The Sui dynasty unified China under the emperor Wen. After establishing a capital at Luoyang, Wen took on many great projects. On of his greatest of achievements as emperor was the completion of the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal made trade between the north and south much easier and faster, thus strengthening the new found unification of China. He also created a strong centralized government that under took many reforms such as the Equal-Reform act which lessened the gap between the rich and poor. The most important role of the Sui was one that they did not know they were fulfilling at the time. They created a strong base that future dynasties built upon.
Kao-tsu built upon the work of the Sui dynasty. He continued many Sui practices as well as creating his own. He wrote a set of laws that was continually used until the Ming dynasty. His son, General Li Shih-min, eliminated all political rivals of the Tang and then seized the throne. General Li Shih-min took the name of Tai-tsung.
He shrunk the government and saved food surpluses. He also had men take a difficult written exam before they could take government positions. He created the exams in order to keep his counsel wise. The Tang had capitals at Ch'ang-an and Loyang. The Tang government became a model for governments around Asia. It was during the Tang dynasty that Buddhism became popular. Gunpowder and woodblock printing were also invented.
The Song took control after a brief period of disunity. The established a capital at Kaifeng and restored a centralized government.They also used exams for government officials. These exams were harder than ever. People who passed these tests were respected and received a high salary. Because of the respect gained from the tests and the fact that they were open to ordinary people, they became a pathway to success. The Song used a type of Confucianism called Neo-Confucianism. It emphasized spiritual matters as well as ethics. They did not conquer any significant amount of land, but that made many cultural achievements that led them to be remembered for all of history.
The "Chinese Style" of building was developed During the Song Dynasty
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