Sinification of China to Its Neighbors

Topics: Song Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Han Dynasty Pages: 8 (2253 words) Published: November 6, 2012
Ch 12: Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese Civilization: The Era of the Tang and Song Dynasties Introduction
-Postclassical period saw a vital unification of Chinese civilization • Less fundamental changes occurred than in other places
• Established orbit of influence; though isolated, was able to contribute to other areas -Era of political division and civil strife after breakdown of Han dynasty • Most advances of the Qin-Han era (221 BCE-220 CE) lost

• Era of Division (220-589)-Nomadic invasions+endless wars fought by regional kingdoms -Similar to Era of Warring States before Qin dynasty
• Bureaucracy collapsed; non-Chinese nomads ruled much of China • Scholar-gentry declined as aristocrats gained more power; intellectuality declined • Buddhism began overtaking Confucianism
• Trade, city life, tech. declined
-Revival beginning at end of 6th century w/ Sui Dynasty (589-618) and Tang Dynasty (618-907) • Preservation of Confucian philosophy by Tang vital to revival • Song Dynasty (960-1279) not as great as Tang; Mongols ended it in 1279

Rebuilding the Imperial Edifice in the Sui-Tang Era

-Rise of Sui dynasty signaled return to strong dynastic control • Wendi made marriage alliance w/ N Zhou ruler; seized throne and proclaimed self emperor -Secured power by winning support of nomadic commanders

-Extended empire across N China; 589-defeated Chen kingdom in the S(reunification of trad’l Chinese core -Widespread support-lowered taxes+established granaries to prevent famines and keep prices down -Killed by son who then took the throne

-Sui Excesses and Collapse
• Foundations set by Wendi initially strengthened by son Yangdi -Extended conquests and drove back nomadic invaders
-Established milder legal code+devoted resources to Confucian education -Wanted to restore exam system for entry into bureaucracy -Legal+educational reforms part of policy of promoting scholar-gentry • Problems

-Advancement of scholar-gentry(lowered nomadic commanders+aristocrats -Lavish building projects-Forced peasants to build palaces at Loyang, canals, etc. -Unsuccessful military campaigns in Korea and C Asia(rebellions -Yangdi assassinated by ministers in 618

-The Emergence of the Tang and the Restoration of the Empire • Disintegration prevented by Li Yuan, the Duke of Tang;
-Emerged the victor in the struggle for the throne in 623 -Laid basis for golden age of Tang w/ son Tang Taizong for whom he abdicated in 626 • Conquests into C Asia as far as Afghanistan
-Reversal-Turkic tribes now submitting to Tang ruler, the heavenly khan -Turkic tribes were greatest threat; manipulated against ea. other by Tang -Completed repairs on the Great Wall+created frontier armies -Asserted control by trying to assimilate Turkic sons and daughters • Empire extended into Tibet, Red River valley of Vietnam, and Manchuria -Yangtze basin and the S united w/ N for 1st time since Han -668-Under emperor Kaozong, Korea overrun and vassal kingdom of Silla set up -In a few decades, the Tang had built up an empire way bigger than the Han empire -Rebuilding the Bureaucracy

• Rebuilding+expanding bureaucracy(restoration of unity
-Scholar-gentry+Confucianism revived under Yangdi, even better under the Tang -More power in the scholar-gentry(power of aristocrats declined -Expanded-Imperial(subprefecture/district, executive-6 ministries, Bureau of Censors to “grade” officials -Capital at Changan

-The Growing Importance of the Examination System
• Like Yangdi, Tang emperors patronized academies to train bureaucrats -Exam system expanded; exams administered by the Ministry of Rites -Highest offices (jinshi) held by those who passed all exams -Success in exams at all levels(special social status

• Most of the bureaucrats won positions through exams, but birth+family connections still important -Though commoners could rise, bureaucracy still dominated by...
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