地區開發 明中葉 蘇州府 松江府 太倉州
Towns and Regional Development to the East of
Lake Tai during the mid-Ming Dynasty
Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica
The appearance and expansion of market towns are important benchmarks for measuring socio-economic aspects of Chinese regional development during the Ming-Qing era. This paper focuses on the prefectures of Suzhou, Songjiang and Taicang (all of which belonged to Jiangnan’s Sunan region), and is based on a statistical analysis of the distribution and expansion of market towns in order to determine this area’s socio-economic conditions during the mid-Ming dynasty.
to the mid-Ming, the development of the Sunan region featured the opening up of
uncultivated lands. If we sub-divide the Sunan region into three parts, it
becomes clear that this feature was most obvious in the Yantie River basin,
which was situated in the east of the Sunan region. Traditionally, the marginal
utility of land utilization in that area was low. Only after cotton was
successfully transplanted, and the cotton industry began to flourish, did the
Yantie River basin begin to attract immigrants from the west of the Sunan
region. This proved to be one of the major driving forces that advanced the
socio-economic development of the Sunan region during the mid-Ming.
Keywords: market town, regional development, mid-Ming dynasty, Suzhou Prefecture, Songjiang Prefecture, Taicang Prefecture