BACKHAUS WORLD HISTORY PROJECT
Each of the Chinese dynasties, including the Sui, Tang, Song, Mongols, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia were known individually for their many achievements. Each dynasty had many similarities and many differences. Each Dynasty had their individual culture and way of life.
We first start off with the period of disunion which is after the Han dynasty collapsed, military leaders split china into rival kingdoms. These events began a period of disorder and warfare that historians called, The Period of Disunion.
The Period of Disunion lasted around 350 years, until in 589 when a northern ruler named Wendi reunified China. Also known as Yang Jian, Wendi founded the Sui dynasty and became its first emperor. Using earlier civilizations as examples, Wendi worked to build a centralized government, he created a new legal code, and was able to reform the bureaucracy. He also created a policy which provided all adult males with land and to ensure the availability of grain.
- Sui Dynasty
The greatest achievement of the Sui Dynasty was their completion of the Grand Canal. This 1,000-mile waterway linked northern and southern China. As a result, northern China could more easily access the resources of the south, such as the rice produced in the lower Chang Jiang valley. This construction began when Yang Di, Wendi's son, became ruler. The Grand Canal took several years to complete. During Yang Di's reign, he forced millions of peasants to work on the Canal, causing hundred thousands of deaths. This lead to riots and rebellion after multiple failed military campaigns, soon leading up to Yang Di's assassination in 618. Thus, the short-lived Sui dynasty came to an end.
This dynasty lasted from 618-907. Under the Tang Dynasty, china experienced a period of prosperity and cultural achievement. Government control remained centralized and based on a bureaucracy of officials. To obtain talented officials, the Tang expanded the civil service examination system. Under this system, people had to pass written exams to work for the government. Tang rulers created a flexible law code which became a model code for law codes in Korea and Japan.
The Tang also had 2 rulers. The first was Taizong. He ruled from 626-649. He had talented ministers, military conquest, and had schools built period. After him came Wu Zhao. Wu Zhao, a woman ruled through her son and the last one, Zuanzong. She is the only woman to hold the title in all of Chinese history. The capitals were Chang'an and Luoyang. There government was also around the Bureaucracy and was also strong and central period. Some things that spread throughout the Tang Dynasty era were Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Some achievements were that trade increased irrigation.
The song dynasty ruled from 960-1279. The Song Dynasty did not have a known emperor. The Song Dynasty kept the same basic government as the dynasties before them. They continued on with the bureaucracy. Their capital is located in the city of Kaifeng. During this time, Neo-Confucianism spread throughout China. Poetry became well known during the Song Dynasty when Du Fu and Li Bo began to write. They are exceptional writers. Painting also spread throughout this time. Some achievements were Pagoda, woodwork printing, gunpowder, and magnetic compass.
Mongols and Yuan Dynasty
Over the 80 years that the Mongols ruled, they had 3 strong and powerful leaders. The first to come was the well known Genghis Khan. He was a strong military leader who struck fear in the heart of the people he attacked, and eventually conquer. After Genghis Khan came his son, Kublai Khan. He was the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, which was a division of the Mongol empire. Like his father, Kublai was a strong and ferocious leader. The final ruler was Hulegu. Unlike China, the Mongols were a monarchy. There capital was located in Khanbaliq. The Mongols adopted the ideas of Islam at the time. One of the great achievements of the Mongols included them conquering thousands of acres of land and being the strongest empire and largest empire. While Kublai was in charge of the Yuan Dynasty they were a bureaucracy and their capital was located near the city of Beijing. Trade increased during this time of the rule of the Mongols. This was also the time when Marco Polo was sent on adventures.
The Yamato clan did not have a known ruler. They were a bureaucracy and their capital is located in the city of Honshu. They believe that their emperors are related to the sun goddess. Some later emperors thought they were also related to the sun goddess. The Heian Period also did not have a known ruler. They were also a beauracracy and their capital was located in Heian. It was a Period of peace and easy going. The Tale of Genji was a major success at the time
Korea had one Dynasty. It was the Koryo Dynasty. The ruler of the Koryo Dynasty was Wang Kon. They were a bureaucracy and their capital was Songdo. They adopted many aspects of the Tang dynasties culture. One of their biggest achievements was the creation of a metal moveable type printer. At about the same time, they carved the entire Buddhist canon from some 80,000 woodblocks. The most famous achievement, however, was to create ceramics with luminescent celadon glazes and delicate inlays.
The Pagan kingdom ruled from 840-1200. Their leader was Anwratha. Pagan Kingdom was a monarchy. They had a Buddhist culture in which the followed. They built many temples that were admired from places all around the world. The Khmer was another empire in the South. Their leader was Angkor Wat. They were also a monarchy. They also followed the religion of Buddhism and followed the same cultures. They also built many temples like the Pagans. There were also trading kigdoms in the south. They didn't really have a leader. They had a bureaucracy unlike the pagans and the Khmers. They were mainly Buddhist but had some Hindu aspects. They made many beautiful artworks. Vietnam was another place in the south. They had 2 leaders, Trung Trac and Trung Nhi. They also had a bureaucracy. Vietnam was Confucianism and Daoism. They fought against China and gained their independence in the 1200's.