Chinese History There Were a Series Essay

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Chinese History

There were a series of dynasties in Chinese History that were somewhat responsible for preventing the country from experiencing progress in its relationship with other countries, in its economy, and in the Chinese society as a whole. The Tang Dynasty detaches itself from this group, given the obvious developments that took place in the Chinese state during the period. Reigning from June 18, 618 and until June 4, 907, the imperial Dynasty had great success in leading the country, practically generating progress in all fields.

Given that China is recognized for its long and chaotic history, the Tang Dynasty is one of the eras during which the country had actually been actively involved in international progress, eventually becoming one of the most important international actors at the period's apogee. Politics and military were among the first domains that the imperial power focused on during its early years. Because of the success that the country's leaders experienced in these two spheres of influence, the Chinese Empire rapidly came to become one of the world's most prominent forces, with the whole of Asia putting across fear and respect toward the great power. "The period also witnessed an unrivalled florescence of the arts, notably the major arts of sculpture and painting as well as ceramics, the decorative arts, poetry and music" (Scott i).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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The Sui Dynasty was to a certain degree able to bring benefits to the country by unifying it. Even with that, the corruptness and weakness that the government expressed during this time became obvious during the late fifth and early sixth centuries, making it virtually impossible for the Chinese to want to support a faulty management. Matters were turbulent during the first years of the Tang Dynasty, as the country's leaders were primarily busy with fighting civil wars in which they defeated their opponents. It was initially difficult to understand the exact position of the Tang Dynasty in regard to the public, to foreign affairs, and to progress in general. However, it gradually became clear that the Tang Dynasty would mark one of China's most important eras, bringing it glory and recognition all across the world (Scott i).

With Li Shih-min being the individual responsible for installing the Tang Dynasty and the second emperor to rule over Tang China, the country's focus was definitely changed from how it previously was. The ruler was particularly enthusiastic about having his country experience progress, regardless of the efforts that he had to go through in order to obtain what he wanted. The second notable emperor in the Dynasty (Empress Wu-one of Li Shih-min's concubines) ruled from 683 and until 705, stressing the importance of religion and art to the Chinese. Although the second and the third emperors were particularly important in shaping the Chinese society, it was not until the headship of Hsuan-tsung in 713 when the Tang Dynasty's politics were significantly improved. Whether it was because of his long reign (he stayed on the throne until 756) or whether it was because of his innovative convictions, the emperor's ruling is impressive because of the fact that China had gone through a period of enlightenment during this time. "The court of Ming Huang was a gathering place for poets, painters and scholars. The wealth and energies of the country, when not required for the construction or decoration of Buddhist temples, were concentrated on the arts, on learning, music, drama and ultimately on Yang Kuei-fei, the emperor's beautiful mistress. In 754 Ming Huang founded the Han-lin Academy, which was to serve as a nucleus for scholarship and the literary activities of the court. Some of the Tang painters were also attached to the Academy" (Scott 2).

While Hsuan-tsung distinguished himself through the special attention that he gave to arts, international relationships, and the country's economy, his enemies took advantage of the last years of his reign to perform a coup and force the emperor to abdicate. The empire experienced a heavy blow because it had gone from brilliance to decay in a matter of years. The Tang Dynasty was restored several years after the rebellion, but its loss was too significant to ignore and it never recovered completely. However, the imperial power continued to exercise its authority over China for more than a century consequent to the fall of Hsuan-tsung, demonstrating its power through the fact that enemies were unable to act even when there was no important authority in the state to control them (Scott 2).

The Tang Dynasty was weakened during the last decades in which it reigned over China. Nevertheless, the heritage that it left behind it is more than enough to prove that it had actually been one of the greatest in the country's history. Writers, poets, painters, and people coming from several art-related domains were able to express themselves freely in the era, perfectly succeeding in creating some of China's most renowned artworks. In spite of the fact that it was rather archaic in comparison to contemporary law systems, the law code installed by the Tang Dynasty was an essential part of Chinese life throughout the years. It can be observed in later imperial Dynasties, such as the Ming Dynasty, the Quing Dynasty, and it is even considered to have influenced law systems in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam (Benn x).

When taking into account Tang Dynasty history, most of it is likely to relate to the upper classes living at the time. This is most probably a result of the fact that influential individuals were especially concerned about matters like art, politics, and economy. In spite of the fact that there is little information regarding the lower classes in Tang Dynasty's China, one can learn more about them by going across laws, edicts, and official reports issued during the era. Gender discrimination was a common occurrence across the world at the time. A lot of women in China nonetheless managed to be remembered for their position and for their thinking, experiencing success in changing people's opinion concerning the fact that Tang Dynasty was primarily focused on men and on male-related activities (Benn x).

2. Depending on the convictions its rulers had in regard to international relationships, the Empire of China went through several stages of isolation. Many Chinese emperors were reluctant to have their country interact with outside forces, as they considered that it would be best for the Empire to stand as one. Many scholars considered that the Chinese were virtually unable to function properly if they dealt with an international public. Given its tendency to return to maintain tradition ever since the Han Dynasty and until the last days of the Ming Dynasty, it is only safe to assume that China could experience progress even with the fact that it did not keep a steady relationship with another country. However, most are inclined to ignore the fact that China developed differently from other countries; hence the reason for which it experienced change at different times.

The Chinese were not necessarily interested in forming bonds with other countries, as one of their main concerns was related to keeping outside influences out of the Empire (Chinese Cultural Studies: Concise Political History of China).

In spite of their hesitance about being influenced by outside factors, the Chinese were nonetheless passionate about adopting customs and devices that they recognized as being innovative and practical from other cultures. Emperors from the Han Dynasty expressed great fervor about learning from other nations. Even though some of the main concerns that Chinese diplomats from the period were related to religion and trade, these people managed to create a strong connection between their country and the outside world. Gan Ying was reportedly sent by General Ban Chao to Rome. Even though he is believed to have encountered difficulties in reaching the Roman Empire, he succeeded in forming a relationship with the Romans, leading to the first diplomatic encounter between the Chinese Empire and the Roman Empire in the second century, in 166 AD (Pulleyblank).

Silk is considered to be one of the main reasons for which China kept some of its relations to the outside world. "Beyond its associations with household virtues, silk production was a major craft industry playing an important part in domestic trade, taxation, and even international diplomacy, since tribute to the northern nomadic regimes was paid in part in rolls of silk" (Thorp, and Vinograd 230).

This product was representative for the Chinese Empire, as it had been common for foreign diplomats to express their interest in silk and regarding the fact that many leaders were determined to reach an agreement with China concerning silk trade. Many countries were actually reluctant to engage in warfare against the Chinese Empire for the simple fact that any divergences could cease silk trade between themselves and the Empire, thus meaning that access to one of the most important materials in Asia would be lost.

The rise of ceramics and porcelain were also essential in improving relationships between the Chinese and other nations.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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