The Open Empire: A History of China to 1800 / Edition 2

The Open Empire: A History of China to 1800 / Edition 2

by Valerie Hansen
Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
The Open Empire: A History of China to 1800 / Edition 2

The Open Empire: A History of China to 1800 / Edition 2

by Valerie Hansen
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An innovative approach to early Chinese history, now updated and expanded up to 1800.

The Open Empire takes an integrative, thematic approach to early Chinese history, using the concept of the “open empire” to highlight the dynamic, porous nature of China’s past. Hansen builds her chronological narrative on a rich variety of archeological and literary sources to flesh out the details of daily life, family relations, and social hierarchies.

In the Second Edition, the narrative has been updated with findings from recent scholarship and streamlined throughout to highlight the main themes. A new chapter on the Qing Empire, 1600–1800, carries the story of the “open empire” up to the birth of modern China.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393938777
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/22/2015
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Valerie Hansen teaches Chinese and world history at Yale, where she is professor of history. Her research draws on nontraditional sources to capture the experiences of ordinary people. Her books include The Silk Road: A New History, Voyages in World History (co-authored with Kenneth R. Curtis), Negotiating Daily Life in Traditional China, and Changing Gods in Medieval China, 1127–1279.

Table of Contents

Maps xi

Acknowledgments xiii

The Use of Pinyin xvii

Introduction 3

The Goals of This Book 5

The Model of the Dynastic Cycle 6

Archeological Sources 8

Literary Sources: The Use of Fiction 9

Artistic Sources: What Paintings Reveal 10

Structure of the Book 11

Part I Inventing China (ca. 1250 B.C.E.-200 C.E.) 17

1 The Beginnings or the Written Record (CA. 1250-771 B.C.E.) 19

Dragon Bone Soup and Early Chinese Writing 22

The Discoveries at Anyang 30

Shang Relations with Other States 38

The Zhou Conquest of the Shang 44

2 The Age of the Warrior and the Thinker: Double Ears and Confucius (770-221 B.C.E.) 57

The Commentary of Mr. Zuo and the Society It Describes 59

The World of Confucius 68

After Confucius: A World of Lively Disagreement 79

3 The Creation of Empire (221 B.C.E.-200 C.E.) 91

The Legalist State 94

The World of the Regional Rulers: The Mawangdui Finds 110

The Han Dynasty under Emperor Wu 118

Economic Problems during the Han Dynasty 122

The Restoration of the Later Han 127

The Rise of the Organized Daoist Church 133

Part II Facing West (200-1000 C.E.) 139

4 China's Religious Landscape (200-600) 141

The First Buddhists in China 143

Buddhism in Central Asia: The Example of the Kucha Kingdom 149

Contact between India and China 152

The Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) 157

Religious Life in South China 167

5 China's Golden Age (589-755) 173

How the Sui Dynasty Brought the Empire Together 174

The Fall of the Sui Dynasty and the Founding of the Tang 178

Daily Life in the Capital 184

Daily Life in Rural Areas 194

6 The an Lushan Rebellion and Its Aftermath (755-960) 201

The An Lushan Rebellion 201

The Discovery of the Library Cave at Dunhuang 222

Dunhuang in the Years after 755 226

Part III Facing North (1000-1800) 235

7 Coming to Terms with Money: The Song Dynasty (960-1276) 237

The First Commercial Revolution and Its Effects 237

The Founding of the Song 241

The New Policies: Supporters and Opponents 244

Remembering the North 256

Life under the Southern Song (1127-1276) 265

The Song Dynasty as a Model 272

8 The Northern Dynasties: Non-Chinese Rule in North China (907-1215) 275

The Kitans 276

The Rise of the Jurchen 289

Jin Rule after the 1141 Peace with the South 295

Scholarly Culture under the Jin 300

The Division of North and South 305

9 The Mongols (CA. 1200-1368) 309

The Origins of the Mongol Confederation 311

Western Visitors to the Khan's Court 317

The Mongol Conquest of South China 322

Zhao Mengfu and the Art of Heightened Expressiveness 333

The Fall of the Mongols 341

10 Continuing the War against the Mongols: The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) 345

The Ming Founder and the System He Designed 347

The Voyages of the Yongle Emperor 352

Social Change under the Ming 363

The Collapse of the Ming 379

11 The Qing Empire (1636-1800) 385

The Manchu Empire before 1644 387

The Invasion of Ming China 393

Qing Expansion beyond the Eighteen Provinces (1683-1760) 398

The Sustained Economic and Demographic Growth of the High Qing 404

The Qing Empire in 1800 417

Epilogue 419

Notes 431

Suggestions for Further Reading 445

Credits 457

Index 461

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