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World Civilization 1World Civilization IModule 7 Homework Assignment for HIS 125: World Civilization IScott ConklinAllied American UniversityThis paper was prepared for HIS 125: World Civilization I, Module 7 HomeworkAssignment taught by Matthew Avitabile
PART I1.What made possible the expansion of the Chinese economy, and what were the outcomesof this economic growth?a.Chinese historians traditionally viewed dynasties as following a standard cyclicalpattern. Founders were vigorous men able to recruit capable followers to serve asofficials and generals. Externally they would extend China’s borders; internallythey would bring peace. They would collect low but fairly assessed taxes. Overtime, however, emperors born in the palace would get used to luxury and lack thefounders’ strength and wisdom. Families with wealth or political power wouldfind ways to avoid taxes, forcing the government to impose heavier taxes on thepoor. As a result, impoverished peasants would flee and the morale of those in thegovernment and armies would decline. The dynasty would find itself able neitherto maintain internal peace nor to defend its borders. Viewed in terms of this theoryof the dynastic cycle, by 800 the Tang Dynasty was in decline. It had ruled Chinafor nearly two centuries, and its high point was in the past. A massive rebellionhad wracked it in the mid- eighth century, and the Uighur Turks and Tibetanswere menacing its borders. Many of the centralizing features of the governmenthad been abandoned, with power falling more and more to regional militarygovernors.2.How did the civil service examinations and the scholar-official class shape Chinesesociety and culture, and what impact did the Mongol conquest have on them?a.In the Song period the booming economy and the invention of printing allowed agreat expansion in the size of the scholar- official class, which came to dominate
World Civilization 3the government. The life of the educated class was strongly shaped by the civilservice examinations, which most educated men spent a decade or more studyingfor, often unsuccessfully. Their high levels of education fostered interest inliterature, antiquities, philosophy, and art. Because there were more educatedmen, more books were written, and because of the spread of printing, a muchgreater share of them have survived to the present, making it possible to see -dimensions of life poorly documented for earlier periods, such as the lives ofwomen. China’s great wealth and its elite’s high levels of education could not be -