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China in the Middle Ages

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1 China in the Middle Ages
Chapter 12 China in the Middle Ages

2 Section 1- China reunites

3 After the Han Dynasty ended in A. D
After the Han Dynasty ended in A.D. 220, China had no central government. During this time, Korea broke away and created its own separate civilization. In A.D. 581, a General named Wendi declared himself emperor and founded the Sui dynasty. After he died, his son Yangdi took on many projects that helped China’s economy. Eventually, farmers that were forced to work on projects revolted against Yangdi and his army took control and killed him. Korea also broke free from China. This ended the Sui dynasty.

4 THE SONG DYNASTY In A.D. 960, the General Song declared himself emperor and began the Song dynasty. This dynasty lasted from A.D. 960 to 1279. During the Song dynasty, there was a period of prosperity and cultural achievement. Unfortunately, Song armies were not large enough to control the large empire. Tibet broke away, and much of China was taken over by nomads. THE TANG DYNASTY In A.D. 618, one of Yangdi’s generals Tang made himself emperor and started the Tang dynasty. The Tang dynasty was in power for about 300 years. Tang rulers worked to strengthen the government. Their most powerful emperor was Taizong. He restored the civil service exam system and gave farmers land. Empress Wu ruled during the Tang dynasty and is known as the only woman in Chinese history to rule on her own. Rulers were not Buddhist, but allowed Buddhism to be practiced. Eventually though, in A.D. 845 they declared Buddhism against Chinese traditions. By mid A.D. 700’s, the Turks drove Tang’s armies out of central Asia and took control of the Silk Road. In A.D. 907, all of the disorder brought the Tang dynasty down.

5 In the A.D. 300’s, Chinese Buddhists brought their religion to Korea.
Korean’s later brought Buddhism to Japan. In a letter a Korean king wrote to Japan’s emperor, he claims “This religion is the most excellent of all teachings.” As a result of this, many Japanese people followed Buddhism

6 After the fall of the Han dynasty, Confucianism lost popularity
After the fall of the Han dynasty, Confucianism lost popularity. Tang and Song rulers brought Confucianism back into favor. Neo-Confucianism was created. It taught that life in this world was just as important as in the afterlife. Followers were expected to take part in life and help others. The Song dynasty adopted neo- Confucianism as their official belief system. Tang and Song rulers used civil service examinations to hire officials. As a result, this created a new social class, the scholar- officials. These students were not allowed to do any physical labor.


8 After the fall of the Han dynasty, there was much fighting and as a result, trade and farming suffered. When the Tang rulers took power in A.D. 618, they brought peace to the countryside and gave land to farmers. As a result, farmers made many advances. Farmers grew new kinds of rice and tea. With an abundance of food, this led to the rise of new cities. Travel also flourished during the Tang dynasty. Rulers built many useful roads and waterways. This promoted trade and the Silk Road was once again very successful. On the Silk Road, the Chinese traded silk fabric, tea, steel, paper and porcelain. The Chinese discovered coal could be used to heat things, and soon began the coal-mining industry. By heating iron, they soon discovered steel and began making steel armor, swords and helmets for their army and stoves, farm tools, chains, nails and needles.

9 Paper was invented in the Han dynasty
Paper was invented in the Han dynasty. During the Tang dynasty, they began mass-producing paper. Soon, Chinese began printing books. The first known printed book a Buddhist book called “Diamond Sutra”. The invention of printing was important because it helped to spread ideas more rapidly. During the Song dynasty, China printed the world’s first paper money. Paper money helped the economy to expand and cities to grow.

10 Chinese writers expressed themselves through poetry
Chinese writers expressed themselves through poetry. Li Bo and Du Fu were famous Chinese poets. Li Bo wrote about nature, while Du Fu often wrote about serious topics like social injustice and problems of the poor. Artists would often paint landscapes but made sure to leave blank spaces on their paintings. Daoists believed was that a person could not know the whole truth about something. Painters also wrote in calligraphy. The Chinese also perfected making porcelain, hence why today we call fine porcelain, “fine China”.

11 SECTION 3- The mongols in china

12 THE MONGOLS Mongols lived in Mongolia. They were known for their ability to ride horses well and their ability to wage war. In 1206, the Mongol leaders elected a young man named Temujin as Genghis Khan, which meant “strong ruler”. Genghis Khan organized Mongol tribes and built a fierce army. He then began growing the Mongol empire by conquering nearby tribes. Under Genghis Khans leadership, the Mongols were strong enough to attack larger civilizations. They invaded northern China and parts of the Silk Road. After Genghis Khan died, he divided his empire among his 4 sons. These four sons continued to expand the Mongolian empire. These sons invaded Baghdad, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. The Mongolian Empire was known as the largest empire the world has ever known, spanning from the Pacific Ocean, all the way to Eastern Europe and from Serbia in the north to the Himalayas in the South.

13 Mongolians were known for their cruelty and use of terror
Mongolians were known for their cruelty and use of terror. They became known for their fierce ways and many people surrendered to them without fighting. Despite the destruction, Mongols eventually brought peace to the territories they conquered. Peace encouraged trade, which helped the Mongols. Mongols also adopted some of the beliefs and customs they encountered. For example, as they battled the Chinese, they learned to use gunpowder and used it as an explosive.

14 In 1271, Kublai Khan declared himself emperor
In 1271, Kublai Khan declared himself emperor. In 10 years, the Mongols conquered southern China and ended the Song dynasty. Kublai Khan started the Yuan dynasty. In China, Kublai Khan gave Mongols top positions, but allowed for scholar-officials to continue to run the government. Mongols were Buddhist, but they were tolerant of other religions. Kublai Khan invited people of many different faiths in order to win converts. The Mongol empire grew very wealthy from trade through the Silk Road. A famous European traveler Marco Polo befriended Kublai Khan. Khan sent polo on many fact- finding trips. Marco Polo then wrote a book about his travels in China which fascinated Europeans.

15 Section 4- the ming dynasty

16 Kublai Khan died in 1294 and Mongol power began to decline.
In 1368, a rebel leader named Zhu Yuanzhang became emperor. He then founded the Ming or “brilliant” dynasty. Zhu Yuanzhang then changed his name to Hong Hu or the “military leader”. Hong Hu ruled for 30 years until his death in His son Yong Le took control. Yong Le built the Imperial city, which is also known as the Forbidden City. The Forbidden city is still in existence today.

17 Under the Ming dynasty, officials carried out a census to help them accurately collect taxes. They also rebuilt many canals and farms in order to make them more efficient. Agriculture thrived in China, and cotton cloth became very popular. Chinese culture also flourished. As artisans and merchants grew wealthier, they wanted to learn more and be entertained. There were many novels written, dramas on stage which included songs, dances, costumes and symbolic gesture. Emperor Yong Le sent an official named Zheng He to travel on ships to trade and spread Chinese culture. These trips brought in outside ideas, which Chinese people did not like.

18 In 1514, a fleet from Portugal arrived in China
In 1514, a fleet from Portugal arrived in China. China was unimpressed by the Portuguese but eventually allowed them to set up a trading post. Eventually, the emperors if the Ming dynasty became too powerful and officials had no desire to improve the country. As law and ordered disappeared, a people called the Manchus attacked China. Eventually the Manchurians defeated China and in 1644 they set up a new dynasty.

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