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Song Dynasty and Chinese Renaissance Culture

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by

Jeff Gamble

on 7 November 2014

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Transcript of Song Dynasty and Chinese Renaissance Culture

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Song Dynasty 960 - 1276 and Chinese Renaissance Culture
The Neo Confucian Influence on China
The Song scholars obsessively studied history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

More order was needed. Less conflict with nomads was desired. Capital was moved south and land given to nomads to avoid conflict.

Song was overrun by Jurchins and Mongols by the 1200's.
Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty rose from ashes of the Tang civil wars as a former Tang General (Zhao) united the inner kingdom.

Unlike the Tang, the nomads were not incorporated into the government and had to be given gifts or paid off not to invade. The central kingdom was weak.

Scholarly gentry had total control over government and army. A new position was created for organizational purposes. Jinshi

Jinshi moved China back to a pure orthodox form of Confucianism called Neo-Confucianism. Government became obsessed with order. Harsh punishments were ordered for violators. Kids were even executed that were rebellious. Foreign people and ideas including Buddhism were strictly forbidden.
Economy- Not only was silk road an economic centerpiece, but Chinese junks carried merchants through the Indian Ocean and back. Banks, paper money, and deposit shops were found in every city. Trade was centered in the north and on the coast. Agriculture was in the South. 10% of all people lived in massive northern cities.

Gender Roles - By the late Tang women in all levels of society were forced into arranged marriages. Foot binding began in the Tang and was common in all social classes by the Song. Women could be awarded divorce because it created more harmony. Women had less rights, but more protection than European or Islamic women. Men were allowed Pre Marital affairs, received all inheritance and all property in divorce. Women could not be educated.

Technology - gunpowder was used in battle by the Song, grenades, bombs, rocket launchers. Coal was used for warmth. All major types of bridges were invented in water infrastructure. (suspension) Moveable Type was used. Literature was mass produced by printers
Culture of the Chinese Renaissance
social classes - Confucians and educated males ruled Song society. Jinshi were the architects of society. Farmers were free and had more rights than merchants, but had no political power.
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