Wu's destiny

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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:20 am

Tokugawa Liang wrote:How come Wei once Sima Yi died and many others too, alway had a stock of talented officers to carry out its politics? whereas Shu, once Zhuge Liang died, did not have a lot of back up from new, young officers, apart from Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Guan Yu's sons.


Well let's correct one thing first, the sons of Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Zhao Yun were not talented officers.

If you look at the talents within Shu, one common trait emerges:

Liu Bei - from the north - modern day Hebei
Zhuge Liang - from the north - Langya region, modern day Shandong
Zhao Yun - from the north, modern Hebei region
Guan Yu - from the north
Zhang Fei - from the north
Ma Chao - from the north, Liang region

Huang Zhong - from northern Jing
Pang Tong - from northern Jing, near Xiangyang
Wei Yan - southern Jing

And then for later Shu:

Jiang Wei - northerner/Wei defectee
Wang Ping - northerner/Wei defectee
Xiahou Ba - northerner/Wei defectee
Zhuge Zhan - son of Zhuge Liang, a northerner
Fei Yi - Jiangxia, north eastern Jing
Jiang Wan - Lingling, southern Jing
Yang Yi - from northern Jing/Wei defectee


Noticing a trend? As far as Yi was concerned, Shu was mostly a kingdom run by foreigners. All prominent Shu talents had to be out sourced from either the north or Jing, neither of which were Shu's domain. The only prominent yi natives in Shu's ranks I can think of is Zhang Yi and maybe Fa Zheng? (But Fa Zheng came into Yi with Liu Zhang's clique, as opposed to being a native).

It may be that the Yi province then was simply too backwater and small to have that many men of talent and education.

OR it may be that the local Yi upper class talents resented Shu to a degree and refused to serve.

OR it may be an old boys network of former Wei defectees, northerners and people from the Jing province keeping each other in power.


In any case, Shu had a very small pool to draw on for talent, primarily Wei defectees, or the descendants of northern/Jing personages who followed Liu Bei throughout the years. Compare this to Wei who had the entirety of nine provinces (including very very developed provinces running along the yellow river and the huai rivers) to draw upon .
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:46 am

Crazedmongoose wrote:Noticing a trend? As far as Yi was concerned, Shu was mostly a kingdom run by foreigners. All prominent Shu talents had to be out sourced from either the north or Jing, neither of which were Shu's domain. The only prominent yi natives in Shu's ranks I can think of is Zhang Yi and maybe Fa Zheng? (But Fa Zheng came into Yi with Liu Zhang's clique, as opposed to being a native).


Hey, this predates Shu. Liu Yan was from Jiangxia. Fa Zheng, by the way, was from Fufeng, which is around present-day Baoji in Shaanxi. So he's no native either. As you said, I don't know if many of Liu Yan's retainers were Yi natives-I'd presume not, given that the Han Court seems to have ruled from the top-down.

It may be that the Yi province then was simply too backwater and small to have that many men of talent and education.


Well, Wei did have over four times the population of Shu, but it was also significantly larger than that other backwater in the Southlands, which never really lacked a talented officer pool until the very end. Of course, Sichuan lacked the economic potential the Southlands had, so perhaps it was difficult to grow an intellectual elite. Shu had Chengdu and maybe Hanzhong for major urban centers (Hanzhong was more of a fortress than anything else though, wasn't it?).

OR it may be that the local Yi upper class talents resented Shu to a degree and refused to serve.


I doubt this. The European colonists could always find natives willing to collaborate with them. I mean, if the Nazis could get Russians to willingly fight for them, anything's possible.

OR it may be an old boys network of former Wei defectees, northerners and people from the Jing province keeping each other in power.


This is likely. Most American presidents went to the same schools, most Roman elite were born in the city or in Italy (at least at first) and since nepotism was the rule in Medieval China (by blood or by marriage), I'd say the old boys network is the most likely explanation. However, Wu does stand as a pretty big exception to the rule. It was a kingdom by southerners for southerners, wasn't it? The only guy I can think of who wasn't from the South or from Jing was Taishi Ci.

Of course, there might be a disdain on the part of the rulers themselves. They might've all though that the natives in Yi were all hicks and incapable of contributing in any way other than as farmers and soldiers.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:01 pm

Well Wu had a few northerners as well which helped lay the foundation of the empire but you're right, it was mainly a kingdom by southerners for southerners.

Of the people who can vaguely be considered "north" - Lu Fan was from Runan which is in the huai river region, Zhang Hong was from Guangling which is on the northern rather than the southern side of the Yangtze, and I think Zhang Zhao may be too?
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:53 pm

Tokugawa Liang wrote:
Mind the fact that bedides that Zhuge Liang invaded Wei five times, Zhuge Liang was pretty much a defensive commander, preferring not to go out to boldly, so as to take the slightest risks possible. I can't recall which one it was, but on the invasion when Ma Su made his error, wasn't that an offensive plan supposed to destroy the enemy in an offensive way? It's purpose was to gain land, and if Ma Su had not committed his error, he may have won something more important. Another point is Jiang Wei. He took more initiative than Zhuge Liang but failed more times; having said that, he still managed to win some battles against the very smart Deng Ai, thus showing a good deal of talent -in attack-. Now, I wonder if Jiang Wei's failures were due to, as you say, the fact that if strategy's not very effective on attacks, Deng Ai had a defense way too strong for Jiang to overcome. Maybe if he hadn't used up Shu's resources like that, throwing them against a wall of soldiers in the north, he could have withstood the forces of Wei longer and more decisively than he did, eventually seizing an opportunity to strike in a better time. (Like the numerous rebellions in the north.) Which brings us again to the lack of cooperation of Wu and Shu.


Given Zhao Yun's defeat, I'm not sure a victory at Jie Ting would have changed the first NC.

Jiang Wei was a better general in the field then Zhuge Liang but a poor commander in chief. Jiang Wei wasn't an excellent strategist by any means but Chen Tai was able to defeat him simply by superior understanding of terrain meaning Jiang Wei couldn't advance further. Jiang Wei faced three separate commanders (Guo Huai, Chen Tai, Deng Ai) and struggled to be victorious against any of them which partly reflects the four men's abilities but partly reflects the situation.

Wu and Shu did coordinate at times but it is difficult to organize joint assaults over such distances.

Another aspect is that Shu could maybe not afford to let time pass by and let Wei's numerous population and wealthy states build larger armies and give birth to new, talented commanders. Which brings me a new question: How come Wei once Sima Yi died and many others too, alway had a stock of talented officers to carry out its politics? whereas Shu, once Zhuge Liang died, did not have a lot of back up from new, young officers, apart from Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Guan Yu's sons.


The cheap answer but never the less true one is that Wei had more land, thus more people and gentry thus more options. Helps having the cultural heartland of China as well. Wei could afford to exclude Neo-Daoists becuase they had so many other options coming through their system be they from the old guard (Sima's, Chen,s Jiang's, Zhong's and so on) or new blood like Deng Ai. Wei did keep trying to better it's recruitment system Chen Qun and Cao Shuang's ministers attempted major reform,

Shu basically drew on those that came with Liu Bei or Liu Yan/Zhang, ex-Wei plus gentry from a province with a long established reputation of being prosperous and producing fairly intelligent but eccentric officers who tended not to get very far under the Han. Partly due to lack of interest on Yi gentry's part. I doubt Liu Bei and co came in with a great respect for the officers of Yi and at times, Yi's scholarly elite did nothing to help themselves. Shu still gave the intellectuals a chance and some proposed in the administration but once Shu entered a period of peace, miliatry new-blood seems to have held back for old guard. Lack of chances to prove themselves I guess and once Jiang Wei came in, he didn't seem to activity promote talent like Lou Xian and stuck with the old guard. The administration then came corroded by corruption which tends to block talent like Xi Zheng from rising or limits the effect of able ministers like Fan Jiang.

Crazedmongoose wrote:Well Wu had a few northerners as well which helped lay the foundation of the empire but you're right, it was mainly a kingdom by southerners for southerners.

Of the people who can vaguely be considered "north" - Lu Fan was from Runan which is in the huai river region, Zhang Hong was from Guangling which is on the northern rather than the southern side of the Yangtze, and I think Zhang Zhao may be too?


I'm pretty sure at a certain point, maybe Zhuge Ke's fall, the northern families like the Zhuge's and the Tian's were destroyed and it become southerners only.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Gray Riders » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:10 pm

Crazedmongoose wrote:Well Wu had a few northerners as well which helped lay the foundation of the empire but you're right, it was mainly a kingdom by southerners for southerners.

Of the people who can vaguely be considered "north" - Lu Fan was from Runan which is in the huai river region, Zhang Hong was from Guangling which is on the northern rather than the southern side of the Yangtze, and I think Zhang Zhao may be too?

A few more I recall; Lu Meng was from Fupo in Runan, too, and Cheng Pu and Han Dang were both born in Hebei.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:50 pm

And all those named came on board pre-Chibi, showing a solid trend toward native rule as Wu evolved from a warlord state to a legitimate empire. That said-

Dong Zhou wrote:Yi's scholarly elite did nothing to help themselves. Shu still gave the intellectuals a chance and some proposed in the administration but once Shu entered a period of peace, miliatry new-blood seems to have held back for old guard. Lack of chances to prove themselves I guess and once Jiang Wei came in, he didn't seem to activity promote talent like Lou Xian and stuck with the old guard. The administration then came corroded by corruption which tends to block talent like Xi Zheng from rising or limits the effect of able ministers like Fan Jiang.


Why? Why would Jiang Wei-a "new man" himself, support the "establishment"? That is, if he had that kind of power-wouldn't Huang Hao play a greater factor in holding back talented men in favor of his cronies? Which leads to another question-who were these, and what did they "represent"? And was Huang Hao an outsider? I can't find much relating to his origin, but I'm also like five minutes away from passing out, so I didn't look too hard.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:53 am

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:
Why? Why would Jiang Wei-a "new man" himself, support the "establishment"? That is, if he had that kind of power-wouldn't Huang Hao play a greater factor in holding back talented men in favor of his cronies? Which leads to another question-who were these, and what did they "represent"? And was Huang Hao an outsider? I can't find much relating to his origin, but I'm also like five minutes away from passing out, so I didn't look too hard.


I think laziness may have been an issue rather then anything else. He just seems to have kept to a few core people and new guys didn't seem to get promoted through.

I think Huang Hao being a eunuch automatically puts him under outsider and yes, he will have done more damage then Jiang on talent getting through.

Who were these what? Sorry, I don't understand who or what your referring to with that question.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:40 am

Huang Hao's cronies. I simply don't remember them, and if I did, I don't know anything about their background.
I don't write fanfic, but if I did it would involve Zhou Yu and Zheng He fighting to win the heart of Lai Choi San. Then I'd make them join forces to fight Ming the Merciless, who secretly works for Master Li. I'd squeeze Lu Bu in there somehow.
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:15 am

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:Huang Hao's cronies. I simply don't remember them, and if I did, I don't know anything about their background.


The likes of Chen Zhi, Zhuge Zhan, Dong Jue, Yan Yu seems like a mix. A Jing ite raised by Xu Jing's household, a Jing family, no idea about the last two to be honest. I would assume local men
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Re: Wu's destiny

Unread postby Ah-Man » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:42 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:The likes of Chen Zhi, Zhuge Zhan, Dong Jue, Yan Yu seems like a mix. A Jing ite raised by Xu Jing's household, a Jing family, no idea about the last two to be honest. I would assume local men


Zhuge Zhan was in Huang Hao's camp?

Also does the Eunuch have his own biography?
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