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    Church, Sally K. 2018. The Eurasian Silk Road: Its historical roots and the Chinese imagination. Cambridge Journal of Eurasian Studies, Vol. 2, Issue. , p. XW4ESF.

  • Print publication year: 1986
  • Online publication date: March 2008

10 - The economic and social history of Former Han

This chapter discusses social and economic conditions in China under the Han dynasty when the unified, centralized state that had been achieved by the short-lived Ch'in empire was consolidated into a permanent form which lasted-allowing only for the short break caused by the Hsin dynasty of Wang Mang, for some four centuries. The succeeding Han empire inherited the results of the social, economic, and administrative changes which had taken place over the preceding centuries. The Han founder Liu Pang, Kao-ti, was of peasant origins, having been born and brought up in Chung-yang li of Feng-i in P'ei-hsien. From the point of view of agriculture, the country may be divided into two main regions, north and south China, separated by the eastward-flowing Huai River and in the west by the Ch'in-ling Mountains. During the Han dynasty, agriculture along the Yangtze was greatly inferior in productivity to that of north China.
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