Society and the state of medieval China

The Chinese have achieved certain successes in their economic life. They used vodochnepalnye devices for watering garden crops on the hills, collected two crops a year, learned how to grow tea bushes, sugar cane. Chinese peasants have mastered the valley of the Yangtze River, cutting down the local jungle and draining the swamps. But they treated nature in a consumer way, negligently – and she avenged them by droughts and floods.

The public elite of China consisted of aristocrats and officials, and the lower classes consisted of free peasants and artisans and dependent workers, half-laborers and slaves. The life of society was controlled by officials. Among the Chinese cities there were no self-governing communes.

From time to time bloody wars have reduced the population in the country. Nevertheless, the birth rate in China remained high – it soon became overpopulated again. With food in China has always been difficult. A simple people lived in terrible poverty,

often starving.

The peasants were not independent masters, although they did not work for the masters. Officials ordered them to grow, and what part of the harvest to hand over to the state. It was forbidden to leave the place of their residence to the peasants. Bureaucratic arbitrariness and the almost constant threat of hunger often led the peasants to despair. They created secret organizations that were preparing and carrying out mass destructive, but ineffective insurrections.

XI century. From the “New Tang history” of the peasant uprising of the IX.

A few days later, a great robbery began. People were tied up, beaten with whips and seized their property. This was called “cleaning objects.” We ruffled the rich men and drove them barefooted. All the detained officials were killed, set on fire at home, if they could not find anything there, and the princes and noble people were exterminated.

Officials lived better than peasants, but in constant anxieties and humiliations. Their working day began at dawn. For being late for work they were punished. To stay in office, one had to please the authorities. The official could not transfer his office and property to the children legally, but did it with the help of fraud. To become an official, it was necessary to pass a state examination on the knowledge of Confucius’s works and reliability.

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Society and the state of medieval China