** economics economies China chronology

Chinese Economy: Stability and Continuity

Figure 1.-- This is a market scene in Tartar City, meaning the area of Beijing within the nedieval walls. You can see the Drum Tower in the bvkground. This photoigrph could hve been taken centuruies erlier. The phoyograoph was taken in 1901.

It would be wrong to think that because the Chinese economy had fallen so far behind thise of the Werst by the 19th century that Chine imperial regimes were not interested in the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Chinese rulers tended to take to give moreattention to the economy than rulers n the West. Chinese historical records show that imperial authorities gave great attention to population, land taxes, and monetary matters. Local historical accounts provide informatioin on local products, grain storage, and similar economic topics. The Chinese believed that properly functioning economy was the tell-tale indicator of a successful emperor,a n indication of the harmony achieved among heaven, earth, and mankind. The belief was that economics and morality were intrinsically linked. A prosperous economy was a sure indication of the basic morality of the ruler. Aseesments of the economy like that of society in general was premised on the phiolosphical outlook that harmony and stability weere funamental. Conceopts like growth and change were fudamentally alien. What was important was maintaing the social order unchanged. The golden age was seen as ome in wehicvh life wnt on as itbhad for centuries. Men plowed the fields and women cooked and wove cloth. Wars and famines were seen as indicators that disruotibe forceswere at play. The role of the role of the empeor was to maintain the ancient status quo ante of the golden age. There was no aspiration to surpass pasr achieemnts. It was widely believed the great achievements of the past could not be surpassed as a kind of perfection had already been achieved. .


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Created: 7:41 AM 10/16/2021
Last updated: 7:42 AM 10/16/2021