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The Song Dynasty is known for a few things: Financial issues, a weak military, artistic achievements, and rapid economic expansion are just a few attributes of the Song Dynasty. Keep reading to learn more about the commercial revolution of the Song Dynasty and the commerce in China during the 10-13th centuries.
The Song dynasty ran from approximately 960-1279 CE. It emerged after the Tang dynasty collapsed early in the tenth century. The Song dynasty was established in the middle of the tenth century after fractured parts of China were reunified by a general named Zhou Kuangyin, the first ruler of the dynasty. He was known as Emperor Taizu.
The dynasty is divided into two periods
Did you know? The Song Dynasty is known for being a very stable period, allowing for economic, cultural, and artistic growth.
Now we know the where and where of the Song Dynasty. But what is a commercial revolution?
The phrase "commercial revolution" describes the development of a money economy, increased commerce, technological blossoming, and flourishing trade.
The Song dynasty is known for its economic success. This is due to success in cultivating a new breed of rice, developing a money economy and increased trade, and technological advancements.
Several factors contributed to the Song Dynasty's commercial revolution. Let's explore them below.
One of the factors that allowed for the commercial revolution was the advances made in agriculture during the Song Dynasty. New advances in agriculture meant that there were increases in food production. This led to social stability, and excess food could be sold or traded.
At the same time, the Chinese were working on other advances. They began to improve how they moved water, improving irrigation to rice fields.
In addition to cultivating rice, the Chinese also began growing cotton and plants for tea.
Another factor that led to the commercial revolution was technological advances during the Song dynasty.
Silk, a soft and light material, was a Chinese innovation that European consumers wanted. It was one of the most valuable Chinese exports and was frequently moved along the Silk Road. The Chinese learned how to make silk from the cocoons of Chinese silkworms. During the Song dynasty, the Chinese increased their silk production and revenue.
Gunpowder was an accidental innovation. It can be traced back to the 9th century Tang Dynasty when chemists attempted to find the Elixir of Immortality. Instead of finding an immortality potion, they developed a substance that created a fiery explosion. As Chinese innovators mixed gunpowder with other ingredients, they were able to create a variety of weapons. Gunpowder is often used in fireworks, explosive devices used in mines, and even medicine. Using gunpowder during mining operations aided the development of the commercial revolution.
During the Song dynasty, China's money economy grew, furthering the commercial revolution it was experiencing. Copper coins became far more commonplace in daily life. Not only did everyday citizens use them, but copper coins became a significant part of the government's tax revenue.
The use of gold, silver, and paper money expanded. The Song government began earning more and more tax revenue, furthering the commercial revolution. The development of printing also furthered the commercial revolution.
Did you know? The money economy developed during the Song Dynasty was leaps and bounds ahead of other economies.
Merchants were one of the most important groups of people in Chinese society. While their importance in the economy was recognized by many, they were still disliked as people assumed that they manipulated the market to raise their profits. This dislike for merchants eventually led to restrictions on merchants looking to trade within China. However, this came to an end during the Song dynasty. Private trade expanded, as did the development of marketplaces and trade towns. The development of marketplaces and towns furthered the development of the commercial revolution.
Another factor that furthered the commercial revolution was economic specialization. Guilds became more prolific as people began to specialize in creating or selling specific items.
Another factor that furthered the commercial revolution was the expansion of foreign trade. Chinese foreign trade started as overland trade in the Han dynasty. This overland trade had initially utilized the Silk Road. However, during the Song Dynasty, sea trade expanded as well. The Chinese had experience growth in maritime innovations, with developments in shipbuilding (for example, the use of the rudder to help steer the ship) and the compass to help navigate.
The development of maritime trade was a significant factor in the commercial revolution of the Song Dynasty. The eastern and southeastern coasts became hot spots of international trade, making this area more relevant to the economy than the northwestern area. Large ports arose along the Yangtze river, allowing the government to obtain tax revenue.
This transition shows China's transition to a major global economic player. China began heavily exporting manufactured goods such as silk, porcelain, books, etc. China also began importing plenty of raw materials.
Did you know? The profits from the expanded foreign trade were used to provide safety to the Chinese. The Song government used the profits to send money to unfriendly groups and buy items (such as horses) to bolster their efforts to protect themselves.
Below is a timeline that details events during the Song Dynasty (960-1276).
|960||Founding of the Song Dynasty|
|1004||The Song began using their revenue to create payments to keep enemies at bay.|
|1012||A new rice variety allowed for double-cropping|
|1041||Bi Sheng invented a moveable type|
|1044||Invention of gunpowder|
|1119||First known use of the magnetic compass|
|1276||The Song Dynasty ended due to constant Mongol attacks|
The Song Dynasty's commercial revolution impacted China in several ways. They include:
The Song dynasty ran from approximately 960-1279 CE. It emerged after the Tang dynasty collapsed early in the tenth century. It was established in 960 CE after a general named Zhou Kuangyin reunited parts of China.
The Song dynasty is known for being successful due to large amounts of economic and commercial growth due to successful agricultural developments, a money economy, increased trade, and technological advancements.
The chart below details some advancements that made the commercial revolution possible and the effects of said advancements.
|Agricultural development||more stable food supplypopulation growthmore food to trade|
|Technological development||advancements in silk production led to a higher trade revenue improved mining capabilities resulted in increased raw materials|
|Money economy||disseminated use of gold, silver, and paper moneyaugmented tax revenue for the government|
|Development of trade||urbanization growth of trade towns and marketplaceseconomic specializationgrowth of maritime trade|
The Song dynasty's commercial revolution was significant as it resulted in population growth, revenue, technology development, and increased economic growth.
Agricultural development, technological development, economic development, and trade development.
The Song Dynasty's commercial revolution impacted China in several ways. They include
It was the increase in commerce, development of a money economy, technological development, and the development of trade.
Trade brought growth, revenue, and raw goods to the Song dynasty, also cultural exchange flourished.
When was the Song Dynasty?
True or False: The Song Dynasty is known for being a very stable period, allowing for economic, cultural, and artistic growth.
True or false: The phrase commercial revolution describes an increase in commerce, development of a money economy, technological development, and the development of trade.
Which of the following led to the Song Dynasty's economic success?
Which of the following events led to the Song Dynasty's commercial revolution?
development of the compass
How did the Song Dynasty's commercial revolution impact China?
Which of the following is true about the development of trade?
Private trade expanded, as did the development of marketplaces and trade towns.
True or false: The phrase money economy describes a point when people stop relying on bartering when exchanging goods.
Which are true regarding the Song Dynasty's agricultural development?
New advances in agriculture meant that there were increases in food production
Which of the following were true regarding the Song dynasty?
The Song dynasty emerged after the Tang dynasty collapsed in the early part of the tenth century
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