South American Independence 1815 – 1880s

Major Accomplishments: he South Americans overthrow their European colonial powers during the early 1800s.  Led by Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin, creole leaders throughout South and Central America built new countries.

Bolivar and San Martin Video:

Tang Dynasty 618-907 C.E

Second Classical Chinese Age

  • Very similar to the Han Dynasty
  • Confucianism returns in importance
  • Confucian Civil Service Exams very important
  • used to hire administrators for the Chinese government locally, regionally and nationally
  • Golden Age of foreign relations with other countries – conquered and/or strongly influenced the culture of Japan and Korea
  • Re-built the new capital at Chang’an

Empress Wu 625-705 AD

  • Only female ruler of China
  • Cruel but effective ruler
  • Had to fight the Confucian social belief that women should serve men
  • Encouraged women to be more vocal and demand better treatment from their family

Tang Expansion

  • Powerful military state
  • extended the boundaries of China through Siberia
  • Korea in the east
  • Vietnam in the South.
  • extended a corridor of control along the Silk Road well into modern-day Afghanistan

Tang Economy

  • Reestablished the safety of the Silk Road.
  • Silk Road trade with Middle East and Constantinople
  • New Inventions:
  • Printing press using moveable print
  • Porcelain used for dishes and decoratives
  • Gunpowder originally for fireworks but eventually for weapons
  • Mechanical clocks

Tang Religion/Philsophy

  • Liberal attitude towards all religions at first.
  • Spread of Buddhism in China
  • Later during the Tang, Confucianism becomes more aggressive in fighting Buddhist influence in China

Tang Social Life

  • More cosmopolitan culture.
  • Cities have a great social life with live music and drama
  • Loved poetry and landscape painting
  • Height of Chinese poetry


  • Tea comes into China from Southeast Asia.
  • Mothers bound their daughters’ feet.
  • Foot-Binding in Tang China
  • Broken toes by 3 years of age.
  • Foot-Binding in Tang China

Foot-Binding in Tang China

  • For upper-class girls, it became a new custom.
  • The Results of Foot-Binding
  • Tang Xuanzong (The Profound Emperor) and Consort Yang
  • Mistress Yang and the An Lushan Rebellion 755-763
  • Emperor fell in love with a young concubine named Yang Guifei,
  • The Emperor wasted money and time on Yang and neglected his duties making others jealous and harming China
  • Yang told the Emperor to hire her friends to rule which made situation worse
  • One of these was a general named An Lushan, who quickly accumulated power. 
  • An Lushan eventually decided that he would make a pretty good emperor, and launched a rebellion.
  • The emperor was forced to flee the capital, and on the way, the palace guard strangled Tang and threw her corpse in a ditch.
  • the rebellion pretty much shattered centralized Tang control, and for the remaining 150 years of the dynasty, the country slowly disintegrated

A Limerick

  • The Emperor Xuanzong
  • fell in love with a concubine named Yang
  • But she had a man on the side
  • To take over the empire – he tried
  • Which led to the next dynasty -  named Song

Transition Period between Tang and Song

  • 907 - 960 saw the fragmentation of China into five northern dynasties and ten southern kingdoms until Song unified all of China again
  • Scholar-gentry class dominates
  • abuses in civil service exam develop
  • Local rulers experiment with paper money
  • Arts & commerce
  • 11C Needle compass (3rd century - South pointer)
  • Tang Poetry