World Civilizations I (HS150)
Sui Dynasty (589 – 618 CE) was a short lived Imperial Chinese dynasty, preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties. It unified China for the first time after nearly four centuries of north-south division. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty. Founded by Emperor Wen of Sui, the capital was Chang’an. His reign saw the reunification of Southern and Northern China and the construction of the Grand Canal, connecting the Yellow and Yangtze River for easy trading. The canal was used to carry rice and other agricultural products. Wendi was the first emperor to build a centralized government, created legal codes (social security); Buddhism was also spread and encouraged throughout the empire, uniting varied peoples and cultures of China.(Refer to pages 277; Wikipedia,2015).
The Sui dynasty which reunified China after nearly four centuries of political fragmentation during which the north and south had developed in different ways, played a part far more important than its short span would suggest. In the same way that the Qin rulers of the 3rd century BC had unified China after the Zhanguo (Warring States) period, so the Sui brought China together again and set up many institutions that were to be adopted by their successors, the Tang. Like the Qin, however, the Sui overstrained their resources and fell. And also as in the case of the Qin, traditional history has judged the Sui somewhat unfairly, stressing the harshness of the Sui regime and the megalomania of its second emperor and giving too little credit for its many positive achievements.
Tang Dynasty (618 – 907); was the ruling years for the Tang Dynasty add on to the Sui foundations. Two capitals were made Changan and Luoyang. The Tang Dynasty witnessed a flowering of Chinese culture, creativity and sculpture. One reason for this explosion of culture was the influence of Buddhism, which affected art, literature, and philosophy, as well as religion and politics. Monasteries sprang up throughout China, and as under the Sui, Buddhist monks served as advisers at the Tang imperial court. Taizhong ruled 636 to 649 most admired emperors. (Wikipedia, 2015).
The arts flourished during the Tang Dynasty. It was during this time that poetry became an integral part of the Chinese culture. Poetry was a required study for those who wished to pass the civil service exams. Talented poets were well-respected and often recited their poetry as entertainment at parties. Some of the great poets in Chinese history lived during this time such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Li Po, and Wang