Zhang Fan: the Yuan Dynasty was always controversial because there were too few misunderstandings about it

 Zhang Fan: the Yuan Dynasty was always controversial because there were too few misunderstandings about it

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Is the Yuan Dynasty a Chinese dynasty?

Since modern times, some foreign sinologists, for the consideration of political or research inertia, regarded the Yuan Dynasty as a part of the conquering history of the great Mongolian Empire, not as a dynasty in Chinese history, such as the famous conquering Dynasty theory and the no China after the cliff advocated by Japanese scholars. However, in Zhang Fans view, many statements on this issue are not simple.

No China after the cliff is not the creation of modern people, but comes from the Ming Dynasty, with its historical reasons. Zhang Fan believes that the premise of discussing this issue is what we define as China. The concept of China has changed a lot since ancient times. It has gradually expanded in geography and enriched in connotation. He quoted Tan Qixiangs point of view and divided the concept of China into ancient China and modern China.

The former is a narrow sense of China, which is basically bounded by the area of Han nationality activities and Han culture coverage, represented by the Qin Dynasty; the latter, a broad sense of China, is a collection of multi-cultural areas after the Yuan Dynasty, represented by the middle Qing Dynasty (1759-1840). But with the development of history more and more complex, more and more rich, it is difficult to use this narrow and simple concept as a standard.

From Zhang Fans point of view, we need to choose the most reasonable and logical standard at the fork of this contradiction. That is to say, when history has developed to modern times and a large scale of China has been formed, it is obviously unreasonable and illogical to insist on using ancient China to understand and frame the Yuan Dynasty.

In addition to geographical China, we often say China, there are two other meanings of China, that is, consanguinity and culture. Zhang Fan believes that it is difficult to discuss from the perspective of consanguinity, because of crowd migration, war, integration and miscellaneous places, it is difficult to define the Chinese descendants in the sense of consanguinity. The cultural significance is concerned about whether the people accept the traditional culture centered on the Han nationality in China, that is, when the princes use the etiquette of barbarians, they will be barbarians; when they enter China, they will be Chinese.. Although Yuan Dynasty deviated from Han culture, it basically used this idea to establish a dynasty and set up a system for governance.

Therefore, the Yuan Dynasty belongs to China in terms of its main nature. Zhang Fan agreed with Japanese scholar masayama Sugiyama that before the Yuan Dynasty, it was small China, and after the Yuan Dynasty, there was big China. Therefore, the Yuan Dynasty is not only the dynasty of China, but also the foundation of the transformation from ancient China to modern China.

How to recognize the historical position of Genghis Khan?

Zhang Fan believes that Genghis Khan is not only the creator of the Empire, but also the founder of the nation. Genghis Khan cannot be regarded as a general historical figure.

Mongolian is a ethnic group formed around Genghis Khan family. Without Genghis Khan, there would be no Mongolian, so he has practical significance. Genghis Khan fundamentally changed the pattern of grassland. Zhang Fan said, and the Mongolian people feel that he is a symbol of their national identity and feelings, so they can not accept such disrespect.

But on the other hand, some foreign scholars have described Genghis Khan as the earliest promoter of the globalization wave, which may also be regarded as a rising suspicion. Some scholars in Europe, America and Japan think that the worlds major civilizations were isolated from each other, and Genghis Khan had a series of events after that, such as Marco Polo, Columbus and so on. So the earliest globalization was done by Genghis Khan.

In Zhang Fans view, Genghis Khan did not realize the so-called concept of globalization. He launched the war for the purpose of conquest, not to strengthen communication and exchange. His descendants carried forward the conquest and finally built the Empire. So its a result, not a goal. Moreover, the cost of globalization is too high, and there are too many deaths. Civilizations like those in central and Western Asia have been severely damaged, and many cities have disappeared in a destructive way. so Genghis Khan is the first promoter of globalization, more like a kind of blind praise.

On the massacre in the Mongolian Conquest

Mongolians dont use the first rank as the standard of merit recording, but usually as a means rather than an end. The butchers city is a place where some people resist and make an example. In Chinese and foreign documents, many statistical sources are hearsay, and the figures cannot be easily believed. But the phenomenon cannot be denied, because Mongolia has its own records. Open sail to talk.

In Zhang Fans view, there is a fundamental difference between the massacre in the Mongolian conquest war and the Hitler type genocide. It is for the needs of the conquest war, not for the special race. Whats more, ancient wars were so common that they lacked respect for human life. Mongolians were in the period of barbarism civilization transformation, and were deeply influenced by the jungle law, so the situation was more serious.

However, in the peaceful situation, Mongolian rulers are not bloodthirsty. The laws and regulations of the Yuan Dynasty were very loose. According to the records, there were few murders in the south of the late Yuan Dynasty. Occasionally, people would go to tell each other about the murders, but they didnt see the murders to have a look. Zhu Yuanzhang said that the rule of the Yuan Dynasty was too broad. He said that the social management was too loose.

In addition, the emperor of the Yuan Dynasty highly praised Buddhism and granted amnesty whenever he could move. Zhang Fan said, I used to joke that the Yuan Dynasty was a paradise for criminals. When someone commits a crime, he pretends to die. After two days, Amnesty can run out and say, Im not dead, but you cant catch me, Amnesty!

For such a historical problem, Zhang Fan has a principle: historical facts cant be erased, historical gratitude and resentment cant be clarified, of course, we cant forget history, we cant muddle up the past, but we need to make things clear.

How to evaluate the rule of Yuan Dynasty?

How should we evaluate the rule of such a controversial dynasty?

In Zhang Fans view, the Yuan Dynasty did not reach the normal life span under the so-called dynastic cycle law, so the rule was not successful. The Yuan Dynasty had no foreign invasion, but its life span was shorter, all because its internal problems were not straightened out. The Mongolian rulers did not run in well with the Han society. Zhang Fan said, some people compared it with the Qin and Sui dynasties, saying that one hundred years would be good, but I dont think so.

The Qin and Sui dynasties collapsed without a firm foothold, but the Yuan Dynasty gradually declined. The problems that should have occurred in the great unification dynasty all appeared early, the management level was not enough, so it was destroyed.

But the Yuan Dynasty had an important influence on the development of Chinese history, especially on politics. Under the rule of the Yuan Dynasty, China expanded its territory and strengthened its centralized power. To sum up, the greatest contribution of the Yuan Dynasty is the territory, national and institutional heritage, and the innovation in some aspects is very advanced, such as paper money, shipping, transportation between China and the West.

Although there are obvious inequalities in ethnic policies, in Zhang Fans view, this inequality has been exaggerated by later generations. In the original textbook, the fourth class system was the national hierarchy system of the Yuan Dynasty, which divided the common people into four grades, which Zhang Fan thought was inaccurate.

Its not the governments definition, its because the government inevitably has different policies for different ethnic groups in the society. After more accumulation, it will be summarized as the fourth class system. Zhang Fan explained that these policies are not all four levels. Although there is no special conclusion in the academic circle, I wrote my opinions in the textbooks when the Ministry of education compiled the middle school textbooks: there was a different treatment policy for different ethnic groups in the Yuan Dynasty, which was summarized as the fourth-class system by later generations.

The Yuan Dynasty was always controversial, but the reason was that they knew too little and misunderstood too much. Zhang Fan concluded.

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