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AP: Tang and Song China

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Luke Bailey

on 13 November 2018

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Transcript of AP: Tang and Song China

HW: Song + Tang China Continued
Women in Tang Dynasty
-After fall of Han/raids by nomads, patriarchy grows weaker

-The following Tang Dynasty, especially in north, loosens some previous restrictions (Empress Wu)

-Women are even...riding horses!
Song Dynasty
-Remember, locus of power in Song is largely in South
Women in Song Dynasty
-Patriarchal norms asserted more strongly in Song

-Women were not only seen as weak and men strong, but this was to be celebrated and amplified

-Foot binding becomes popular at this time to highlight female weakness/boundedness to home

-Female role in textile production declined, HOWEVER the growth of cities due to population explosion does offer new jobs (restaurants, selling food, maids, cooks, etc)
-China has constant conflict with bordering barbarians, primarily to the north

-This dynamic has roots in environment (why?)

-Constant cycle of tribute, conflict, and overthrow of Chinese dynasties is a consequence of this relationship
Topographical Map
How they see each other
How Nomads see China: How China sees Nomads:
Tribute System In Theory
-Necessary for China to maintain belief that they were dominant, exclusive civilization (Middle Kingdom)

-Non Chinese must first acknowledge that superiority (kow-tow (bowing and giving tribute)). In return, Chinese rulers would give gifts.

-This preserved peace and maintained Chinese dominance.
(but also kind of a threat)
(but also they have cool horses)
Tribute in Practice
-In reality, barbarians dominated China number of times, even going on to conquer it and rule

-Chinese often forced to give "gifts" (silk, wives, etc) that was actually protection money against invasion.

-Typically, barbarians more interested in keeping China whole, but when it broke, they would sweep in.
Cultural Influence
-At times, cultural lines blurred

-Many barbarians assimilated into Chinese culture at various times. The reverse was more rare but did happen.

-"Western culture" even somewhat seen cool among elites of Tang dynasty, to the distress of southern Chinese
Full transcript