ch18 - Chapter 18 Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese...

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Chapter 18 Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese Civilization: The Era of the Tang and Song Dynasties Chapter Summary. Basic themes of Chinese civilization underwent vital consolidation during the postclassical period. Less fundamental innovation occurred than in the Americas and Europe. Important developments took place in technology. Political turmoil followed the fall of the Han during the "period of the Six Dynasties" (220-589 C.E.) and the empire's bureaucratic apparatus collapsed. The scholar-gentry class lost ground to landed families. Non-Chinese nomads ruled much of China and a foreign religion, Buddhism, replaced Confucianism as a primary force in cultural life. There was economic, technological, intellectual, and urban decline. New dynasties, the Sui and Tang, from the end of the 6th century brought a restoration of Chinese civilization. Political unity returned as nomads and nobility were brought under state control and the bureaucracy was rebuilt. Major changes occurred in economic and social life as the focus of a revived civilization shifted from the north to the Yangtze valley and southern and eastern coastal areas. The Song dynasty continued the revival; their era saw the restoration of scholar-gentry and the Confucian order. It was a time of artistic, literary, and technological flourishing. Male dominance reached new heights. Rebuilding the Imperial Edifice in the Sui-Tang Era. A noble, Wendi, with the support of nomadic military leaders won control of northern China. In 589 he defeated the Chen kingdom which ruled much of the south and established the Sui dynasty as ruler of the traditional Chinese core. Wendi won popularity by lowering taxes and establishing granaries to ensure a stable, cheap food supply. Sui Excess and Collapse. Wendi's son Yangdi continued strengthening the state by further conquests and victories over nomads. He reformed the legal code and the Confucian educational system. The scholar- gentry were brought back into the imperial administration. Yangdi undertook extensive and expensive construction projects at a new capital, Loyang, and for a series of canals to link the empire. He attempted unsuccessfully to conquer Korea and was defeated by Turkic nomads in central Asia in 615. Widespread revolts followed. Imperial rule crumbled and Yangdi was assassinated in 618. The Emergence of the Tang and the Restoration of the Empire. Imperial unity was saved when Li Yuan, Duke of Tang and a former supporter of the Sui, won control of China and began the Tang dynasty. Tang armies extended the empire's reach to the borders of Afghanistan and thus dominated the nomads of the frontier borderlands. The Tang utilized Turkic nomads in their military, and tried to assimilate them into Chinese culture. The Great Wall was repaired. The extensive Tang empire stretched into Tibet, Vietnam, Manchuria, and Korea. Rebuilding the Bureaucracy.
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ch18 - Chapter 18 Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese...

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