Uploaded by Craig Jones

Song Dynasty China Notes

Song Dynasty China
Song – established 960 C.E. – until 1279 C.E.
Southern Song 1127 - 1279
1. Central China
2. were Confucian
3. est trade along the coast, not Central Asia - cut out of C.A. trade
4. withdrew from the north (Jin enemies) and esta territory south of Yellow River (‘Southern
5. paid threats off w/ tribute $$
I Song Dynasty: 1st pre-modern state that was almost an industrial revolution (econ rev also)
A. achievements based on Tang advances
B. not expansionist like Tang
cash crops=tea, cotton
C. Mathematics & Astronomy
1. from Indian and W Asian mathematicians who moved to China
a. fractions: to describe moon
b. calendar
c. Crab Nebula spotted in 1054
d. Timekeeping & compass—portable now
80 foot tall celestial clock in Kaifeng
D. Ships called “junks” – could hold 600 people
time, date, month, astronomical features
1. improved steering: for rough seas
2. watertight bulkheads: to keep afloat
E. Military technology
1. Fielded army 4 X size of Tang but had ½ the territory (1.25 million soldiers)
2. Professional commanders: salary, educated
3. Gunpowder: experimentation mostly, no major impact
a. used against enemies (Jurchens to North)
b. explosive shells
F. Mining Tech � mostly for weapons
1. Sought control of iron and coal mines in north
2. Gov’t monopoly Yield=what 18th century England would produce!
3. High tech smelting & iron production: weapons, armor, engineering, defense
G. Intellectual life
1. Govt Preferred civil life over military affairs
2. Neo-Confucianism: new interest in C & influential in dev concept of C state
Universal sagacity
a. Confucian exams as basis for civil serve - egalitarian but mostly for elites literati-educated
b. most talented now part of gov’t – not family connections
3. B still popular however: Zen B (Japan) Chan B (China) now popular (mental discipline to
achieve salvation)
4. Moveable type: cheap way to produce manuals/books
a. 1st government issued paper currency
b. exam prep books: helped poor students
c. farm manuals: expanded agr production & controlled mosquitoes
5. Population = 100 million+
a. surge in numbers in the south-displaced indigenous people who moved into mtns or south to
b. Population density in cities led to new ways to keep cities clean & safe
i. fire fighting
ii. waste management
6. Hangzhou 1.5 million people – “greatest city in the world” said Marco Polo
a. urban pleasures: parks, stores, theaters, tea houses, restaurants
b. commerce: credit
c. growth of econ � growth of cities
7. Problems: finances
a. tax farming now: to raise enough $$ - similar to collecting tax plus extortion
b. land no longer source for wealth: money could be made in trade and commerce – tradition?
c. capitalist in the cities – wealth from commerce not land ownership
8. Role of Women
a. footbinding - Confucianism is patriarchal, foot binding emerges – women can’t walk, arch of
foot intentionally broken. Practice continued until 20th century!
b. little education
c. concubines
d. slaves
H. Song conquered by Mongols 1279 C.E.