Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE)

by Vishakha and Jenna

Politics

The rulers of the Tang dynasty, were a big part of how they rose to power and fell. The Tang dynasty defeated a nomadic tribe, as well as China expanding to its greatest size. They also united China by completing the Grand Canal. By increasing trade to India, the Middle East, and Europe they developed an alliance with some of the places they traded with. Their rulers promoted trade which made the citizens very happy and supportive twards the Tang. Which it did, the Tang Dynasty was the second longest Chinese dynasty, It prospered for many years before its decline. There were many great rulers that held power for a good amount of time, and helped China in many ways. The first emperor LI Shin-min, or Gaozu, rose to power after his son put him on the throne. T'ai Tsung, had the longest rein and, under his power China grew to its largest. The only female emperor was in the Tang Dynasty. She rose to power after her husband Emperor Taizong died. Emeress Wu, was the only female ruler ever, but didn't do much (physically) for China. She died with nothing but a plain memorial steeple to honor her.

Inventions/Technology/Science and Architecture

The tang, along with being great leaders, were also great inventors. They invented many things such as, drinking tea, Civil service exams, and even ice cream! The civil service exams were made by Empress Wu. She thought that people in the government should be well educated no just rich, so only smart people were on the council. They also created dance, poetry, and whisky. The Tang rulers improved The Great Wall of China and made the Grand Canal. This increased trade along the silk road, which also helped the economic aspect of China. Dominoes, as well as clocks were created in this period.
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This is a drawing/picture of the people taking Civil Service Exams, to qualify to be in the council.

Economics

The economic system was very important during the Tang Dynasty. One part of the economic system was the jobs that people had. Some jobs that people had were working at the Capital or small towns, temple, tea shop, cake shop,pottery shop, gem and jewelry shop, meat shop, and noodle shop. You could also be a street acrobatic, storyteller, or a musician. Another big part of the economic system was trading. The Tang Dynasty provided courier stations along the main road. The courier stations provided food and shelter for traders and messengers. The Tang Dynasty used the implement registration system. This system required people to register their names in order to pass though. During the Tang Dynasty Northern and Southern China traded food with each other. The Tang Dynasty traded along the Silk Road. The Silk Road is a network of trade and cultural transmission routes. Some supplies that people traded along the Silk Road were milk, meat, vegetables, animal skin, gold, silver, horses, mules, camels, woolen, gems, jade, corals, colored glazes, and spices. There were many trading centers in China ,but Chang'an, Luoyangl, Hexi Corridor, Yutian, Kizil, Shule, Shanshan, and Tuipan are the most popular. The jobs people had and what they traded had a big role in the economic system.
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This is the Silk Road route that the Chinese used to trade goods.

Religion, Social Life, Culture

The Tang Dynasty religion, culture, and social life influenced us in many ways. For example we got painting from the Tang Dynasty. During the Tang Dynasty people from China believed in many gods and goddesses, magical people and animals, dragons, and ghost. People from China also worshiped their ancestors for security and help. People from China practiced the three teachings every day. The three teachings are Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. The Chinese believed that there was a god of the kitchen (the kitchen god) who could give people bad luck if people did something the kitchen god did not like. For example you could get bad luck if someone in the household was upset. The Chinese believed that the shoe was a status symbol (showed how rich you are because not everyone could afford one). Arts were very popular in China. Some arts you could do were pottery, painting, literature, dancing, music, and performances. Pottery normally was based on daily life and had pictures of bridges and signs of Zodiac. Daily life in China during the Tang Dynasty was very different than ours. For example only boys could go to school and girls had to learn from their mom at home. Today both girls and boys go to school. When a girl got married during the Tang Dynasty the girl had to go live with the husband’s family. At dinner every night a harp would play for the rich people. Women and men dressed very different then us. Women put on a lot of makeup and wore hats and bells. Men wore topknots on their head. They were forced to shave their head except the middle and to keep the topknot in they used pins. The religion, culture, and social life was different and the same as ours. It was the same because we use a lot of the same arts as them, but different because we dress completely different and have different beliefs.

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This is how women during the Tang Dynasty dressed.