What conditions made the rise of the Sui and Tang dynasties possible?

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The Sui (581-618 C.E.) and Tang Dynasties (618-902 C.E.) rise to power was the result of the political, economic, and social policies each made during their reign. These policies  increased, strengthened, stabilized and consolidated their dynastic power.

The Siu Dynasty was responsible for the following:

1. the unification of northern and southern China

2. decreased the tensions between rival groups within the country

3. large building projects began (the Grand Canal and the expansion of the Great Wall) The result was an increase in their economy

4. the Equal Field System was introduced to amend the economic inequality between different groups of people

5. they standardized currency which led to a higher level of economic stability within the country

6. encouraged the spread of Buddhism to unite the many different cultures in China

The Tang Dynasty promoted similar actions to increase their power:

1. expanded their territory

2. continued to construct canals and roads which increased internal trade

3. organized a legal system

4. redistributed land to peasants in order to promote stability within the country

5. technological advances in printing, gunpowder, textiles

6. interacted with other cultures to promote political and economic relationships

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What conditions made the rise of the Sui and Tang dynasties possible? Why didn’t such a change happen a century earlier? 

Both the Sui and Tang dynasties were able to unite China under common rule following a period of disunity and rebellion by strict enforcement of their rule by ruthless means. The Han dynasty might have lasted longer; however there was tremendous infighting and jealousy within the ruling elite which prevented effective leadership. Also, large landowners had used their influence to gain larger tracts of land and also reduce their own tax burden. The tax burden was therefore necessarily levied on the peasants, who could not afford it. This condition together with a large number of deaths from epidemic diseases resulted in widespread dissension, notably the Yellow Turban Revolt. Leading war lords ultimately forced the emperor from power, and China was again divided.

Huang Jin, the first Sui ruler, was able to unite China by sending strong military forces throughout the area and forcing them to submit to his rule. Early Tang rulers, like the Sui, tended to be ruthless in imposing rule on China. This had been absent during the last days of the Han Dynasty when inner dissension prevented effective centralized rule.

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