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10 - Inner and East Asia, 600 - 1200.doc

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Arizona State University
HST 101
Tom Wang

CHAPTER 11 Inner and Eastern Asia, 400–1200 I0. The Sui and Tang Empires, 581–755 A0. Reunification Under the Sui and Tang 10. The Sui Empire reunified China and established a government based on Confucianism but heavily influenced by Buddhism. The Sui’s rapid decline and fall may have been due to its having spent large amounts of resources on a number of ambitious construction, canal, irrigation, and military projects. 20. The Tang Empire was established in 618. The Tang state carried out a program of territorial expansion, avoided over-centralization, and combined Turkic influence with Chinese Confucian traditions. B0. Buddhism and the Tang Empire 10. The Tang emperors legitimized their control by using the Buddhist idea that kings are spiritual agents who bring their subjects into a Buddhist realm. Buddhist monasteries were important allies of the early Tang emperors; in return for their assistance, they received tax exemptions, land, and gifts. 20. Mahayana Buddhism was the most important school of Buddhism in Central Asia and East Asia. Mahayana beliefs were flexible, encouraged the adaptation of local deities into a Mahayana pantheon, and encouraged the translation of Buddhist texts into local languages. 30. Buddhism spread through Central and East Asia, following the trade routes that converged on the Tang capital, Chang’an. These trade routes also brought other peoples and cultural influences to Chang’an, making it a cosmopolitan city. C0. To Chang’an by Land and Sea 10. Chang’an was the destination of ambassadors from other states sent to China under the tributary system. The city of Chang’an itself had over a million residents, most of them living outside the city walls. 20. Foreigners in Chang’an lived in special compounds, urban residents in walled, gated residential quarters. Roads and canals, including the Grand Canal, brought people and goods to the city. With Chinese control over South China firmly established, Islamic and Jewish merchants from Western Asia came to China via the Indian Ocean trade routes. 30. Large Chinese commercial ships plied the sea routes to Southeast Asia, carrying large amounts of goods. Bubonic plague was also brought from West Asia to China along the sea routes. D0. Trade and Cultural Exchange 10. Tang China combined Central Asian influences with Chinese culture, bringing polo, grape wine, tea, and spices. In trade, China lost its monopoly on silk, but began to produce its own cotton, tea, and sugar. 20. Tang roads, river transport, and canals facilitated a tremendous growth in trade. Tang China exported far more than it imported, with high quality silks and porcelain being among its most desired products. II0. Rivals for Power in Inner Asia and China, 600–907 A0. The Uigur and Tibetan Empires 10. In the mid-eighth century, a Turkic group, the Uigurs, built an empire in Central Asia. The Uigurs were known as merchants and scribes, had strong ties to both Islam and China, and developed their own script. The Uigur Empire lasted for about fifty years. 20. Tibet was a large empire with access to Southeast Asia, China, South and Central Asia. Tibet was thus open to Indian, Chinese, Islamic, and even (via Iran) Greek culture. 30. In the early Tang, relations between China and Tibet were friendly. The Tibetan king received a Chinese princess and Mahayana Buddhism was brought to Tibet and combined with the local religion. But by the late 600s, friendly relations had given way to military rivalry in which Tibet allied with the southwestern kingdom of Nanchao against the Tang. 40. In the ninth century, a Tibetan king attempted to eliminate Buddhism, but failed. Tibet then entered a long period of monastic rule and isolation. B0. Upheavals and Repression, 750–879 10. In the late ninth century the Tang Empire broke the power of the Buddhist monasteries and Confucian ideology was reasserted. The reason for the crackdown was that Buddhism was seen as undermining the family system and eroding the tax base by accumulating tax-free land and attracting hundreds of thousands of people to become monks and nuns. 20. Buddhism also had been used to legitimize women’s participation in politics. The most significant example of this is the career of Wu Zhao, who took control of the government and made herself emperor with the ideological and material support of Buddhism. 30. When Buddhism was repressed, Confucian scholars concocted accounts that painted highly critical portraits of Wu Zhao and other influential women in Chinese history. The crackdown on Buddhism also brought the destruction of many Buddhist cultural artifacts. C0. The End of the Tang Empire, 879–907 10. As its territory expanded and as it was faced with internal rebellions, the Tang dynasty relied on powerful provincial military governors to maintain peace. In 907, the Tang state ended and regional military governors established their own kingdoms. 20. None of these smaller kingdoms was able to integrate territory on the scale of the Tang. As a result, East Asia was cut off from communication with the Islamic world and Europe. III0. The Emergence of East Asia, to 1200 A0. The Liao and Jin Challenge 10. After the fall of the Tang a number of new states emerged in the former Tang territory: the Liao, the Jin, and the Chinese Song. As the Liao and Jin cut the Chinese off from Central Asia, the Song developed seafaring and strengthened contacts with Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. 20. The Liao state included nomads and settled agriculturalists. The Liao kings presented themselves to their various subjects as Confucian rulers, Buddhist monarchs, and nomadic leaders. The Liao rulers were of the Kitan ethnic group. 30. The Liao Empire lasted from 916–1121. The Liao had a strong military and forced the Song to give them annual payments of cash and silk in return for peace. 40. In order to rid themselves of the Liao, the Song helped the Jurchens of northeast Asia to defeat the Liao. The Jurchens established their own Jin Empire, turned on the Song, and drove them out of north and central China in 1127. The Song
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