[Home]->[Culture&Arts]->[The Historical Achievements of Zhejiang Culture]
    The Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties witnessed the dramatic transformations of the feudal China's society. Based on the development of Song & Yuan dynasties, the handicraft industry in Zhejiang continue to grow quickly. After mid Ming dynasty, the textile and silk workshops increased rapidly in Hangzhou-Jiaxing-Huzhou region and lots of new towns came into being along the banks of the Grand Canal. All of these promoted the development of Zhejiang city economy greatly.
Wang Yangming
    And the solid economic foundation also helped bring the literature, art and ideology to the height of power and splendor.
    As for ideology, the famous Yuyao idealist Wang Yangming in Ming dynasty created the theory of human conscience. It became popular then and enlightened scholars of Ming and Qing dynasties, and even the whole modern Chinese ideology. At the turn from Ming dynasty to Qing dynasty, two ideologists and patriots, Huang Zhongxi and Zhu Shunshui, were also from Yuyao County. Huang Zhongxi was the originator of the Eastern Zhejiang School in Qing dynasty. Through the observations to Chinese history, politics, economics, philosophy, astronomy and geography, Huang Zhongxi had completed 72 works to these fields among which the book Mingyidaifanglu (ready to visit Mingyi) criticized the feudal system, put forward the importance of industry and trade, and revealed the native democratic thoughts. His book Mingruxue'an (case study of Ming scholars) is the first complete history works on philosophy and learning in China. The famous thinker, litterateur and historian Gong Zizhen in late Qing dynasty promoted the opinions of social reform, which brought great influence to the circle of modernism. These developments in philosophy showed the efforts made by the Eastern Zhejiang School to heal the corrupted society. Besides, Zhang XueCheng, Wan Sitong and Quan Zuwang were also the representatives of Eastern Zhejiang School. Zhang invented the local topology thus initiated the important sub-branch of China's historiography. His work General Survey on Literature and History enjoyed high reputation together with an earlier work Survey on History written by Liu Zhiji of Tang Dynasty. In late Qing dynasty, the famous Haining scholar Wang Guowei investigated into the Chinese ancient history, drama, literature and phonology and devoted a lot to these fields.
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