Imperial China: Sui to Song Dynasties
Sui Dynasty, 581-618 C.E. • “Land Equalization” System –> land redistribution. • Unified coinage. • Grand Canal constructed. • Established an army of professional soldiers. • People were overworked and overtaxed!
Tang Dynasty, 618-907 C.E. • Imperial examination system perfected. • Liberal attitude towards all religions. • Spread of Buddhism in China • Golden Age of foreign relations with other countries. • Japan, Korea, Persia
Tang Dynasty, 618-907 C.E. • New technologies: • Printing --> moveable print • Porcelain • Gunpowder • Mechanical clocks • More cosmopolitan culture. • Reestablished the safety of the Silk Road. • Tea comes into China from Southeast Asia.
Empress Wu Zhao,624 /690-705 • The only female Empress in China’s history who ruled alone. • Searched for outstanding individuals to attract to her court. • Construction of new irrigation systems. • Buddhism was the favored statereligion. • Financed the building of many Buddhist temples. • BUT… She appointed cruel and sadistic ministers to seek out her enemies.
Foot-Binding in Tang China • Broken toes by 3 years of age. • Size 5 ½ shoe on the right
Foot-Binding in Tang China Mothers bound their daughters’ feet.
Foot-Binding in Tang China • For upper-class girls, it became a new custom.
Song [Sung] Dynasty, 960-1279 C.E. • Creation of an urban, merchant, middle class. • Increased emphasis on education & cheaper availability of printed books. • Magnetic compassmakes China a great sea power!
Song Industries • First to use fractioins • Precise calendar • Recorded the explosion of Crab Nebula in 1054. • Junks- ships with stern mounted rudders and water tight bulkheads.
Official Examinations • Song started using exams instead of heredity to place men in bureaucratic positions. The poor were still at a disadvantage.