Wang Anshi became the chief minister of Song China in the mid-1000s, after climbing the political ladder and studying the works of Confucius throughout his lifetime. During his time as chief minister, he wanted to make many reforms to the government in order to solve many of China’s issues at the time. In order to do this, he wanted to make education more accessible to men of all classes, loan farmers with small amounts of money so that they did not become dependent on the help of the wealthy landowners, and enforce a graduated tax. The government would also put in place a leveling system in which the government bought “the...
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In order to maintain and improve the Song China Dynasty, reform and a centralized government outlined by Wang Anshi would fit best. Both Wang Anshi and Sima Guang spent their lives’ studying Confucianism during the 1100s, and each derived his own idea of what the Song dynasty should consist of. Anshi’s ideas of a strong centralized government and constant reform to improve China drastically differed from Sima’s desire for a minimal central government and conservatism. Because of the lack of centralization and modernization in Song China, the philosophies of Wang Anshi would best fit the Song Dynasty during the eleventh-century. Although Sima Guang makes a valid point about the personalization of local government, Wang Anshi’s idea of a centralized government is superior because it addressed China’s need for a larger entity to encompass all of China’s regions as one.
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