Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

2020-08-03 16:36:11 0 Comment 2472 views
abstract

The Reform Movement of 1898 failed. Revolutionary Liang Qichao went into exile. In 1903, he visited the United States at the invitation of overseas Ch

The Reform Movement of 1898 failed. The revolutionary Liang Qichao went into exile. In 1903, he visited the United States at the invitation of overseas Chinese.

At that time, the Chinese travelers from the mainland to Shanghai and Hong Kong felt that they had seen the new century.

When I arrived in Japan from Shanghai and Hong Kong, I felt my vision changed.

When I went from Japan to the West Coast of the United States, my vision changed again.

Finally, from the West Coast of the United States to New York and other places on the East Coast of the United States, I felt that this was the peak of prosperity.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

New York’s elevated railroad system in the late 19th century

In New York, the most advanced hotel room is 150 yuan a day, and the luxury The Palace of Versailles on the fourteenth came closer, and even Li Hongzhang’s visit could only be a second-class room with a housing price of only half.

Reviewing the history of the city of New York, Liang Qichao discovered that New York has grown from a small town with a population of only 20,000 to more than three. The 1.5 million "second city in the world" only took 120 years (1783-1903)

Liang Qichao thought deeply. He realized the foundation and trend of the development of large cities like New York since the 19th century. It is completely different from before.

The ancient metropolis, no matter what, was mostly established for political and military purposes. Needless to say, Chang'an and Bianliang in China. And Athens in ancient Greece, SpartaEven Italian cities in the Middle Ages also became political centers and then economic centers.

Liang Qichao believes: This kind of metropolis created by the gathering of political power. Although it can also achieve prosperity, there is a limit in the end.

In modern times, the development speed and limits of modern metropolises represented by New York and based on manufacturing and commerce are truly limitless. Liang Qichao was optimistic about New York, which was thriving, and believed that the development of New York in 1903 was far from its limit.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

In 2018, the global city ranking compiled by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network-"World Cities In "Roster 2018", New York and London are tied for the Alpha++ level of the "world's most influential".

Modern sociologist Herbert Spencer once famously said: The Age of Barbarism , The production organs were the supplies of the armed organs. In the civilized era, the armed organs were the safeguards of the production organs.

Bianliang (Kaifeng) in the Song Dynasty, although not like Changan and Luoyang The Four Fortresses are conducive to defense, but Kaifeng has convenient transportation and is dominated by the Central Plains. It is conducive to warfare and benefits the soldiers and the people. It is for the various aggressive regimes in the five generations.Say, you can advance or retreat.

In 952 AD, Zhou Taizu Guo Wei officially issued an order to use 550,000 to repair the Kaifeng city wall. He realized that the construction of Kaifeng in the later Zhou Dynasty cannot be re-planned on a piece of white paper after the Han or Sui system. It can be transformed according to the actual situation of Kaifeng at that time, so the planning of Kaifeng City during the Later Zhou-Northern Song Dynasty was not as strict as Tang Chang'an.

But it is precisely because of the lack of government planning that the Chinese metropolis has transformed from the "huge barracks" of the feudal fortress type of Tang Changan to more modern standards. As a commercial metropolis, due to the cancellation of the city, new commercial spaces were opened up on every street in Kaifeng in the Northern Song Dynasty, thus preparing a breeding ground for the vigorous development of private industry and commerce.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

Bianliang (Kaifeng) in the Northern Song Dynasty has almost all the elements of modern urban culture: developed entertainment and catering Services, municipal construction and public transportation represented by the fire brigade, and even the inexhaustible underworld public security issues.

The general opinion of the Bianliang population in the Northern Song Dynasty is far more than one million, and some people even think that Around 1000, it has exceeded two million. It is a hundred times larger than the size of London in the same period. The population density of the most prosperous area exceeds 10,000 per square kilometer, which is not inferior to today's big cities.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

However, after only 40 years, Song Jin ceased the war, and the visit of the Song Dynasty envoys has belonged In the Jin Dynasty of Kaifeng City, it was discovered that the most prosperous outer city in the past was already a large area of ​​ruins, overgrown with grass, and the millions of residents who lived here a few decades ago have disappeared. The lively shops, restaurants, and shops in those days turned into fields and ruins, and wild dogs and beggars walked through them, looking for food and supplies everywhere.

The Jinren may not want to rebuild the glory of Kaifeng. Hailing Wang Wanyan Liang insisted on moving the capital to Kaifeng and rebuilding the palace. However, the Chinese economic center has moved south, and the restoration of the glory of Bianjing has become water Of the month. In the later Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, the population of Kaifeng city remained at three to four hundred thousand, and gradually became unknown.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

A map of Kaifeng in 1898

Another example by Tang ChangAn, in fact, is the same. From the completion of Daxing City in the Sui Dynasty to the destruction of Chang'an by Zhu Quanzhong in the late Tang Dynasty, it lasted about 300 years.

Although there will be Chang'an City in later generations, it is completely different from the period of Tang Dynasty. The Chang'an City in the Song Dynasty was rebuilt on the basis of the palace city of the Tang Dynasty, and its area was only 1/16 of the Chang'an City in the Tang Dynasty.

The huge urban area of ​​Chang'an in Tang Dynasty rapidly degenerated into countryside and wilderness. The wild goose pagoda and Qujiang, which were once prosperous for a time, were "weeds" in the Song Dynasty, and there is a sense of millet and wheat."

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Looking back from Liang Qichao’s thinking, ancient metropolises such as Tang Chang’an and Song Bianjing did have the problem of relying too much on political and military factors, and focusing on consumption rather than production.

During the Yuanfeng reign of the Northern Song Dynasty, because the imperial court implemented the free bank reform, we obtained the number of all the private industrial and commercial workers in Kaifeng at that timeAccording to the data, there are about 15,000 households in total, accounting for only one-tenth of the city's household registration, and there are not as many garrisons in Kaifeng. Even if the official craftsmen or soldier craftsmen who worked in the official handicraft workshops were added, those engaged in industry and commerce in Kaifeng during the Song Dynasty accounted for only about 20% of the registered permanent residence in the city.

And when we look at the population composition survey of major cities in China in 1947 during the Republic of China, we will find that even modern cities that have just had a shadow of primary industrialization have a much higher proportion of industrial and commercial workers than Kaifeng in the Song Dynasty.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

Only 20% of people are engaged in industry and commerce, can they support millions of consumers? Obviously impossible, so the Northern Song Dynasty imperial court stipulated that, except for a small part of the wealth of the prefectures and counties, the rest was transported to Kaifeng or other designated locations, and the central government took charge. In fact, it is unilaterally sucking blood from the whole country to feed a huge central court and garrison.

In 1080, in order to implement the Baoma Law, the imperial court conducted a property survey in various parts of the north. As a result, it was found that 40% of the wealthy households in the northern areas lived in Kaifeng. (The standard for wealthy households is to have 3 million yuan in property in the city, and 5 million yuan in property in the countryside)

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

Why was Kaifeng able to concentrate the nation’s wealth? This was not a natural result of a market economy, but because of politics A special phenomenon caused by the concentration of power.


The concentration of political power created Tang Chang'an. This trend is even more obvious than that of Bianliang in Song Dynasty.

"Ye The article of "Hou Jia Chuan·Doorman" contains: Tang Dynasty transported the water, from Jijin to Sanmen, all were a boatman and led a boat, still with hundreds of people on his side. The river is like a sharp arrow, and there are often three gates. The waves cannot enter every dayOne or two hundred ships. Touch a dark stone, that is, the ship is broken into pieces and flows into the vortex, not to mention it.

The boatmen near Sanmenxia are all from Pinglu, Shanxi. There has been a saying since ancient times: Since ancient times, there is no tomb of the shipwright, why is there no tomb? Because sooner or later, anyone who does this will die in the rapids, and there is no place to die.

In addition, there are local legends that there are rice piles and grain piles underwater, all of which are accumulated by shipwrecks in the past hundreds of years.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

Why did the people of Pinglu County do this extremely dangerous job for generations? Because the millions of people in Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty needed food, which could not be solved in the Guanzhong Plain Therefore, it needs to be transported from the Kanto region for thousands of miles. In ancient times, it was mainly by water transportation. Here in Sanmenxia, ​​the water flow was rapid and the dangerous shoals and reefs were everywhere. If the boat was not careful, it would be broken.

Liang Qichao travels to the United States: Why is New York different from Tang Changan and Song Bianliang?

During the heyday of the Tang Dynasty, 4 million stone grains had to be transported from Hebei and Jiangnan to Chang'an via the Sanmenxia area every year, so as to support the millions of people in Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty, if it were not for political coercion. It is hard to imagine anyone willing to transport so much food to Chang'an at such a high price.

So why was Chang'an unable to recover after being destroyed in the late Tang Dynasty? Because his existence itself is a political miracle, the later dynasties hesitated again and again. It was too difficult to continue to spend so much political and economic resources to rebuild this transportation system. It is better to move the capital directly to the eastern region where food supply is more convenient.

So, whether it is Tang Changan or Song Bianliang, this huge city created by political power is a special phenomenon formed by the centralized system of ancient China.

The later generations of Xi’an and Kaifeng may be able to stand on top of the world again in the future, but that mustIt must be because of the strong technology and manufacturing industry.

Reference materials:

Liang Qichao's "New World Travel Notes"

Tang Guanzhong Agriculture and Chang'an City Food Supply Research

The New Deal in the Late Qing Dynasty and Early China Urbanization research

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