Jurchen (Jin) and the South-Sung Empire - History of the East

10.4. Jurchen (Jin) and the South-sian Empire

The Jurchen tribes that inhabited the territory of South Manchuria, from earliest times were connected with China, traded with it, and then entered the sphere of influence of the Khitan Liao Empire. Accelerated rates of their development in the process of tribalization, which should be attributed to no small degree due to constant contacts with more developed cultures and peoples, led at the turn of the 11th-12th centuries. to the emergence of pro-state formations among the Jurchens and the emergence among them of influential leaders. In 1113, one of them, the strengthened ruler of Aguda, opposed the Khitan neighbors, seized some of their lands and established there his own state Jin (1115-1234), later proclaimed by the empire. Sun rulers at first saw Jin as an ally in the struggle against the Khitan who had bothered them, but the situation soon became clear. In 1125 the state of Liao was destroyed by the Jurchen. After that, some part of the Khitan went to the west, where a small state of the Kara-China, West Liao (1124-1211) emerged in the area of ​​the Talas and Chu rivers, whence it came to the United States ethnonym "Chinese". As for the intensified Jurchens, they took the place of the Khitan who had been defeated by them and began to invade the territory of the Sung China, gradually digging deeper into it. In 1127, they captured Kaifeng, and the emperor himself with a part of the family was captured by the Jurchen. One of the sons of the captured emperor fled to the south, to Hangzhou, which later became the capital of the new South Song empire (1127-1280).

Meanwhile, the victorious army of the Jurchen successfully moved to the south, and only the deep-water Yangtze detained its advance. Over time, the border between Jin and the South Sung Empire was established somewhere near the Yangtze, as a result of which North China again, like almost a millennium ago, found itself for a long time in the state in which the foreigners dominated. True, as before, in this state the main part of the population was still the Chinese, and the Jurchen themselves, having barely escaped from their horses, began to rapidly become Chinese, which was facilitated by their perception of Chinese norms and standards, from political administration and hieroglyphs to the way of life of the population. Nevertheless, between Jin and South China China, relations continued to be very complex, often openly hostile.

In the beginning, the successful invasion of the Jurchens and the forced retreat of the Song Dynasty for the Yangtze caused a natural patriotic impulse in Chinese society. After all, the southern part of China, in contrast to what was a millennium earlier, in the Nan-bei chao period, has now become almost 100% Chinese, so the incident was perceived as a national catastrophe. Peasant militia recruits, created in due time Wang An-shi, rose to fight, tried to resist the invaders. The regular government army was also strengthened, and among its commanders there were talented and resolute generals ready for active struggle, like the famous Yue Fei (1103-1 1141), which in the middle of the 1130s. won several victories over the Jurchens and was, apparently, close to achieving more. However, the Yuzhno-Sung court, with a clearly expressed distrust and even suspicion of successful generals, was not inclined to contribute to the success of Yue Fei. The grouping against the commander at the court led by Chancellor Qin Gui summoned Yue Fei in Hangzhou in 1141 and imprisoned him, where he was soon executed. After this, in 1142, the Song Empire concluded with the Jurchens another humiliating world for it, according to the conditions of which the Jurchen paid 250,000 pieces of silk and 250 thousand silver lanas annually.

Although the world was humiliating, and the payments very weighty, for a pampered, rich and obviously not ready for decisive military actions with the brave nomads of the Sunni China, this was in its own logical and even in a certain sense a successful exit. Having made an uneasy decision and for a long time secured itself from invasions from the north, the South-Ssun dynasty existed for about a century and a half. Of course, one can not speak of prosperity in such conditions, but the dynasty did not disappear without a trace. On the contrary, Southern China in the XII-XIII centuries. was a rich and very developed in the economic and sociocultural plan of the state, where grain and cotton, tea and sugar cane were abundantly grown, the world's best silk and unique products made of porcelain, lacquer, ceramics, silver, bamboo, etc.,

The splendor of Hangzhou, which at one time made an indelible impression on Marco Polo, who had never seen anything like this, in his own words, anything like this (although the Italian was perhaps the most experienced European traveler of his time), speaks for itself .

South-China was not only an economically developed state. It was the center of a highly developed spiritual culture, the focus of Chinese philosophical thought in its almost the highest manifestation for imperial China. It was here that the phenomenon of neo-Confucianism - the doctrine that aimed not only to reform and enrich the ancient revered doctrine with new ideas, but also how to breathe new life into it, made it sparkle with new faces. The recognized head of this philosophical trend was the great Zhu Xi (1130-1200). Thanks to the efforts of famous thinkers, the phenomenon of neo-Confucianism in its Zhusian form became the pinnacle of Chinese philosophy. Subsequently, neo-Confucianism was spreading in neighboring countries and especially active in Japan.

In the time of the Sunnlight unprecedented heyday reached and Chinese painting. At this time lived and worked the best in the history of China artists, united around a special Academy of Painting. The scrolls they have written to this day are an ornament of many museums in the world. Among the artists of the sun were recognized theorists of painting, the authors of revered treatises. There were also masters of a thin landscape, lovers of images of flowers and birds. Among these masters were some of the Sung emperors who worked under pseudonyms.

For Chinese thought did not pass unnoticed and the very historical fact of the division of China into the north and south. Although this section was not new to the country, it still played a role.

• The division of the country into parts and the dominance of foreigners in the north have added additional emphasis to those small, but noticeable ethnic differences that have been formed and consolidated separately for centuries in the north and the south. It is about differences in language (dialects), in culture, even in food and clothing. Of course, these differences should not be overestimated. Ultimately, they did not affect the fact that the Chinese in the north and in the south remained Chinese. To do this, the foundations of spiritual culture, the principles of life, the norms of habitual being, relations in the family, society, etc., were all strong enough linking all of them together. But nevertheless, the differences were, moreover, according to contemporaries, they manifested themselves in some pampering of the southerners, opposed to the firmness and determination of the northerners, as was formulated, in particular, by one of the Sun reformers Lee Gou.

• Significant influence on the way of thinking, habitual stereotypes and cliches had a real political relationship of the Chinese with their northern neighbors - tangut, Khitan, Jurchen. The Chinese have long been used to think of themselves and their state in terms of the "Celestial", "Middle Empire", surrounded by backward and negligible barbarians. And these barbarians were almost in the position of the ruling ethnic group, to which China pays tribute. It was difficult to reconcile with reality, but it was necessary. Not that the Chinese have abandoned the usual stereotypes of thinking in the categories "Celestial" and the emperor as "the son of Heaven". But they had to admit to themselves that one thing bequeathed by tradition and therefore, as it were, unshakable ideas about the greatness and omnipotence of the Chinese empire, and quite another - real life. Being pragmatic by nature, they did not experience it too painfully, which played a role in decisive for the destinies of the country in the 19th-20th centuries.

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