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An Overview of Chinese Society

             After the fall of the Han Dynasty, the population of China dramatically decreased, about 45 million in 600 C.E. Yet by 800 it rebounded to 50 million, and following after in two centuries to 60 million. (pg 384). Tang, was most definitely Song China experienced a tightening of patriarchal social structures, most likely representing an effort to preserve family fortunes amongst family solitary. In the Song Dynasty, remembering their ancestors was a ritual they did at home, arranging graveside rituals in their honor. Extended families traveled far and wide attending annual rituals, which strengthened the sense of family identity and cohesiveness. Strengthened patriarchal society as well gave an explanation to foot binding.Foot binding was a tight wrapping of a young girls feet with strips of cloth that prevented the growth of bones, which resulted in tiny feet, however, it cause curved feet causing women not being able to walk naturally. This tradition was not common in the lower class, based upon the fact that they need their feet in order to work. Although it was very common in the higher class hierarchy because they wanted to enhance their attractiveness, display their high social standing, and gain increased control over their behavior. Foot binding placed women under the authority of male figures allowing them to manage the women's affairs in interests of larger family. (pg 386). In addition, trade and urbanization caused the Tang and Song to become a cosmopolitan society. (pg 390). .
             Yang Jian sent military expeditions into central Asia and southern china, which by 589 the house of Sui ruled all of China. The sui emperors demanded construction of palaces and garries, carried out extensive repairs on defensive walls, dispatched military forces to central Asia and Korea,levied high taxes, and demanded labor services. (pg 376). The Tang Dynasty had three particular policies that helped explained their early success: maintenance of agricultural transportation and communication network, distribution of land,and reliance on bureaucracy based on merit.

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