The Sung regime claimed that its purpose in conquering the states of Later Shu, Southern Han and Southern T'ang and in overthrowing local rulers such as Ch'ien Shu and Ch'en Hung-chin was to punish evil rulers and succor the people. Given that the Sung had used this justification for the conquests, it was only to be expected that the Sung regime would try to reduce the tax burden in these conquered territories so as to benefit the common people and win their loyalty to the Sung regime. Having conquered the southern states, the Sung assigned officials to conduct surveys to determine the level of the tax burden in these areas; these surveys were then used as the basis for adjustments to the tax system. During the reign of the emperors T'ai-tsu and T'ai-tsung, a serious of imperial edicts were issued ordering tax reductions and the abolition of onerous levies in the conquered regions; the aim of these proclamations was to improve the living standards of ordinary people in the areas in question. However, the actual results achieved by these edicts were limited. Following the chaos of the late T'ang and the Five Dynasties era, the Sung treasury was empty. Huge amounts of funds were needed both for internal reconstruction and for military campaigns against external enemies. Under these circumstances, the government officials in charge of the state's finances were often unwilling to grant tax reductions or exemptions. Given that there had already been considerable variation between the tax burdens in the conquered southern states to begin with, the Sung regime's failure to unify the tax system ensured that regional disparities would continue to exist.