Originally Posted by Naomasa298
Can anyone point me to a map of China during the latter years of the Han dynasty (or more specifically, the Three Kingdoms period) that shows the provincial boundaries?
Any statistics on food production and relative wealth of the provinces would also be very welcome.
No doubt you've seen this:
Han-Shu controlled only Yi province. Yi province was a fairly lightly settled region with mountains to the north and east of it, with tibet being on the west and harsh jungle being below it it was fairly secure. Food production is something that doesn't survive, however the population of Yizhou (Yi province) was a few hundred thousand and the historical record suggests that it was a very rich and fertile land implying that it had enough to feed quite a lot of people.
Wu controlled the very populous southern portion of Jing, Yang, and Jiao. Jiao was very lightly populated in terms of Han Chinese to the point that the natives outnumbered them by and large. It was mostly quiet and sleepy under the administration of Shi Xie, when Wu conquered it and murdered all of the Shis there is very little known about it possibly suggesting that it went to hell following the massacre of the people who ran the place well for almost a century. Jiao was the place where people claiming to be from Rome arrived, and was an important center of trade linking China to the outside world better than the silk road which ran through Liang and Sili.
Yang province was slightly more populated, Sun Quan initiated military colonies campaigned against the natives and "free Chinese" and forced them into walled cities where they would be conscripted, taxed, and put to work in the fields. Originally barely worth mentioning, Sun Quan's innovations (Genocide, Military Camps, etc.) turned it into a land of plenty. It had high crop yields and was protected by the Yangze river. It's population, however, was not much above Yi, only by a few hundred thousand (or a third more).
Jing province was without a doubt the most populous region of Wu, and they didn't even have all of it. The southern half of it was dominated by swamplands that are difficult to traverse, but the northern part was a hotbed of trade, population, and commerce. It was very defendable and inside was about 1.5 million or so people. It was also very fertile as well as strategic.
Wei had a plethora of lands. Xu, You, Yu, Yan, Ji, Qing, Bing, Sili, and Liang all grouped together to hold 3-4 million people by the time the Three Kingdoms era fell. It also held northern Yi and Yang. Gongsun Kang who ruled over much of You, also ruled over the entirety of the Korean Peninsula, directly controlling the center, while attaining the submission of the southern states. It was, however, very lightly populated.
Ji, Yan, and Yu were the main population and bread winners of the Empire, before they were able to help feed tens of millions, now they over produce food securing that famine will not impact Wei as hard as other regions. The only thing curtailing the amount of food that can be produced is the lack of people to produce it.
Liang was severely depopulated following years of Qiang Rebellions and border skirmishes with Yi. It's population numbers in the tens of thousands and is virtually non-existent as an entity at the end of the TK era out of Chang An and a few walled cities.
Bing is very much a frontier province and is very lightly populated. The Southern Xiongnu reside here and it doesn't have a large commercial or mercantile value.
The Qing and Xu provinces are important, populated, and commercial centers. That said, they are not as important as they once were.
The Later Han Dynasty had a population of 60 million, this would drop to about 7-17 Million. After the Jin fled south, this number was about 5-6 million. This was an incredibly bloody era where production and value are limited due to the fact that almost everyone died.
For further information I suggest Professor Rafe's works.
As well as the SGZs. If you can read mandarin, then there are some great sources out there on the internet as well.