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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
• The boundaries of empire were expanded.
Tibet, Vietnam, and Korea become tributary
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
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
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.