Wang An-shih

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Wang An-shih

(wäng än-shûr), 1021–86, Chinese Sung dynasty statesman. As a chief councilor (1069–74, 1075–76) he directed sweeping administrative and fiscal reforms that drew strong conservative opposition. His aim was to strengthen the central government, but the poor also benefited from reforms such as the graduated land tax, cheap government credit, and reduction of the forced labor levy. Wang revived government price and commodity controls, local police administration, and the militia system. Followers of Wang competed with conservative bureaucratic opponents for high office after his resignation.

Wang An-Shih

 

Wang Chieh-fu. Born 1021; died 1086. Chinese statesman, reformer, scholar, and writer.

Wang An-shih was a district government clerk. In 1069 he was court counselor, and from 1070 to 1074 and 1075-76 he was prime minister. Beginning in 1069 he proposed and partly effected several reforms: for example, he organized the tax system by introducing a new cadastre, tried to regularize market prices, introduced a system of state credit extension for peasants, introduced exemption from state conscription, and replaced mercenary troops with an army of drafted recruits. These reforms were carried out chiefly in the interest of petty and middle landowners, but they also benefited the peasants. As a result of the opposition of the big landowners and usurers, most of the reforms were abolished in 1085.

Wang An-shih wrote works on the theory and history of Chinese literature, commentaries on several canonical books, and several poems and prose pieces. He was a master of rhythmical prose. His letters, pamphlets, and essays became standard reading. As a philosopher, he was a materialist, but he was not free of mechanism.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
In the book Antologiia kitaiskoi poezii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1957.
Kitaiskaia klassiehe skaia proza, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V.l. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 12. Page 253. (Footnote.)
Ivanov, A. I. Van An’-shi i ego reformy XI v. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Shtein, V. M. “Kitai v X i XI vv.” Sovetskoe vostokovedenie, 1945, no. 3.
Ch’i Hsia. Wang An-shih Peinfa. Shanghai, 1959. (The reforms of Wang An-shih.)
Liu, James T. C. Reform in Sung China: Wang An-shih (1021-1086) and His New Policies. Cambridge, Mass., 1959.

G. IA. SMOLIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Both occurred several decades before the actual conquests, and both hinge on the promotion of a package of populist and dirigiste policies formulated by Prime Minister Wang Anshi (in office 1069-76), who even today is revered as a major intellectual influence on Chinese political philosophy.
Contemporary observers laid blame for die decline on the "disaster" of socialist reformer Wang Anshi (von Glahn 2005, 71), who seized the commanding heights of production, issued widespread price-and-wage controls, and established state pensions and direct provision of credit (Nourse 1942).
The problem is that although Wang demonstrates that a relevant matter for Huang Tingjian and his contemporaries was the termination of poetry as a central portion of the civil-service examinations in 1071 under the direction of fellow Du Fu-devotee Wang Anshi (1021-1086) and his faction, Yugen Wang fails to contextualize the political discourse that ultimately overshadowed the lives of nearly all poets or literati in Song China.
One example is the reforms initiated by Wang Anshi in the eleventh century.
Wang Anshi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1021-1086)--who would later become Grand Councillor, architect of state reforms, compiler of new glosses on the Classics and the lexicon itself--was thirty-three, living at home in Jinling [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (modern Nanjing).
Both possibilities would accord with the dogged, thick-skinned Wang Anshi of legend and rumor.
Wang Anshi (1021-1086) was a renowned philosopher and politician of Northern Song (960-1126), celebrated for the massive reforms that he undertook as chief minister under Emperor Shenzong (r.
Wang Anshi (1021-1086), the well-known poet and political reformer, is one of the few in the tradition that have truly developed the utopian theme in Tao Yuanming's work.
Wang Anshi, prime minister under the Song emperor Shenzong and an accomplished poet himself, banished Su to Huangzhou, Hubei, in 1079 because of Su's opposition to some of Wang's radical reform measures.
Also included is calligraphy by twenty illustrious officials of the Northern Song, including Fan Zhongyan (989-1052), Wen Yanbo (1006-97), Fu Bi (1004-83), Ouyang Xiu, Wang Anshi (1021-86), Sima Guang (1019-86), and Su Che (1039-1112), and in a separate volume, other Song cultural figures such as Li Yu, Xu Xuan, Li Jianzhong, Song Shou, Su Shunqin (1008-48), Qin Guan (1049-1100), and Li Gonglin (1049-1106).
Wang Anshi invited Xue Xiang to experiment with regional sources of financing the horse procurement, which meant capitalizing the horse trade from regional industries in Shaanxi and Sichuan, thus taking a heavy financial burden off the central government.
presumably Liu Yong, Mei Yaochen, Wang Yucheng, Lin Bu, Su Shunqin, Wang Anshi, Sima Guang).