Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907)

  • July 26, 2011
  • Editor: zhaochenxi
  • Change Text Size: A  A  A

On June 18, 618, Gaozu took the throne, and the Tang Dynasty was established, opening a new age of prosperity and innovations in arts and technology. Buddhism, which had gradually been established in China from the 1st century AD, became the predominant religion and was adopted by the imperial family and many of the common people.
Chang'an (modern Xi'an), the national capital, is thought to be the world's largest city at the time. The Tang and the Han dynasties are often referred to as the most prosperous periods of Chinese history.
Since the second emperor Taizong, military campaigns were launched to dissolve threats from nomadic tribes, extend the border, and submit neighboring states into tributary system. Military victories in the Tarim Basin kept the Silk Road open, connecting Chang'an to Central Asia and areas far to the west. To the south, lucrative maritime trade routes began from port cities like Guangzhou. There was extensive trade with distant foreign countries, and many foreign merchants settled in China, boosting a vibrant cosmopolitan culture. The Tang culture and social systems were admired and adapted by neighboring countries like Japan. Internally, the Grand Canal linked the political heartland in Chang'an to the economic and agricultural centers in the eastern and southern parts of the empire.
Underlying the prosperity of the early Tang Dynasty was a strong centralized government with efficient policies. The government was organized as "Three Departments and Six Ministries" to separately draft, review and implement policies. These departments were run by royal family members as well as scholar officials who were selected from imperial examinations. These practices, which matured in the Tang Dynasty, were to be inherited by the later imperial dynasties with modifications.
The land policy, the "Equal-field system" claimed all lands as imperially owned, and was granted equally according to the size of the households. The associated military policy, the "Fubing System", conscripted all men in the nation for a fixed period of duties each year in exchange for their land rights. These policies stimulated rapid growth of productivity, while boosting the army without much burden on the state treasury. However, lands gradually fell into the hands of private land owners and standing armies were to replace conscription towards the middle period of the dynasty.
At the zenith of Tang's power, the An Lushan Rebellion was a watershed event that caused massive loss of lives and drastically weakened the central imperial government. Regional military governors, known as Jiedushi, would gain increasingly autonomous status, which would eventually lead to a brief disintegration of China in the 10th century. while formerly submissive states would raid the Tang territory. Nevertheless, after the rebellion, the Tang civil society would recover and thrive amidst a weakened imperial authority.
From about 860, the Tang Dynasty began to decline due to a series of rebellions within China itself and in the former subject Kingdom of Nanzhao to the south. One warlord, Huang Chao, captured Guangzhou in 879, killing most of the 200,000 inhabitants, including most of the large colony of foreign merchant families there. In late 880, Luoyang surrendered to him, and on 5 January 881 he conquered Chang'an. The emperor Xizong fled to Chengdu, and Huang established a new temporary regime which was eventually destroyed by Tang forces. Another time of political chaos followed.

(Source: wikipedia.com)

Please understand that womenofchina.cn,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: website@womenofchina.cn. The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by womenofchina.cn.


13.7K
comment on this story

Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.

  • Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907)

    On June 18, 618, Gaozu took the throne, and the Tang Dynasty was established, opening a new age of prosperity and innovations in arts and technology. Buddhism, which had gradually been established in China from the 1st century AD, became the predominant religion and was adopted by the imperial family and many of the common people.
    Chang'an (modern Xi'an), the national capital, is thought to be the world's largest city at the time. The Tang and the Han dynasties are often referred to as the most prosperous periods of Chinese history.
    Since the second emperor Taizong, military campaigns were launched to dissolve threats from nomadic tribes, extend the border, and submit neighboring states into tributary system. Military victories in the Tarim Basin kept the Silk Road open, connecting Chang'an to Central Asia and areas far to the west. To the south, lucrative maritime trade routes began from port cities like Guangzhou. There was extensive trade with distant foreign countries, and many foreign merchants settled in China, boosting a vibrant cosmopolitan culture. The Tang culture and social systems were admired and adapted by neighboring countries like Japan. Internally, the Grand Canal linked the political heartland in Chang'an to the economic and agricultural centers in the eastern and southern parts of the empire.
    Underlying the prosperity of the early Tang Dynasty was a strong centralized government with efficient policies. The government was organized as "Three Departments and Six Ministries" to separately draft, review and implement policies. These departments were run by royal family members as well as scholar officials who were selected from imperial examinations. These practices, which matured in the Tang Dynasty, were to be inherited by the later imperial dynasties with modifications.
    The land policy, the "Equal-field system" claimed all lands as imperially owned, and was granted equally according to the size of the households. The associated military policy, the "Fubing System", conscripted all men in the nation for a fixed period of duties each year in exchange for their land rights. These policies stimulated rapid growth of productivity, while boosting the army without much burden on the state treasury. However, lands gradually fell into the hands of private land owners and standing armies were to replace conscription towards the middle period of the dynasty.
    At the zenith of Tang's power, the An Lushan Rebellion was a watershed event that caused massive loss of lives and drastically weakened the central imperial government. Regional military governors, known as Jiedushi, would gain increasingly autonomous status, which would eventually lead to a brief disintegration of China in the 10th century. while formerly submissive states would raid the Tang territory. Nevertheless, after the rebellion, the Tang civil society would recover and thrive amidst a weakened imperial authority.
    From about 860, the Tang Dynasty began to decline due to a series of rebellions within China itself and in the former subject Kingdom of Nanzhao to the south. One warlord, Huang Chao, captured Guangzhou in 879, killing most of the 200,000 inhabitants, including most of the large colony of foreign merchant families there. In late 880, Luoyang surrendered to him, and on 5 January 881 he conquered Chang'an. The emperor Xizong fled to Chengdu, and Huang established a new temporary regime which was eventually destroyed by Tang forces. Another time of political chaos followed.

    (Source: wikipedia.com)