Early Chinese Empires(Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties)

The Sui Dynasty

     The Sui dynasty was the shortest early Chinese dynasty lasting only 29 years, from 589-618. During this time period there were two important leaders. They were Wendi and Yang Di. The Sui dynasty used a bureaucracy for their government. During the Sui dynasty women did not own land, but all men usually owned land and many religions were practiced. The greatest achievement of the Sui dynasty was the Grand Canal. This canal was used to transport people and many goods.

     This is the Grand Canal that the Sui built, and is still here today.

The Tang Dynasty

    The Tang dynasty was the second longest dynasty, prospering for 289 years, from 618-907. The most important leaders of the Tang dynasty were Taizong, Wu Zhao, and Xuanzong. The two capitals of the Tang dynasty were Chang'an and Luoyang. Like the Sui dynasty the Tang dynasty had a bureaucracy for their government. The Tang dynasty was very culturally diffused, as Buddhism came to China. This created many great things for the Tang dynasty. The laws became more flexible and not as harsh. Also Buddhist temples were created all throughout China. Other religons became to rise in populatiry in China, including Confucianism and Daoism. There were many great things that happened during the Tang dynasty, but the three most important was, the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia, increased foreign trade, and improved irrigation.

This is one of the Buddhist temples found in China. They are based of Royal Palaces and have little to no resemblance of other Buddhist temples.

The Song Dynasty

     The Song dynasty was the longest of the Chinese dynasties and had many great advancements for the next 319 years, from 960-1279. The Song dynasty's capital was Kaifeng. Like all other Chinese dynasties the Song used a bureaucracy for their government, but the Song dynasty's bureaucracy was different. They gave civil service exams, that were very difficult, but those that did pass became scholar-officials. These scholar-officials were elite educated members that became part of the government. Neo-Confucianism became very popular throughout the empire. Another thing that became very popular in the Song dynasty was poetry. Poetry became very popular when Du Fu and Li Bo started writing their own poems. Other things that became important were paintings and porcelain. I think that the most important achievement is the discovery of gunpowder. This allowed for fireworks, many weapons like the fire arrow, and future guns that would make an enormous impact in our world. Some achievements of the Song dynasty include pagodas, woodblock printing, magnetic compasses, movable printing type.

Early Chinese fire arrows that used the newly found gunpowder.

This video talks about the Sui, Tang, and Songs dynasties.