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Emperor and AncestorState and Lineage in South China$
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David Faure

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780804753180

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804753180.001.0001

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A Note on Prosperity

A Note on Prosperity

(p.233) Chapter Seventeen A Note on Prosperity
Emperor and Ancestor
Stanford University Press

The Pearl River Delta enjoyed prosperity during the last decades of the eighteenth century, in part due to the restriction of Western trade to Guangzhou by the 1750s. However, evidence about this prosperity is scarce. In particular, the impact of the destruction of the 1640s to 1670s on the economy was not clear. The state of siege resulting from the coastal evacuation in 1661–1670 must have disrupted agriculture and trade. The impact of trade on village life is evident in the spread of silver dollars, which were mentioned in temple donation records toward the 1780s. Furthermore, luxury could have been revived in Guangzhou from about the mid-eighteenth century on. Merchants from Fujian, showing lavish lifestyles, settled in the region. By the early nineteenth century, street life was thriving and a vibrant publishing industry appeared in Guangzhou.

Keywords:   Pearl River Delta, prosperity, trade, Guangzhou, silver dollars, luxury, merchants, lifestyles, publishing industry

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