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Chinese Civil Service Exams

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by

Raj Rajadhyaksha

on 17 July 2013

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Transcript of Chinese Civil Service Exams

Period of Disunion:
China is in chaos and Buddhism becomes a popular religion.
Tang Dynasty:
Golden age of Chinese art and poetry.
Song Dynasty:
Agricultural changes increase population and trade, and new inventions come about.
Civil Service Exams in China
Secures the best and brightest for government sevice by means of a difficult test.
Started under the Sui, expanded under the Tang, but REALLY surged in popularity under the Song Dynasty.
Created a whole class of scholar-officials (well educated government officials)
Benefits of Chinese Bureaucracy and Civil Service System:
Sets common values, since a great portion of the test was on the works of Confucius
Makes central government more powerful (breaks up the power of the local elites and military)
Sets up a
merit
ocracy, a government where someone gets their job and promotions based on their merits (how good they are at something)
Bureaucracy: Non-elected officials working in specialized departments in government
Similar to the concept of merit badges in the Boyscouts and Girlscouts-- you only earn merit badges after you prove you can do the task. Merit badges are proof you passed the test or task.
Neo-Confucianism
New interest in Confucianism because of the Civil Service Exams
Very much centered around one's place in society, rules of respect and etiquette, and day-to-day life.
Blends with spiritual ideas from Buddhism (questions about life, the universe, and why we're here) and Taoism (balance in life)
Mongols - Barbarians of the Central Asian Steppes (grasslands)
Horse-riding skills were unmatched.
Unified under Genghis Khan ("Universal Ruler")
Would come to control the largest continuous land empire in history.
Pioneered new fighting tactics like the false retreat, feints, and defined what a light cavalry was supposed to fight like.
Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai Khan eventually conquers China
Ruled as the Yuan Dynasty.
Times were tough for the Chinese under the Mongols.
Food shortages (crop land used for Mongol herds), and Chinese were replaced in government positions by foreigners like the Persians and Turks.
Chinese had few rights and little status under the Mongols.
The Yuan Dynasty Mongols did expand trade along the Silk Road by ensuring peaceful travel and trade. (similar to the Pax Romana, there was a Pax Mongolica)
Yuan Dynasty had a great amount of contact with the outside world
Most famous: Marco Polo and Ibn Battutah
Both wrote books detailing their travels, creating more interest in trade with and travel to China.
Marco Polo's book
Il Milione
Two different views of Kublai Khan-- (Top is European, bottom is Chinese)
So, how did Kublai Khan and Marco Polo communicate?

Marco Polo didn't speak Chinese, but he did speak a Turkish dialect popular along the Silk Road, and so did Kublai Khan.
Ming Dynasty comes to power because the Mongols of the Yuan Dynasty try to invade Japan, but fail.
Both times (1274, 1281) typhoons did massive damage to the Mongol invasion fleets. Also, after the first invasion the Japanese wisely built 6 foot walls along the coastal landing points.
The Japanese came to call these events kamikaze (divine wind).
At first, the Ming Dynasty supported ocean exploration (Zheng He)
Over time, they embraced a policy of Isolationism (limiting or stopping outside contact.
WHY?
Possibly due to...
Sea voyages were costly.
The Mongols were a major threat.
The Chinese were at their most powerful and didn't feel they needed the outside world's influence.
Renewed popularity of Confucianism made the merchant class unpopular (merchants were considered devious and people who operated without a true sense of home.)
Chinese Civil Service Exams, and the Yuan and Ming Dynasties
Standards covered:

7.3 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of China in the Middle Ages.
[review] 7.3.1 Describe the reunification of China under the Tang Dynasty and reasons for the spread of Buddhism in Tang China, Korea, and Japan.

[review] 7.3.2 Describe agricultural, technological, and commercial developments during the Tang and Sung periods.

7.3.3 Analyze the influences of Confucianism and changes in Confucian thought during the Sung and Mongol periods.

[Most of] 7.3.4 Understand the importance of both overland trade and maritime expeditions between China and other civilizations in the Mongol Ascendancy and Ming Dynasty.

[not in this prezi, see other prezi by me.] 7.3.5 Trace the historic influence of such discoveries as tea, the manufacture of paper, wood-block printing, the compass, and gunpowder.

7.3.6 Describe the development of the imperial state and the scholar-official class.
Created by Raj Rajadhyaksha
12/18/2012. All copyrights are reserved for those pictures and diagrams used in this presentation, and as best as possible, sources have been cited.

Please don't sue me or remove this presentation for copyright infringement. It's for education. :)
Full transcript