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Chinese Society and Culture 12:06 Economic Changes Between 1500 and 1800, China remained a mostly agricultural society, Nearly 85 percent of the people were small farmers. The first change for china involved an increase in population. It rose from less than 80 million in 1390 to more than 300 million at the end of the 1700s There were several causes for the increase. A long period of peace and stability under the early Qing dynasty. Improvements in the food supply due to a faster growing species of rice from SE Asia. Less land was available for each family. The imperial court tried to make more land available by limiting the amount wealthy landowners could hold. By the eighteenth century almost all the land that could be farmed was already farmed. Shortages of land in rural areas led to unrest and revolt. A steady growth in manufacturing and increased trade between provinces. Merchants and manufacturers expanded their trade in silk, porcelain, cotton goods, and other products.... View Full Document

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