Ranking the Sui Dynasty's Contributions USING P.E.R.S.I.A AS A LENS

1. The Sui Dynasty's most lasting contributions are clearly in the Art&Architecture realm.

It was during the Sui Dynasty that an artistic cultural and renaissance was set in motion for the first time. The architectural achievements completed during this dynasty had not only helped to spread different forms of art throughout all of China, but had also had a large and positive impact on the whole country overall. Yangdi (the second emperor of the Sui dynasty) thought of and created a waterway that had allowed the transportation of goods over long distances. This creation known as the Grand Canal connected both northern and southern China and linked the Yangsi and Yellow River which had been 1,000 miles apart. It was due to this grand accomplishment that the Sui dynasty is still remembered today.

The grand canal in the sui dynasty

You can see the Sui dynasty's influence all over its art and architectural achievements. In fact, as said by (www.travelchinaguide.com,) “The Grand Canal played an important role in economical and cultural exchange between southern and northern areas.” This shows how it was due to the Grand Canal that China was able to significantly improve their trading systems with other countries. People who had the jobs of painters and artists could travel on boats from city to city and sell their work to make a living out of it. In addition to this, major cities along the canal grew into silk, pourcen and cottan centers contributing to a efficiency of trade. As said by (visual-arts-cork.com), "the Sui built upon the arts." To conclude, the realm of art&architecture had contributed the most to the Sui dynasty as it had overall improved trade throughout China, set an artistic path in motion, and helped to improve several other aspects within their dynasty.

The Grand Canal in modern China today

2. After Art&Architecture, the Sui Dynasty made the most lasting contributions in the POLITICAL realm.

In addition to architecture, the Sui Dynasty had also exceled in terms of politics, due to its contribution of the expansion of the Great Wall of China. During 569 AD, emperor Yangdi channeled his energies inward, strengthening the empire within its borders. This was an important and still reflected move today because unlike other emperors, Yangdi worked on this instead of fortifying the empire from the outside world.

The Great Wall of China during the Sui.

In fact, the Sui dynasty was known for part of its militaristic lifestyles and for the big navy battle that they had. As said by (http://apworldhistory101.com,) “The Sui people were very strict because they believed that their military was a big part of their dynasties success." This indicates how it was politics, or more specifically military that kept them strong and going. Yang Jian (prime minister of the last emperor) had "monopolized the political and military power and suppressed the separatist forces"(www.travelchinaguide.com.) As shown, alothough the Sui dynasty may not have had the brightest ways of gaining power, they had continued to improve the militaristic techniques they did to do so. They built off of this and the expansion of the Wall which had helped to strengthen both their protection but also their tactics. It is due to this that the Sui is partially remembered as a military and war based dynasty to this day.

3. After Politics, the Sui Dynasty made the most lasting contributions within the ECONOMIC realm.

The effects of the art&architecture realm on the Sui Dynasty tie into its economic realm. To begin with, the affect the Grand Canal had on China's economy had largely improved trade and increased the amount of resources that China had overall received. This creation had improved the trade business that occurred throughout some cities through other cities. As a result, the practice became more efficient and citizens were able to transport even more goods many more times a day. (Below is an image of the trade route that could be used to trade and receive goods along the building of the Grand Canal.)

The Grand Canal had also contributed to making profits as the gaining of resources made money and helped to create a better environment/geography. In fact, because the Sui had a good economy, the state had even "distributed a great part of it among the peasantry" (http://www.chinaknowledge.de.) This indicates how China's economy was overall well managed and filled with several resources. As said before, these resources had been acquired because of the improved trade business that occurred along Chinas rivers. People were able to get new materials that there home land may not have had. Even peasants were given land and many people were allowed the opportunity to get jobs. Because of the construction of the Grand Canal, many spots had been open for jobs as the use of many men had been needed. As a matter of fact, http://apworldhistory101.com stated that "the Sui Dynasty also had a stable economy" and that this was partially due to the creation of the Grand Canal which had distributed and brought all sorts of goods to several different people. Overall, Chinas economy during the Sui dynasty was able to excel.

4. After Economics, the Sui Dynasty made the most lasting contributions within the Intellectual Achievements realm.

In addition to the achievements that the Sui Dynasty had reached, the Sui Dynasty can also still be known for some of the smaller inventions that had created. As stated before, the Sui economy was known to be stable. The people from the Sui however can be known to have built off of current things that may have been surrounding them during this time period. It is during processes like these that new ideas were then thought of and some actually put into action. One of these inventions or creations came to be known as granaries. A granary is a storehouse designed to hold threshed grain. According to http://apworldhistory101.com, "They built the granaries around the capitols and they were made to supply the Sui people with a cheap and stable supply of food." This shows how the creation of new inventions like these improved the daily lives of citizens throughout the country. As in the case of granary, they were a affordable supply of food that could feed many people which is important for a stable economy.

Archeologists excavating a founded granery pit in liyang, china

Authors of apworldhistory also stated that "The Sui seemed advanced because they had ways to make their food better and more nutritional." This describes the Sui people as a type go group who had been open to new ideas. They thought of the bigger image such as for instance, what resource or crop would do the whole population good rather than just a few people. In addition to this, due to the trade that flourished from the creation of the Grand Canal, inventions using porcelain (a common material that was traded) were made.

5. After Intellectual Achievements, the Sui Dynasty made the next lasting contributions within the Religion realm.

The main religion during the Sui Dynasty was Buddhism. Buddhism was a religion that believed that suffering is not permanent in life and that one can be liberated from it by wisdom. One way that religion had been of important use in China was that it was a way to reunite the people together. "Emperor Wen had established himself as a Buddhist leader and the religion became a unifying point in the culture for all of China." (ducksters.com.) This reveals how religion had represented/symbolized unitement at the time, but had not continued this way into the next dynasty, as shown through the murder of Yangdi following the Min Dynasty. This brings into consideration that maybe religion was not the most stable aspect of China that contributed to holding it together.

Buddha statues in Maiji Mountain that were carved in the Sui Dynasty.

Religion had not contributed much to the progression of the Sui Dynasty as it was not a stable source of power for China overall. As shown on the same website, the two main aspects of the Sui that did help the dynasty excel was along the lines of politics and the arts/invention. They say that the Sui's major accomplishments include, "Setting up a national government, building the Grand Canal which improved national transportation and trade and reconstructing the Great Wall." There is not much reference to religion as Buddhism was important to certain groups. It did not have a full lasting effect on all of China.

6. The Sui Dynasty's least lasting contributions are clearly in the Social Structure realm.

In terms of progression and excelling during the Sui Dynasty, social structure had contributed the least due to the fact that unlike other aspects in the society, social structure is what most people could not control. For instance, during the Sui Dynasty there were a few tyrannical leaders who were the only ones who could commission or order something to be built. These were the people who owned certain parts of China. Yangdi for instance, although he had created the Grand Canal, he was not the one he built it. He had made a ruthless act to commission thousands of workers to build the structure with nothing but digging. As a result, several had died and riots had erupted in the crowds. "The Sui Dynasty was short-lived under the second Emperor Yang's several tyrannical policies, and spanned only 38 years" (www.chinatour360.com.) This reveals how having such a high class tyrannical ruler at the top of the social structure had done the dynasty overall not much good. The results which can be shown through the small amount of years the dynasty lasted indicated how leaders like those were not what kept a dynasty running.

Emperor Yangdi during the Sui Dynasty.

In fact, as shown in China: Engineering an Empire, the construction of the Grand Canal had left large amounts of leftover delicacies thrown overboard while "builders watched from the shore in despair." The film stated that yet again, "Yangdi had underestimated the power of the people." As a result, in 618 AD the people rebelled, a peasant uprising arose throughout the country and had then even reached the palace, This had all led to the death of Yangdi which had been brought upon him by his own generals, ending the Sui dynasty. Overall, the social structure of the Sui had the least contributions to China as it was what contributed to the dynasty own downfall.

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