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East Asia. Chinese Dynasties Song. Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han Sui, Tang, Song Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic Mao & Deng. Background. Unlike Rome, the Chinese imperial system will reemerge itself and rise again China cast a long shadow over all of East Asia Its civ was imitated by many

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chinese dynasties song
Chinese Dynasties Song
  • Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han
  • Sui, Tang, Song
  • Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic
  • Mao & Deng
background
Background
  • Unlike Rome, the Chinese imperial system will reemerge itself and rise again
  • China cast a long shadow over all of East Asia
    • Its civ was imitated by many
    • Gave rise to a China centered world order
collapse of the han
Collapse of the Han
  • 220 CE: Collapse of Han dynasty
  • During last two centuries of Han rule, large landowners gained influence in the government. They reduced their own taxes and raised the taxes of the peasant. There was massive discontent and rebellion.
  • Han military generals took power, aligning themselves with regional landowners as war lords.
  • Han dynasty dissolved in region ruled by war lords.
decline of confucianism
Decline of Confucianism
  • During Han dynasty, elites and intellectuals embraced Confucian traditions.
  • Confucian traditions were believed to ensure social order and stability.
  • With collapse of Han dynasty and disintegration of China into warring states, interest in Confucianism lessened.
slide6
Sui
  • 589-618 CE
    • Almost 300 years of disunity
  • Founded by a powerful regional warlord.
  • Conquered other warlords and reunited China.
  • Sui dynasty established power using legalistic means similar to those of Shi Huangdi.
  • Strong central government, harsh rules, forced labor.
sui dynasty innovations
Sui Dynasty innovations
  • Transportation and communications network
  • Distribution of land: equal field system
  • Government bureaucracy based on merit.
  • Grand Canal: to facilitate trade between northern and southern China and to make abundant food supplies in south available to north
slide10
Tang
  • 627-907 CE: Expanded territory
  • Tried to establish a Confucian, beneficent government. Stressed Confucian education and civil service.
  • Improved on developments during Sui dynasty:
  • Transportation and communications network
  • Distribution of land: equal field system: problems: rise in population, bribery by wealthy, land given to Buddhist monasteries.
  • Government bureaucracy based on merit.
tang foreign relations
Tang Foreign Relations
  • Tributary relationship with neighboring lands.
  • Neighbor recognized Chinese emperors as overlords.
  • Paid tribute in form of gifts
  • Kowtow: ritual prostration before emperor.
  • Chinese gave gifts and recognition in return.
imperial power
Imperial Power
  • The Tang follow the Han and makes China once again a great imperial power
    • Roughly the same time period as the Islamic Empires
    • These two large empires will stimulate more traffic along the Silk Roads
    • As a result both will benefit from cross-cultural interaction. Chinese cities become more cosmopolitan in nature
rise of buddhism
Rise of Buddhism
  • The religious and philosophical ideology of Buddhism became a major aspect of Chinese culture
  • It blended with Chinese ideas and values
    • integrated the ideas of Confucianism, Taoism and other indigenous philosophical systems so that what was initially a foreign religion came to be a natural part of Chinese civilization
  • It would eventually be persecuted by the state and would decline in influence.

The Leshan Giant Buddha, 233 ft tall, completed in the early 9th century during the Tang Dynasty

chinese buddha
Chinese Buddha
  • This striking example of a seated Buddha has the broad shoulders, narrow waist, full and slightly pursed lips, and arched eyebrows characteristic of Chinese Buddhist figures made during the later Tang dynasty. The quality of workmanship, furthermore, suggests that it was probably produced in an urban area, possibly the capital city of Chang'an.
  • This seated figure performs a graceful variation of the dharmachakra mudra or hand gesture indicating teaching (literally, turning or setting in motion the Wheel [of Buddhist law]). Because Siddhartha spent more than forty years traveling and lecturing after his enlightenment, this figure could be a representation of the Historical Buddha. He also bears other corporeal markings of enlightened beings: the cranial protuberance (ushnisha) indicating wisdom, elongated earlobes referring to Siddhartha’s royal heritage but without the earrings that he put aside when he chose a spiritual path, and the three neck rings signifying auspiciousness. These physical signs, as well as the flowing monastic robes, derive from Indian prototypes but spread throughout the Buddhist world.

Seated Buddha, Tang dynasty (618–907), early 8th century China

budai not buddha
Budai – Not Buddha
  • Westerners often confused Budai with Buddha. This confusion rarely occurs in Asia.
  • Though they are somewhat similar in English, the Chinese name Budai is unrelated to the Sanskrit word Buddha
  • His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of contentment. His image graces many temples, restaurants, amulets, and businesses

Statue of Budai in Beipu, Taiwan

end of tang dynasty
End of Tang Dynasty
  • Tang dynasty declined in power due to ineffective leadership by later emperors.
  • Rebellions occurred and emperors gradually gave over control to regional war lords.
  • When they were faced with internal rebellions the state ended and regional military governors made their own little kingdoms.
  • East Asia was cut off from communication with the Islamic world.
  • War lords controlled separate regions until Song dynasty reestablished centralized rule.
song dynasty
Song Dynasty

Reached and maintained level of economic prosperity, technological advancement, and cultural maturity that were unequaled anywhere in the world

song dynasty1
Song Dynasty

Reached and maintained level of economic prosperity, technological advancement, and cultural maturity that were unequaled anywhere in the world

song dynasty2
Song Dynasty
  • The Song reunified China after nearly six decades of warfare. The Song rulers re-established a centralized bureaucracy for their nation.
  • Private trade grew, giving birth to the mercantile class. 
  • It was a time of cultural refinements
    • Seen as the great age of achievement in Chinese art and literature
song dynasty3
Song Dynasty
  • A move away from Buddhism and back to a new interest in Confucianism.
  • Tea and cotton became major crops, and gunpowder was first used for military purposes.
song economy
Song Economy
  • Underlying the political and cultural achievements was an “economic revolution that made Song China by far the richest, most skilled and most populous country on earth.”
  • As trade grew rapidly, copper shortages developed
  • Traders began issues letters of credit as an alternative
    • “Flying money”
  • Enabled merchants to deposit goods or cash at one location and draw the equivalent somewhere else
  • Saw beginning of govt issued paper money (initially failed)
song society
Song Society
  • Developed a sophisticated Neo-Confucian philosophy while Chan (Zen) Buddhism remained popular
  • Women’s status declined during the Song – lost many rights
fall of the song
Fall of the Song
  • Despite advances, the Song eventually fell to Mongol invaders