The Song Dynasty
Civil Service Exam
What is the Civil Service Exam?
What was the test like?
Who could take the exam?
Influence of Confucianism
Politics of the Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty arguably has the best political structure in all of China’s history. The Song Dynasty was basically the rule of the scholars, but it was a time of opportunity. Anyone could be in the government during the Song Dynasty.
Like the previous dynasties, the Song used the Civil Service Exam to determine who could be a government official. Also, like the Tang, the Song allowed everyone to take the Civil Service Exam, however they also provided state supported education. This way commoners could also have a chance at passing the Civil Service Exam. The new systems, based on what people could actually do, was called Meritocracy.
The Civil Service Exam was based on Neo-Confucianism, a blend of teachings from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. Four books were written to explain teachings of Neo-Confucianism. A common study for the tests was based off those four books. Confucianism had Five basic relationships to follow. They were Ruler-Subject, Father-Son, Older sibling-Younger sibling, Husband-Wife, and Friend-Friend.All of those except for friend has a higher person in the relationship. The higher person should always treat other with kindness and not be mean to them. The people below should listen to and treat the higher people with respect. The subject in Ruler-Subject relationship should be loyal to their rulers.The Civil Service Exam was made so nobody could ever cheat.The exams were not easy and those who had passed had to wait years until their first appointment. The job they were offered was always away from home. It was like that so people could not play favorites to friend and family.The people that got the jobs were normally happy that they got such respected jobs. The had to wait about three years until they could get a moved up in rank or get a promotion.
Technological Advances of the Song Dynasty
Use of Gunpowder
Mechanical Navigation & Distance Measuring
Hydraulic & Nautical Engineering
Diagram of the ancient Chinese invention.
Warriors using the invention of gun powder.
A drawing of the ancient technology.