Mongols in World History | Asia for Educators

The Mongols in China

  Life in China under Mongol Rule: For Artisans  

Traditionally, the Chinese prized the products produced by artisans — jades, bronzes, ceramics, porcelains — but did not accord the artisans themselves a high social status. The Mongols, on the other hand, valued crafts and artisanship immensely and implemented many policies that favored artisans.

The benefits artisans gained from Mongol rule include freedom from corvée (unpaid) labor, tax remissions, and higher social status. Thus, artisanship reached new heights in the Mongol era. Spectacular textiles and porcelains were produced, and blue and white porcelains, a style generally associated with the Ming dynasty, were actually first developed during the Mongol era.

For more on the Mongols' support of artisans throughout their empires, see:
The Mongols' Mark on Global History: Support of Artisans

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