How miserable the people in the late Eastern Han Dynasty
At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Han Empire, which lasted for more than 400 years, sounded the death knell. The beginning of the troubled times spread from the court to the people. Above the temple, from emperors to princes and ministers, everyone is content to enjoy themselves. The Emperor Han Ling even sold a group of officials to satisfy his extravagant life. Later, it caused the Yellow Turban Rebellion.
When the emperor of the Han Dynasty came to power, Dong Zhuo, Cao Cao and others successively took the emperor to make the princes, and the emperor of the Han became a virtual name. During the reign of Han Lingdi, the power was seized by eunuchs. The world is chaotic, and the civilians are also plunged into a dire life.
As we all know, the period of the Three Kingdoms of the Eastern Han Dynasty was in a situation of day-to-day scuffles, and the horses were constantly raging. The major forces often cause extinct massacres, and the level of chaos is comparable to that of the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States period, and it is like warlord melee.
When Li Zhang attacked Chang’an, he burned, looted, and slaughtered Chang’an. The capitals of a country have become like this, can people’s lives be better?
The Yellow Turban uprising that broke out in 184 AD severely impacted the regime at that time, but as a result of the failure, 100,000 people were thrown into the river. After the war, there was famine everywhere.
The Yellow Turban Uprising also showed from the side that the people really couldn’t survive, so they were forced to start an uprising. When living a life has become a luxury, resistance is the last hope.
For ordinary people, they don’t have any chance to make a living. Most of the figures who can make a name for themselves on the Three Kingdoms stage have good family backgrounds, and very few of them have civilian origins.
Because society did not leave a channel for civilians to rise at all at that time. Even if Cao Wei later introduced the nine-grade Zhongzheng system, it only left a very narrow passage for civilians. The long-term war in the late Eastern Han Dynasty was a huge blow to the people of the Three Kingdoms era.
According to historical records, Dong Zhao’s biography records the Yellow Turban thieves in the late Han Dynasty, famine in the world, and people eating each other. Just a few lines in the history books cannot conceal the tragedies that took place on that land at that time.
Due to the policy of emphasizing agriculture and restraining commerce during the Han Dynasty, when a certain place encounters natural disasters and man-made disasters, if there is no government relief, it is impossible to expect to buy food from other places for disaster relief. In fact, in that troubled world, the people are often not the objects of relief, but the crops that are levied and conquered, waiting to be harvested. Like Zhang Lu, if the people in the jurisdiction have a way of life, they can naturally gain the support of everyone.
State and county regimes often change extremely quickly. Although warlords are in a melee, although they have soldiers and horses, their survival is also very difficult. “The Biography of Gongsun Yuan” records: “For more than 30 days after the rain, the Liao water was violently long, and it was transported from the Liao caliber to the city. After the rain, the hills were raised and the sculls were repaired, and the crossbow shot into the city for the purpose of sending stones. (Gongsun) Yuan was in a hurry. There are many dead.”
In the worst case, even the officers and soldiers have no food to eat, and the people are even more miserable. For their own survival, they extorted the people. Even massacres often occur. Cao Cao slaughtered the city many times and even became a military rule. Liu Bei did not do this. Therefore, he left the good name of benevolence at the time, and there is no reason.
According to historical records, Han Yongshou was three years old, when the total population of the country was 56 million, but by the later period of the Three Kingdoms, the total population of the country was only 16 million. Such a sharp decline in population is relatively rare in other times. Coupled with the backward productivity, the lives of ordinary people can be imagined.
At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, most of the clothes were made of coarse hemp. Although in the period of the Three Kingdoms, productivity has recovered and the handicraft industry has also developed. For example, the Shu brocade of the Shu Kingdom supplemented the shortage of fabrics to a certain extent, and once became the financial pillar of the later period of the Shu Han regime. But this kind of improvement is of little help to ordinary people, and more is to improve the quality of the nobles’ clothing.
After talking about eating, let’s take a look at housing and transportation. During the Han Dynasty, the development of wooden architecture was mature, and during the Eastern Han Dynasty, the development of stone architecture was relatively rapid. However, this has nothing to do with ordinary people.
Ordinary civilians live in thatched huts, and there are good or bad thatched huts. The thatched hut that Zhuge Liang lived in before he came out of the mountain was a relatively high-class thatched hut. There were book boys in the house and a small river next to it. This is a more comfortable life, far away. In the chaos of war, the dragon is hidden in the mountains.
Ordinary residents will not have such a blessing. It is normal for most people to have no foothold. In better conditions, there are still thatched huts to keep out the wind and rain.
As for travel, historical data records that travel in ancient times was mostly on foot, horse rides and cattle in long distances. Horses were rare in the lower life at that time. In most cases, these horses are sent to the battlefield. Ordinary people travel mostly on foot. The armor is born with lice, and all people die. The bones are exposed in the wild, and there is no cock crowing for thousands of miles. A hundred leftovers of the living and people, the heart of thought is broken. Cao Cao’s “Xing Li Xing” is undoubtedly the most true reaction of that era.
And this is just a drop in the historical data, the real history is really horrible. This situation only slightly improved during the period of the Three Kingdoms, productivity was restored, and the people lived and worked in peace and contentment for a period of time. But later Cao and Wei unified, Sima seized power, the Jin Dynasty was chaotic, and the troubled times began again.