Sui Dynasty Essay
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China is known for its diversity of dynasties which occur within history. Although China’s dynasties do not last forever, many of them have presented impressive advances in government, military, agriculture and economy. However, one dynasty in particular, the Sui Dynasty, remarks its significance with its accomplishments within such a short period of time. By the end of China’s northern and southern dynasties (386-589 C. E. ), the nation was left unified. In 581, Yang Jian, a prime minister of northern Zhou Dynasty, replaced the dynasty with Sui and appointed himself Emperor Wen.
Therefore, Yang Jian’s replacement marked the beginning of the Sui Dynasty. Many historians and students claim that the Sui Dynasty was not a significant dynasty due to only lasting a brief thirty-eight years. Nevertheless, the new dynasty is rather extraordinary. Soon after the Sui Dynasty was founded, eight years later, the Sui court defeated the remaining southern dynasty of Chen and finally reunited the whole nation for once.
This was not however the end of their actions. The Sui Dynasty developed a unique political system which executed organization within the citizens.
Three Departments and Six Ministries were created; the first ever in Chinese history. The Three Departments could be compared to the division of the United States government with the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial powers (Chinese Sui Dynasty). Such departments are known as the Secretariat, the Chancellery, and the Department of State Affairs or the Zhongshu Sheng, Menxia Sheng and Shangshu Sheng. To illustrate, the job of Zhongshu Sheng is “transmitting the emperor’s intention, overseeing confidential files, and issuing government orders. ” according to travelchinaguide. com.
Meanwhile, the Menxia Sheng choose whether to keep or veto orders and Shangshu Sheng carried out orders from the previous departments. On the other hand, the Six ministries included: Ministry for Personnel (Li4 Bu), Revenue (Hu Bu), Rites (Li3 Bu), War (Bing Bu), Justice (Xing Bu) and Works (Gong Bu). For example, the Li4 Bu handled human resources like “appointing, dismissing, promoting, demoting, selecting, and evaluating state servants. ” On the contrary, “Bing Bu chiefly took charge of the weapons and the books on strategies available for military officials and was also in charge of announcing military orders. (Chinese Sui Dynasty).
In addition, these ministries under the Three Department branch of Shangshu Sheng, each controlled four additional departments called Si. In order to improve the selection of political office, the Jiupin Zhongzheng Hierarchical System was replaced with the Imperial Examination System that implemented studying, talent and political examinations. Unquestionably, the innovations injected organization and increased royal power with the limitations the political systems provided. Furthermore, to promote prosperity throughout the dynasty, the Sui developed two new polices known as the Juntian and Zutio System.
In attempt to lower the gap between the rich and poor, the Juntian System provided equal divisions of fields depending on the number of people in each home (Sui Dynasty (581-618)). Pursuing this further, the Zutio System increased its governmental income through tax moderation. The changes promoted social economy likewise to agriculture growth. Similarly, advances in ship building helped agriculture rise too. To create a unifying ideology for the state, Emperor Wen introduced Buddhism and Daoism, although Confucianism had been already established.
Wen even appointed Buddhist monks to high positions like political advisers (Duiker & Spielvogel 256). Emperor Wen’s decision benefited the dynasty with cultural exchange among other nations. By the same time, Emperor Wen started the construction of a 1,400 mile canal known as the Grand Canal. Sui Yangdi, Wen’s son, finished it to set up a communication system within the north and south.
Centering Luoyang, the auxiliary capital of the Sui Dynasty, the canal served multiple purposes like transportation, cultural exchange and economical purposes. The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal continues to benefit people all over China” (Sui Dynasty (581-618)). In the light of advances, there is no doubt art took a toll of its own. During the Sui Dynasty, a stone arch bridge called Zhao Zhou Bridge was built by Li Chun which initiated the look on bridges for the future years to come. Also, Buddhist sculptures were well adored along with great the beginning of the porcelain industry. The combinations of all these aspects served as tools for the well-being of the dynasty. The Sui Dynasty lasted only thirty-eight short years.
Emperor Wen’s unexpected death in 604 lead to second monarch, Yangguang taking the throne. Historically known as emperor Yang and a typical tyrant, he drove his own dynasty to an end with his ambition for power. Along with overworking the citizens and extreme shortage of food, one specific project of Yang’s destroyed the productive dynasty.
Emperor Yang pressured war against Gaoli (modern day Korea) only to fill his own desire of success. Forcing men out of their farmland, families were destroyed and the agriculture and economy of the dynasty plummeted. After being defeated by Gaoli, the Sui Dynasty was left more unstable than ever before. As a result, the regime of the Sui Dynasty became rather unstable and in 618, when Emperor Yang was strangled by one of his subordinates, it completely collapsed. ”(Chinese Sui Dynasty)
Overall, the Sui Dynasty presented many accomplishments that either took longer to conquer or were never achieved by past dynasties. Improvements in agriculture, creation of economical polices, a new political system and the building of a communicational canal were some of the many projects that were impressively executed by the Sui Dynasty. This statement verifies that even though the Sui lasted less than forty years, the dynasty was by far significant.