Economy of the Song dynasty

first developed in ChinaSong DynastyChineseeconomic revolutionprivate overseas tradeagricultural revolutionChinese shipping industry and maritime economydomestic economicseconomic revolution in Chinaeconomic revolution in pre-modern China
For over three centuries during the Song dynasty (960–1279) China experienced sustained growth in per capita income and population, structural change in the economy, and increased pace of technological innovation.wikipedia
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Banknote

paper moneybanknotespaper currency
This period also witnessed the development of the world's first banknote, or printed paper money (see Jiaozi, Guanzi, Huizi), which circulated on a massive scale.
The first known banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century.

Song dynasty

SongSouthern Song dynastyNorthern Song dynasty
For over three centuries during the Song dynasty (960–1279) China experienced sustained growth in per capita income and population, structural change in the economy, and increased pace of technological innovation.
This dramatic increase of population fomented an economic revolution in pre-modern China.

Joint-stock company

joint stock companyJSCjoint stock
...set up partnerships and joint stock companies, with a separation of owners (shareholders) and managers.
The earliest records of joint stock company can be found in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907) and the Song Dynasty (960–1279).

Huizi (currency)

Huizi
This period also witnessed the development of the world's first banknote, or printed paper money (see Jiaozi, Guanzi, Huizi), which circulated on a massive scale.

Quanzhou

ZaitunQuanzhou, ChinaZaiton
Although the massive amount of indigenous trade along the Grand Canal, the Yangtze River, its tributaries and lakes, and other canal systems trumped the commercial gains of overseas trade, there were still many large seaports during the Song period that bolstered the economy, such as Quanzhou, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, and Xiamen.
Over the course of the 13th century, however, Quanzhou's prosperity declined due to instability among its trading partners and increasing restrictions introduced by the Song in an attempt to restrict the outflow of copper and bronze currency from areas forced to use hyperinflating paper money.

Jiaozi (currency)

Jiaozipaper moneyjiaozi banknotes
This period also witnessed the development of the world's first banknote, or printed paper money (see Jiaozi, Guanzi, Huizi), which circulated on a massive scale.

Su Shi

Su DongpoNian Nu Jiao: Chibi Huai GuRecord of Stone Bell Mountain
While acting as governor of Xuzhou in 1078, the famous Song poet and statesman Su Shi (1037–1101) wrote that in the Liguo Industrial Prefecture under his administered region, there were 36 iron smelters run by different local families, each employing a work force of several hundred people to mine ore, produce their own charcoal, and smelt iron.
Later, when he was governor of Xuzhou, he wrote a memorial to the throne in 1078 complaining about the troubling economic conditions and potential for armed rebellion in Liguo Industrial Prefecture, where a large part of the Chinese iron industry was located.

Guanzi (currency)

Guanzi
This period also witnessed the development of the world's first banknote, or printed paper money (see Jiaozi, Guanzi, Huizi), which circulated on a massive scale.
* Economy of the Song dynasty

Economy of the Han dynasty

Han-dynasty Chineseage of economic prosperityan early 1st-century BC tomb
By the year 1085 the output of copper currency was driven to a rate of 6 billion coins a year up from 5.86 billion in 1080 (compared to just 327 million coins minted annually in the Tang's prosperous Tianbao period of 742–755, and only 220 million coins minted annually from 118 BC to 5 AD during the Han dynasty).
In comparison, the Tianbao period (742–755 AD) of the Tang dynasty produced 327,000,000 coins every year while 3,000,000,000 coins in 1045 AD and 5,860,000,000 coins in 1080 AD were made in the Song dynasty (960–1279 AD).

Shen Kuo

Shen KuaKuo, ShenShen Gua
Shipment of all these materials and goods was aided by the 10th century innovation of the canal pound lock in China; the Song scientist and statesman Shen Kuo (1031–1095) wrote that the building of pound lock gates at Zhenzhou (presumably Kuozhou along the Yangtze) during the 1020s and 1030s freed up the use of five hundred working laborers at the canal each year, amounting to the saving of up to 1,250,000 strings of cash annually.
Shen was worried about deforestation due to the needs of the iron industry and ink makers using pine soot in the production process, so he suggested for the latter an alternative of petroleum, which he believed was "produced inexhaustibly within the earth".

Ming dynasty

MingMing ChinaMing Empire
The subsequent Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties would issue their own paper money as well.
The Chinese had sent diplomatic missions over land since the Han dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE) and engaged in private overseas trade, but these missions were unprecedented in grandeur and scale.

Culture of the Song dynasty

Song DynastySouthern Song Dynasty13th century China
Restaurant businesses thrived on this new clientele, while restaurants that catered to regional cooking targeted customers such as merchants and officials who came from regions of China where cuisine styles and flavors were drastically different than those commonly served in the capital.
The widespread availability of printing in the Song allowed many ordinary people to access materials that were once read almost exclusively by experts, such as printed texts and handbooks on agriculture, childbirth, pharmacy and medicine, domestic economics, geography, divination, and Taoist rituals.

Emperor Huizong of Song

Emperor HuizongHuizongZhao Ji
In that year of 1101, the Emperor Huizong of Song decided to lessen the amount of paper taken in the tribute quota, because it was causing detrimental effects and creating heavy burdens on the people of the region.

Gunpowder

black powderpowderblack-powder
The government did, however, continue to enforce monopolies on certain manufactured items and market goods to boost revenues and secure resources that were vital to the empire's security, such as tea, salt, and chemical components for gunpowder.

Yuan dynasty

YuanYuan ChinaYuan Empire
The subsequent Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties would issue their own paper money as well. Many of these economic gains were lost, however, in the succeeding Yuan dynasty.

Chinese units of measurement

muhuChinese
Under this policy, the cultivated land in the Song dynasty is estimated to have reached a peak number of 720 million mu, and was not surpassed by later Ming and Qing dynasties.

Wang Anshi

Wong on ShekWang An-shiWang An-shih
Prominent statesman and economist Wang Anshi issued the Law and Decree on Irrigation in 1069 that encouraged expansion of the irrigation system in China.

Lake Tai

Taihu LakeTaihuLake Taihu
Major irrigation projects included dredging the Yellow River at northern China and artificial silt land in the Lake Tai valley.

Jiangnan

JiangdongJiangnan regionJiang Nan area
The Song inherited the plow innovations described in the Tang dynasty text The Classic of the Plow, which documents their utilization in Jiangnan.

Huai River

HuaiHuai watershedHuaihe River
The wasteland plough was not made of iron, but of stronger steel, the blade was shorter but thicker, and particularly effective in cutting through reeds and roots in wetlands in the Huai River valley.

Jujube

Ziziphus jujubaZizyphus jujubaZiziphus zizyphus
A tool designed to facilitate seedling called "seedling horse" was invented under the Song; it was made of jujube wood and paulownia wood.

Water wheel

waterwheelwater wheelsovershot wheel
Song farms used bamboo water wheels to harness the flow energy of rivers to raise water for irrigation of farmland.

Champa

Kingdom of ChampaChamChampa Kingdom
High yield Champa paddy seeds, Korean yellow paddy, Indian green pea, and Middle East watermelon were introduced into China during this period, greatly enhancing the variety of farm produce.