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Maritime Commerce And Its Relation To The Sung Navy

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Chapter Summary

The dramatic thrust of the Chinese people out to sea during the epoch from the beginning of the twelfth to middle of the fifteenth century represented one of the most outstanding examples of the dynamics of Chinese history. This phenomenon was manifested by the growth of maritime commerce. The Sung government found one source of income on which it could rely, the revenue derived from maritime commerce. To foster it, the Sung court made a special effort to assist the merchants, and, to protect it from piracy, it gave emphasis to the building of high sea fleets. As the territory which it controlled shrank, it was necessary to adopt the best means to defend what it had left. As the navy was the best means of defense, the Sung government paid greater attention to the maintenance of its naval forces than it would have done otherwise under more favorable circumstances.

Keywords: Chinese people; maritime commerce; naval forces; Sung government



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