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2 Pacifying Southern Gan

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Chapter Summary

Shao's representation of Wang Yangming's efforts to elevate the customs of the people he was charged to govern echoes Wang's own understanding of what he was trying to do in South China. Along the way, Wang was already receiving reports of banditry raging in the weakly administered mountainous region straddling southwestern Fujian and northeastern Guangdong. He blamed this on their failure to implement his mutual surveillance system. Not surprisingly, encouraging individuals to reform themselves through preserving moral goodness and cultivating sincere intentions was also the crux of his institutional program in Southern Gan. Wang's communications list dozens of settlements located in three critical areas that he deemed legitimate targets of attack that he would eventually occupy and destroy. These areas, all located in mountain ranges in the western half of the prefecture, were Tonggang, Hengshui, and Zuoxi, the latter two referring to tributaries of the Gan River.

Keywords: Fujian; Guangdong; Hengshui; mutual surveillancesystem; South China; Southern Gan; Tonggang; Wang Yangming; Zuoxi



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