ChAPTER 17 -- Part 5: Reunification and Renaissance in
Class, age, and gender distinctions were reinforced by the neo-Confucian emphasis on rank, obligation, deference, and traditional rituals.
The authority of the patriarch of the Chinese household was compared to that of the male emperor of the Chinese people.
The neo-Confucians argued that if men and women kept to their places, there would be social harmony and prosperity.
They believed that historical experience was the best way to navigate the future.
The weakness they showed in the face of the Khitan challenge encouraged other nomadic peoples to carve out kingdoms on the northern borders of the Song domain.
The resources of the empire and Song were drained by the tribute that the Song had to pay to the southern kingdoms to protect their northern borders.
The cost of the army was burdensome.
The size of the army was a good indicator of the productivity of the Tangut people.
In the 11th century, it was larger than other civilizations from kingdom to western Europe.
The Song elite for the military took a toll due to the emphasis on civil administration and the growing disdain for resources.
The command peasantry of the Song armies was large.
Funds needed to upgrade weapons or repair fortifications were often diverted to the court and gentry.
Horseback riding and hunting that had preoccupied earlier rulers and their courtiers went out of fashion while painting and poetry were cultivated at the court and among the ruling classes.
Wang ran the government on the basis of the Legalist assumption that an energetic based on Legalists could greatly increase the resources and strength of the dynasty.
cheap loans and government-assisted irrigation projects were introduced to encourage agricultural expansion.
The landlord and scholarly classes were taxed because they had excused themselves from military service.
The Postclassical Period, 600-1450: New Faith and New Commerce increased revenue to establish well-trained mercenary forces to replace armies that had been conscripted from the untrained and unwilling peasantry.
Wang tried to reorganize university education.
The reformers stressed analytical thinking over the memorization of the classics that had been the key to success.
The emperor died in 1085 and his successor favored the conservative groups in northern China.
Song was forced to flee to the south after the neo-Confucians reversed most of the Yellow river basin.
As a result, peasant unrest grew throughout the empire.
The threat from beyond the northern borders of the empire was too much for the Kingdom north of the Song tary.
The Jin kingdom annexed most of the Yellow River basin after successful invasions of Song territory.
The Song dynasty was able to survive for another century and a half because of the anchor of the Yangzi River basin.
It was one of the most glorious reigns in Chinese history, and perhaps in the history of humankind.
A major shift in the population balance within Chinese civilization led to the renewed urban attention given to canal building by the Sui emperors and the Tang rulers.
The great river systems were essential to China's agricultural base innovations.
overland travel was slow and difficult when it was built in the 7th century.
The transport of bulk dynasty was expensive because it was designed to link the original goods.
The increase of the popula centers of Chinese civilization in the southern regions of the Han and Six Dynasties period made it necessary to improve north China plain with the Yangtze communications between north and south.
More and more of the emperor's subjects lived in the southern regions.
The south had surpassed the north in both crop production and population by late Tang and early Song times.
The southern regions were intended to be controlled by courts, bureaucrats, and armies from ancient imperial centers in the north.
The canal made it possible to move grain from the south to the capital and food from the south to the north in times of famine.
The canal construction was something that Yangdi was obsessed with.
More than a million forced laborers had worked on the Grand Canal by the time it was finished.
The canal system was an engineering achievement that was as impressive as the northern wall.
Most stretches of the canal were 40 paces wide and lined with willow trees.
The building of the canal system in central Asia helped to promote commercial expansion in the Tang and Song eras.
The overland silk routes between China and Persia were reopened after Tang control was extended into central Asia.
Tang control promoted exchanges between China and Buddhist centers in the nomadic lands of central Asia as well as with the Islamic world farther west.
Fine silk textiles, porcelain, and paper were exported to the centers of Islamic civilization while horses, Persian rugs, and tapestries passed to China along these routes.
In the Han era, China exported mostly manufactured goods to overseas areas, such as southeast Asia, and imported mainly luxury products.
Chinese merchants and sailors carried Chinese trade overseas in the late Tang and Song times.
They had gunpowder-propelled rudders, compasses, and bamboo rockets for self-defense.
Chinese sailors and merchants became the dominant force in the Asian seas east of the Malayan peninsula.
The market quarters found in all cities and major towns show the increased role of commerce and money in Chinese life.
These were filled with shops that sold products from far away, such as regional centers of artisan production, and trade centers as distant as the Mediterranean.
Merchants specializing in products of the same kind banded together in guilds to promote their interests with local officials and to regulate competition, as the Tang and Song governments supervised the hours and marketing methods in these centers.