The Tang Dynasty lasted for nearly 300 years, beginning in 618 A. D. , China was reunited, and ending in 907 A. D. Their emperor Li Yuan, who later became emperor of Gaozu, had a son named Tang Taizong. Tang Taizong helped form the Dynasty into the largest, richest, and most centralized government of that time. Tang Taizong’s reign as emperor, lasted from 627 A. D to 649 A. D. He formed a very strong central government and perfected the civil service examination. He greatly promoted foreign trade and agriculture. China’s bureaucracy was restored, the population expanded, many technological advances, and achievements in the arts.
In China during this time period, there was a huge social change. The emperor was in control of all military affairs and the scholars of Confucianism would advice the emperor. The scholars were chosen through the civil service examination. Tang divided the civil service examination into two subjects, Changju and Zhiju. Changju formed many subjects for the classes that study Confucianism and Zhiju had no “fixed” subjects and wasn’t held often. This helped bring out the best out of the civil service examination. People had more of an opportunity to strengthen their selves to become officials of their preference.
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The more talented the person was, the higher the chance to participate in the administration of the empire, so, there was much competition. Non-Chinese even served in the Tang government and both central-Asian merchants and Japanese served as high officials in what is now, Vietnam. The Silk Road stretched from India to China. Merchants, entertainers, monks, and many diverse people traveled along this trading route to China. Indians influenced China with astronomy, Turkey influenced China with clothing, Persia influenced China with there textile-patterns and metal craft and horses and the religion, Buddhism, came from Central Asia.
The Tang Officials were disciplined in Confucianism and thought that Buddhism was a disruption in China. Buddhism started falling and Confucianism became more popular. The Grand Canal was also another important trade route between northern and southern China. Chinese art was flourishing. Some of the arts were those who were silver smiths, potters, painters, and craftsmen, and some objects used/that were made were, cups, plates, and other porcelains. Museums today, have a glimpse of what the Tang life was like from ceramic tomb figures that the Chinese made during the Tang Dynasty.
When a loved one would die, the Chinese would place wood or clay figurines of humans and animals wherever the deceased one was buried. These figurines are also referred to as ming-ch’i (ming-chee), which means “spirit articles. ” The “spirit articles” would protect the deceased in the afterlife. Some figurines were soldiers, horses, servants, musicians, tomb guardians, camels, and models of things that were used in everyday life. Block printing was invented also. The Tang Dynasty is known for being the “Golden age of Chinese Poetry. ” Many of the poets would express how they felt during the Tang Dynasty, emotions, and real life.
Li Bai is one of the most famous Chinese poets. His poems are still printed to this day, and are even in the textbooks in Chinese schools. The capital in the Tang Dynasty, Chang’an, became the richest city. Chang’an consisted of three parts, which were the palace, the imperial city, and the outer city. Each was separated by large strong walls. Unfortunately, in 649, Tang Taizong died and the Tang Dynasty started to fall apart. The emperor, Xuanzong (712-756) took reign in 712 A. D. Xuanzong was a great patron of the arts and religion. He effected military reforms and strengthened the state.
His love for the concubine Yang Guifei influenced the emperor to enable her to appoint certain relatives positions in court. One of which, was named An Lushan. An Lushan became very powerful and formed a very large army. In 755 A. D. he took advantage of his power and army by using it to rebel against the court. His rebellion is what marked the beginning of the Fall of the Tang Dynasty. Lushan and his army marched to Chang’an and caused Xuanzong and his court to leave. Lushan’s soldiers forced him to execute Yang Guifei. Lushan died after a few years of the rebellion, and the warfare he caused, lasted till 763 A.
D. The central government weakened tremendously; challenged by the military governors in the provinces. In 907, the Tang Dynasty declined and in my opinion, the Dynasty decline because the military held too much power. Bibliography “Tang Dynasty. ” (1998-2005) Online. July 22, 2005 “Tang Dynasty. ” (1998-2005) Online. July 22, 2005 < http://www. travelchinaguide. com/intro/history/tang/> “Tang Dynasty. ” (2000-2002) Online. July 22, 2005 “Chinese Cultural Studies: Concise Political History of China” (August 1995) Online. July 22, 2005 “China, Technology and Change. “(August 1995) Online. July 22, 2005