The tang state, Humanities

The Tang State

Northern Wei 4th to 6th century. Semi-nomadic rulers initiated the process towards unification, not rulers in the south. Domestic management patterns: strengthened central authority, undermined local power. They had semi-Nomadic Taba hun is alien presence; therefore, they had to work hard to gain legitimacy. They adopted Confucian bureaucratic system . . . voluntarily became synocized is the key. Adopted Buddhism is the close relation between it and secular ruler.

Rule of Avoidance Three years is the max number of years of official can govern a place. Therefore, it is a constant move. Official cannot appoint own subordinates. Officials cannot appoint their own subordinates.

Juntian or Equal Field System "Nationalization of agricultural land" Established Edicts  of 485 and 486. Emperor has right to any unclaimed land, which is Edict of 485. It can borrow land from emperor.

Decree of 486-organization of "fives" provided clear-cut system of organization. Five is the magic number: five neighbors equal to five villages - this is the key because it allowed for easy census. N.Wei fell because of constant fighting with Northerners.

Sui Unification 589 Unified all of China. It was founded by Sui Wendi (Yang Jian). He rebuilt Great Wall and Grand Canal. Two major rivers were Yellow River in north and Yangtze River in south, and they flowed from west to east. It provided transportation and stretched over 1000 miles. It is easier to access to stable food supply because south is big producer of rice. It relieved population pressure because Southern China at time was still largely unsettled. Therefore, many northerners came south to farm land. It eroded public support because it necessarily required many of conscription to work.

The Grand Canal rebuilt by Sui Wendi. A series of artificial waterways. The most elaborate project undertaken during Sui dynasty completed under Sui Yangdi. It facilitated trade between northern and southern China, particularly made the abundant supplies of rice and other food from Yangzi River available to northern regions. It established economic foundation for political and cultural unity in China. Served as the principle conduit for internal trade. It eroded public support.

Tang Bureaucracy Fall of Sui led to Tang Dynasty (618-906). It was at its expansion peak, expanding to Korea and Tibet. It adopted infrastructure from Sui and Tabahan. When the head of household dies, family can keep fifth of land as inheritance. It has reasonable or manageable taxes that encouraged people to register because there's more incentive to pay tax than not. Especially professional meritocracy, strict exam system and they had to write essays that produced professional bureaucrats. It was well-structured bureaucracy that continued to run state despite conflicts at top of pyramid. It had moral absolutism, which meant final decision falls on emperor. Therefore, they worked well with emperor who was conscientious but not so well with others.

Jinshi Examination system move towards establishment of a highly structured and professional meritocracy - you had to take an exam.

Emperor Taizong (626-649) was the second Tang emperor who killed two brothers and forced father to abdicate. He was known for resolve and decisiveness and practical imperatives of ruling - he listened to advisors or objectivity.

Moral Absolutism Taizong: everything collapses on the figure of the emperor. Diligent emperor can bring positive changes. Absolute power on inept emperor doesn't work. Stratified society.

Emperor Xuanzong (713-756) an emperor who had life in Tang Palace.

Yang Guifei Xuanzong's favorite concubine who loved lychees. Taizong listened to his ministers, and really want to make sure he brought in unbiased bureaucrats but Xianzong was very steeped in the arts, opera, music, poetry than ruling the states. Thousands of palace women tug of war. Tang notion of beauty: triple layers of chin, and the more beautiful women known for playing polo. Yang Gufei was in Japan, and rebellion broke out. As they were escaping, there was mutiny among palace guards who demanded emperor to kill Yang Gufei.

An Lushan Rebellion (755) was under frontier commander who was mutiny under palace guards who forced emperor (70) to kill Yang Gufei (38). Therefore, he strangled himself to death. 

Empress Wu instituted Buddhism more. After husband passed away, wives had to spend the rest of their lives at a monastery. First husband was Taizong, who died, and she went o the monastery where Gaozong saw her...had an affair when she was still married (with Gaozong's son.)

North Gate Scholars private brain trust of scholars who advised Empress Wu on policy and drafted state papers. Their offices were outside the north gate of the palace.

12-Point Memorial under empress Wu, calling for encouragement of agriculture, the reduction of government expense and the burdens of taxes and labor services, the promotion "all long-serving officials whose talent was greater than their rank" the encouragement of the expression of opinion to the throne.

Xue Huaiyi of White Horse Monastery Xue Huaiyi of White Horse Monastery: Empress Wu lover, who rose by attaching himself to Wu's drive to power. his case captures the degree to which people gain power through their affairs with Empress Wu.

Posted Date: 2/28/2013 1:49:37 AM | Location : United States

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