Social Economy of Yuan Dynasty

Under the wise governing the Mongolian rulers, the social economy in the Yuan Dynasty in early period developed fairly well in agriculture, handicraft industry, commerce and foreign trade.

The agriculture was the major economy of the Yuan Dynasty. Although the Mongolian people were a nomadic people who originally lived on the grassland for generations, Kublai Khan focused much attention on the agricultural production after the founding of Yuan Dynasty. The following emperors also advocated replacing the traditional animal husbandry with agriculture. As a result, no matter in the production technique, the farming area or the food output, the Yuan Dynasty surpassed the previous dynasties.

The most prosperous handicraft industry in the Yuan Dynast was the textile industry. As the cotton planting became more and more popular in the southern areas of China, the development of the textile industry was greatly stimulated and reached a fairly advanced level. A woman named Huang Daopo from Songjiang area (currently in Shanghai urban area) improved and invented the new cotton textile technology, which made Shanghai and the near regions become the earliest national cotton textile industry center.

Both the surplus goods and the convenient water transport was the prerequisite of the commercial development of the Yuan Dynasty. In the early period of Yuan, a 51-mile long grand canal, named Tonghui River by Kublai Khan, was constructed in the capital city Dadu (currently Beijing). This provided much convenience for the food transport from southern areas to the capital. Additionally, the large circulation of paper currency further prospered the domestic business affairs.

Meanwhile, rulers of the Yuan Dynasty adopted an open policy to develop the economy. On the one hand, more ports in the coastal areas were opened for goods transport; on the other hand, foreign goods were welcomed to enter the domestic market. Under this policy, great amount of spices and medical materials were imported from Arabia, Persia and India while China's silk and porcelain in large number were exported to Europe.

The unprecedented prosperity of the marine Silk Road became the most direct momentum of the domestic economical development hence was the highlight of the social economy of the Yuan Dynasty. Thanks to this, the Yuan Dynasty in that period was regarded as one of the richest countries in the world.

- Last modified on Oct. 16, 2017 -
Questions & Answers on Social Economy of Yuan Dynasty
Asked by Jeff from NEW ZEALAND | Dec. 04, 2015 20:20Reply
Who could work for the goverment during the Yuan Dynasty?
Answers (1)
Answered by Zoey from SINGAPORE | Dec. 05, 2015 02:46
34Reply


Jeff, both Mongolian and Han people had chances to be officials. Usually, Han people took part in the imperial examinations to compete the chances of being officials. However, Mongolians just inheritted official positions from their parents.
Asked by Katie from USA | Mar. 10, 2015 10:55Reply
What was the size of the yuan dynasty's army?
Answers (2)
Answered by Kevin from INDONESIA | Mar. 11, 2015 01:32
411Reply


Katie, it is said that there were 500000 soldiers in Yuan's Army. Compared with the population (around 80 million), Yuan Empire didn't have many soldiers. However, their soldiers were very brave and strong. Otherwise, it was impossible for Genghis Khan to conquer so many countries with his army.
Answered by THEQUESTIONGUY | Apr. 29, 2016 09:56
18Reply


Katie, it is said that there were 500000 soldiers in Yuan's Army. Compared with the population (around 80 million), Yuan Empire didn't have many soldiers. However, their soldiers were very brave and strong. Otherwise, it was impossible for Genghis Khan to conquer so many countries with his army.
Asked by Niki from USA | Mar. 04, 2015 10:45Reply
What path did the Yuan dynasty take to conquer all of China?
like the dynasty's they overthrown the dates and how they did it also were they violent people when they conquered all of China?
Answers (2)
Answered by Ellen from JAPAN | Mar. 07, 2015 20:23
36Reply


Well, the emperor started several wars to conquer the others. During the period, the soldiers were cruel to the common people to make the war succeeded. Owe to the emperor’s wisdom and the soldiers braveness and skill in battle, the Yuan Dynasty conquer all of China.
Answered by THEQUESTIONGUY | Apr. 29, 2016 09:56
54Reply



Well, the emperor started several wars to conquer the others. During the period, the soldiers were cruel to the common people to make the war succeeded. Owe to the emperor’s wisdom and the soldiers braveness and skill in battle, the Yuan Dynasty conquer all of China.
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