Economic factors led to the fall of Jin dynasty : focus on the economic effects after relocation of capital to Kaifeng

  • Ming Hong WONG

Student thesis: MPhil Thesis (Lingnan)


This thesis traces ramifications of the relocation of the Imperial Capital during the Jin dynasty. It argues the decline and fall of the Jin is rooted in this relocation. In 1209-1213 C.E., faced with the Mongol military threat and a dire shortage of grains, the Jin dynasty (1115-1234) was forced to relocate its capital from Zhongdu to Nanjing (Kaifeng). The sudden move, however, crippled effective governance in the former capital and its surrouding areas, the Heshuo region. Here, poor governance was soon followed by swarms of bandits, and in particular led to the rise of the Red Jacket Bandits, decimating the Heshuo economy. In the new capital Nanjing (Kaifeng), the sudden and enormous influx of military households too created serious economic problems. They received large amount of stipend from the state but reluctant to farm. Desperate for resources, the Jurchen waged war against the Southern Song. It was a disaster for the Jin. The southern parts of Henan, a grain basket province of the Jin were ravaged by war, and millions of commoners fled to the Southern Song. More importantly, the Red Jacket Bandits, having received supplies from the Southern Song, managed to conqueror large parts of Shandong, another important Jin province. Together, the lost of Shandong and the destruction of Henan, devasted Jin grain production. The Jurchen lost most of the battles against the Mongols partly because of their weaker military. But this thesis argues that their military defeat is also intimately tied to the precipetious decline of Jin grain production. The grains storage in the southern parts of Henan could not provide enough grains for the Jin armies to defend against attack. Eventually, the cities in Henan fell one by one.
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of History
SupervisorRichard Lee DAVIS (Supervisor) & Chi Pang LAU (Supervisor)

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