Wednesday, August 14, 2019

AP World History, How to write CCOT Essay

The spread of Buddhism and development of Neo-Confucianism represented cultural changes in China. Buddhist monasteries gained political and economic influence through acting as advisors to rulers and through generous grants of land. Empress Wu, a ruler during the Tang Dynasty, used Buddhist principles to rule and was considered a Bodhisattva by Buddhists. Pure Land Buddhism offered the promise of a better afterlife while Chen Buddhism emphasized meditation. The increased popularity of Buddhism in China was a result of the political and economic chaos following the decline of the Han. Buddhism was a salvation doctrine that offered succor to the poor and oppressed. Increasing numbers of sons in the gentry class dropped out of society and became monks, which led to an anti-Buddhist backlash during the Song period. Chinese leadership transitioned from the Han through the Tang. After the fall of the Han there was a period of disunity and chaos called the Three Kingdoms period. Eventually, the Sui asserted their rule, building the Grand Canal and invading Korea and Japan. When the Sui fell due to overexpansion, the Tang took power and established a cosmopolitan rule, extending Chinese territory over the Silk Road and integrating central Asian cultural elements such as Polo and wearing pants. The fall of the Han was caused primarily by pressure from outside invaders on China’s Northwest border – the Great Wall proved ineffective. The re-establishment of dynastic rule resulted from core Chinese values inherent in the Dynastic Cycle and Mandate of Heaven. The effects of the Fall of the Han and subsequent rise of the Sui and Tang Dynasties was cultural change as outside cultures influenced China, including the influence of Indian Buddhism and central-Asian nomadic culture. Confucianism was a cultural continuity throughout the time period. The Han had established the Confucian exam system although test-taking was limited to members of the elite. Under the Sui and Tang the examination system became an important way to establish merit-based government, and examinees were responsible for memorizing and analyzing the Confucian classics. Confucianism and later neo-Confucianism clearly defined the relationship between husband and wife, as evidenced in the â€Å"Three Submissions† women were supposed to obey. Even during the heyday of Buddhist influence, Confucian ideals about the family and roles in society influenced many or the elite and peasant class. Ultimately, Confucianism re-asserted itself in the form of Neo-Confucianism, which incorporated elements of Daoism and Buddhism, and Buddhist influence was squelched. As a result Buddhism is a tiny minority religion in China today, while Confucian values continued through later dynasties. Globally, salvation religions were spreading rapidly during this period as classical empires fell and insecurity became widespread. Christianity was similarly making headway Western Europe, as the collapse of the Roman Empire led to chaos and disruption.

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