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2 - Song in a Multipolar World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 July 2023

Linda Walton
Affiliation:
Portland State University
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Summary

The eleventh century was a period of intense political conflict and two major reform movements as well as war with the Tangut Xi Xia. Supported by the emperor, Wang Anshi’s mid-eleventh-century program of reforms proposed to increase dramatically the power of the state to intervene in the economy and in society as a whole. Although these reforms were rescinded, and pro- and anti-reform factions took turns in power, Wang’s reform set in motion political debates that would rage for centuries after. A major reorganization of the government designed to rationalize the functions of an increasingly complex bureaucracy took place in the late eleventh century. Encounters with rising steppe empires circumscribed political debates at court throughout the Northern Song. The Khitan Liao Empire was destroyed by one of its own vassal peoples, the Jurchen, who then created their own empire and occupied the northern territory of the Song. This marked the fall of the Northern Song, with its capital at Kaifeng in the north, and the founding of the Southern Song, with the emperor’s “temporary residence” in the Yangzi delta city of Hangzhou. The Jurchen Jin was in turn defeated by the rising Mongols, who then conquered the Southern Song.

Type
Chapter
Information
Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
A New History
, pp. 38 - 68
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Song in a Multipolar World
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.003
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  • Song in a Multipolar World
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.003
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Song in a Multipolar World
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.003
Available formats
×