14 centuries ago the Sui Dynasty fell, and as a result, the Tang Dynasty was created. Even though the Tang Dynasty wasn’t the first to rise, it is credited as being what marked the beginning of China’s Golden Age. It is considered to be one of the most powerful dynasties that ruled in China. One of the factors that led the Tang to success, was the creation of “The Sui Legal Code”. Their government was administrated by the “Six Ministries”, the ministries were: finance, rites, public works, justice, military, and administration personnel. Another contributing factor to the growth of the dynasty was when the dynasty leaders concluded that in order to have a substantial and rich nation, people needed to be educated. Even though this dynasty was known as “China’s Golden Age” it came to an end, since every government has a flaw that can’t be fixed.
Emperor Gaozu of Tang China, born Li Yuan, was the founder of the Tang dynasty of China, and the first emperor of this dynasty. Li Yuan created the Tang Dynasty with the “ashes” of the Sui Dynasty and rose in rebellion, later on rising up as the Emperor. He lowered China’s taxes and reinforced the political system (Li Yuan by New World Encyclopedia 2 April 2008). His main goal was to unify China and expand its territory. He was the one who pushed China to the height of his power.
The government in the Tang dynasty improved since they maintained civil service exams that helped them choose noblemen that were worthy of becoming scholar-officials. They were selected based on their intelligence and talents. It was done this way because the government didn’t want people who weren’t nobles to join the government, and in addition to that, they didn’t want warlords to take over the Tang Dynasty (China Civil Service by The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica). Their religion, Confucianism, was the reason their government also improved since they based their decisions on that. If the nobles got a high grade, they would have a higher position in the government. Their government had a powerful military state, due to the number of soldiers and the advanced weapons and armor they counted with during the takeovers. This helped them expand their territory in a safe way and grow in population.
The social structure of the Tang Dynasty was divided into eight sections: emperors and his family, the aristocracy, the bureaucracy, the emperor’s servants, the clergy, the peasants, and lastly, the artisans. The emperor imposed laws in order to maintain each class in line. Everyone was allowed to take the civil service exam, but since they counted the background it was very difficult for lower classes to get a better job. The laws that were created by the emperor made it difficult for slaves and females to have a better life. Even though women didn’t have equal rights, they had more freedom in the Tang Dynasty than they had in other dynasties. Higher class women were able to have a religious title and participate in political debates with men. Lower class women didn’t have the same privileges and were often sold as slaves to other families (“The Examination System” by Patricia Buckley Ebrey.).
At first, the Tang economy was in bankrupt, after the fall of the Sui Dynasty. In order to get back on their feet, they came up with reforms in agriculture, which helped them stabilized their economy and came up with improvements in agricultural techniques and tools. They became an important role in the textile and ceramic industry. These industries helped them boost more their economy, as they were also involved in commercial activities, by domestic and international trade with the regions they were close with. The development of the Silk Road made trading easier and helped them develop marine trade all the way throughout the Persian Gulf. The rise of the Tang economy helped shape this period and assured China’s economic stability (The Tang Dynasty: China’s Greatest Age by Patrick Swisher).
Education in the Tang Dynasty was essential since the scholar-officials were the ones to assist the emperors by administrating their kingdoms. During the beginning, education was passed by the elders to their children. Later on, educational centers emerged and were divided into States Schools, Village Schools, and Imperial Colleges. The Ancient Private School from China was essential in China’s history of education. It played a big role because public schools came out while prevailing economic and political circumstances. Schools were influenced by Confucius since he was the founder and affected the Chinese culture. The Tang education marked China seeing that they developed education during the fall of economic and political situations, but later on the rise up again (China Ancient Education by Kelly March 30, 2017).
One of the essential factors that played a leading role during the reign of the Tang Dynasty was religion. At the beginning, Buddhism was the top religion in China, which contributed by reunifying China again. Later on, Confucianism came to the Tang Dynasty, since it was already practiced in all the other existing dynasties in China. The rules of Confucius were used to govern the dynasty, seeing that it taught them to be honorable and kind. Even though Confucianism is considered a religion, it is somewhat a philosophy. During all the reign of the Tang Dynasty, Confucianism was the guiding spirit to all the other Tang rulers and the way of living of the Chinese people (Tang Dynasty Religion Copyright © 2012 · Totallyhistory.com).
“The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce.” (Silk Road by Joshua J. Mark 28 March 2014). The Silk Road started from China all throughout Asia. People used to travel there, in case they were in the need of something. Some of the things that were commonly trade were: highly valued silk, cotton, wool, glass, jade, gold, silver, salt, spices, tea, herbal medicines, foods, fruits, flowers, horses, musical instruments, and architectural, philosophical, and religious ideas. The Tang Dynasty was in need of horses, so they traded silk for horses. During the Tang Dynasty, the Dynasty’s capital became the largest cosmopolitan city at that time. Many people went across the continent only to trade silk with the Chinese (The Tang Silk Road by Richard Kurin).
China’s Golden Age is known to be one of the greatest periods in China’s history. The wars were over; therefore, chines people were happy. They lowered taxes, reinforced the law, and created the Tang Code. Education was strengthened and the economy rose up a lot. It was also the golden age of Chinese poetry, the beauty of imagery and broadness of themes, Tang poetry surpassed all that had preceded it. Calligraphy has always been a form of art in Chine, since the beginning till now a day. The work of famous calligraphers of the Tang Dynasty is still extremely noticed today. This period of time brought the best of China and created inventions that are still in use today (Chinese Tang Dynasty Religion and Culture by Lydia December 21st, 2005).
The emperor Xuanzong initiates a prosperous period, that led to the inventions that are useful today (Tang Dynasty Timeline © 2005-2018 Softschools.com). They created the Woodblock printing, which helped by increasing the literacy rates and became eligible to take the civil service exam to receive a better job. They encouraged people to do diets to have a better health, that led to medical advances. They were able to distinguish symptoms of a disease and treat it. The first clock ever created was a Chinese man and managed to have technological advances. Chinese military strategist sought ways to throw fire to their enemies, therefore, they came to a conclusion and created the gunpowder which it was mainly meant for fireworks but later on it was used as a weapon. To speed up the planting process, they developed agriculture machines, that also helped them to a greater economy (Tang Dynasty by Emily Mark published on 28 February 2016).
The Tang Dynasty continued to hold on to power after 763 CE but it never went up again from its former standard. Huang-Chao, a crook, was forming a rebellion. The emperor in command, Yizong, lacked leadership and put himself first then the dynasty. These acts led the whole dynasty to famine, while Yizong continued to enjoy himself. He didn’t pay much attention to the rebellion forming, later on, he died. By the time Yizong died, Huang-Chao grew in forces and took over China, erasing the Tang Dynasty from history (ENDING AN ERA: THE HUANG CHAO REBELLION OF THE LATE TANG, 874-884 by Adam Fong) (The Tang Dynasty by James T.C. Liu and Brian E. McKnight).
The Tang Dynasty marked China’s before and after since it made contributions that prevail to the present. Even though Tang Dynasty wasn’t the first to emerge in China, they are still considered to be one of the most powerful dynasties that ruled over.