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By Hugh R. Clark

The learn strains the commercial and demographic background of a nook of China's southeast coast from the 3rd to the 13th centuries, the connection among adjustments within the agrarian and concrete economies of the realm and their connections to the increasing position of family and international alternate. It offers a formerly unexplored point of view at the function of commercialized construction and exchange in a local economic system within the premodern period and demonstrates that alternate was once in a position to force swap in a premodern financial system in a manner that has no longer as a rule been famous.

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

Sample text

Let us consider these points individually. 1. I have already alluded to the great breadth of Nan'an. Each of the 24 The late Tang Table 3. ) Shanghang 804 4 xiang 2 xiang 2 xiang Tongan Yongchun Anxi Zhangtai Shanghang Zhang, Longyan (later under Tingzhou) Quan, Nan'an Datong Quan, Nan'an Taolin Quan, Nan'an Xiaoqi Quan, Nan'an Wude (later under Zhangzhou) 822 864 876 6li chang to arise in this district was a considerable distance from the district center, the old core community of the early settlement on the banks of the Jin.

And in several of these areas new loci of population were beginning to arise, a phenomenon reflected in the organization of a new administrative subunit called ckang that began to appear early in the ninth century. Chang were tax collection stations of the Salt and Iron Commission, the agency that had full authority over the finances of south China throughout the latter half of the Tang. 17 With very few exceptions, they were administrative forerunners of xian. From such a functional description, it is obvious that chang reflected patterns of population distribution; their appearance reflects the rise of new centers of settlement.

Administrative oversight of merchants — who were subject to very strict control throughout the Tang 40 — was surely far easier and more immediate from the new community than it could have been from the upriver site of Nan'an. All of the foregoing is preliminary. The community that existed at the start of the eighth century was still small, remote, and composed of isolated settlements that as yet had undergone little if any integration beyond the political structure. The area had never produced a man of distinction in the eyes of the empire's elites, although that hardly made it unique in its contemporary South.

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