Resurgence of empire in east asia
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RESURGENCE OF EMPIRE IN EAST ASIA. CHINA UNDER THE SUI, TANG, AND SONG. ANARCHY IN CHINA. Three Kingdoms 220-280 Shu Han 221 – 263 Wei 220 - 265 Most powerful, eventually conquered Shu Built an army of Chinese infantry and nomadic cavalry as mounted bowmen

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Resurgence of empire in east asia



Anarchy in china


  • Three Kingdoms 220-280

    • Shu Han 221 – 263

    • Wei 220 - 265

      • Most powerful, eventually conquered Shu

      • Built an army of Chinese infantry and nomadic cavalry as mounted bowmen

      • These assimilated nomads later overthrew Wei and founded own dynasties

    • Wu 222 – 280

  • Jin Dynasty 265-420

    • Western Jin 265 – 316 and Eastern Jin 317 – 420

      • Only time during interregnum when China was united

      • Intermixture of nomads and Chinese accelerated

    • Sixteen Kingdoms 304 – 420

  • Southern and Northern Dynasties 420-589

    • Southern Dynasties

      • Liu Song 420 – 479

      • Southern Qi 479 – 502

      • Liang 502 - 557

      • Chen 557 ~589

    • Northern Dynasties

      • Later [Northern] Wei 386 – 534

      • Eastern Wei 534 -550

      • Western Wei 535 – 556

      • Northern Qi 550 – 577

      • Northern Zhou 557 ~581

  • Period Resembled Western European history after the collapse of the Romans

    • Disunity and civil war between nomads and Chinese warlords

      • Rival states, dynasties, each controlling a part of the old Han state

      • Aristocrats, provincial nobles held land and real influence

      • Many of the northern dynasties were nomadic, both Turkish and Mongol

      • Confucianism in decline, Buddhism in ascendancy due to its relationship with the nomads

      • Confucian trained bureaucrats still held much influence

    • Common Chinese subject to taxes, warfare, drafting into army, frequent invasions, bandits

Buddhism arrives in china


  • Foreign religions in China: Nestorian, Muslim, Buddhist merchant communities

    • Oases on the Silk Road were very mixed

    • Became location for foreign settlements, transmission of foreign faiths to China

  • Buddhism in China

    • Attraction: moral standards, intellectual sophistication, salvation, appeal to women, poor

    • Monasteries became large landowners, helped the poor and needy

    • Posed a challenge to Chinese cultural traditions

  • Buddhism and Daoism

    • Chinese monks explained Buddhist concepts in Daoist vocabulary

    • Dharma as dao, and nirvana as wuwei

    • Teaching: one son in monastery would benefit whole family for 10 generations

  • Mahayana Buddhism

    • Buddhism blended with Chinese characteristics

    • Buddha as a man became Buddha as a god, saint

    • Stupa became a pagoda; Buddha became fat or feminine

  • Chan Buddhism

    • A further evolution of Buddhism

    • Chan (or Zen in Japanese) was a popular Buddhist sect

      • Emphasized intuition and sudden flashes of insight

      • Mediation techniques resembled Daoist practice

    • Monasteries appeared in all major cities

  • Hostility to Buddhism

    • Resistance from Daoists and Confucians

    • Popular criticism focused on celibacy, alien origin,

    • Governmental criticism: unproductive land, could not tax

  • Persecution

    • Critics of Buddhism found allies in the imperial court

    • Tang emperor ordered closure of monasteries in 840s

    • Buddhism survived because of popular support

Sui dynasty


  • After fall of the Han, turmoil lasted for more than 350 years

    • Three major states contended for rule; further fragmentation

    • Nomads constantly invaded, created their own states, dynasties

  • The rule of the Sui

    • Reunification by Yang Jian in 589

    • Constructions of palaces and granaries, repairing the Great Wall

    • Military expeditions in central Asia and Korea

    • High taxes and compulsory labor services

  • The Grand Canal

    • One of the world's largest waterworks before modern times

    • Purpose: bring abundant food supplies of the south to the north

    • Linked the Yangtze and the Huang-Hi

    • The canal integrated the economies of the south and north

  • The fall of the Sui

    • High taxes and forced labor generated hostility among the people

    • Military reverses in Korea

    • Rebellions broke out in north China beginning in 610

    • Sui Yangdi was assassinated in 618, the end of the dynasty

Images of sui china


The tang dynasty


  • Founding of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 CE)

    • A rebel leader seized Chang'an, proclaimed a new dynasty, the Tang

    • Tang Taizong

      • 2nd Tang emperor, a ruthless but extremely competent ruler

      • China enjoyed an era of unusual stability and prosperity

  • Extensive networks of transportation and communications

  • Adopted the equal-field system

  • Bureaucracy of merit

    • Recruited government officials through civil service examinations

    • Career bureaucrats relied on central government, loyal to the dynasty

    • Restored Confucianism as state ideology, training for bureaucrats

  • Foreign relations

    • Political theory: China was the Middle Kingdom, or the center of civilization

    • Tributary system became diplomatic policy

  • Tang decline

    • Casual and careless leadership led to dynastic crisis

    • Rebellion of An Lushan in 755, weakened the dynasty

    • The Uighurs became de facto rulers

    • The equal-field system deteriorated

    • A large scale peasant rebellion led by Huang Chao lasted from 875 to 884

    • Regional commanders gained power, beyond control of the emperor

    • The last Tang emperor abdicated his throne in 907

Tang china


Tang art


Song dynasty 960 1279 c e

SONG DYNASTY (960-1279 C.E.)

  • Song Taizu

    • Reigned 960-976 C.E.

    • Founder of the Song dynasty

  • Song weaknesses

    • Song never had military, diplomatic strength of Sui, Tang

    • Financial problems

      • Enormous bureaucracy with high salary devoured surplus

      • Forced to pay large tribute to nomads to avoid war

    • Military problems

      • Civil bureaucrats in charge of military forces

      • Military was largely foot soldiers at war with cavalry nomads

    • External pressures

      • Semi-nomadic Khitan, nomadic Jurchen attacked in north

      • Constant drain on treasury to pay tribute to nomads

    • The Song moved to the south, ruled south China until 1279

      • Nomads invaded, overran northern Song lands

      • Song retreated to the South along Yangtze, moved capital

      • After defeat, constantly forced to pay tribute

The song world northern and southern dynasties


The song artistic world


Demographic and environmental developments


  • An agricultural revolution

    • Twice flowering, fast-ripening rice increased food supplies

    • New agricultural techniques increased production

    • Population growth

      • 45 to 115 million inhabitants

      • Between 600 and 1200 C.E.

  • Urbanization: China most urbanized country in period

    • Chang'an had about 2 million residents

    • Hangzhou had about 1 million residents

    • Many cities boasted population of 100,000 or more

  • Commercialized agriculture

    • Some regions depended on other regions for food

    • Extreme surplus of southern rice allowed cities to flourish

    • Necessitate vast grain shipments to cities

Ch ang an hangzhou


Neo confucianism


  • Taoist, Buddhist Synthesis with Confucianism

    • Early Confucianism focused on practical issues

      • Politics, Public Morality, Social Relationships

    • Confucians drew inspiration

      • From Buddhism Spirituality

        • Logical thought

        • Argumentation of Buddhism

      • From Taoism Cosmology

        • Metaphysical issues: nature of soul

        • Man's relation with cosmos

  • Xenophobia Contributes, too

    • Invasions by nomads, Turks and Mongols threatened state

    • Foreign ideas began to circulate

    • Too many threats to society, traditions

  • Zhu Xi (1130-1200 C.E.), most prominent Neo-Confucian scholar

  • Neo-Confucian influence

    • Adapted Buddhist, Taoist themes, reasoning to Confucian interests

    • Made Buddhism Chinese but stressed Chinese roots, values

    • Influenced East Asian thought

      • In China, it was an officially recognized creed

      • Influenced Korea, Vietnam, and Japan for half a millennium

Patriarchal society


  • Developments reinforced patriarchal society

    • Chinese reaction to foreign ideas

      • Reaction to Buddhist’s gender equality

      • Neo-Confucianism emphasized patriarchy

      • Ancestor worship revived

    • Preserving of family

    • Family wealth became paramount

  • Results

    • Tightening of patriarchal structure

    • Reinforcing of male domination

  • Foot binding gained popularity during the Song

    • Emphasized dependence of women on men, home

      • Wealthy, aristocrats could afford practice, hire servants to do work

      • Feet of women broken, reformed around stilts

      • Women could not walk without pain but had to shuffle

      • Forced women to remain at home, dependent on others

    • Male sense of beauty at women’s expense

  • Poor, peasant women not subject to footbinding

    • Women had to work with men to support family

    • Men could not afford to have women at home, idle

Technology industry


  • Porcelain

    • High quality porcelain since the Tang, known as chinaware

    • Technology diffused to other societies, especially to Abbasid Arabia

    • Exported vast quantities to southeast Asia, India, Persia, and Africa

  • Metallurgy

    • Improvement: used coke instead of coal in furnaces to make iron, steel

    • Iron production increased tenfold between the early 9th and 12th century

  • Gunpowder

    • Discovered by Daoist alchemists during the Tang

    • Bamboo "fire lances," a kind of flame thrower, and primitive bombs

    • Gunpowder chemistry diffused throughout Eurasia

  • Printing

    • Became common during the Tang

    • From block-printing to movable type

    • Books became widespread

  • Naval technology

    • "South-pointing needle" - the magnetic compass

    • Double hulled junks with rudder, water-tight compartments

Song life


A market economy


  • Merchants in Charge

    • Only period in China where merchants socially superior to aristocrats

    • Merchants attempted to intermarry with aristocrats, become landowners

    • Merchants attempted to have sons admitted as Confucian bureaucrats

    • Merchants tended to espouse Confucianism as way into traditional elites

    • Most large cities had large merchant communities

  • Financial instruments

    • Banking and credit institution

    • “Flying money " were letters of credit

    • Paper money backed by state, treasury

  • A cosmopolitan society

    • Foreign merchants in large cities of China

    • Mostly Arab (Muslim), Indian, S.E. Asian

    • Chinese merchants journeyed throughout region

  • Economic surge in China

    • An economic revolution in China

    • Made China the wealthiest nation in the world at time

    • Promoted economic growth in the eastern hemisphere

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