The Resurgence of Empire In East Asia

The Restoration of Centralized
Imperial Rule in China
 China reestablished its political, economic, and
cultural hegemony during the post-classical era by
restoring centralized rule, by developing technologies
which expanded agricultural and manufacturing
output, and by using armed forces and diplomats to
influence culture in Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
Restoration of Centralized Imperial
Rule in China
 Sui Dynasty
 Yang Jian reestablished centralized imperial rule in China
through the use of tight political discipline and military force.
 Lead to the short lived Sui Dynasty
Construction of Granaries, dykes, levees, defensive walls, and
Sent military forces to central Asia and Korea
Required compulsory labor
Levied high taxes to pay for projects
Grand Canal – Sui Yangdi’s construction project that led to cultural
and political unity in China.
 Linked economies of north and south China with 1500 miles of
canals and roads.
 Built with forced labor and high taxes which led to resentment.
Restoration of Centralized Imperial
Rule in China
 The Tang Dynasty
 Lasted nearly 300 years, transformed Chinese society.
 Emperor Tan Taizong
Leadership based on Confucian ideals
Emphasis on relationships and doing what was best for his subjects.
Stressed maintenance of transportation and communication systems.
 Used military might to expand into Manchuria, central Asia, Korea,
and Vietnam
 Implemented Tributary Relationships to institutionalize
relationships and foster trade, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic
relations with East Asia.
 Military and internal rebellion eventually weakened the empire and
the Mandate of Heaven was withdrawn from the Tang emperor in
907 and control fell to military leaders.
Restoration of Centralized Imperial
Rule in China
 The Song Dynasty
 960-1279
 Song Taizu – Used strong army to overtake the local warlords
who had overcome the Tang Dynasty.
 Set up large and elaborate Confucian government
Expensive to pay all the government bureaucrats and crumbling
economy led to revolt
Military led by government was no match for the northern nomads
and eventually the Song were pushed into the southern part of China
where they fell to the Mongols in 1279.
The Economic Development of
Tang and Song China
 Economic growth begun in the Tang and Song dynasties
stimulated trade and production throughout much of the
eastern hemisphere for more than seven hundred years.
 Agricultural Development
 Sui and Tang Dynasties learned from Vietnam and started
growing rice, which was fast growing and allowed them to
double their output.
 Integrated heavy iron plows, extensive irrigation systems, use
of manure and organic materials to fertilize the soil, and
terraced mountain farming vastly expanded agricultural
output in China.
Tang and Song Economy
 Agricultural Development
 Increase population growth
 Urbanization – Thousands of shops, restaurants, hotels,
taverns, gardens, teahouses, brothels, and other urban
entertainments sprang up.
 Social structures
 Strengthened the patriarchal society as families sought
to protect their wealth.
 Also changed the lives of farmers as they shifted to
commercial market-oriented cultivation of crops best
suited to their regions.
Technological and Industrial
 Porcelain – High demand in Southeast Asia, India, Persia,
and East Africa
 Metallurgy – Iron and Steel used in farming and weaponry,
and large construction projects (Bridges)
 Gunpowder  Printing – Block printing during Tang Dynasty eventually
leading to moveable type
 Produced cheap, high-volume readily available texts.
 Naval Technology – Allowed for long distance trade in
Indian Ocean
 Magnetic Compass
The Emergence of a Market
 Tightly integrated economy coupled with successful
management of food distribution and guard against
military uprising lead to rapid growth in Chinese
 Lead to shortage of copper currency
 Lead to development of paper currency.
 Eventually lead to problems as people started to privately print
money and could not afford to pay back credit they had used
to purchase goods / services.
 Lead to strict government production of money by the time of
the Qing dynasty which included both serial numbers and
protection against counterfeiting.
Cultural Change in Tang and Song
 The Establishment of Buddhism
 Came to China via the Silk Road
 Developed as a syncretic faith – a result of the
interaction of Confucian and Daoist traditions with
Buddhism set in the context of Tang and Song Chinese
Cultural Change in Tang and Song
 The Establishment of Buddhism
 Although Buddhism came to China with Indian merchants
trading with the Han dynasty, it did not gain a lot of
popularity until the Tang and Song dynasties
 Chinese attracted to Buddhism because of high moral
standards, intellectual sophistication and promise of
 Monks farmed land in China and shared with peasants
 Confucians did not like emphasis on celibacy and monastic
lifestyle (Conflicted with family and filial piety)
 To calm the Confucians and Daoists the Buddhists in China
modified some of their teachings to fit Chinese culture better
 Zen Buddhism in Japan emphasized a lot of the same things
as Daoism (Meditation, withdraw, moment of clarity)
 Blending of Buddhism and Confucianism
 Ideas influenced philosophical, political, moral, and
intellectual life in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.
Chinese Influence in East Asia
 In the postclassical era, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan each
developed a deep but unique interpretation of Chinese
cultural and political values while maintaining their own
distinctive identities.
 Korea
 Tang armies conquered much of Korea in seventh century.
 Korean Silla dynasty avoided occupation by practicing Tribute
relationship and Kowtow with China.
 Chinese markets opened to Korean merchants, traders
 Korea adopted a lot of Chinese government practices as well
as Confucian and Buddhist ideas.
Chinese Influence in East Asia
 Vietnam
 Relationship more hostile than with Korea
 Adopted farming and irrigation techniques from China
Chinese Influence in East Asia
 Early Japan
 First populated by nomads and migrants from Korea who
brought iron, bronze, rice, and horses
 Nara Period – 710-794 CE the high point of Chinese influence
in Japan when one of Japan’s ruling clans sought to form a
centralized government much like China’s
 Japan had emperors, but they were more like ceremonial
figureheads than actual rulers.
 Mid-twelfth century Japanese civil war fought between
Minamoto and Taira clans Minamoto won and instituted
Shogun for next 400 years.
Shogun – Military governor who ruled instead of the emperor
Minamoto dominated for next 400 years.
Early Japan
 Adopted ideas from Confucianism and Buddhism but
maintained their traditional indigenous SHINTO
Medieval Japan (1185-1573 CE)
 Refers to period to age between Chinese influence and
the rise of the Japanese centralized government in the
sixteenth century.
 Developed decentralized political system in which
provincial lords control land, economics, and justice.
 Military talent of Samurai played a huge role in in
political and military affairs.
 Local lords relied upon them to help extend power
 Supported Samurai with ag surplus and peasants to
work the land so they could devote themselves to
sharpening military skills.
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