The Sui dynasty, The Tang Dynasty, The Song Dynasty - Essay Example

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The idea of this research emerged from the author’s interest and fascination in what major changes in political structure, social and economic life, occurred during each of the following: The Sui dynasty, The Tang Dynasty, The Song Dynasty?…
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Sui, Tang and Song Dynasty China’s political landscape in the ancient period was characterized by dynasties which were often ruled by members of thesame family. These dynasties would only relinquish power through subversion. The following is an analysis of the political, social and economic changes that occurred during the Sui, Tang and Song dynasty.
The Sui dynasty lasted for a relatively short period – around 580 – 618 AD (Ebrey, Walthall, & Palais, 2009). Its existence, however, marked significant changes in the political structure, social and economic life of the Chinese. One of the notable changes in the political structure was the unification of northern and southern China. Emperor Wen, the founder of Sui dynasty is credited with this achievement. Sui dynasty’s main economic accomplishment was the extension of the Grand Canal. The canal facilitated transport of agricultural produce such as grain to the city. Socially, the Sui dynasty is accredited with bridging the gap between the rich and the poor through the Equal-field system. In this system, land was owned by the government which in turn would distribute it to all individuals, including slaves (Ebrey, Walthall, & Palais, 2009).
Tang dynasty can be traced in the period 618-907 AD. It was founded following the collapse of the Sui dynasty. Tang dynasty was characterized by prosperity. This was due to the enlightened political system put in place. A strict legal system guided by a legal code strengthened the administrative arm of Tang dynasty (Adshead, 2004). A total of 10 political districts were established which enabled easier administration. Tang dynasty introduced an examination system while selecting officials. This created a fair system since even students from poor families would be able to become court officials. Tang dynasty also played a crucial role in spreading and strengthening Buddhist literature (Adshead, 2004).
Song dynasty’s reign in power lasted in the period 960 and 1279 AD. Its major political accomplishment was the establishment of a standing navy to protect its seafront. In economic matters, Song dynasty introduced paper currency (Brook, 1998). The society prospered owing to development in agriculture, handicraft industry and a rise of commodity economy. There existed an efficient communication system that was facilitated by a well organized postal system. This period also saw the rise of social life through entertainment and social clubs that existed in the cities (Brook, 1998).
In conclusion, it is worth noting that each dynasty had a profound effect on the political, social and economic life of the Chinese. Each dynasty has in some way contributed to the making of the modern day China.
Adshead, S. A. (2004), T'ang China: The Rise of the East in World History, New York:, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Brook, T. (1998). The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Ebrey, P., Walthall, A., & Palais, J. (2009). East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Read More
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