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Song Dynasty China History

  • Taizu was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Taizong ('Grand Ancestor'), who reigned from 976 to 997 CE. The stability provided by the long reigns of the first two emperors (at least compared to the chaotic previous centuries) gave the Song dynasty the start it needed to become one of the most successful in China's history.
  • One of the other major developments in the Song Dynasty was the rapid expansion of the canal and of the waterway system, which was particularly true in the southeast and southern parts of China.
  • The Southern Song dynasty holds a special place in Chinese history, because it developed economic and social characteristics that had never before existed in China.
  • Over time, the quality of the bureaucracy deteriorated, and when the Juchen (Chinese: Nüzhen, or Ruzhen)--tribes from the North who overthrew the Liao--burst into the northern Song state, it was easy prey.
  • Scholar-officials of the Song period claimed to have discovered ancient bronze vessels that were created as far back as the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BCE), which bore the written characters of the Shang era.
  • Bitter debates took place between senior officials as to whether to adopt an aggressive policy toward this powerful state, or to continue the defensive stance that the Song regime had mostly taken since the early days of the dynasty.
  • The Song Dynasty is the most important period in Chinese history in terms of the establishment of a new type of clan system.
  • It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy; it saw the first known use of gunpowder and the first recognition of true north using a compass.
  • Starting in this period, non-Chinese states from the north would deeply impact Chinese history.
  • By the later Song dynasty the Chinese began to use the abacus, which became the primary calculating device for East Asian people until the twentieth century.

Song Dynasty China Architecture

  • The radical standardization of Chinese architecture was best expressed in its system of measurement, which by the Song dynasty had developed eight different grades of measure, depending upon the status of the buildings and of individual buildings within a given compound.
  • It was through the cultural stimulus of the Tang Dynasty that landscape painting was able to come to mastery during the Song Dynasty and take its place as the epitome of classical Chinese art (Morton and Lewis 2005).
  • During the Northern Song (960-1127), the capital was in the northern city of Bianjing (now Kaifeng) and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China.
  • The Song (CE 960 - 1279) Dynasty, which had a Northern (CE 960 - 1127) and a Southern (CE 1127 - 1279) period, marked a return to golden achievements in Chinese architecture.
  • The Song (aka Sung) dynasty ruled China from 960 to 1279 CE with the reign split into two periods: the Northern Song (960-1125 CE) and Southern Song (1125-1279 CE).
  • The subsequent two years of war pushed the Song south and separated the dynasty into two distinct periods: the Northern Song (pre-Jurchen) and the Southern Song (post-Jurchen).
  • These buildings not only possess characteristics of Song architecture but, because of their remote location, to a certain extent possess characteristics of some even older methods; and they possess a strong local flavor of Fujian.
  • Ancient Temple Night Reflection Bridge Jinming Lake Kaifeng China Kaifeng was the capital of the Song Dynasty, 1000 to 1100AD.

Song Dynasty Great Wall Of China

  • To prevent incursions by the nomadic regimes from north China including Liao Dynasty (907-1125), Western Xia (1038-1227), and Jurchen Jin (1115-1234), the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) once built the Great Wall in Shanxi and Hebei, which consisted of fortresses and water defense.
  • From the Ordos Loop, the sporadic and non-continuous Han Great Wall followed the northern edge of the Hexi Corridor through the cities of Wuwei, Zhangye, and Jiuquan, leading into the Juyan Lake Basin, and terminating in two places: the Yumen Pass in the north, or the Yang Pass to the south, both in the vicinity of Dunhuang.
  • In a battle on January 23, 971, massive arrow fire from Song dynasty crossbowmen decimated the war elephant corps of the Southern Han army.
  • This state of affairs was brought to an end after the Song dynasty aided the Mongols in crushing the Jin, only to discover that they themselves were the next target.
  • Emperor Gaozu of Song, however, was able to escape to the southern part of China and reestablished the dynasty in Lin'an (now Hangzhou).
  • Threats from the Western Xia and the Mongol Empire did not stop. So, as a line of defense against the enemies, the northernmost section of The Great Wall was constructed in 1194.
  • The Islamic state founded by Turkish warriors in northern India during the thirteenth century was: a. the Delhi sultanate. b. the Song dynasty. c. the Mughal dynasty. d. the Chola kingdom. e. the Ghazna kingdom. 10.
  • The Manchus were finally able to cross the Great Wall in 1644, when the gates at Shanhaiguan were opened by Wu Sangui, a Ming border general who disliked the activities of rulers of the Shun Dynasty.
  • The Liao Dynasty, ruled by an ethnic minority tribe known as the Khitans (Qidan (契丹) in Mandarin), controlled the north while the Song Dynasty controlled the south.

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