Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12 Introduction Basic themes of Chinese civilization underwent vital consolidation during the postclassical period. Less fundamental innovation."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 12 Introduction Basic themes of Chinese civilization underwent vital consolidation during the postclassical period. Less fundamental innovation occurred than in the Americas and Europe. Important developments took place in technology. Political turmoil followed the fall of the Han during the Period of the Six Dynasties ( C.E.), and the empire's bureaucratic apparatus collapsed. The scholar-gentry class lost ground to landed families. Non- Chinese nomads ruled much of China, and a foreign religion, Buddhism, replaced Confucianism as a primary force in cultural life. There were economic, technological, intellectual, and urban decline. New dynasties, the Sui and Tang, from the end of the sixth century brought a restoration of Chinese civilization. Political unity returned as nomads and nobility were brought under state control and the bureaucracy was rebuilt. Major changes occurred in economic and social life as the focus of a revived civilization shifted from the north to the Yangtze valley and southern and eastern coastal areas. The Song dynasty continued the revival; their era saw the restoration of the scholar-gentry and the Confucian order. It was a time of artistic, literary, and technological flourishing. Male dominance reached new heights.
I) Rebuilding the Imperial Edifice in Sui-Tang Eras A noble, Wendi, with the support of nomadic military leaders, won control of northern China. In 589, he defeated the Chen kingdom, which ruled much of the south, and established the Sui dynasty as ruler of the traditional Chinese core. Wendi won popularity by lowering taxes and establishing granaries to ensure a stable, cheap food supply.
a)Sui Excesses and Collaspe -Wendi’s son Yangdi continued to strengthen the state and reformed the legal code and Confucian educational system -Yangdi caused widespread revolts by undertaking expensive construction projects and attempting unsuccessfully to conquer Korea. -He was defeated by Turkic nomads(615) and imperial rule collapsed after he was assassinated in 618
b) The Emergence of the Tang and the Restoration of the Empire -Imperial unity was saved when Li Yuan, Duke of Tang and a former supporter of the Sui, won control of China and began the Tang dynasty (623) -Tang armies dominated the frontier nomads and extended the empire’s reach to Afghanistan -The Tang tried to assimilate the Turkic nomads into Chinese culture and use them in their military -The Great Wall was repaired and Tang influence stretched into Tibet, Vietnam, Manchuria, and Korea
c) Rebuilding the Bureaucracy -The Tang maintained imperial unity by reducing the power of the aristocracy and restoring the scholar-gentry elite. - Political authority was shared by imperial families and the scholar gentry bureaucrats -A Bureau of Censors watched over all officials
d) The Growing Importance of the Examination System -Under both the Tang and Song the examination system was greatly extended beyond the Han levels -Specialized exams were administered by the Ministry of Public rites and only highest offices went to individuals able to pass exams based on Confucian classics and Chinese literature. -Those who passed the more difficult exams on Chinese literature earned the title of jinshi and their names were announced throughout the empire, and overnight they were transformed into dignitaries, allowed to wear certain types of clothing and exempt from corporal punishment. -Additional exams determined eligibility for office and social status -Family connections still were important for gaining high office, and while a intelligent commoner might rise to office, the central administration was dominated by a small number of prominent families
e) State and Religion in the Tang- Song Era -The Confucian revival threatened Buddhism’s place in Chinese life -Many earlier Chinese rulers had been strong Buddhist supporters, including salvationist Mahayana. -Among the masses the salvationist pure land strain of Mahayana Buddhism won widespread conversions because it seemed to provide a refuge from the age of war and turmoil. -Elite Chinese accepted Chan Buddhism (Zen), which stressed meditation and appreciation of natural and artistic beauty -Empress Wu ( ) sought to make Buddhism the state religion, and endowed monasteries, and commissioned colossal statues of Buddha
f) The Anti-Buddhist Backlash -Confucians and Daoists opposed Buddhist growth as an alien faith -Daoist stressed their magical and predictive powers and Confucian scholars worked to convince the Tang that untaxed Buddhists posed an economic threat to the empire -Buddhist persecution began under Emperor Wuzong ( ) thousands of monasteries and shrines were destroyed and hundreds of monks and nuns had to return to secular life -Buddhist lands were taxed and redistributed to taxpaying nobles or peasants -Buddhism survived the persecutions, but in a much reduced form. -Confucianism emerged as the central ideology of Chinese civilization.
II) Tang Decline and the Rise of the Song -A 2 nd high-borne woman who had married into the imperial family tried to seize power, Empress Wei, when she poisoned her husband Empress Wu’s son. -Her goal was thwarted when Emperor Xuanzong ( ) led a palace revolt. He advanced political and economic reform, and this marked the zenith of Tang power. -Later he turned to the pleasures of the imperial city and became infatuated with Yang Guifei, an imperial harem woman -She gained authority in court politics by filling the upper levels of government with her relatives -A serious revolt occurred in 755 and Yang Guifei was killed, and although the rebels were defeated the dynasty was weakened -Worsening economic conditions led to more revolts, and nomadic frontier people and regional governors used disorder to gain virtual independence.
a)Founding of the Song Dynasty The last Tang emperor resigned in 907 and a military commander Zhao Kuangyin (Taizu) reunited China in 960 under one dynasty, the Song. He failed to defeat the Liao dynasty of Manchuria, founded by the Khitan nomads, and was forced to pay tributes. This established a lasting precedent for weakness in dealing with northern nomadic people, who were heavily influenced by Chinese culture
b) Song Politics: Settling for Partial Restoration The Song never matched the Tang in terms of political or military strength The military was subordinate to scholar-gentry civilians to prevent a return to the conditions that ended Tang rule Song rulers strongly promoted the interests of Confucian scholars over aristocratic and Buddhists rivals Civil service exams were routine, and successful candidates had a better chance for employment and higher salaries
c) The Revival of Confucian Thought Confucian ideas and values dominated intellectual life, long neglected texts and impressive libraries were founded Neo Confucians thought that personal morality was the highest human goal, and the most prominent Zhu Xi emphasized applying philosophical principals to everyday life Stress on tradition prevented entry of innovations from other societies, and stifled critical thinking in China Neo-Confucian emphasized rank, obligation, deference, and performance of rituals to reinforce class, gender and age distinctions
d) Roots of Decline: Attempts at Reform Other nomads were encouraged by Song weakness to the Khitan to carve out their own kingdoms on the northern borders. By the 11 th century Tangut tribes from Tibet had established a kingdom named Xi Xia to the southwest of the Khitan kingdom of Liao The Song paid them tribute and maintained a large army to protect against invasion, thus draining valuable resources Song emphasis on scholar-gentry contributed to military decline Chief Minister Wang Anshi attempted sweeping reforms (11 th century), taxing the landlords and scholar-gentry to achieve military reform Wang Anshi encouraged agricultural expansion by giving cheap loans and government assisted irrigation projects
e) Reaction and Disaster: The Flight to the South Neo conservatives regained power (1085) and reversed Wang’s policies Economic conditions deteriorated and the military was unable to defend the northern borders The nomadic Jurchens, after overthrowing Liao, invaded China and annexed the Yellow River basin to establish the Jin kingdom The Song fled south and established a smaller dynasty ruled from the capital of Huangzhou in the Yangtze River basin from Politically the Southern Song were little more than a rump state carved out of the larger domains once ruled by the Tang and northern-based Song, although culturally its brief reign was one of the most glorious in the history of China.
III) Tang and Song Prosperity: The Basis of a Golden Age The Sui and Tang had built canals as Chinese population shifted, and Yangdi’s Grand Canal (1200 miles) linked the original civilization centers in the north with the Yangtze River. The rice growing southern regions became major food producers for the empire By Song times the south was the leader in crop production and population The canal system allowed the south to be open to migration and commercial development, as well as be governed from the north.
a)A New Phase of Commercial Expansion -Tang conquests and the canal system promoted commercial expansion into central Asia, reopening the silk routes to the West and intensifying personal contacts with the Buddhist and Islamic Worlds -China exported manufactured goods in exchange for luxury items, Chinese junks were among the best boats in the world and allowed the Chinese to be the dominant force in the seas east of Malayan peninsula -A money economy showed growing sophistication, such as early forms of banks (deposit shops), forms of credit and the 1 st paper money appeared. Flying money (credit vouchers) assisted transactions in distant markets
b) The World's Most Splendid Cities. -Urban growth surged during the Tang and Song eras. The 2,000,000 inhabitants of the Tang capital of Changan made it the world's largest city. Other cities similarly grew; many had more than 100,000 inhabitants. -Most preindustrial civilizations had few or no large urban centers, and China's estimated urban population—10% of the total population—surpassed all others. -The late Song capital of Huangzhou exceeded all others in beauty, size, and sophistication. Its location near the Yangtze and the seacoast allowed traders and artisans to prosper. Its population of more than 1,500,000 enjoyed well-stocked marketplaces, parks, restaurants, teahouses, and popular entertainment.
c) Expanding Agrarian Production and Life in the Country -Tang and Song rulers pushed agricultural expansion by encouraging peasants to migrate to new areas where the state supported military garrisons and provided irrigation and embankment systems -Sui and Tang rulers adopted policies to break up aristocratic estates for more equitable distribution among free peasants -New crops and technology increased yields and canals enabled their produce to move throughout the empire -The scholar-gentry gradually replaced the aristocracy in rural society
d) Family and Society in the Tang-Song Era Family organization resembled that of earlier eras, with the status of women improving under the Tang and early Song, but steadily declining during the late Song The Confucianist male dominated hierarchy was common, and only the upper class could afford extended family households Marriage alliances were handled by professional female go- betweens, partners were the same age and marriage did not take place until puberty Upper class women had increased opportunities under Tang and early Song, and the empresses Wu and Wei, as well as the royal concubine Yang Guifei exercised considerable power The legal code had provisions supporting women’s rights in divorce, and wealthy urban women having additional lovers is an example of their independence
e) The Neo-Confucian Assertion of Male Dominance The independence of women worsened as the Neo- Confucian thinkers stressed the roles of homemakers and mothers, advocating physical confinement of women Men were permitted free sexual behavior and remarriage, while widow chastity, wifely fidelity, and bridal virginity were stressed for women New laws favored men in inheritance and divorce, and women were excluded from the educational system The anti-Buddhist backlash also contributed to the deteriorated condition for women, and the painful practice of foot binding exemplifies the lowly position imposed on women in the late Song times.
f) A Glorious Age: Invention and Artistic Creativity The Tang and Song periods are best know for their accomplishments in science, technology, literature and the fine arts Engineering feats, such as the Grand Canal, dikes and dams, irrigation systems, and bridges are noteworthy The Song adapted explosive powder used by the Tang for fireworks, to military use as well as flame throwers, poisonous gas, and rocket launchers On the domestic side, chairs, tea drinking, the use of coal for fuel, and kites were introduced Compasses were used for ocean navigation, and the abacus helped numerical figuring Bi Sheng devised printing with moveable type, which with the Chinese invention of paper allowed a higher literacy level than any other preindustrial society.
g) Scholarly Refinement and Artistic Accomplishment The reinvigorated scholar-gentry class was responsible for art and literary creativity As scholar-gentry replaced Buddhists as major art and literature producers, they turned to portraying daily life and the delights of nature Literature focused on the doings and beliefs of common people. And poets such as Li Bo, celebrated the natural world Under the Song, many paintings and poems sought to teach moral lessons or explore philosophical ideas
h) In Depth: Artistic Expression and Social Values Examining artistic creativity is an effective approach to studying values of a civilization In preliterate societies, art and architecture may be all that is present to provide evidence When civilizations have written records we can still learn about societal structure by discovering who produced the art, for whom was it created, the technologies and minerals used, and the messages it was meant to convey In Europe, Islam, and India, artistic creations were the work of skilled craftsmen who made anonymous creations for a mass audience In China identifiable scholar-gentry made artistic creations for the pleasure of the elite
i) Global Connections: China’s Role The Song dynasty fell to the Mongol invasions of Chinggis and Kubilai Khan(1279), who founded the Yuan dynasty Both the Tang and Song had a great effect on Chinese and world history. Chinese inventions altered development all over the world, and until the 18 th century the Chinese economy was a world leader in productivity, sophistication, and market orientation The scholar-gentry class triumphed over Buddhist, aristocratic, and nomadic rivals for the next seven centuries as Chinese civilizations influence expanded greatly