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Period of Disunion

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Period of Disunion
220-589 After the fall of the Han Dynasty China split
in to rival kingdoms—one in the north, one in the
south. This period was filled with war and constant
changes in leadership. Many nomadic people settled
in Northern China. The culture was mixed, with many
different languages and dialects being spoken, and
they were not unified.
Sui Dynasty
581-618 CE
Government and Unification
 Emperor Yang Jian unifies
China He restored order
after the “Period of
Disunion”
 He re-conquered the South
and began public works
projects to bring a sense of
unity and pride to the
people
Religion and Culture
 Buddhism spreads from traders
and monks that traveled the
silk road form India .
 It was welcomed for its
message about of escape from
suffering—especially from
physical suffering.
 Many wealthy gave money to
Buddhist temples which
became architectural wonders.
They house huge statues of
Buddha.
Technology and Achievements
 The Grand Canal—a 600
mile long canal that linked
Northern and Southern
China– transports rice and
armies to northern cities.
 The Great Wall was fixed
and expanded to better
protect from Northern
invaders.
Trade
 The Grand Canal made
trade of food and unifying
the culture easier from north
to south.
Tang Dynasty
618-907 CE
Government and Unification
 Began with overthrow of Sui Dynasty, but would last
for more than 300 years—seen as Golden Age of
China.
 Emperor Taizong: unified China through reforms of
military, law codes, and land reform.
 Emperor Xuanzong: culture, especially poetry,
flourished
 Empress Wu– Ruled with an iron fist in to prevent
disunion, chose advisors on ability, not connections
 Wu supported the growth of Buddhism. Buddhist
temples and leaders became powerful members of
society (The Age of Buddhism—400-845).
The Fall of Buddhism
 Buddhist monks, monasteries and leaders became too
powerful…taking land and political positions
 It also influenced art, architecture and literature
 A Tang emperor attacked monasteries and monks—
burning books and buildings, killing monks, and taking
lands.
 The influence of Buddhism never regained it’s strength,
but never went away, either.
Religion and Culture
 Late in the Tang Dynasty Confucian thought



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became popular again...but with a twist.
Neo-Confucianism incorporated Buddhist and
Taoist spiritual ideas—making it a more
complete philosophy and religion.
It stressed ren and li: concern for others and
right action.
Also stressed obedience to authority: Kids to
parents, people to the government.
Neo-Confucianism replaced Buddhism and
eventually became the official state philosophy.
Technology and Achievements
 Expanded and Improved Grand Canal
 Great artists paint murals, made sculptures,




and wrote poems celebrating Buddhism.
Porcelain was invented (Fine China).
Gunpowder is invented—used mainly in
fireworks, but limited military use.
Woodblock printing—allows mass
production of single images or pages, the
precursor of moveable type
Perfected the magnetic compass—able to
use the magnetic polarity of the earth to
find direction instead of complicated math
or star gazing.
Trade
 Began to expand trade
overland with foreigners:
Persia, India, the Middle East
 Trade also grew with Korea
and Japan in the east. They
traded rice, spices, tea and
jade.
 But their #1 export was silk,
and later, porcelain.
Another Period of Disunion
Chaos and disorder as
separate kingdoms competed
for power. Lasted 53 years.
Called the period of, “Five
Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.”
Song Dynasty
960-1279
Government and Unification
 Created vast bureaucracy (different




departments in govt.) to manage large and
diverse empire
To deal with corruption, a civil service
system based on merit (a meritocracy) was
created.
To work for the govt. (become a civil
servant), one had to pass rigorous tests,
and only the top performers would get jobs.
People studied for years to take the
tests…even some peasants got a chance
(but not many).
To a be scholar-official (govt. worker) was
an elite and highly prestigious job (and they
got some perks…)
Religion and Culture
 Neo-Confucianism reaches its peak
of influence.
 The government actively promotes
the new ideology (value and belief
system) and makes it the official
“religion” of China
 The idea of service to the emperor
becomes the highest calling (hence
the prestige of the civil service
system)
Technology and Achievements
 Dragonbone pump– scoops water

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from one place in order to dump it in
an irrigation canal
Rice grows plentiful in the south and
wheat and barley in the north
Massive agricultural surplus allows for
population growth and larger tax base
Moveable type is invented—allows for
the first mass printing of media
Paper money is used—simplifies and
expedites trade in the empire
Trade
 Porcelain joins silk in trade
with foreigners. As with silk,
they protect this knowledge
to ensure their ability to
trade with foreigners.
 China also increased it’s sea
trade, opening up ports on
the Pacific

Yuan Dynasty
(Mongols)
1279-1368 CE
Religion and Culture
 The Mongols were nomadic people from the

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
Steppes of Asia, and incredible horseman—likely
related to the Huns and Turks
They united under Temujin (aka, Ghengis Khan)
in 1206 and began to raid into China and then
westward—eventually reaching the Middle East
and Eastern Europe
The were animistic, but open and tolerant of all
religions, believing that each place had their own
god/s. They even adopted the religions of the
people the conquered.
They were seen as uncivilized, but settled and
“became” the people they conquered over time
They were brutal in attack, but very industrious
and promoted huge trade networks everywhere.
Government and Unification
 Genghis Khan-Organized army
and began attack on China, had
northern China by 1227
 Kublai Khan finished conquest of
China, named himself emperor in
1279 and started Yuan dynasty.
 Heavily taxed Chinese but
allowed them to keep own
beliefs systems, most Chinese
were resentful
 Visited by Marco Polo in 1271,
and he was made an advisor to
Kublia Khan
 Yuan dynasty overthrown in 1368
after massive internal rebellion
Technology and Achievements
 Used tax money to repair and
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build new roads and palaces,
patrolled and maintained the Silk
Road, extended the Grand Canal
Created a postal system
Built new capital, Dadu
Made 2 attempts at invading
Japan…and failed
MOVED IDEAS AND
INVENTIONS that the Chinese
had kept secret across the globe!
Trade
 Mongols traded be sea and by land
which increased contact with the
west
 The military protected overland
trade routes– making it safe for
foreign traders.
 Italian merchant Marco Polo who
served under Kublai Khan’s court–
He determined that China was
highly civilized, and mad Europeans
very curious about China
Ming Dynasty
1368-1644 CE
Government and Unification
 Expelled the Mongols—Zhu Yuangzhang
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became first Ming Emperor
Emperors become powerful—eliminating
ALL foreign influence, abolishing some
offices, and attacking any threats to their
power
Civil Service system is still used
(examinations for government jobs).
Created “censors”—officials who
investigated the behavior of local leaders.
Eventually overthrown in 1644 by
Manchus from the North
Religion and Culture
 Buddhism, Daoism
and Confucian
thought still influence
China—a return to
neo-Confucian ideas
Technology and Achievements
 They build the Forbidden City in
Beijing—a huge imperial and
governmental compound where
only the upper class can enter.
 Restoration of The Great Wall–
they expand it to over 2000 miles
long!
 Massive sailing fleet led by Admiral
Zheng He—possibly reaching the
Americas?
Trade
 Admiral ZHENG HE led many voyages all
over Asia and Africa. He returned with new
goods, animals, and representatives to honor
the Chinese emperor.
 For a short time, the Chinese expanded their
sea trade tremendously!
 Fear of outsiders and other internal issues
made China stop the expeditions
 Isolationism– Ming emperors conclude the
west has little to offer so they restrict trade,
letting few outsiders in (they don’t know that
their secrets are out…)
 Result: China avoids outside contact and falls
behind other countries in technology and
military power
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