Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 14: The Resurgence of Empire in East Asia


After the fall of the Han dynasty, more than 350 years of disruption plagued China. Toward the end of the sixth century, centralized imperial rule returned to China and persisted for almost 700 years under the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (589-1279 C.E.). This period witnessed unprecedented economic prosperity for China. In addition, China, as the "Middle Kingdom," made its influence felt throughout the surrounding territories, creating a larger east Asian society centered on China. This period of east Asian history is characterized by the following:

  • Rapid economic development because of more advanced agricultural practices, technological and industrial innovations, and participation in sophisticated trade networks throughout east Asia and including the revived silk roads
  • The spread of Buddhism beyond its place of origin in India until it became the most popular religious faith in all of east Asia
  • The profound influence of Chinese social organization and economic dynamism on the surrounding cultures of Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and central Asia
Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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