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Beijingfuturesdreams, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

China's Dynastic History -- Turbulence, Part I

Turbulent times for Dynasties and Rulers, Part I

Between the years 220 AD and 618 AD, the leadership over the Chinese peoples changed families over 5 times, and also included eras of heavy dissidence between clans. Aptly named the Three Kingdoms, 16 Dynasties, and Southern and Northern Dynastic periods, the struggle to rule over a single unified Chinese territory proved to be a near impossibility, and the region saw little encompassing peace.

Despite this, there were advances in technology, and a focus on the arts, culture, and religion during these times. Buddhism became very popular, and a wholly Chinese style of Buddhism was created, and Daoism began to flourish. Influencing this rise in Buddhist popularity was the continued migration of peoples into Chinese society and the “sinicization” of these immigrants and their cultures.

The Jin Dynasty survived for nearly 160 years despite heavy internal conflict and external threats. Brief periods of unity were achieved, but the ruling family was forced to migrate its power core more than once during its tenure.

The 16 Dynasties period ran concurrent with the end of the Jin Dynasty and stands as a testament to the struggles rampant in greater China. Many territories were engulfed with strife as warlords and wealthy families vied for power.

These storms settled themselves into the relatively peaceful Northern and Southern Dynasties, which were split along the river basin of the Yangtze. The establishment of the Southern Dynasty marked a new interest in the development of the Chinese culture in southeast Asia. Sources state that only one tenth of China’s then-population made up the populous of the South pointing towards the vast opportunity that lay before the southern emperors.

A number of sources have discussed the importance of this turbulent time period in the shaping of Chinese culture and geographic range of influence. Below are listed some of those sources: with others surely in existence.

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