Song dynasty’s Economy

Song dynasty’s Economy


This paper reviews the economy of the Song Dynasty using Along the River During the Qingming Festival– an artwork painting by the region’s artist, Zeduan Zhang. The assignment will demonstrate my interest in working on the matters of Economy, with the sole focus on finding out what contributed to the incredible development of the Northern Song’s economy, why it advanced at the time shown by the artwork painting, and how it worked. The purpose of conducting an intensive review of the Northern Song’s economy is to help readers have a better understanding of how it developed, operated and grew.

Along the River During the Qingming Festival: The Economy  

The Along the River During the Qingming Festival is Zeduan Zhang’s artwork painting, which captured the day-to-day life events of the residents and the overall landscape of the Northern Song’s capital, Bianjing (currently known as the Kaifeng) (Kaihao). One of the life events displayed in the painting is the economic activities of the Northern Song. The successive scenes of the painting reveal the overall lifestyles of the people of the Song from the poor to the rich. Just as shown in the painting, Bianjing City hosted a range of economic activities marked by the drawing of shops, tax office, and a group of team loading some cargoes onto a ship (Hong Kong Science Museum). Given that the painting also depicted glimpse of clothing era, it is deducible that the people of Song also engaged in the textile industry.

The growth of the economy of the Northern Song Dynasty during the time of Zhang is depicted by the drawing of people from different professions, including metalworkers, doctors, innkeepers, and teachers. They must have paid taxes from their earnings to help the Dynasty boost its economy. Outside the Bianjing City, the people operated various businesses, which depicted the spread of economic activities in the Dynasty (Alchetron).

An intensive review of the development of Northern Song’s economy reveals that its advancements were stemmed from the availability of several business activities, effective taxation system, and sound administration. While one would assume that the boundary of the city from the other parts of the Song promoted segregation, it depicted the organization of the region in a way that encouraged the setup of different businesses. The advancement of the Northern Song’s economy was also underlined by the region’s administration and taxation system, and the existence of the taxation in the Zhang’s artwork proves these factors. In addition, the Northern Song’s river provided trading routes on which traders transported their products (Zeduan, Wei and Zhang, 6). To some extent, it is deducible that a significant percentage of the people’s life depended on business, the result of which was an excellently performing and functional economy of the Song region.


Just as described above, the Northern Song’s economy was driven by several factors, the evidence of which is depicted by Zeduan Zhang’s painting artwork called Along the River During the Qingming Festival. Nearly every aspect of the lives of the people of Northern Song revolved around business, with their dedication and involvement in various economic activities yielding several rewards to their economic performance. Besides the people’s businesses, the Northern Song had proper taxation and administration system that drive the area’s economic activities. While this paper focused on the factors that steered the Northern Song’s economic performance, it opened the forum on which other studies on the same topic can be conducted.


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