Presentation on theme: "China: Tang and Song Dynasties Post-Classical Era."— Presentation transcript:
China: Tang and Song Dynasties Post-Classical Era
Han Dynasty When does it fall? What is it known for?
Period of the Six Dynasties 220-589 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
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)
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 (610- 615) Tried to conquer Korea (unsuccessful) Hated by people: overworked and overtaxed Peasant revolts
Tang Dynasty 618-907 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
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)
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
Empress Wu You read about her…More coming later 690-705 Encouraged spread of Buddhism tried to make it the state religion Lowered taxes Military conquest of Korea
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…
Tang Decline/Rise of the Song Emperor Xuanzong (713-756) –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
Song Dynasty 960-1279 First emperor: Zhao Kuangyin (Taizu) Failed to defeat the Liao Dynasty in Manchuria, establishing a precedent for weakness in dealing with nomadic peoples
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
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.”
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)
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
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)
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
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
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
Patriarchical Traditional Guides –Ruler guides subject –Father guides son –Husband guides wife Confucianism order Women must obey father, husband, and sons
Rights Could not pick spouse Could not divorce or remarry Husband could divorce her Could not inherit property or wealth Concubines
Empress Wu Zetian, 624-705 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.
Footbinding Origins unknown - several legends Began in Tang, fully accepted in Song Small feet = beauty
Footbinding in Tang China Broken toes by 3 years of age. Size 5 ½ shoe on the right
Footbinding in Tang China Mothers bound their daughters’ feet.
Footbinding in Tang China For upper-class girls, it became a new custom.
Footbinding Results 1997 UCSF Study Findings: more likely to fall, less able to stand from a chair, less able to squat, lower bone density
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?