Classical Chinese poetry continued to thrive during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Ming prosperity was accompanied by a tremendous increase in population, commerce, and poetry composition. Thanks to educational opportunities made possible by commercial printing and the reinvigorated examination system, a massively larger literate population emerged. This population relied on poetry to express personal emotion and to engage with each other socially.  A debate as to whether the Tang or Song poets had achieved the highest heights of excellence solidified a collective opinion that past heights could not be surpassed. With over one million surviving Ming poems, modern critics and researchers have been unable to definitively answer whether that conviction is a prejudice or a fact.