Chinese Dynasties

After the Han dynasty fell, China moved into a time called the Period of Disunion. During this time many nomadic tribes invaded China. Then, under the rule of a Northern ruler named Wendi, China was reunified. This was the beginning of the Sui Dynasty. Most people during this time practiced Buddhism, because of the peace it helped people find in the midst of chaotic times. There were also many achievements during the short-lived Sui dynasty, Not only did they complete the 1000 mile long Grand Canal, but they also created new policies to provide all adult males with land and to ensure the availability of grain. Unfortunately the Sui's quest for land and military conquest were their downfall, causing rebellion. This lead to the beginning of the Tang dynasty, which is what most people consider the golden age of China today. Click the button below for more Sui information.

This is a link to an art exhibit that has artifacts from that time, and below a map of the land that the Sui dynasty had under its control at about 610 CE.

This is a brief but explanatory overview of the Sui Dynasty, both its achievements and faults. After the Sui dynasty fell, a new dynasty took hold, one that would change China forever. It was the Tang dynasty, started by a Sui general who was actually related to the Sui imperial family! The Tang dynasty built on the foundations of the Sui to create a strong government that allowed room for growth and achievements. People had to pass written exams to work for the government, and the Tang expanded the Chinese influence in Japan and Korea. Poetry, murals, pottery figurines, and many other art forms were common under the Tang. Click the button below for more Tang information.

Other Tang achievements includes the invention of the magnetic compass, woodblock printing, food irrigation and production increase, gunpowder, and porcelain.

After the Tang dynasty fell, China was reunified by the Song, and their achievements helped China become the most advanced civilization at the time. They had the same centralized government system as the Tang and Sui, but they had a larger bureaucracy. The capitol during this time was Kaifeng. The Tang practiced Neo-confucianism which emphasized ethics and spiritual matters. Another great achievement was the spread of paper money. Click the button below for more Song information.

This is an Ewer from the Song dynasty made of celadon. Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), 11th–12th century; Yaozhou ware China.