WANG ANSHI ( ; Chinese : 王安石; December 8, 1021 – May 21,
1086) was a Chinese economist , statesman, chancellor and poet of the
Wang Anshi's ideas are usually analyzed in terms of the influence the
Rites of Zhou
* 1 Background * 2 Early career * 3 Major reform * 4 Wang’s downfall * 5 Poet * 6 Poems * 7 Legacy * 8 Works cited * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links
During the Song Dynasty, the unprecedented development of large
estates , whose owners managed to evade paying their share of taxes ,
resulted in an increasingly heavy burden of taxation on commoners. The
drop in state revenues, a succession of budget deficits , and
widespread inflation prompted the
Emperor Shenzong of Song
Main article: New Policies (Song dynasty) Illustration of Wang Anshi from the Wan Xiao Tang, 1743.
Wang believed that the state has the responsibility to provide for its people the essentials for a decent living standard: "The state should take the entire management of commerce , industry , and agriculture into its own hands, with a view to succoring the working classes and preventing them from being ground into the dust by the rich."
Wang came to power as 2nd privy councilor in 1069. It was there that he introduced and promulgated his reform policy (xin fa 新法). There were three main components to this policy: 1) state finance and trade, 2) defense and social order, and 3) education and improving of governance. Some of the finance reforms included paying cash for labor in place of corvee labor , increase the supply of copper coins, improve management of trade, direct government loan to farmers during planting seasons and to be repaid at harvest. He believed that foundation of the state rests on the well being of the common people. To limit speculation and eliminate private monopolies , he initiated price control and regulated wages and set up pensions for the aged and unemployed. The state also began to institute public orphanages, hospitals, dispensaries, hospices, cemeteries, and reserve granaries.
The military reform centered on a new institution of the baojia system or organized households. This was done to ensure collective responsibility in society and was later used to strengthen local defense. He also proposed the creation of systems to breed military horses, the more efficient manufacture of weapons and training of the militia.
To improve education and government, he sought to break down the barrier between clerical and official careers as well as improving their supervision to prevent connections being used for personal gain. Tests in law, military affairs and medicine were added to the examination system, with mathematics added in 1104. The National Academy was transformed into a real school rather than simply a holding place for officials waiting for appointments. However, there was deep-seated resistance to the education reforms as it hurt bureaucrats coming in under the old system.
Although Wang had the alliance of such prominent court figures as
Like many Chinese officials of the era, Wang's career experienced
many ups and downs, but the beginning of the end came in 1074. A
famine in northern
He was recalled by the emperor the following year, but now he was seen as vulnerable and was openly attacked from groups of conservatives. Wang returned to Nanjing, which he preferred to Kaifeng. He wrote and engaged in scholarship through to his death in 1086.
With Shenzong 's death in 1085, Wang was ousted and the New Policies were rolled back - some temporarily, some permanently.
In addition to his political achievements,
A well-known man-of-letters,
The above are his very reputed lines. One of eight famous literati of
Chinese politicians and historians have continued to look back on the
The twentieth-century Chinese warlord
* Mote, F.W. (1999). Imperial China: 900-1800 . Harvard University Press . pp. 122, 138–142. * Gillin, Donald G. Warlord: Yen Hsi-shan in Shansi Province 1911–1949. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1967. LCCN 66-14308
* ^ hence referred to as Wáng Jīnggōng 王荊公
* ^ hence referred to as Wáng Wéngōng 王文公
* ^ D.B. Boulger (1881). History of China. pp. 388–.
* ^ Man and the universe. Japan. Siberia. China. Carmelite House.
1907. pp. 771–.
* ^ Patricia Buckley Ebrey, Paul Jakov Smith 2016 p.237. State
Power in China, 900-1325.
* ^ Mote ch. 6
* ^ Nourse, Mary A. 1944. A Short History of the Chinese, 3rd
* ^ "
16. Wang. "CCTV-English Channel-civilization." CCTV-English Channel-civilization. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.
* Anderson, Gregory E., To Change China: A Tale of Three Reformers", Asia Pacific: Perspectives, 1:1 (2001).