China -- Sui, Tang, &
Song 960 -1279
After the fall of the Han Empire (220 c.e.)
Northern China was invaded by nomadic
groups (who assimilated Chinese
No leader in southern China was strong
enough to control the entire region (30
dynasties in about 300 years claimed the
Mandate of Heaven).
For 350 years, regional rule was the
By 589, the first
emperor of the Sui
southern China once
The foundations for
the Tang & Song
Dynasties were laid.
―A Golden Age‖
China during the Tang and Song
dynasties had . . .
political stability (strong central
economic growth & change
intellectual & artistic achievement
China during the Sui,
Tang, & Song Dynasties
Song 960 -1279
In the 300 years between the Han and
the Sui Dynasties –
Buddhism spread & changed
Migration of people into southern China
Destruction of old growth forests and
DURING THE TANG & SONG dynasties
Economic revolution, commercialization,
Cultural and Economic interaction with
―outsiders‖ – spread of Chinese culture
SEE STRAYERNOTES #1,2,3,8,9,10
1. What CAUSED
Buddhism & Daoism to
gain more acceptance?
What caused the
2. What CAUSED the
economic revolution &
take place in
3. What CAUSED
women’s status to
8. What CAUSED
China to have greater
9. What CAUSED the
growth of Buddhism in
10. What CAUSED
Buddhism to change
as it spread in China?
CONTINUITIES from the Classical Period
through the Sui, Tang, & Song Dynasties.
Confucianism remained a foundation of
government, social structure, and culture
Agriculture remained the foundation of
Strong central government continued
with a powerful emperor (mandate of
heaven) & scholar-bureaucracy
was separate from
The social class
Social Classes (continuities)
Landowners (landed gentry) were at the
top of the social class system.
Scholar-bureaucrats (scholar gentry) &
military leaders were also in upper-class.
Merchants and artisans could acquire a
great deal of wealth - but were still in the
Interaction with nomadic groups to the
North continued to influence the politics,
economy, and culture of China.
Chinese cultural influence on its
neighbors remained strong.
Women’s status remained low
(despite attempts at reform by
The Song Period saw women
at a very low social status.
Evidence: Seclusion, lack
of property rights, polygamy
and use of concubines,
exclusion from education, &
From Ning Lao T'ai-t'ai
―A girl's beauty and desirability were
counted more by the size of her feet
than by the beauty of her face.
Matchmakers were not asked, 'Is she
beautiful?' but 'How small are her
feet?' A plain face is given by
heaven but poorly bound feet are a
sign of laziness.‖
Economic Revolution in Tang &
Agricultural production improved & crop
specialization intensified with improved
infrastructure, iron implements, and
Producing goods for the market
instead of local consumption became
Indian Ocean trade
Tang control over
Silk Road trade
Banking and Credit system
Government issued paper money.
Technology and Innovation
First chain driven mechanism - the clock
Paper production and block printing
techniques were invented and then
Boat building and navigational
technology was more advanced than the
rest of the world.
Other Advancements included:
Tang and Song China had some of the
largest cities in the world.
Song Chinese were the first to use
fractions in computations and equations.
Solar year was accurately measured
Doctors in Song China compiled and
printed medical texts
In terms of advancements, innovations,
and knowledge, China benefited from
centuries of Chinese scholarship and
Influences from other parts of the world
(especially during the Tang period) also
had a considerable effect.