What is it about?

This article explores the relationship between empire-building and commercial change in the Qin Empire (221–207 BCE), the first of China’s centralized empires. I demonstrate how the empire’s need to administer and tax its territories contributed to the growth of markets.

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Why is it important?

The expansion of states played a crucial role in the commercial growth in the ancient world. Military conquests, foundation of new cities, and other activities by the imperial governments required efficient mechanisms for accumulating, transforming, and transferring resources, and markets often provided such mechanisms. It is only recently that the discovery and publication of a Qin administrative archive made it possible to study the impact of the Qin Empire on the economic changes in East Asia in the last centuries BCE.

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This page is a summary of: Building Empire, Creating Markets: Commercial Policies and Practices in Imperial Qin (221–207 BCE), Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, January 2023, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/15685209-12341594.
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