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The first glorious period was from 627 to 649 when the Tang Dynasty was just set up and its national strength was recovering from the previous weak condition. Under Emperor Taizong Li Shimin's wise governing, the national strength and social development reached an unparalleled prosperity - economy and commerce flourished, the social order was stable,
corruption never existed in the court and the national boundaries were even open to foreign countries.The second glorious period was during Emperor Xuanzong's reign. In 712, EmperorRuizong abdicated and Li Longji was enthroned as Emperor Xuanzong. Under his ruling, the national economy, politics and culture all developed rapidly and the social development entered a new heyday. In that period, Chang'an City was the largest and the most prosperous metropolis in the world. Since the title of Xuanzong's reign was Kaiyuan, that period was called the Heyday of Kaiyuan, in which the Tang Dynasty reached its summit of prosperity.Starting in 960 and ending in 1279, the Song Dynasty consisted of the Northern Song (960-1127) and the Southern Song (1127-1279). With a prosperous economy and radiant culture, this period was considered as another period of 'golden age' after the glorious Tang Dynasty (618 - 907).Politics of the Song Dynasty: The policy of examination based on knowledge of Chinese literature and Confucian classics did not create a class of equality during the Song Dynasty. Although a member of the lower classes might succeed in the examinations, the highest positions were given to members of famous families. The quality ofgovernment employees improved with better salaries and as a result of passing examinations.