Song Dynasty 960 - 1279 CE

by Jared and Luis

POLITICS

The rulers of the Song Dynasty China without an army because they believed that the way to rule was to have a well trained government not army. They appointed government leaders with a civil service system. With the civil service it would be about ability no about what family you came from or how wealthy you are. The people had to study for years to prepare to be able to know the test. There were two types or periods of the Song dynasty and those are the Northern Song and Southern Song. These are different eras where placed capitals in different areas. First came the Northern Song which stared with a general rebelling against his king and started his own dynasty though they did not control as much land as the Tang Empire before them they instituted successful policies and won their wars of expansion. After the War against the Liao Empire the Jurchens which the Northern Song allied with turned against the Song and captured the capital and founded the Jin Empire and made it their capital. The other members of the Song made a new capital and became the Southern Song and a new period of prosperity began. The most important goal of the Song was foreign trade and the built merchant ships, seaports and with this they needed protection so the created a navy to protect the areas of water and trade. They defeated the attacks of the Jin empire partly for they had a better navy. The second great mistake they made was allying with the Mongols to attack the Jin Empire and this was a mistake due to similar problems with the Jurchens to attack the Liao Empire. The Mongols captured the Song this way. With the Northern tribes there was one the Khitans the Song had to pay them money to keep them from attacking and soon since they paid most of there money for building projects they had to raise taxes which left poor to suffer. The Mongols followed the grred of wanting to control the whole region they defeated the Jin Empire and more until there was nothing left to conquer instead of the Song, so after two decades of fighting the Song capital was taken and in three more years the rest of the empire ended in 1279 CE
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This is a painting of how the Song Dynasty set up the civil service exam.

ECONOMICS

During the Song Dynasty many occupations were important. They were the most advanced in technology so inventors and scientists were important in their time. The population grew rapidly so farmers had to grow crops well and efficiently to be able to feed all to China. Trading greatly increased in the Song Dynasty with silk and iron so iron miners were important as well as farmers again. Last, sailors were imported because a lot of trading was done with Japan and they needed sailors to get the goods to Japan to trade. They also traded with their northern rivals. This may sound weird but they traded and a symbol of peace. They gave the The Khitans, Jurchens, and Mongols iron and silk in trade for no invasions. Lastly, they traded with India for their cotton and spices. This was the economics of the Song Dynasty.

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This is a Chinese Trade Boat. These were commonly used to trade with Japan by sea.

RELIGION/CULTURE/SOCIAL LIFE

The Song Dynasty had a very interesting religions. One of them was Confucianism. This religion is focused on Confucius a person born in 500 BCE. It is focused on the earthly not the heavenly. They use an object called Bi. This is the symbol of heaven for them. These were put in almost all burials. For example many Bi were found in the terra cotta army. These are many clay statues of soldiers. It is said to be that those are burials for different losses in war. China's culture was surrounded in music. They mostly played traditional and folk songs. They also made acts including walking on a rope. Lastly there were many puppet masters. In this time puppet shows were often used as a form of entertainment. Finally there is Social Life. One fact about social life is that when a farmer dies the land that he had owned is split and is given to his sons. His daughters were given none and nothing at all. The daughters were married and had to tag along with their husband. The market stores in China for the population was so big. Because of this people are normal to huge crowds and long waits. This was China's interesting religion, culture, and social life
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This is a Bi. The symbol of heaven for the Chinese.

INVENTIONS/TECHNOLOGY/SCIENCE/ARCHITECTURE

The Song Dynasty was one that was very into science and discovery, so they put lots of money on projects. They invented many things like dark paint, grenades, gunpowder(fireworks), improved porcelain, improved maps, compass and junk ships. They were able to get more research in medicine. The junk ships help the song trade and travel more long distance and carry more cargo.