Sui - Tang - Song - Doral Academy Preparatory

Chinese Hegemony:
The Tang & Song “Golden Age”
Re-cap: Important Dates
Early Dynasties
Xia? (2200 B.C.E.)
1. Shang (1766-1122 B.C.E.)
2. Zhou (1122-221 B.C.E)
3. Qin (221 -206 B.C.E.)
-first Emperor, coins
4. Han (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.)
-Confucianism, scholar-gentry, paper &
II. Post-Han China
1. “Period of the Six Dynasties” (220-589 C.E.):
− bureaucracy collapsed
− Buddhism gained strength, replacing
Confucianism for a time
− nomads ruled much of Chinese territory
III. Sui Dynasty (589-618CE)
– lowered taxes
– established granaries
– reconstruction of
– reconstruction of
Confucian scholargentry
– extension of Grand Canal
Sui Grand Canal
IV. Tang Dynasty (618-918)
1. Capital city: Chang’an
2. Imperial power & “moral restraint”
3. Cosmopolitan attitude towards religions
“Three Doctrines”:
Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism
4. Tang armies extend West
– used Turkic nomads in military (Uighurs)
– Great Wall is repaired
– loss to Arabs at Battle of Talas (751)
A. Empress Wu (625-705)
1. ruled for 50 years (only female empress)
– began as imperial concubine
2. Imperial civil exam system
– blow to noble class
– social mobility of scholar-gentry
3. Neo-Confucianism official philosophy
– increased literacy uniting China
Tang Government Organization
B. New Technologies:
1. re-established the safety of the Silk
Road (tea from S.E. Asia)
2. Inventions:
moveable typeset printing
mechanical clocks
C. East Asian Cultural Sphere
1. Chinese cultural diffusion throughout East Asia
– “sinification”
2. Korea, Japan, & Vietnam assimilate Chinese
– Confucianism
– Buddhism
– writing system
D. Tang Decline: Losing the Mandate
1. Xuanzong
– Empress Wu’s
– lack of morality?
– executed favorite
consort during a
2. Causes for decline:
– land distribution breaks
– poor attention to canal
& irrigation systems
Tang Xuanzong (“The Profound Emperor”)
Consort Yang
V. Song Dynasty (960-1279)
A. Beginnings
1. followed the chaos of the
“Five Dynasty Period”
2. based on Neo-Confucianism
3. civil examination system
B. Government
“flying” paper money (increased commerce)
2. government schools
3. Imperial civil service exams
4. replaced corvée labour with paid labor from
5. trained militia & supplied arms
6. paid Mongols in silk for protection
C. Increasing population
1. new developments in rice cultivation
-champa (wet rice) production from Vietnam
2. Population grew from 60 to 100 million
3. Rice also used to brew wine
Champa “wet rice”
D. Role of women
1. new ideal of the "willow-waisted woman“
2. against widow remarriage
3. ability to inherit property & control of
4. upper-class female foot-binding
 Size 5 ½ shoe on the right
Foot-Binding in
Tang & Song China
• Broken toes by 3 years of age
E. Culture
1. Literature: popularization of
vernacular language
2. Poetry: used to spark political
3. Paintings: landscapes (harmony
between humans and nature)
“Poem of Farewell to Liu Man” by Yelu Chucai (1190-1244)
"Despotic officials and shyster
underofficials, may they feel ashamed!"
“Travelers Among Mountains &
Streams” by Fan Kuan (ca. 1000)
“A Chinese scholar in a meadow”
“12 Views from a Thatched Hut” by Xia Gui, early 13th century
“Spring Festival
Along the River”
Zhang Zeduan
Henan jar, Song Dynasty
Jun ware – Song Dynasty
F. Technology
1. irrigation & fertilizer
2. large ships called junks
3. compass
4. waterwheels & canal locks
5. gunpowder & “crouching
tiger” catapults
6. printing & paper money
Junks & the Compass
Astronomical Clock
Paper Currency
Military Technology
First case of gun & grenade (950 C.E.)
G. Commercial Growth
1. production of silk & cash crops (tea)
2. Commerce improved farming cause: Urbanization
H. Split of North & South Song
1. Weak military dependent
on bureaucrats
– Song invaded by
northern nomads
2. Southern Song Dynasty
(1127-1279) allied w/
Mongols for protection…
I. Collapse of Southern Song
1. Invasion by Mongols (1279)
– start of Yuan Dynasty (Mongol Dynasty)

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