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HIST 254
Jeremy Brown

SONG DYNASTY 960-1276 NORTHERN SONG: 960-1126 SOUTHERN SONG: 1127-1276 • A commercial revolution affects people’s everyday lives • Explosion in business and trade • Before Song farmers growing for themselves, after selling for cash and specializing • Before Song, use coins, and after paper money • Commercial revolution fuels technical revolution Transition from Tang to Song • Through the An Lushan rebellion, the government loses direct control of the people and taxation • Song dynasty is small compared to Tang – only the heartland and the north is lost in 1126 to the Jin • The first Song emperor firms up the military, and controls them but there is always a threat to the North. Lao Khitan (Northern Tribe) nd • 2 Song emperor tries to take the area around Beijing but fails • 1004 forced to sign a Treaty of Tribute to Liao, that makes them admit the Khitan’s supremacy • Khitan adopt many Chinese aspects − Religion − Architecture − Administration • Used dual administration – in the North they ruled by family ties and tribal affiliation and in the South where they had control over Han, they ruled in a Chinese way with civil service exams (but exams have Khitan tribal flavour) Jin Dynasty (Jurchens) • Not nomadic like the Khitan, but settled in Manchuria − Live in houses − Have agriculture • Defeats Liao, supported by the Song • With their strong military, they take over the Northern Song and capital of Kaifeng • The Song court flees to Hangzhou • 1142 the Song made to sign a Peace Treaty that agrees to the boundaries and to pay tribute to the Jin. − Means recognizing Jin as superior − Their military humiliates the emperor and his sun and makes them bow towards Jin tombs − Not a financial burden because the South is much more productive but leaves the Song humiliated Commercial Revolution Why did it happen? • New technology for farming doubled cropping of rice (enough to eat and sell) • The south had good transport with waterways and canals • More money and supply • Song not putting money into the military or territorial expansion • There are two cities with extreme wealth and poverty • By the end of the Song, Hangzhou is the largest, richest city in the world (500,000- 1,000,000) • Many new goods, jobs, and entertainment Goods • Rice, pork, fish (over 200 shops just selling salted fish) • Specialized markets − Pearls, jewels, books, oranges, flowers • Specialization creates guilds of merchants who support each other • Use coins for small transactions and paper for large purchasesl Jobs • Peddlers and merchants are everywhere for everything • Laborers to move goods • Merchants are still not a high class (looked down on in SPAM) • Top jobs are those with learning and teaching − Scholars are hightest − Teacher − Writer − Tutor for children − Medicine (becomes repectable), Buddhism, Daoism − Agriculture, trade and crafts Rich families • Part of the prosperous economy • Had own − Private militia − Artisans − Entertainers − Courtesans • Courtesans were technically prostitutes, but the highest level. They were also entertainers and known for cultural refinement. Many high ranking and famous courtesans who live in the luxu
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