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China’s Golden Age: The Tang Dynasty, 618-907 The Tang Dynasty • The dynasty was founded by a government official: Li Huan (Gaozong) • Chinese Emperors built on Sui and Han accomplishments; China becomes a worldly, sophisticated empire after a long period of chaos. • The boundaries of empire were expanded. Tibet, Vietnam, and Korea become tributary states. Improvements during the Tang dynasty • poor peasants were given land so that government could collect taxes • Rebuilt roads, canals and other infrastructure • The empire was similar to the Roman Empire, but contained more people • Education, arts and science, literature flourished; international trade increased. • All aspects of Chinese life and culture were expanded and strengthened. The Tang empire allowed women to be influential Empress Wu: First and only Empress: ruled behind the scene for 30 years; eventually takes over after deposing her sons Silk making: Silk trade established during Han dynasty and flourished during the Tang dynasty • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Step One: Leaves are picked from the mulberry tree Step Two: The silkworms are stored on bamboo trays and feed mulberry leaves Step Three: The silkworm spins a cocoon Step Four: The cocoon is dropped into boiling water and the silk fibers come unwound Step Five: The thread is plucked from the water with chopsticks Step Six: A spinning machine is used to twist the thread into strands Step Seven: The stands are woven together on a loom Step Eight: The woven silk is dyed and hung to dry Downfall of Tang: Emperor Ming (Xuanzong) wasn’t interested in government; fell in love with a women who liked another army commander, An Lushan. An Lushan rebels, forced Ming to flee. Took 8 years to put down rebellion; Tang dynasty was powerless to stop the rebellion. China was no longer a unified country; becomes fragmented once again until 960.