The Chinese Dynasties
(Sui, Song, Tang)

The Sui Dynasty

     After the period of disunion, a northern ruler named Wendi reunified China. Wendi also became known as Yang Jian and founded the Sui Dynasty. He would base the Sui Dynasty off of the previous dynasties of China. He worked on making a centralized government, created a new legal code, and he reformed the bureaucracy.

     The Sui Dynasty became a very important part of China's history with the creation of the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal was a 1,000 mile waterway linking northern and southern China. This gave people of the north a travel way to receive the resources found in the South. The current emperor of this time, Yang Di, made millions of Chinese peasants work on this project. Hundred of thousands of these people died in the process, leading later into a rebellion. During the rebellion, an officer shot Yang Di. This would be the end of the Sui Dynasty.

  • Here is a picture of the present day Grand Canal of China

The Tang Dynasty

     The Tang Dynasty came to power when a Sui Dynasty general took control after Yang Di's death. The Tang Dynasty would last from the years 618-907 AD (Nearly 300 years). China prospered and had several achievements during this time period,   

     The Tang Dynasty built most of it's structure off of the Sui Dynasty. They did this in order to make a strong and powerful government in China once again. The rulers decided to put one capital in Chang'an, China and another capital in Luoyang, China. To make sure they had good government officials, the rulers made a written test for anyone who wanted to work for the government.

     During the Tang Dynasty, China was expanding it's influence back into Korea and Japan, along with other parts of Central Asia. The expansion happened mostly during Taizong's reign (626-649 AD). He relied on the ministers to help him govern China. After Taizong's death, his wife Wu Zhao came to power. She would be the only woman in Chinese history to ever hold the title as emperor but would be overthrown in the year  705 AD.

     When Emperor Xuanzong came to power, the Tang Dynasty hit it's peak in cultural success and influence. Buddhism had become a more dominant religion in China during the Tang Dynasty, and Xuanzong had a role expanding it in China. Several temples were built in China and it became very popular until the 800's AD.

The Song Dynasty

     The Song Dynasty produced many great achievements and prospered. During their rule, Chinese civilization became very successful and advanced. The Song Dynasty built a capital in Kaifeng, China and restored the idea of centralized government control. To manage the empire, the Song rulers enlarged the bureaucracy in their government. They also reformed the civil service examination system, which helped ensure that the right people were running their government. Neo-Confucianism also became a very popular influence in their time ruling China.

     One main issue the Song Dynasty had was reconnecting the North and South. To make peace with the nomads, the Song sent them several gifts, this was a tactic used by many dynasties before them. A group who would later call themselves the Jin Empire would take over northern China, but the Song would still rule in the south.

    As mentioned earlier, the Song dynasties was a time with plenty of achievements. One major innovation was the creation of the movable type printing press. This method uses blocks on which individual letters or characters are carved. The blocks can be rearranged and reused to print many things. They had also made paper money and this made trading goods much easier and this led to the influence of merchants in China. China's population began to grow tremendously and this lead to the building of several cities in China.    

  • Here is a map showing all three of the dynasties

Declan N. (Period 7)