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The Sui Dynasty (589-618) Regional kingdoms succeed collapse of Han dynasty (220-589 Decentralized/Dark Age) Buddhist Emperor – Wendi Sui Wendi Sui.

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Presentation on theme: "The Sui Dynasty (589-618) Regional kingdoms succeed collapse of Han dynasty (220-589 Decentralized/Dark Age) Buddhist Emperor – Wendi Sui Wendi Sui."— Presentation transcript:




4 The Sui Dynasty ( ) Regional kingdoms succeed collapse of Han dynasty ( Decentralized/Dark Age) Buddhist Emperor – Wendi Sui Wendi Sui consolidates control of China, initiates Sui Dynasty Wendi won popular support by lowering taxes and establishing a cheap food supply. Brought back scholar-gentry and imperial exam

5 Sui’s Fall Yangdi, Wendi’s son, succeeded his father to the Throne. Attempted to conquer Korea (failed) Defeated by central Asian Nomads (Turkic) Massive building projects: –Military labor-Grand Canal!!! –Conscripted labor-Great Wall reconstruction (6 million workers!)

6 The Grand Canal Intended to promote trade between north and south China –Most Chinese rivers flow west-east Linked network of earlier canals –1240 miles –Roads on either bank Succeeded only by railroad traffic in 20 th century Longest canal or artificial river in the world today!


8 The Tang Dynasty ( CE) Wide discontent over conscripted labor in Sui dynasty Military failures in Korea prompt rebellion Emperor assassinated in 618 –Tang Dynasty initiated

9 . The Sui and Tang dynasties, CE

10 Tang Taizong Second emperor of Tang dynasty (r CE) Murdered two brothers, thrust father aside to take throne Strong ruler –Built capital at Chang ’ an –Law and order –Taxes, prices low –More effective implementation of earlier Sui policies

11 Major Achievements of Tang Dynasty Transportation and communications –Extensive postal, courier services Became the golden age of literature in China Emperor Xuanzong’s splendor in Chang’an Welcoming of foreign faiths (not conversion) Equal-field System –20% of land hereditary ownership –80% redistributed according to formula Family size, land fertility –Worked well until 8 th century Corruption, loss of land to Buddhist monasteries, aristocratic land accumulation

12 Bureaucracy of Merit Imperial civil service examinations –Confucian educational curriculum Some bribery, nepotism But most advance through merit –Built loyalty to the dynasty –System remains strong until early 20 th century

13 Tang Military Expansion and Foreign Relations Manchuria, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet One of the largest expansions of China in its history Paid Central Asian Nomads to defend boarder (repair G.Wall) Established tributary relationships –Gifts China as “ Middle Kingdom ” –The kowtow ritual

14 Tang Decline Governmental neglect: Emperor obsessed with music, favorite concubine Anti-Buddhist Backlash (by Conf. & Daoists) Loss of tax revenues and inability to feed people in times of famine (Gov’t weakness) Nomadic Turkish Uighur (WEE-goor) mercenaries invited to suppress rebellion, sacked Chang ’ an and Luoyang as payment Nomadic raids and invasions continued Tang decline continues, rebellions in 9 th century, last emperor abdicates 907

15 The Song Dynasty, C.E.

16 Song Dynasty ( CE) [Never matched Tang military or political strength] Emphasis on administration, industry, education, the arts Military not emphasized Direction of first emperor, Song Taizu (r CE) –Former military leader –Made emperor by troops –Instituted policy of imperial favor for civil servants, expanded meritocracy

17 Song Strengths Population increase approached 100 mil. Rice production doubled due to opening new lands to cultivation in the south (Grand Canal) Improved tool use and fertilizers; new rice strains from Vietnam Tax relief for farmers and credit to open new farms Early song Emperors appoint bureaucrats based on merit Excel at Manufacturing (gunpowder, bombs, moveable type print, water-power mills, iron, steel); more per capita manufacturing than anyone else!

18 Song Weaknesses Lack of military might (“Fight with other means”) Size of bureaucracy heavy drain on economy –Two peasant rebellions in 12 th c. –Internal inertia prevents reform of bureaucracy Civil service leadership of military –Lacked military training –Unable to contain nomadic attacks –Jurchen (a Tungusic people (Siberian) who inhabited the region of Manchuria) conquer, founding the Jin Empire, forcing Song dynasty to Hangzhou, southern China (Southern Song)

19 The Song Dynasty, C.E.

20 Agricultural Economies of the Tang and Song Dynasties Developed Vietnamese fast-ripening rice, 2 crops per year Technology: iron plows, use of draft animals (North - Oxen, South – Water Buffaloes) Soil fertilization, improved irrigation –Water wheels, canals Terrace farming

21 Population Growth Result of increased agricultural production Effective food distribution system –Transportation networks built under Tang and Song dynasties

22 Strict Social Hierarchy Peasants Peasants: Majority population who were predominantly farmers living in small villages Merchants Merchants: Could acquire wealth but always held low social status due to their wealth coming from the work of others. Could own land and educate sons to enter the Gentry Gentry Gentry: Wealthy landowners, focused on Confucian ideals, focus on civil service

23 Urbanization Chang ’ an (currently Xi'an) world ’ s most populous city: 2 million residents –Southern Song capital Hangzhou: over 1 million

24 Patriarchal Social Structures Increased emphasis on ancestor worship –Elaborate grave rituals –Extended family gatherings in honor of deceased ancestors Footbinding gains popularity –Increased control by male family members

25 Footbinding

26 Foot-Binding The Quest for Beauty and Status

27 The History of Foot-Binding The practice was popular by the 12 th century There are two stories as to how this tradition began Foot-Binding was made illegal soon after the Chinese Revolution in 1911

28 The Foot-Binding Ritual Began between the ages of 3 and 11 Was performed by the girl’s mother or another female relative Foot-binding usually took place in the fall and winter so the girl would feel less pain

29 The Foot-Binding Steps 1. The girl’s toenails would be cut 2. Her feet would be soaked in hot water 3. Except for the big toe, all of her toes would be broken and folded under the foot 4. Her feet would be wrapped tightly in silk or cotton bandages 5. Every few days, the bandages would be taken off, the feet cleaned, and the feet wrapped even more tightly

30 Wrapping Bound Feet

31 Bound Feet


33 WHY WERE FEET BOUND? Wealth Status Beauty Marriage

34 Beauty A three-inch-long foot, called a “golden lotus,” was considered beautiful Feet this size would be able to fit into the delicate and beautiful shoes made for bound feet

35 Marriage, Status, and Wealth Having bound feet made it difficult to walk, and so a man who had a wife with bound feet looked as if he had so much money and status that his wife did not need to work

36 Technology and Industry Porcelain ( “ Chinaware ” ) Increase of iron production due to use of coke, not coal, in furnaces –Agricultural tools, weaponry Gunpowder invented Earlier printing techniques refined –Moveable type by mid-11 th century –Yet complex Chinese ideographs make wood block technique easier Naval technology –compass A typical junk ship from the Song Dynasty

37 Emergence of a Market Economy Letters of credit developed to deal with copper coin shortages –Promissory notes, checks also used Development of independently produced paper money –Not as stable, riots when not honored Government claims monopoly on money production in 11 th century

38 China and the Hemispheric Economy Increasingly cosmopolitan nature of Chinese cities Chinese silk opens up trade routes, but increases local demands for imported luxury goods

39 Cultural Change in Tang and Song China Declining confidence in Confucianism after collapse of Han dynasty Increasing popularity of Buddhism Christianity, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, Islam also appear Clientele primarily foreign merchant class

40 Dunhuang Mahayana Buddhism especially popular at Dunhuang in western China (Gansu province), CE –Cave temples Buddhist temples, libraries Economic success as converts donate land holdings Increase popularity through donations of agricultural produce to the poor

41 Conflicts with Chinese Culture Buddhism: –Text-based (Buddhist teachings) Emphasis on Metaphysics Ascetic ideal –Celibacy –Isolation Confucianism: –Text-based (Confucian teachings) –Daoism not text- based Emphasis on ethics, politics Family-centered –Procreation –Filial piety

42 Neo-Confucianism Song dynasty refrains from persecuting Buddhists, but favors Confucians Neo-Confucians influenced by Buddhist thought –Syncretic blend of both faiths

43 Chan (Zen) Buddhism Buddhists adapt ideology to Chinese climate –Dharma translated as dao –Nirvana translated as wuwei Accommodated family lifestyle –“ one son in monastery for ten generations of salvation ” Limited emphasis on textual study, meditation instead

44 Persecution of Buddhists Daoist/Confucian persecution supported in late Tang dynasty 840s begins systematic closure of Buddhist temples, expulsions –Zoroastrians, Christians, Manicheans as well Economic motive: seizure of large monastic landholdings Limits growth but does not eradicate faiths

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