Early China Dynasties


The Main Chinese Dynasties between 589-1279 CE were the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties. As you can see from the map, the Chinese reached the height of their territory during the Tang Dynasty (618-907)

Sui Dynasty

The Sui Dynasty existed from 589-618 CE.

It was founded by Emperor Wen Di.

The Sui Dynasty was preceded by the Northern and Southern Dynasties.

Known as the "Cultural Emperor" Emperor Wen came to power after obliterating an army in eastern China.

The Sui Dynasty started work on the Great Wall of China.

Eventually fell due to a bloated economy and a rioting public.

Tang Dynasty

The Tang Dynasty came to power in 618 CE.

They expanded China's borders the most during this period of time.

Immediately followed the Sui Dynasty.

Their first emperor, Wu Zeitian, seized power during the riots of the late Sui Dynasty.

Only female Empress (Wu)

Fell due to large bandit armies, natural disasters, and Huang Chao Rebellion.

The Rebellion took over a decade to suppress, got the capitals of Chang'an and Luoyang sacked, and dealt a critical blow to the flailing empire.

Adopted Confucianism

The Dynasty fell in 907 CE.

Song Dynasty

The Song Dynasty was established in the year 959 CE.

Major Achievements include the compass and a canal locking system seen below.

Adopted Neo-Confucian Ideas-differed from the Tang Dynasty's Confucianism by leaving out spiritual and superstitious elements from Taoism and Buddhism.

Developed Civil Service Exams for scholars.

A tribe rebelled against them and in 1127, the Southern Song Dynasty was established while Northern China was ruled by the Jin Dynasty (rebelling tribe).

The last remnants of the Song Dynasty were eradicated in 1279 by Kublai Khan.

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