Ccot China

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CCOT Tang-Yuan

When analyzing the social and political aspects in China from the Tang through Yuan Dynasties, there were social changes and political continuities. What changed socially was the treatment of women and social class disparities because of a change in belief systems (Buddhism to Confuciasm). What stayed the same politically was that each dynasty collapsed due to political turmoil because of external and internal factors and a weakening of government.

When analyzing the social changes from the Tang to Yuan, it is important to note that there was a change in belief systems. In the Tang dynasty, Buddhism started as the main religion/practice until it was eventually oppressed by Confucian officials who encouraged the emperor to wipe away Buddhism. With Confucianism now leading the way, the Song and Yuan dynasties had a social foundation based off of Confucianism. This was bad news for women. In the Tang Dynasty, with Buddhism at its peak, women were given opportunities and rights because of the liberal views of the Buddhist leaders. However, as Confucianism took over, women were enslaved and subjected to harsh rituals such as foot binding. As the social status of women declined from the Tang, the status of the scholarly elite rose. This was because Confucianism favored the elite and valued scholars for their knowledge. Also, the Civil Service exams that began in the Tang created a larger gap between social classes because the ones who didn’t pass the exams were not as valued as the ones who did pass. To pass the exam meant great honor, and with it more prestige in China.

When analyzing the political continuities in China, it is important to note that all three dynasties experienced collapses due to political turmoil. In the Tang Dynasty, an internal revolt called the “Huang Chao Uprising” created a strong military and got rid of the Tang’s emperor who had created a weak economy in his time under throne. In the Song Dynasty,...
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