The researcher examined the relationship between farm production and circulation of goods at Hunan Changshafu during the last period of Qingand the Republic. The research problem of this study was to see how the farming society of Hunan Changshafu dur ...
The researcher examined the relationship between farm production and circulation of goods at Hunan Changshafu during the last period of Qingand the Republic. The research problem of this study was to see how the farming society of Hunan Changshafu during that period had changed.
In terms of rice production, rice market did not lose its vigor due to the increased import of rice. Farming is strongly influenced by the weather and there must be up and down in the production of rice. It was found that until 1930, the population during the last period of Qing and the Republic had increased by 4 millions and Changshafu played as an important place for rice export. The area of rice farming extended to Liling, Youxian, Liuyang, and Chaling.
The farming of minor grains extended in Changshafu at the end of Qing. They grew corns and sweet potatoes, in particular. Farming minor grains like corns and sweet potatoes was called "the 2nd food revolution" and it contributed greatly to the period of Qing. During the last stage of Qing, the population of Changshafu doubled. But farming those grains enabled the country to feed its people and export rice to the area of the lower Yangtse river.
The productivity of farming increased. The amount of production per Mu increased from 1.68 Shi in 1738 to 5.0 Shi in 1868 at Xiangtanxian. Also, it increased 1.97 Shi during the former term of Qing, 3-4 Shi during Tongzhi, and 5.5 Shi during the Republic. The amount of production per Mu evidently increased at the end of Qing when compared to Changshafu 11Districts. Regarding farming techniques, the documents about farming tools in the regional documents show the detailed description of the tools. In the Liling Hsien Zhi are listed about 60 kinds of farming tools. The old farming tools improved and they were introduced to Changshafu. Grain seeds were partly imported from foreign countries.
The economic farm products such as cotton, tea, oil, were sensitive to the international markets and the amount of production naturally increased. This is understood more as a process of adapting to the capitalist market economy than the phenomenon of imperialistic manipulation of market economy. The decrease of demand at the international markets was not due to the political pressure of imperialism; rather, it was due to the problem of quality of goods. The increase of farm products, the sale of goods, and the increase of circulation of goods are understood as the reinforcement of economic growth and market economy.
The overflowing of foreign commodity was considered as economic invasion of imperialism and led to the collapse and bankruptcy of traditional handiwork. However, the import of foreign commodity stimulated the appearance of domestic western commodity and the improvement of domestic handiwork. The production of rice was also high in the area where foreign commodity was used extensively and purchasing power was growing up. The rapid increase of foreign commodity meant that the economy and the level of life elevated.
The statistics about the price of rice and that of other goods lacks. The analysis of price list in Liling District shows that the price of rice was higher than that of western cotton, oil, and so on. The living standard of farmers during the last stage of Qing leveled up. They had contact with diverse goods of new period (new civilization) such as electricity, watch, glasses, medicines, in addition to foreign money.
In sum, this study shows that there were economic growth and market economy in the rural area of Hunan Changshafu at the end of Qing periodand the Republic. The growth was slow and some farmers went bankrupt. But it would not be right to say that it was due totally to imperialism, although it was partially true. A great deal of causes should be investigated from the inside of the society.