History of Tang Dynasty

Era Information
Time: 581 -907
Location of Capital: Chang an, in Today'sXi'an City, Shanxi Province
Emperors: Liyuan, Li Shimin, Lizhi
Replaced by: Song Dynasty

By the end of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589), China had witnessed disunity and chaos for about 270 years.

In 577, the Northern Zhou conquered the Northern Qi and reunified the North China. The Northern Zhou, known as the reign of Yuwen family of the Xianbei ethnic group, continued for 24 years with five emperors over three generations.

Horse sculture in Sui dynasty In 581, Yangjian, a relative of the royal family, usurped the throne and renamed the empire the Sui Dynasty with Chang'an (present Xian City in Shaanxi Province) as his capital city. Yangjian was historically called Emperor Wen.

After the founding of the empire, Emperor Wen quickly carried out a series of military plans to unify the country. Finally in 589, Emperor Wen wiped out the Chen Dynasty and reunified the south and the north.

Sui Dynasty lasted for only 38 years with two generations. History shows it was one of the short-lived Chinese dynasties. The Sui Dynasty's early demise was attributed to the government's tyranny and ceaseless wars.

Sui Yangdi in Sui dynastyEmperor Wen died unexpectedly in 604 and his second son Yangguang, historically known as Emperor Yang, succeeded to the throne.

In the early part of his reign Emperor Yang benefited from the reforms introduced by his father and the Sui Dynasty achieved full economic prosperity.

Great Cannal in Sui dynasty However, lulled by his easy success, Emperor Yang soon began to abuse his power. On the one hand, he continued to carry out lavish construction projects, such as the Great Wall, the Great Canal and the relocation of his capital in Luoyang.

On the other, he repeatedly went on pleasure trips and all too frequently launched wars on his neighbors. Some of Emperor Yang's policy did contributed a lot to the social development and the stability of the country, however, they made the ordinary people 'all out at the elbows'.

Money in Sui DynastyEmperor Yang's extravagance and putridness finally led to the exhaustion of the country's resources. Beginning in 613, rebellions broke out one by one. In 616, forced by the chaotic situation, Emperor Yang, retreated to Jiangdu (present Yangzhou City in Jiangsu Province).

With the emperor absent, Liyuan, a general stationed in Taiyuan, conquered Chang'an and put a new emperor on the throne.

In 618, Emperor Yang was murdered in Jiangdu by one of his aides. Quickly, Liyuan deposed the new emperor and established his own dynasty in Chang'an - the Tang Dynasty, declaring himself Emperor