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A review on the changes of the merchant-peasant relations from the mid-Tang dynasty to the mid-Ming dynasty

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

From the Qin dynasty on there were two opinions about the merchant-measant relations: one was physiocracy and the other was equivalency. Influenced by the two opinions, Chinese ancient poetry had changed for three times. Firstly, since the physiocracy had been weakened in the mid-Tang dynasty, the thought that merchant should have the same status as peasant appeared in the poetry creation, leaning to an idea of physiocracy. In the second, the scholars in the Song dynasty, such as Fan Zhongyan, Ouyang Xiu and Su Shi, adopted the thought of equivalency, but they stressed on the government policies. And the last, breaking through physiocracy and the idea of “stronger merchants will hurt peasants” some artists like Tang Yin, Xu Wei and Wang Shizhen, in the mid-Ming dynasty did agree with the merchants in thought of “living for pleasure” which got responses in their poems.


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