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Chapter 12: Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese Civilization: The Era of the Tang and Song Dynasties.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12: Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese Civilization: The Era of the Tang and Song Dynasties."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 12: Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese Civilization: The Era of the Tang and Song Dynasties

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6 Many problems occur after the fall of the Han; what negative changes occur? (I counted 8, could be much more) – Bureaucracy collapses Many successors attempted it – Position of the scholar-gentry declined sharply Landed gentry with aristocratic traits dominated – Non-Chinese nomads ruled much of China – A foreign religion, Buddhism, eclipsed Confucian teachings as the main force in political and cultural life – Great Wall poorly defended – Trade and city life decline – Technology stagnated – Thought degenerated into the quest for magic and immortality

7 Chinese civilization re-established itself at the end of the 6 th century; what did this prove? – That even after a long period of stagnation, the patterns of life in the Qin-Han era were significant – Preservation of Confucian institution and ideas – Intense longing at all social levels for a return to imperial order

8 What major aspects does this chapter trace (section by section)? – Rise of the Sui-Tang Focus on bureaucratic reconstruction to solidify power – 2 nd section- major changes in Chinese economic and social life during Tang Major emphasis on shift in balance from north China to the Yangtze valley and coastal areas south and east – 3 rd section- rebirth in arts, scholarship, and invention Emphasis on tension between Chinese Buddhism and revived (neo-) Confucianism

9 What were some major differences between the Tang and the Song? What were some developments of the Song? (7) – Never reached the size of the Tang – Political control not as effective – Saw full restoration of the scholar-gentry and Confucianism – Male dominance reaches new heights – Artistic and literary production flourished – Technological innovation has few parallels – Underlying political failures left China open to the Mongols

10 How did Wendi win widespread support? How did he pay for this? – Lowered taxes – Established granaries throughout the domains Built in all the large cities and all villages Ensure there was reserve food in case of flood or drought – Large landholders and peasants were taxed a portion of their crop to fill the granaries – Was also brought to market in times of food shortages to keep the price low

11 What parts of Yangdi’s rule were successful? (6) – Extended his father’s conquests – Drove back nomads in the north – Created a relaxed legal code – Spent to upgrade Confucian education – Attempted to restore examination system – Legal and education reforms part of a broader policy to promote the scholar-gentry in the imperial admin

12 What problems did Yangdi cause? – Attempt to promote the s-g angered the aristocratic families and nomadic military commanders – Overly fond of luxury and extravagant construction projects – Conscripted hundreds of thousands of peasants to: Build palaces New capital at Loyang Series of great canals

13 – Led his exhausted and angry subjects into a series of unsuccessful wars to bring Korea back under Chinese rule Failures in Korea between Near-fatal reverse in central Asia against Turkic nomads in 615

14 How did the Tang secure the borders of China? – Conquered deep into central Asia Ensured that many nomads who had dominated China earlier had to submit to Tang rule – The Turkic tribes as the greatest threat Tried to play the Turkic groups off of each other, to great effect Turkic daughters married into the imperial family Sons sent as hostages to guarantee good behavior – Completed the repairs of the Great Wall – Created frontier armies Became best units in military

15 – Extended into: Parts of Tibet Red River Valley of Vietnamese Manchuria in the north – Yangtze river basin in the south fully integrated with north for first time since Han – 668, Korea was overrun by Chinese armies Vassal kingdom called Silla was established that remained loyal to the Tang

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18 How did the fortunes of the scholar- gentry change? – Played a central role in the restoration and expansion of the bureaucracy Along with reworked Confucianism – Began to improve under Yangdi Continues under early Tang emperors – Needed loyal and well-educated officials – Tang used the s-g to offset the power of the aristocracy As their control over court life and admin declined, so did their role in Chinese history – From the Tang on, power was split between the imperial families and the bureaucrats of the civil service system Aristocracy occupied admin positions S-G staffed most of the posts in the secretaries and exec department

19 How did Buddhism gain power in China? – Many pre-Tang rulers were devout Buddhists Patrons of the Buddhist establishment – After fall of Han, Buddhist sects proliferated in China Most popular founded by Chinese monks – Took on Chinese qualities – Salvationist pure land strain of Mahayana Buddhism won widespread conversion Provided a refuge from an age of war and turmoil – Elite classes attracted to Chan Buddhism Stressed meditation and the appreciation of natural and artistic beauty Goal was to know ultimate wisdom – Find release from the cycle of rebirth through introspective meditation – Combination of royal patronage and widespread conversion made Buddhism a force by time of Tang

20 How did Confucianists and Daoists attack Buddhism? – Called it alien – Daoist monks stressed their own magical and predictive powers – Most hurt: campaign of Confucian scholar-admins to convince the Tang rulers that the Buddhist monasteries posed a threat to the imperial order economically Their land and resources were not taxes, costing the Tang huge amounts of revenue – Also denied labor because it could neither tax or conscript peasants who worked in the monasteries

21 What actions were taken to curb the powers of Buddhism? – By mid-8 th cent, state fears led to measures to limit the flow of land and resources to the monastic orders – Under Emperor Wuzong ( ), restrictions grew to open persecution Thousands of monasteries and shrines were destroyed Hundreds of thousands of monks and nuns abandoned their monastic orders Many ppl again subject to taxation Monastery lands parceled out to taxpaying landlords and peasant smallholders


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