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By Michael Johnathan McDonald

C h i n a


Mini Dark Age


Before the New Great Dynasty: Dark Ages.

From the fall of the Han their was fractionalization of China until the reunification under the Sui. Back into many warring tribes and families.

Fractionalization lasts for nearly three hundred years but in the late 6th century a general reunited the bulk of China. The Sui dynasty happened to be only one generation and this is why they are accredited with leaving their dynasty behind with unity of China.

The tribes of the North West move in; more cyclic patterns.

They now intermarried and began to rule. 300 A.D. the seaport kingdoms arose and split off causing a mini dark age. Not for long until China was back on track with a new dynasty.

220- 589 A.D Late Han dynasty

Sui dynasty

( c. 581 - 618)

Getting China Back on track

Sui created a new single state after a short splintering off after the fall of the Han. This , again, military force for a short period dominated, yet in the little time they ruled no splintering happenshaped after their disintegration. Tyranny as the cyclic correctly predicted played an heavy toll on life through such projects as the Grand Canal (The Grand Canal, 1,764 km (about 1200 miles) in length, is the longest man-made waterway. Travel China Guide), where taxing was fully progressed to the breaking point and the government was spending money life water. This was coupled with continual military campaigns that cost much money to keep the citizen (like) slaves working.

By the end of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589), China had witnessed disunity and chaos for about 270 years

In 577, the Northern Zhou conquered the Northern Qi and reunified the North China. The Northern Zhou, known as the reign of Yuwen family of the Xianbei ethnic group, continued for 24 years with five emperors over three generations. In 581, Yangjian, a relative of the royal family, usurped the throne and renamed the empire the Sui Dynasty with Chang'an (present Xi'an City in Shaanxi Province) as his capital city. Yangjian was historically called Emperor Wen.

After the founding of the empire, Emperor Wen quickly carried out a series of military plans to unify the country. Finally in 589, Emperor Wen wiped out the Chen Dynasty and reunified the south and the north.

Sui Dynasty lasted for only 38 years with two generations. History shows it was one of the short-lived Chinese dynasties.


Political History

In the early years of the Sui, Emperor Wen adopted many policies to bolster his regime.

For central government, the Sui Dynasty re-established the centralized administrative system created by the Han (206 BC - 220 AD). They set up "Three Departments and Six Ministries", placing under its supervision all state affairs. In local areas, the existing three tier form of government was reorganized, reducing it to a two tier system. This greatly simplified the administrative structure and enhancing the efficiency.

In addition, Emperor Wen abolished the privilege of the noble families which prevailed throughout the Jin (265 - 420) and the Northern and Southern Dynasties. Preferring to choose his officials on merits rather than by birth, Emperor Wen held regular examinations to select able people. By this means he was able to dismiss corrupt officials. This engendered support for the Sui court from scholars and contributed much to the consolidation of its rule. The imperial examination system for the selection and appointment of civil servants initialed by the Sui later was to be used by successive Chinese dynasties for over 1300 years.

A comprehensive law reform removed many of the harsh restrictions and punishments imposed on the people thus lightening the burden which had been imposed on them by earlier rulers.

Social Economy

A series of economical reforms were necessary in order to overcome the financial crisis with which Emperor Wen was faced. A crisis due to the long period of wars and conflict prior to his succession.

In order to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, the Sui reverted to the "land equalization system". While controlling the possession of the land by the rich, this law provided for land distribution to all families on the basis of the number of the people in each household. The people were able to farm the land they owned but were precluded from selling it. By permitting people to retain their land holdings much remained in the hands of landlords. Nevertheless, in spite of this, the farmer's enthusiasm enhanced and great progress in agricultural productivity was achieved during this period.

At the same time, the government unified the coinage, nationalized the mints and standardized weights and measures. Furthermore, Emperor Wen levied lower taxes on the farmers and merchants, greatly promoting the development of social economy.

To improve means of transport between the south and north the construction of the
Grand Canal was commenced and completed during the reigns of Emperor Wen and his son, Emperor Yang. This great project connected the Yellow River with the Yangtze River and had the effect of greatly increasing cultural and economic exchange between the two areas.

Moreover, defense works such as the Great Wall, mainly the sections in Ninxia and Inner Mongolia areas, were built in this period to withstand the attack of Tujue (Turks) tribe.
(Travel China Guide).

  1. Grand Canal extended north from Hangzhou across the Yangzi to Yangzhou and then northwest to the region of Louyang.
  2. fortification of the Great Wall along the northern borders.
  3. Confucianism also began to regain popularity, as the nobles gained importance.
  4. They attacked Korea four times, all defeats.
  5. Expanded southward.
  6. Built up military and placed publics works high an the agenda.

The next great dynasty was on the horizon and they were about to dominate all of East Asia. Yet, the first ruler had to take care of his family the old ancient deed.

Tang Dynasty

The Great Classical Period of China

(A.D. 618-907)

After a few generations the factionalism dies off and a stable society begins. This was because the transitions always involve wars of who is to rule. After this period the ruler chooses the right wing formula of restricting government, lowering taxes so many jobs are created ( Reagan’s trickle down economics it is called in the American ‘80s). This formula takes time to get working but when it does it really shines as the best formula to start a great period off to prosperity. People feel freer from tax burdens which makes them work harder in general. Only when corrupt individuals get into office does the right-wing collapse and the left-wing takes over following in a decline.

Again the new dynasties begin right wing and limited freedoms of merchants ( Big business) without special interest make for a prosperous time. This is now going toward what is called the Classical time for China, like the Classical time that is referred for western civilization during the great classical times of Greece.

This was a long and prosperous dynasty in order which Chinese culture reached a pinnacle of perfection not experienced before or afterwards.  Such prosperity that constant threats from northwest and Turkey were the norm. The Collapse lead to chaos and disunion as the cyclic repercussions are known so well Right- to- left policies. Small taxes reaches progress and prosperity, and later progressive tax leads to greed and the candy store analogy.

Buddhism grows and most Chinese come into contact with the teachings. They think this is not our creation, but nothing is hostile about its teachings. So they accept it.

The teachings are to love one another, be useful, be generous, be helpful, and charitable. So the Chinese manage to integrate this into their belief systems and accept the Buddha with slight, if not, small changes in his appearance from that of India. In India the Buddha is slim and trim in sculpture and in China he is a round belly- laughing as if his stomach is full of jelly. He has long earlobes which are indicative of wearing many earrings which represented wealth, including themes of one being well-off in the social status of society. This is why many businesses have alters in view dedicated to him. This was thought to attract the upper class to ones establishment. After a while the young of aristocracy became enamored with the Buddha and began to transfer to its symbolism. The aristocrat families began to build shrines called pagodas dedicated to Buddha. These temples have a similarity to that of Lao Tse temples and so they look quite similar except for the statue on the inside.

Later these temples would be a gathering place and a status quo for the rich. Thus they were added on with large lands that were in the beginning tax exempt. After the government saw how much money they were loosing after the migration to Buddhism, they said, “Lets close these monasteries (temples)!" There was no hierarchical structure of this now worshiped religion. The closest things would be an abbey in western terms who ran these temples. Only the aristocracy owned them for profit businesses. The closest thing to a pope in the Asian world is the exiled Dali Lama of Tibet, although he is not a Chinese Buddhist.

Daoism has a cosmic graph that no one knows where the symbol came from. The earliest known symbol found so far was the designs on the Roman soldiers (c. 430 A.D.) shields. This was well after the concept of the Ying-and Yang were established, in Daoism, but never drawn by them in the symbolism we know today. It is quite possible that someone, quite possibly an Arab scribbled it down and it got to China somehow. There first recollection of seeing this symbol in their society was about 1100 A.D

Asian and Western Cities

What is happening to the modern American city? Optimists peak of urban revival through “gentrification” by which they mean that the wealthy are moving back into the inner city. Pessimists call attention to the abandon slums, the spiraling coasts of welfare and city services, and the near bankruptcies of such large cities as New York and Cleveland in the last decade?

Both are right. The American city is becoming a haven for the very wealthy and a prison for the very poor. The middle class cannot afford to remain.  The rich buy apartment that costs more than the poor will earn ever in a lifetime. Inflation, unemployment, and the withdrawals of the middle class are creating cities divided between the very wealthy and the very poor. The city is no longer a community of equals.

[ Began accredit] Was it ever? Max Weber, the great German sociologist, pointed out that the European city originated as a community of equals almost a thousand years ago. [He is referring to the period in late middle ages when the land distribution was reassigned and the nobles lost some of the landownership power] In fact, Weber argued, ancient and non-Western urban areas should not even be considered “cities’ because they did not develop [their own community institutions. The whole concept of democratic institutions and ideas that stem from the root word “ city” ---- citizenship, civil, civic, civilian, civility, and civilization---was, according to Weber, the unique invention of the Western communal city of equals. Because of the western city development as a community, its inhabitants thought of themselves as “ citizens.” Elsewhere urban inhabitants remained “ subjects.”

New York City averted bankruptcy when the elected mayor and City Council turned over control of finances to the unelected representatives of the banks and security holders. The Mayor of Cleveland shoes to default instead of corporate ownership of mutual property. When the cities are divided between rich and poor, and the poor (as always- [Jesus]) the majority, can democratic institutions weather crisis” are we becoming subjects instead of citizens? Is that what the loss of community means?

The Chinese City: Subjects Not Citizens

In the east, especially in China, there was an enormous gap between the city and the villages,. The great French specialist on China, Marcel Granet, put it this way over 50 years ago:

The sharpest distinction exists between city people and villagers: the one are rustic, the other nobles. The nobles of the city pride themselves on living according to the rites which do not descend to the common people. The country people, on the other hand, refuse to have anything to do with public affairs. It is the meat-eaters’ business to discuss them the say. The two have nether the same interests, nor the same food. They differ to the point of following opposite systems of orientation: the nobles prefer the left [wing] and peasants prefer the right [wing]. The villager has at most an Elder. The nobles are vassals on an overlord who is Master of the Town. At his side they lead a life entirely taken up by court ceremonies. Grouped around the Master, they chant their contempt for the people of the field, the clownish people.

In China the city was the administrative center of the new barbarian chieftain who had taken over the whole country. The city was most visible realm of his mastery and his exploitation. Each new line of conquerors began his family dynasty by building a capital city and gathering his nobles, scholars, and servants. No wonder the city always seemed foreign and parasitic to the villagers. The capital and regional centers of administration all seemed the same to the peasant villagers. They were full of officials and those who served them, and all seemed to live gloriously by taxing the countryside.

We do not know very much about city life in the earliest Chinese dynasties. The earliest  city yet uncovered, An-yang, was probably the capital of Shang dynasty (1525-1028 B.C.E.) It has some beautiful art in bronze and jade and some inscriptions in early Chinese writing, but little that tells us about city life. The next dynasty, the Chou, thought; ruled in name only. China was really divided among a number of feuding noble families. There was no monumental capital city, and most of the achievements of the Chou period have a rule character: iron smelting, the philosophies of Confucius and Mencius, and the nature worship of Taoism. The brief Ch’in dynasty(221-207 B.C.E.) united China into an empire, and the Han dynasty ( 202- 220) created a government administration based on civil service exams that was the Rome of the Far East.

The Han were overrun by the same barbarian invasions that swept out of central Asia to destroy Rome, and Han city life, like that of Rome, almost disappeared. In China, however, the recovery came sooner. Under the Sui (589-907) a sophisticated urban culture developed that was equaled only ( if at all) by the Eastern Empire capital , Constantinople. The capital of the Sui, and later of the T’ang, was Changan. [ End part one of accredited handout]



This time many Buddhist temples incorporate the city.  To a lesser extent, Daoist monasteries incorporate the city. Also, Manichean, Nestorian, Mazdean temples incorporate the city. People, including employees of the government, live in rectangular wards. Each ward was a self-contained unit surrounded by walls, with entry provided through a gate that was closed each night.

End: Misrule, court intrigues, economic exploitation, and popular rebellions weakened the empire, making it possible for northern invaders to terminate the dynasty in 907. The next half-century saw the fragmentation of China into five northern dynasties and ten southern kingdoms.

Surveillance in Chang'an, the city was opposite of what it was like in the middle ages for the west. The people in the middle ages who were fortunate to escape feudalistic masters/mistresses could hid in the cities, whereas in Chang'an this was the place of most surveillance and governmental control. Chinese who were dissatisfied with the political situation escaped north to the mountains and or further to the Mongols/Huns ( barbarians) descendants that did not migrate or new dissenters of the north.

What made Tang successful was that it was finally opened for this period in their history to Indian and west influence. Among the most numerous foreigners were the Koreans, of whom some 8,000 were said to be in Chang’an in 630 A.D. Traders who were foreigners who did not live but visited regularly on their business trips were from Iran,, India, Syria and Arabia.  The people and government wanted this city to be a modal to other up-and -coming regions for future city builders.

The games they played included polo that originated in Persia. Women were free during this time to participate with the men in games and positions. This will last only during this period - when the new dynasty will shut the women out of everything forcing in suppressive rules that prevail in post-Tang times.

The emperor Wen Ti, founder of the Sui dynasty, chose the site for Changan very carefully. It was close enough to the imperial cities of the Han dynasty to remind people of past glories, but it was distant enough to be distinct [they rebuilt over the land].

The [new version] city was built from scratch. Laid out in a rectangular grid plan with the streets running exactly north-south and east-west, it was the fitting center of the world for the Son of Heaven. At its fullest development under the T’ and in the eight century the city contained about one million inhabitance inside the walls and another one million inhabitances  outside. Ts life and its inhabitance were varied as any city in the world. But everything – even the business of the poorest street sweeper or most foreign merchant – was directed toward the pleasure of the emperor and his court.

No buildings in Changan were built from we call “civic pride.” Building and rebuilding were first of all at the initiative of the imperial family, which commanded the resources and could confiscate and relocate property at will… Officials in their public role would frequently petition for funds to build or remodel a particular bureau or to dig a canal. But they argued for these projects in terms of improving the efficiency of the imperial administration, not in terms of civic pride or “civic improvement.” Although we read much and pleasures of the great, of their ball-fields and archery halls, there is no mention of any such facilities for the populace. Philanthropy expressed itself, through the Buddhist temples with their charitable functions, but the “bread and circus” of Rome and Constantinople are not to be found. Nor is there anything comparable to the forums, public baths and arcades built by the Roman emperors for the pleasure and convenience of the citizenry. The residents of the city were not “citizens” but the emperor’s subjects. This was reflected in the layout of the city, in its administration and in its functioning….There was neither mayor nor city council, and there was no charter.  The city and its populace were controlled by the throne thorough officials of the imperial bureaucracy.2.

Instead of neighborhoods, there were districts administered by imperial appointee. Laws forbade the construction of housing facing the main avenues. The gates of each district were closed at sundown and no one was allowed out on the avenues until the drums were beaten in the morning. Any commoner who crossed the wall of a district or entered an official compound without authorization was to be punished with 70 lashes. The large east and west market areas were also strictly regulated: opened at noon, closed at sundown; activity, transactions, and prices checked and regulated.

The Chinese imperial city was to be treated, according to at least one edict at Changan, as the “ Mansion of the Emperor.” Not only the palaces and imperial offices and gardens, but the whole city was the emperor’s preserve. Chagan might have made even Rome look like a freewheeling city-state by comparison. [ end part II of handout accreditation]






The time on the throne


Gao Zu

Li Yuan


The first emperor of Tang Dynasty, obtained the throne by rebelling from Sui dynasty. First Zoroastrian temple built is Ch'ang-an (621)

Tai Zong

Li Shimin


635: First Nestorian Christian missionary arrives in Ch'ang-an (Eastern church; declared heretical in 431, that within Jesus are two distinct persons, divine and human, rather than a single divine person) Matthaeus Ricci, having arrived in China ri. One of the greatest emperors in Chinese history, his era is called "Flourishing Age".

Gao Zong

Li Zhi


A handpicked emperor, so that his wife Wu (Zhao|Wu Chao) Zetian had a chance to become first empress of China. She was one of Taizong’s concubines who won his affection.

Zhong Zong

Li Xian


A puppet emperor, controlled by his mother Wu Zetian. Just 54 days on the throne, then exempted.

Rui  Zong

Li Dang


Another puppet emperor, was exempted in 690AD by his mother Wu Zetian

Wu Hou (Zhao)

[Wu Chao]

Wu Zetian


694: Manicheism comes to China. 656: Defeat of Western Turks The only female ruler in Chinese history; changed Tang dynasty into “New  Zhou" This  period was the  furthest the   empire reached. She believed she was the reincarnation of Maitreya. She ordered temples to set up places (sutra [Ta-yün-ching) proclaiming that a prophecy of a women ruler would rule 700 years after the passing of the Buddah. 659 she compiled listed families according to official rank and not birth. Changed political process by favoring looks and pedigree that favored the wellborn to departments in government. Bad decisions for a person representing the first women in power, but neither was Qin Haung-di a model citizen.  She made constant fighting between the Tibatens. Cold not conquer Korea even though it was unified and could of fell to an outside power. Said to have kept 40,000 horses in the royal stables.

Zhong Zong

Li Xian


Wu Zetian 80 ys, Li Xian coup recovered the name "Tang"

Shang Zong

Li Chongmao


The son of Li Xian, but in fact, he never thronged. In some history books, he is not listed as a emperor of Tang

Rui Zong

Li Dang


The second time be the emperor of Tang copying the  command by his son Li Longji. One year later, he abdicated the throne to Longji. Wu Daozi ( Wu Tao-tzu) the most admired of the Tang painters once was said that after painting scenery on a wall that he tried to walk through thought it. Polarization of two parties as is in great civilizations at their peaks.

Xuan Zong

Li Longji


Period of achievement with its pinnacle.  Civil Rebellions and the legendary battle of Talas with Islam: As a result of this battle, Paper making spreads to the Abbasid Empire and the Tang begin  to decline. Landscape painting came into its own. Horse painting a major theme – Han Gan (han Kan) , probably the greatest of the Tang horse painters, served at Xuanzong’s court. Significance: reformation fo coinage, repair and extension of grand canal and the implication of land registration program. 736 Chief Minister Li Linfu became virtual dictator (d. 752).

Su Zong

Li Heng


During "the Rebellion of An and Shi", Xuan Zong abdicated to his son Li Heng. After putting the rebellion down, the time that eunuches domineered began. 755-763: Rebellion of An Lu-shan. Tibetans raid the capital of Ch'ang-an

Dai Zong

Li Yu


The chaos caused by war was being recuperated in the era of Dai Zong.

De Zong

Li Shi


The Era of Resurgence began. Tax Reform: the equal field system is abandoned. Looting of Canton (879)

Shun Zong

Li Song


Due to obstacle of speaking, Li Song just had been the emporer of Tang for six months.

Xian Zong

Li Chun


The son of Li Song, a intelligent emporer. He was murdered by several eunuches.

Mu Zong

Li Heng


Same English name as Li Heng (Su Zong), they are two emperors, different Chinese names.

Jing Zong

Li Chen


When this young emperor was killed by the eunuchs, he was just 18.

Wen Zong

Li Ang


A wise emperor, but since Event of Dew, a plan to eliminate the eunuchs who controlled the government, failed, he was put under house arrest and died in a depression. The official texts of the Confucian classics is engraved on stones (839). Uighur empire defeated (840)

Wu Zong

Li Chan(Yan)


One of the three famous emperors in Chinese history who prohibited Buddhism.

Xuan Zong

Li Yi(Chen)



Yi Zong

Li Huai


Rebellions spread out.

Xi Zong

Li Huan


The biggest rebellion in Tang broke out. The leaders were Wang Xianzhi and Huang Chao. Although the rebel was put down at last, Tang dynasty had been the edge of ruin.

Zhao Zong

Li Hua


Finally, the eunuchs were killed  by general Zhu Quanzong, who also killed emperor Zhao Zong.

Ai Zong

Li Zuo


Zhu Quanzong obtained the throne from Ai Zong, and changed the dynasty into Da Liang(later Liang). Tang dynasty ended.

[Yifan table of rulers and some commentary] 

Continues war, values upturned, and cultural eclipses. Buddhism introduced, North Chona overrun by barbarians (Mongols), caused cultural mixing.



(960-1279 A.D)

  1. Continues cultural growth for China.
  2. Song invents paper money. Mass production of flyers and entire books.
  3. Money printed. This will cause inflation for some rulers who have not worked with the concept of backing currency with a commodity.
  4. Paper Money first used in the U.S. and France during their revolutionary periods.
  5. Taught orderly society. Expanded the practice and refines of Confucianism.

How China works: The model was that in order to gain power you must use it a take the government by force. Afterwards, you must use for to stay in power. Here, like many western civilization at their falling stage became too politically correct and piece movement decimated the defense force of their civilizations making it possible for outside forces to come in and take over. This was for the song dynasty as well. For the only country at that time who possibly knew how to handle the Mongols because of centuries fighting their ancestors were ill-prepared due to extreme Confucianism practices. The entire civilization was practicing passim. Like many left-wingers in western civilization call for absolutely No- War. this in history has shown us that once you let your defensive guards down someone will exploit it and take you as a slave.

One major mistake the Chinese made is not employing gun powder to defend themselves against the Mongols. With the invention of gun powder Confucianism made world colonization unattractive. They easily could have taken over the world with this, then unknown technological advance. The mere fact that they liked staying to themselves in history plays out in many periods of their history.

Another mistake was that when the scholars were bashing the leaders in print, the leaders looked to Genghis as an escape rout and a hired mercenary army to enact order to keep themselves in power. This is the same policies that later Egyptian rulers who turned to foreigners to fight their internal battles and Romans as well with hiring the Goths. This never seems to work out in the long run.

Wu = Power

Confucianism test: "How to be a nice guy."

Wen = Culture

scholars criticized officials which split the public support. The balance of the equation of Wu=Went teeter-tottering in society. This brought about the Song’s Yellow Turban revolt. Another proof for Chinese historians speak about religious fractions making plays on inciting Chinese society to over through the corrupt leaders in office.

Body practices of deforming for cosmetic cases began that will not end until 20th Century ( 1950s some cases still exist).

Girls who are 4-5 years old have their feet bound to deform the arch of the foot. this practice bends the bones and is very painful. But the men insisted upon this. Reason: make the women’s feet look attractive.

Later rules apply that women cannot marry unless her feet are deformed this way. This also compounds many difficulties for societies. First the women become immobile; too much pain to do work in the fields or a prolonged labor job. Infections, diseases and social problems become evident by 1950s that this practice finally becomes outlawed. This forces women to stay home and is used as a status symbol later by the ladies and their female slaves. If a lady cannot walk she must ask her husband to buy a slave or a servant to do the chores and rune errands. Significantly this puts a stop to women creativities pushing her further to the position of home dweller; Oil production out passes Britain during industrial revolution. Tarin Basin.

6. Natural gas production. Chinese began impact drilling. Takes years but is successful. Ten years to go down three thousand feet. Hold the gas in bamboo pipes. These will be used to heat up pans of water to separate salt. Salt trade and taxes play heavy part in society.

7. Salt tax invented for profit gaining. “Everyone need salt, we can fill up our coffers," say the politicians. The salt tax idea by the French was obtained by interest in the Chinese system. " Heah! This tax system for profit works great," say the politicians in the French control at this time.

8. Introduction of restaurants.

9. Expanding cities, population growth, living for luxuries, and making fine furniture, jade, silk products and other marvelous works during this period.

10. During Song dynasties ministries developed. First in world. ( Western first was Napoleon and France after-  ministries)

1279 the Mongols come storming in to China

Greatest Point:

1. Under Genghis Khan conquers the world.

2. Attempts on Japan twice fail: Takes parts of Vietnam, Northern India and Java Islands ( Indonesian islands).

3. Methods of recruiting followers. Join or die.

Premiere Location: Gobi Desert in what is now Outer Mongolia.

4. Psychological rationalization of Genghis: His father was murdered by another rival tribe and mother enslaved then murdered. grows up with revenge in heart.

5. Born c. 1160's

6. Genghis Khan was perhaps one of the greatest military innovators in human history, and his army consisted of perhaps the best-trained horsemen in all of human history. Method: ground troops cannot defeat speed and mobility. All soldiers on horseback.

7. When Genghis Khan died, Mongol armies were poised to conquer Hungary, Germany, and Egypt which they would have accomplished had not their leader died.

8. The Mongolian Empire was perhaps the largest empire in human history in terms of geographical expanse.

9. When Genghis Khan died in 1227, he had just finished conquering the northern city of Beijing. By 1241, the Mongols had conquered all of northern China.

10. China: Mongols passively adopted Taoism which remained vital throughout China's peoples, and Confucianism continued.

11. Religion: Kublai Khan allowed Nestorian Christians and Roman Catholics to set up missions, as well as Tibetan lamas, Muslims, and Hindus in China.

12. The Yuan period, in fact, is one of vital cultural transmission between China and the rest of the world. Europe formally met China during the reign of Kublai Khan with the arrival of Marco Polo, an Italian adventurer, who served as an official in Kublai's court from 1275-1291 (Chempire).

13. Yuan dynasty: Beijing  1264 -  fall of the dynasty in 1368.

14. Massive Yellow river re-direction by massive flood in 1340's; this brought famine.

15. End: Finally, a peasant, Chu Yuan-chang, led a rebel army against the Yuan. He had lost most of his family in the famine, and had spent part of his life as a monk and then as a bandit leader. He took Beijing in 1368 and the Yuan emperor fled to Shangtu. When he drove the Yuan from Shangtu back to Mongolia, he declared himself the founder of a new dynasty: the Ming (1369-1644).


Mongols Take China



  1. The Mongols at first went berserk, burning, genocide, corps cooking.
  2. Islam introduced.
  3. Christian ministries introduced.
  4. Pope tries sending treaties not to tackle Europe.
  5. He tries to appease the Mongols. Doesn't work. His plans backfire giving them plans of who are who and where to begin attacks in Europe.

In 1260, Kublai Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, became Great Khan. Kubli Khan takes over China and establishes he capital called Khanbalik. This was his residence (Forbidden City). Later this place will become Beijing (Peking which means northern city).

At first stories of Kublai Khan's war strategies are as horrific as any macabre storytelling. Bodies piled up in cities and set afire to the fat melted spilling into a river of fire flowing down streets. The word barbarians take a new meaning. After Kublai had established his controlled instead of taking all the wealth, in which his soldiers now owned, he decided to slowly adopt Chinese political structures and political theories. He became a benevolent leader. He wanted to know about as much of the world culture that he could get his hands on. This meant receiving foreigners into his court. Also, the major theme that plays out in the over through of the Mongols, even though the life is benevolent is that Kublai employed foreigners to rule China instead of his men. this was because he men had no ideas of what politics were. He employed Tibetans, Koreans and even Muslims and later, even, Europeans. This in the future angers many southern Chinese who revolt later in obvious reason of pride itself rule.

Forbidden City was a magnificent palace complex for Kublai. An architectural achievement with elements of Arabic, Mongolian, western Asian, and Chinese architectural styles; Proof that the Mongolians were no more than mere raiders the inner city had a large space for the tents where the Mongols were at home living as if they never left the Gobi Plateau.

it also contained a playing field for Mongolian horsemanship and training for the young.

 An architectural triumph, the Forbidden City contained elements of Arabic, Mongolian, western Asian, and Chinese architectural styles; it also contained a vast area of Mongolian nomadic tents and a playing field for Mongolian horsemanship. The Forbidden City of Kublai Khan, then, was in many ways a protected sanctuary of Mongolian culture.

Mongol Khan Ögödei, reformed the financial administration along the lines of its Chinese form. In 1271, Kublai Khan adopted a Chinese dynastic name, and in 1315, under the Emperor Ayurbarwada (Jen-tsung, 1311-1320), the civil service examination was reinstituted. All of these indicate a steady Chinese influence upon Mongolian rule. At the same time, the Mongols chose not to impose their own pastoral lifestyle, social structure, or religion on the Chinese (Hooker).

Mongol time: There were huge amounts of people now in China and harbors and ships were great. This was another significance in that if the Chinese chose to could have mounted a world-wide colonialism campaign before anyone else in history. the phrase land of the rising sun comes from the Mongolian era. Form the shores of China Japan does seem to be the Land of the Rising Sun. Pope sends other monks, some connected to Tibet. No appeasement granted by Mongols. Italian merchants after Polo is released and proven want to begin the serious trade with the east. the Chinese really wanted to be left alone.

Great bridges and canals worked on during this period. temples and palaces erected. Tile roofs, but covered in gold leaf are reported by westerners. Great wealth after ceasing much booty of Asia.

a) Compass created in China

b) Chow main brought back by Polo

c) Gun powder

d) Printing concepts brought back to Europe

·         1326 Roman Catholic Bishop in Beijing to convert the Chinese and Mongols to Christianity. Has minimal success. The travels of Sir. John Manderville talked about the Chinese and how to get their by way of Artic ocean (Chicago University). Mongols, who are illiterate, must employ foreigners as they do not trust Chinese to rule along side them.

·         West: Salt, fabrics make there way to Europe.

·         Mid thirteen hundreds Silk Road troubles. Mongols have control of the entire regions of the road.

·         1331-54 Bubonic Plague begins in central Asia. Rats that are bitten by mosquitoes infected with the bacillus spread by Silk Road into Europe. First it infects Russia and Asia.

White Lotus Society:

Zhu Yuanzhang, a common peasant and poor who worked like a day laborer, not quite all there mentally begin the revolt of the Yaun dynasty. He was a manic depressive and was known to fits of anger as a bi-polar disease. He gets people to pick up sticks and stones who march on leaders.

Zhu Yuanzhang takes control and begins to rule 1386-98

Chinese rulers always take new names like the Egyptians did. Hongwu = Great power.

He liberated China, along with it brings  the Ming Dynasty.

Tears down Khanbalik and builds Beijing (Peking) He is good to the peasants, but rules with an iron fist. He gets China back on tract.  He establishes native Chinese back into the administrations of the land. Lowers taxes, improves roads and canals. Begins building large sections of the Great Wall to keep out the barbarians a concurrent theme now recognized in China. Arab financiers begin to print money in which the emperors didn’t contemplate inflation which will soon happen.

1300 start building new ship designs; first in the world to have rudders. Ships now have primitive cannons on them. Fifty years before Europeans begin to start exploration china is equipped with the technology but Confucianism rules their beliefs and they say why bother in exploration. Remember China is vast in its self. Significance is that they missed a grand opportunity. Still Arab ports set up on Laos and Vietnam and southern China began to trade heavily with the west. The Chinese rulers keep this silenced from the population and call it tribute when trying to explain all the income coming in from the outside world.

Pre Ming:

New Heights in Chinese Culture.

A Ming Vase is worth beaucoup bucks. Porcelain is the premičre pottery in the world. Like thin glass, this pottery was widely cherished in the world: Shipped on sea and on the Silk Road to the west. This was good trade for the Chinese and was extremely lucrative.

Carving of jade; silk embroidery so fine that the forbidden stitch has a term in history. the women who had to make the forbidden stitch, it is called because ones eyes must be extremely close to the work to do the job, became blind. This was outlawed later. Many became blind early in life working this trade.

Ming in tombs

This is the dynasty that the Europeans began to start arriving in bulk for trade.

Chinese despise the Mongols because they cannot administer and are illiterate and make foreigners rule in their place.  Revolts began in the south of China in 1368. After a while this becomes a open revolt. Many Buddhist take part as is on par in all cyclic Chinese dynastic changes. ( religious and scholars in cite the general populous to overthrows the current administrations. the powerful lie in waiting to begin new dynasty - lower taxes to placate masses).



Work Cited:

Chicago University.  East Asian History Sourcebook: Chicago University.

Chinese Accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East, c. 91 B.C.E. - 1643 C.E. <> 2004.

Hooker  Richard The Chinese Empire. 1996. The Mongolian Empire: the Yuan.

<> 2004.

Travel China Guide Sui Dynasty  February 20, 2004

< > 2004

Yifan Tang Dynasty  May 25th, 1997

<> 2004

China’s First Rock Band.

Poetry: Search three hundred Tang Poems

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