() (c. 720-645 BC) was a politician and statesman during the Spring and Autumn Period
of Chinese history. His given name
was his courtesy name
. Recommended by Bao Shuya
, he was appointed Prime Minister by Duke Huan of Qi
in 685 BC.
Guan Zhong modernized the Qi State
by starting multiple reforms. Politically, he centralized power and divided the state into different villages, each carrying out a specific trade. Instead of relying on the traditional aristocracy for manpower, he applied levies
to the village units directly. He also developed a better method for choosing talent to be governors. Under Guan Zhong, Qi shifted administrative responsibility from hereditary aristocrats to professional bureaucrats. He is also credited for creating the first official government sponsored brothel
known as "女市" which funded the government treasury.
Under Guan's guidance several important economic reforms were introduced . He created a uniform tax code and also used state power to encourage the production of Salt and Iron
. Historians usually credit Guan Zhong for introducing state monopolies controlling salt and iron.
During his term of office, the state of Qi became much stronger. The Zuo Zhuan
records that in 660 BC, Guan Zhong urged Duke Huan of Qi
to attack the small neighboring State of Xing
which was under attack from Quanrong
nomads. Later, in 652 BC he advised the... Read More