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6 China During the Song: 960-1279 A NEW ELITE THE EXAMINATION SYSTEM THE NORTHERN SONG GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS WANG ANSHI THE ECONOMY ‘THE SOUTHERN SONG (1127-1279) SOUTHERN SONG CITIES AND ‘COMMERCE ‘THE CONFUCIAN REVIVAL PHILOSOPHY AND VALUES SONG POETRY PAINTING AND THE ARTS e | hhe Song (Sung) period {960~1279) represents anew Phase of Chinese re poe xis dynasty did not match the Tang im militiny Pewee geographic extent: indeed after 1127 North Ching wt lost to the state of Jin {Chin} founded by the Jurchen people from Manchuria, But what makes the Sng of erucial importance is the emergence of featnret that were to remain Sone oF crstic of traditional China, Foremost among therm 0% the emergence characte tines an place ofthe old hereditary aristocracy, There Wort also dra- oe ie and far-reaching changes in the economy. fn philosophy, and also in Painting, the Song achievement attained classic mens 0s, creating a heri Page that for centuries to come inspired and challenged thoughtful men throughout East Asia. SS cal \| mae) A New Elit ‘The old aristocratic families that had been 0 promincel under the Tang dynasty did not survive the turbulence tht ‘accompanied the decline and fall ayre Fang. The way was thus cleared for the rise of new families who, ideally, Oa eee: resvige on literary learning, their power and formal status on ase earfing, and their wealth on land ownership, Althoush these attributes tice ne soceesarily overlap, when all three were present Whey reinforced each ieee Even though the spread of printing (alate Tang, invention) made books creer dr ond encouraged the diffusion of literacy, a certain Sort level still Peer pe reached before a family could afford to dispense with the labor of a ha to fhe fields aul pay for hie education. Education, in ey Wt prerequi- son or an official career, while office holding provided opportunities for the acquisition and protection of wealth. don cocial structure was more complex than this, Howe ‘There were also she uezreducated poor and the undereducated rich: the ‘deeply learned scholar the oer fife of frugal obscurity, and the man of wealth ‘who was not fully ere by elie standards and who was ineligible for political appointment sett anwelcome in high society. The fact that learning, ‘office, and wealth did ar eerily coincide made for considerable social variety, 970° further not neorssty he contrasts between urban and rural life and ‘by major regional aaa Furthermore, status was a funtion of the social group. Even a 134 Late Imperial China criminal say, salt srmugeler) might well enjoy high standing Wi his com cara Atigough despised by the official elite. It is important remember sari premexdera times che web of government rested on\Y lightly on society Cate TKd of offciakdom was remote from most PEORIC'* fives, The ane jer is necessary, since most of the historical sources He from that denne aereslaroffial, which also supplied traditional Chines histo- word his acholar-official elite played a crucial role in maintaining Chinese iat, but unity should never be mistaken for uniformity Ding the Southern Song (1127 1269, the term for the period after the dynaty Bad Tost the North}, the tendency was for elite famalies fo concentrate sya ped the continued welfare nd prosperity of thelr fares by prudent aoe ee to their affairs and property. They strengthened (lt local roots, Tngnumming leadership roles in the construction of public works such as Peidges and waterworks, in social welfare measures, ip temple building, and in Sr a ce ties with similar families helped to confirms 29d perpetuate Serer ce These leading local families acted as powerful intermediaries between their local communities and the central state: tween thelr local Settee in which status is inherited, the Chinese s¥ere nciehcr guaranteed continuity of status for these lite families PN there Tens baning the way for those trying to rise from below Economically, also, Laws baring on gown was made possible by thereagy transfesabil ‘ofland ao ect wealth, which was further facilitated by the eT of viding estates among heirs rather than Leaving them intaek 0 single son, Jac onge established, some local elite families could pers for generations. “Ko alounguish the new elite from the old, scholars have ‘termed them the sigentey" and further distinguished between the reahvel large local gentry nana petricted upper gentry composed of those who held office oF and En glvigto do s by virtue of successin thecivilservice rye "The er EO supe were educated, Although the examinations Wore to aa eee excluding only a amall sninority such as the Gone ‘of eriminals and the like, most candidates came from the local gentry However, obtaining ane fial degree was difficult, and the competition was intense ‘The Examination System “The system of civil service examinations came into its own 1) he Tare and Teacept inthe Mongol period) remained the most prestigious WEY cof govern lexceptinthe Mone hough during the Song many men continued 9 S115) ment recruiting gh ovher means, such ax sponsorship By on ofela. ve ci neti the examination route represented the norm for £7 into aarstaranent service. The system was only abolished in he ‘twentieth century. Fear ves apan of time, the system was refined and grea elaborated, Paring tne jeavures were already clearly in evidence in the Sone 960-1279 Chapter China During the So seructurally the system provided for an orderly progresston) through aseries of nena three during the Song, more later). These cas the local level, of teats nrnetropolitan examination given inthe capita candidates from include country, and culminated in a palace exarmingtion hheld under the personal auspices of the emperor. The practices ‘of the Tang whereby candi- Berson igh personal influence to bear on the exauminers Wo 1 elimi- deteal and the government went to great Tengihs, Te ‘attempt to secure Tapartialty. The papers of candidates, who were identified only by number, irae jel by clerks before being submitted for grading Tt order to prevent a wer from recognizing the author of any paper BY its ‘calligraphy. The battle sacs between would-be cheaters and the authorities secking to enforce Ot aed as ong asthe examinations themselves and Wis pursued with pebat ingenuity bY both sides. Despite occasions! scandals the examination are tem enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for Honey stem oro ne examinations required fist of alla thorough command of the emacs hich the candidates had to memorize. Candide had to be able to asic only well-known lines but also the most obser passages, and ie sequences of characters that made no sense to ‘anyone who did not know Gheeesct context in which they appeared in aclassic 19% "Tests of memory and the exact gmonstrating command over fore literary Y's Wert favored by exercise since they made grading easier and more chicos ‘Thus formal cxaminety fe atressed in judging the poems that candidates Sere usually re- rite wo compose as part ofthe examinations There ‘was a persistent tend- seine i the examinations to turn into mere technical fexercises, testing skills ney fora tle about either a man's character or his adn rative com: petence. This remained true even though the ‘Candidates were also required to getence, Ti caning of designated passages from the Cast and to answer GQuestions concerning stacraft that had some theoretical bearing on the pol- iy problems of the day. y probiejtion was rough, and preparing for and (aking the examinations Beare ay of life, It has been estimated that the ayeraes 10 of those who cca ed the entire process and received the covetet jinshi (chin-shih, “pre- co err advanced” sebolar) degree was im the mid. S0 Since some areas, sentey the southeast, were more advanced cultura) ‘and educationally than notably re pal quotas were proposed, but, unlike during ake dynasties they others reeify nok enacted, Asa result men from the souhewrs ‘predominated. were large quotas, competition was bound co be more Het some areas eae i yt the most serious inequity was caused DY ‘the increasing im vrtanee of alternative examinations given to (he relatives of officials. This, portancO epetalteatmencaceorded te numerous SPST ISIN a alone wtnifed the abandonment of fairness during ts ‘Southern Song. Despite its shortcomings the examination system ddid facilitate the carcers of inet greatest statesmen during the Song end loves ‘And it graduated actuators who shared a common intellectual Wert#e ‘and recognized a deminer of values, men who were scholars a6 Well ‘as officials. It provided a 135 —————————————=83K—i shhtt~— ‘Chapter China During the Song: 960-1279 137 36 Late Imperial China measure of social mobility, largely determined the educational curricuiuny sae od the structure ofthe lives of those who aspired toa degree. 180) ao sta therefore, hat the examinations themselves became 9 subiest of pro: yonder ier cored intense debate. The tradition of protest against its nade {Quacies is almost as old as the system itself, There were those “who wished to ee ahed aleogether, and many others who argue for reforms of varoee sea rearnination system, therefore, remained atopicof political debate and scholarly controversy. ‘he Northern Song srnorthern Song! designates the period from960 until 1126 when the dypasty ree capital ga the North, at Kaifeng, During this period the Song, g°vCi had its cata im oth North and South. However, from the time of the dy. meee founder, Emperor Taizu (T'ai-tsu, r. 960-76), and hit brother, Tai- rae) trraitsung, 1976-97), who completed the extaishielt of the Spnasty, the Song had to tolerate a non-Chinese presence in North China. This aye dynasty (907 1119], which had been created by 3 tribal people P3e ne ae titan and included sixteen prefectures on the Chinese side of tee Creat Wall. Relations between the Song and the Lie were frequently pee sie but the two states came to terms in 1005 after the Fong emperies aoa pelchen taung, £997 - 1022}, had personally taken the fefd 26st races Negotiations led to a treaty that included provisions for diplo- aoe asa anpes, trade, and aSongagreement tosend the Fao contri wir in aired ailver, For the Song the cost was considerably les than, ‘would have teen required to finance a military solution, and the dynasty ‘would rather pay Ma than fight, ae earn. eere not the Song's only troublesome neighbors. In 1038 there wa Figure 6-1_ Song Huizong, Five Colored Parakeet, Henbin scroll, colors on silk, 53 a challenge from the West as the leader of the Ordosbased Tang peoples eee high, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. a gonized the Xi Xia (Hsi Fisia) state and invaded Shans. Te 1044, under Emperor Renzong (Jen-tsung, ¢. 1022 ~ 63), the Songs ned a peace treaty with Emperor Remon lines of its earlier agreement with the Liao, The Xi Hiss oot one a military problem for te Song wat the Sone ost all of Government and Politics North China to the Jin (1115-1234) song government was basically organized along T39e lines, but Song states- rally the Song had welcomed the emergence ofthe Jin as an 1), t the Sone, Boy fal suudents of history, were determined 10 Hvar net Ore aswell amauta attempt to “use barbarians against barbarians! ended in disaster. mer Croft from past achievements. One precedent ‘the dynasty was particu: dynastys aucimperors of the Northern Song, Huizong (Hui-tsung, +t 100- a Prerous to avoid was the zeemergence of waHlGnds ‘such ashad eventually 36), China's greatest imperial painter and calligrapher [ee Fieve 6-1} but not say at the Tang. The dynastic founder, himsel! 9 £m fal, saw to it that ‘ually distinguished as aruler, and his son, Emperor Qinzong(Ch’in-tsung, ¥ jesver was placed in civilian hands, and bis suerene ‘pursued the same aooe ere taken to Manchuria as prisoners of the Jurchen and there Policy. By such devices as the rotation of UeOrs ‘and frequent changes of 116 alicia lives The dynasty was abletoreestblish telf in he Sov but Policy, the court prevented generals from develoP 0B personal power and dire tht homeland of Chinese civilization, remained lost. Not ‘until the Comma in Keeping commanders in line. tadeed, ‘he military profession te or Fie Ming dynasty in the fourteenth century was the North to suffered a permanent loss of status, {ruism that good men are come again under Chinese rule (see Figure 6-2) sat resped into soldiers any more than good iron is ‘wasted to make nails. —————————<<<——