The Tang Dynasty
By: Rose and Alec
In 618, a military leader named Tang Gaozu founded the Tang Dynasty which would rule for nearly 300 years. Tang Gaozu’s son became the first emperor in 626. The Tang Dynasty had a strong army which expanded the borders and protected the growing population. China grew to it’s largest population during the Tang Dynasty. In the late 600’s Wu Zhao became the first women emperor to rule China ever. The people from the Tang Dynasty welcomed foreigners and people from neighboring countries. They lived in a place called Chang’an. Visitors came from the silk road and they would trade goods. For much of the Tang rule, China was at war with neighboring peoples and this allowed the military leaders to gain power. But, in the 700s, drought, famine, and high taxes started to cause problems. In the late 700s, several military soldiers rebelled. Then, neighbors started to attack and then they started to revolt and fight back. In 907, a military leader named Zhu Quanzhong overthrew the last Tang emperor named Emperor Ai because he wasn’t governing the country wisely and spent all his money on himself.
Tang Gaozong was the military soldier that began the Tang Dynasty in 618 BC.
Chang'an was the capital of China for ten dynasties. This is the place where foreigners would stay and trade goods.
Wu Zetian was the first and only women to be an empress in all of the dynasties.
The vases from the Tang Dynasty were usually green, yellow, and brown.
Calligraphy and Painting
The people from the Tang Dynasty valued painting, calligraphy, and poetry even to this day.
Li Bai wrote over 1000 short poems. His favorite topics were about nature.
Economics is a big part of any civilization, that stays true for the Tang dynasty. The Tang did a lot of their trade by a silk route, but not the one you think, it was the Maritime Silk Route. They traded with the Byzantine Empire over the Maritime. One of the Tangs’ major cities, Guangzhou, was a major port for trading with 10,000 inhabitants from many different countries. Some of the items that they traded were ceramics, silk, paper, tea, jade, in return for fine textile, pearls, coral, and aromatic wood from Persia, East Africa and India. In fact they mass produced these goods and exported them to sea. The Maritime route was only for one purpose and that was for items that couldn’t be taken by camel. Silk, paper, and tea were traded by camel on the traditional silk road. The Tangs’ capital, Chang’an sat at one end of the silk road, and every major city in China become major trade centers. Trade is always important for any empire, and the Tang mastered that.
Silk was highly valued and only the Tang knew how to produce it.
People came from different countries through the silk road and Maritime Silk Route to trade goods.
Gunpowder was created by accident and was a important invention for the Tang Dynasty.
Jobs, we usually think of them as a must, but for a ever expanding empire there everything. The Tang took government roles very seriously as they Civil Service exams instead of just giving them the job because they know them. Jobs are earned in pretty much every society today. This just shows how much the Tang cared about their government. Farming was also important as rice was their main food source. They created new methods and got 2 or 3 more harvests per year. But everyone needs to go to school, so they had a public school in each district town. But for higher education, the capital, Chang’an had colleges in math, law, calligraphy, and medicine. Even though you might think of your work day as boring, in the Tang dynasty it is necessary.
Many other Empires desired porcelain or "china" but only the Tang had it.
A main centerpiece that stood in side the walls of the capital, Chang'an.
A major invention that made mass producing books a lot easier.
Gunpowder is what makes our fireworks explode and is ultimately a pretty cool invention. But would you believe that it was invented by chinese alchemists by accident. These alchemists were trying to make a pill, but instead invented gunpowder. But this wasn’t their only notable invention as they also created distilled wine. This also happened by accident as they left wine over night and become pure alcohol. Then they created distilled wine. But probably the most important invention was block printing. This allowed them to create and mass produce books. Mass producing anything is important for money and trade.
But you still need buildings and cities for a complete empire. Great homes, temples, gardens, plus the imperial palace stood inside the walls of Chang’an. But this wasn’t the original chang’an as the Tang rebuilt it after it was destroyed. This Chang’an had multi story elevation, elevated walkways, and bridges. But every ruler needs his tomb. Most tombs were dug up, but some were so big that they had to be carved out mountains. You may not think of how much time is put into building something but, what the Tang did in just 300 years is definitely impressive.