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Chapter 12: Tang & Song Dynasties

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1 Chapter 12: Tang & Song Dynasties
Reunification and Renaissance 220 CE.—Han dynasty ends —Era of Division —Sui dynasty —Tang dynasty —Song dynasty —Mongol (Yuan) dynasty

2 Rebuilding the Imperial Edifice
6th century—Sui dynasty comes to power under the rule of Wendi Wins widespread support by Lowering taxes Establishing granaries (wards off famine)

3 Sui Excesses and Collapse
Yangdi expands on his father’s foundations Milder legal code Restoration of exam system (Confucianism) Promotion of scholar-gentry Excess, waste and wars lead to collapse Yangdi assassinated in 618 by his own ministers

4 Emergence of the Tang Li Yuan saves imperial order and lays the foundation for the Tang Extends borders of the empire and attempts to assimilate nomads of the C. Asian frontier

5 Rebuilding the Bureaucracy
Continues revival of Confucian thought and promotion of scholar-gentry Scholar-gentry staffs the bureaucracy, offsetting power of the nobility Bureaucracy Imperial level—executive department District level—regional and provincial offices

6 The Examination System
Emphasis on Confucian thought (taught moral & organizational principles needed for good gov’t) Exams administered by the Ministry of Rites Jinshi --receive top gov’t jobs and elite social status Meritocracy exists, but birth/family connections still most important for gaining jobs

7 State and Religion in Tang/Song Era
Confucian revival threatens Buddhism Variants—Pure Land, Zen (Chan) Tang emperors support Buddhism. Empress Wu Buddhism is a powerful and influential force

8 Anti-Buddhist Backlash
Buddhism poses various challenges to Taoists and Buddhists Restriction & persecution under Wuzong Confucianism emerges as the central ideology from the 9th century until the 20th century.

9 Rise of the Song Rivalries and assassinations weaken Tang
Xuangong and Yang Guifei’s relationship signals end of the dynasty Collapse in 9th c. brought about by: Nomadic groups powerful provincial governors Worsening economic conditions

10 Founding of the Song Zhao Kuangyin establishes the Song dynasty
Unable to conquer Liao dynasty to the north (inherent weakness of Song over nomadic groups) Tribute paid to Liao in exchange for Sinification

11 Song Politics Smaller & less powerful than Tang
Weakened military while strengthening scholar-gentry Lax exam rules quickly bloat the bureaucracy with too many less qualified bureaucrats

12 Confucian Revival Neo-Confucians= revivers of Confucian thinking
Stressed rank, obligation, ritual, class, age and gender distinctions (highly patriarchal) Answers to future problems found in past examples

13 Decline and Reform Variety of reasons:
Inability to fight off nomadic groups High costs of maintaining an army Elite disdain for military Efforts at reform (Wang Anshi) fail to carry on through successive emperors

14 Reaction & Disaster Neo-Confucians reverse Wang’s reforms
Nomads (Jurchens) annex territory Southern Song dynasty rules from 1167 to 1279 politically weak; culturally achieved new heights of glory

15 Golden Age: Tang & Song Prosperity
Major shift in population balance Public works (Grand Canal) help counter the shift and solidify control over southern regions

16 Commercial Expansion Naval technology (junks)= growth of overseas trade Huge markets, expansion of commerce leads to innovation (flying money) Rapid urban growth

17 Chinese junk vs. Santa Maria

18 Expansion of Agriculture
Rulers encouraged migration to uncultivated areas State regulated irrigation, canal systems New seeds, better fertilizer, inventions (wheelbarrow) increase crop yields Smaller estates give more power to peasants and not elite landlords Extended family structure

19 Family & Society Position of women initially climbs, then rapidly falls during late Song Stressed: Authority of elders Subordination of women Marriage alliances

20 Neo-Confucianism Movement allows for freedom for men and confinement for women Women lose: Legal rights Access to education Status within society and the home Best exemplified by footbinding

21 Footbinding Originates in the palace of the last king of the Tang Dynasty continued even when it was banned by the Manchurian Qing Dynasty ( ). In remote mountainous areas, women still had their feet bound even when the New China was founded in 1949.

22 Although foot-binding is no longer practiced, many women with bound feet are still alive. Author Beverley Jackson photographed this woman in Yunan Province in 1997.



25 Invention, Scholarship & Artistic Creativity
Technological breakthroughs Buddhist art & architecture Confucian literature Art reflects themes of nature, order, balance and simplicity

26 China’s World Role No major changes, instead, a consolidation of Chinese civilization Major technological innovations and most advanced economy in the world Extends influence over East Asia Chinese technology will soon change the world

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