When we left off with China, the Han dynasty hadtaken control and were solidifying their power. In220 CE, the Han Dynasty ended and China fell intochaos and civil war.In 581 CE, a new Chinese empire set up under theSui Dynasty, which lasted around 40 years, until618. However, it’s legacy was that it reunified Chinaafter years of war and strife.Suy Yangdi, the second emperor of the Sui Dynasty, Sui Yangdi was a cruel ruler whocompleted the Grand Canal, which linked the two used forced labor to build thegreat rivers of China, the Yangtze and the Huang Grand Canal. He also imposedHe. high taxes, lived a luxurious lifestyle, and was a poor militaryThe two rivers flowed east to west, while the canal leaders. He was eventuallylinked the north and south, enabling the Chinese murdered and the Sui Dynastyto ship rice and other goods from north to south ended.and vice versa.
The Tang Dynasty, which lasted for 300years, emerged after the fall of the Sui.Early Tang rulers instituted reforms,like restoring the civil service exams torecruit bureaucratic officials. They alsogave land to peasants and breaking upthe power of the owners of largeestates, a move meant to stabilize theeconomy.Tang rulers were also concerned about Neighboring states like Korea tothe balance of power in East Asia. They China, and the imperial court ofbrought peace to northwestern China China set up trade and diplomaticand expanded their control to the relations with the states ofborders of Tibet, north of the Southeast Asia.Himalayas.
Like the Han, the Tang eventually became corrupt (remember the dynastic cycle? ) and eventually the military revolted against the Tang rulers. By the 8th century, the Tang dynasty was weak and had to hire soldiers from outside the country to help them fend off rebellions. They hired the Uighurs, a northern tribal people, to fight for the dynasty. Their attempts were unsuccessful, and the dynasty collapsed in 907 CE.
One of the greatest inventions from the Tang era was the invention of printing on paper. The Chinese invented a way of using cut woodblocks to print text on paper, sometime between 704 and 751 CE. Once developed, the Chinese were able to print multiple copies of important works, including the works of Confucius, poetry, Buddhist teachings, and other important documents. By the 11th century, the Chinese invented moveable type, which enabled them to print works much faster by using iron frames and plates.
After the collapse of the Tang, a new Dynasty, the Song, rose to power in 960. The Song led a period of economic prosperity and cultural achievement, from 960 to 1279. The Song had to deal with invasions in northern China throughout their reign. The threat was strong enough that the Chinese emperor moved his court to Hangzhou. The Song Dynasty was never able to overcome the challenges from the north and were eventually overthrown by the Mongols, who invaded northern China and defeated the Song Dynasty’s forces
China was a monarchy during the three dynasties, with an emperor in charge of the country The emperor used a bureaucracy full of government workers to enforce laws, collect taxes, and govern the provinces, districts, and villages Confucian ideals were followed throughout China
Between the Sui and the Song dynasties, the Chinese economy grew in size and complexity Agriculture grew Manufacturing grew Trade grew China was still primarily a farming society; during the civil wars, aristocratic families took control of farmland and peasants became serfs or slaves The Song government helped poor peasants obtain their own land This improved farming and led to an abundance of food
Chinese began making steel by mixing cast iron with wrought iron in a blast furnace heated by coal Used to make swords and sickles Chinese began growing cotton, which made it possible to make new kinds of clothes Gunpowder was invented and was used to make explosives and a flame-thrower called a fire-lance and was the precursor to guns Trade expanded under the Tang dynasty, expanding the Silk Road and trade with local regions Chinese exported tea, silk, and porcelain Received exotic woods, precious stores, and tropical goods Changan became the wealthiest city in the world during the Tang Era as a result of trade
Chinese Fire- LanceMaking Steel Making Gunpowder
Economic changes throughout the three dynasties impacted society Wealthy city dwellers benefitted from increased trade and prosperity Hangzhou, the Song capital city, was one of the largest and wealthiest cities on Earth New forms of entertainment, such as cards and chess (from India) and new literature resulting from increased printing were available to the wealthy Wealth was concentrated in cities, not villages
Majority of people still lived off the land in villages spread throughout the empire A mix of wealthy landowners, free but poor peasants, sharecroppers (who shared their harvests with wealthy landowners in exchange for living on and working the landowners farm) and landless laborers – those who would be paid to work on the land, but did not own any – grew in China There was a rise in the landed gentry, called the scholar- gentry, replaced the landed aristocracy They controlled much of the land AND produced most of the candidates for civil service jobs, because they were educated
Few Chinese women had any power The exception was Empress Wu Zhao, who became an empress and ruled China for a brief period Female children were not as desirable as male children Parents were expected to provide a dowry , a payment of money, goods and/or property to the husband, for their daughters when they married Poor families would sell their daughters to wealthy families as servants or concubines
The Mongols were pastoral people from the region of modern-day Mongolia They were organized into clans (family groups) Temujin, born in the 1160s, gradually unified the Mongols In 1206, Temujin was elected Genghis Khan (Strong Ruler) at a massive clan meeting in the Gobi desert Genghis Khan devoted himself to conquest and expanding the Mongol empire
The Mongols conquered much of the Eurasian landmass under a single rule The Mongol Empire was the largest LAND empire in history Genghis Khan set up the capital city at Karakorum Genghis Khan ruled until he died in 1227 Mongol custom divided the Khan’s territory among his heirs The empire was split into separate territories called khanates, each under the rule of one of his sons
Mongol forces defeated Persia in 1231 Mongol forces defeated the Abbasid Empire at Baghdad in 1258 Mongols defeated the Song dynasty in the 1260s When they attacked the Chinese, they faced gunpowder and the fire-lance The Mongols adapted those technologies into the handgun and cannon The Mongols use of foreigners as employees allowed these technologies to be introduced to Europe
Kublai Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan,completed the conquest of the Song andestablished a new Chinese dynasty, the YuanDynasty in 1279.Kublai Khan ruled China until he died in 1294Kublai Khan established his capital at Khanbaliq in northern China, nowknown as BeijingKublai Khan expanded the Mongol empire into Vietnam and launched fleetsagainst Java, Sumatra, and Japan, but was only able to conquer VietnamThe Yuan Dynasty used the same government as previous dynasties: amonarchy with an extensive bureaucracyKublai Khan lead over a prosperous period, with Khanbaliq becoming awealthy city, described by Marco Polo as one of the glories of China
Emperor’s forces spread themselves too thin trying to conquer other lands Corruption at the emperor’s court Internal instability as a result of corruption In 1368, Zhu Yuanzhang, the son of a peasant, put together an army and ended the Mongol Dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang established the Ming Dynasty (we will learn more about them later!)
Confucianism was dominant at court and remained dominant under the Mongols Buddhism was brought to China in the first century CE by merchants and missionaries from India Buddhism and Daoism became more popular at the end of the Han Dynasty, as a result of the instability and civil wars of that period The Tang Dynasty set up Buddhist temples throughout China during their reign Eventually, Buddhism was attacked as a “foreign religion” Buddhist monasteries had grown and were open to corruption During the later Tang period, the government destroyed temples and monasteries and forced 260,000 monks and nuns to return to secular life
After purging China of Buddhists,official government support wentinstead to a revived ConfucianismNeo-Confucianism was a new formof Confucianism that taught: •The world is real, not an illusion •Fulfillment comes from participation in the world •The world is divided into the material and spiritual •Humans live in the material world, but is linked to the Supreme Ultimate •Individuals should try to move beyond the material world to reach union with the Supreme Ulitmate through a careful examination of moral principles that rule the universe
The invention of printing during the Tang Dynasty helped to make literature more available and popular Poetry became the highest form of literary expression in China At least 48,000 poems were written by over 2,200 authors during this period Chinese poetry celebrated beauty, nature, friendship, sadness Li-Bo and Duo Fu were two of the most popular poets during the Tang Era; Li Bo was light hearted, while Duo Fu was a serious Confucian poet
Landscape paintings were a popular art formduring the Song and Mongol dynastiesChinese art reflected Daoism, in their search forthe Way in natureArtists tried to find the ideal in nature and leftempty spaces in their paintings because onecannot know “the whole truth”. Human beings were often painted as tiny figures, to represent the insignificance of humans in the midst of nature. After painting, ceramics was one of the greatest accomplishments of the Chinese. Tang artists perfected porcelain, a ceramic of clay baked at extremely high temperatures.