Chapter 12 Notes
Rebuilding the Imperial Edifice in the Sui-Tang Era p 267
* Splinter states fought for the control of China in the centuries after the fall of the Han * Yang Jian was a member of a prominent northern Chinese noble family that had been active in these contests * Yang Jian struck a marriage alliance with his daughter and the ruler of the northern Zhou empire * The Zhou monarch had recently defeated several rivals, which united much of northern China * Yang Jian seized control of the Zhou empire from his son and law and proclaimed himself emperor * Jian secured his power base by winning the support of neighboring nomadic military commanders by reconfirming their titles and showing little desire to favor the Confucian scholar-gentry class at their expense * Yang Jian took the title of Wendi (Literary Emperor) and extended his rule across northern China * In 589 Wendi’s armies attacked the weak and divided Chen kingdom, which had long ruled much of the south * Wendi reunited the traditional core areas of China for the first time in 3 ½ centuries b/c of the Chen victory * Wendi won widespread support by lowering taxes and est. granaries throughout his domains * Bins for storing grain were built in all large cities and in each village of the empire to ensure that there would be a food supply in case of floods or drought destroyed the peasants’ crops and threatened people w/ famine * Large landholders and poor peasants were taxed a portion of their crops to keep granaries filled * Surplus grain was used to ward off famine and brought to market in times of food shortages to hold down the price of people’s stable food Sui Excesses and Collapse p 267-269
* The foundations of Wendi laid for political unification and economic prosperity * Yangdi- Second member of the Sui dynasty, murdered his father Yang Jian to become emperor, restored Confucian examination system; responsible for construction of Chinese canal system, assassinated in 618 * Yangdi extended his father’s conquests by driving back nomadic intruders who threatened the frontiers of the empire * Est. a milder legal code and devoted resources to upgrading Confucian edu. Also sought to restore examination system for regulating entry into the bureaucracy. * These legal and edu. Reforms were part of a broader policy of promoting the scholar-gentry in imperial education * Yangdi forcibly constricted 100,000’s of peasants to build palaces, canals to link the empire, and a new capital city at Luoyang. * In his new capital, Yangdi wanted an extensive game park built, but because there was not enough forest on the chosen site tens of thousands of laborers were forced to dig up huge trees and cart them miles to be replanted in artificial mounds that other laborers had to build * Yangdi led his subjects through a series of unsuccessful wars to try to bring Korea back under Chinese rule between 611 and 614 * The near fatal reverse he suffered in Central Asia at the hands of Turkish nomads in 615 set in motion wide-spread revolts in the empire * When Yangdi was assassinated in 618 by his own ministers, it looked as if china would return to the state of political division and social turmoil that it had endured in the preceding centuries The emergence of the Tang and the restoration of the empire p 269-270 * Li Yuan- also known as Duke of Tang, minister for Yangdi; took over empire following assassination of Yangdi; first emperor of Tang dynasty, took imperial title of Gaozu * Li Yuan convinced his sons and allies that only rebellion could save his family and the empire after Yangdi grew irrational * Li Yuan emerged as the victor of the throne in 623 and together with his second son, Tang Taizong, in whose favored he abdicated in 626, Li Yuan laid the basis of the golden age of the Tang * Tang armies conquered deep in to central Asia as far as present day Afghanistan...
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