Pilar Fernandez Fernandez 1
Honors World Civilization I/ Period 4
Throughout the history of ancient civilizations, religion has played a key role in the development of cultural and governmental structure. Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism all affected Sui, Tang, and Song society in both positive and negative ways. Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism were the dominant religions during this time; they became major influences on the behavior of people and, therefore, impacted the actions of the governors. The influence that these three religions had on each of their separate societies eventually had a greater affect on the effectiveness of the structure of their respective government.
Before the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties was the decline of the Han dynasty. The Confucian principles that had emphasized hard work and the subordination of the individual to the community’s interest came under severe challenge, and many of the Chinese came to reject the stiff morals of Confucianism. Some people sought emotional satisfaction in the philosophy of Daoism. But, as this period was filled with sorrow, neither belief in supernatural power nor Daoism could satisfy the deeper emotional needs of the people. Society needed something that would provide its citizens with hope of a better life after death and, therefore, turned to Buddhism to fulfill this deeper need. Buddhism was brought to China through merchants and missionaries traveling on the Silk Road (Duiker and Spielvogel 217), which brought on the beginning of Buddhism in China.
The earliest dynasty after the Han was the Sui dynasty, which began after nearly four centuries of internal division in China. It began with Yang Jian, otherwise known as Emperor
Wen, a member of a respected aristocratic family....