A setback of Tang’s mercantilism

A setback of Tang's mercantilism

For Gao Xianzhi, a military defeat is nothing. Soldiers can be recruited if they are lost. However, if the military-industrial complex collapses, it is difficult to rebuild. After all, those outstanding craftsmen have to find long-term prospects and cannot be obtained overnight.

Who is the winner of the Battle of Tarros

During the Tang Dynasty, on the Eurasian continent, there were three great empires watching each other.

The Arab Empire, the Great Food, is located between Europe and Asia. It interacts with the other two empires, the Byzantine Empire and the Tang Empire, and is therefore more cosmopolitan. There are two ways to interact between empires: war and peace. In contrast, the interaction between Great Food and the Byzantine Empire was mostly in the form of war, and the interaction with the Tang Empire was mainly in the form of peace. This was determined by the geopolitical situation and was in line with the principle of “distant diplomacy and close attack” between nations.

Also, it depends on whether the momentum of the empire is expanding or contracting . When the two expanding empires collided, it was inevitable that a battle would be avoided. Datang and Dashi met several times, and there was the Taluos War. Later, due to the Anshi Rebellion, Datang shrank, and the two empires never collided again. However, Tubo swelled up and became an empire, preventing the eastward expansion of the Great Food.

Before the Battle of Daluos, Datang and Dashi had a cooperation to destroy Sulu together. That should be the first cooperation between the two empires. In the book, there is a special section about that cooperation, and that time was also the initiative of Datang. Tang sent envoy Zhang Shuyao to Da Shi to discuss, proposed two ways to send troops, pinch the assault, Da Shi approved, and agreed on the dispatch date. Sulu was the Turkist Shi Kehan. He chose to form an alliance with Tubo. He refused to eat in the west and the Tang Dynasty in the east. He wanted to relive the old dream of the Turkic empire. As a result, he was wiped out by the eclipse, and the eclipse expanded eastward, which was unstoppable.

Da Shi had previously sent envoys to the Tang several times before attacking Persia, and Persia called for help in the Tang Dynasty. Da Shi also sent envoys, seeking a neutral position in the Tang Dynasty. Da Shi acquiesced, allowing Da Shi to expand rapidly, and Persia died. Later, anti-Ge Datang.

During the Umayyad dynasty of the Great Food Empire, the expansion momentum was very strong, and the frontier of the Tang Dynasty was the target of expansion. Therefore, it formed an alliance with Tubo and encroached on the Tang Dynasty. The battle is over.

The battle of Daluosi took place in 751 AD in the tenth year of Tang Tianbao. Daluos City, named after the Taras River, is about 18 kilometers west of Taraz, Kazakhstan. The name was first seen in Tang Xuanzang’s “Story of the Western Regions of the Tang Dynasty”, and this place was recorded as “Taluo Private City”, saying “The city is eight or nine miles away, and merchants from all countries live together.” The name mentioned again is Du Huan’s “Jing Xing Ji” who participated in the Battle of Daluosi. He said that the broken Yechuan “There is a city in the west, and the name is Daluosi.” This city is made up of “Shiguoren Town”.

Du You wrote “Tong Dian”. In “The General Preface of Frontier Defense Class”, based on “Jing Xing Ji”, he also mentioned the place “Tanluo Si Chuan”. Later, Jia Dan wrote “Huang Hua Si Da Ji”, Among them is the itinerary from Anxi, that is, Qiuci to Taras. The itinerary may be the marching route of the Gao Xianzhi army from Anxi to Taras. Of course, some people think that the battlefield is not in Taras city, but in the Taras River. Ittlech on the west bank of the upper reaches is now Pukorovka in the west of Kyrgyzstan.

The cause of the war, or the Western Regions vassal state Shi Guo “no courtiers”, Anxi Jiedu asked Gao Xianzhi to send troops to conquer, Shi Guo asked to surrender, after Gao Xianzhi allowed him to surrender, but took advantage of his precautions to capture the Shi Kingdom and slaughter the city. Capturing his king, beheaded at Quexia, King Stone escaped and asked for help from the big food. Gao Xianzhi led his army to rush for more than 700 miles, reaching Daluosi and fighting the big food army.

In the battle of Daluos, the Tang Dynasty was frustrated, and the food was also injured. It can also be said that it was a loss for both sides. The real winner is Tubo . During the war, the Great Food was still in revolution, and the empire changed dynasties. The Abbasid dynasty replaced the Umayyad dynasty. Within the Great Tang, what followed was the Anshi Rebellion and the separatist regimes. Tubo took advantage of the situation to fight for the supremacy of the Western Regions. , Because they broke away from geopolitical contacts, they turned to trade and cooperated.

The Battle of Daluos was originally a regional and partial conflict in the military, not a full-scale war between two countries, but people like to interpret it as a national battle between the Tang Dynasty and the Great Food. It seems This is a bit too much.

Because this battle did not shake the foundation of Tang’s hegemony in the Western Regions, but only challenged its hegemony, and Da Shi did not achieve a decisive victory through this battle. The void of the Western Regions hegemony was filled by the Tubo dynasty.

For a generation of the Tubo dynasty, to grow into a Buddhist empire, the Tibetans seized the opportunity. However, there are gains and losses. There is no “if” in history. Suppose we have to “if”. For example, “if” the Tubo dynasty did not choose Buddhism but Confucianism, what would happen to it? Perhaps its vision will not be limited to the Western Regions, but will turn to China. Only by understanding Confucian culture can it know how to use the Anshi Rebellion to compete in the Central Plains.

This may be the fortune of the Tang Dynasty, otherwise, Tubo would have given the first signs of Liao, Jin, and Yuan.

Tubo was not always an enemy to the food. It also formed an alliance with the Uma dynasty to fight against the Tang Dynasty. It had more and less enemies with the Abbasid dynasty. It was attacked by the Tang and the Abbasid. Pressure. As for the Abbasid dynasty to the Tang Dynasty, except for the Battle of Daluos at the beginning of the founding of the country, that battle was actually caused by the inertial movement left by the expansion of the Uma dynasty. Later, there was no more war and it turned to peace. The start of a win-win period for the cooperation between the two empires has become a paradigm for empire relations.

The Emphasis on Agriculture and Merchant in the Military System of the Tang Dynasty

From 651 to 798, Zhang Yichun pointed out in the preface of “Jing Xing Ji An Zhu” that “Da Shi sent envoys to China 36 times.” However, Datang’s appointment of envoys overseas has not been recorded because of the secrets of Tang history. According to statistics, Datang’s appointment of envoys should be more than the one recorded in the “Yang Liangyao Shendao Stele”.

So what kind of book is “Jing Xing Ji”? It is the record of Tang Dynasty Du Huan’s experience of traveling in the food. His travel range, from Central Asia to North Africa, can be said to be the farthest traveled west since the Han and Tang Dynasties.

However, his experience is hard to come by, and it is the most helpless compensation he can get as a prisoner of war. Before becoming a big food prisoner of war, he was a Chinese official in the Datang Army. Gao Xianzhi was a clerk. Tang Jun Daluosi was defeated, Gao Xianzhi escaped and he was captured. Those who fled back, the high-ranking officials remained the same, and Hou Lu Zhao enjoyed them. Unexpectedly, during the Anshi turmoil, the eunuchs said a few bad things and they were said to be dead. They died like this. It was a useless, dead like a celebrity.

Before he died, I didn’t know what the general thought, and wanted to ask him a question, and wanted to ask, why are there so many craftsmen in his army of 100,000 people? Does he think he can achieve success and prepare for the reconstruction of the city after the war? If this is the case, it is obvious that he underestimated the arduousness of the war and violated the taboo of the military. Originally, the Western Regions used soldiers at a high speed, and brought a large number of non-combatants to attack thousands of miles. How could he get it “speedy”?

Of course he would not fail to understand such a clear truth, but why would he still do it after he understood? This is related to his military system. During the Han and Tang dynasties, the Western Regions were governed by the integration of farming and warfare. Both the farming system was based on the farming system, with the army stationing as the mainstay, and the civilians assisting it to cultivate sustained combat power. Today’s production and construction corps has changed its name. .

But the Western Regions is a business way after all, where the wealth is rolling, where the benefits are. Farming is not as good as business, and the battle of farming is not as good as the business. Therefore, the transition came quietly. From the farming system in the early Tang Dynasty to the military industrial system, the Western Regions were operated as a military-industrial complex, which transformed the unity of military and agriculture into the unity of military and industry, and the unity of farming and warfare into the unity of business and war.

In wartime, fighting to support war can maintain the military industry and increase combat effectiveness. In peacetime, it was transformed into civilian use by the war of commercial support, to benefit the Western Regions where “the whole world is all for profit”, and a new economy was formed in addition to the national economic system. But historical experience tells us that in Chinese tradition, the army can do farming, but it is not suitable for doing business. Because the main body of the army comes from farmers, not merchants. Therefore, it is necessary not only to emphasize agriculture and suppress business from the institutional arrangement, but also to cultural identity. Value righteousness over profit.

During the Han and Tang dynasties, state-based mercantilism had not yet appeared in China. However, in a certain part and a certain historical period, there may have been active factors of mercantilism. In the recruitment system, the emergence of a new military-industrial complex seems to have sprouted signs of mercantilism. Tang Shi commented on Gao Xianzhi, saying he was greedy for profit, but ignored the mercantilism behind his personality. The essence of the military-industrial complex is mercantilism. Ism.

Let me ask, what is the style of such a medieval military-industrial complex?

No one has ever asked such a question before, but it is a mystery that tempts us to explore: Why is there so many anonymous craftsmen who have changed the course of world history? It’s like we are surprised that so many painters of unknown origin gather in the Renaissance Thousand Buddha Cave Dunhuang?

It was those craftsmen who made paper with papermaking techniques that not only wrote a large number of Dunhuang documents, but through their experience, they spread the cultural heritage of the Tang Dynasty to the Arab world, through the Arab world, to Europe, replacing paper. Grass and sheepskin prepared the material basis for national reading for the European Renaissance.

In addition to papermaking, there is also a compass, which also prepares for the coming era of great navigation.

It is said that the Arabs obtained these key technologies through a battle, that is, the Battle of Daluos. The Gao Xianzhi army was defeated, and the artisans who accompanied the army became captives of the food and were taken captive to the land of Assyria. Participating in the city construction of Baghdad, Du Huan mentioned them in the “Jing Xing Ji”, and recognized several of them, and recorded them with their names and surnames.

For Gao Xianzhi, a military defeat is nothing. Soldiers can be recruited if they are lost. However, if the military-industrial complex collapses, it is difficult to rebuild. After all, those outstanding craftsmen have to find long-term prospects and cannot be obtained overnight.

Since Shang Yang’s reforms, the traditional Chinese army has formed a soldier and peasant organization with farmers as the main body. This kind of organization appeared in the Tang Dynasty and was a new thing. It mainly involved three aspects, one is the army, the other is the military industry, and the third is the state authorization, including the authorization within and outside the economic system. Said that in addition to granting military and political chiefs the financial power within the economic system, they must also grant the right to economic development outside the economic system. This just adapted to the transition from the military system to the recruiting system, and the military-industrial complex appeared in the recruiting system.

The characteristics of the government’s military system, as Du Mu put it, are “plowing crops at three times and governing the military at one time”, that is, “for the people in peacetime, as soldiers in wartime, soldiers do not know the generals, and they will not know the soldiers”. This kind of army protects the home. The country is okay, but it’s not enough to open up the frontiers and expand the land.

In the early government military system, soldiers were enlisted in agriculture under the land equalization system. When farmers received their land, they were obliged to pay taxes to the government and serve as soldiers for the country. Conscripts are government soldiers, and government soldiers must prepare their own food and weapons, just like a master of the country. But the military system must be based on the system of equalization of land. If the peasants have no land to accept, the military system will be unsustainable.

At the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, the government soldiers were available because the country had a large amount of wasteland, which could be continuously distributed, and the government soldiers who were allocated the land, followed Taizong on the expedition, and actually destroyed the Turks. That kind of founding atmosphere-farming and war in one, soldiers and farmers in one. , Really is “try to see who can be the enemy in the world”! Therefore, Taizong said boldly: China is strong, Rong Di is weak. With one thousand soldiers, we can defeat Hu Qi by tens of thousands.

Those words have long become the political ideals of the scholars of the Tang Dynasty. For example, in “The Collection of Bai Juyi” Volume 47, it said: In Yingtian, the mansion has permanent officials, and the field has permanent business. Sometimes he speaks martial arts, and he persuades farmers at the age. Therefore, if there is a problem, he will become a soldier, and if nothing happens, he will become a farmer. Isn’t this a country where people-oriented national defense is all soldiers? pity! Still lost.

Li Mi and Dezong reconsidered the government soldiers. They mentioned that since Wu Zetian, the government soldiers have been “despised by others and shameful to the people” and lost the last remnants of their obligations to the country. They even did not hesitate to self-mutilate-“steam their hands and feet” to escape military service. . Why is this so? There are objective reasons . For example, under the equalized land system, there is no more land to accept, and the military source of the military system has also reduced and gradually dried up; there are also subjective reasons , that is, Wu Zhou replaced Li Tang and wanted to change Li. The old system of the Tang Dynasty had to change the military system first, and the Emperor Wu saw that the military system was going to be bad, just to reduce the threat to her.

Li Miwei sighed, and when Dezong expressed his desire to restore the military system, he replied: If the law of the military is always preserved, this is the blessing of the community and peace and prosperity will prevail.

Ideals return to ideals, reality return to reality, reality can no longer go back, but the light of ideals is not extinguished because of it, but passed on to the people of Song Dynasty like a fire, which affects the history of Song people, “New Tang Book” He and “Zi Zhi Tong Jian” repeatedly praised the unity of soldiers and farmers, that is, based on the ideals of the Tang Dynasty, but failed to notice the history of the evolution of the military system from the Western Wei Dynasty to the early Tang Dynasty.

There is also realism. On the contrary, for the two hundred years of the government’s military system, Ye Shi, of the Yongjia Shigong School of Eastern Zhejiang Province in the Southern Song Dynasty, thinks, how can there be any combination of military and agriculture? The government-soldier system for the past two centuries was the separation of soldiers and peasants.

Regarding the bias of these two views, Chen Yinke made corrections separately in “A Brief Discussion on the Origins of the Sui and Tang System”. He pointed out that Ouyang Xiu, Sima Guang and others ignored that the military system was separated from the soldier and the peasant since the Western Wei Dynasty, and Ye Shi It is seen in the separation of soldiers and peasants since the Western Wei Dynasty, while ignoring the transformation of the military system from the tribal military system in the Western Wei Dynasty to the state military system in the early Tang Dynasty. The nationalization of the military system abolished the independence of the tribal system and gave the country unity. The basis of unity is the system of equalization of land. The realization of unity requires the state to grant land, and the government and soldiers obtain land from the state. Only then can there be a unity of soldiers and farmers, and unity of farming and warfare.

At the beginning of the founding of the country, the country had a lot of wasteland, which was suitable for the military system. Over time, the wasteland was gradually reduced. Although “the whole world is not the king’s land”, “the king’s land” is not infinitely divisible. The force of the military system is becoming less and less, and the government soldiers who have been allocated land have lost their land in the land annexation, and the foundation of the military system is fundamentally shaken.

To some extent, the ensuing recruiting system can also be regarded as the return of the military system, from the combination of soldiers and peasants to the separation of soldiers and peasants, from the absolute unity of the national military system to the relatively independent tribal military system. It is not a recovery, but a spiral upward. It is not a return to the tribal chief, but from the rift of the great unity, a sect like the chief is born. Jieduzhi is not only the chief of the military-political unity, but can also use local financial resources to support the army. He is also the engine of the military-industrial complex. To continuously expand the army and expand its armaments, it is necessary to open up financial resources from outside the government’s finances.

Soldiers under the recruitment system are mercenaries, not conscripts, but professional soldiers who lead their lives on salaries, and are not the national army who shoulders the mission of the country. They only see employers and no monarchs, and they have become the basis of the military for the separatist regime. It is on this basis that the prototype of the military-industrial complex has emerged. In order to ensure the source of professional soldiers, it is necessary to develop hereditary military households. In order to ensure specialized military production, it is also necessary to develop hereditary craftsman households. The army of the field troops formed a military unit integrating workers, peasants, and soldiers. The Datang Western Regions Corps led by Gao Xianzhi should be such an organizational form. Otherwise, it would be difficult for us to understand why there are tens of thousands of people in a failed battle. The craftsman became a prisoner of war.

Let us imagine that when such a military-industrial complex faces a wealth of business, wouldn’t it be easy to move toward mercantilism? To expand the army on the Silk Road, mercantilism should be more profitable than agrarianism.

Chinese wealth clues behind the war

After the end of the Taros War, another mystery of the war began to emerge, allowing us to see the wealth motive behind the geopolitics of Central Asia and the true nature of mercantilism. In the article “Examination of Routes”, it was pointed out that “the cause of the Battle of Daluosi was not as simple as that described in the “Xin Tang Shu” and other ancient Chinese documents.”

As the fuse of the war, the Stone Kingdom and the Bana Khanate fought for a batch of Chinese goods. The Anxi Protectorate of the Datang Empire provided these goods. To be more specific, it was Gao Xianzhi. He sold this batch of goods to the Banana Khanate, or asked him to sell it on his behalf. King Stone got this message and wanted to seize it. Seeing that there was a Tang army guarding it, he even aroused his hatred of subjugation, so he asked for food. Send troops to attack. On the other hand, it is said that this batch of goods may be the products of Gao Xianzhi’s army.

Song Xian pursued Du Huan’s journey in the Great Food Nation, but his gaze turned to a big cannibal.

That person was Abu Muslim, the host of the Great Food Nation. This person played a special role in overthrowing the Uma Dynasty. At the beginning of the Abbasid Dynasty, he held a heavy army, which was the Khorasan army that defeated the Gaoxianzhi Army. .

The fuse of the war was the fight for a batch of Chinese goods, and this batch of goods came from the Gao Xianzhi Legion. Therefore, Gao Xianzhi was going to send troops to guard. , Abu Muslim led the Khorasan army to set a trap and waited for him to arrive. He drove seven hundred miles, knowing that he was abusive, but did not retreat. Instead, he attacked and wanted to smash the snare in one fell swoop. How contemptuous of the enemy! But there is only one result of contempt, and that is failure.

After the war, that batch of Chinese goods was first obtained by a small Central Asian country, whose country name, or “history” or “thirsty stone”, may be obtained by taking advantage of the chaos. Abu Muslim could not let him go. He sent a large army to chase him, destroy his country, seize his goods, collect the treasures and prisoners of war together, and gather in Samarkand. The military-industrial complex built by Gao Xianzhi was taken by Abu Muslim. The property was fully taken over, and the Flower of Datang Military Industry opened up in Central Asia.

This is not over yet. The Battle of Talus still has a continuation around Chinese goods. The Central Asian treasure-taking incident aroused the attention of the Abbasid dynasty. In the second year after the killing of Abu Muslim, it sent troops into his lair and won This batch of treasures.

Strictly speaking, the Battle of Daluos was not a geopolitical war between the two countries. In fact, it was a mercantilist contest between the two legions. The cause of the war was the competition for business and the control of trade hubs. It was not the two imperial courts but the commanders of the two armies that decided this war. Abu Muslim made his own proposition for war. Gao Xianzhi also found any reason to say hello to the imperial court. Without forming a national policy, he started the war lightly. Therefore, the war was limited between the two legions and did not expand. After the war, the commanders of the two armies were also killed by their respective courts, because they were all warlords out of control of the court.

Gao Xianzhi’s failure was a setback of Tang’s mercantilism. A dazzling beacon of the military-industrial complex that had just been ignited was wiped out in a battle of swords, lights, and shadows. A military organization that integrates military and industry, and business and war. Disintegrated by a war full of rebellion, it was not only the army of the outer feudal clan who rebelled, but there should also be those soldiers from the Tang army who came for profit? A mercantilist army can be invincible, but most of them have a fundamental shortcoming, that is, it is easy to be bought. As long as someone pays a higher price, it will be unexpectedly disintegrated. Perhaps it is the buying that leads to The failure of Tang Jun.

Therefore, in Du Huan’s “Jing Xing Ji”, we see Du Huan who personally participated in the Battle of Daluos, mentioning the location of the war, only said one sentence: Tianbao ten years, the place where Gao Xianzhi was defeated. . Originally, there should be a thousand words to say, but in the end, it stopped with just one sentence. Is it really nothing to say, or is it unspeakable?

Of course, there is another possibility, that is, the original book of “Jing Xing Ji” has been lost, and those who travel in the world today are compiled in “Tong Dian”. “Tong Dian” talks about the Western Regions and overseas affairs, and more quotations from “Jing Xing Ji” “Note”, so although the original book is lost, it is still possible to see it. Maybe there is not only this sentence in the original book, but what we can see, only this sentence.


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