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Lecture%2028 - Lecture 28 Jin Ping Mei City and Society in...

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Lecture 28: Jin Ping Mei : City and Society in the Late Ming
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China under the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
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JPM and Late Ming Society Although the novel is set during the reign of the last emperor of the Northern Song dynasty, Huizong (1100- 1125), the life and customs described in the book are those of the late 16 th and the turn of the 17 th centuries, especially during the Wanli reign period (1567- 1620) when the novel was written.
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Political Stagnation and Foreign Contacts The Wanli reign period (1567-1620) is remembered for administrative reforms, intense factional controversies at court, unprecedented interference by eunuchs in provincial administration, and elaborate and extravagant construction projects. This period also saw contacts with European Jesuit Missionaries, military campaigns against Japanese pirates, Mongol raiders, and the rise of the Manchu on the northern border.
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Agricultural Innovations and Population Growth Agriculture thrived [Early Ripening Rice from America] during this period. This period saw a shift from subsistence farming to specialized farming (cotton) for the market. The population doubled since the early Ming to about 150,000,000 by 1600.
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Booming Trade and Transportation The great cities such as Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Hangzhou displayed the affluence of a society becoming increasingly urbanized and commericialized.
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