop modern
schools, though the work of development was continually hindered by the
incessant political unrest. Only at the universities, which became foci
of republican and progressive opinion, was any positive achievement
possible. Many students and professors were active in politics,
organizing demonstrations and strikes. They pursued a strong national
policy, often also socialistic. At the same time real scientific work
was done; many young scholars of outstanding ability were trained at the
Chinese universities, often better than the students who went abroad.
There is a permanent disagreement between these two groups of young men
with a modern education: the students who return from abroad claim to be
better educated, but in reality they often have only a very superficial
knowledge of things modern and none at all of China, her history, and
her special circumstances. The students of the Chinese universities have
been much better instructed in all the things that concern China, and
most of them are in no way behind the returned students in the modern
sciences. They are therefore a much more serviceable element.

The intellectual modernization of China goes under the name of the
"Movement of May Fourth", because on May 4th, 1919, students of the
National University in Peking demonstrated against the government and
their pro-Japanese adherents. When the police attacked the students and
jailed some, more demonstrations and student strikes and finally a
general boycott of Japanese imports were the consequence. In these
protest actions, professors such as Ts'ai Yuean-p'ei, later president of
the Academia Sinica (died 1940), took an active part. The forces which
had now been mobilized, rallied around the journal "New Youth" (_Hsin
Ch'ing-nien_), created in 1915 by Ch'en Tu-hsiu. The journal was
progressive, against the monarchy, Confucius, and the old traditions.
Ch'en Tu-hsiu who put himself strongly behind the students, was more
radical than other contributors but at first favoured Western democracy
and Western science; he was influenced mainly by John Dewey who was
guest professor in Peking in 1919-20. Similarly tending towards
liberalism in politics and Dewey's ideas in the field of philosophy were
others, mainly Hu Shih. Finally, some reformers criticized
conservatism purely on the basis of Chinese thought. Hu Shih (born
1892) gained greatest acclaim by his proposal for a "literary
revolution", published in the "New Youth" in 1917. This revolution was
the logically necessary application of the political revolution to the
field of education. The new "vernacular" took place of the old
"classical" literary language. The language of the classical works is so
remote from the language of daily life that no uneducated person can
understand it. A command of it requires a full knowledge of all the
ancient literature, entailing decades of study. The gentry had
elaborated this style of speech for themselves and their dependants; it
was their monopoly; nobody who did not belong to the gentry and had not
attended its schools could take part in literary or in administrative
life. The literary revolution introduced the language of daily life, the
language of the people, into literature: newspapers, novels, scientific
treatises, translations, appeared in the vernacular, and could thus be
understood by anyone who could read and write, even if he had no
Confucianist education.

It may be said that the literary revolution has achieved its main
objects. As a consequence of it, a great quantity of new literature has
been published. Not only is every important new book that appears in the
West published in translation within a few months, but modern novels and
short stories and poems have been written, some of them of high literary

At the same time as this revolution there took place another fundamental
change in the language. It was necessary to take over a vast number of
new scientific and technical terms. As Chinese, owing to the character
of its script, is unable to write foreign words accurately and can do no
more than provide a rather rough paraphrase, the practice was started of
expressing new ideas by newly formed native words. Thus modern Chinese
has very few foreign words, and yet it has all the new ideas. For
example, a telegram is a "lightning-letter"; a wireless telegram is a
"not-have-wire-lightning-communication"; a fountain-pen is a
"self-flow-ink-water-brush"; a typewriter is a "strike-letter-machine".
Most of these neologisms are similar in the modern languages of China
and Japan.

There had been several proposals in recent decades to do away with the
Chinese characters and to introduce an alphabet in their place. They
have all proved to be unsatisfactory so far, because the character of
the Chinese language, as it is at this moment, is unsuited to an
alphabetical script. They would also destroy China's cultural unity:
there are many dialects in China that differ so greatly from each other
that, for instance, a man from Canton cannot understand a man from
Shanghai. If Chinese were written with letters, the result would be a
Canton literature and another literature confined to Shanghai, and China
would break up into a number of areas with different languages. The old
Chinese writing is independent of pronunciation. A Cantonese and a
Pekinger can read each other's newspapers without difficulty. They
pronounce the words quite differently, but the meaning is unaltered.
Even a Japanese can understand a Chinese newspaper without special study
of Chinese, and a Chinese with a little preparation can read a Japanese
newspaper without understanding a single word of Japanese.

The aim of modern education in China is to work towards the
establishment of "High Chinese", the former official (Mandarin)
language, throughout the country, and to set limits to the use of the
various dialects. Once this has been done, it will be possible to
proceed to a radical reform of the script without running the risk of
political separatist movements, which are always liable to spring up,
and also without leading, through the adoption of various dialects as
the basis of separate literatures, to the break-up of China's cultural
unity. In the last years, the unification of the spoken language has
made great progress. Yet, alphabetic script is used only in cases in
which illiterate adults have to be enabled in a short time to read very
simple informations. More attention is given to a simplification of the
script as it is; Japanese had started this some forty years earlier.
Unfortunately, the new Chinese abbreviated forms of characters are not
always identical with long-established Japanese forms, and are not
developed in such a systematic form as would make learning of Chinese
characters easier.

2 _First period of the Republic: The warlords_

The situation of the Republic after its foundation was far from hopeful.
Republican feeling existed only among the very small groups of students
who had modern education, and a few traders, in other words, among the
"middle class". And even in the revolutionary party to which these
groups belonged there were the most various conceptions of the form of
republican state to be aimed at. The left wing of the party, mainly
intellectuals and manual workers, had in view more or less vague
socialistic institutions; the liberals, for instance the traders,
thought of a liberal democracy, more or less on the American pattern;
and the nationalists merely wanted the removal of the alien Manchu rule.
The three groups had come together for the practical reason that only so
could they get rid of the dynasty. They gave unreserved allegiance to
Sun Yat-sen as their leader. He succeeded in mobilizing the enthusiasm
of continually widening circles for action, not only by the integrity of
his aims but also because he was able to present the new socialistic
ideology in an alluring form. The anti-republican gentry, however, whose
power was not yet entirely broken, took a stand against the party. The
generals who had gone over to the republicans had not the slightest
intention of founding a republic, but only wanted to get rid of the rule
of the Manchus and to step into their place. This was true also of Yuean
Shih-k'ai, who in his heart was entirely on the side of the gentry,
although the European press especially had always energetically defended
him. In character and capacity he stood far above the other generals,
but he was no republican.

Thus the first period of the Republic, until 1927, was marked by
incessant attempts by individual generals to make themselves
independent. The Government could not depend on its soldiers, and so was
impotent. The first risings of military units began at the outset of
1912. The governors and generals who wanted to make themselves
independent sabotaged every decree of the central government; especially
they sent it no money from the provinces and also refused to give their
assent to foreign loans. The province of Canton, the actual birthplace
of the republican movement and the focus of radicalism, declared itself
in 1912 an independent republic.

Within the Peking government matters soon came to a climax. Yuean
Shih-k'ai and his supporters represented the conservative view, with the
unexpressed but obvious aim of setting up a new imperial house and
continuing the old gentry system. Most of the members of the parliament
came, however, from the middle class and were opposed to any reaction of
this sort. One of their leaders was murdered, and the blame was thrown
upon Yuean Shih-k'ai; there then came, in the middle of 1912, a new
revolution, in which the radicals made themselves independent and tried
to gain control of South China. But Yuean Shih-k'ai commanded better
troops and won the day. At the end of October 1912 he was elected,
against the opposition, as president of China, and the new state was
recognized by foreign countries.

China's internal difficulties reacted on the border states, in which the
European powers were keenly interested. The powers considered that the
time had come to begin the definitive partition of China. Thus there
were long negotiations and also hostilities between China and Tibet,
which was supported by Great Britain. The British demanded the complete
separation of Tibet from China, but the Chinese rejected this (1912);
the rejection was supported by a boycott of British goods. In the end
the Tibet question was left undecided. Tibet remained until recent years
a Chinese dependency with a good deal of internal freedom. The Second
World War and the Chinese retreat into the interior brought many Chinese
settlers into Eastern Tibet which was then separated from Tibet proper
and made a Chinese province (Hsi-k'ang) in which the native Khamba will
soon be a minority. The communist regime soon after its establishment
conquered Tibet (1950) and has tried to change the character of its
society and its system of government which lead to the unsuccessful
attempt of the Tibetans to throw off Chinese rule (1959) and the flight
of the Dalai Lama to India. The construction of highways, air and
missile bases and military occupation have thus tied Tibet closer to
China than ever since early Manchu times.

In Outer Mongolia Russian interests predominated. In 1911 there were
diplomatic incidents in connection with the Mongolian question. At the
end of 1911 the Hutuktu of Urga declared himself independent, and the
Chinese were expelled from the country. A secret treaty was concluded in
1912 with Russia, under which Russia recognized the independence of
Outer Mongolia, but was accorded an important part as adviser and helper
in the development of the country. In 1913 a Russo-Chinese treaty was
concluded, under which the autonomy of Outer Mongolia was recognized,
but Mongolia became a part of the Chinese realm. After the Russian
revolution had begun, revolution was carried also into Mongolia. The
country suffered all the horrors of the struggles between White Russians
(General Ungern-Sternberg) and the Reds; there were also Chinese
attempts at intervention, though without success, until in the end
Mongolia became a Soviet Republic. As such she is closely associated
with Soviet Russia. China, however, did not quickly recognize Mongolia's
independence, and in his work _China's Destiny_ (1944) Chiang Kai-shek
insisted that China's aim remained the recovery of the frontiers of
1840, which means among other things the recovery of Outer Mongolia. In
spite of this, after the Second World War Chiang Kai-shek had to
renounce _de jure_ all rights in Outer Mongolia. Inner Mongolia was
always united to China much more closely; only for a time during the war
with Japan did the Japanese maintain there a puppet government. The
disappearance of this government went almost unnoticed.

At the time when Russian penetration into Mongolia began, Japan had
entered upon a similar course in Manchuria, which she regarded as her
"sphere of influence". On the outbreak of the first world war Japan
occupied the former German-leased territory of Tsingtao, at the
extremity of the province of Shantung, and from that point she occupied
the railways of the province. Her plan was to make the whole province a
protectorate; Shantung is rich in coal and especially in metals. Japan's
plans were revealed in the notorious "Twenty-one Demands" (1915).
Against the furious opposition especially of the students of Peking,
Yuean Shih-k'ai's government accepted the greater part of these demands.
In negotiations with Great Britain, in which Japan took advantage of the
British commitments in Europe, Japan had to be conceded the predominant
position in the Far East.

Meanwhile Yuean Shih-k'ai had made all preparations for turning the
Republic once more into an empire, in which he would be emperor; the
empire was to be based once more on the gentry group. In 1914 he secured
an amendment of the Constitution under which the governing power was to
be entirely in the hands of the president; at the end of 1914 he secured
his appointment as president for life, and at the end of 1915 he induced
the parliament to resolve that he should become emperor.

This naturally aroused the resentment of the republicans, but it also
annoyed the generals belonging to the gentry, who had the same ambition.
Thus there were disturbances, especially in the south, where Sun Yat-sen
with his followers agitated for a democratic republic. The foreign
powers recognized that a divided China would be much easier to penetrate
and annex than a united China, and accordingly opposed Yuean Shih-k'ai.
Before he could ascend the throne, he died suddenly--and this
terminated the first attempt to re-establish monarchy.

Yuean was succeeded as president by Li Yuean-hung. Meanwhile five
provinces had declared themselves independent. Foreign pressure on China
steadily grew. She was forced to declare war on Germany, and though this
made no practical difference to the war, it enabled the European powers
to penetrate further into China. Difficulties grew to such an extent in
1917 that a dictatorship was set up and soon after came an interlude,
the recall of the Manchus and the reinstatement of the deposed emperor
(July 1st-8th, 1917).

This led to various risings of generals, each aiming simply at the
satisfaction of his thirst for personal power. Ultimately the victorious
group of generals, headed by Tuan Ch'i-jui, secured the election of Feng
Kuo-chang in place of the retiring president. Feng was succeeded at the
end of 1918 by Hsue Shih-ch'ang, who held office until 1922. Hsue, as a
former ward of the emperor, was a typical representative of the gentry,
and was opposed to all republican reforms.

The south held aloof from these northern governments. In Canton an
opposition government was set up, formed mainly of followers of Sun
Yat-sen; the Peking government was unable to remove the Canton
government. But the Peking government and its president scarcely counted
any longer even in the north. All that counted were the generals, the
most prominent of whom were: (1) Chang Tso-lin, who had control of
Manchuria and had made certain terms with Japan, but who was ultimately
murdered by the Japanese (1928); (2) Wu P'ei-fu, who held North China;
(3) the so-called "Christian general", Feng Yue-hsiang, and (4) Ts'ao
K'un, who became president in 1923.

At the end of the first world war Japan had a hold over China amounting
almost to military control of the country. China did not sign the Treaty
of Versailles, because she considered that she had been duped by Japan,
since Japan had driven the Germans out of China but had not returned the
liberated territory to the Chinese. In 1921 peace was concluded with
Germany, the German privileges being abolished. The same applied to
Austria. Russia, immediately after the setting up of the Soviet
government, had renounced all her rights under the Capitulations. This
was the first step in the gradual rescinding of the Capitulations; the
last of them went only in 1943, as a consequence of the difficult
situation of the Europeans and Americans in the Pacific produced by the
Second World War.

At the end of the first world war the foreign powers revised their
attitude towards China. The idea of territorial partitioning of the
country was replaced by an attempt at financial exploitation; military
friction between the Western powers and Japan was in this way to be
minimized. Financial control was to be exercised by an international
banking consortium (1920). It was necessary for political reasons that
this committee should be joined by Japan. After her Twenty-one Demands,
however, Japan was hated throughout China. During the world war she had
given loans to the various governments and rebels, and in this way had
secured one privilege after another. Consequently China declined the
banking consortium. She tried to secure capital from her own resources;
but in the existing political situation and the acute economic
depression internal loans had no success.

In an agreement between the United States and Japan in 1917, the United
States, in consequence of the war, had to give their assent to special
rights for Japan in China. After the war the international conference at
Washington (November 1921-February 1922) tried to set narrower limits to
Japan's influence over China, and also to re-determine the relative
strength in the Pacific of the four great powers (America, Britain,
France, Japan). After the failure of the banking plan this was the last
means of preventing military conflicts between the powers in the Far
East. This brought some relief to China, as Japan had to yield for the
time to the pressure of the western powers.

The years that followed until 1927 were those of the complete collapse
of the political power of the Peking government--years of entire
dissolution. In the south Sun Yat-sen had been elected generalissimo in
1921. In 1924 he was re-elected with a mandate for a campaign against
the north. In 1924 there also met in Canton the first general congress
of the Kuomintang ("People's Party"). The Kuomintang (in 1929 it had
653,000 members, or roughly 0.15 per cent of the population) is the
continuation of the Komingtang ("Revolutionary Party") founded by Sun
Yat-sen, which as a middle-class party had worked for the removal of the
dynasty. The new Kuomintang was more socialistic, as is shown by its
admission of Communists and the stress laid upon land reform.

At the end of 1924 Sun Yat-sen with some of his followers went to
Peking, to discuss the possibility of a reunion between north and south
on the basis of the program of the People's Party. There, however, he
died at the beginning of 1925, before any definite results had been
attained; there was no prospect of achieving anything by the
negotiations, and the south broke them off. But the death of Sun Yat-sen
had been followed after a time by tension within the party between its
right and left wings. The southern government had invited a number of
Russian advisers in 1923 to assist in building up the administration,
civil and military, and on their advice the system of government had
been reorganized on lines similar to those of the soviet and commissar
system. This change had been advocated by an old friend of Sun Yat-sen,
Chiang Kai-shek, who later married Sun's sister-in-law. Chiang Kai-shek,
who was born in 1886, was the head of the military academy at Whampoa,
near Canton, where Russian instructors were at work. The new system was
approved by Sun Yat-sen's successor, Hu Han-min (who died in 1936), in
his capacity of party leader. It was opposed by the elements of the
right, who at first had little influence. Chiang Kai-shek soon became
one of the principal leaders of the south, as he had command of the
efficient troops of Canton, who had been organized by the Russians.

The People's Party of the south and its governments, at that time fairly
radical in politics, were disliked by the foreign powers; only Japan
supported them for a time, owing to the anti-British feeling of the
South Chinese and in order to further her purpose of maintaining
disunion in China. The first serious collision with the outer world came
on May 30th, 1925, when British soldiers shot at a crowd demonstrating
in Shanghai. This produced a widespread boycott of British goods in
Canton and in British Hong Kong, inflicting a great loss on British
trade with China and bringing considerable advantages in consequence to
Japanese trade and shipping: from the time of this boycott began the
Japanese grip on Chinese coastwise shipping.

The second party congress was held in Canton in 1926. Chiang Kai-shek
already played a prominent part. The People's Party, under Chiang
Kai-shek and with the support of the communists, began the great
campaign against the north. At first it had good success: the various
provincial governors and generals and the Peking government were played
off against each other, and in a short time one leader after another was
defeated. The Yangtze was reached, and in 1926 the southern government
moved to Hankow. All over the southern provinces there now came a
genuine rising of the masses of the people, mainly the result of
communist propaganda and of the government's promise to give land to the
peasants, to set limits to the big estates, and to bring order into the
taxation. In spite of its communist element, at the beginning of 1927
the southern government was essentially one of the middle class and the
peasantry, with a socialistic tendency.

3 _Second period of the Republic: Nationalist China_

With the continued success of the northern campaign, and with Chiang
Kai-shek's southern army at the gates of Shanghai (March 21st, 1927), a
decision had to be taken. Should the left wing be allowed to gain the
upper hand, and the great capitalists of Shanghai be expropriated as it
was proposed to expropriate the gentry? Or should the right wing
prevail, an alliance be concluded with the capitalists, and limits be
set to the expropriation of landed estates? Chiang Kai-shek, through his
marriage with Sun Yat-sen's wife's sister, had become allied with one of
the greatest banking families. In the days of the siege of Shanghai
Chiang, together with his closest colleagues (with the exception of Hu
Han-min and Wang Chying-wei, a leader who will be mentioned later),
decided on the second alternative. Shanghai came into his hands without
a struggle, and the capital of the Shanghai financiers, and soon foreign
capital as well, was placed at his disposal, so that he was able to pay
his troops and finance his administration. At the same time the Russian
advisers were dismissed or executed.

The decision arrived at by Chiang Kai-shek and his friends did not
remain unopposed, and he parted from the "left group" (1927) which
formed a rival government in Hankow, while Chiang Kai-shek made Nanking
the seat of his government (April 1927). In that year Chiang not only
concluded peace with the financiers and industrialists, but also a sort
of "armistice" with the landowning gentry. "Land reform" still stood on
the party program, but nothing was done, and in this way the confidence
and co-operation of large sections of the gentry was secured. The choice
of Nanking as the new capital pleased both the industrialists and the
agrarians: the great bulk of China's young industries lay in the Yangtze
region, and that region was still the principal one for agricultural
produce; the landowners of the region were also in a better position
with the great market of the capital in their neighbourhood.

Meanwhile the Nanking government had succeeded in carrying its dealings
with the northern generals to a point at which they were largely
out-manoeuvred and became ready for some sort of collaboration (1928).
There were now four supreme commanders--Chiang Kai-shek, Feng Yue-hsiang
(the "Christian general"), Yen Hsi-shan, the governor of Shansi, and the
Muslim Li Chung-yen. Naturally this was not a permanent solution; not
only did Chiang Kai-shek's three rivals try to free themselves from his
ever-growing influence and to gain full power themselves, but various
groups under military leadership rose again and again, even in the home
of the Republic, Canton itself. These struggles, which were carried on
more by means of diplomacy and bribery than at arms, lasted until 1936.
Chiang Kai-shek, as by far the most skilful player in this game, and at
the same time the man who had the support of the foreign governments
and of the financiers of Shanghai, gained the victory. China became
unified under his dictatorship.

As early as 1928, when there seemed a possibility of uniting China, with
the exception of Manchuria, which was dominated by Japan, and when the
European powers began more and more to support Chiang Kai-shek, Japan
felt that her interests in North China were threatened, and landed
troops in Shantung. There was hard fighting on May 3rd, 1928. General
Chang Tso-lin, in Manchuria, who was allied to Japan, endeavoured to
secure a cessation of hostilities, but he fell victim to a Japanese
assassin; his place was taken by his son, Chang Hsueeh-liang, who pursued
an anti-Japanese policy. The Japanese recognized, however, that in view
of the international situation the time had not yet come for
intervention in North China. In 1929 they withdrew their troops and
concentrated instead on their plans for Manchuria.

Until the time of the "Manchurian incident" (1931), the Nanking
government steadily grew in strength. It gained the confidence of the
western powers, who proposed to make use of it in opposition to Japan's
policy of expansion in the Pacific sphere. On the strength of this
favourable situation in its foreign relations, the Nanking government
succeeded in getting rid of one after another of the Capitulations.
Above all, the administration of the "Maritime Customs", that is to say
of the collection of duties on imports and exports, was brought under
the control of the Chinese government: until then it had been under
foreign control. Now that China could act with more freedom in the
matter of tariffs, the government had greater financial resources, and
through this and other measures it became financially more independent
of the provinces. It succeeded in building up a small but modern army,
loyal to the government and superior to the still existing provincial
armies. This army gained its military experience in skirmishes with the
Communists and the remaining generals.

It is true that when in 1931 the Japanese occupied Manchuria, Nanking
was helpless, since Manchuria was only loosely associated with Nanking,
and its governor, Chang Hsueeh-liang, had tried to remain independent of
it. Thus Manchuria was lost almost without a blow. On the other hand,
the fighting with Japan that broke out soon afterwards in Shanghai
brought credit to the young Nanking army, though owing to its numerical
inferiority it was unsuccessful. China protested to the League of
Nations against its loss of Manchuria. The League sent a commission (the
Lytton Commission), which condemned Japan's action, but nothing further
happened, and China indignantly broke away from her association with the
Western powers (1932-1933). In view of the tense European situation
(the beginning of the Hitler era in Germany, and the Italian plans of
expansion), the Western powers did not want to fight Japan on China's
behalf, and without that nothing more could be done. They pursued,
indeed, a policy of playing off Japan against China, in order to keep
those two powers occupied with each other, and so to divert Japan from
Indo-China and the Pacific.

China had thus to be prepared for being involved one day in a great war
with Japan. Chiang Kai-shek wanted to postpone war as long as possible.
He wanted time to establish his power more thoroughly within the
country, and to strengthen his army. In regard to external relations,
the great powers would have to decide their attitude sooner or later.
America could not be expected to take up a clear attitude: she was for
peace and commerce, and she made greater profits out of her relations
with Japan than with China; she sent supplies to both (until 1941). On
the other hand, Britain and France were more and more turning away from
Japan, and Russo-Japanese relations were at all times tense. Japan tried
to emerge from her isolation by joining the "axis powers", Germany and
Italy (1936); but it was still doubtful whether the Western powers would
proceed with Russia, and therefore against Japan, or with the Axis, and
therefore in alliance with Japan.

Japan for her part considered that if she was to raise the standard of
living of her large population and to remain a world power, she must
bring into being her "Greater East Asia", so as to have the needed raw
material sources and export markets in the event of a collision with the
Western powers; in addition to this, she needed a security girdle as
extensive as possible in case of a conflict with Russia. In any case,
"Greater East Asia" must be secured before the European conflict should
break out.

4 _The Sino-Japanese war_ (1937-1945)

Accordingly, from 1933 onward Japan followed up her conquest of
Manchuria by bringing her influence to bear in Inner Mongolia and in
North China. She succeeded first, by means of an immense system of
smuggling, currency manipulation, and propaganda, in bringing a number
of Mongol princes over to her side, and then (at the end of 1935) in
establishing a semi-dependent government in North China. Chiang Kai-shek
took no action.

The signal for the outbreak of war was an "incident" by the Marco Polo
Bridge, south of Peking (July 7th, 1937). The Japanese government
profited by a quite unimportant incident, undoubtedly provoked by the
Japanese, in order to extend its dominion a little further. China still
hesitated; there were negotiations. Japan brought up reinforcements and
put forward demands which China could not be expected to be ready to
fulfil. Japan then occupied Peking and Tientsin and wide regions between
them and south of them. The Chinese soldiers stationed there withdrew
almost without striking a blow, but formed up again and began to offer
resistance. In order to facilitate the planned occupation of North
China, including the province of Shantung, Japan decided on a
diversionary campaign against Shanghai. The Nanking government sent its
best troops to the new front, and held it for nearly three months
against superior forces; but meanwhile the Japanese steadily advanced in
North China. On November 9th Nanking fell into their hands. By the
beginning of January 1938, the province of Shantung had also been

Chiang Kai-shek and his government fled to Ch'ung-k'ing (Chungking), the
most important commercial and financial centre of the interior after
Hankow, which was soon threatened by the Japanese fleet. By means of a
number of landings the Japanese soon conquered the whole coast of China,
so cutting off all supplies to the country; against hard fighting in
some places they pushed inland along the railways and conquered the
whole eastern half of China, the richest and most highly developed part
of the country. Chiang Kai-shek had the support only of the
agriculturally rich province of Szechwan, and of the scarcely developed
provinces surrounding it. Here there was as yet no industry. Everything
in the way of machinery and supplies that could be transported from the
hastily dismantled factories was carried westward. Students and
professors went west with all the contents of their universities, and
worked on in small villages under very difficult conditions--one of the
most memorable achievements of this war for China. But all this was by
no means enough for waging a defensive war against Japan. Even the
famous Burma Road could not save China.

By 1940-1941 Japan had attained her war aim: China was no longer a
dangerous adversary. She was still able to engage in small-scale
fighting, but could no longer secure any decisive result. Puppet
governments were set up in Peking, Canton, and Nanking, and the Japanese
waited for these governments gradually to induce supporters of Chiang
Kai-shek to come over to their side. Most was expected of Wang
Ching-wei, who headed the new Nanking government. He was one of the
oldest followers of Sun Yat-sen, and was regarded as a democrat. In
1925, after Sun Yat-sen's death, he had been for a time the head of the
Nanking government, and for a short time in 1930 he had led a government
in Peking that was opposed to Chiang Kai-shek's dictatorship. Beyond any
question Wang still had many followers, including some in the highest
circles at Chungking, men of eastern China who considered that
collaboration with Japan, especially in the economic field, offered good
prospects. Japan paid lip service to this policy: there was talk of
sister peoples, which could help each other and supply each other's
needs. There was propaganda for a new "Greater East Asian" philosophy,
_Wang-tao_, in accordance with which all the peoples of the East could
live together in peace under a thinly disguised dictatorship. What
actually happened was that everywhere Japanese capitalists established
themselves in the former Chinese industrial plants, bought up land and
securities, and exploited the country for the conduct of their war.

After the great initial successes of Hitlerite Germany in 1939-1941,
Japan became convinced that the time had come for a decisive blow
against the positions of the Western European powers and the United
States in the Far East. Lightning blows were struck at Hong Kong and
Singapore, at French Indo-China, and at the Netherlands East Indies. The
American navy seemed to have been eliminated by the attack on Pearl
Harbour, and one group of islands after another fell into the hands of
the Japanese. Japan was at the gates of India and Australia. Russia was
carrying on a desperate defensive struggle against the Axis, and there
was no reason to expect any intervention from her in the Far East.
Greater East Asia seemed assured against every danger.

The situation of Chiang Kai-shek's Chungking government seemed hopeless.
Even the Burma Road was cut, and supplies could only be sent by air;
there was shortage of everything. With immense energy small industries
were begun all over western China, often organized as co-operatives;
roads and railways were built--but with such resources would it ever be
possible to throw the Japanese into the sea? Everything depended on
holding out until a new page was turned in Europe. Infinitely slow
seemed the progress of the first gleams of hope--the steady front in
Burma, the reconquest of the first groups of inlands; the first bomb
attacks on Japan itself. Even in May, 1945, with the war ended in
Europe, there seemed no sign of its ending in the Far East. Then came
the atom bomb, bringing the collapse of Japan; the Japanese armies
receded from China, and suddenly China was free, mistress once more in
her own country as she had not been for decades.


Chapter Twelve


1 _The growth of communism_

In order to understand today's China, we have to go back in time to
report events which were cut short or left out of our earlier discussion
in order to present them in the context of this chapter.

Although socialism and communism had been known in China long ago, this
line of development of Western philosophy had interested Chinese
intellectuals much less than liberalistic, democratic Western ideas. It
was widely believed that communism had no real prospects for China, as a
dictatorship of the proletariat seemed to be relevant only in a highly
industrialized and not in an agrarian society. Thus, in its beginning
the "Movement of May Fourth" of 1919 had Western ideological traits but
was not communistic. This changed with the success of communism in
Russia and with the theoretical writings of Lenin. Here it was shown
that communist theories could be applied to a country similar to China
in its level of development. Already from 1919 on, some of the leaders
of the Movement turned towards communism: the National University of
Peking became the first centre of this movement, and Ch'en Tu-hsiu, then
dean of the College of Letters, from 1920 on became one of its leaders.
Hu Shih did not move to the left with this group; he remained a liberal.
But another well-known writer, Lu Hsuen (1881-1936), while following Hu
Shih in the "Literary Revolution," identified politically with Ch'en.
There was still another man, the Director of the University Library, Li
Ta-chao, who turned towards communism. With him we find one of his
employees in the Library, Mao Tse-tung. In fact, the nucleus of the
Communist Party, which was officially created as late as 1921, was a
student organization including some professors in Peking. On the other
hand, a student group in Paris had also learned about communism and had
organized; the leaders of this group were Chou En-lai and Li Li-san. A
little later, a third group organized in Germany; Chu Te belonged to
this group. The leadership of Communist China since 1949 has been in the
hands of men of these three former student groups.

After 1920, Sun Yat-sen, too, became interested in the developments in
Soviet Russia. Yet, he never actually became a communist; his belief
that the soil should belong to the tiller cannot really be combined with
communism, which advocates the abolition of individual land-holdings.
Yet, Soviet Russia found it useful to help Sun Yat-sen and advised the
Chinese Communist Party to collaborate with the KMT (Kuomintang). This
collaboration, not always easy, continued until the fall of Shanghai in

In the meantime, Mao Tse-tung had given up his studies in Peking and had
returned to his home in Hunan. Here, he organized his countrymen, the
farmers of Hunan. It is said that at the verge of the northern
expedition of Chiang Kai-shek, Mao's adherents in Hunan already numbered
in the millions; this made the quick and smooth advance of the
communist-advised armies of Chiang Kai-shek possible. Mao developed his
ideas in written form in 1927; he showed that communism in China could
be successful only if it was based upon farmers. Because of this
unorthodox attitude, he was for years severely attacked as a

When Chiang Kai-shek separated from the KMT in 1927, the main body of
the KMT remained in Hankow as the legal government. But now, while
Chiang Kai-shek executed all leftists, union leaders, and communists who
fell into his hands, tensions in Hankow increased between the Chinese
Communist Party and the rest of the KMT. Finally, the KMT turned against
the communists and reunited with Chiang Kai-shek. The remaining
communists retreated to the Hunan-Kiangsi border area, the centre of
Mao's activities; even the orthodox communist wing, which had condemned
Mao, now had to come to him for protection from the KMT. A small
communist state began to develop in Kiangsi, in spite of pressure and,
later, attacks of the KMT against them. By 1934, this pressure became so
strong that Kiangsi had to be abandoned, and in the epic "Long March"
the rest of the communists and their army fought their way through all
of western and north-western China into the sparsely inhabited,
underdeveloped northern part of Shensi, where a new socialistic state
was created with Yen-an as its capital.

After the fall of the communist enclave in Kiangsi, the prospects for
the Nationalist regime were bright; indeed, the unification of China was
almost achieved. At this moment a new Japanese invasion threatened and
demanded the full attention of the regime. Thus, in spite of talk about
land reform and other reforms which might have led to a liberalization
of the government, no attention was given to internal and social
problems except to the suppression of communist thought. Although all
leftist publications were prohibited, most historians and sociologists
succeeded in writing Marxist books without using Marxist terminology, so
that they escaped Chiang's censors. These publications contributed
greatly to preparing China's intellectuals and youth for communism.

When the Japanese War began, the communists in Yen-an and the
Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek agreed to co-operate against the
invaders. Yet, each side remembered its experiences in 1927 and
distrusted the other. Chiang's resistance against the invaders became
less effective after the Japanese occupied all of China's ports;
supplies could reach China only in small quantities by airlift or via
the Burma Road. There was also the belief that Japan could be defeated
only by an attack on Japan itself and that this would have to be
undertaken by the Western powers, not by China. The communists, on their
side, set up a guerrilla organization behind the Japanese lines, so
that, although the Japanese controlled the cities and the lines of
communication, they had little control over the countryside. The
communists also attempted to infiltrate the area held by the
Nationalists, who in turn were interested in preventing the communists
from becoming too strong; so, Nationalist troops guarded also the
borders of communist territory.

American politicians and military advisers were divided in their
opinions. Although they recognized the internal weakness of the
Nationalist government, the fighting between cliques within the
government, and the ever-increasing corruption, some advocated more help
to the Nationalists and a firm attitude against the communists. Others,
influenced by impressions gained during visits to Yen-an, and believing
in the possibility of honest co-operation between a communist regime and
any other, as Roosevelt did, attempted to effect a coalition of the
Nationalists with the communists.

At the end of the war, when the Nationalist government took over the
administration, it lacked popular support in the areas liberated from
the Japanese. Farmers who had been given land by the communists, or who
had been promised it, were afraid that their former landlords, whether
they had remained to collaborate with the Japanese or had fled to West
China, would regain control of the land. Workers hoped for new social
legislation and rights. Businessmen and industrialists were faced with
destroyed factories, worn-out or antiquated equipment, and an unchecked
inflation which induced them to shift their accounts into foreign banks
or to favour short-term gains rather than long-term investments. As in
all countries which have suffered from a long war and an occupation,
the youth believed that the old regime had been to blame, and saw
promise and hope on the political left. And, finally, the Nationalist
soldiers, most of whom had been separated for years from their homes and
families, were not willing to fight other Chinese in the civil war now
well under way; they wanted to go home and start a new life. The
communists, however, were now well organized militarily and well
equipped with arms surrendered by the Japanese to the Soviet armies as
well as with arms and ammunition sold to them by KMT soldiers; moreover,
they were constantly strengthened by deserters from the KMT. The civil
war witnessed a steady retreat by the KMT armies, which resisted only
sporadically. By the end of 1948, most of mainland China was in the
hands of the communists, who established their new capital in Peking.

2 _Nationalist China in Taiwan_

The Nationalist government retreated to Taiwan with those soldiers who
remained loyal. This island was returned to China after the defeat of
Japan, though final disposition of its status had not yet been

Taiwan's original population had been made up of more than a dozen
tribes who are probably distant relatives of tribes in the Philippines.
These are Taiwan's "aborigines," altogether about 200,000 people in

At about the time of the Sung dynasty, Chinese began to establish
outposts on the island; these developed into regular agricultural
settlements toward the end of the Ming dynasty. Immigration increased in
the eighteenth and especially the nineteenth centuries. These Chinese
immigrants and their descendants are the "Taiwanese," Taiwan's main
population of about eight million people as of 1948.

Taiwan was at first a part of the province of Fukien, whence most of its
Chinese settlers came; there was also a minority of Hakka, Chinese from
Kuangtung province. When Taiwan was ceded to Japan, it was still a
colonial area with much lawlessness and disorder, but with a number of
flourishing towns and a growing population. The Japanese, who sent
administrators but no settlers, established law and order, protected the
aborigines from land-hungry Chinese settlers, and attempted to abolish
headhunting by the aborigines and to raise the cultural level in
general. They built a road and railway system and strongly stressed the
production of sugar cane and rice. During the Second World War, the
island suffered from air attacks and from the inability of the Japanese
to protect its industries.

After Chiang Kai-shek and the remainder of his army and of his
government officials arrived in Taiwan, they were followed by others
fleeing from the communist regime, mainly from Chekiang, Kiangsu, and
the northern provinces of the mainland. Eventually, there were on Taiwan
about two million of these "mainlanders," as they have sometimes been

When the Chinese Nationalists took over from the Japanese, they assumed
all the leading positions in the government. The Taiwanese nationals who
had opposed the Japanese were disappointed; for their part, the
Nationalists felt threatened because of their minority position. The
next years, especially up to 1952, were characterized by terror and
bloodshed. Tensions persisted for many years, but have lessened since
about 1960.

The new government of Taiwan resembled China's pre-war government under
Chiang Kai-shek. First, to maintain his claim to the legitimate rule of
all of China, Chiang retained--and controlled through his party, the
KMT--his former government organization, complete with cabinet
ministers, administrators, and elected parliament, under the name
"Central Government of China." Secondly, the actual government of
Taiwan, which he considered one of China's provinces, was organized as
the "Provincial Government of Taiwan," whose leading positions were at
first in the hands of KMT mainlanders. There have since been elections
for the provincial assembly, for local government councils and boards,
and for various provincial and local positions. Thirdly, the military
forces were organized under the leadership and command of mainlanders.
And finally, the education system was set up in accordance with former
mainland practices by mainland specialists. However, evolutionary
changes soon occurred.

The government's aim was to make Mandarin Chinese the language of all
Chinese in Taiwan, as it had been in mainland China long before the War,
and to weaken the Taiwanese dialects. Soon almost every child had a
minimum of six years of education (increased in 1968 to nine years),
with Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction. In the beginning few
Taiwanese qualified as teachers because, under Japanese rule, Japanese
had been the medium of instruction. As the children of Taiwanese and
mainland families went to school together, the Taiwanese children
quickly learned Mandarin, while most mainland children became familiar
with the Taiwan dialect. For the generation in school today, the
difference between mainlander and Taiwanese has lost its importance. At
the same time, more teachers of Taiwanese origin, but with modern
training, have begun to fill first the ranks of elementary, later of
high-school, and now even of university instructors, so that the end of
mainland predominance in the educational system is foreseeable.

The country is still ruled by the KMT, but although at first hardly any
Taiwanese belonged to the Party, many of the elective jobs and almost
all positions in the provincial government are at present (1969) in the
hands of Taiwanese independents, or KMT members, more of whom are
entering the central government as well. Because military service is
compulsory, the majority of common soldiers are Taiwanese: as career
officers grow older and their sons show little interest in an army
career, more Taiwan-Chinese are occupying higher army positions. Foreign
policy and major political decisions still lie in the hands of mainland
Chinese, but economic power, once monopolized by them, is now held by

This shift gained impetus with the end of American economic aid, which
had tied local businessmen to American industry and thus worked to the
advantage of mainland Chinese, for these had contacts in the United
States, whereas the Taiwan-Chinese had contacts only in Japan. After the
termination of American economic aid, Taiwanese trade with Japan, the
Philippines, and Korea grew in importance and with it the economic
strength of Taiwan-Chinese businessmen. After 1964, Taiwan became a
strong competitor of Hong Kong and Japan in some export industries, such
as electronics and textiles. We can regard Taiwan from 1964 on as
occupying the "takeoff" stage, to use Rostow's terminology--a stage of
rapid development of new, principally light and consumer, industries.
There has been a rapid rise of industrial towns around the major cities,
and there are already many factories in the countryside, even in some
villages. Electrification is essentially completed, and heavy
industries, such as fertilizer and assembly plants and oil refineries,
now exist.

This rapid industrialization was accompanied by an unusually fast
development of agriculture. A land-reform program limited land
ownership, reduced rents, and redistributed formerly Japanese-owned
land. This was the program that the Nationalist government had attempted
unsuccessfully to enforce in liberated China after the Pacific War. It
is well known that the abolition of landlordism and the distribution of
land to small farmers do not in themselves improve or enlarge
production. The Joint Council on Rural Reconstruction, on which American
advisers worked with Chinese specialists to devise a system comparable
to American agricultural extension services but possessing added
elements of community development, introduced better seeds, more and
better fertilizers, and numerous other innovations which the farmers
quickly adopted, with the result that the island became
self-supporting, in spite of a steadily growing population (thirteen
million in 1968).

At the same time, the government succeeded in stabilizing the currency
and in eliminating corruption, thus re-establishing public confidence
and security. Good incomes from farming as well as from industries were
invested on the island instead of flowing into foreign banks. In
addition, the population had enough surplus money to buy the products of
the new domestic industries as these appeared. Thus, the
industrialization of Taiwan may be called "industrialization without
tears," without the suffering, that is, of proletarian masses who
produce objects which they cannot afford for themselves. Today, even
lower middle-class families have television consoles which cost the
equivalent of US $200; they own electric fans and radios; they are
buying Taiwan-produced refrigerators and air conditioners; and more and
more think of buying Taiwan-assembled cars. They encourage their
children to finish high school and to attend college if at all possible;
competition for admission is very strong in spite of the continuous
building of new schools and universities. Education to the level of the
B.A. is of good quality, but for most graduate study students are still
sent abroad. Taiwan complains about the "brain drain," as about 93 per
cent of its students who go overseas do not return, but in many fields
it has sufficient trained manpower to continue its development, and in
any case there would not be enough jobs available if all the students
returned. Most of these expatriates would be available to develop
mainland China, if conditions there were to change in a way that would
make them compatible with the values with which these expatriates grew
up on Taiwan, or with the Western democratic values which they absorbed

Chiang Kai-shek's government still hopes that one day its people will
return to the mainland. This hope has changed from hope of victory in a
civil war to hope of revolutionary developments within Communist China
which might lead to the creation of a more liberal government in which
men with KMT loyalties could find a place. Because they are Chinese, the
present government and, it is believed, the majority of the people,
consider themselves a part of China from which they are temporarily
separated. Therefore they reject the idea, proposed by some American
politicians, that Taiwan should become an independent state. There are,
mainly in the United States and Japan, groups of Taiwan-Chinese who
favour an independent Taiwan, which naturally would be close to Japan
politically and economically. One may agree with their belief that
Taiwan, now larger than many European countries, could exist and
flourish as an independent country; yet few Chinese will wish to divorce
themselves from the world's largest society.

3 _Communist China_

Both Taiwan and mainland China have developed extremely quickly. The
reasons do not seem to lie solely in the form of government, for the
pre-conditions for a "takeoff" existed in China as early as the 1920's,
if not earlier. That is, the quick development of China could have
started forty years ago but was prevented, primarily for political
reasons. One of the main pre-conditions for quick development is that a
large part of the population is inured to hard and repetitive work. The
Chinese farmer was accustomed to such work; he put more time and energy
into his land than any other farmer. He and his fellows were the
industrial workers of the future: reliable, hard-working, tractable,
intelligent. To train them was easy, and absenteeism was never a serious
problem, as it is in other developing nations. Another pre-condition is
the existence of sufficient trained people to manage industry. Forty
years ago China had enough such men to start modernization; foreign
assistance would have been necessary in some fields, but only briefly.

Another requirement (at least in the period before radio and television)
is general literacy. Meaningful statistical data on literacy in China
before 1937 are lacking. Some authors remark that before 1800 probably
all upper-class sons and most daughters were educated, and that men in
the middle and even in the lower classes often had some degree of
literacy. In this context "educated" means that these persons could read
classical poetry and essays written in literary Chinese, which was not
the language of daily conversation. "Literacy," however, might mean only
that a person could read and write some 600 characters, enough to
conduct a business and to read simple stories. Although newspapers today
have a stock of about 6,000 characters, only some 600 characters are
commonly used, and a farmer or worker can manage well with a knowledge
of about 100 characters. Statements to the effect that in 1935 some 70
per cent of all men and 95 per cent of all women were illiterate must
include the last category in these figures. In any case, the literacy
program of the Nationalist government had penetrated the countryside and
had reached even outlying villages before the Pacific War.

The transportation system in China before the war was not highly
developed, but numerous railroads connecting the main industrial centers
did exist, and bus and truck services connected small towns with the
larger centers. What were missing in the pre-war years were laws to
protect the investor, efficient credit facilities, an insurance system
supported by law, and a modern tax structure. In addition, the monetary
system was inflation-prone. Although sufficient capital probably could
have been mobilized within the country, the available resources either
went into foreign banks or were invested in enterprises providing a
quick return.

The failure to capitalize on existing means of development before the
War resulted from the chronic unrest caused by warlordism,
revolutionaries and foreign invaders, which occupied the energies of the
Nationalist government from its establishment to its fall. Once a stable
government free from internal troubles arose, national development,
whether private or socialist, could proceed at a rapid pace.

Thus, the development of Communist China is not a miracle, possible only
because of its form of government. What is unusual about Communist China
is the fact that it is the only nation possessing a highly developed
culture of its own to have jettisoned it in favour of a foreign one. What
missionaries had dreamed of for centuries and knew they would never
accomplish, Mao Tse-tung achieved; he imposed an ideology created by
Europeans and understandable only in the context of Central Europe in
the nineteenth century. How long his success will last is uncertain. One
school of analysts believes that the friction between Soviet Russia and
Communist China indicates that China's communism has become Chinese.
These men point out that Communist Chinese practices are often direct
continuations of earlier Chinese practices, customs, and attitudes. And
they predict that this trend will continue, resulting in a form of
socialism or communism distinctly different from that found in any other
country. Another school, however, believes that communism precedes
"Sinism," and that the regime will slowly eliminate traits which once
were typical of China and replace them with institutions developed out
of Marxist thinking. In any case, for the present, although the
Communist government's aim is to impose communist thought and
institutions in the country, typically Chinese traits are still

Soon after the establishment of the Peking regime, a pact of friendship
and alliance with the Soviet Union was concluded (February 1950), and
Soviet specialists and civil and military products poured into China to
speed its development. China had to pay for this assistance as well as
for the loans it received from Russia, but the application of Russian
experience, often involving the duplication of whole factories, was
successful. In a few years, China developed its heavy industry, just as
Russia had done. It should not be forgotten that Manchuria, as well as
other parts of China, had modern heavy industries long before 1949. The
Manchurian factories ceased production because, when the Russians
invaded Manchuria at the end of the war, they removed the machinery to

Russian aid to Communist China continued to 1960. Its termination slowed
development briefly but was not disastrous. Russian assistance was a
"shot in the arm," as stimulating and about as lasting as American aid
to Taiwan or to European countries. The stress laid upon heavy industry,
in imitation of Russia, increased China's military strength quickly, but
the consumer had to wait for goods which would make his life more
enjoyable. One cause of friction in China today concerns the relative
desirability of heavy industry versus consumer industry, a problem which
arose in Russia after the death of Stalin.

China's military strength was first demonstrated in the Korean War when
Chinese armies entered Korea (October 1950). Their successes contributed
to the prestige of the Peking regime at home and abroad, but they also
foreshadowed a conflict with Soviet Russia, which regarded North Korea
as lying within its own sphere of influence.

In the same year, China invaded and conquered Tibet. Tibet, under Manchu
rule until 1911, had achieved a certain degree of independence
thereafter: no republican Chinese regime ever ruled Lhasa. The military
conquest of Tibet is regarded by many as an act of Chinese imperialism,
or colonialism, as the Tibetans certainly did not want to belong to
China or be forced to change their traditional form of government.
Having regarded themselves as subjects of the Manchu but not of the
Chinese, they rose against the communist rulers in March 1959, but
without success.

Chinese control of Tibet, involving the construction of numerous roads,
airstrips, and military installations, as well as differences concerning
the international border, led in 1959 to conflicts with India, a country
which had previously sided with the new China in international affairs.
Indeed, the borders were uncertain and looked different depending on
whether one used Manchu or Indian maps. China's other border problem was
with Burma. Early in 1960 the two countries concluded a border agreement
which ended disputes dating from British colonial times.

Very early in its existence Communist China assumed control of Sinkiang,
Chinese Central Asia, a large area originally inhabited by Turkish and
Mongolian tribes and states, later conquered by the Manchu, and then
integrated into China in the early nineteenth century. The communist
action was to be expected, although after the Revolution of 1911 Chinese
rule over this area had been spotty, and during the Pacific War some
Soviet-inspired hope had existed that Sinkiang might gain independence,
following the example of Outer Mongolia, another country which had been
attached to the Manchu until 1911 and which, with Russian assistance,
had gained its independence from China. Sinkiang is of great importance
to Communist China as the site of large sources of oil and of atomic
industries and testing grounds. The government has stimulated and often
forced Chinese immigration into Sinkiang, so that the erstwhile Turkish
and Mongolian majorities have become minorities, envious of their ethnic
brothers in Soviet Central Asia who enjoy a much higher standard of
living and more freedom.

Inner Mongolia had a brief dream of independence under Japanese
protection during the war. But the majority of the population were
Chinese, and already before the Pacific War, the country had been
divided into three Chinese provinces, of which the Chinese Communists
gained control without delay.

In general, when the Chinese Communists discuss territorial claims, they
appear to seek the restoration of borders that China claimed in the
eighteenth century. Thus, they make occasional remarks about the Hi area
and parts of Eastern Siberia, which the Manchu either lost to the
Russians or claimed as their territory. North Vietnam is probably aware
that Imperial China exercised political rights over Tongking and Annam
(the present-day North and part of South Vietnam). And, treaty or no,
the Sino-Burmese question may be reopened one day, for Burma was
semi-dependent on China under the Manchu.

The build-up of heavy industry enabled China to conduct an aggressive
policy towards the countries surrounding her, but industrialization had
to be paid for, and, as in other countries, it was basically agriculture
that had to create the necessary capital. Therefore, in June 1950 a
land-reform law was promulgated. By October 1952 it had been implemented
at an estimated cost of two million human lives: the landlords. The next
step, socialization of the land, began in 1953.

The co-operative farms were supposed to achieve higher production than
small individual farms. It may be that any farmer, but particularly the
Chinese, is emotionally involved in his crop, in contrast to the
industrial worker, who often is alienated from the product he makes.
Thus the farmer is unwilling to put unlimited energy and time into
working on a farm that does not belong to him. But it may also be that
the application of principles of industrial operation to agriculture
fails because emergencies often occur in farming and are followed by
periods of leisure, whereas in industry steady work is possible.

In any case, in 1956 strains began to appear in China's economy. In
early 1958 the "Great Leap Forward" was promoted in an attempt to speed
production in all sectors. Soon after, the first communes were created,
against the advise of Russian specialists. The objective of the communes
seems to have been not only the creation of a new organizational form
which would allow the government to exercise more pressure upon farmers
to increase production, but also the correlation of labor and other
needs of industry with agriculture. The communes may have represented an
attempt to set up an organization which could function independently,
even in the event of a governmental breakdown in wartime. At the same
time, the decentralization of industries began and a people's militia
was created. The "back-yard furnaces," which produced high-cost iron of
low quality, seem to have had a similar purpose: to teach citizens how
to produce iron for armaments in case of war and enemy occupation, when
only guerrilla resistance would be possible. In the same year,
aggressive actions against offshore, Nationalist-held islands increased.
China may have believed that war with the United States was imminent.
Perhaps as a result of Russian talks with China, a detente followed in
1959, but so too did increased tension between Russia and China, while
the results of the Great Leap and its policies proved catastrophic. The
years 1961-64 provided a needed respite from the failures of the Great
Leap. Farmers regained limited rights to income from private efforts,
and improved farm techniques such as better seed and the use of
fertilizer began to produce results. China can now feed her population
in normal years.

Chinese leaders realize that an improved level of living is difficult to
attain while the birth rate remains high. They have hesitated to adopt a
family-planning policy, which would fly in the face of Marxist doctrine,
although for a short period family planning was openly recommended.
Their most efficient method of limiting the birth rate has been to
recommend postponement of marriage.

First the limitation of private enterprise and business and then the
nationalization of all important businesses following the completion of
land reform deprived many employers as well as small shopkeepers of an
occupation. But the new industries could not absorb all of the labor
that suddenly became available. When rural youth inundated the cities in
search of employment, the government returned the excess urban
population to die countryside and recruited students and other urban
youth to work on farms. Reeducation camps in outlying areas also
provided cheap farm labor.

The problem facing China or any nation that modernizes and
industrializes in the twentieth century can be simply stated.
Nineteenth-century industry needed large masses of workers which only
the rural areas could supply; and, with the development of farming
methods, the countryside could afford to send its youth to the cities.
Twentieth-century industry, on the other hand, needs technicians and
highly qualified personnel, often with college degrees, but few
unskilled workers. China has traditionally employed human labor where
machines would have been cheaper and more efficient, simply because
labor was available and capital was not. But since, with the growth of
modern industry and modern farming, the problem will arise again, the
policy of employing urban youth on farms is shortsighted.

The labor force also increased as a result of the "liberation" of women,
in which the marriage law of April 1950 was the first step. Nationalist
China had earlier created a modern and liberal marriage law; moreover,
women were never the slaves that they have sometimes been painted. In
many parts of China, long before the Pacific War, women worked in the
fields with their husbands. Elsewhere they worked in secondary
agricultural industries (weaving, preparation of food conserves, home
industries, and even textile factories) and provided supplementary
income for their families. All that "liberation" in 1950 really meant
was that women had to work a full day as their husbands did, and had, in
addition, to do house work and care for their children much as before.
The new marriage law did, indeed, make both partners equal; it also made
it easier for men to divorce their wives, political incompatibility
becoming a ground for divorce.

The ideological justification for a new marriage law was the
desirability of destroying the traditional Chinese family and its
economic basis because a close family, and all the more an extended
family or a clan, could obviously serve as a center of resistance. Land
collectivization and the nationalization of business destroyed the
economic basis of families. The "liberation" of women brought them out
of the house and made it possible for the government to exploit
dissension between husband and wife, thereby increasing its control over
the family. Finally, the new education system, which indoctrinated all
children from nursery to the end of college, separated children from
parents, thus undermining parental control and enabling the state to
intimidate parents by encouraging their children to denounce their
"deviations." Sporadic efforts to dissolve the family completely by
separating women from men in communes--recalling an attempt made almost
a century earlier by the T'ai-p'ing--were unsuccessful.

The best formula for a revolution seems to involve turning youth against
its elders, rather than turning one class against another. Not all
societies have a class system so clear-cut that class antagonism is
effective. On the other hand, Chinese youth, in its opposition to the
"establishment," to conservatism, to traditional religion, to blind
emulation of Western customs and institutions, to the traditional family
structure and the position of women, had hopes that communism would
eradicate the specific "evil" which each individual wanted abolished.
Mao and his followers had once been such rebellious youths, but by the
1960's they were mostly old men and a new youth had appeared, a
generation of revolutionaries for whom the "old regime" was dim history,
not reality. In the struggle between Mao and Liu Shao-ch'i, which became
increasingly apparent in 1966, Mao tried to retain his power by
mobilizing young people as "Red Guards" and by inciting them to make the
"Great Proletarian Revolution." The motives behind the struggle are
diverse. It is on the one hand a conflict of persons contending for
power, but there are also disagreements over theory: for example, should
China's present generation toil to make possible a better life only for
the next generation, or should it enjoy the fruits of its labor, after
its many years of suffering? Mao opposes such "weakening" and favours a
new generation willing to endure hardships, as he did in his youth.
There is also a question whether the Chinese Communist Party under the
banner of Maoism should replace the Russian party, establish Mao as the
fourth founder after Marx, Lenin, and Stalin, and become the leader of
world communism, or whether it should collaborate with the Russian
party, at least temporarily, and thus ensure China Russian support.
When, however, Chinese youth was summoned to take up the fight for Mao
and his group, forces were loosed which could not be controlled.
Following independent action by youth groups similar in nature to youth
revolts in Western countries, the power and prestige of older leaders
suffered. Even now (1969) it is impossible to re-establish unity and
order; the Mao and Liu groups still oppose each other, and local
factions have arisen. Violent confrontations, often resulting in
hundreds of deaths, occur in many provinces. The regime is no longer so
strong and unified as it was before 1966, although its end is not in
sight. Quite possibly far-reaching changes may occur in the future.

Three factors will probably influence the future of China. First, the
emergence of neo-communism, as in Czechoslovakia in 1968, in an attempt
to soften traditional communist practice. Second, the outcome of the war
in Vietnam. Will China be able to continue its eighteenth-century dream
of direct or indirect domination of South-east Asia? Will North Vietnam
detach itself from China and attach itself more closely to Russia? Will
Russia and China continue to create separate spheres of influence in
Asia, Africa, and South America? The first factor depends on
developments inside China, the second on events outside, and at least in
part on decisions in the United States, Japan, and Europe.

The third factor has to do with human nature. One may justifiably ask
whether the change in human personality which Chinese communism has
attempted to achieve is possible, let alone desirable. Studies of
animals and of human beings have demonstrated a tendency to identify
with a territory, with property, and with kin. Can the Chinese eradicate
this tendency? The Chinese have been family-centered and accustomed to
subordinating their individual inclinations to the requirements of
family and neighborhood. But beyond these established frameworks they
have been individualistic and highly idiosyncratic at all times. Under
the communist regime, however, the government is omnipresent, and people
must toe the official line. One senses the tragedy that affects
well-known scholars, writers and poets, who must degrade themselves,
their work, their past and their families in order to survive. They may
hope for comprehension of their actions, but nonetheless they must
suffer shame. Will the present government change the minds of these men
and eradicate their feelings?

Communist China has made great progress, no doubt. Soon it may equal
other developed nations. But its progress has been achieved at an
unnecessary cost in human lives and happiness.

That the regime is no longer so strong and unified as it was before 1966
does not mean that its end is in sight. Far-reaching changes may occur
in the near future. Public opinion is impressed with mainland China's
progress, as the world usually is with strong nations. And public
opinion is still unimpressed by the achievements of Taiwan and has
hardly begun to change its attitude toward the government of the
"Republic of China." To the historian and the sociologist, the
experience of Taiwan indicates that China, if left alone and freed from
ideological pressures, could industrialize more quickly than any other
presently underdeveloped nation. Taiwan offers a model with which to
compare mainland China.



The following notes and references are intended to help the interested
reader. They draw his attention to some more specialized literature in
English, and occasionally in French and German. They also indicate for
the more advanced reader the sources for some of the interpretations of
historical events. As such sources are most often written in Chinese or
Japanese and, therefore, inaccessible to most readers, only brief hints
and not full bibliographical data are given. The specialists know the
names and can easily find details in the standard bibliographies. The
general reader will profit most from the bibliography on Chinese history
published each year in the _Journal of Asian Studies_. These Notes do
not mention the original Chinese sources which are the factual basis of
this book.

_Chapter One_

p. 7: Reference is made here to the _T'ung-chien kang-mu_ and its
translation by de Mailla (1777-85). Criticism by O. Franke, Ku
Chieh-kang and his school, also by G. Haloun.

p. 8: For the chronology, I rely here upon Ijima Tadao and my own
research. Excavations at Chou-k'ou-tien still continue and my account
should be taken as very preliminary. An earlier analysis is given by E.
von Eickstedt (_Rassendynamik von Ostasien_, Berlin 1944). For the
following periods, the best general study is still J.G. Andersson,
_Researches into the Prehistory of the Chinese_, Stockholm 1943. A great
number of new findings has been made recently, but no comprehensive
analysis in a Western language is available.

p. 9: Comparison with Ainu has been made by Weidenreich. The theory of
desiccation of Asia is not the Huntington theory, but I rely here upon
arguments by J.G. Andersson and Sven Hedin.

p. 10. The earlier theories of R. Heine-Geldern have been used here.

p. 11: This is a summary of my own theories. Concerning the Tungus
tribes, K. Jettmar (_Wiener Beitraege zur Kulturgeschichte_, vol. 9,
1952, p. 484f and later studies) has proposed a more refined theory;
other parts of the theory, as far as it is concerned with conditions in
Central Asia, have been modified by F. Kussmaul (in: _Tribus_, vol.
1952-3, pp. 305-60). Archaeological data from Central Asia have been
analysed again by K. Jettmar (in: _The Museum of Far Eastern
Antiquities, Bulletin_ No. 23, 1951). The discussion on domestication of
large animals relies on the studies by C.O. Sauer, H. von Wissmann,
Menghin, Amschler, Flohr and, most recently, F. Han[vc]ar (in:
_Saeculum_, vol. 10, 1959, pp. 21-37 with further literature), and also
on my own research.

p. 12: An analysis of the situation in the South according to Western
and Chinese studies is found in H.J. Wiens, _China's March toward the
Tropics_, Hamden 1954. Much further work is now published by Ling
Shun-sheng, Rui Yi-fu and other anthropologists in Taipei. The best
analysis of denshiring in the Far East is still the book by K.J. Pelzer,
_Population and Land Utilization_, New York 1941. The anthropological
theories on this page are my own, influenced by ideas of R.
Heine-Geldern and Gordon Luce.

p. 14: Sociological theory, as developed by R. Thurnwald and others, has
been used as a theoretical tool here, together with observations by A.
Credner and H. Bernatzik. Concerning rice in Yang-shao see R.
Heine-Geldern in _Anthropos_, vol. 27, p. 595.

p. 15: Wu Chin-ting defended the local origin of Yang-shao; T.J. Arne,
J.G. Andersson and many others suggested Western influences. Most
recently R. Heine-Geldern elaborated this theory. The allusion to
Indo-Europeans refers to the studies by G. Haloun and others concerning
the Ta-Hsia, the later Yueeh-chih, and the Tocharian problem.

p. 16: R. Heine-Geldern proposed a "Pontic migration". Yin Huan-chang
discussed most recently Lung-shan culture and the mound-dwellers.

p. 17: The original _Chu-shu chi-nien_ version of the stories about Yao
has been accepted here, together with my own research and the studies by
B. Karlgren, M. Loehr, G. Haloun, E.H. Minns and others concerning the
origin and early distribution of bronze and the animal style. Smith
families or tribes are well known from Central Asia, but also from India
and Africa (see W. Ruben, _Eisenschmiede und Daemonen in Indien_, Leiden
1939, for general discussion).--For a discussion of the Hsia see E.

_Chapter Two_

p. 19: The discussion in this chapter relies mainly upon the Anyang
excavation reports and the studies by Tung Tso-pin and, most strongly,
Ch'en Meng-chia. In English, the best work is still H.G. Creel, _The
Birth of China_, London 1936 and his more specialized _Studies in Early
Chinese Culture_, Baltimore 1937.

p. 20: The possibility of a "megalithic" culture in the Far East has
often been discussed, by O. Menghin, R. Heine-Geldern, Cheng Te-k'un,
Ling Shun-sheng and others. Megaliths occur mainly in South-East Asia,
southern China, Korea and Japan.--Teng Ch'u-min and others believe that
silk existed already in the time of Yang-shao.

p. 21: Kuo Mo-jo believes, that the Shang already used a real plough
drawn by animals. The main discussion on ploughs in China is by Hsue
Chung-shu; for general anthropological discussion see E. Werth and H.

p. 22: For the discussion of the T'ao-t'ieh see the research by B.
Karlgren and C. Hentze.

p. 23: I follow here mainly Ch'en Meng-chia, but work by B. Schindler,
C. Hentze, H. Maspero and also my own research has been considered.

p. 24: I am accepting here a narrow definition of feudalism (see my
_Conquerors and Rulers_, Leiden 1952).--The division of armies into
"right" and "left" is interesting in the light of the theories
concerning the importance of systems of orientation (Fr. Rock and

p. 25: Here, the work by W. Koppers, O. Spengler, F. Han[vc]ar, V.G.
Childe and many others, concerning the domestication of the horse and
the introduction of the war-chariot in general, and work by Shih
Chang-ju, Ch'en Meng-chia, O. Maenchen, Uchida Gimpu and others
concerning horses, riding and chariots in China has been used, in
addition to my own research.

p. 26: Concerning the wild animals, I have relied upon Ch'en Meng-chia,
Hsue Chung-shu and Tung Tso-pin.--The discussion as to whether there was
a period of "slave society" (as postulated by Marxist theory) in China,
and when it flourished, is still going on under the leadership of Kuo
Mo-jo and his group. I prefer to differentiate between slaves and serfs,
and relied for factual data upon texts from oracle bones, not upon
historical texts.--The problem of Shang chronology is still not solved,
in spite of extensive work by Liu Ch'ao-yang, Tung Tso-pin and many
Japanese and Western scholars. The old chronology, however, seems to be
rejected by most scholars now.

_Chapter Three_

p. 29: Discussing the early script and language, I refer to the great
number of unidentified Shang characters and, especially, to the
composite characters which have been mentioned often by C. Hentze in his
research; on the other hand, the original language of the Chou may have
been different from classical Chinese, if we can judge from the form of
the names of the earliest Chou ancestors. Problems of substrata
languages enter at this stage. Our first understanding of Chou language
and dialects seems to come through the method applied by P. Serruys,
rather than through the more generally accepted theories and methods of
B. Karlgren and his school.

p. 30: I reject here the statement of classical texts that the last
Shang ruler was unworthy, and accept the new interpretation of Ch'en
Meng-chia which is based upon oracle bone texts,--The most recent
general study on feudalism, and on feudalism in China, is in R.
Coulborn, _Feudalism in History_, Princeton 1956. Stimulating, but in
parts antiquated, is M. Granet, _La Feodalite Chinoise_, Oslo 1952. I
rely here on my own research. The instalment procedure has been
described by H. Maspero and Ch'i Sz[)u]-ho.

p. 31: The interpretation of land-holding and clans follows my own
research which is influenced by Niida Noboru, Kat[=o] Shigeru and other
Japanese scholars, as well as by G. Haloun.--Concerning the origin of
family names see preliminarily Yang Hsi-mei; much further research is
still necessary. The general development of Chinese names is now studied
by Wolfgang Bauer.--The spread of cities in this period has been studied
by Li Chi, _The Formation of the Chinese People_, Cambridge 1928. My
interpretation relies mainly upon a study of the distribution of
non-Chinese tribes and data on early cities coming from excavation
reports (see my "Data on the Structure of the Chinese City" in _Economic
Development and Cultural Change_, 1956, pp. 253-68, and "The Formation
of Chinese Civilization" in _Sociologus_ 7, 1959, pp. 97-112).

p. 32: The work on slaves by T. Pippon, E. Erkes, M. Wilbur, Wan
Kuo-ting, Kuo Mo-jo, Niida Noboru, Kao Nien-chih and others has been
consulted; the interpretation by E.G. Pulleyblank, however, was not

p. 33: This interpretation of the "well-field" system relies in part
upon the work done by Hsue Ti-shan, in part upon M. Granet and H.
Maspero, and attempts to utilize insight from general anthropological
theory and field-work mainly in South-East Asia. Other interpretations
have been proposed by Yang Lien-sheng, Wan Kuo-ting, Ch'i Sz[)u]-ho P.
Demieville, Hu Shih, Chi Ch'ao-ting, K.A. Wittfogel, and others Some
authors, such as Kuo Mo-jo, regard the whole system as an utopia, but
believe in an original "village community".--The characterization of the
_Chou-li_ relies in part upon the work done by Hsue Chung-shu and Ku
Chieh-kang on the titles of nobility, research by Yang K'uan and textual
criticism by B. Karlgren, O. Franke, and again Ku Chieh-kang and his
school.--The discussion on twin cities is intended to draw attention to
its West Asian parallels, the "acropolis" or "ark" city, as well as to
the theories on the difference between Western and Asian cities (M.
Weber) and the specific type of cities in "dual societies" (H. Boeke).

p. 34: This is a modified form of the Hu Shih theory.--The problem of
nomadic agrarian inter-action and conflict has been studied for a later
period mainly by O. Lattimore. Here, general anthropological research as
well as my own have been applied.

p. 36: The supra-stratification theory as developed by R. Thurnwald has
been used as analytic tool here.

p. 38: For this period, a novel interpretation is presented by R.L.
Walker, _The Multi-State System of China_, Hamden 1953. For the concepts
of sovereignty, I have used here the _Chou-li_ text and interpretations
based upon this text.

p. 40: For the introduction of iron and the importance of Ch'i, see Chu
Hsi-tsu, Kuo Mo-jo, Yang K'uan, Sekino, Takeshi.--Some scholars (G.
Haloun) tend to interpret attacks such as the one of 660 B.C. as attacks
from outside the borders of China.

p. 41: For Confucius see H.G. Creel, _Confucius_, New York 1949. I do
not, however, follow his interpretation, but rather the ideas of Hu
Shih, O. Franke and others.

p. 42: For "chuen-tz[)u]" and its counterpart "hsiao-jen" see D. Bodde
and Ch'en Meng-chia.

p 43: I rely strongly here upon O. Franke and Ku Chieh-kang and upon my
own work on eclipses.

p. 44: I regard the Confucian traditions concerning the model emperors
of early time as such a falsification. The whole concept of "abdication"
has been analysed by M. Granet. The later ceremony of abdication was
developed upon the basis of the interpretations of Confucius and has
been studied by Ku Chieh-kang and Miyakawa Hisayuki. Already Confucius'
disciple Meng Tz[)u], and later Chuang Tz[)u] and Han Fei Tz[)u] were
against this theory.--As a general introduction to the philosophy of
this period, Y.L. Feng's _History of Chinese Philosophy_, London 1937
has still to be recommended, although further research has made many
advances.--My analysis of the role of Confucianism in society is
influenced by theories in the field of Sociology of religion.

p. 45: The temple in Turkestan was in Khotan and is already mentioned in
the _Wei-shu_ chapter 102. The analysis of the famous "Book on the
transfiguration of Lao Tz[)u] into a Western Barbarian" by Wang
Wei-cheng is penetrating and has been used here. The evaluation of Lao
Tz[)u] and his pupils as against Confucius by J. Needham, in his
_Science and Civilization in China_, Cambridge 1954 _et seq_. (in volume
2) is very stimulating, though necessarily limited to some aspects only.

p. 47: The concept of _wu-wei_ has often been discussed; some, such as
Masaaki Matsumoto, interpreted the concept purely in social terms as
"refusal of actions carrying worldly estimation".

p. 49 Further literature concerning alchemy and breathing exercises is
found in J. Needham's book.

_Chapter Four_

p. 51: I have used here the general framework of R.L. Walker, but more
upon Yang K'uan's studies.

p. 52: The interpretation of the change of myths in this period is based
in part upon the work done by H. Maspero, G. Haloun, and Ku Chieh-kang.
The analysis of legends made by B. Karlgren from a philological point of
view ("Legends and Cults in Ancient China", _The Museum of Far Eastern
Antiquities, Bulletin_ No. 18, 1946, pp. 199-365) follows another

p. 53: The discussion on riding involves the theories concerning
horse-nomadic tribes and the period of this way of life. It also
involves the problem of the invention of stirrup and saddle. The saddle
seems to have been used in China already at the beginning of our period;
the stirrup seems to be as late as the fifth century A.D. The article by
A. Kroeber, _The Ancient Oikumene as an Historic Culture Aggregate_,
Huxley Memorial Lecture for 1945, is very instructive for our problems
and also for its theoretical approach.--The custom of attracting
settlers from other areas in order to have more production as well as
more manpower seems to have been known in India at the same time.

p. 54: The work done by Kat[=o] Shigeru and Niida Noboru on property and
family has been used here. For the later period, work done by Makino
Tatsumi has also been incorporated.--Literature on the plough and on
iron for implements has been mentioned above. Concerning the fallow
system, I have incorporated the ideas of Kat[=o] Shigeru, [=O]shima
Toshikaza, Hsue Ti-shan and Wan Kuo-ting. Hsue Ti-shan believes that a
kind of 3-field system had developed by this time. Traces of such a
system have been observed in modern China (H.D. Scholz). For these
questions, the translation by N. Lee Swann, _Food and Money in Ancient
China_, 1959 is very important.

p. 55: For all questions of money and credit from this period down to
modern times, the best brief introduction is by Lien-sheng Yang, _Money
and Credit in China_, Cambridge 1952. The _Introduction to the Economic
History of China_, London 1954, by E. Stuart Kirby is certainly still
the best brief introduction into all problems of Chinese Economic
history and contains a bibliography in Western and Chinese-Japanese
languages. Articles by Chinese authors on economic problems have been
translated in E-tu Zen Sun and J. de Francis, _Chinese Social History_,
Washington 1956.--Data on the size of early cities have been collected
by T. Sekino and Kat[=o] Shigeru.

p. 56: T. Sekino studied the forms of cities. C. Hentze believes that
the city even in the Shang period normally had a square plan.--T. Sekino
has also made the first research on city coins. Such a privilege and
such independence of cities disappear later, but occasionally the
privilege of minting was given to persons of high rank.--K.A. Wittfogel,
_Oriental Despotism_, New Haven 1957 regards irrigation as a key
economic and social factor and has built up his theory around this
concept. I do not accept his theory here or later. Evidence seems to
point towards the importance of transportation systems rather than of
government-sponsored or operated irrigation systems.--Concerning steel,
we follow Yang K'uan; a special study by J. Needham is under
preparation. Centre of steel production at this time was Wan (later
Nanyang in Honan).--For early Chinese law, the study by A.F.P. Hulsewe,
_Remnants of Han Law_, Leiden 1955 is the best work in English. He does
not, however, regard Li K'ui as the main creator of Chinese law, though
Kuo Mo-jo and others do. It is obvious, however, that Han law was not a
creation of the Han Chinese alone and that some type of code must have
existed before Han, even if such a code was not written by the man Li
K'ui. A special study on Li was made by O. Franke.

p. 57: In the description of border conditions, research by O. Lattimore
has been taken into consideration.

p. 59: For Shang Yang and this whole period, the classical work in
English is still J.J.L. Duyvendak, _The Book of Lord Shang_, London
1928; the translation by Ma Perleberg of _The Works of Kung-sun
Lung-tzu_, Hongkong 1952 as well as the translation of the _Economic
Dialogues in Ancient China: The Kuan-tzu_, edited by L. Maverick, New
Haven 1954 have not found general approval, but may serve as
introductions to the way philosophers of our period worked. Han Fei
Tz[)u]; has been translated by W.K. Liao, _The Complete Works of Han Fei
Tz[)u]_, London 1939 (only part 1).

p. 60: Needham does not have such a positive attitude towards Tsou Yen,
and regards Western influences upon Tsou Yen as not too likely. The
discussion on pp. 60-1 follows mainly my own researches.

p. 61: The interpretation of secret societies is influenced by general
sociological theory and detailed reports on later secret societies. S.
Murayama and most modern Chinese scholars stress almost solely the
social element in the so-called "peasant rebellions".

_Chapter Five_

p. 63: The analysis of the emergence of Ch'in bureaucracy has profited
from general sociological theory, especially M. Weber (see the new
analysis by R. Bendix, _Max Weber, an Intellectual Portrait_, Garden
City 1960, p. 117-157). Early administration systems of this type in
China have been studied in several articles in the journal _Yue-kung_
(vol. 6 and 7).

p. 65: In the discussion of language, I use arguments which have been
brought forth by P. Serruys against the previously generally accepted
theories of B. Karlgren.--For weights and measures I have referred to T.
Sekino, Liu Fu and Wu Ch'eng-lo.

p. 66: For this period, D. Bodde's _China's First Unifier_, Leiden 1938
and his _Statesman, Patriot, and General in Ancient China_, New Haven
1940 remain valuable studies.

_Chapter Six_

p. 71: The basic historical text for this whole period, the _Dynastic
History of the Han Dynasty_, is now in part available in English
translation (H.H. Dubs, _The History of the Former Han Dynasty_,
Baltimore 1938, 3 volumes).

p. 72: The description of the gentry is based upon my own research.
Other scholars define the word "gentry", if applied to China,
differently (some of the relevant studies are discussed in my note in
the _Bull. School of Orient. & African Studies_, 1955, p. 373 f.).

p. 73: The theory of the cycle of mobility has been brought forth by Fr.
L.K. Hsu and others. I have based my criticism upon a forthcoming study
of _Social Mobility in Traditional Chinese Society_. The basic point is
not the momentary economic or political power of such a family, but the
social status of the family (_Li-shih yen-chiu_, Peking 1955, No. 4, p.
122). The social status was, increasingly, defined and fixed by law
(Ch'ue T'ung-tsu).--The difference in the size of gentry and other
families has been pointed out by a number of scholars such as Fr. L.K.
Hsu, H.T. Fei, O. Lang. My own research seems to indicate that gentry
families, on the average, married earlier than other families.

p. 74: The Han system of examinations or rather of selection has been
studied by Yang Lien-sheng; and analysis of the social origin of
candidates has been made in the _Bull. Chinese Studies_, vol. 2, 1941,
and 3, 1942.--The meaning of the term "Hundred Families" has been
discussed by W. Eichhorn, Kuo Mo-jo, Ch'en Meng-chia and especially by
Hsue T'ung-hsin. It was later also a fiscal term.

p. 75: The analysis of Hsiung-nu society is based mainly upon my own
research. There is no satisfactory history of these northern federations
available in English. The compilation of W.M. MacGovern, _The Early
Empires of Central Asia_, Chapel Hill 1939, is now quite antiquated.--An
attempt to construct a model of Central Asian nomadic social structure
has been made by E.E. Bacon, _Obok, a Study of Social Structure in
Eurasia_, New York 1958, but the model constructed by B. Vladimirtsov
and modified by O. Lattimore remains valuable.--For origin and
early-development of Hsiung-nu society see O. Maenchen, K. Jettmar, B.
Bernstam, Uchida Gimpu and many others.

p. 79: Material on the "classes" (_sz[)u] min_) will be found in a
forthcoming book. Studies by Ch'ue T'ung-tsu and Tamai Korehiro are
important here. An up-to-date history of Chinese education is still a

p. 80: For Tung Chung-shu, I rely mainly upon O. Franke.--Some scholars
do not accept this "double standard", although we have clear texts which
show that cases were evaluated on the basis of Confucian texts and not
on the basis of laws. In fact, local judges probably only in exceptional
cases knew the text of the law or had the code. They judged on the basis
of "customary law".

p. 81: Based mainly upon my own research. K.A. Wittfogel, _Oriental
Despotism_, New Haven 1957, has a different interpretation.

p. 82: Cases in which the Han emperors disregarded the law code were
studied by Y. Hisamura.--I have used here studies published in the
_Bull, of Chinese Studies_, vol. 2 and 3 and in _Toyo gakuho_,
vol. 8 and 9, in addition to my own research.

p. 85: On local administration see Kat[=o] Shigeru and Yen Keng-wang's

p. 86: The problem of the Chinese gold, which will be touched upon later
again, has gained theoretical interest, because it could be used as a
test of M. Lombard's theories concerning the importance of gold in the
West (_Annales, Economies, Societes, Civilisations_, vol. 12, Paris
1957, No. 1, p. 7-28). It was used in China from c. 600 B.C. on in form
of coins or bars, but disappeared almost completely from A.D. 200 on,
i.e. the period of economic decline (see L.S. Yang, Kat[=o]
Shigeru).--The payment to border tribes occurs many times again in
Chinese history down to recent times; it has its parallel in British
payments to tribes in the North-West Frontier Province in India which
continued even after the Independence.

p. 88: According to later sources, one third of the tributary gifts was
used in the Imperial ancestor temples, one third in the Imperial
mausolea, but one third was used as gifts to guests of the Emperor.--The
trade aspect of the tributes was first pointed but by E. Parker, later
by O. Lattimore, recently by J.K. Fairbank.--The importance of Chang
Ch'ien for East-West contacts was systematically studied by B. Laufer;
his _Sino-Iranica_, Chicago 1919 is still a classic.

p. 89: The most important trait which points to foreign trade, is the
occurrence of glass in Chinese tombs in Indo-China and of glass in China
proper from the fifth century B.C. on; it is assumed that this glass was
imported from the Near East, possibly from Egypt (O. Janse, N. Egami,

p. 91: Large parts of the "Discussions" have been translated by Esson M.
Gale, _Discourses on Salt and Iron_, Leiden 1931; the continuation of
this translation is in _Jour. Royal As. Society, North-China Branch_
1934.--The history of eunuchs in China remains to be written. They were
known since at least the seventh century B.C. The hypothesis has been
made that this custom had its origin in Asia Minor and spread from there
(R.F. Spencer in _Ciba Symposia_, vol. 8, No. 7, 1946 with references).

p. 92: The main source on Wang Mang is translated by C.B. Sargent, _Wang
Mang, a translation_, Shanghai 1950 and H.H. Dubs, _History of the
Former Han Dynasty_, vol, 3, Baltimore 1955.

p. 93: This evaluation of the "Old character school" is not generally
accepted. A quite different view is represented by Tjan Tjoe Som and
R.P. Kramers and others who regard the differences between the schools
as of a philological and not a political kind. I follow here most
strongly the Chinese school as represented by Ku Chieh-kang and his
friends, and my own studies.

p. 93: Falsification of texts refers to changes in the Tso-chuan. My
interpretation relies again upon Ku Chieh-kang, and Japanese
astronomical studies (Ijima Tadao), but others, too, admit
falsifications (H.H. Dubs); B. Karlgren and others regard the book as in
its main body genuine. The other text mentioned here is the _Chou-li_
which is certainly not written by Wang Mang (_Jung-chai Hsue-pi_ 16), but
heavily mis-used by him (in general see S. Uno).

p. 94: I am influenced here by some of H.H. Dubs's studies. For this and
the following period, the work by H. Bielenstein, _The Restoration of
the Han Dynasty_, Stockholm 1953 and 1959 is the best monograph.--The
"equalization offices" and their influence upon modern United States has
been studied by B. Bodde in the _Far Eastern Quarterly_, vol. 5, 1946.

p. 95: H. Bielenstein regards a great flood as one of the main reasons
for the breakdown of Wang Mang's rule.

p. 98: For the understanding of Chinese military colonies in Central
Asia as well as for the understanding of military organization, civil
administration and business, the studies of Lao Kan on texts excavated
in Central Asia and Kansu are of greatest importance.

p. 101: Mazdaistic elements in this rebellion have been mentioned mainly
by H.H. Dubs. Zoroastrism (Zoroaster born 569 B.C.) and Mazdaism were
eminently "political" religions from their very beginning on. Most
scholars admit the presence of Mazdaism in China only from 519 on
(Ishida Mikinosuke, O. Franke). Dubs's theory can be strengthened by
astronomical material.--The basic religious text of this group, the
"Book of the Great Peace" has been studied by W. Eichhorn Maspero
and Ho Ch'ang-ch'uen.

p. 102: For the "church" I rely mainly upon H. Maspero and W. Eichhorn.

p. 103: I use here concepts developed by Cheng Chen-to and especially by
Jung Chao-tsu.

p. 104: Wang Ch'ung's importance has recently been mentioned again by J.

p. 105: These "court poets" have their direct parallel in Western Asia.
This trend, however, did not become typical in China.--On the general
history of paper read A. Kroeber, _Anthropology_, New York 1948, p.
490f., and Dard Hunter, _Paper Making_, New York 1947 (2nd ed.).

_Chapter Seven_

p. 109: The main historical sources for this period have been translated
by Achilles Fang, _The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms_, Cambridge,
Mass. 1952; the epic which describes this time is C.H. Brewitt-Taylor,
_San Kuo, or Romance of the Three Kingdoms_, Shanghai 1925.

p. 112: For problems of migration and settlement in the South, we relied
in part upon research by Ch'en Yuean and Wang Yi-t'ung.

p. 114: For the history of the Hsiung-nu I am relying mainly upon my own

p. 117: This analysis of tribal structure is based mainly upon my own
research; it differs in detail from the studies by E. Bacon, _Obok, a
Study of Social Structure in Eurasia_, New York 1958, B. Vladimirtsov,
O. Lattimore's _Inner Asian Frontiers of China_, New York 1951 (2nd
edit.) and the studies by L.M.J. Schram, _The Monguors of the
Kansu-Tibetan Frontier_, Philadelphia 1954 and 1957.

p. 118: The use of the word "Huns" does not imply that we identify the
early or the late Hsiung-nu with the European Huns. This question is
still very much under discussion (O. Maenchen, W. Haussig, W. Henning,
and others).

p. 119: For the history of the early Hsien-pi states see the monograph
by G. Schreiber, "The History of the Former Yen Dynasty", in _Monomenta
Serica_, vol. 14 and 15 (1949-56). For all translations from Chinese
Dynastic Histories of the period between 220 and 960 the _Catalogue of
Translations from the Chinese Dynastic Histories for the Period
220-960_, by Hans H. Frankel, Berkeley 1957, is a reliable guide.

p. 125: For the description of conditions in Turkestan, especially in
Tunhuang, I rely upon my own studies, but studies by A. von Gabein, L.
Ligeti, J.R. Ware, O. Franke and Tsukamoto Zenryu have been used, too.

p. 133: These songs have first been studied by Hu Shih, later by Chinese

p. 134: For problems of Chinese Buddhism see Arthur F. Wright, _Buddhism
in Chinese History_, Stanford 1959, with further bibliography. I have
used for this and later periods, in addition to my own sociological
studies, R. Michihata, J. Gernet, and Tamai Korehiro.--It is interesting
that the rise of landowning temples in India occurred at exactly the
same time (R.S. Sharma in _Journ. Econ. and Soc. Hist. Orient_, vol. 1,
1958, p. 316). Perhaps even more interesting, but still unstudied, is
the existence of Buddhist temples in India which owned land and villages
which were donated by contributions from China.--For the use of foreign
monks in Chinese bureaucracies, I have used M. Weber's theory as an
interpretative tool.

p. 135: The important deities of Khotan Buddhism are Vai['s]ramana and
Kubera, (research by P. Demieville, R. Stein and others).--Where, how,
and why Hinayana and Mahayana developed as separate sects, is not yet
studied. Also, a sociological analysis of the different Buddhist sects
in China has not even been attempted yet.

p. 136: Such public religious disputations were known also in India.

p. 137: Analysis of the tribal names has been made by L. Bazin.

pp. 138-9: The personality type which was the ideal of the Toba
corresponded closely to the type described by G. Geesemann, _Heroische
Lebensform_, Berlin 1943.

p. 142: The Toba occur in contemporary Western sources as Tabar, Tabgac,
Tafkac and similar names. The ethnic name also occurs as a title (O.
Pritsak, P. Pelliot, W. Haussig and others).--On the _chuen-t'ien_ system
cf. the article by Wan Kuo-ting in E-tu Zen Sun, _Chinese Social
History_, Washington 1956, p. 157-184. I also used Yoshimi Matsumoto and
T'ang Ch'ang-ju.--Census fragments from Tunhuang have been published by
L. Giles, Niida Noboru and other Japanese scholars.

p. 143: On slaves for the earlier time see M. Wilbur, _Slavery in China
during the Former Han Dynasty_, Chicago 1943. For our period Wang
Yi-t'ung and especially Niida Noboru and Ch'ue T'ung-tsu. I used for this
discussion Niida, Ch'ue and Tamai Korehiro.--For the _pu-ch'ue_ I used in
addition Yang Chung-i, H. Maspero, E. Balazs, W. Eichhorn. Yang's
article is translated in E-tu Zen Sun's book, _Chinese Social History_,
pp. 142-56.--The question of slaves and their importance in Chinese
society has always been given much attention by Chinese Communist
authors. I believe that a clear distinction between slaves and serfs is
very important.

p. 145: The political use of Buddhism has been asserted for Japan as
well as for Korea and Tibet (H. Hoffmann, _Quellen zur Geschichte der
tibetischen Bon-Religion_, Mainz 1950, p. 220 f.). A case could be made
for Burma. In China, Buddhism was later again used as a tool by rulers
(see below).

p. 146: The first text in which such problems of state versus church are
mentioned is Mou Tz[)u] (P. Pelliot transl.). More recently, some of the
problems have been studied by R. Michihata and E. Zuercher. Michihata
also studied the temple slaves. Temple families were slightly different.
They have been studied mainly by R. Michihata, J. Gernet and Wang
Yi-t'ung. The information on T'an-yao is mainly in _Wei-shu_ 114
(transl. J. Ware).--The best work on Yuen-kang is now Seiichi Mizuno and
Toshio Nagahiro, _Yuen-kang. The Buddhist Cave-Temples of the Fifth
Century A.D. in North China_, Kyoto 1951-6, thus far 16 volumes. For
Chinese Buddhist art, the work by Tokiwa Daijo and Sekino Tadashi,
_Chinese Buddhist Monuments_, Tokyo 1926-38, 5 volumes, is most
profusely illustrated.--As a general reader for the whole of Chinese
art, Alexander Soper and L. Sickman's _The Art and Architecture of
China_, Baltimore 1956 may be consulted.

p, 147: Zenryu Tsukamoto has analysed one such popular, revolutionary
Buddhist text from the fifth century A.D. I rely here for the whole
chapter mainly upon my own research.

p. 150: On the Ephtalites (or Hephtalites) see R. Ghirshman and
Enoki.--The carpet ceremony has been studied by P. Boodberg, and in a
comparative way by L. Olschki, _The Myth of Felt_, Berkeley 1949.

p. 151: For Yang Chien and his time see now A.F. Wright, "The Formation
of Sui Ideology" in John K. Fairbank, _Chinese Thought and
Institutions_, Chicago 1957, pp. 71-104.

p. 153: The processes described here, have not yet been thoroughly
analysed. A preliminary review of literature is given by H. Wiens,
_China's March towards the Tropics_, Hamden 1954. I used Ch'en Yuean,
Wang Yi-t'ung and my own research.

p. 154: It is interesting to compare such hunting parks with the
"_paradeisos"_ (Paradise) of the Near East and with the "Garden of
Eden".--Most of the data on gardens and manors have been brought
together and studied by Japanese scholars, especially by Kat[=o]
Shigeru, some also by Ho Tzu-ch'uean.--The disappearance of "village
commons" in China should be compared with the same process in Europe;
both processes, however, developed quite differently. The origin of
manors and their importance for the social structure of the Far East
(China as well as Japan) is the subject of many studies in Japan and in
modern China. This problem is connected with the general problem of
feudalism East and West. The manor (_chuang_: Japanese _sho_) in later
periods has been studied by Y. Sudo. H. Maspero also devotes attention
to this problem. Much more research remains to be done.

p. 158: This popular rebellion by Sun En has been studied by W.

p. 163: On foreign music in China see L.C. Goodrich and Ch'ue T'ung-tsu,
H.G. Farmer, S. Kishibe and others.--Niida Noboru pointed out that
musicians belonged to one of the lower social classes, but had special
privileges because of their close relations to the rulers.

p. 164: Meditative or _Ch'an_ (Japanese: _Zen_) Buddhism in this period
has been studied by Hu Shih, but further analysis is necessary.--The
philosophical trends of this period have been analysed by E.
Balazs.--Mention should also be made of the aesthetic-philosophical
conversation which was fashionable in the third century, but in other
form still occurred in our period, the so-called "pure talk"
(_ch'ing-t'an_) (E. Balazs, H. Wilhelm and others).

_Chapter Eight_

p. 167: For genealogies and rules of giving names, I use my own research
and the study by W. Bauer.

p. 168: For Emperor Wen Ti, I rely mainly upon A.F. Wright's
above-mentioned article, but also upon O. Franke.

p. 169: The relevant texts concerning the T'u-chueeh are available in
French (E. Chavannes) and recently also in German translation (Liu
Mau-tsai, _Die chinesischen Nachrichten zur Geschichte der Ost-T[vu]rken_,
Wiesbaden 1958, 2 vol.).--The Toeloes are called T'e-lo in Chinese
sources; the T'u-yue-hun are called Aza in Central Asian sources (P.
Pelliot, A. Minorsky, F.W. Thomas, L. Hambis, _et al_.). The most
important text concerning the T'u-yue-hun had been translated by Th. D.
Caroll, _Account of the T'u-yue-hun in the History of the Chin Dynasty_,
Berkeley 1953.

p. 171: The transcription of names on this and on the other maps could
not be adjusted to the transcription of the text for technical reasons.

p. 172: It is possible that I have underestimated the role of Li Yuean. I
relied here mainly upon O. Franke and upon W. Bingham's _The Founding of
the T'ang Dynasty_, Baltimore 1941.

p. 173: The best comprehensive study of T'ang economy in a Western
language is still E. Balazs's work. I relied, however, strongly upon Wan
Kuo-ting, Yang Chung-i, Kat[=o] Shigeru, J. Gernet, T. Naba, Niida
Noboru, Yoshimi Matsumoto.

pp. 173-4: For the description of the administration I used my own
studies and the work of R. des Rotours; for the military organization I
used Kikuchi Hideo. A real study of Chinese army organization and
strategy does not yet exist. The best detailed study, but for the Han
period, is written by H. Maspero.

p. 174: For the first occurrence of the title _tu-tu_ we used W.
Eichhorn; in the form _tutuq_ the title occurs since 646 in Central Asia
(J. Hamilton).

p. 177: The name T'u-fan seems to be a transcription of Tuepoet which,
in turn, became our Tibet. (J. Hamilton).--The Uighurs are the Hui-ho or
Hui-hu of Chinese sources.

p. 179: On relations with Central Asia and the West see Ho Chien-min and
Hsiang Ta, whose classical studies on Ch'ang-an city life have recently
been strongly criticized by Chinese scholars.--Some authors (J.K.
Rideout) point to the growing influence of eunuchs in this period.--The
sources paint the pictures of the Empress Wu in very dark colours. A
more detailed study of this period seems to be necessary.

p. 180: The best study of "family privileges" (_yin_) in general is by
E.A. Kracke, _Civil Service in Early Sung China_, Cambridge, Mass. 1953.

p. 180-1: The economic importance of organized Buddhism has been studied
by many authors, especially J. Gernet, Yang Lien-sheng, Ch'uean
Han-sheng, K. Tamai and R. Michihata.

p. 182: The best comprehensive study on T'ang prose in English is still
E.D. Edwards, _Chinese Prose Literature of the T'ang Period_, London
1937-8, 2 vol. On Li T'ai-po and Po Chue-i we have well-written books by
A. Waley, _The Poetry and Career of Li Po_, London 1951 and _The Life
and Times of Po Chue-i_, London 1950.--On the "free poem" (_tz[)u]_),
which technically is not a free poem, see A. Hoffmann and Hu Shih. For
the early Chinese theatre, the classical study is still Wang Kuo-wei's
analysis, but there is an almost unbelievable number of studies
constantly written in China and Japan, especially on the later theatre
and drama.

p. 184: Conditions at the court of Hsuean Tsung and the life of Yang
Kui-fei have been studied by Howard Levy and others, An Lu-shan's
importance mainly by E.G. Pulleyblank, _The Background of the Rebellion
of An Lu-shan_, London 1955.

p. 187: The tax reform of Yang Yen has been studied by K. Hino; the most
important figures in T'ang economic history are Liu Yen (studied by Chue
Ch'ing-yuean) and Lu Chih (754-805; studied by E. Balazs and others).

pp. 187-8: The conditions at the time of this persecution are well
described by E.O. Reischauer, _Ennin's Travels in T'ang China_, New York
1955, on the basis of his _Ennin's Diary. The Record of a Pilgrimage to
China_, New York 1955. The persecution of Buddhism has been analysed in
its economic character by Niida Noboru and other Japanese
scholars.--Metal statues had to be delivered to the Salt and Iron Office
in order to be converted into cash; iron statues were collected by local
offices for the production of agricultural implements; figures in gold,
silver or other rare materials were to be handed over to the Finance
Office. Figures made of stone, clay or wood were not affected

p. 189: It seems important to note that popular movements are often not
led by simple farmers of members of the lower classes. There are other
salt merchants and persons of similar status known as leaders.

p. 190: For the Sha-t'o, I am relying upon my own research. Tatars are
the Ta-tan of the Chinese sources. The term is here used in a narrow

_Chapter Nine_

p. 195: Many Chinese and Japanese authors have a new period begin with
the early (Ch'ien Mu) or the late tenth century (T'ao Hsi-sheng, Li
Chien-nung), while others prefer a cut already in the Middle of the
T'ang Dynasty (Teng Ch'u-min, Naito Torajiro). For many Marxists, the
period which we called "Modern Times" is at best a sub-period within a
larger period which really started with what we called "Medieval China".

p. 196: For the change in the composition of the gentry, I am using my
own research.--For clan rules, clan foundations, etc., I used D.C.
Twitchett, J. Fischer, Hu Hsien-chin, Ch'ue T'ung-tsu, Niida Noboru and
T. Makino. The best analysis of the clan rules is by Wang Hui-chen in
D.S. Nivison, _Confucianism in Action_, Stanford 1959, p. 63-96.--I do
not regard such marriage systems as "survivals" of ancient systems which
have been studied by M. Granet and systematically analysed by C.
Levy-Strauss in his _Les structures elementaires de la parente_, Paris
1949, pp. 381-443. In some cases, the reasons for the establishment of
such rules can still be recognized.--A detailed study of despotism in
China still has to be written. K.A. Wittfogel's _Oriental Despotism_,
New Haven 1957 does not go into the necessary detailed work.

p. 197: The problem of social mobility is now under study, after
preliminary research by K.A. Wittfogel, E. Kracke, myself and others. E.
Kracke, Ho Ping-ti, R.M. Marsh and I are now working on this topic.--For
the craftsmen and artisans, much material has recently been collected by
Chinese scholars. I have used mainly Li Chien-nung and articles in
_Li-shih yen-chiu_ 1955, No. 3 and in _Mem. Inst. Orient. Cult_.
1956.--On the origin of guilds see Kat[=o] Shigeru; a general study of
guilds and their function has not yet been made (preliminary work by P.
Maybon, H.B. Morse, J. St. Burgess, K.A. Wittfogel and others).
Comparisons with Near-Eastern guilds on the one hand and with Japanese
guilds on the other, are quite interesting but parallels should not be
over-estimated. The _tong_ of U.S. Chinatowns (_tang_ in Mandarin) are
late and organizations of businessmen only (S. Yokoyama and Laai
Yi-faai). They are not the same as the _hui-kuan_.

p. 198: For the merchants I used Ch'ue T'ung-tsu, Sung Hsi and Wada
Kiyoshi.--For trade, I used extensively Ch'uean Han-sheng and J.
Kuwabara.--On labour legislation in early modern times I used Ko
Ch'ang-chi and especially Li Chien-nung, also my own studies.--On
strikes I used Kat[=o] Shigeru and modern Chinese authors.--The problem
of "vagrants" has been taken up by Li Chien-nung who always refers to
the original sources and to modern Chinese research.--The growth of
cities, perhaps the most striking event in this period, has been studied
for the earlier part of our period by Kat[=o] Shigeru. Li Chien-nung
also deals extensively with investments in industry and agriculture. The
problem as to whether China would have developed into an industrial
society without outside stimulus is much discussed by Marxist authors in

p. 199: On money policy see Yang Lien-sheng, Kat[=o] Shigeru and others.

p. 200: The history of one of the Southern Dynasties has been translated
by Ed. H. Schafer, _The Empire of Min_, Tokyo 1954; Schafer's
annotations provide much detail for the cultural and economic conditions
of the coastal area.--For tea and its history, I use my own research;
for tea trade a study by K. Kawakami and an article in the _Frontier
Studies_, vol. 3, 1943.--Salt consumption according to H.T. Fei,
_Earthbound China, 1945, p_. 163.

p. 201: For salt I used largely my own research. For porcelain
production Li Chien-nung and other modern articles.--On paper, the
classical study is Th. F. Carter, _The Invention of Printing in China_,
New York 1925 (a revised edition now published by L.C. Goodrich).

p. 202: For paper money in the early period, see Yang Lien-sheng, _Money
and Credit in China_, Cambridge, Mass., 1952. Although the origin of
paper money seems to be well established, it is interesting to note that
already in the third century A.D. money made of paper was produced and
was burned during funeral ceremonies to serve as financial help for the
dead. This money was, however, in the form of coins.--On iron money see
Yang Lien-sheng; I also used an article in _Tung-fang tsa-chih_, vol.
35, No. 10.

p. 203: For the Kitan (Chines: Ch'i-tan) and their history see K.A.
Wittfogel and Feng Chia-sheng, _History of Chinese Society. Liao_,
Philadelphia 1949.

p. 204: For these dynasties, I rely upon my own research.--Niida Noboru
and Kat[=o] Shigeru have studied adoption laws; our specific case has in
addition been studied by M. Kurihara. This system of adoptions is
non-Chinese and has its parallels among Turkish tribes (A. Kollantz,
Abdulkadir Inan, Osman Turan).

p. 207: For the persecution I used K. Tamai and my own research.

p. 211: This is based mainly upon my own research.--The remark on tax
income is from Ch'uean Han-sheng.

p. 212: Fan Chung-yen has been studied recently by J. Fischer and D.
Twitchett, but these notes on price policies are based upon my own
work.--I regard the statement, that it was the gentry which prevented
the growth of an industrial society--a statement which has often been
made before--as preliminary, and believe that further research,
especially in the growth of cities and urban institutions may lead to
quite different explanations.--On estate management I relied on Y.
Sudo's work.

p. 213: Research on place names such as mentioned here, has not yet been
systematically done.--On _i-chuang_ I relied upon the work by T. Makino
and D. Twitchett.--This process of tax-evasion has been used by K.A.
Wittfogel (1938) to construct a theory of a crisis cycle in China. I do
not think that such far-reaching conclusions are warranted.

p. 214: This "law" was developed on the basis of Chinese materials from
different periods as well as on materials from other parts of Asia.--In
the study of tenancy, cases should be studied in which wealthier farmers
rent additional land which gets cultivated by farm labourers. Such cases
are well known from recent periods, but have not yet been studied in
earlier periods. At the same time, the problem of farm labourers should
be investigated. Such people were common in the Sung time. Research
along these lines could further clarify the importance of the so-called
"guest families" (_k'o-hu_) which were alluded to in these pages. They
constituted often one third of the total population in the Sung period.
The problem of migration and mobility might also be clarified by
studying the _k'o-hu_.

p. 215: For Wang An-shih, the most comprehensive work is still H.
Williamson's _Wang An-shih_, London 1935, 3 vol., but this work in no
way exhausts the problems. We have so much personal data on Wang that a
psychological study could be attempted; and we have since Williamson's
time much deeper insight into the reforms and theories of Wang. I used,
in addition to Williamson, O. Franke, and my own research.

p. 216: Based mainly upon Ch'ue T'ung-tsu.--For the social legislation
see Hsue I-t'ang; for economic problems I used Ch'uean Han-sheng, Ts'en
Chung-mien and Liu Ming-shu.--Most of these relief measures had their
precursors in the T'ang period.

p. 217: It is interesting to note that later Buddhism gave up its
"social gospel" in China. Buddhist circles in Asian countries at the
present time attempt to revive this attitude.

p. 218: For slaughtering I used A. Hulsewe; for greeting R. Michihata;
on law Ch'ue T'ung-tsu; on philosophy I adapted ideas from Chan Wing-sit.

p. 219: A comprehensive study of Chu Hsi is a great desideratum. Thus
far, we have in English mainly the essays by Feng Yu-lan (transl. and
annotated by D. Bodde) in the _Harvard Journal of Asiat. Stud_., vol. 7,
1942. T. Makino emphasized Chu's influence upon the Far East, J. Needham
his interest in science.

p. 220: For Su Tung-p'o as general introduction see Lin Yutang, _The Gay
Genius. The Life and Times of Su Tung-p'o_, New York 1947.--For
painting, I am using concepts of A. Soper here.

p. 222: For this period the standard work is K.A. Wittfogel and Feng
Chia-sheng, _History of Chinese Society, Liao_, Philadelphia
1949.--Po-hai had been in tributary relations with the dynasties of
North China before its defeat, and resumed these from 932 on; there were
even relations with one of the South Chinese states; in the same way,
Kao-li continuously played one state against the other (M. Rogers _et

p. 223: On the Kara-Kitai see Appendix to Wittfogel-Feng.

p. 228: For the Hakka, I relied mainly upon Lo Hsiang-lin; for Chia
Ssu-tao upon H. Franke.

p. 229: The Juchen (Jurchen) are also called Nue-chih and Nue-chen, but
Juchen seems to be correct (_Studia Serica_, vol. 3, No. 2).

_Chapter Ten_

p. 233: I use here mainly Meng Ssu-liang, but also others, such as Chue
Ch'ing-yuean and Li Chien-nung.--The early political developments are
described by H.D. Martin, _The Rise of Chingis Khan and his Conquest of
North China_, Baltimore 1950.

p. 236: I am alluding here to such Taoist sects as the Cheng-i-chiao
(Sun K'o-k'uan and especially the study in _Kita Aziya gakuh[=o]_, vol. 2).

pp. 236-7: For taxation and all other economic questions I have relied
upon Wan Kuo-ting and especially upon H. Franke. The first part of the
main economic text is translated and annotated by H.F. Schurmann,
_Economic Structure of the Yuean Dynasty_, Cambridge, Mass., 1956.

p. 237: On migrations see T. Makino and others.--For the system of
communications during the Mongol time and the privileges of merchants, I
used P. Olbricht.

p. 238: For the popular rebellions of this time, I used a study in the
_Bull. Acad. Sinica_, vol. 10, 1948, but also Meng Ssu-liang and others.

p. 239: On the White Lotus Society (Pai-lien-hui) see note to previous
page and an article by Hagiwara Jumpei.

p. 240: H. Serruys, _The Mongols in China during the Hung-wu Period_,
Bruges 1959, has studied in this book and in an article the fate of
isolated Mongol groups in China after the breakdown of the dynasty.

pp. 241-2: The travel report of Ch'ang-ch'un has been translated by A.
Waley, _The Travels of an Alchemist_, London 1931.

p. 242: _Hsi-hsiang-chi_ has been translated by S.I. Hsiung. _The
Romance of the Western Chamber_, London 1935. All important analytic
literature on drama and theatre is written by Chinese and Japanese
authors, especially by Yoshikawa Kojiro.--For Bon and early Lamaism, I
used H. Hoffmann.

p. 243: Lamaism in Mongolia disappeared later, however, and was
reintroduced in the reformed form (Tsong-kha-pa, 1358-1419) in the
sixteenth century. See R.J. Miller, _Monasteries and Culture Change in
Inner Mongolia_, Wiesbaden 1959.

p. 245: Much more research is necessary to clarify Japanese-Chinese
relations in this period, especially to determine the size of trade.
Good material is in the article by S. Iwao. Important is also S. Sakuma
and an article in _Li-shih yen-chiu_ 1955, No. 3. For the loss of coins,
I relied upon D. Brown.

p. 246: The necessity of transports of grain and salt was one of the
reasons for the emergence of the Hsin-an and Hui-chou merchants. The
importance of these developments is only partially known (studies mainly
by H. Fujii and in _Li-shih-yen-chiu_ 1955, No. 3). Data are also in an
unpublished thesis by Ch. Mac Sherry, _The Impairment of the Ming
Tributary System_, and in an article by Wang Ch'ung-wu.

p. 247: The tax system of the Ming has been studied among others by
Liang Fang-chung. Yoshiyuki Suto analysed the methods of tax evasion in
the periods before the reform. For the land grants, I used Wan
Kuo-ting's data.

p. 248: Based mainly upon my own research. On the progress of
agriculture wrote Li Chien-nung and also Kat[=o] Shigeru and others.

p. 250: I believe that further research would discover that the
"agrarian revolution" was a key factor in the economic and social
development of China. It probably led to another change in dietary
habits; it certainly led to a greater labour input per person, i.e. a
higher number of full working days per year than before. It may be--but
only further research can try to show this--that the "agrarian
revolution" turned China away from technology and industry.--On cotton
and its importance see the studies by M. Amano, and some preliminary
remarks by P. Pelliot.

pp. 250-1: Detailed study of Central Chinese urban centres in this time
is a great desideratum. My remarks here have to be taken as very
preliminary. Notice the special character of the industries
mentioned!--The porcelain centre of Ching-te-chen was inhabited by
workers and merchants (70-80 per cent of population); there were more
than 200 private kilns.--On indented labour see Li Chien-nung, H. Iwami
and Y. Yamane.

p. 253: On _pien-wen_ I used R. Michihata, and for this general
discussion R. Irvin, _The Evolution of a Chinese Novel_, Cambridge,
Mass., 1953, and studies by J. Jaworski and J. Pru[vs]ek. Many texts of
_pien-wen_ and related styles have been found in Tunhuang and have been
recently republished by Chinese scholars.

p. 254: _Shui-hu-chuan_ has been translated by Pearl Buck, _All Men are
Brothers_. Parts of _Hsi-yu-chi_ have been translated by A. Waley,
_Monkey_, London 1946. _San-kuo yen-i_ is translated by C.H.
Brewitt-Taylor, _San Kuo, or Romance of the Three Kingdoms_, Shanghai
1925 (a new edition just published). A purged translation of
Chin-p'ing-mei is published by Fr. Kuhn _Chin P'ing Mei_, New York 1940.

p. 255: Even the "murder story" was already known in Ming time. An
example is R.H. van Gulik, _Dee Gong An. Three Murder Cases solved by
Judge Dee_, Tokyo 1949.

p. 256: For a special group of block-prints see R.H. van Gulik, _Erotic
Colour Prints of the Ming Dynasty_, Tokyo 1951. This book is also an
excellent introduction into Chinese psychology.

p. 257: Here I use work done by David Chan.

p. 258: I use here the research of J.J.L. Duyvendak; the reasons for the
end of such enterprises, as given here, may not exhaust the problem. It
may not be without relevance that Cheng came from a Muslim family. His
father was a pilgrim (_Bull. Chin. Studies_, vol. 3, pp. 131-70).
Further research is desirable.--Concerning folk-tales, I use my own
research. The main Buddhist tales are the _Jataka_ stories. They are
still used by Burmese Buddhists in the same context.

p. 260: The Oirat (Uyrat, Ojrot, Oeloet) were a confederation of four
tribal groups: Khosud, Dzungar, Doerbet and Turgut.

p. 261: I regard this analysis of Ming political history as
unsatisfactory, but to my knowledge no large-scale analysis has been
made.--For Wang Yang-ming I use mainly my own research.

p. 262: For the coastal salt-merchants I used Lo Hsiang-lin's work.

p. 263: On the rifles I used P. Pelliot. There is a large literature on
the use of explosives and the invention of cannons, especially L.C.
Goodrich and Feng Chia-sheng in _Isis_, vol. 36, 1946 and 39, 1948; also
G. Sarton, Li Ch'iao-p'ing, J. Pru[vs]ek, J. Needham, and M. Ishida; a
comparative, general study is by K. Huuri, _Studia Orientalia_ vol. 9,
1941.--For the earliest contacts of Wang with Portuguese, I used Chang
Wei-hua's monograph.--While there is no satisfactory, comprehensive
study in English on Wang, for Lu Hsiang-shan the book by Huang Siu-ch'i,
_Lu Hsiang-shan, a Twelfth-century Chinese Idealist Philosopher_, New
Haven 1944, can be used.

p. 264: For Tao-yen, I used work done by David Chan.--Large parts of the
_Yung-lo ta-tien_ are now lost (Kuo Po-kung, Yuean T'ung-li studied this

p. 265: Yen-ta's Mongol name is Altan Qan (died 1582), leader of the
Tuemet. He is also responsible for the re-introduction of Lamaism into
Mongolia (1574).--For the border trade I used Hou Jen-chih; for the
Shansi bankers Ch'en Ch'i-t'ien and P. Maybon. For the beginnings of the
Manchu see Fr. Michael, _The Origins of Manchu Rule in China_, Baltimore

p. 266: M. Ricci's diary (Matthew Ricci, _China in the Sixteenth
Century_. The Journals of M. Ricci, transl. by L.J. Gallagher, New York
1953) gives much insight into the life of Chinese officials in this
period. Recently, J. Needham has tried to show that Ricci and his
followers did not bring much which was not already known in China, but
that they actually attempted to prevent the Chinese from learning about
the Copernican theory.

p. 267: For Coxinga I used M. Eder's study.--The Szechwan rebellion was
led by Chang Hsien-chung (1606-1647); I used work done by James B.
Parsons. Cheng T'ien-t'ing, Sun Yueh and others have recently published
the important documents concerning all late Ming peasant
rebellions.--For the Tung-lin academy see Ch. O. Hucker in J.K.
Fairbank, _Chinese Thought and Institutions_, Chicago 1957. A different
interpretation is indicated by Shang Yueeh in _Li-shih yen-chiu_ 1955,
No. 3.

p. 268: Work on the "academies" (shu-yuean) in the earlier time is done
by Ho Yu-shen.

pp. 273-4: Based upon my own, as yet unfinished research.

p. 274: The population of 1953 as given here, includes Chinese outside
of mainland China. The population of mainland China was 582.6 millions.
If the rate of increase of about 2 per cent per year has remained the
same, the population of mainland China in 1960 may be close to 680
million. In general see P.T. Ho. _Studies on the Population of China,
1368-1953_, Cambridge, Mass., 1960.

p. 276: Based upon my own research.--A different view of the development
of Chinese industry is found in Norman Jacobs, _Modern Capitalism and
Eastern Asia_, Hong Kong 1958. Jacobs attempted a comparison of China
with Japan and with Europe. Different again is Marion Levy and Shih
Kuo-heng, _The Rise of the Modern Chinese Business Class_, New York
1949. Both books are influenced by the sociological theories of T.

p. 277: The Dzungars (Dsunghar; Chun-ko-erh) are one of the four Oeloet
(Oirat) groups. I am here using studies by E. Haenisch and W. Fuchs.

p. 278: Tibetan-Chinese relations have been studied by L. Petech, _China
and Tibet in the Early 18th Century_, Leiden 1950. A collection of data
is found in M.W. Fisher and L.E. Rose, _England, India, Nepal, Tibet,
China, 1765-1958_, Berkeley 1959. For diplomatic relations and tributary
systems of this period, I referred to J.K. Fairbank and Teng Ssu-yue.

p. 279: For Ku Yen-wu, I used the work by H. Wilhelm.--A man who
deserves special mention in this period is the scholar Huang Tsung-hsi
(1610-1695) as the first Chinese who discussed the possibility of a
non-monarchic form of government in his treatise of 1662. For him see
Lin Mou-sheng, _Men and Ideas_, New York 1942, and especially W.T. de
Bary in J.K. Fairbank, _Chinese Thought and Institutions_, Chicago 1957.

pp. 280-1: On Liang see now J.R. Levenson, _Liang Ch'i-ch'ao and the Mind
of Modern China_, London 1959.

p. 282: It should also be pointed out that the Yung-cheng emperor was
personally more inclined towards Lamaism.--The Kalmuks are largely
identical with the above-mentioned Oeloet.

p. 286: The existence of _hong_ is known since 1686, see P'eng Tse-i and
Wang Chu-an's recent studies. For details on foreign trade see H.B.
Morse, _The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China
1635-1834_, Oxford 1926, 4 vols., and J.K. Fairbank, _Trade and
Diplomacy on the China Coast. The Opening of the Treaty Ports,
1842-1854_, Cambridge, Mass., 1953, 2 vols.--For Lin I used G.W.
Overdijkink's study.

p. 287: On customs read St. F. Wright, _Hart and the Chinese Customs_,
Belfast 1950.

p. 288: For early industry see A. Feuerwerker, _China's Early
Industrialization: Sheng Hsuan-huai (1844-1916_), Cambridge, Mass.,

p. 289: The Chinese source materials for the Mohammedan revolts have
recently been published, but an analysis of the importance of the
revolts still remains to be done.--On T'ai-p'ing much has been
published, especially in the last years in China, so that all documents
are now available. I used among other studies, details brought out by Lo
Hsiang-lin and Jen Yu-wen.

p. 291: For Tseng Kuo-fan see W.J. Hail, _Tseng Kuo-fan and the
T'ai-p'ing Rebellion_, New Haven 1927, but new research on him is about
to be published.--The Nien-fei had some connection with the White Lotus,
and were known since 1814, see Chiang Siang-tseh, _The Nien Rebellion_,
Seattle 1954.

p. 292: Little is known about Salars, Dungans and Yakub Beg's rebellion,
mainly because relevant Turkish sources have not yet been studied. On
Salars see L. Schram, _The Monguors of Kansu_, Philadelphia 1954, p. 23
and P. Pelliot; on Dungans see I. Grebe.

p. 293: On Tso Tsung-t'ang see G. Ch'en, _Tso Tung T'ang, Pioneer
Promotor of the Modern Dockyard and Woollen Mill in China_, Peking 1938,
and _Yenching Journal of Soc. Studies_, vol. I.

p. 294: For the T'ung-chih period, see now Mary C. Wright, _The Last
Stand of Chinese Conservativism. The T'ung-chih Restoration, 1862-1874_,
Stanford 1957.

p. 295: Ryukyu is Chinese: Liu-ch'iu; Okinawa is one of the islands of
this group.--Formosa is Chinese: T'ai-wan (Taiwan). Korea is Chinese:
Chao-hsien, Japanese: Chosen.

p. 297: M.C. Wright has shown the advisers around the ruler before the
Empress Dowager realized the severity of the situation.--Much research
is under way to study the beginning of industrialization of Japan, and
my opinions have changed greatly, due to the research done by Japanese
scholars and such Western scholars as H. Rosovsky and Th. Smith. The
eminent role of the lower aristocracy has been established. Similar
research for China has not even seriously started. My remarks are
entirely preliminary.

p. 298: For K'ang Yo-wei, I use work done by O. Franke and others. See
M.E. Cameron, _The Reform Movement in China, 1898-1921_, Stanford 1921.
The best bibliography for this period is J.K. Fairbank and Liu
Kwang-ching, _Modern China: A Bibliographical Guide to Chinese Works,
1898-1937_, Cambridge, Mass., 1950. The political history of the time,
as seen by a Chinese scholar, is found in Li Chien-nung, _The Political
History of China 1840-1928_, Princeton 1956.--For the social history of
this period see Chang Chung-li, _The Chinese Gentry_, Seattle 1955.--For
the history of Tz[)u] Hsi Bland-Backhouse, _China under the Empress
Dowager_, Peking 1939 (Third ed.) is antiquated, but still used. For
some of K'ang Yo-wei's ideas, see now K'ang Yo-wei: _Ta T'ung Shu. The
One World Philosophy of K'ang Yu Wei_, London 1957.

_Chapter Eleven_

p. 305: I rely here partly upon W. Franke's recent studies. For Sun
Yat-sen (Sun I-hsien; also called Sun Chung-shan) see P. Linebarger,
_Sun Yat-sen and the Chinese Republic_, Cambridge, Mass., 1925 and his
later _The Political Doctrines of Sun Yat-sen_, Baltimore
1937.--Independently, Atatuerk in Turkey developed a similar theory of
the growth of democracy.

p. 306: On student activities see Kiang Wen-han, _The Ideological
Background of the Chinese Student Movement_, New York 1948.

p. 307: On Hu Shih see his own _The Chinese Renaissance_, Chicago 1934
and J. de Francis, _Nationalism and Language Reform in China_, Princeton

p. 310: The declaration of Independence of Mongolia had its basis in the
early treaty of the Mongols with the Manchus (1636): "In case the Tai
Ch'ing Dynasty falls, you will exist according to previous basic laws"
(R.J. Miller, _Monasteries and Culture Change in Inner Mongolia_,
Wiesbaden 1959, p. 4).

p. 315: For the military activities see F.F. Liu, _A Military History of
Modern China, 1924-1949_, Princeton 1956. A Marxist analysis of the 1927
events is Manabendra Nath Roy, _Revolution and Counter-Revolution in
China_, Calcutta 1946; the relevant documents are translated in C.
Brandt, B. Schwartz, J.K. Fairbank, _A Documentary History of Chinese
Communism_, Cambridge, Mass., 1952.

_Chapter Twelve_

For Mao Tse-tung, see B. Schwartz, _Chinese Communism and the Rise of
Mao_, second ed., Cambridge, Mass., 1958. For Mao's early years; see
J.E. Rue, _Mao Tse-tung in Opposition_, 1927-1935, Stanford 1966. For
the civil war, see L.M. Chassin, _The Communist Conquest of China: A
History of the Civil War, 1945-1949_, Cambridge, Mass., 1965. For brief
information on communist society, see Franz Schurmann and Orville
Schell, _The China Reader_, vol. 3, _Communist China_, New York 1967.
For problems of organization, see Franz Schurmann, _Ideology and
Organization in Communist China_, Berkeley 1966. For cultural and
political problems, see Ho Ping-ti, _China in Crisis_, vol. 1, _China's
Heritage and the Communist Political System_, Chicago 1968. For a
sympathetic view of rural life in communist China, see J. Myrdal,
_Report from a Chinese Village_, New York 1966; for Taiwanese village
life, see Bernard Gallin, _Hsin Hsing, Taiwan: A Chinese Village in
Change_, Berkeley 1966.


  Abahai, ruler
  Absolutism (_see_ Despotism, Dictator, Emperor, Monarchy)
  Academia Sinica
    (_see_ Army, Feudalism, Bureaucracy)
  Adobe (Mud bricks)
    Origin of;
    of Shang;
    shifting (denshiring)
    (_see_ Wheat, Millet, Rice, Plough, Irrigation, Manure, Canals,
  An Ti, ruler of Han
  Ainu, tribes
  Ala-shan mountain range
  Alchemy (_see_ Elixir)
  Alexander the Great
  America (_see_ United States)
  Amithabha, god
  Amur, river
  An Chi-yeh, rebel
  An Lu-shan, rebel
  Ancestor, cult
  Aniko, sculptor
  Animal style
  Annam (Vietnam)
  Anyang (Yin-ch'ue)
  Aristocracy (_see_ Nobility, Feudalism)
  Army, cost of;
    organization of;
    size of;
    (_see_ War, Militia, tu-tu, pu-ch'ue)
  Art, Buddhist (_see_ Animal style, Architecture, Pottery, Painting,
    Sculpture, Wood-cut)
  Arthashastra, book, attributed to Kautilya
    Organizations of
    (_see_ Guilds, Craftsmen)
  Assimilation (_see_ Colonization)
  Avars, tribe (_see_ Juan-juan)
  Axes, prehistoric
  Axis, policy

  Baghdad, city
  Balasagun, city
  Banner organization
  Barbarians (Foreigners)
  Beg, title
  Boat festival
  Bokhara (Bukhara), city
  Bon, religion
  Bondsmen (_see pu-ch'ue_, Serfs, Feudalism)
  Book, printing;
    B burning
  Boettger, inventor
  Boxer rebellion
  Brahmans, Indian caste
  Brain drain
  Bronze (_see_ Metal, Copper)
  Brothel (Tea-house)
    (_see_ Ch'an, Vinaya, Sects, Amithabha, Maitreya, Hinayana,
  Mahayana, Monasteries, Church, Pagoda, Monks, Lamaism)
  Budget (_see_ Treasury, Inflation, Deflation)
    religious B
    (_see_ Administration; Army)
  Burgher (_liang-min_)
  Businessmen (_see_ Merchants, Trade)

  Calcutta, city
  Caliph (Khaliph)
    Imperial C
    (_see_ Irrigation)
  Canton (Kuang-chou), city
  Capital of Empire (_see_ Ch'ang-an, Sian, Loyang, etc.)
  Capitalism (_see_ Investments, Banks, Money, Economy, etc.)
  Capitulations (privileges of foreign nations)
  Caravans (_see_ Silk road, Trade)
  Castes, (_see_ Brahmans)
  Castiglione, G., painter
  Cattle, breeding
  Cavalry, (_see_ Horse)
  Cave temples (_see_ Lung-men, Yuen-kang, Tunhuang)
  Census (_see_ Population)
  Central Asia (_see_ Turkestan, Sinkiang, Tarim, City States)
  Champa, State
  Ch'an (Zen), meditative Buddhism
  Chan-kuo Period (Contending States)
  Ch'ang-an, capital of China (_see_ Sian)
  Chang Ch'ien, ambassador
  Chang Chue-chan, teacher
  Chang Hsien-chung, rebel
  Chang Hsueeh-hang, war lord
  Chang Ling, popular leader
  Chang Ti, ruler
  Chang Tsai, philosopher
  Chang Tso-lin, war lord
  Chao, state;
    Earlier Chao;
    Later Chao
  Chao K'uang-yin (T'ai Tsu), ruler
  Chao Meng-fu, painter
  Chefoo Convention
  Ch'en, dynasty
  Ch'en Pa-hsien, ruler
  Ch'en Tu-hsiu, intellectual
  Ch'eng Hao, philosopher
  Cheng Ho, navy commander
  Ch'eng I, philosopher
  Cheng-i-chiao, religion
  Ch'eng Ti, ruler of Han;
    ruler of Chin
  Ch'eng Tsu, ruler of Manchu
  Ch'engtu, city
  Ch'i, state;
    short dynasty;
    Northern Ch'i
  Ch'i-fu, clan
  Chi-nan, city
  Ch'i-tan (_see_ Kitan)
  Ch'i Wan-nien, leader
  Chia, clan
  Chia-ch'ing, period
  Chia Ss[)u]-tao, politician
  Ch'iang, tribes, (_see_ Tanguts)
  Chiang Kai-shek, president
  Ch'ien-lung, period
  _ch'ien-min_ (commoners),
  Chin, dynasty, (_see_ Juchen);
    Eastern Chin dynasty;
    Later Chin dynasty,
  Ch'in, state;
    Ch'in, dynasty;
    Earlier Ch'in dynasty;
    Later Ch'in dynasty;
    Western Ch'in dynasty
  Ch'in K'ui, politician
  Chinese, origin of
  Ching Fang, scholar
  Ching-te (-chen), city
  _ching-t'ien_ system
  Ching Tsung, Manchu ruler
  Ch'iu Ying, painter
  Chou, dynasty;
    short Chou dynasty;
    Later Chou dynasty;
    Northern Chou dynasty
  Chou En-lai, politician
  Chou-k'ou-tien, archaeological site
  Chou-kung (Duke of Chou)
  Chou-li, book
  Chou Tun-i, philosopher
  Christianity (_see_ Nestorians, Jesuits, Missionaries)
  Ch'u, state
  Chu Ch'uean-chung, general and ruler
  Chu Hsi, philosopher
  Chu-ko Liang, general
  Chu Te, general
  Chu Tsai-yue, scholar
  Chu Yuean-chang (T'ai Tsu), ruler
  _chuang_ (_see_ Manors, Estates)
  Chuang Tz[)u], philosopher
  Chuen-ch'en, ruler
  Ch'un-ch'iu, book
  _chuen-t'ien_ system (land equalization system)
  _chuen-tz[)u]_ (gentleman)
  Chung-ch'ang T'ung, philosopher
  Chungking (Ch'ung-ch'ing), city
  Church, Buddhistic
    (_see_ Chang Ling)
    spread and growth of cities
    origin of cities
    twin cities
    (_see_ City states, Ch'ang-an, Sian, Loyang, Hankow, etc.)
  City States (of Central Asia)
  Classes, social classes
    (_see_ Castes, _ch'ien-min, liang-min_, Gentry, etc.)
  Climate, changes
  Coins (_see_ Money)
  Colonialism (_see_ Imperialism)
  Colonization (_see_ Migration, Assimilation)
  Colour prints
  Communism (_see_ Marxism, Socialism, Soviets)
  Confucian ritual
    Confucian literature
    false Confucian literature
    (_see_ Neo-Confucianism)
  Conquests (_see_ War, Colonialism)
  Contending States
  Copper (_see_ Bronze, Metal)
  Corvee (forced labour) (_see_ Labour)
  Courtesans (_see_ Brothel)
  Coxinga, rebel
  Craftsmen (_see_ Artisans)
  Crop rotation

  Dalai Lama, religious ruler of Tibet
  Deities (_see_ T'ien, Shang Ti, Maitreya, Amithabha, etc.)
  Delft, city
  Demands, the twenty-one
  Despotism (_see_ Absolutism)
  Dewey, J., educator
  Dialects (_see_ Language)
  Dictators (_see_ Despotism)
  Diploma, for monks
  Discriminatory laws (_see_ Double Standard)
  Dorgon, prince
  Double standard, legal
  Dress, changes
  Dungan, tribes
  Dynastic histories (_see_ History)
  Dzungars, people

    Money economy
    Natural economy
    (_see_ Agriculture, Nomadism, Industry, Denshiring, Money, Trade, etc.)
  Education (_see_ Schools, Universities, Academies, Script,
    Examination system, etc.)
  Elements, the five
  Elite (_see_ Intellectuals, Students, Gentry)
  Elixir (_see_ Alchemy)
  Emperor, position of
    Emperor and church
    (_see_ Despotism, King, Absolutism, Monarchy, etc.)
  Empress (_see_ Lue, Wu, Wei, Tz[)u] Hsi)
  England (_see_ Great Britain)
  Ephtalites, tribe
  Equalization Office (_see chuen-t'ien_)
  Erotic literature
  Estates (_chuang_)
  Ethics (_see_ Confucianism)
  Examination system
    Examinations for Buddhists

  Fallow system
  Falsifications (_see_ Confucianism)
  Family structure
    Family ethics
    Family planning
  Fan Chung-yen, politician
  Federations, tribal
  Feng Kuo-chang, politician
  Feng Meng-lung, writer
  Feng Tao, politician
  Feng Yue-hsiang, war lord
  Ferghana, city
  Fertility cults
    differential fertility
    end of feudalism
    late feudalism
    new feudalism
    nomadic feudalism
    (_see_ Serfs, Aristocracy, Fiefs, Bondsmen, etc.)
  Finances (_see_ Budget, Inflation, Money, Coins)
  Fire-arms (_see_ Rifles, Cannons)
  Food habits
  Foreign relations (_see_ Diplomacy, Treaty, Tribute, War)
  Formosa (T'aiwan)
  Frontier, concept of
  Fu Chien, ruler
  Fu-lan-chi (Franks)
  Fu-lin, Manchu ruler
  Fu-yue, country
  Fukien, province

  Galdan, leader
  Gandhara, country
  Geisha (_see_ Courtesans)
  Genghiz Khan, ruler
  Gentry (Upper class)
    colonial gentry
    definition of gentry
    gentry state
    southern gentry
  Goek Turks
  Governors, role of
  Grain (_see_ Millet, Rice, Wheat)
  Great Britain (_see_ England)
  Great Leap Forward
  Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
  Great Wall

  Hakka, ethnic group
  Hami, city state
  Han, dynasty
    Later Han dynasty
  Han Fei Tz[)u], philosopher
  Han T'o-wei, politician
  Han Yue, philosopher
  Hankow (Han-k'ou), city
  Hangchow (Hang-chou), city
  Heaven (_see_ Shang Ti, T'ien)
  Hermits (_see_ Monks, Sages)
  Hinayana, religion
  Histories, dynastic
    falsification of histories
  Hitler, Adolf, dictator
  Hittites, ethnic group
  Ho Ch'eng-t'ien, scholar
  Ho-lien P'o-p'o, ruler
  Ho Ti, Han ruler
  _hong_, association
  Hong Kong, colony
  Hopei, province
    horse chariot
    horse riding
    horse trade
  Hou Ching, ruler
  Houses (_see_ Adobe)
  Hsi-hsia, kingdom
  Hsi-k'ang, Tibet
  Hsia, dynasty
    Hunnic Hsia dynasty
    (_see_ Hsi-hsia)
  Hsia-hou, clan
  Hsia Kui, painter
  Hsiao Tao-ch'eng, general
  Hsiao Wu Ti, Chin ruler
  Hsieh, clan
  Hsieh Hsuean, general
  Hsien-feng, period
  Hsien-pi, tribal federation
  Hsien Ti, Han ruler
  Hsien-yuen, tribes
  Hsin, dynasty
  Hsin-an merchants
  _Hsin Ch'ing-nien_, journal
  Hsiung-nu, tribal federation (_see_ Huns)
  Hsue Shih-ch'ang, president
  Hsuean-te, period
  Hsuean-tsang, Buddhist
  Hsuean Tsung, T'ang ruler
    Manchu ruler
  Hsuean-t'ung, period
  Hsuen Tz[)u], philosopher
  Hu, name of tribes (_see_ Huns)
  Hu Han-min, politician
  Hu Shih, scholar and politician
  Hu Wei-yung, politician
  Huai-nan Tz[)u], philosopher
  Huai, Ti, Chin ruler
  Huan Hsuean, general
  Huan Wen, general
  Huang Ch'ao, leader of rebellion
  Huang Ti, ruler
  Huang Tsung-hsi, philosopher
  Hui-chou merchants
  _hui-kuan_, association
  Hui Ti, Chin ruler
    Manchu ruler
  Hui Tsung, Sung ruler
  Hui Tz[)u], philosopher
  Human sacrifice
  Hung Hsiu-ch'uean, leader of rebellion
  Huns (_see_ Hu, Hsiung-nu)
  Hutuktu, religious ruler
  Hydraulic society

  _i-chuang_, clan manors
  Ili, river
  Imperialism (_see_ Colonialism)
  India (_see_ Brahmans, Bengal, Gandhara, Calcutta, Buddhism)
  Indo-China (_see_ Cambodia, Annam, Laos).
  Indo-Europeans, language group (_see_ Yueeh-chih, Tocharians,
  Indonesia, (_see_ Java)
    Industrial society
    (_see_ Factories)
  Inheritance, laws of
  Intellectuals (_see_ Elite, Students)
  Iran (Persia)
    Cast iron
    Iron money
    (_see_ Steel)
  Islam (_see_ Muslims)
  Istanbul (Constantinople)
  Japan (_see_ Meiji, Tada, Tanaka)
  Jedzgerd, ruler,
  Jehol, province,
  Jen Tsung, Manchu ruler
  _Ju_ (scribes)
  Juchen (Chin Dynasty, Jurchen)
  Juan-juan, tribal federation
  Jurchen (_see_ Juchen)

  K'ai-feng, city (_see_ Yeh, Pien-liang)
  Kalmuk, Mongol tribes (_see_ Oeloet)
  K'ang-hsi, period
  K'ang Yo-wei, politician and scholar
  Kansu, province (_see_ Tunhuang)
  Kao-ch'ang, city state
  Kao, clan
  Kao-li, state (_see_ Korea)
  Kao Ming, writer
  Kao Tsu, Han ruler
  Kao Tsung, T'ang ruler
  Kao Yang, ruler
  Kapok, textile fibre
  Kara Kitai, tribal federation
  Kashgar, city
  Kazak, tribal federation
  Khalif (_see_ Caliph)
  Khamba, Tibetans
  Khan, Central Asian title
  Khocho, city
  Khotan, city
  King, position of
    first kings
    religious character of kingship
    (_see_ Yao, Shun, Hsia dynasty, Emperor, Wang, Prince)
  Kitan (Ch'i-tan), tribal federation (_see_ Liao dynasty)
  Ko-shu Han, general
  Korea (_see_ Kao-li, Pai-chi, Sin-lo)
  K'ou Ch'ien-chih, Taoist
  Kowloon, city
  Ku Yen-wu, geographer
  Kuan Han-ch'ing, writer
  Kuang-hsue, period
  Kuang-wu Ti, Han ruler
  Kub(i)lai Khan, Mongol ruler
  Kung-sun Lung, philosopher
  K'ung Tz[)u] (Confucius)
  Kuomintang (KMT), party
  Kuo Wei, ruler
  Kuo Tz[)u]-hsing, rebel leader
  Kuo Tz[)u]-i, loyal general
  Kyakhta (Kiachta), city

  Labour, forced (_see_ Corvee)
    Labour laws
    Labour shortage
  Lamaism, religion
  Land ownership (_see_ Property)
    Land reform (_see chuen-t'ien, ching-t'ien_)
    temples as landlords
    Language reform
  Lang Shih-ning, painter
  La Tz[)u], philosopher
  Laos, country
  Law codes (_see_ Li K'ui, Property law, Inheritance, Legalists)
  League of Nations
  Leibniz, philosopher
  Legalists (_fa-chia_)
  Legitimacy of rule (_see_ Abdication)
  Lenin, V.
  Lhasa, city
  Li An-shih, economist
  Li Chung-yen, governor
  Li Hung-chang, politician
  Li K'o-yung, ruler
  Li Kuang-li, general
  Li K'ui, law-maker
  Li Li-san, politician
  Li Lin-fu, politician
  Li Lung-mien, painter
  Li Shih-min (_see_ T'ai Tsung), T'ang ruler
  Li Ss[)u], politician
  Li Ta-chao, librarian
  Li T'ai-po, poet
  Li Tz[)u]-ch'eng, rebel
  Li Yu, writer
  Li Yu-chen, writer
  Li Yuean, ruler
  Li Yuean-hung, politician
  Liang dynasty, Earlier
    Later Liang
    Northern Liang
    Southern Liang
    Western Liang
  Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, journalist
  _liang-min_ (burghers)
  Liao, tribes,
    Liao dynasty (_see_ Kitan)
    Western Liao dynasty
  _Liao-chai chih-i_, short-story collection
  Lin-chin, city
  Lin-ch'uan, city
  Lin Shu, translator
  Lin Tse-hsue, politician
  Literati, (_see_ Scholars, Confucianists)
  Literature (_see pien-wen, pi-chi_, Poetry, Drama, Novels, Epics,
    Theatre, ballads, Folk-tales, Fables, History, Confucians, Writers,
    Scholars, Scribes)
  Literary revolution
  Liu Chi, Han ruler
  Liu Chin-yuean, ruler
  Liu Chin, eunuch
  Liu Hsiu (_see_ Kuang wu Ti), Han ruler
  Liu Lao-chih, general
  _liu-min_ (vagrants)
  Liu Pang (_see_ Liu Chi)
  Liu Pei, general and ruler
  Liu Shao-ch'i, political leader
  Liu Sung, rebel
  Liu Tsung-yuean, writer
  Liu Ts'ung, ruler
  Liu Yao, ruler
  Liu Yue, general
  Liu Yuean, sculptor
  Lo Kuan-chung, writer
  Loans, to farmers
  Loess, soil formation
  Long March
  Lorcha War
  Loyang (Lo-yang), capital of China
  Lu, state
  Lue, empress
  Lu Hsiang-shan, philosopher
  Lu Hsuen, writer
  Lue Kuang, ruler
  Lue Pu, general
  Lue Pu-wei, politician
  Lun, prince
  _Lun-heng_, book
  Lung-men, place
  Lung-shan, excavation site
  Lytton Commission
  Ma Yin, ruler
  Ma Yuean, general
  Macao, Portuguese colony
  Mahayana, Buddhist sect
  Maitreya, Buddhist deity (_see_ Messianic movements)
  Malacca, state
  Manchu, tribal federation and dynasty
  Manichaeism, Iranian religion
  Manors (_chuang, see_ Estates)
  Mao Tun, Hsiung-nu ruler
  Mao Tse-tung, party leader
  Marco Polo, businessman
    Market control
  Marriage systems
    Marxist theory of history
    (_see_ Materialism, Communism, Lenin, Mao Tse-tung)
  Matrilinear societies
  Mazdaism, Iranian religion
  May Fourth Movement
    Medical doctors
  Meditation (_see_ Ch'an)
  Megalithic culture
  Meiji, Japanese ruler
  Mencius (Meng Tz[)u]), philosopher
    foreign merchants
    (_see_ Trade, Salt, Caravans, Businessmen)
  Messianic movements
  Metal (_see_ Bronze, Copper, Iron)
  Mi Fei, painter
  Middle Class (_see_ Burgher, Merchant, Craftsmen, Artisans)
  Middle East (_see_ Near East)
    forced migrations
    (_see_ Colonization, Assimilation, Settlement)
  Min, state in Fukien
  Ming dynasty
  Ming Jui, general
  Min Ti, Chin ruler
  Ming Ti, Han ruler
    Wei ruler
    Later T'ang ruler
  Missionaries, Christian (_see_ Jesuits)
  Mo Ti, philosopher
  Mohammedan rebellions (_see_ Muslim)
  Mon-Khmer tribes
  Monarchy (_see_ King, Emperor, Absolutism, Despotism)
  Monasteries, Buddhist
    economic importance
    Money economy
    Origin of money
    paper money
    (_see_ Coins, Paper, Silver)
  Mongols, tribes, tribal federation, dynasty (_see_ Yuean dynasty,
    Kalmuk, Tuemet, Oirat, Oeloet, Naiman, Turgut, Timur, Genghiz, Kublai)
  Monks, Buddhist
  Mu-jung, tribes
  Mu Ti, East Chin ruler
  Mu Tsung, Manchu ruler
  Munda tribes
  Music (_see_ Theatre, Dance, Geisha)
    Muslim rebellions
    (_see_ Islam, Mohammedans)

  Naiman, Mongol tribe
  Nan-chao, state
  Nanyang, city
  Nanking (Nan-ching), capital of China
    Nanking regime
  Nationalism (_see_ Kuomintang)
    Nature philosophers
  Near East (_see_ Arabs, Iran, etc.)
  Nerchinsk, place
  Nestorian Christianity
  Ni Tsan, painter
  Nien Fei, rebels
  Niu Seng-yu, politician
    Nomadic nobility
    (_see_ Aristocracy)
    Economy of nomads
    Nomadic society structure

  Oirat, Mongol tribes
  Okinawa (_see_ Ryukyu)
  Oeloet, Mongol tribes
    Opium War
  Oracle bones
  Ordos, area
  Orenburg, city
  Organizations (_see hui-kuan_ Guilds, _hong_, Secret Societies)
  Ottoman (Turkish) Empire
  Ou-yang Hsiu, writer
  Outer Mongolia

  Pai-chi (Paikche), state in Korea
  Pai-lien-hui (_see_ White Lotus)
  Pan Ch'ao, general
  _pao-chia_, security system
    Paper money
    (_see_ Money)
  Party (_see_ Kuomintang, Communists)
  Pearl Harbour
  Peasant rebellions (_see_ Rebellions)
  Peking, city
    Peking Man
  People's Democracy
  Persecution, religious
  Persia (Iran)
    Persian language
  Peruz, ruler
  Philippines, state
  Philosophy, (_see_ Confucius, Lao Tz[)u], Chuang Tz[)u],
    Huai-nan Tz[)u], Hsuen Tz[)u], Mencius, Hui Tz[)u], Mo Ti,
    Kung-sun Lung, Shang Tz[)u], Han Fei Tz[)u], Tsou Yen, Legalists,
    Chung-ch'ang, T'ung, Yuean Chi, Liu Ling, Chu Hsi, Ch'eng Hao,
    Lu Hsiang-shan, Wang Yang-ming, etc.)
  _pi-chi_, literary form
  _pieh-yeh_ (_see_ Manor)
  Pien-liang, city (_see_ K'ai-feng)
  _pien-wen_, literary form
  P'ing-ch'eng, city
  Plantation economy
  Po Chue-i, poet
  Po-hai, state
    Court Poetry
    Northern Poetry
  Poets (_see_ T'ao Ch'ien, Po Chue-i, Li T'ai-po, Tu Fu, etc.)
  Politicians, migratory
  Pontic migration
  Population changes
    Population decrease
    (_see_ Census, Fertility)
  Port Arthur, city
  Portsmouth, treaty
  Portuguese (_see_ Fu-lan-chi, Macao)
    black pottery
   (_see_ Porcelain)
  Price controls
  Priests (_see_ Shamans, Ju, Monks)
  Printing (_see_ Colour, Book)
  Privileges of gentry
  Proletariat (_see_ Labour)
  Property relations (_see_ Laws, Inheritance, Primogeniture)
  Provinces, administration
  _pu-ch'ue_, bondsmen
  P'u-ku Huai-en, general
  P'u Sung-lin, writer
  P'u Yi, Manchu ruler
  Puppet plays

    Manchurian Railway
  Rebellions (_see_ Peasants, Secret Societies, Revolutions)
  Red Eyebrows, peasant movement
  Red Guards
  Reforms; Reform of language (_see_ Land reform)
    popular religion
   (_see_ Bon, Shintoism, Persecution, Sacrifice, Ancestor cult,
    Fertility cults, Deities, Temples, Monasteries, Christianity, Islam,
    Buddhism, Mazdaism, Manichaeism, Messianic religions, Secret
    societies, Soul, Shamanism, State religion)
  Revolutions; legitimization of revolution (_see_ Rebellions)
  Ricci, Matteo, missionary
  Roman Empire
  Roosevelt, F.D., president
  Russia (_see_ Soviet Republics)
  Ryukyu (Liu-ch'iu), islands

  Sakhalin (Karafuto), island
  Salar, ethnic group
    Salt merchants
    Salt trade
  Samarkand, city
  _San-min chu-i_, book
  Sang Hung-yang, economist
  Sassanids, Iranian dynasty
  Scholars (_Ju_) (_see_ Literati, Scribes, Intellectuals,
  Schools, (_see_ Education)
  Science, (_see_ Mathematics, Astronomy, Nature)
  Script, Chinese
    Buddhist sculptures
  _se-mu_ (auxiliary troops)
  Seal, imperial
  Secret societies (_see_ Red Eyebrows; Yellow Turbans; White Lotus;
    Boxer; Rebellions)
    Buddhist sects
  Seng-ko-lin-ch'in, general
  Serfs (_see_ Slaves, Servants, Bondsmen)
  Settlement, of foreigners
    (_see_ Colonization)
  Sha-t'o, tribal federation
  Shadow theatre
  Shahruk, ruler
  Shan tribes of South East Asia
  _Shan-hai-ching_, book
  Shan-yue, title of nomadic ruler
  Shang dynasty
  Shang Ti, deity
  Shang Tz[)u], philosopher (Shang Yang)
  Shanghai, city
  Shao Yung, philosopher
  Shen Nung, mythical figure
  Shen Tsung, Sung ruler
    Manchu ruler
  Sheng Tsu, Manchu ruler
  _Shih-chi_, book
  Shih Ching-t'ang, ruler
  Shih Ch'ung, writer
  Shih Heng, soldier
  Shih Hu, ruler
  Shih Huang-ti, ruler
  Shih Lo, ruler
  Shih-pi, ruler
  Shih Ss[)u]-ming
  Shih Tsung, Manchu ruler
  Shih-wei, Mongol tribes
  Shintoism, Japanese religion
  Ships (_see_ Navy)
  Short stories
  Shoulder axes
  Shu (Szechwan), area and/or state
  Shu-Han dynasty
  Shun, dynasty
    mythical ruler
  Shun-chih, reign period
  Sian (Hsi-an, Ch'ang-an), city
  Siao Ho (Hsiao Ho), jurist
    Silk road
  Sin-lo (Hsin-lo, Silla), state of Korea
  Sinkiang (Hsin-Chiang, Turkestan)
  Slash and burn agriculture (denshiring)
    Slave society
    Temple slaves
  Social mobility
    Social structure of tribes
  Socialism (_see_ Marxism, Communism)
  Sogdiana, country in Central Asia
  Soul, concept of soul
  South-East Asia (_see_ Burma, Champa, Cambodia, Annam, Laos,
    Vietnam, Tonking, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Mon-Khmer)
  Soviet Republics (_see_ Russia)
  Speculations, financial
  Ss[)u]-ma, clan
  Ss[)u]-ma Ch'ien, historian
  Ss[)u]-ma Kuang, historian
  Ss[)u]-ma Yen, ruler
  States, territorial and national
    State religion
  Statistics (_see_ Population)
  Stone age
  Stratification, social (_see_ Classes, Social mobility)
  Su Chuen, rebel
  Su Tsung, T'ang ruler
  Su Tung-p'o, poet
  _su-wang_ (uncrowned king)
  Sui, dynasty
  Sun Ts'e, ruler
  Sun Yat-sen (Sun I-hsien), revolutionary leader, president
  Sung, dynasty
    Liu-Sung dynasty
  Szechwan (Ss[)u]-ch'uan), province (_see_ Shu)

  Ta-tan (Tatars), tribal federation
  Tada, Japanese militarist
  Tai, tribes (_see_ Thailand)
  Tai Chen, philosopher
  Tai Ch'ing dynasty (Manchu)
  T'ai P'ing, state
  T'ai Tsu, Sung ruler
    Manchu ruler
  T'ai Tsung, T'ang ruler (_see_ Li Shih-min)
  Taiwan (T'ai-wan, _see_ Formosa)
  T'an-yao, priest
  Tanaka, Japanese militarist
  T'ang, dynasty
    Later T'ang dynasty
  T'ang Hsien-tsu, writer
  T'ang Yin, painter
  Tanguts, Tibetan tribal federation and/or state (_see_ Ch'iang)
  Tao, philosophical term
  Tao-kuang, reign period
  _Tao-te-ching_, book
  T'ao-t'ieh, mythical emblem
  Tao-yen, monk
  Taoism, religion
    (_see_ Lao Tz[)u], Chuang Tz[)u], Chang Ling, etc.)
  Tarim basin
  Tatars (Ta-tan) Mongolian tribal federation
    Tax collectors
    Tax evasion
    Tax exemptions
    Taxes for monks
    Tax reform
  Te Tsung, Manchu ruler
    Tea trade
    Tea house (_see_ Brothel)
  Teachers (_see_ Schools)
  Tell, archaeological term
  Temples (_see_ Monasteries)
  Tengri khan, ruler
  Textile industry (_see_ Silk, Cotton)
  Thailand, state (_see_ Tai tribes)
  Theatre (_see_ Shadow, Puppet, Opera)
  Throne, accession to (_see_ Abdication, Legitimacy)
  Ti, Tibetan tribes
  Tibet (_see_ Ch'iang, Ti, T'u-fan, T'u-yue-hun, Lhasa Tanguts)
  T'ien, deity
  Tientsin (T'ien-chin), city
  Timur, ruler
  Ting-ling, tribal federation
  T'o-pa (_see_ Toba)
  T'o-t'o, writer
  Toba, Turkish tribal federation
  Tocharians, Central Asian ethnic group
  Tokto (_see_ T'o-t'o)
  Toeloes, Turkish tribal group
  Tonking, state
  Totalitarianism (_see_ Dictatorship, Fascism, Communism)
  Tou Ku, general
  T'ou-man, ruler
  Towns (_see_ City)
    barter trade
    international trade
    (_see_ Merchants, Commerce, Caravans, Silk road)
  Transportation (_see_ Roads, Canals, Ships, Post, Caravans, Horses)
  Travels of emperors
  Treaty, international
  Tribal organization (_see_ Banner, Army, Nomads)
  Tribes, disappearance of
    social organization
    military organization
  Tribute (_kung_)
  _tsa-hu_, social class
  Tsai T'ien, prince
  Ts'ai Yuean-p'ei, scholar
  Ts'ao Chih, poet
  Ts'ao Hsueeh-ch'in, writer
  Ts'ao K'un, politician
  Ts'ao P'ei, ruler
  Ts'ao Ts'ao, general
  Tsewang Rabdan, general
  Tseng Kuo-fan, general
  Tso Tsung-t'ang, general
  Tsou Yen, philosopher
  Ts'ui, clan
  T'u-chueeh, Goek Turk tribes (_see_ Turks)
  Tu Fu, poet
  T'u-fan, Tibetan tribal group
  Tu-ku, Turkish tribe
  _T'u-shu chi-ch'eng_, encyclopaedia
  _tu-tu_, title
  T'u-yue-hun, Tibetan tribal federation
  Tuan Ch'i-jui, president
  Tuemet, Mongol tribal group
  Tung Ch'i-ch'ang, painter
  T'ung-chien kang-mu, historical encyclopaedia
  T'ung-chih, reign period
  Tung Chung-shu, thinker
  Tung Fu-hsiang, politician
  Tung-lin academy
  Tungus tribes (_see_ Juchen, Po-hai, Manchu)
  Tunhuang (Tun-huang), city
  Turfan, city state
  Turgut, Mongol tribal federation
  Turkestan (_see_ Central Asia, Tarim, Turfan, Sinkiang, Ferghana,
    Samarkand, Khotcho, Tocharians, Yueeh-chih, Sogdians, etc.)
  Turks (_see_ Goek Turks, T'u-chueeh, Toba, Toeloes, Ting-ling, Uighur,
    Sha-t'o, etc.)
  Tz[)u] Hsi, empress

  Uighurs, Turkish federation
  United States (_see_ America)
  Ungern-Sternberg, general
  Urbanization (_see_ City)
  Urga, city

  Vagrants (_liu-min_)
  Vietnam (_see_ Annam)
    Village commons
  Vinaya Buddhism
  Voltaire, writer

    Great Wall
  Wan-li, reign period
  _Wang_ (king)
  Wang An-shih, statesman
  Wang Chen, eunuch
  Wang Ching-wei, collaborator
  Wang Ch'ung, philosopher
  Wang Hsien-chih, peasant leader
  Wang Kung, general
  Wang Mang, ruler
  Wang Shih-chen, writer
  Wang Shih-fu, writer
  Wang Tao-k'un, writer
  Wang Tun, rebel
  Wang Yang-ming, general and philosopher
    size of wars
    cost of wars
    War lords
    (_see_ Army, World War, Opium War, Lorcha War, Fire-arms)
  Washington, conference
  Wei, dynasty
    small state
  Wei Chung-hsien, eunuch
  Wei T'o, ruler in South China
  Welfare state
  Well-field system (_ching-t'ien_),
  Wen Ti, Han ruler
    Wei ruler
    Toba ruler
    Sui ruler
  Wen Tsung, Manchu ruler
  Whampoa, military academy
  White Lotus sect (Pai-lien)
  Wood-cut (_see_ Colour print)
  Wool (_see_ Felt)
  World Wars
  Women rights
  Writing, invention (_see_ Script)
  Wu, empress
  Wuch'ang, city (_see_ Hankow)
  Wu Ching-tz[)u], writer
  Wu-huan, tribal federation
  Wu P'ei-fu, war lord
  Wu San-kui, general
  Wu Shih-fan, ruler
  Wu-sun, tribal group
  Wu Tai (Five Dynasties period)
  Wu Tao-tz[)u], painter
  Wu (Ti), Han ruler
    Chin ruler
    Liang ruler
  Wu Tsung, Manchu ruler
  Wu Wang, Chou ruler
  _wu-wei_, philosophical term

  Yakub beg, ruler
  Yamato, part of Japan
  Yang, clan
  Yang Chien, ruler (_see_ Wen Ti)
  Yang (Kui-fei), concubine
  Yang-shao, archaeological site
  Yang Ti, Sui ruler
  Yao, mythical ruler
    tribes in South China
  Yarkand, city in Turkestan
  Yeh (K'ai-feng), city
  Yeh-ta (_see_ Ephtalites)
  Yehe-Nara, tribe
  Yellow Turbans, secret society
  Yeh-lue Ch'u-ts'ai, politician
  Yen, state
    Earlier Yen dynasty
    Later Yen dynasty
    Western Yen dynasty
  Yen-an, city
  Yen Fu, translator
  Yen Hsi-shan, war lord
  Yen-ta (Altan), ruler
  _Yen-t'ieh-lun_ (Discourses on Salt and Iron), book
  Yin Chung-k'an, general
  Yin-ch'ue, city
  Yin and Yang, philosophical terms
  Ying Tsung, Manchu ruler
  Yo Fei, general
  Yue Liang, general
  Yue-wen, tribal group
  Yuean Chen
  Yuean Chi, philosopher
  Yuean Mei, writer
  Yuean Shao, general
  Yuean Shih-k'ai, general and president
  Yuean Ti, Han ruler
    Chin ruler
  Yueeh, tribal group and area
  Yueeh-chih, Indo-European-speaking ethnic group
  Yuen-kang, caves
  Yuennan (Yuen-nan), province
  Yung-cheng, reign period
  Yung-lo, reign period

  Zen Buddhism (_see_ Ch'an)
  Zoroaster, founder of religion

  The end of the book.

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