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Presentation on theme: "POST-CLASSICAL CHINA, JAPAN AND THE MONGOL EMPIRE"— Presentation transcript:


2 The Big Questions: What were the major civilizations of Asia in the post-classical era? What were the effects of the Mongol invasion? What were the achievements of Ming China?

3 Introduction China entered a long period of turmoil and unrest after the collapse of the Han Dynasty in 220 A.D. As in the West, the advance of the Huns helped plunge China into disunity Several warring kingdoms arose, and science, art , and culture declined At the same time, Buddhism spread through much of China This period in China’s history is known as the Six Dynasties, and it took several hundred years before China re-emerged as a leading civilization

4 Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 A.D.) Gave China a “Golden Age”
Suppressed peasant uprisings Reunited China and brought peace and prosperity Expanded into Korea, Manchuria, and parts of Central Asia Government took census, restarted civil service exam, and built public works Peasants paid taxes of grain and silk


6 More about the Tang Artistic Achievements
Empress Wu Zetian Implemented government reforms Built a new capital city of Chang’an (largest city in the world – merchants and officials from Persia, India, Arabia, and Syria could be found there) Artistic Achievements Pottery with painted glazed figures Metalwork and jade Poetry and painting Unique gardens Mapmaking, medicine, and block printing Encouraged Commerce

7 Song Dynasty ( A.D.) Ruled a much smaller area than the Tang A time of great social and economic progress Paper currency and standardized coins of copper and iron Eliminated forced labor for the emperor (increased farm production, leading to greater wealth for China’s people and government) The most populous and advanced civilization of its day Merchants, craftspeople, and scholars lived in larger towns and cities Traded with many other parts of the world


9 More about the Song Achievements Created an alliance with the Mongols
The Grand Canal – connected Beijing, the Hwang Ho, and the Yangtze Rivers (used to ship grain within China) Caravans carried silks over the Silk Road Large ships carried goods to Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa Science and Technology New instruments for astronomers Acupuncture Advanced mathematics Gunpowder in war Compass for navigation Moveable type Created an alliance with the Mongols

10 Chinese Society Buddhism and Confucianism influenced society Women
Had to obey father, husband, and son Left family when they married Widows could receive a portion of husband’s land Divorce was allowed if both husband and wife accepted it Footbinding Limited female mobility Practiced by the wealthy

11 More foot binding photos


13 Introduction Japan was deeply influenced by China
Spread by Chinese and Korean scholars and merchants Confucianism – loyalty to family and ruler Buddhism – renounce selfish desires Daoism – love of nature Chinese writing was adopted Influenced music, art, dance, and cooking Although greatly influenced, Japanese society was not an exact copy, and changed as time passed

14 Japanese System of Rule
Emperors free some nobles from tax burdens Nobles began to raise their own private armies Imperial government grew weaker (less money) In 1192, the most powerful noble had the emperor appoint him “Supreme Military Governor” or Shogun For the next 600 years, Shoguns were the real rulers of Japan (emperors were only figureheads)

15 The Hierarchy of Japanese Feudal System
Shogun – real ruler, Emperor a figurehead Samurai – warriors (knights on horseback with armor or leather and iron, and swords). Swore an oath of loyalty to the emperor and his local daimyo Daimyo – noble landowners. Provided the samurai with social status and economic support Bushido – a strict code of honor promised by samurai that emphasized loyalty to the Daimyo

16 Left Side: Diagram of Japanese Feudalism
Emperor Shogun Daimyo Samurai Samurai Peasant Peasant


18 Introduction The Steppes – a treeless grassland stretching across Eurasia (from the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe to Manchuria in NE Asia) Inhabited by nomadic people since earliest times Used as pastures for herding livestock Provided a unique environment for people to learn horsemanship and fighting skills The Huns Repelled by the Chinese, but contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire Attila was the most famous Hun leader The Turks Came from Central Asia to create empires in the Middle East

19 Central Asian Invaders 4th – 13th Centuries
Mongols 13th Central Asia Huns 4th-5th Seljuk Turks 10th-11th Mongols 13th

20 THE MONGOLS Established the greatest land empire the world had ever seen Divided into several loosely organized tribes Slept in domed tents made of felt Excellent horsemen and archers (used stirrups) Ghengis Khan (Chinggis Khan) United Mongols by 1206 Conquered Mongolia, China, & Muslim States of Central Asia Although a brutal warrior who used terror, he was tolerant of religions Promoted trade Used local administrators Ordered a written script for Mongol language

21 The Empire after Ghengis Khan
Ghengis Khan’s successors extended Mongol rule into Persia, Russia, Iraq, and the rest of China This was the largest land empire the world has seen There was a “Pax Mongolia” – people could trade safely from one end of the empire to the other The empire was so vast, it was soon divided into four kingdoms (each ruled by a different descendant of Ghengis Khan)


23 THE YUAN DYNASTY Ruled by Kublai Khan (Grandson of Ghengis) -1260 A.D.
Was born Mongolian, but was fascinated with Chinese culture, traditions, and art Mongols served as military aristocracy Chinese officials helped rule Mongols were encouraged to adopt Chinese ways Kublai Khan claimed the Mandate of Heaven

24 Yuan Dynasty continued…
Marco Polo (a venetian merchant) journeyed along the Silk Road to visit China Astounded at the magnificence of Kublai Khan’s court Chinese were technologically superior to European of the day Was impressed by gunpowder and burning of coal for heat

25 Mongol Influence on Russia
Mongols controlled Russia for 200 years Mongol words, customs, and clothing styles were found in Russian culture Moscow and its surrounding territories (Muscovy) was the strongest Russian state Muscovites eventually rebelled against Mongols In 1480, Ivan the Great declared Muscovy’s independence Proclaimed himself Tsar (“Caesar” or Emperor”) Soon increased Muscovy’s size by conquering neighboring lands

26 Tamerlane Expanded his kingdom from Samarkand into Persia, Afghanistan, Russia, Syria, Turkey, and N. India Known for his brutality and massacre of civilian populations Empire collapsed soon after his death

27 MING DYNASTY (1388-1644 A.D.) Overthrew the Mongols to take over
300 years of peace and prosperity Constructed an imperial palace in Beijing , The Forbidden City. (Became home to Chinese emperors who were revered as gods) Two main social classes Peasants – largely illiterate, lives centered around family and village Scholar gentry – owned land, respected learning Restored civil service exam (focused on Confucian teachings)

28 Ming continued… Trade and manufacturing flourished Exploration
Merchants and craftsmen lived in the cities Excelled at printing and producing silks and porcelains Exploration Great naval expeditions were sponsored by the emperor in the 1400s to spread the news of China’s wealth and power Zheng He sailed to India and Arabia Emperor stopped voyages in 1430 In 1557, Portuguese traders established a settlement in China Catholic missionaries soon followed trying to convert Chinese to Christianity Established a global pattern of trade (exported silk and porcelain and imported silver, sweet potatoes and corn)

29 Voyages of Zheng He


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