China split into rival kingdoms each ruled by a
military ruler after the Han dynasty collapsed. In the north, nomadic people were settled there. But people also
settled in the south because they couldn't handle the ruling done in the north. This split of people allowed different
cultures to develope in different states. This Period of Disunion lasted for about 700 years until a man form the Sui
dynasty reunified china. In this time of the Sui dynasty, leaders built a Grand Canal.
Buddhism was quickly
spread in China. Its one of the world's majo religions. The Han dynasty were the first people to have this new
religion. Though people started to turn to Buddhims during the Period of Disunion. Rich people started to donate
their money to build big tmeples that held Buddha in them. During the Sui and Tang dynasties, Buddhism started
to spread. Infact it spread as far out as Japna, Korea, and other Asian islands. This religion influenced many
forms of art, literature, and archutecture. This time was known as the golden age of Buddhism. This time came
to a end when a Tang emperor launched a campain to destroy all Buddhism stuff. But his efforts came to an end when he
say that it really hadn't done anything but make this religion stronger. To this day, Buddhism plays a key part in the
Buddhism wasn't the only religion in China. There was also Confucianism taught by Cnfucius himself. He focused
on the proper ethics, for individuals and government. Ren, a concern for others, and li, appropriate behavior, were
the two basic princibles that he taught. He also thought that everyone had a role in society. For example, he
thought that young people should obey their elders and that subjects should obey their rulers. After Confucius
died, his ideass and teachings were wideley taught but not accepted. In fact the Qin dynasty concealed his ideas.
In the Period of Disunion and the Sui and Tang dynasties Confucianism was overlooked by Buddhism.
Later in the Tang period, the people became once more interested in Confucius. So these people created Neo-Confucianism.
this was similar to the old religion but Neo discussed Buddhist and Daoist concepts about the meaning of life. Thi snew
religion became much more appealing after the Song period. The ideas soon became official government teachings.
One of the best achievements
was in agriculture. They made advances in making the dragon backbone pump. This allowed one person to do the work
of several. They also made an advancement on quick and ripening rice. This allowed the rice to grow and ripen
qiuckly. They also made new crops such as cotton and tea. Cotton was a good producer of fiber which is needed
to make clothes and other stuff. These supplies helped people pay for the governmnet taxes. As well as agriculture,
China's art and writing grew as well. Wu Daozi painted pictures of Buddhism and nature. Li Bo and Du Fu created
poems that express beauty. China's greatest female poet bore the name of Li Qingzhao. She believed that poetry
should capture a single moment in time. All of these great artists created beautiful forms of work.
In the Ming dynasty there were alot of achievements. There were two that really stood out. One was the Forbidden
City. This was home to imperial residences, temples, and other government buildings. Ordinary people werer not
allowed in this city, hence the name the Forbidden City. Another project that was a symbol of China's glory waas teh
Great Wall of China. Soilders and peasants both worked to make this wall. It was more than 2000 miles long and
25 feet high and 12 feet wide. This wall protected China and the soilders who stood gaurd for it.
Invented during the Han dynasty around 105, paper was one of the greatest of all Chinese inventions.
it gave the Chinese a cheap and easy way of keeping records and made printing possible.
Porcelain was the first made during the Tang dynasty, but it waswn't perfected for many centuries.
Chinese artists were famous for their work with this fragile material.
ancient chinese porcelain
The Chinese invented printing during the Tang dynasty, centruies before it was known in Europe.
Printers could copy drawings or texts quickly, much faster than they could be copied by hand.
ancient chinese woodblock printing
Invented during the late Tang or early Song dynast, gunpowder was used to make fireworks and signals.
The Chinese didn't generally use it as a weapon.
Inventors of the Song dynasty created movable thpe, which made printing faster. Carved letters
could be rearranged and reused to print many different messages.
Invented no later than the Han period, the compass was greatly improved by the Tang. The new
compass allowed sailors and merchants to travle vast distances.
The world's first paper money was invented by the Song. Lighter and easier to handle than coins,
paper money helped the Chinese manage their grownin wealth.
After the Period of
Disunion, one ruler dicided to step up to the plate and re-unify China. His name was Yang Jian and he created the Sui
dynasty. This dynasty didn't last long though they built great stuff. They built the Grand Canal to link northern
and southern China. To make the Sui dynasty end, a man overthrew it. He creeated the Tang dynasty and spread this
dynasty far out. Tang dynasty was the golden age of China. This is because alot of great rulers were in it.
For example, there was one ruler by the name of Taizong. He reformed the military, created laws, and created a land
reform policy. China flourished under his rule. Another great star was Xuanzong. Alot of poets created beautiful
forms of work. Those were not the only ones to take the thrown. One woman ruler named Empress Wu was also
brilliant. Though her methods were vicious, she was intelligent and talented. After this dynasty fell, China went
into caos. Until the Song dynasty unified them. This time lasted about for 300 years.
After Confucius and Neo-Confucius developed and changed, the government changed too. They developed a bureaucracy and
started to pass cicil service examinations. To pass this tough exam, one had to take a test on the ideas of Confucianism
and related ideas. Ones who had passed these majorly hard exams were later called a scholar-official. They were
elite members of society. The tests helped insure that only the tip top people could run the government.
The Mongol Empire lived seperatley as tribes in teh vast plains of norht China. Then a powerful ruler named Genghis
Khan united them. Him and his army killed all of Europe and much of Asia. He had ruled a large part of Asia for
about 20 years. Then he had turned his efforts toward China. After he died in 1227, nearly all of norhtern China
was under Mongol contol. All of the bloody conquest kept going after his death though. His grandson Kublai Khan
completed the conquest of China in 1279. He started the Yuan dynasty by declaring himself emperor. For the first
time, foreigners ruled China.
The Ming dynasty had adopted many governmnet things from the Tfand and Song dynasties. But the Ming rulers were much
more powerful. They banished some officials jobs and took it upon themselves of running the government. But they
kept the civil seriveces though. They also kept the examinations. They used these to elect censors who were sent
throughout China to investigate the behaviors of local leaders and to judge the quality of schools and ohter institutions.
Zheng He was the new ruler of the Ming dynasty. Under his rule, he made China go into isolationism. This was a
bad idea for this country. Many technological advancements were made in different countries and that made China sent
back a couple hundred years. So all in all China being under isolationism is a BBBAAADDD idea.
With a population of more than a million, China's
city Chang'an was the largest city n the world. They had a mix of cultures because they were a busy trading center.
Thiks wasn't teh only city though. They had a bunch of more that grew to about half of a million. Trade was a
major thing in China becoming the richest city in the world. Trade was done within the empire and outside. They
went along China's rivers to ship goods on barges and ships. The thing that they used to do this was called the Grand
Canal. This allowed one city to move crops and goods to a new area. This was not the only form of trade, they
went tpo other countries to trade too. Th eitems they traded were tea, rice, spices, and jade. But the bigest
thing they traded was silk. They tried to keep this method secret because it was so valuable. They traded these
items for foods and plants, woll, glass, gold, and silver. During the Song dynasty, China opened their sea trade to
other countries. This allowed different items to be traded. For example, they traded new items like porcelain.
Trade allowed merchants to be ranked high on the social society.
The life in the Yuan dynasty
was very cool. The people spoke different languages and had different customs. Kublai Khan didn't force them to
accept Mongols way of life. The Chinese could worship whome they please but they had to pay very heavy taxes that the
Mongols set. Much of the money they collected went to efforts to make public works. They worked on the Grand Canal
and built great ships and vessels. Soilders of the Mongols were set out in the streets to make sure peace was kept.
This kept trade safe for everyone. Marco Polo was one trader that wasw important in what we need to knoww about
the Yuan dynasty. He spent years traveling around China. He later returned to write down what he saw in a note
merchants were ranked highly because of the trade
were also ranked very highly because they controled the government and were the smart people of the time
ranked the highest because they ruled their country and controlled most of everything
poets were ranked not that high but were still above the peasants and slaves
ranked above atrists and poets because they defended their country in their time of need
slaves and peasants
rounded out the bottom because well they were slaves and peasants
End of the Yuan Dynasty
Not contempt with their land, the Mongols wanted to raid Japan. A feirce storm caught them off their gaurd.
This destroyed most of the Mongol forces. The failed invasion against Japan weakened their army. This made China
ripe for rebellion. A monk named Zhu Yuanzhang took charge of the efforts. He won and made sure that China was
once again ruled by the Chinese.
Great Sea Voyages
After Zhu Yuanzhang became emperor and ruled the Ming dynasty, the Chinese started to build and plan out great sea
voyages. The best sailor would be Zheng He. He led seven sea voyages around Asia with huge fleets. One time
he sailed to as far out as the Persian Gulf and easternmost coast of Africa. He presented leaders beautiful gifts from
China everywhere he landed. He represented China in all of his voyages all around the world.