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Implementation of the Mu-yi-fa in the Mid-Song Period and Local Officials

  • 중앙사론
  • 2020, (52), pp.111-145
  • DOI : 10.46823/cahs.2020.52.111
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : September 3, 2020
  • Accepted : September 8, 2020
  • Published : December 31, 2020

Geun-myung Lee 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Mu-yi-fa was first implemented in late December 1070. It was con- ducted on a trial basis in the capital area, and then expanded to the whole country in October 1071, 10 months after that. The method of collection for the exemption money(Mu-yi-qian) has changed several times. Initially, it was only imposed on middle class households and above, but it was expanded nationwide in October the following year, allowing inferior households to collect the exemption money. Most of the provinces would then impose an exemption money on inferior households. The collection of exemption money for inferior household has become one of the main points of contention in the opposition party's criticism of Mu-yi-fa. How did Mu-yi-fa's implementation affect the lives of lower class people? The opposition party all argued that the policy was disad- vantageous to the inferior household. However, the reformist group showed a completely different view. They argued that Mu-yi-fa had many benefits for the inferior household. The circumstances of Mu-yi-fa implementation in various places were very complex. However, in general, Mu-yi-fa was carried out in a tight manner. In addition, the exemption money was overcollected from farmers. Local officials at that time tried to make as much surplus as they could. The government used fiscal surplus as one of the criteria when evaluating local official. The government placed great importance on securing finances in the implementation of Mu-yi-fa. It also encouraged financial surplus when implementing Mu-yi-fa. As a result, Mu-yi-fa's original intentions changed significantly. It was for this reason that the exemption money was collected from the inferior household, or the exemption money was collected from farmers much more than needed.

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