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China: Tang and Song Dynasties Post-Classical Era.

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Presentation on theme: "China: Tang and Song Dynasties Post-Classical Era."— Presentation transcript:

1 China: Tang and Song Dynasties Post-Classical Era

2 Han Dynasty  When does it fall?  What is it known for?

3 Period of the Six Dynasties  CE  Scholar-Gentry class declined –Coming from a family of educated, high social status, esp. land owners  Non-Chinese nomads rule  Buddhism replaced Confucianism  Economic, technological, intellectual, urban decline

4 Sui Dynasty  Late 500s unites the north and south under strong leadership  Wen’ti (Wendi) –Took control of northern China –Lowered taxes and established granaries  His son, Yan’ti (Yangdi)

5 Yang’ti  Reformed the legal code, reinstituted Confucianism  Build the Grand Canal –Connected over 1200 miles, from the Yangtze to the Yellow Rivers –Established political and economic unity ( )  Tried to conquer Korea (unsuccessful)  Hated by people: overworked and overtaxed  Peasant revolts

6 Tang Dynasty   Known for wealth and power  Rebuilt the Great Wall—Turkic invasions  Military conquests in: Central Asia (Turks) and Northeast Asia (Korea)  Tibet, Vietnam, Manchuria, Korea  Lowered taxes

7 More Tang Dynasty  Examination System –Highest offices in government went to individuals who passed exams based on Confucian classics and Chinese literature  Scholar officials –System for choosing was through the 3 Confucian exams (favored wealthy men)

8 Tang Dynasty  Dynasty most progressive  Land distribution included widows  Mutual divorce acceptable - women could remarry  Access to broadening education system  Military skills  Social restrictions lifted

9 Empress Wu  You read about her…More coming later   Encouraged spread of Buddhism  tried to make it the state religion  Lowered taxes  Military conquest of Korea

10 Confucian Exam

11 Confucian Exam con’d  Faults: –Corruption –Confucian thought  did not judge ability to lead military or collect taxes  Benefits: –Gave China an intelligent governing class –No longer ruled by few…

12 Tang Decline/Rise of the Song  Emperor Xuanzong ( ) –Initially advanced political & economic reform –Patronized arts –Downfall? A harem girl named Yang Guifei –Revolt in 755  Nomadic peoples/regional governors fed off the disorder

13 Song Dynasty   First emperor: Zhao Kuangyin (Taizu)  Failed to defeat the Liao Dynasty in Manchuria, establishing a precedent for weakness in dealing with nomadic peoples

14 Song  Military subordinated to the scholar- gentry  Confucian scholar-gentry ideals over Buddhist rivals  Increased salaries, civil service exams, etc.  Revival of Confucian thought: neo- Confucianism

15 Song again: Neo Confucianism  Cultivation of personal morality is highest human goal  Produced superior men to govern/teach  Emphasis on rank, obligation, deference, performance of rituals  Authority of patriarchal head of family was strengthened  “Social harmony and prosperity is maintained when men and women performed the tasks appropriate to their status.”

16 Roots of Decline  Nomads began to carve out kingdoms on northern borders  Paid tribute to nomads to protect against invasion  Emphasis on scholar-gentry concerns contributed to military decline  soon the northern borders fell  The Song fled south (1115) and established a capital at Hangzhou (Yangtze River Basin)

17 Industrial Revolution?  Canal system  Re-opened Silk Roads  Rice-growing dominated area  Chinese junks allowed for Chinese to dominate the seas  Money economy: deposit shops, paper money, credit vouchers  Agricultural expansion

18 You say you want a revolution…  Explosive powder –Tang: fireworks; Song: military use  Flame-throwers, poisonous gas, rocket launchers  Chairs, tea drinking, coal fuel  Compasses, abacuses  Movable type printing (Bi Sheng)

19 Chinese Cities  China’s estimated urban population (10%) exceeded that of all other civilizations  Allowed traders and artisans to prosper  Largest: Changan: 200,000,000 people

20 Women’s Roles (more coming up)  Independence: –Wealthy urban women could have lovers –Women’s rights in divorce –Partners of similar ages  Restriction: –Housemaker, mother, wifely fidelity, widow chastity (neo-Confucian ideals) –Excluded from education –Foot-binding

21 Legacy:  Centralized administration  Scholar-gentry elite  Civilization expanded as south was integrated into the north  Economy  world leader until 18 th C.  Chinese inventions  Outside influences incorporated into existing patterns

22 Old Trees, Level Distance

23 Seeking the Tao in the Autumn Mountains

24 Finches and Bamboo

25 Scholar Viewing a Waterfall

26 Women in China Tang and On

27 Patriarchical  Traditional Guides –Ruler guides subject –Father guides son –Husband guides wife  Confucianism order  Women must obey father, husband, and sons

28 Rights  Could not pick spouse  Could not divorce or remarry  Husband could divorce her  Could not inherit property or wealth  Concubines

29 Empress Wu Zetian,  The only female Empress in China’s history who ruled alone.   Searched for outstanding individuals to attract to her court.  Construction of new irrigation systems.  Buddhism was the favored state religion.  Financed the building of many Buddhist temples.  She appointed cruel and sadistic ministers to seek out her enemies.

30 Footbinding  Origins unknown - several legends  Began in Tang, fully accepted in Song  Small feet = beauty

31 Footbinding in Tang China  Broken toes by 3 years of age.  Size 5 ½ shoe on the right

32 Footbinding in Tang China Mothers bound their daughters’ feet.

33 Footbinding in Tang China  For upper-class girls, it became a new custom.

34 Women With Bound Feet

35 The Results of Footbinding

36 Footbinding Results  1997 UCSF Study  Findings: more likely to fall, less able to stand from a chair, less able to squat, lower bone density

37 Questions  Footbinding started with the upper classes, why did it become widespread across classes?  Where else in history do we see similar practices?  Does modern society have equivalent practices?


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