I. Questions of periodization A. Nature and causes of changes in the world history framework leading up to 600 C. E. – 1450 as a period


IV. China's internal and external expansion



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IV. China's internal and external expansion

A. The importance of the Tang and Song economic revolutions and the initiatives of the early Ming dynasty

1. Sui kingdom

a. Brief – 581-618

1. Ended civil war era

2. Buddhism aggressively patronized by rulers

a. Building of pagodas, temples, artwork Buddhist influence

3. Natural disasters led to famine, unrest - rebellion

1. Political Changes

a. 618-907 – Tang

1. Expanded territory to Tibet, part of Korea

b. 960-1279 – Song

1. Always at conflict/on the defensive with Northern neighbors

c. 1279-1368 – Mongols

d. 1368 – Ming

e. Tang/Song - Relatively peaceful

1. Stable bureaucratic system based on civil service exam (started in Han)

a. Focused on Confucian principles

b. Large core of educated, talented, loyal government workers

c. Stable regardless of who was in charge

i. even Mongols kept bureaucrats

d. meritocracy not aristocracy

e. Similar to America today – leaders change, bureaucrats remain

f. scholar-gentry

2. Built extensive infrastructure

a. Transportation/communication networks

i. Tang – network of roads, inns, postal stations

b. Canals

f. Constant military threat from the North

g. Tributary system – neighboring regions sent delegations

1. Show deference to Chinese emperor – kowtow

2. Chinese perception as superior to foreigners

2. Economic Changes

a. Tang/Song new business practices

1. Paper money

2. Letters of credit – flying money

b. New Technologies

1. Gunpowder for military

2. Boats – junks

a. best of their time

b. magnetic compass

c. watertight bulkheads

d. sternpost rudders

3. Practical inventions for navigation/economy

a. Astronomy, compass, water-powered clock

b. Abacus

c. block printing

c. Trade

1. increasingly involved with elaborate commercial network Pacific Coast/Southeast Asia

a. Port of Canton – became one of world’s busiest trading centers

b. Goods, merchants, ideas, and money from all over China

c. Large trading vessels – junks – cruised Eastern seas – silk/manufactured

d. Extensive network of roads to bind empire together

1. Network of inns/postal stations for communication

d. Iron production

1. Increased tenfold

2. Rivaled British production during Industrial Revolution

d. Agriculture

1. Champa rice from Vietnam – fast ripening rice

2. New agricultural techniques

3. Population increases from 45>115 million

4. Large estates broken up/land redistributed

a. Threat of power from regional lords

e. High taxation often leads to peasant revolts – downfall of dynasty

f. population growth – ten cities with more than a million people – South faster than North

1. new strains of rice

2. opening of new land to agriculture – draining swamps/terracing hillsides

3. end of government-controlled markets/ started privately owned shops

4. currency based economy

5. iron manufacturing

6. development of oceangoing vessels

g. protected trade on Silk Road

3. Social Changes

a. Accomplished in all categories

1. art, science, philosophy, porcelain making, silk weaving, transportation systems

a. Tang – poetry most significant

b. Song – printing process – expanded literacy

b. Women

1. Wu Zhao – first empress of China

a. Ruthless to adversaries

b. Compassionate to peasants

2. Majority stayed inferior

a. Like European Middle Ages, women’s beauty and femininity key

1. Song – foot binding

a. Bound since birth – wouldn’t grow with body

b. Large feet considered manly/ugly

c. Painful, crippling

d. Accepted by wealthy first, poor later – practicality

3. Marriages set up to benefit groom

4. Women of lower classes freer from strictures

5. Had inheritance and property rights, retained dowry after divorce/death

c. Religion

1. Following Han – many religions influenced

a. Nestorians, Manicheans, Zoroastrians, Islam

2. Buddhism greatest influence – state-sponsored during Sui

a. Mahayana

1. Emphasis on peaceful, quiet existence

2. Life apart from worldy values

b. Chan/Zen Buddhism

1. Educated classes – worked with Confucianism

2. Meditation/appreciation of beauty

c. Confucian/Daoist reaction

1. Seen as drain on treasury/labor pool

a. Buddhism dismissed importance of wealth

b. Imperial tax exemptions/private gifts of property

2. Daoists saw as thrat

3. Mid-800s – Emperor Wuzong persecutions

a. Destroyed thousands of monasteries

d. Art


1. Stylized and symbolic landscape painting

e. Philosophy

1. Neo-confucian thought

a. Looked at ancient text

b. Codified traditional Chinese philosophy

c. Blended Confucianism with Daoism

d. Attractive to leaders – apply rules to all elements of life

e. Chinese elite classes withdraw from contact with other people

f. Reinforced gender/class distinctions

f. Growth of cities

1. urbanization – some cities exceeded one billion people




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