Chinese Dynasties Part Two: The Song Dynasty through the Qing Dynasty, 960 to 1911 CE
Grade Level: High School
Includes curriculum unit + CD-ROM of images
Chinese civilization has endured for thousands of years, held fast by the notion of unity and challenged by the constant struggle to maintain it. To understand this notion, how it evolved, and why it has endured for thousands of years is to understand the very essence of Chinese civilization.
For 3,500 years, China was ruled by a succession of kings, emperors, and their respective dynasties. The dynastic years were a time of repeated fragmentation and reunification, with frequent wars followed by periods of peace that sometimes lasted for centuries. As each dynasty came to power, it strove to expand and maintain its power over a vast territory of diverse lands and peoples until it ultimately failed and another dynasty took power. Despite constant political turmoil and frequent wars, Chinese culture and civilization flourished and took shape during the dynastic years. Each dynasty left behind a unique legacy, whether in the form of cultural and artistic achievements; new takes on centuries-old religions and philosophies; or innovative ideas about government, society, military strategy, and the economy. Studying the Chinese dynasties provides us with valuable insight into the foundations of modern civilization. It also affords us perspective regarding our place in the vastness of world history and civilization.
Chinese Dynasties, Part Two is the second and final installment of our dynasties series. It continues the exploration of dynasties, offering students an in-depth view of Chinese civilization from the Song Dynasty to the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the end of the entire dynastic system. In four lessons, students study important events, people, and achievements of the following dynasties:
Lesson One: Song Dynasty (960–1279)
Lesson Two: Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368)
Lesson Three: Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)
Lesson Four: Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)