By Bozhong Li
The writer makes a thorough research of adjustments in key elements of construction and in styles of enlargement in agricultural creation in China's Yangzi delta in the course of the 3 centuries earlier than 1850, leading to a rise in either land and hard work productiveness.
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Extra info for Agricultural Development in Jiangnan, 1620–1850
Here I assume that both the 1620s and 1850s non-agricultural rural populations were only 10 per cent of the totals. This estimate is much lower than the estimates that He Liangjun, Jin Fu and Lin Zexu gave and it seems certain that the non-agricultural rural population was probably a bit larger in the late Ming or early and mid-Qing periods because by the 1930s rural crafts were already in decline and a large part of the non-agricultural populations were forced to return to farming or move into the cities.
Jiangnan land improvement is part of its agricultural development, which has spatial and temporal dimensions. Shiba Yoshinobu has created a model for the historical development of Jiangnan agriculture. 2o According to this model, Jiangnan agricultural development started in the mountain valley plains of western Jiangnan and spread east to the low-lying Jiangnan plain. Considerable other work on Six Dynasties (222-589), Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279), Yuan (1279-1368), Ming and Qing Jiangnan agriculture all support Shiba's model.
Clearly, mid-Qing Jiangnan double cropping exceeded in great measure double cropping in the 1930s and 1940s. Conservatively I estimate that mid-Qing Jiangnan had a double cropping index of 170 per cent, just lO per cent higher than my estimate of 160 per cent for 1920s and 1930s Jiangnan which all exclude alfalfa and other green manure crops,29 or a bit lower than the 1937 Jiangsu provincial figure of 167 per cent and the 1949 Zhejiang provincial figure of 169 per cent. In fact, I arrived at this figure based on the following assumptions: eastern Jiangnan had a figure of 190 per cent which is equivalent to Buck's 1928 estimate for the Yangzi flood plain and Cheng Lu's for the 1956 Suzhou-Wuxi district; the west had about a 150 per cent cropping index.