Sui -Tang – Song
(Han)-Sui-Tang-Song
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Block printing
Porcelain
Mechanical clock (water)
Movable Type
Gunpowder
Paper money
Magnetic compass
Rice (champas or wet rice)
bridges
Early Dynasties
• Shang Dynasty1766-1122
• Zhou Dynasty1122-221
– Last 400yrs - warring states
• Qin Dynasty 221 -206 BCE
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Shi huangdi (1st emperor)
Legalist philosophy
First coinage, writing system,
Censorship
Lasts 15 years
• China- in 2,000 years - 23 dynasties - 9 important ones
Han Dynasty
• Classical period
– Confucian based society (five
relationships)
– Merit system-bureaucrats
(meritocracy)
– Paper & porcelain invented
• For 400 years after fall of Han - time
of great troubles…
– Buddhism becomes popular in
this period – Why?
Post-Han China
• Period of the Six Dynasties (220-589CE)
– Bureaucracy collapsed
– Buddhism gained strength, replacing
Confucianism
– Non-Chinese nomads rule much Chinese
territory
Era of Division vs. Sui-Tang
• Era of Division:
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Small warring states
period of Buddhist dominance
loss of imperial centralization
loss of dominance of scholar-gentry in favor
of militarized aristocracy
• Sui-Tang:
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return to centralized administration
unified empire
reconstruction of bureaucracy
reconstruction of Confucian scholargentry at expense of both Buddhists
and aristocracy
– restoration of Confucianism as central
ideology of state
Sui Dynasty (589-618CE)
• Sui dynasty established by Wendi
– Lowered taxes
– Established granaries – stable, cheap food
supply
• Yangdi replaced his father, Wendi
– Brought scholar-gentry back into the administration
– Built the Grand Canal
• How do you think the canal
impacted life in China?
Economically? Politically? Socially?
Militarily?
Tang Dynasty (618-918)
• Tang
– Increased
boundaries
– Heavy
dependence on
militarism
Tang Dynasty (618-907CE)
• First emperor & minister (Wei Zheng)- model
of good rule
• Imperial power and moral restraint in theory - in
practice hard to maintain
• Trade & commerce grow
• Printing develops
• Arts- focus on landscape/nature
• Gun powder
• Woodblock printing
• Capital city Chang’an (eternal peace) -walled
city
• Artistic / commercial & invention continues in
Song era
Empress Wu
• Ruled for 50 years - 705
– Biggest challenge deal with scholar/gentry
and old aristocrats
– Economy remained strong!
• Reform of land system
• Civil exam system
– Blow to noble class
– Social mobility
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Confucianism as official philosophy = cultural
literacy uniting China
• Buddhism – Wu spreads
Tang Xuanzong (The Profound Emperor) and Consort Yang
Decline of Tang - Losing the Mandate of Heaven
• Xuanzong
– (Empress Wu’s grandson)
– Patron of arts
– Decline due to lack
of morality?
• Other reasons for
decline
- Equal land system
breaks down
– Poor attention to
canal & irrigation
systems
– Nomadic attacks
Moral: China’s view
(long lasting)
Centralization = unity = peace
(stability)
VS.
Decentralization = civil war
Song Dynasty (969-1279CE)
• Taizu reunited China under the Song
– Failed to defeat border nomads – sets legacy of weakness
• Politics
– Not as strong politically or militarily as the Tang
– Strong support of Confucian values
• Neo-Confucianism – emphasis on high morality, hostility to foreign
influence, stress on tradition (stifled innovation), authority of men
• CHARACTERISTICS/ACHIEVEMENTS:
– Scholar-gentry class dominates
• abuses in civil service exam develop
– Paper money
– Arts & commerce
– 11C Needle compass (3rd century - South pointer)
Song Dynasty 960-1279 CE
• Northern Song
(960-1127)
Based in Kaifeng
• Southern Song
(1127-1279)
Based in Hangzhou
Move South due to
barbarian pressure
from the North
Status of Women
• Tang Dynasty
– More influence on family
affairs
– Wives/mothers-in-law =
managed homes/servants
– BUT – still subordinate in
accordance to Confucian
tradition
• Song Dynasty
-Less active in politics/public
-Footbinding emerges – What
impact do you think this had
on women’s status?
BUT – retained (kept) property
rights
Footbinding: indicator of
change of role of women
Regional and age differences in role of women
• The emergence of a new ideal of the "willowwaisted woman," a stronger advocacy against
widow remarriage, the presence of some bound
feet in Southern Song all suggest a decline in
status of women.
• However, the control women gained over
property, their ability to inherit, their control of
family budgets, and of their children's education
show that older women were not without
authority.
Culture
• Made refinements in the ideal of
the universal man
– combined the qualities of scholar,
poet, painter, and statesman
– Song intellectuals sought answers
to all philosophical and political
questions in the Confucian Classics.
– This renewed interest in the
Confucianism coincided with the
decline of Buddhism
• Seen as offering few practical
guidelines for the solution of political
and other mundane problems.
End of Song Dynasty/Beginning of Yuan Dynasty:
Mongol Empire (1271 – 1368)
• Heavy dependence on
growth of civilian government
at expense of military
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By 1127, the Song court could not push back the
Northern nomadic invaders
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Surrounded by north ‘empires’
• Invasion of Mongols from
North
• What impact do you
think foreign rule might
have on China’s
society?