A Brief History of China

With vast resources and land, China was able to become one of the world’s longest lasting nations. The country sustained many regime changes along with frequent invasions and wars. Every dynasty brought new leaders, some new policies and accomplishments that impacted the population, politically, economically, and socially.

Although the Sui Dynasty survived only a short time, it ended the political divisions and reunited China. Many institutions were created during this era that was built upon by the next dynasties. Wendi and his ministers created a new penal code, which was revised from the laws of the Bei Zhou. They also established an examination system based on the traditional Confucian curriculum. By employing ministers that were flexible in their approach as well as skilled, many of the problems were addressed. They brought back the Confucian rituals and fostered Buddhism at the same time.

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Wendi’s government was economical and frugal, despite the vast construction and frequent campaigns. When the Chen territories were incorporated, the reserves allowed the new population to be exempt from taxes for ten years. This helped to ensure their loyalty.The Second Emperor, Yangdi continued Wendi’s policies and revised the law code even more. He built a second capital city and new palaces. He extended the canal system and worked on the Great Wall. These undertakings employed large numbers of forced laborers working under terrible conditions. Because of this, the record of his reign shows him to be arrogant, extravagant, and unwise in his decisions. However, the transportation system was important for maintaining a unified empire. Rebuilding the Great Wall was a precaution against the unrelenting attacks of eastern Turks. History only remembers that the Sui overstrained the budget and fell. The harshness and obsession of the second emperor are what has been stressed more than the positive things they accomplished. The Sui dynast…