Xu Yuan wrote:Oh that would be fantastic, thank you Waywardauthor. I have several of your suggestions being sent to my college and will dive into them when they arrive, it's always good to have a second set of eyes though.
A few other things: Cao Cao's court was rather heavily influenced by Daoism, in contrast with the gentry affiliation for Confucianism. Cao Pi went hard on the Daoists within his court, as a way of tackling their influence. Zhang Lu was welcomed into Cao Cao's court, and his movement became very prolific. A follower of his, Li Fu, prompted the discussion for Cao Pi assuming the Emperor title in an official capacity. Cao Pi's locus of support was with the Yingchuan, and the various connected gentry. In Ye, there was another concentration of support, but a well connected member of the gentry Wei Fang took advantage of Cao Cao's absence as revolted. The revolt was put down, many members of the gentry executed, Cao Zhi was humiliated for his ties to some of the plotters, and a decent number of Confucian Gentry supporters of the Han found themselves ostracized and targets of suspicion. Xun Yu, You, and Yue died before this event, but you can look to the family networks and ties of the plotters as they connect back to the Xun family and other noted Han loyalists. It should also be noted that the Cao dynasty decline can be partly placed upon Cao Rui, who rolled back a few of Cao Pi's decisions - such as maintaining the Han calendar rituals. The Cao family also had a great deal of restraint when dealing with people who opposed them. Older Han loyalists were allowed to disappear into obscurity, Liu Xie was allowed to maintain himself and his ancestral temples, and even direct relatives of plotters were forgiven - as many had ties and sometimes close relations to the conspirators of Wei Fang. They were also relatively meritocratic, and attempted to avoid entanglements by choosing humble women an eliminating close family relation's power. They seemed to walk on a tightrope, in a way that the Sun family did not do in Wu. Howard L Goodman remarks that Sima Yi won the conflict with Cao Shuang because he was more bloodthirsty, and no where near as merciful. The Sima clan being a large, well connected family that gradually usurped the Yingchuan connections into itself as the Xiahou and Cao families went into relative decline also speaks to the changing dynamic.
While this is all later than the Xun family dynamic with Cao Cao, you can put the contention between the two in the context of later events. A lot of this is on relatively thin evidence (in my view), but the suggestions are illustrative and provide a plausible context. This is all still from Cao Pi Transcendent.