History 210: Enduring China: internal strength and international relations, 500-1300 CE
The Reemergence of a Unified China Brief Chronology: • Qin Shi Huangdi, 221-210 BCE • Han Dynasty, 206 BCE-220 CE • Period of disunity, competing dynasties, 220-589 CE • Buddhism spread, 300-800 CE • Sui Dynasty, 589-618 CE • Tang Dynasty, 618-907 CE • Song Dynasty, 960-1279 CE • Jin (Jurchen) Dynasty, 1115–1234 CE
The Reemergence of a Unified China Tang and Song dynasties -- a “Golden Age” of Chinese Achievement • Cultural excellence in poetry, painting and ceramics • Re-invigorated examination system • Explosion of scholarship • Inventions (see link) • Commerce – great prosperity (ship-building and compass) • cities (dozens with 100,000; Hangzhou – 1.25 million) • Population (120 million by 1200 CE) • Network of internal waterways
The Reemergence of a Unified China • Women in the Song Dynasty: • Tightened patriarchal restrictions • Literature highlighted subjection of women • Foot binding: • female beauty and eroticism • Restricted women to household • Textile production became larger scale, displaced women working at home • But property rights expanded • More women educated, though, to raise sons better
China and the Northern Nomads: A Chinese World Order in the Making • What assumptions underlay the tribute system that developed between China and its northern neighbors?
Coping with China: Comparing Korea, Vietnam, and Japan • In what different ways did Korea, Vietnam, and Japan experience and respond to Chinese influences?
In what ways did the rest of Eurasia benefit from trade and exchange with China?
Comparison: Which of the following is true of China’s neighbors between 500 c.e. and 1500 c.e.? a. China had its greatest success dominating over pastoralist rather than settled societies on its borders. b. The Chinese directly ruled over Japan for some of the period, but not Korea or Vietnam. c. Japan, Korea, and Vietnam all participated in tributary relationships with China for at least some of the period. d. Japan, Korea, and Vietnam all succeeded in maintaining their political, if not cultural, independence throughout the period.
Change: Tang and Song Dynasty China differed from Han China in that a. the long-term migration of Chinese populations south into the Yangzi River valley expanded imperial authority and the zone of Chinese cultural dominance during the Tang and Song period. b. under the Tang and Song, north and south China were less closely tied together because of the neglect of critical infrastructure, especially canals. c. under the Tang and Song, the imperial government manned by professional bureaucrats collapsed and was replaced by a feudal hereditary system. d. under the Tang and Song, the Confucian tradition permanently declined in influence among elites in society.
Connection: During the period between 500 c.e. and 1500 c.e., which of the following was NOT an important development linked to China’s growing engagement in long-distance trade? a. The specialization of some regions of China in the production of products for trade b. The emergence of Buddhism as a faith in China c. The spread of Chinese technological innovations to other regions of Eurasia d. China’s success in eliminating the military threat that its pastoral neighbors posed to the Silk Road trade
Discussion Starter: Which of the following outside influences do you think most shaped Chinese society between 500 and 1500 c.e.? a. The arrival of quick ripening rice b. The arrival of new technologies and industrial techniques c. The nomadic threat from the north d. Buddhism
Discussion Starter: When you consider China’s tribute system in comparison to the foreign policies of other empires studied in this class, does it strike you as more or less a. peaceful? b. modern? c. successful? d. sophisticated?