The Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasty
Song Rise: They rose after the Tang Dynasty. Three states newly emerged (Lao, Minyak and the Song empire, which formed in 960).
Song Peak: In the year 1111. They were advanced in terms of technology and their army.
Song Fall: They fell due to military attacks from the Jin during 1279.
(Song) Women: Women could become educated and could oversee their husband’s property. Women couldn’t remarry if their husband died or divorced them. Modest education made women desirable for noblemen. During the Song dynasty, footbinding became popular.
Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368)
Yuan Rise: In 1271, Kublai declared himself the ruler and founder of the Yuan Empire, after trying to say he was the Great Khan of the Mongols. When others disagreed to accept him as such he moved to the old Jin capital (currently Beijing).
Yuan Peak: The Yuan prospered during their sea trade and maritime activities. Their ships reached as far as the Red Sea coast and the Persian Gulf.
Yuan Fall: The Yuan started to fall due to revolts and farmer rebellions, as well as feuds with the Mongols. Zhu Yuanzhang created a campaign that brought down the Yuan Empire and brought China under his new empire, the Ming.
(Yuan) Women: women were expected to serve her husband and children, despite having more freedom compared to women in earlier Chinese empires. They divided herding work with men.
Ming Rise: Zhu Yuanzhang founded the empire in 1368.
Ming Peak: During late 1300s and 1400s, the Ming obtained achievements in literature, arts and painting. There was high demand for porcelain, silk and furniture.
Ming Fall: They suffered economic issues from the lack of silver. Peasant uprisings and natural disasters led to their decline, and Manchu attacks were the final blow to the empire (1618 Manchu conquest for China began with the transition of the Ming to the Qing empire).
(Ming) Women: Women primarily had roles of kinship, like mother, daughter, sister etc. In those roles, women weren’t allowed to engage in the situations, needs and wishes of closely related men. They weren’t allowed to engage with men often. Most were confined to their homes. If a woman bore too many girls, she would have to leave them to die.
Private academies trained men for examinations and became influential in culture. Test results greatly influenced a man’s life; either giving him a good life or leaving him bankrupt.
They had a very large army. Commanders were examined on military subjects (often related to foreign policy) and educated for their tasks to lead. Monarchy. Centralized bureaucracy.
Confucianism and Buddhism. Examination tests were based on Confucianism classics.
They were advanced in medicine, mathematics and astronomy, derived from the Tang.
Advanced seafaring and sailing. They also had pre industrial technology. They also had the Junk.
They had iron and mining production. Increasing amount of land and agriculture became popular. With this came the rise of health problems and disease. The Song had the idea of credit, which they called “flying money.” They also had paper money.
Most people lived in the countryside (90%). Servitude and homelessness was common among farmers. Many people fell subject to the Black Death.
They used many ideas from Chinese government and society.
Buddhism and Confucianism. Also had Muslim scholars.
Had Muslim scholars and calendars. They also encouraged medicine production
Thought of doctors as technicians. Had gunpowder and used irrigation systems. Huang Dap Po brought ideas of cotton growing, spinning and weaving.
They counted their population often and collected taxes. Presence of merchants.
About 100 million people in 1400. Strict towards foreign visitors. They cut off relations with Central Asia & the Middle East.
The empire was militarily formidable and highly centralized. Used examinations to recruit government officials.
Buddhism and Confucianism.
Wealth and consumerism led to advancements in certain fields such as literature and painting. Had calendars.
Nice architecture (the Forbidden City in Nanjing, China). Made steel and bronze for weapons. They also made steel swords. Weaving peaked in 1500. They also advanced in porcelain.
They replaced paper money with silver for tax payments and commerce (an anti-Mongol idea). Proved to not last. They grew commercial crops. Goods in high demand included porcelain, silk,& furniture.