China had many noteworthy eras ranging from the Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty. This time period of roughly eight hundred years accounts for the rise and fall of many dynasties, as well as numerous outstanding characteristics, both good and bad, that has helped shape China to become the country that stands today.
The Tang dynasty was the first of multiple reigns that impacted China in many aspects. The throne collapsed in 617 AD, allowing the “re-conquest of the country from rival rebels” (p202) to begin and finalize in ~624 AD. The country was in search of a period of peace, however, with a new emperor, Taizong, taking a domineering approach to the throne, China did not capture this mood for any outstanding amount of time. This was, perhaps, the short rise and quick fall of the Tang dynasty. Although the empire had become stable, in the late 690s, a woman seized the throne, and the mid-750s’ civil war solidified the downfall of the Tang dynasty. This period of time created hardship for the underprivileged and imperial power was well on its way. The ninth century was disastrous. Steppelander invasions and “bandit gangs” overwhelmed China, leading to the emergence of Zhu Wen, successfully taking the place of the Tang dynasty in 907 (p303-304).
This was not the end of defeat for China. In 923 AD, Turkic nomads took over Wen’s state and the Chinese Empire dispersed into a quantity of “ten kingdoms”. The next several years consisted of the Chinese’ attempt to fend off barbarians and hope with anticipation, a period of unity.
This point in time would not be reached until the rise of the Song dynasty in 960 AD. Although this dynasty had to share much of China’s land with the barbarians previously mentioned, this era was one of the most successful. Throughout the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, the Chinese learned to live aside barbaric peoples, creating a “sense” of unity. Chinese expansion was also on the rise. This dynasty was divided into two...