segmental arch bridge, the new bridge took less material to build, and it was stronger as well.
The segmental arch bridge is one of China’s most prized technological achievements. Today bridges with this design stretch over expressways around the world. (Caption)
The Great Stone Bridge spanning the river Chiao Shui was the world’s first segmental arch bridge. It has a span of 123 feet. (Vocabulary)
canal lock a gated chamber in a canal used to raise or lower the water level
segmental arch bridge a bridge supported by arches that are shallow segments (parts) of a circle Page 198
Some of the advances made by the Chinese led to new industries. In this section, you’ll learn about China’s paper, printing, porcelain, and steel industries.
Paper The Chinese invented the art of papermaking by the second century C.E. The earliest Chinese paper was probably made out of the bark of the mulberry tree. Later, rags were used.
Papermaking became an important industry in China. For more than 500 years, the Chinese were the only people in the world who knew the secret of making paper. From China, knowledge of papermaking traveled to Japan and across Central Asia. Europeans probably first learned about this art after 1100. Considering how important paper is for recording and transmitting information, it’s hard to think of an invention that touches our daily lives more today.
Printing The invention of paper made another key development possible—printing. In about the seventh century, the Chinese invented a technique called woodblock printing. The printer first drew characters (symbols) on paper. He then glued the paper to a wooden block. When the glue was dry, the printer carved out the wood around the characters, leaving the characters raised on the wood.
To print from the block, the printer covered the characters with black ink. Then he spread paper over the block and smoothed the paper with a brush. Some artists still use block printing today to create fine art prints.
By the 8th century, there was an entire woodblock printing industry in China. Printers turned out religious and other works on scrolls. In the 10th century, the Chinese started printing modern-style books with pages.
In the 11th century, during the Song dynasty, the Chinese invented movable type. Movable type consists of separate blocks for each character. Printers made their type by carving characters out of clay and baking them. To print, they selected the characters they needed and placed them in an iron frame in the order they would appear on the page. When the printing job was done, the type could be removed from the frame and used again.
With the invention of movable type, printers no longer had to create a new set of woodblocks for each item they printed. This dramatically (Caption)
The scene on the woodblock below (center) was carved with the engraving tools shown. It was then covered with ink, and paper was pressed onto it to create the print at the bottom. Notice that the printed scene is a mirror image of the carved scene on the woodblock. (Vocabulary)
movable type individual characters made of wood or metal that can be arranged to create a job for printing and then used over again Page 199
lowered the cost of printing. By making written materials more widely available, advances in printing helped spread learning throughout China.
Europe first developed movable type in the 1400s. Until recently, all newspapers, books, and magazines were printed using movable type.
Porcelain A famous Chinese invention is the type of fine pottery called porcelain. Some historians think the first porcelain was made as early as the first century C.E.
Porcelain is made by combining clay with the rocks quartz and feldspar. The mixture is baked in a kiln, or oven, at very high temperatures. The resulting pottery is white, hard, and waterproof. Light can pass through it, which makes it look quite delicate and beautiful.
By the 10th century, the Chinese were making porcelain of great beauty. Craftspeople learned how to paint pictures on porcelain pieces. They also made colored glazes to decorate their porcelain.
Porcelain making became a major industry in China. Hundreds of thousands of people worked to mass-produce dishes, bowls, and vases. Some washed the clay. Others applied the glaze or operated the kiln.
Chinese porcelain became a prized item for trade. The Europeans did not learn how to make fine porcelain until the 18th century.
Many people think that medieval Chinese porcelain is the finest in the world. People today still refer to fine dinnerware as “china.”
Steel The Chinese first made steel, a very useful metal, before 200 B.C.E. Steel is made from iron, but it is less brittle than iron and easier to bend into different shapes.
The earliest Chinese steel was made from cast iron. The Chinese were the first to learn how to make cast iron by melting and molding crude iron. Later they learned that blowing air onto molten (melted) cast iron causes a chemical reaction that creates steel.
In the fifth century, the Chinese learned to mix cast iron with wrought iron. Wrought iron is softer than cast iron. Combining these two forms of iron under high heat changes them into steel.
These discoveries eventually made it possible to produce large amounts of steel cheaply. In the 1800s, the mass production of steel was crucial to the European Industrial Revolution. Today, iron and steel making are among China’s most important industries. (Caption)
The art of making porcelain was invented in China and became a major industry there. (Vocabulary)
porcelain a hard, white pottery; also called china
mass-produce to make similar items in quantity by using standardized designs and dividing labor among workers Page 200
18.4 Military Technology
During the Song and Mongol periods, the Chinese developed powerful weapons. The invention of gunpowder made these weapons possible.
The Chinese who first made gunpowder were alchemists, people who practiced a blend of science and magic known as alchemy. Alchemists experimented with mixtures of natural ingredients, trying to find a substance that might allow people to live forever. They also searched for a way to make gold out of cheaper metals.
Chinese alchemists experimented with a salty, white mineral called saltpeter. They may have believed that saltpeter could extend life. Perhaps by accident, they discovered that it could be used to make an explosive powder. In 850 C.E., during the Tang dynasty, alchemists recorded a formula for gunpowder. They warned others to avoid it because it was dangerous.
In the 10th century, the Chinese made the first weapon that used gunpowder: the flamethrower. Early flamethrowers contained gunpowder mixed with oil. The Chinese used them to spray enemies with a stream of fire.
Between the 11th and 14th centuries, the Chinese created many other weapons using gunpowder. Artillery shells, for example, exploded after being hurled at enemies by a catapult. The sound of the exploding shells confused the enemy and terrified their horses. Small bombs called grenades were lit and thrown by hand.
In the 13th century, the Chinese used large bombs that were as explosive as modern bombs. Around the same time, they developed weapons much like today’s rifles and cannons.
Travelers brought knowledge of gunpowder to Europe by the early 1300s. Gunpowder changed the way war was waged in Europe and around the world forever. Weapons like crossbows and spears gave way to guns and artillery.
Rocket technology was developed in China during the Song dynasty. Rockets used a black powder made of saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur. At first rockets were used only in fireworks. Later the Chinese used them as weapons. They even made a two-stage rocket for their armies. The first stage propelled the rocket through the air. The second stage dropped arrows on the enemy.
By 1300, rockets had spread through much of Asia and into Europe. The rockets that we use to explore space today are based on principles discovered by the Chinese. (Caption)
This model of a 14th-century bees’ nest rocket launcher was re-created based on a medieval drawing and written descriptions. (Vocabulary)
gunpowder an explosive powder made of saltpeter and other materials
alchemy a combination of science, magic, and philosophy that was practiced in medieval times
catapult a slingshot-like war machine used for shooting rocks, shells, and other objects Page 201
Do you ever play games with a deck of cards? If so, you’re using a Chinese invention. The Chinese invented a number of the everyday objects we take for granted today, including playing cards, paper money, and mechanical clocks. All these inventions came during the Tang dynasty.
Playing cards were invented in China in about the ninth century. Printers used woodblock printing to make the cards from thick paper. Famous artists drew the designs that appeared on the backs of the cards.
Europeans were introduced to playing cards by around 1300. Today, card games are played throughout the world.
Paper money was invented by the Chinese in the late eighth or early ninth century. Before that time, coins were the only form of currency.
Like playing cards, paper money was printed with wood blocks. By 1107, Song printers were using multiple wood blocks to print each bill. A single bill would have many colors. Paper money is the most common form of currency in the world today.
The Chinese developed the first mechanical clock in about the eighth century. The new clock was more accurate than earlier timekeeping devices such as sundials and hourglasses. The Chinese devised a wheel that made one complete turn every 24 hours. Dripping water made the wheel turn. Every quarter hour drums would beat, and every hour a bell would chime. The sounds let people know what time it was.
The Chinese improved the mechanical clock in 1092, during the Song dynasty. The new clock worked on the same principles as the first one, but it was much more complex and accurate.
Europeans first developed mechanical clocks in the late 1200s. As with Chinese clocks, a bell rang to indicate the hour. Later, dials and hands were added. Modern-day mechanical clocks are based on the same fundamental principles as early Chinese clocks. (Caption)
Playing cards were invented in about the ninth century in China. A typical pack had 30 cards, and many different games were played with them. Page 202
Chinese knowledge of medicine and disease prevention dates to ancient times. Before the first century C.E., the Chinese developed a way of fighting infectious diseases. (An infectious disease is one that can spread from person to person.) When someone died of an infectious disease, the Chinese burned a chemical that gave off a poisonous smoke. They believed that the smoke would destroy whatever was causing the disease.
Today we know that many diseases are caused by germs. We prevent the spread of disease by using disinfectants (substances such as bleach that kill germs). The poisonous smoke used by the Chinese was a type of disinfectant.
During the Song dynasty, the Chinese discovered another way to prevent the spread of disease. A Chinese monk recommended steaming the clothes of sick people. He believed that the steam would prevent others from becoming ill. The idea was sound, because hot temperatures kill many germs. Today we boil medical instruments to kill disease-causing germs.
Sometime around the 10th century, the Chinese discovered how to inoculate people against smallpox, a dreaded infectious disease. Inoculation is a way of stimulating a person’s immune system to fight a particular disease. It works by exposing the person to a disease-carrying substance. To inoculate people against smallpox, Chinese physicians took a small part of a scab from an infected person and (Caption)
Doctors and patients in China during the Middle Ages benefited from new knowledge of medicine and treatment of diseases. (Vocabulary)
inoculate to protect against disease by transmitting a disease-causing agent to a person, stimulating the body’s defensive reactions
immune system the body’s natural defense against disease Page 203
made it into a powder. Then they inserted the powder into the nose of the person they wanted to immunize (protect against the disease).
The Chinese knew that they had to take care when exposing people to smallpox. Sometimes the treatment itself caused people to become ill. To be as safe as possible, the Chinese took the infectious material from people who had already been inoculated.
Chinese knowledge about smallpox inoculation eventually led to the development of drugs called vaccines. We now have vaccines for many diseases, including smallpox and the flu. 18.7 Chapter Summary
In this chapter, you learned about Chinese inventions and discoveries between about 200 and 1400 C.E. The influence of many of these advances spread far beyond China. Many Chinese inventions and discoveries continue to affect our lives today.
Several Chinese ideas improved travel and exploration. They include the compass, paddlewheel boats, canal locks, and segmental arch bridges. Advances in papermaking and printing helped spread learning. Chinese porcelain became famous for its quality and beauty. The Chinese also discovered ways of making steel.
The Chinese revolutionized military technology. They discovered how to use gunpowder to make powerful weapons. They also developed the first rockets.
A number of Chinese inventions enriched people’s everyday lives. Among them are playing cards, paper money, and mechanical clocks. The Chinese also made great strides in medicine and disease prevention. They developed the first disinfectants and discovered how to inoculate people against smallpox.
These scientific and technological advances were often far ahead of those made in Europe. Several, such as paper and gunpowder, eventually made their way to the western world. But the Chinese generally had little contact with other cultures. In the next chapter, you will learn more about the relationship between China and the outside world. (Caption)
We owe a debt to China for many of our modern advances. The invention of rockets, for instance, was the first step toward space exploration. (Vocabulary)
vaccine a substance used to immunize people against a disease Page 205
China’s Contacts with the Outside World (Caption)
Gates in China’s walled Forbidden City have been opened to welcome visitors. 19.1 Introduction
In the last chapter, you learned about Chinese scientific and technological advances. In this chapter, you will learn about China’s foreign contacts. You’ll focus on three dynasties: the Tang dynasty (618–907), the Mongol or Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), and the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).
At times, the Chinese welcomed foreign contacts. Great cultural exchange resulted as new ideas and products flowed into and out of China.
In the seventh century, for example, a Chinese monk named Xuan Zang traveled to India. He brought back thousands of Buddhist scriptures. The Chinese honored him for making Buddhism widely known. Although it was foreign in origin, Buddhism became very popular in China.
Many Chinese, however, resented foreign influence. Less than two centuries after Xuan Zang’s trip to India, one scholar-official harshly criticized Buddhism. “Buddha,” he said, “was a man of the barbarians who did not speak the language of China and wore clothes of a different fashion. His sayings did not concern the ways of our ancient kings, nor did his manner of dress conform to their laws.” At times, such feelings led rulers to try to limit the influence of foreigners.
In this chapter, you will learn how the Chinese both welcomed and rejected foreign contacts. You’ll find out how cultural exchange affected China. You will also discover how later Ming emperors tried to close China’s doors to foreign influence. (Caption)
Use this spectrum as a graphic organizer to help you understand and analyze China’s foreign policy during the Tang, Yuan, and Ming dynasties. Page 206
19.2 Foreign Contacts Under the Tang Dynasty
During the Tang dynasty (618–907), China welcomed contact with foreigners. Traders and visitors brought new ideas, goods, fashions, and religions to China.
The Influence of Traders and Visitors Beginning in the Han dynasty, traders and visitors came to China by a network of trade routes across Central Asia. From Chang’an, China’s capital, camel caravans crossed the deserts of Central Asia through oases. The routes followed by the caravans are called the Silk Road, though many goods besides silk were traded.
For a time, travel along the Silk Road became unsafe because of fighting in Central Asia. The Tang made travel safe again by taking control of much of Central Asia. As a result, trade flourished with Central Asian kingdoms, Persia (modern-day Iran), and the Byzantine Empire. Traders also traveled by sea between China and Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and India.
Merchants, missionaries, and other visitors also came to China. Thousands of Arabs, Turks, Persians, Tibetans, Indians, Jews, Koreans, Japanese, and other people lived in seaports and in Chang’an.
All these foreign contacts brought much cultural exchange. Chinese sent their silk, porcelain, paper, iron, and jade along the trade routes. In return, they received ivory, cotton, perfumes, spices, and horses. From India the Chinese learned to make sugar from sugarcane and wine from grapes. New medicines also came from India.
The Tang Chinese, especially the upper classes, welcomed new products and ideas from foreign cultures. They wore rubies, pearls, and other jewels. They drank from goblets made of glass, a material that had been unknown in China. They ate new foods, such as spinach, garlic, mustard, and peas. They used cloves to treat toothaches. Sitting in chairs from Central Asia instead of on floor cushions became a status symbol. Polo, a Persian sport played on horseback, became the rage among upper-class women and men.
Chinese music was greatly influenced by melodies and musical instruments from India, Persia, and Central Asia. Artists and artisans also copied new foreign styles. Silversmiths, for example, began using (Map Title)
The Silk Road During the Tang Dynasty Page 207
Persian designs. Not all Chinese, however, were happy about this imitation of foreigners.
New religions also entered China. The Tang tolerated foreign religions. Jews, Christians, and Muslims built houses of worship in Chang’an. They could even preach, although they converted few Chinese.
The Indian religion of Buddhism had come to China hundreds of years earlier. Under the Tang, it became a major part of Chinese life. Many Chinese became Buddhists. Buddhist monks came to teach in China, and Chinese pilgrims went to India to study. Buddhist monks and nuns paid no taxes. They ran schools, public baths, hospitals, and lodgings for travelers. Monasteries accumulated great wealth. Buddhism influenced Chinese art by providing new subjects for painting and sculpture. Buddhist festivals became popular holidays.
Changing Attitudes Toward the end of the Tang dynasty, foreigners and their beliefs became less welcome in China. The government placed restrictions on foreigners when a people called the Uighurs began attacking China from across the border. In cities, violence broke out against foreign merchants. Many Chinese resented their prosperity.
The wealth of Buddhist monasteries also brought resentment. Some people, it was said, became monks just to avoid paying taxes. In addition, influential Chinese began attacking Buddhism as a foreign religion.
In 843, the Tang government, which needed money, began seizing Buddhist property. Thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns were forced to give up their way of life. Monasteries, shrines, and temples were destroyed. Precious metals from statues were melted down and turned over to the treasury. The persecution of Buddhists lasted only a few years, but it greatly weakened the power of the monasteries.
Despite this distrust of foreigners, the Chinese continued to trade with other lands. By the end of the Tang dynasty, trade was shifting from the Silk Road. A flourishing sea trade developed between China, India, and the coasts of Southeast Asia. Thanks to the compass and improved shipbuilding techniques, overseas trade continued to thrive during the Song dynasty (960–1279). (Caption)
Foreign visitors, such as those from the west and Korea, were always welcomed in the court. Page 208
19.3 Foreign Contacts Under the Mongols
As you learned in Chapter 16, the Song dynasty came to an end when the Mongols conquered China. Recall that the Mongol leader Kublai Khan became emperor of China in 1279. He called his dynasty the Yuan dynasty. Under the Mongols, foreigners ruled China for nearly 100 years.
The vast Mongol empire stretched clear across Asia. Travel along the Silk Road became very safe, since the entire region was now under one government’s control. The Mongols also developed a far-reaching