In A.D. 1227, during the Southern Sung, the four hsien on the peninsula in Chekiang which is dominated by Ningpo supported twenty-six rural markets; six and a half centuries later, during the Kuang-hsü reign, there were approximately 170 rural markets in the same territory. Chin-t'ang hsien, Szechwan, had four rural markets at the beginning of the K'ang-hsi reign in 1662; by 1875 the number had increased to thirteen and by 1921 to thirty-two. Rural markets in Yen-shan hsien, Hopei, rose from twenty-three in 1868 to thirty-seven in 1916. By what principles and in accordance with what patterns do markets thus proliferate on the landscape?

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