The Tang dynasty grew in much the same way that the Han dynasty had expanded 800 years before. Under the leadership of their powerful emperor Tai-Tsung. The first emperor of the Tang dynasty, Kao-tsu, established a monetary system using copper coins and silk ribbons and a set of laws that lasted for more than a century.
Tai-Tsung was one of Kao-tsu's sons who took control after ruthlessly eliminating many of their rivals for power. He actually forced his father to hand over control of the empire to him.
He consolidated power by shrinking the size of government and being sure to provide for the common people by stockpiling food for times of famine and creating a system of insurance for flooding or other disasters that prevented farmers from losing everything. The empire was further strengthened by trying to promote effective governors at all levels of the government and continually trying to maintain efficiency rather than expanding civil service and burdening the populace with heavy taxation.