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Using the selections we read in Jacques Gernets Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol
Invasion, combined with at least one other primary source from Weeks 10-12, analyze the
extent to which the apparatus of the state reached into ordinary peoples lives in the 12th-14th
centuries. In what ways did the state exert influence over daily life? Were there parts of
urban or rural life with which the state was definitely involved, or, conversely, parts of life
which the state could not penetrate? What other institutions, organizations, or practices
helped regulate peoples lives? Did these other institutions work to extend state power, or
come into conflict with it (or both)? If you observe any notable differences in the nature and
extent of state penetration over time (from the Song and Yuan period to the Ming period) or
space (e.g. urban and rural, north and south), why might that be?

China’s ordinary lives in the 12th-14th centuries
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