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The Economic Development of Tang and Song China

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Dresden Sneddon

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of The Economic Development of Tang and Song China

The Economic Development of Tang and Song China
Agricultural Development
• The foundation of economic development in Tang and Song China was surge in agricultural production
• The Sui and Tang armies paved the way for an increase in agricultural productivity when they placed Southern China and Vietnam under control
•In Vietnam, the armies discovered new strains of fast ripening rice that allowed cultivators to harvest two crops per season, increasing yields greatly.
• An expansion of food supply occurred when the fast growing rice was introduced to China’s fertile fields. Both dynasties benefited greatly.
Population Growth:
• Agricultural production effects- rapid expansion of Chinese population. Rapid population growth reflected the productivity of the agricultural economy and a well-organized distribution of food by many maritime trade networks.
• Increased food supplies encouraged the growth of cities. During the Tang Dynasty, the imperial capital of Chang’an was the world’s most populous city with perhaps as many as 2 million residents.
• During the Song Dynasty, China was the most urbanized land in the world.
• Another result of increased food production was that agriculture became commercialized.
• Cultivators specialized in crops that grew well in their regions, and they often exported their harvests to distant regions.
Patriarchal social structures-
• Alongside increasing wealth and agricultural productivity, Tang and especially Song China experienced a tightening of patriarchal social structures, which perhaps represented an effort to preserve family fortunes in solidarity.
Foot binding-
• Foot binding invented the tight wrapping of young girl’s feet with strips of cloth that prevented natural growth of the bones and revisited in tiny, malformed, curved feet.
• Foot binding never became universal in china

Technological and Industrial Development
A surplus of food supply allowed specialization of labor, which allowed the porcelain, metallurgy, gunpowder, and printing industries to boom
The Emergence of a Market Economy
Cosmopolitan society -
Foreign trading transformed Tang and Song China into a cosmopolitan society.
Muslim merchants from the Abbasid Empire and Central Asia helped to rebuild the silk roads network. After the silk roads was revive, it reached Chinese trading centers
Arab, Persian, Indian, and Malay mariners used the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea to established merchant communities in the Southern China port cities of Guangzhou and Quanzhou
China and the hemispheric economy
- As trade became global during the Tang and Song dynasty, exotic goods from the eastern hemisphere reached China
- As an exchange for these exotic goods, the Chinese exported vast quantities of silk, porcelain, and laquerware
The impact of the maritime and land bound trade and the effects of urbanization transformed the Tang and Song into a cosmopolitan society.
The items traded showed great elegance due to their beauty, scarcity, and popularity.
This economic surge promoted trade and economic growth throughout much of the Eastern hemisphere.

Reflection- Primary Sources
The arab merchant, Suleiman, gave an account of his trip to China during the Tang Dynasty. His account described the economic conditions and business practices of Tang China. Suleiman observed that in Tang China, silk was worn by people of all social classes yet the highest quality silk was reserved for the king. He also observed the fact that instead of using their other commodities such as silver, gold, and pearls they used copper coins for transactions.
The Chinese during the Tan Dynasty practiced equality when paying back debts. Whenever money was loaned or borrowed the borrower gave his index and middle fingerprints on the document that documented their trade of money. Also, if the borrower denied his loan and the existence of the document and the loaner proves the existence of the document the borrower is required to pay 20 million copper coins and 20 blows of a cane to the back.
Rocket made with GUNPOWDA
Block Printing
South - Pointing Neddles
Porcelain (chinaware) diffused rapidly
Metallurgy increased ten times from 9th to 12th centuries
Gunpowder was used in primitive weapons and diffused through Eurasia
Printing developed from wood block to movable type
Naval technology: "south-pointing needle"--the magnetic compass
Terrace Farming Technique
Rice Paddy Fields
Ancient Chinese Porcelain Bottle.. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 15 Nov 2013. http://quest.eb.com/images/113_906986

Kyemi Character Print Blocks, C.1403 (bronze) . bronze. Encyclopædia
Britannica Image Quest. Web. 15 Nov 2013. http://quest.eb.com/images/108_4070199

"Pride Grain." Pride Grain. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013. <http://pridegrain.co.in/Product.aspx>.

"Rice Patty." The Perfumed Court. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. <http://theperfumedcourt.com/guidedsearch.aspx?page=2>.

Ross, Cody. "Gunpowder." China - Gunpowder. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.

"Sapa, terraced rice paddy."wikimedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:S

Silverman, Susan. "Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions: Compass." Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions: Compass. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.

"Testudines: More on Morphology."Testudines: More on Morphology. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013. <http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/anapsids/

Taught By:
Dr. Esden Sneddon
Frank "The Poet" Goddson aka Frank Daddy aka Frank the Tank
Kayla "The Boss" Tolbert
Silling "The Man" Man
Huy "Chi" Chiem
Dela "Nutella" Haynor
Fahmi "Salami" Ahmed

In what ways might Chinese policies have encouraged business and trade during the Tang dynasty?
Why do you think copper coins were of great importance to chinese economy during the Tang Dynasty?
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