Ming and Qing dynasties “small Nanjing, Jin Xiangtan”, the world’s first strong county

2022-08-24 0 By

In the Qing Dynasty, Hunan was known as “Jin Xiang Tan, Yin Yiyang”.Xiangtan is “gold” in terms of its commercial prosperity and taxation ranking first in the province.In the Ming Dynasty, Xiangtan was known as “Little Nanjing”.In the annals of Xiangtan County, Wang Kai-yun named Xiangtan as the “first strong county under heaven” or “strong county outside the lake”, praised it as “an ordinary and rich country”, and pointed out that xiangtan was endowed with the best wealth and was endowed with the highest fertility in Hunan province, and its contribution was divided into two counties.Qing Dynasty xiangtan Tianbao eight years (AD 749), Xiangtan County set up Luokou, then from songjia Bridge to Dabu Bridge has initially become a market.In the Song Dynasty, the county was moved here, and the city hall was traced back from the Dabu Bridge along the river, extending continuously until the Jida Qiuzi Bridge at the end of the Qing Dynasty, extending for more than ten li.From jiu Zong to 18 zong, the street is divided into three columns, namely he, Zheng and Hou three streets, and row upon row of streets. “Before Xiang and after Lake, the situation is better than Xia Kou” (referring to Wuchang City), which is the essence of the business of the county.Xiangtan is located in the northern edge of central Hunan, with five post roads converging here and developed land transportation.Especially waterway, Xiangjiang from the city south flow, under the dongting, communication Yangtze River;Along the river to heng, yong, out of Guangxi into dijiang, through Wuzhou to Guangzhou, or via Chenzhou, by land connecting nanfengling into Beijiang and guangzhou, on this transport line, carrying goods across the mountains, there are hundreds of thousands of people.Ripple, trickling two water in the county near the xiangjiang River, the network of nearby counties.Xiangjiang river near the county seat, open water.River water from the southeast, the ripples, trickling two water into the north, jiwan to the north, when blocked by Taogong Mountain and flow to the north, in the form of a big fishing hook here, Xiangtan city is just at the back of the hook, water wash sand away, ships are very favorable, and the dock has the river bank shelter, winter ships from the north wind attack.In the late Qing Dynasty, Xiangtan had more than 50 docks.Coupled with the deep water, large vessels can be accessed all year round, so that the river swarmed with sails.Li Qianzhi, a merchant in the Song Dynasty, opened up a line of energy from Xiangpiao to Yizheng in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River to carry out trade, and “every year, he earned tens of millions of yuan”.At that time, xiangtan county had a population of more than 300,000, ranking first in Hunan province over Changsha.Ancient trade, more according to the river, follow the water boat, for bulk trade transport.Xiang Tan city at the end of the Qing Dynasty stores more than 4500, hengyang coal, iron youxian, Xiang Xiang, Baoqing paper, Chenzhou, Yongzhou tobacco, as well as steel, sugar, sulfur, soil red, grass, tea, fruit from the water transport here, in this gathering.”Yi Wu River for 100 grain collection area”, annual trade grain rice about 4 million stone, sand Bay also has as much as 1 million stone, Xiangtan has become one of the four major rice markets in the country.Yunnan, Guizhou and other 16 provinces and south Asian countries are also collected here;There are more than 100 merchants in daoguang years, hundreds of merchants, annual sales of about 8 million taels of silver, known as “medicine is not even xiangtan”, become one of the four national medicine.After the Opium War, the rise of Xiangtan tea, xiangzhong tea boxes here for shipment, become the largest tea export distribution center in the province.Hedong banzi factory area bamboo and wood market developed, xiangjiang river upstream forest area of bamboo and wood into Xiangtan, in hedong and Hexi Shawan area changed into a large row, from the town of Dongping to Taiping Street, along the river is full of giant wooden row, and then released north into the Yangtze River.Xiangtan merchants mostly come from Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Fujian and the five northern provinces (Shanxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Henan, Gansu), and the provincial merchants are grouped into seven groups, each group of merchants has its specialty.Linjiang business good medicine, jian ‘an business special bank, Jianchang business special tin foil, Jiangsu business camp silks, Jiangnan (including Jiangsu, Anhui, northern Zhejiang) business city wine sauce, Shanxi business good exchange, Sichuan business good Dan paint, five provinces industry qiu brown, Fen wine, Guan Jiao, lu shen, Guangdong business is operating silver, sunflower fan, betel….Each gang has clubs: 1 in the five northern provinces, 13 in Jiangxi, 1 in Fujian, 1 in Guangxi, 1 in Guangdong, 3 in Hubei, 2 in Anhui, 3 in Jiangsu, 1 in Zhejiang, and 4 in Hunan.Each gang has directors, generally donate five products to wear, to deal with officialdom.Hall in jiangxi yu zhang hall (flower), the most spectacular temple building TingXie dao, “xiangtan county annals” said its “palace pavilion park is most wide zhuang”, “modification works, with ten describe”, other halls, today still ShuiGe after its majestic gate house and palace pavilion (rain) lake park, this city for ten month plaintive notes.Longevity palace Xiangtan trade, according to the survey data during the Republic of China: Xian, tong (AD 1851 ~ 1874) day profit of four or five million money, bank exchange year to silver ten million taels, the republic of China yuan annual trade volume is still 65 million taels of silver;If calculated in terms of “total”, the total amount of silver (referring to property) from the 14th to the 18th is not less than 2 million taels.Rong Hong, a man of the Qing Dynasty, once explained the reason for the large volume of trade in Xiangtan in his Book, “Xiangtan is also a large commercial port in the mainland. When goods are brought ashore in Guangdong, they must first be gathered in Xiangtan and then transported to the mainland.Besides, it is not imported goods, so Chinese silk tea must be packed in Xiangtan before being shipped to Guangdong. As a result, the commerce between Xiangtan and Guangzhou was extremely prosperous.Yung Hong refers to the situation before the Opium War, after which commercial ports were opened widely, inland waterway navigation was opened, and especially the construction of modern railways later, xiangtan’s status as a freight and water transportation center gradually declined.