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10 Rereading “Commemorating the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Fall of the Ming”

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Chapter Summary

Guo Moruo's "Commemorating the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Fall of the Ming" is a classic document, which points out at least four crucial historical issues. First, the Ming dynasty's inability to deal with the roving bandits and block the foreign bandits was a result of having lost state power. Second, the state power in question refers not only to the ability of the state to collect taxes, but more importantly the ability of the state to use collected taxes for the people's livelihood, especially to help the people in times of disaster. Third, the combination and contrast of economic prosperity and the decline of state power is the most important phenomenon of the Ming history. Fourth, if the collapse of the Ming was inevitable, then the difficult birth of a new social force to propel historical progress merits greater consideration.

Keywords: China; crucial historical issues; foreign bandits; Guo Moruo; Ming dynasty



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