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The Asian World

400-1500
China
Sui Dynasty
- The fall of the Han Dynasty had left a power vacuum filled by small kingdoms
- Between 581- 618 the Sui reunified China
- Reestablished Confucianism
- Improved the Great Wall
- Built a 1,100 mile canal linking the Yellow and Yangtze rivers (north – south)
Tang Dynasty
- in 618 the Li family ended the Sui rule
- Buddhism was very strong and clashed with Confucianism
- Expanded Chinese influence and power
- Overextended itself
- Huang Chao Rebellion 879-881
- Ended in 907 and was succeeded by a set of smaller kingdom
Tang Dynasty Achievements
- combined crossbow and armored infantry with central Asian horsemanship and iron stirrups –
most formidable army 750-750
- Chang-an was the hug of econ, culture, and comm. – 1 mill ppl
- famous for compass and shipbuilding
- influenced by central Asia and Islamic World
- first complete book published 868
Wu Zhao
- Daughter a Chinese General
- Seized control in 690 – declared herself emperor
- Conflict between Buddhist and Confucianist helped her gain
- Ruled until 705
- Confucian historians describe her as powerful and evil
Song Dynasty
- ruled from 960- 1279
- period of economic prosperity and cultural achievement
- moved imperial court to hang Zhou (south)
- 1200’s Mongols fighting in the north
- Eventually the Mongols controlled all of China
Song dynasty – Technology
- Began making steel
- Intro of cotton allowed new clothes
- Gun powder was invented
- Created fire- lance – primitive flamethrower
- Long distance trade returned – silk road
Yuan Empire – Beginnings
- Kublai Khan took control of China in 1279
- Made Beijing the capital
- Destroyed all the regional regimes and created a unified China
- Organized China into Provinces
- Many cities prospered
- Trade was revitalized
Yuan Empire – Culture
- status determined by ancestors
- Mongols – central Asians/ middle easterners – N. Chinese – s. Chinese
- Merchants prospered
- Farmers(90%) of popl did poor
- Knowledge was shared- medical, math, astronomical, engineering
- China lost 40% of popl
- Could have been from fighting before the Mongols won
- Yellow river flooded
- Bubonic Plague
Yuan Empire – The End
- by the 1340’s power contests among Mongol princes had destroyed unity
- by the 1360’s local farmers were rising up in rebellion
- a charismatic leader named Zhu Younzhang was able to unify China and destroy the Yuan Empire
– 1368
Ming Dynasty – Overview
- Zhu took the name Ming Hong Wu
- Established Nanjing as new capital
- Ended the close relationship between China and Central Asia
- Closed down the border to Foreigners
- Tried to eradicate paper money
- Government resembled the Yuan
Ming Dynasty – Change
- Yongle an imperial prince staged a coup
- Ruled from 1403 – 1434
- Capital moved back to Beijing
- Opened up trade
- Sent a trusted eunuch Zheng He to explore the area – made it to Africa
- Took control of Annam
Ming Dynasty – Culture
- korea, Japan, and Europe began to over come China’s technology
- culture of the period was brilliant
o literature, painting and other decorative arts
o water margin – one of the earliest nobels
- best known for porcelain – blue on white
Overview
- Large federations of nomads dominated the steppes and desert of Central Asia
- Nomadism – way of life due to scarce resources
- Warfare common – scarce resources
- Every man was a herdsman, hunter, and warrior
- Slavery occurred because of scarce resources
Politics
- the khan was always required to have his decisions ratified by council leaders
- weak groups could secure land rights and protection by tributes of slaves , livestock, weapons ,
silk, etc,
- powerful groups could live off tributes
- federations arose based on increasing number of alliances
Warfare
- tended to win against superior numbers
- superb riders – placed infants on goats
- good at shooting from a galloping horse
- Mongol bow could shoot further
o destroyed enemy marksmen from a distance
o then road the horses into the infant
- used catapults against cities
- city residents faced immediate slaughter If they opened the gates to fight or slow starvation then
slaughter if they did not open the gate
- the Mongols did offer food, shelter and protection if the city surrendered
- the terrible bloodbaths in the earlier battles made surrender seem appealing
Trade
- iron was the most important trade item
o other items important items cotton, silk, vegetables and grains
- trade through the Mongol held territories was controlled and protected
- passports to travel were used
- trade also brought diseases – bubonic plague, typhus, influenza, and small pox
Genghis Khan
- took the title of “great khan’ in 1206
- began a war on the kingdoms around him
- died in 1227
- his strategy
o if you want to retain your possession and conquer your enemies, you must take your
subjects submit willingly and united your diverse energies to a single end
Great Khans
- Genghis’ son Ogodei became Great Khan continued his campaign against China
- Genghis’ grandson Batu took control of Moscow, kiev Russia, Poland, Hungry and was ready to
attack central Europe
- Ogodei died in 1241 (new council meeting)
- Genghis’ grandson Guyuk became the Great Khan.
- Another of Genghis’ grandson Khublai Khan dedicated himself Great Khan in 1265
- He was not followed so he founded the Yuan Dynasty
Golden Horde
- 1260 the leader of the Golden declared himself Muslim
- He announced his intention of avenging the Caliph murder by Mongols in 1258
- Also claimed that area between the black and caspain seas
- The area was also claimed by the II-Khan which lead to war
II-Khan
- In 1295 the Il khan ruler Ghazan declared himself Muslim
- During the next few decades both the Il khan and they golden horde promoted Islam
- Sold tax collecting contract in their areas to extract wealth
Japan – Consolidating Power
- a chain of many islands – concentrated in 4 islands – 146,000 sq.mi. (Montana)
- ruled by many clans
- eventually the Yamato clan achieved supremacy
- had samurai to protect the leaders
- Shogun - ate (military leader) took the real power – emperor still ruled the name
Japan – Disintegration
- the power of local leaders (daimyo) grew and the central power disappeared
- by 1500 Japan was close to Chaos
- Local leaders ruled as independent lords in lived in constant warfare
Korea
- Peninsula slightly larger than Minnesota
- Controlled by the Chinese in 109 BCE
- Drove the Chinese out in the 3rd century
- Three kingdoms emerged
- The Mongols took power in the 13th century
- In the 1392 the Mongols were kicked out and the yi dynasty was created
Other Areas
- India – controlled by the Mongols
- Cietnam (Annam) conquered by china 111 BCE independent in 939
- Thailand became a force in the are in the 15th century
- Burma- came into power in the 11th-13th century