Ch. 12 China Tang & Song

CHINA 600-1450 C.E.
Chapter 12
Chinese Dynasties
Ch.12 Timeline
Ch.12 Map Exercise
China During the Era of Division, The Sui Dynasty, and the
Tang Dynasty
Foundations of Sui-Tang
Dynasty 589–618 C.E.
 After the fall of the Han Dynasty there was a
long factional struggle 220-589 C.E.
 Wendi unified China in 589 C.E. known as the
Sui Dynasty
 Used alliances, deception, & warfare
 Yangdi, killed his father to gain the throne
 To strengthen his empire made legal &
educational reforms
 Military Defeats & expensive building
 Completion of the Grand Canal, took 5
million people.
 Projects overwhelmed the people that led
to revolts
 After Yangdi’s death, Li Yuan seized power
and founded the Tang Dynasty
Grand Canal
 Beijing to Hangzhou
 1,115 miles long
 Connect several existing
canals built by past
Foundations of Tang Dynasty
Li Yuan ‘s rapid revival of an empire
under the Tang was because of
imperial bureaucracy using
Confucian ideology
 Used scholar-gentry to create
bureaucracy & check nobility’s
 Expanded the Confucian-based
examination system
 Ministry of Rites administered
exams, but some officials gained
positions via family connections
(birth) instead of merit
 Li Yuan expanded China’s
 Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea,
 Changan new capital
Buddhism became fully established in
 “Golden Age”
 Mahayana (Pure-land)
 founded by Chinese monks
 Appealed to the Chinese commoners
 Salvationist variant of Buddhism
 Offered a refuge from war and turmoil.
 Elite class Chan (Zen–Japan) variants
 Received a warm welcome at first
from Daoists, as they seemed to have
much in common
 They both have priests and monasteries
The Leshan Giant Buddha, 233 ft tall
begun in 713, completed in 803
and some structure of an organized
religion (lacking in Confucianism)
 Both interested in spells, charms and
breathing exercises
Tang Accomplishments
Modified/extended the Grand
Canal boats could reach
higher elevations after the
pound lock was invented in the
10th century
 Maintained system of roads,
including inns, postal
stations, and stables
2. The Equal-field system of land
distribution, controlled the
amount of land powerful
families could own
3. A merit-based bureaucracy
(originally developed during the Han
Tang Dynasty Religious
Problems  Confucian and Daoist supporters
took note of Buddhism’s growing
influence, and became jealous.
Compare & Contrast:
 Confucianism emphasized duties
owed to one’s society, its highest
value on order, hierarchy, and
obedience to superiors
 Buddhism encouraged its supporters
to withdraw from society and
concentrate on personal meditation
 Finally in the 9th Century, Confucian
scholar-bureaucrats conspired to
The Vinegar Tasters: Laozi ,
Buddha, and Confucius.
convince the emperors to take lands
away from the Buddhist monasteries
through the equal-field system
Tang Dynasty Religious & Ruling
Family Problems
 Worries about “barbarians” ruining
society, Buddhism as evidence of foreign
evil; Buddhism survived, but in a
weakened condition
 Buddhism was also attacked for encouraging
women in politics
 Wu Zhao (Empress Wu) seized control of
the government
 She founded her own dynasty in 690,
the Zhou (interrupting the Tang
Dynasty), from 690 to 705
 Favored Buddhists and Daoists in her
court system
 Emperor Xuanzong known as High Point
of Tang Dynasty, but 755 riots
 Emperor’s lover Yang Guifei
 Nomad group were encroaching –Tang
unable to play them against each other
Foundations of the Song
Dynasty 960-1279 C.E.
 Scholarly general Zhao Kuangyin
founded the Song Dynasty by
defeating all rivals except the
Manchurian Liao Dynasty
 Song favored the Scholar-Gentry
class, civil administration,
industry, education, and the arts
at the expense of the military
 Never established hegemony over
as much area as the Tang
 Political disunity was a constant
threat as long as the Song held
Song Dynasty 960-1279 C.E.
 Presided over China’s
“Golden Era” which was
characterized by
prosperity, sophistication,
and creativity
 Expanded the
government based on
merit. Accepted more
candidates to
bureaucratic posts than
Sui and Tang
 Jinshi – highest exam
Presented Scholar
 Juren - recommended
man (Provincial)
 72 hour exams 13
 Neo-Confucians became familiar
Neo-Confucianism scholar Zhu Xi
with Buddhist beliefs.
 Believed that cultivating personal
morality was the highest goal of
humans. Attained through book
learning & personal observation as
well as contact with men of
wisdom & high morality
 A concept that defined a spiritual
presence similar to the universal
spirit of Hinduism and Buddhism.
 Reconciled Confucianism with
 Influenced philosophical thought in
many Asian areas (i.e. China, Korea,
Vietnam, and Japan)
Problems Under the Song
 Finances – Government expenses skyrocketed.
Raised taxes, but not for the nobility who had
large estates
 Wang Anshi (Chancellor of Song Dynasty 1070-
1086) attempted reforms, via Legalism, but failed
 Two major rebellions responded in protest.
 Military – Led by scholar bureaucrats with little
knowledge in leading armies & military
 1115, the Jurchens, a nomadic group with a strong
military, overran the Liao northern China and
captured the Song capital, became Jin Kingdom
 Southern Song part of the empire would
eventually be conquered by the Mongols. (1279
CE) Weak Politically, Strong Culturally.
China During the Song Dynasty &
Southern Song Dynasty Era
Patriarchal Social Structures
 Elites insured the purity of their
lines by further confining women
to the home.
Li Qingzhao
Song Dynasty Poet
 Foot binding became very popular
 Women generally could not walk
except with canes.
 Indicated female subservience to their
male guardians.
Economic Revolutions of the Tang and
Song Dynasties  Increasing agricultural production
 Increasing population
 Urbanization
 Technological innovations
 Porcelain, iron and steel,
gunpowder, movable type, and
magnetic compass, and watertight
triple hulled large boats
 Financial inventions
 Paper money, “flying money”
(credit voucher) and checks
 Remembered as a time of great
Chinese accomplishments in
science, technology, literature, &
fine arts.
The ‘Golden Age’ of Tang & Song
Hegemony: (Hih-gem-o-nee) Dominance over others (political, economic, social and
cultural influence)
Between 600 – 1450 CE it was impossible for one empire to dominate the entire world,
however…..After the demise of the Mongol Empire(s) and before the Renaissance in
Europe; China during the Ming Dynasty might have been able to…… ……
In what ways did the Chinese empire during the Tang-Song era depart from previous
developments in Chinese civilization? Answer:
 Full incorporation of southern China into economy
 Dominance of South as food-producing region, center of population, political
capital of southern Song
 Decline of influence of Buddhism
 Increasing trend toward intellectual and technological isolation
 Extraordinary level of urbanization-up to 10 percent of population living in cities.
 Chinese urbanization mushroomed during the Tang-Song era with a higher
 Tang built an empire that was far larger than the Han, an empire whose boundaries
in many directions extended beyond the borders of modern China.
 Level of technology. (Page Ref: 267-274)
Kublai Khan, The Yuan Dynasty, and
The Early Ming (1279-1450 CE)
 Kublai Khan captured the capital
and set up a new one in Beijing
and named it Khanbaluk – “city
of the Khan.”
 China was unified under Kublai
 Khan clearly respected Chinese
customs and innovations.
 Kublai Khan elevated the
merchants status.
Problems in the Yuan Dynasty
 Too few military to
protect too many
 Increased tributes and
established “tax
 Led to corruption.
 Gap between urban rich
and the rural poor also
 Plague spread through
the population
 Confucian scholars led a
revolt and established
the Ming Empire
Early Ming Dynasty 1368-1450
Zhu Yuan Zhang
Known as Hongwu (1368-1398)
Son of a peasant
Drove out Mongols
First Emperor of Ming Dynasty
Erased all traces of the Mongol
past, destroyed palaces etc…
Reasserted Confucian ideology
Reformed agricultural lands
devastated by war
rice production
fish farming
cotton & sugar cane
Early Ming Dynasty 1368-1450
 Zhu Yuan Zhang (Hongwu)
located the capital in Nanjing.
 Also tried closing off trade
relations with Central Asia and
the Middle East.
 Turned internal.
 It was possible to do this because
of the great distance between
other empires. China could be
left alone and no one can do
much about it.
Early Ming Dynasty 1368-1450
Yongle (1402-1424) (Zhu Di)
Son of Hongwu
Moved royal court to (Peking)
1405 funded voyages of Zheng He
lasted until 1433
Hoped to impress world with power
and by doing so, expand China’s
tribute system
A payment by one nation to
another to acknowledge its
submission and protection
Zhenghe’s expeditions
 Everywhere he went, he distributed gifts (gold,
silver, silk, scented oils) to show Chinese
 As a result, more than 16 countries sent tribute
to the Ming court
Zhenghe’s expeditions
 40 to 300 ships sailed in each expedition (Largest- 416ft?x170ft?)
 27,000 people in the fleet crew (sailors, soldiers, carpenters,
interpreters, accountants, doctors, and religious leaders)
 Like some huge floating city, the fleet sailed from port to port along
Indian Ocean
 Last voyage in
1433 was 17
years before
“Prince Henry”
 1st voyage to
India was
100 years
before Da
 Later leaders
not interested
Great Wall & Forbidden City
 Original Great Wall was
built and rebuilt starting
200 BCE
 Ming finished rebuilding
the wall against
invasion from the north
 Building & re-building
the Forbidden City &
moved the capital from
Nanking (Nanjing) to
Peking (Beijing)
 Both cost tremendous
amounts money, wood,
& resources!