▌ East County Gong

During the college entrance examination season in June, students from all over the country launched a charge to universities. Throughout the ages, it has been quite difficult to stand out in a wide range of exam selections. When it comes to the ancient examination system, people generally think of the imperial examination system, in fact, the examination system, which was popular in the two Han dynasties, Wei, Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties, is no less difficult than the imperial examination system. After evolution, this system has gradually transitioned from "taking people by virtue" and "taking people by name" to "taking people by literature", and gradually changed from individual recommendation to unified examination. The reason for this change is that in the case of "picking one in a million", the unified examination of "taking people by literature" can ensure fairness to the greatest extent.

The subject is difficult

Emphasis on scriptural ethics

The system of examination and examination established in the Western Han Dynasty, through the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Wei and Jin dynasties, the Southern and Northern Dynasties, until the Sui Dynasty was replaced by the imperial examination system, existed in Chinese history for more than 780 years, and is one of the most important official selection systems alongside the imperial examination system. The inspection system selects talents to become officials through the method of inspection and recommendation. After the implementation of the inspection and examination by Emperor Gao of the Western Han Dynasty, after the continuous improvement and revision of the three dynasties of Wen Jingwu, to the deposition of Emperor Wudi of Han and the deposition of the hundred schools of Confucianism, there was gradually a relatively complete examination subject, that is, the so-called "four subjects" in later generations, namely: filial piety, virtuousness, show talent, and foreign subjects. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, in order to avoid the secret of Liu Xiu, the Guangwu Emperor, Xiucai was changed to Maocai. These subjects are not difficult to understand today, filial piety is a people with filial piety, a relatively clean official, and in the Eastern Han Dynasty, the two were combined into one and collectively called filial piety; Virtuous and Xiucai roughly literally examine Confucian cultivation and moral character. The heterogeneous subject is to investigate the talents of astronomy, calendar, financial management, water management, grain and other aspects. It can be said that the early examination of the examination of scripture and morality was more important than the examination of the skills required for the operation of the government.

Why is this happening? It was not that the era did not value technical talent, it was due to specific historical conditions. The Han Dynasty respected Confucianism, on the one hand, Confucianism catered to the emperor's desire to rule the world in that era, and on the other hand, Confucianism had a more complete theory of Qi family governance than other doctrines. After it became a political theory adopted by the rulers, the selection of officials was carried out according to the standards required by Confucianism.

For example, the core subject of Chaju is filial piety, which has a cornerstone significance in Confucian ethics, and the two Han emperors, except for Liu Bang, the emperor of Han Gao, and Liu Xiu, the Guangwu Emperor, both carried a "filial piety" character in their posthumous titles. Then, from top to bottom, filial piety also became the primary standard for the Chaju people. But when it comes to the specific inspection, whether the individual really has filial piety is not particularly true, as long as it is in line with ordinary ethics, and there is no need for excessive filial piety like Wang Xiang lying on the ice to ask for carp or Guo Ju'er. For example, Shi Dan, the minister of the Yuan, Cheng and Mourning dynasties of the Western Han Dynasty, was promoted as filial piety when he was young, and his filial piety is not specifically recorded in the "Hanshu Shi Dan Biography". The real reason for being examined was that he studied under the master of scripture, Kuang Heng, and specialized in studying the "Book of Poetry", one of the five Confucian classics, and his classical learning was very profound.

At that time, the study of scripture was the stepping stone to becoming an official, and under the strong stimulation of the inspection system, Confucian students everywhere devoted themselves to the study of scripture with unprecedented passion. Shandong's Confucian style is particularly strong, Dongping has a Shuo Confucian named Xiahou Sheng, proficient in the "Book of Shang", and later became a taifu, deeply respected by Emperor Xuan of Han, lived to the age of ninety, and after his death, the empress dowager personally gave two million as funeral funds, and all the world's Confucians followed his example. Xia Housheng often taught his students: "The art of the scriptures is as clear as the ears of the earth." If the study is not clear, it is better to return to farming. "It is easy to learn the Five Classics well and become an official, but it is better to go home and farm." Although this statement is a bit too materialistic, it does point to the key to the Confucian scriptures of the Chaju system at that time, so it became the consensus of the two Han Confucian students.

However, will blindly using the Five Classics as the content to detect talents lead to the weakening of the skills of the talent team? The answer is yes. During the two Han Dynasties, the two Han Dynasties have been simultaneously promoting the inspection of grammar officials, and have introduced professional skills such as "The Art of the Ming King", "Ming Yin and Yang Calamities", "Doctors", "Ming Art of War", and "Prison Ping", and selected a certain number of officials to meet the needs of government operations. At the end of the Western Han Dynasty, Wang Mang usurped the government, punished the shortcomings of the Yuan Cheng Dynasty, and suddenly launched a series of new subjects, such as the Notification of Yijing, Ancient Records, Astronomy, Calendar, Bell Law, Primary School, History Chapter, Fangshu, Materia Medica, etc., and thousands of people were recommended from all over the country at once, setting a record for the two Han Dynasties. Wang Mang is notorious for usurping the Han dynasty, but his reforms are not all unfounded, and some are adjustments to social problems. Later, Liu Xiu recreated Liu Han, and some of Wang Mang's practices were remodeled and retained, such as yin and yang studies, heavenly official calendars, and laws in the Chaju subjects, all of which were inherited.

Cao Wei's minister Wei Qian wrote a letter, believing that there were too few legal officials selected in the inspection, and that the limited amount of supplementary income per year was simply not enough, and that the social orientation was not right, and there was a prejudice against the legal officials. The jailer, and the chosen one is humble. This proposal was taken seriously by the Cao Wei Emperor, so he set up a law doctor in the court lieutenant's office, as a supplement to the inspection, which is probably called "training with work". Later, it became a practice that lasted until the Southern and Northern Dynasties.

There are few places

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According to the inspection system, the vast majority of those who are inspected can become officials, which in ancient times was called "Shi Brown", that is, taking off the cloth and changing to the official uniform of "Pei Zi Huai Huang". Because of its good way out, it is very difficult to be selected.

First of all, the difficulty is that there are too few places. At the beginning of the Western Han Dynasty, each county state inspected 2 people per year. The state was a fiefdom set up by the princes of the Western Han Dynasty, and after the decomposition of Tui'en, the number of counties owned by the feudal state was slightly less than that of the county, and it was roughly the same level as the county. The Western Han Dynasty counties increased as the population grew, with the largest number under Emperor Ping of Han, with a total of 103. According to this rough calculation, only 206 people are inspected every year in the country. Not only less, but also unfair. The population distribution between counties was uneven, such as Runan County (present-day Zhumadian, Henan, the southern area of Zhoukou) with as many as 259.6 million, while Jiangxia County (east of present-day Wuhan, Hubei) had only 21,9, a difference of more than ten times, but the number of places for inspection was two. The Eastern Han Dynasty later made adjustments, with one person per 2,20 people per year, one person per two years in small counties with less than 1,20 people, and one person every three years in small counties with less than 1,10 people. Border areas are also given care, with one person in three years for less than 1,5 people in border counties, one person in two years for less than 1,10 people, and one person per year for more than 1,10 people. Even at this rate, the peak population of the Eastern Han Dynasty was about 1 million, and the number of inspectors was between 5000 and 250. 300,20 people pick one, which can be described as fierce competition.

The second difficulty is in the selection method. The perpetrators of the inspection are called the masters, and they are generally appointed by the three princes and nine secretaries, as well as high-ranking officials such as county guards, and the selection methods are mainly based on ordinary understanding and face-to-face conversations. This means that ordinary people want to enter the sight of the lord, or they are very virtuous and talented, and their reputation is far and wide, in order to attract the attention of high-ranking officials and dignitaries. Otherwise, the aroma of wine is afraid of the deep alley, even if it is full of meridians, it will inevitably be buried for life. In order to make the investigation and prosecution have a basis to follow, Liu Xiu, the Guangwu Emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty, issued an edict clarifying four specific criteria: first, high morality and innocence; the second is to study general cultivation, Jingzhong doctorate; The third is the Ming Da decree, which is enough to resolve doubts, and can be re-questioned in the case chapter, and the imperial history in the text; The fourth is to be resolute and resolute, not confused by things, and clear enough to decide, so he is appointed as the third auxiliary order. Although it is still more than grandiose and insufficient, it has also made great progress compared to the Western Han Dynasty, because Liu Xiu is a monarch who started from the bottom and pays more attention to practical ability. However, the top-level design is good, and when it is used specifically, the emperor cannot always pay attention to the grassroots level, and the actual selection of inspections is mostly operated by county officials, and people who rely on impressions and relationships are everywhere.

According to the Eastern Han Dynasty's "Tong of Customs", there was a county guard named the fifth prince, who took care of his "same age" when he was inspected, that is, a colleague who was promoted to become an official in the same year. The fifth prince served as a taishou in Guanghan, and Cha Ju Duan Lao, the eldest son of Shi Duan Liao's uncle who was the same age, went to Nanyang to become a taishou, and promoted Cai Yan, another younger brother of Donglai taishou Cai Boqi, another same age, and Cai Zan Cha as officials. Duan Liao's uncle's family has two sons, the eldest son Duan Lao is dull and mediocre, and the second son Duan Ji can be prominent, and the fifth prince raised the inferior to survive, probably to solve the eldest son's advancement problem for the Duan family. And the Cai family has produced two filial piety for two consecutive years, how can it not be criticized when there are so few places to be inspected? Cai Zan was fourteen years old at the time and was not qualified for official positions at all, and the Cai family said that he could not be sick in order not to show his stuffing. After four years, at the age of eighteen, he was appointed as a county official in a small county, and he had no work experience, and had to write a letter requesting a change to the post of Suwei.

There is a lot of fraud

The examination system prevents corruption

During the Two Han Dynasties, the children of ordinary people were limited by the number and method of being limited, and it was difficult to be detected, and it was the norm to leave pearls in the wild. In the Wei and Jin dynasties, due to the great development of the Shi class, Confucianism temporarily fell into a low ebb, and the quality evaluation system marked by the Nine-Grade Official Law sprang up, with no cold door in the upper grade and no Shi clan in the lower grade, and the qualifications for Chaju were basically monopolized by the Gaomen Shi clan, and it was more difficult for ordinary people to become officials through Chaju than to ascend to heaven. Some people of insight realized the problem and began to carry out reforms.

The landmark reform was the Yangjia New System initiated by Zuo Xiong, Shangshu Ling of the Eastern Han Dynasty. In the first year of the Eastern Han Shun Emperor Yangjia (132 AD), which was the 107th year of the founding of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the powerful and powerful of the family became stronger and stronger over the past hundred years. Some honest and honest officials came forward against cheating and almost paid with their lives. For example, Shou Shibi of Hedong County flatly refused the request of the Zhongchang attendant Hou Yan, and also killed the person who sent the message to Hou Yan to set an example, and resolutely defended the fundamental principle of "selecting people to serve the country" under the Chaju system. Hou Yan became angry and colluded with high-ranking officials such as Captain and Captain Ting, to put Shi Bi on death row and abandon the city for his crimes (that is, executed in public). Fortunately, a filial piety named Wei Shao felt Shi Bi's integrity and sold his property to raise money to bribe Hou Yan, so that Shi Bi was spared the death penalty.

This extreme event was a major outbreak of the malpractice of the inspection system in the middle of the Eastern Han Dynasty, which forced the Han court to make adjustments. Shang Shu ordered Zuo Xiong to write to ask for a change in the inspection system, and there are two core policies: First, set an age limit, and the target of inspection must generally be over 40 years old. The second is to establish an examination system, "all students test the family law, and the scribes play the notes." This means that Confucian students test the study of scripture, and the scribes test skills in playing the rules and regulations.

The age limit is still common, and the examination system is a milestone breakthrough in the examination system. During the Western Han Dynasty, there were also occasional examinations in the study of scripture, but they were rare, and which emperor held it once on a whim, and it was not a fixed law. Zuo Xiong established it as a law, which greatly increased the certainty and regularity of operation, so that everyone could compete according to a relatively clear rule. This precaution is that the powerful families collude with each other. After the implementation of the new system of Yangjia, Zuo Xiong personally checked the implementation of each county, because Jiyin County hastily recommended a filial piety who was under the age of forty, Zuo Xiong initiated an inspection and rectification, and removed more than ten officials such as Hu Guang, the Taishou of Jiyin, who violated the inspection and punishment, and for more than ten years, there was no disrespect everywhere, and the Han Dynasty's inspection and promotion atmosphere was one of the righteous.

The nine-product zhongzheng system was a reform made in another direction during the Cao Wei dynasty. In the late Eastern Han Dynasty, there was a bad tendency to raise a scholar by name. In order to win the eyes of officials, many people will stop at nothing to create filial piety, talent names, and so-called zhijie to attract the attention of officials. For example, there were three brothers Xu Jing, Xu Yan and Xu Pu in Huiji County during the Han and Emperor Dynasties, and Xu Jing thought of a clever plan in order to make the three brothers famous. He occupied the family's fat mansion and a large number of slaves, and his two younger brothers received very little, which earned him the reputation of "Kjeang", and was then recommended by the county. Xu Jing then returned the property of his two younger brothers three times, and in turn obtained the name of filial piety, and actually succeeded in deceiving the county guard and was also recommended. The root cause of this kind of filthy style seriously corrupting the culture of inspection is that the power of the reputation of the critics is vested in the people, and the official cannot control it, resulting in negligence. The nine-product zhongzheng system was established to correct this deviation, and the soul of the system is to set up zhongzheng officials in each state and county, and the power of judging the character of the scholar is returned to the official. However, this system has the gene of serving the clan congenitally, and after its implementation, it not only did not change the drawbacks of taking the clan by name, but became a tool to safeguard the privileges of the clans, which was contrary to the original intention of the clan.

There were also some reforms in the Northern and Southern Dynasties, but the direction became clearer. Taking people by virtue and taking people by name is gradually secondary because of too strong subjectivity, and taking people by literature and ability is gradually taken seriously, especially people by literature have been valued in the Southern and Northern Dynasties, which have established a system of planning examinations and examinations, and the procedures for selecting officials by means of officers have become more and more stringent, and the direction of examinations has become more and more focused on practice and literary talent, which is already the prototype of the imperial examination system.