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Medieval Asia Tang Dynasty, 618-907 Northern Song, 960-1127 Southern Song, 1127-1279.

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Presentation on theme: "Medieval Asia Tang Dynasty, 618-907 Northern Song, 960-1127 Southern Song, 1127-1279."— Presentation transcript:

1 Medieval Asia Tang Dynasty, Northern Song, Southern Song,

2 Concepts Main Idea – Tang and Song Dynasties were known for their technological innovations which changed history

3 Setting the Stage for Tang The Han dynasty collapsed in 220, and nomadic peoples from the northern steppe conquered much of northern China More than 30 local dynasties rose and fell By 589, a strong emperor named Sui (sway) Wendi united northern and southern China, but this dynasty lasted through only two emperors Although short-lived, the Sui dynasty did lay a strong foundation for the great achievements of the next dynasty – The Tang

4 Tang Dynasty One of the greatest emperors was Tang Taizong Under Taizong, the empire expanded. His armies reconquered the northern and western lands lost since the Han fell. Empress Wu Zhao held real power from , She is the only woman to ever take the title of Emperor for herself in Chinese history.

5 Tang Dynasty, Continued Tang rulers expanded the central government, roads and canals to help pull the empire together. They initially lowered taxes to gain the loyalty of the peasants They promoted foreign trade and improvements in agriculture

6 Scholar-Officials Civil Service Examination System – was begun by the Han Dynasty, but was in disarray. It was revised and used to recruit good officials. They opened schools to train young scholars in Confucianism, poetry, and other subjects Those few who passed the exams became part of an elite group called scholar-officials The system created a remarkably intelligent and capable governing class of China

7 Decline and Fall of the Tang The dynasty was weakening by the mid- 700s. The rulers imposed harsh taxes. There was chaos as peasants left their farms and villages and turned to banditry. In 751, Arab armies beat the Chinese at the Battle of Talas on the western frontier. Finally in 907, Chinese rebels destroyed the Tang capital and murdered the last Tang emperor

8 Song Dynasty After 53 years of confusion and rivalry among warlords, a strong general was able to reunite China and proclaim himself emperor – Song Taizu The empire was smaller now, but it was stable, powerful and prosperous under the Song

9 Northern Song ( ) The Song never regained the western lands lost after 751. They never regained lands lost after the Tang decline. They tried to keep the peace by paying hefty tribute to their northern enemies. This failed to stop the threat and they were forced south by the Jurchen, who took the northern part of China and established the Jin empire

10 Southern Song ( ) The Jin forced the Song to retreat to the south. They established a new capital, Hangzhou Despite military troubles, it saw rapid economic growth South became the economic heartland of China Merchants grew rich from trade with the Jin, western Asia and Europe

11 Impact of Tang and Song Intense growth – China’s population doubled, soaring to 100 million By the Song era, there were 10 cities in China with a million plus residents It was the most populous country in the world and the most advanced…

12 Chinese Inventions Block printing – (700s) the whole page was carved onto one block - time consuming and more expensive Movable type – (1040) An alchemist named Pi Sheng appears to have conceived of movable type. Each piece of movable type had on it one Chinese character which was carved in relief on a small block of an amalgam of clay and glue. The portion that formed the character was as thin as the edge of a small coin. After the block had been hardened by fire, the type became durable.

13 More inventions Porcelain (700s) – Bone hard white ceramic made of a special clay and a mineral found only in China This is why the good set of dishes your mom or grandma has is called CHINA!

14 Still more inventions Mechanical Clock- (700s) Clock in which machinery driven by running water regulated the movements

15 Again with the inventions! Gunpowder – ( 800s) explosive powder made from a mixture of saltpeter, sulfur and charcoal How did this invention affect the history of warfare in this world? You can also thank them for fireworks

16 Even more inventions Paper money (1020s) - Paper currency issued - why would they replace metal coins with paper? Magnetic Compass (1100s) – floating magnetized needle that always points north – how did this invention affect China? Early paper money Early float compass Later box compass

17 Other innovations Advances in farming – They had to feed 100 million people Trade flourished – armies guarded the Silk Roads which linked China to the West. (they lost control over these during the Tang decline) China developed into the greatest sea power in the world with their inventions of navigational devices. Golden Age of Art -the wealth of these dynasties stimulated a high level of artistic creativity and brilliance

18 Changes in Society Power of the old aristocratic families faded A much larger upper class emerged, made up of scholar- officials and their families – the Gentry Status of women was never high, but it declined even further for upper class women during this period – one sign of this was the new practice of footbinding This created a much smaller, useless foot called a lily-foot.

19 What belief did the practice of footbinding reflect? It was impractical and rendered the woman unable to walk normally – she hobbled or was carried In Chinese society this reflected the husband’s wealth and prestige – that he could afford a beautiful but impractical wife

20 Mongol Conquests

21 Nomads of the Asian Steppe Steppe – a vast, dry grassland that stretches across Europe and Asia from Hungary to Manchuria Little rain, lots of wind. It supports short, hardy grasses. Extreme temperature variations – from -57°F in winter to 96°F in summer The western steppe has more rainfall and is milder than the eastern steppe

22 Nomadic people were pastoralists –they herded domesticated animals (present day Mongolians still live much like this) They lived and traveled together in kinship groups called clans. The differing ways of life between settled peoples and nomads led to constant interaction – they traded peacefully many times, but the nomads were often tempted by the wealth of settled communities and raided the towns Occasionally, a powerful group like the Mongols were able to conquer a large area and become its rulers. Often, they would adapt to the civilization they conquered.

23 The Rise of the Mongols Around 1200, a Mongol khan, or clan leader, named Temujin unified the clans under his leadership In 1206, he accepted the title Genghis Khan, or universal ruler (could also mean Lord of the Ocean) Over the next 21 years, Genghis Khan and his Mongols conquered much of Asia. First goal was China, but after invading the Jin empire (Northern China), his attention turned toward the Muslim region west of Mongolia By 1221, central Asia was under Mongol control

24 Genghis the Conqueror He was a brilliant organizer He was a gifted strategist He adopted new weapons and technology Used cruelty as a weapon – if a city refused to open its gates to him, he might kill everyone after capturing it. This led to many cities surrendering without a fight

25 The Mongol Empire Genghis Khan died from illness in 1227 His son Ogedei became the Great Khan His successors continued to expand the empire – in less than 50 years, they conquered land from China to Poland Ogedei died in 1241 and the westward campaign ended – they had to elect his successor Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis, named himself the Great Khan in 1260

26 Mongols as rulers Many areas conquered never recovered Populations of some cities were wiped out The Mongols destroyed ancient irrigation systems in areas like the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys Some adopted the culture of the areas they conquered: the Golden Horde and the Ilkhanate became Muslims The Great Khan adopted Chinese institutions The growing cultural differences led to the splitting up of the empire

27 Mongol Peace – From the 1200s to the 1300s, the Mongols imposed stability, law and order across much of Eurasia They guaranteed safe passage of trade caravans, travelers and missionaries across the empire Goods and ideas spread between Europe and Asia like never before Some historians speculate that this openness led to the spread of the bubonic plague that devastated Europe in the 1300s.

28 Empire of the Great Khan Marco Polo at the Court of Kublai Khan Kublai Khan

29 Kublai Khan Conquers China Kublai Khan completed the conquest of China begun by his grandfather, Genghis Khan The Southern Song dynasty was overwhelmed by the Mongol armies in 1279 The new emperor, Kublai Khan, founded a new dynasty called the Yuan dynasty Although it lasted less than a century, it was very important 1. Kublai united China for the 1 st time in 300 years 2. China was opened to greater foreign contacts and trade 3. He tolerated Chinese culture and made few changes to the government system

30 Kublai Tries to Conquer Japan In 1274 and 1281, Kublai sent fleets to try to conquer Japan – they were turned back both times A typhoon helped the Japanese defeat the second fleet – for centuries they referred to the kamikaze, or “divine wind” that saved Japan

31 Marco Polo Marco Polo – a Venetian trader who traveled by caravan on the Silk Roads to China He spoke several Asian languages and was welcomed by Kublai Khan, who used him as a government emissary for 17 years Two years before Kublai Khan died, Marco Polo and his family went back to Europe Marco Polo

32 End of Mongol Rule Problems began in the late years of Kublai’s reign Suffered many defeats as he tried to expand empire into Southeast Asia Differences between the luxuries at court and the overtaxed peasants were a problem Yuan dynasty remained for 74 years after Kublai died – but it was a power struggle among family members

33 Mongol Empire Falls Apart Rebellion broke out in the 1300s 1. Chinese resented Mongol rule 2. Years of famine, flood and disease, growing economic problems and corruption In 1368, Chinese rebels overthrew the Mongols – start of the Ming Dynasty Many Mongols returned to their homeland Ilkhanate of Persia fell apart in the 1330s Chagatai Khans ruled to 1370s Only the Golden Horde in Russia stayed in power

34 Main Idea Although the empire was short-lived, it was important Chinese influence on Western ideas and culture began under Mongol rule with the advancement of trade

35 Japan

36 Japan is an archipelago – a chain of islands Japan is an archipelago – a chain of islands The majority of the people live on four main islands – Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu The majority of the people live on four main islands – Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu Mild climate with good rainfall Mild climate with good rainfall Very mountainous, though so not much land can be farmed! Very mountainous, though so not much land can be farmed! Violent weather, earthquakes and volcanoes. Violent weather, earthquakes and volcanoes.

37 Early Japan Early religion was Shinto (way of the gods) Early religion was Shinto (way of the gods) It was based on respect for forces of nature and ancestor worship It was based on respect for forces of nature and ancestor worship Early Japan was not unified – hundreds of clans controlled their own territory Early Japan was not unified – hundreds of clans controlled their own territory By 5 th century A.D., the Yamato clan was the leading clan By 5 th century A.D., the Yamato clan was the leading clan By 7 th century they called themselves emperors and claimed descent from sun goddess Amaterasu By 7 th century they called themselves emperors and claimed descent from sun goddess Amaterasu

38 Japanese adapt Chinese ideas By 500, there was more contact with mainland Asia By 500, there was more contact with mainland Asia Koreans migrated to Japan bringing Chinese influences Koreans migrated to Japan bringing Chinese influences Buddhism was brought in – they ended up combining Shinto rituals with Buddhist ceremonies and art Buddhism was brought in – they ended up combining Shinto rituals with Buddhist ceremonies and art Adopted Chinese style of writing Adopted Chinese style of writing Followed Chinese styles in other matters – drinking tea, gardening, cooking, hairdressing Followed Chinese styles in other matters – drinking tea, gardening, cooking, hairdressing Retained their own traditions while adapting Chinese ways to suit their needs Retained their own traditions while adapting Chinese ways to suit their needs

39 Feudalism erodes Imperial Authority Decline of Central power – court families lost interest in governing and more interested in luxury and artistic pursuits Decline of Central power – court families lost interest in governing and more interested in luxury and artistic pursuits Large landowners outside of capital set up private armies Large landowners outside of capital set up private armies Countryside was dangerous, pirates took control of seas Countryside was dangerous, pirates took control of seas Small landowners and farmers traded parts of their lands for protection by local lords Small landowners and farmers traded parts of their lands for protection by local lords Local lords grew stronger Local lords grew stronger Created a system similar to feudalism in ancient China and medieval Europe Created a system similar to feudalism in ancient China and medieval Europe

40 Samurai Each lord surrounded himself with loyal warriors called samurai Each lord surrounded himself with loyal warriors called samurai Samurai lived according to Bushido – the way of the warrior Samurai lived according to Bushido – the way of the warrior Bushido is reckless courage, reverence for the gods, fairness and generosity toward the weak Bushido is reckless courage, reverence for the gods, fairness and generosity toward the weak

41 Shogun In the late 1100s, a war between two powerful families ended with the Minamoto family winning In the late 1100s, a war between two powerful families ended with the Minamoto family winning The emperor gave the leader of the Minamoto the title of Shogun – supreme general of the emperor’s army The emperor gave the leader of the Minamoto the title of Shogun – supreme general of the emperor’s army Everything was under his control Everything was under his control The emperor still reigned from Kyoto (built on ruins of Heian, destroyed in the war) The emperor still reigned from Kyoto (built on ruins of Heian, destroyed in the war) Real power in Japan was at the shogun’s headquarters in Kamakura Real power in Japan was at the shogun’s headquarters in Kamakura

42 Main Ideas/Importance 1. Japanese civilization was shaped by the cultural borrowing from China, and the rise of feudalism and military rulers 1. Japanese civilization was shaped by the cultural borrowing from China, and the rise of feudalism and military rulers


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