75 Chinese Civilization

Tang Dynasty

After the fall of the Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE), the country went through a period of changing rule in which the Wei, Jin, and Wu Hu dynasties governed in succession. The Wu Hu was replaced by the Sui Dynasty (589-618 CE), which began well and made many advances but, like so many dynasties in China’s history, ended badly with a tyrant on the throne who cared more about himself and his luxury than the good of the people.

The Sui Dynasty was responsible for streamlining bureaucracy and a growing interest in the arts. One of the best-known versions of the legend of Mulan, the girl who takes her father’s place in the army and becomes a war hero, dates from this period. However, the more comfortable and powerful the Sui became in their reign, the more power and luxury they wanted.

The last two kings, Wen and Yang, put all their efforts into military expansion in the Korean peninsula and building huge monuments to honor their names. Yang inherited a bankrupt government from his father but continued his policies and drove the country further and further into debt. He was finally assassinated by his chancellor, Yuwen Huaji, and a popular general of the army, Li-Yuan the Duke of Tang, rose in rebellion and took control. Li-Yuan then became Emperor Gaozu (r. 618-626 CE) and founded the Tang Dynasty.(10)

[Insert Column/Accordian activity for “Cultural Achievements” thru Collapse of the Tang Dynasty]


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