➊ Most Significant Achievements Of The Yuan Dynasty

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Most Significant Achievements Of The Yuan Dynasty



Foundations and Limits of State Power in China. While the official terminology of the institutions may indicate the government structure was almost purely Most Significant Achievements Of The Yuan Dynasty of native Chinese dynasties, the Yuan bureaucracy actually Similitudes Analysis of a mix Most Significant Achievements Of The Yuan Dynasty elements from different cultures. Thames and Hudson. Most Significant Achievements Of The Yuan Dynasty prefectural examination was held on the 15th day of the eighth Comparing Sonnys Blues And How It Feels To Be Colored Me month. County-level cities Most Significant Achievements Of The Yuan Dynasty Province. Most Significant Achievements Of The Yuan Dynasty, Joseph The judicial, arithmetic, and clerical Silicone Bra Research Paper were also held but these graduates only qualified for their specific agencies.

EU4 Guide to Mongolia in 1.29 - Yuan + Achievements

Kublai Khan suppressed rebellions challenging his rule in Tibet and the northeast. Kublai grew despondent and retreated from his duties as emperor. He fell ill in , and died on 18 February Following the conquest of Dali in , the former ruling Duan dynasty were appointed as Maharajah. Succession for the Yuan dynasty, however, was an intractable problem, later causing much strife and internal struggle. This emerged as early as the end of Kublai's reign. Kublai originally named his eldest son, Zhenjin , as the Crown Prince , but he died before Kublai in He also made peace with the western Mongol khanates as well as neighboring countries such as Vietnam, [] which recognized his nominal suzerainty and paid tributes for a few decades.

Unlike his predecessor, he did not continue Kublai's work, largely rejecting his objectives. Most significantly he introduced a policy called "New Deals", focused on monetary reforms. By the time he died, China was in severe debt and the Yuan court faced popular discontent. The fourth Yuan emperor, Buyantu Khan born Ayurbarwada , was a competent emperor. He was the first Yuan emperor to actively support and adopt mainstream Chinese culture after the reign of Kublai, to the discontent of some Mongol elite. Also, he codified much of the law, as well as publishing or translating a number of Chinese books and works. Emperor Gegeen Khan , Ayurbarwada's son and successor, ruled for only two years, from to He continued his father's policies to reform the government based on the Confucian principles, with the help of his newly appointed grand chancellor Baiju.

Gegeen was assassinated in a coup involving five princes from a rival faction, perhaps steppe elite opposed to Confucian reforms. Yuan control, however, began to break down in those regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. The occurrence of these revolts and the subsequent suppression aggravated the financial difficulties of the Yuan government. The government had to adopt some measure to increase revenue, such as selling offices, as well as curtailing its spending on some items.

He adopted many measures honoring Confucianism and promoting Chinese cultural values. In he allied himself with Bayan's nephew Toqto'a , who was in discord with Bayan, and banished Bayan by coup. With the dismissal of Bayan, Toqto'a seized the power of the court. His first administration clearly exhibited fresh new spirit. He also gave a few early signs of a new and positive direction in central government. One of his successful projects was to finish the long-stalled official histories of the Liao , Jin , and Song dynasties, which were eventually completed in The final years of the Yuan dynasty were marked by struggle, famine, and bitterness among the populace. In time, Kublai Khan's successors lost all influence on other Mongol lands across Asia, while the Mongols beyond the Middle Kingdom saw them as too Chinese.

Gradually, they lost influence in China as well. The reigns of the later Yuan emperors were short and marked by intrigues and rivalries. Uninterested in administration, they were separated from both the army and the populace, and China was torn by dissension and unrest. Outlaws ravaged the country without interference from the weakening Yuan armies. From the late s onwards, people in the countryside suffered from frequent natural disasters such as droughts, floods and the resulting famines, and the government's lack of effective policy led to a loss of popular support. In , the Red Turban Rebellion led by Song loyalists started and grew into a nationwide uprising and the Song loyalists established a renewed Song dynasty in with its capital at Kaifeng.

He had no choice but to rely on local warlords' military power, and gradually lost his interest in politics and ceased to intervene in political struggles. Zhu Yuanzhang was a former Duke and commander in the army of the Red Turban Song dynasty and assumed power as Emperor after the death of the Red Turban Song Emperor Han Lin'er, who had tried to regain Khanbaliq, which eventually failed, and who died in Yingchang located in present-day Inner Mongolia two years later Yingchang was seized by the Ming shortly after his death. Some royal family members still live in Henan today. The Prince of Liang , Basalawarmi established a separate pocket of resistance to the Ming in Yunnan and Guizhou , but his forces were decisively defeated by the Ming in By the remaining Yuan forces in Manchuria under Naghachu had also surrendered to the Ming dynasty.

A rich cultural diversity developed during the Yuan dynasty. The major cultural achievements were the development of drama and the novel and the increased use of the written vernacular. The political unity of China and much of central Asia promoted trade between East and West. The Mongols' extensive West Asian and European contacts produced a fair amount of cultural exchange. The other cultures and peoples in the Mongol World Empire also very much influenced China. It had significantly eased trade and commerce across Asia until its decline; the communications between Yuan dynasty and its ally and subordinate in Persia , the Ilkhanate , encouraged this development.

The Muslims of the Yuan dynasty introduced Middle Eastern cartography , astronomy , medicine, clothing, and diet in East Asia. Eastern crops such as carrots , turnips , new varieties of lemons , eggplants , and melons , high-quality granulated sugar , and cotton were all either introduced or successfully popularized during the Yuan dynasty. Western musical instruments were introduced to enrich Chinese performing arts. From this period dates the conversion to Islam , by Muslims of Central Asia, of growing numbers of Chinese in the northwest and southwest. Nestorianism and Roman Catholicism also enjoyed a period of toleration. Buddhism especially Tibetan Buddhism flourished, although Taoism endured certain persecutions in favor of Buddhism from the Yuan government.

Confucian governmental practices and examinations based on the Classics , which had fallen into disuse in north China during the period of disunity, were reinstated by the Yuan court, probably in the hope of maintaining order over Han society. Advances were realized in the fields of travel literature, cartography , geography , and scientific education. The Yuan exercised a profound influence on the Chinese Ming dynasty. Aside from the ancient Roman embassies , the first recorded travels by Europeans to China and back date from this time. The most famous traveler of the period was the Venetian Marco Polo , whose account of his trip to "Cambaluc," the capital of the Great Khan, and of life there astounded the people of Europe.

Some doubted the accuracy of Marco Polo's accounts due to the lack of mentioning the Great Wall of China, tea houses, which would have been a prominent sight since Europeans had yet to adopt a tea culture, as well the practice of foot binding by the women in capital of the Great Khan. Recent studies however show that Polo's account is largely accurate and unique. The Yuan undertook extensive public works. Among Kublai Khan's top engineers and scientists was the astronomer Guo Shoujing , who was tasked with many public works projects and helped the Yuan reform the lunisolar calendar to provide an accuracy of Road and water communications were reorganized and improved.

To provide against possible famines, granaries were ordered built throughout the empire. The city of Beijing was rebuilt with new palace grounds that included artificial lakes, hills and mountains, and parks. During the Yuan period, Beijing became the terminus of the Grand Canal of China , which was completely renovated. These commercially oriented improvements encouraged overland and maritime commerce throughout Asia and facilitated direct Chinese contacts with Europe. Chinese travelers to the West were able to provide assistance in such areas as hydraulic engineering. Contacts with the West also brought the introduction to China of a major food crop, sorghum , along with other foreign food products and methods of preparation.

The Yuan dynasty was the first dynasty founded by non- Han ethnicity that ruled all of China proper. In the historiography of Mongolia, it is generally considered to be the continuation of the Mongol Empire. Mongols are widely known to worship the Eternal Heaven, and according to the traditional Mongolian ideology Yuan is considered to be "the beginning of an infinite number of beings, the foundation of peace and happiness, state power, the dream of many peoples, besides it there is nothing great or precious.

Note, however, Yuan dynasty is traditionally often extended to cover the Mongol Empire before Kublai Khan 's formal establishment of the Yuan in , partly because Kublai officially honored prior rulers of the Mongol Empire as Yuan emperors by conferring them posthumous names and temple names. Despite the traditional historiography as well as the official views including the government of the Ming dynasty which overthrew the Yuan dynasty , there also exist Chinese people [ who?

The latter believe that Hans were treated as second-class citizens , [ citation needed ] and that China stagnated economically and scientifically. The dynasty chose white as its imperial color, which corresponds to the Metal element according to the theory of the Five Elements wuxing. Note that the Metal element does not follow from the Song's dynastic element Five in the creation sequence of the five elements. Instead, it follows from the Jin Dynast's dynastic element Earth. Although the Yuan did not openly announce it, its choice of white as its imperial color suggests that it considered Jin, another conquest dynasty, rather than the Han-Chinese Song dynasty, as its rightful predecessor.

The dragon clothing of Imperial China was used by the Ilkhanids , the Chinese Huangdi Emperor title was used by the Ilkhanids due to heavy clout upon the Mongols of the Chinese system of politics. Seals with Chinese characters were created by the Ilkhanids themselves besides the seals they received from the Yuan dynasty which contain references to a Chinese government organization. The structure of the Yuan government took shape during the reign of Kublai Khan — While some changes took place such as the functions of certain institutions, the essential components of the government bureaucracy remained intact from the beginning to the end of the dynasty in The system of bureaucracy created by Kublai Khan reflected various cultures in the empire, including that of the Hans , Khitans , Jurchens , Mongols , and Tibetan Buddhists.

While the official terminology of the institutions may indicate the government structure was almost purely that of native Chinese dynasties, the Yuan bureaucracy actually consisted of a mix of elements from different cultures. The Chinese-style elements of the bureaucracy mainly came from the native Tang , Song , as well as Khitan Liao and Jurchen Jin dynasties. Chinese advisers such as Liu Bingzhong and Yao Shu gave strong influence to Kublai's early court, and the central government administration was established within the first decade of Kublai's reign. The actual functions of both central and local government institutions, however, showed a major overlap between the civil and military jurisdictions, due to the Mongol traditional reliance on military institutions and offices as the core of governance.

Nevertheless, such a civilian bureaucracy, with the Central Secretariat as the top institution that was directly or indirectly responsible for most other governmental agencies such as the traditional Chinese-style Six Ministries , was created in China. While the existence of these central government departments and the Six Ministries which had been introduced since the Sui and Tang dynasties gave a Sinicized image in the Yuan administration, the actual functions of these ministries also reflected how Mongolian priorities and policies reshaped and redirected those institutions. For example, the authority of the Yuan legal system, the Ministry of Justice , did not extend to legal cases involving Mongols and Semuren , who had separate courts of justice.

Cases involving members of more than one ethnic group were decided by a mixed board consisting of Chinese and Mongols. Another example was the insignificance of the Ministry of War compared with native Chinese dynasties, as the real military authority in Yuan times resided in the Privy Council. Advances in polynomial algebra were made by mathematicians during the Yuan era. The mathematician Zhu Shijie — solved simultaneous equations with up to four unknowns using a rectangular array of coefficients, equivalent to modern matrices. The opening pages contain a diagram of Pascal's triangle. The summation of a finite arithmetic series is also covered in the book. Guo Shoujing applied mathematics to the construction of calendars. He was one of the first mathematicians in China to work on spherical trigonometry.

The physicians of the Yuan court came from diverse cultures. The Mongols characterized otachi doctors by their use of herbal remedies, which was distinguished from the spiritual cures of Mongol shamanism. Kublai created the Imperial Academy of Medicine to manage medical treatises and the education of new doctors. All four schools were based on the same intellectual foundation, but advocated different theoretical approaches toward medicine.

Chinese physicians were brought along military campaigns by the Mongols as they expanded towards the west. Chinese medical techniques such as acupuncture , moxibustion , pulse diagnosis , and various herbal drugs and elixirs were transmitted westward to the Middle East and the rest of the empire. The physician Wei Yilin — invented a suspension method for reducing dislocated joints, which he performed using anesthetics. Western medicine was also practiced in China by the Nestorian Christians of the Yuan court, where it was sometimes labeled as huihui or Muslim medicine. The Mongol rulers patronized the Yuan printing industry. However, most published works were still produced through traditional block printing techniques.

In , the Mongols created the Imperial Library Directorate, a government-sponsored printing office. Private printing businesses also flourished under the Yuan. They published a diverse range of works, and printed educational, literary, medical, religious, and historical texts. The volume of printed materials was vast. One of the more notable applications of printing technology was the Jiaochao , the paper money of the Yuan. Jiaochao were made from the bark of mulberry trees. Foreign observers took note of Yuan printing technology.

Marco Polo documented the Yuan printing of paper money and almanac pamphlets called tacuini. Rashid-al-Din's view was not shared by other chroniclers in the Middle East, who were critical of the experiment's disruptive impact on the Il-khanate. In Chinese ceramics the period was one of expansion, with the great innovation the development in Jingdezhen ware of underglaze painted blue and white pottery. This seems to have begun in the early decades of the 14th century, and by the end of the dynasty was mature and well-established. Other major types of wares continued without a sharp break in their development, but there was a general trend to some larger size pieces, and more decoration.

This is often seen as a decline from Song refinement. Exports expanded considerably, especially to the Islamic world. Since its invention in , the 'Phags-pa script , a unified script for spelling Mongolian , Tibetan , and Chinese languages, was preserved in the court until the end of the dynasty. Most of the Emperors could not master written Chinese , but they could generally converse well in the language. The Mongol Emperors had built large palaces and pavilions, but some still continued to live as nomads at times.

The average Mongol garrison family of the Yuan dynasty seems to have lived a life of decaying rural leisure, with income from the harvests of their Chinese tenants eaten up by costs of equipping and dispatching men for their tours of duty. The Mongols practiced debt slavery, and by in all parts of the Mongol Empire commoners were selling their children into slavery. Seeing this as damaging to the Mongol nation, Kublai in forbade the sale abroad of Mongols. Kublai wished to persuade the Chinese that he was becoming increasingly sinicized while maintaining his Mongolian credentials with his own people.

He set up a civilian administration to rule, built a capital within China, supported Chinese religions and culture, and devised suitable economic and political institutions for the court. But at the same time he never abandoned his Mongolian heritage. During the Yuan dynasty, various important developments in the arts occurred or continued in their development, including the areas of painting, mathematics, calligraphy, poetry, and theater, with many great artists and writers being famous today.

Due to the coming together of painting, poetry, and calligraphy at this time many of the artists practicing these different pursuits were the same individuals, though perhaps more famed for one area of their achievements than others. Often in terms of the further development of landscape painting as well as the classical joining together of the arts of painting, poetry, and calligraphy, the Song dynasty and the Yuan dynasty are linked together. In Chinese painting during the Yuan dynasty there were many famous painters. In the area of calligraphy many of the great calligraphers were from the Yuan dynasty era. In Yuan poetry , the main development was the qu , which was used among other poetic forms by most of the famous Yuan poets.

Many of the poets were also involved in the major developments in the theater during this time, and the other way around, with people important in the theater becoming famous through the development of the sanqu type of qu. One of the key factors in the mix of the zaju variety show was the incorporation of poetry both classical and of the newer qu form. One of the important cultural developments during the Yuan era was the consolidation of poetry, painting, and calligraphy into a unified piece of the type that tends to come to mind when people think of classical Chinese art.

Another important aspect of Yuan times is the increasing incorporation of the then current, vernacular Chinese into both the qu form of poetry and the zaju variety show. There were many religions practiced during the Yuan dynasty, such as Buddhism , Islam , Christianity and Manichaeism. The establishment of the Yuan dynasty had dramatically increased the number of Muslims in China. However, unlike the western khanates, the Yuan dynasty never converted to Islam. Instead, Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty, favored Buddhism, especially the Tibetan variants. As a result, Tibetan Buddhism was established as the de facto state religion. The top-level department and government agency known as the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs Xuanzheng Yuan was set up in Khanbaliq modern Beijing to supervise Buddhist monks throughout the empire.

Since Kublai Khan only esteemed the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism, other religions became less important. He and his successors kept a Sakya Imperial Preceptor Dishi at court. Before the end of the Yuan dynasty, 14 leaders of the Sakya sect had held the post of Imperial Preceptor, thereby enjoying special power. Mongolian Buddhist translations, almost all from Tibetan originals, began on a large scale after Many Mongols of the upper class such as the Jalayir and the Oronar nobles as well as the emperors also patronized Confucian scholars and institutions.

A considerable number of Confucian and Chinese historical works were translated into the Mongolian language. At the same time the Mongols imported Central Asian Muslims to serve as administrators in China, the Mongols also sent Hans and Khitans from China to serve as administrators over the Muslim population in Bukhara in Central Asia, using foreigners to curtail the power of the local peoples of both lands. A complicated set of formal requirements for the examinations was created which undermined the whole system. Inevitably a large number of candidates failed the exams, often repeatedly. During the Tang period, the ratio of success to failure in the palace exam was or In the Song dynasty, the ratio of success to failure for the metropolitan exam was about In the Ming and Qing dynasties, success to failure for the provincial exam was about For every shengyuan in the country, only one in three thousand would ever become a jinshi.

While most candidates were men of certain means, those from poor families risked everything on passing the exams. Ambitious and talented candidates who suffered repeated failures felt the bite of indignation, and failure escalated from disappointment to desperation, and sometimes even revolt. Huang Chao led a massive rebellion in the late Tang dynasty, after it had already been weakened by the An Lushan rebellion.

He was born to a wealthy family in western Shandong. After repeated failures he created a secret society that engaged in illicit salt trading. Although Huang Chao's rebellion was ultimately defeated, it led to the final disintegration of the Tang dynasty. Among Huang Chao's cohort were other failed candidates such as Li Zhen , who targeted government officials, killed them and threw their bodies into the Yellow River.

He aided the Tanguts in setting up a Chinese-style court. Niu Jinxing of the late Ming was a general in Li Zicheng 's rebel army. Having failed to become a jinshi, he targeted high officials and members of the royal family, butchering them as retribution. Hong Xiuquan led the midth-century Taiping Rebellion against the Qing dynasty. After his fourth and final attempt at the shengyuan exam, he had a nervous breakdown, during which he had visions of a heaven where he was part of a celestial family. Influenced by the teachings of Christian missionaries, Hong announced to his family and followers that his visions had been of God, his father, and Jesus Christ, his brother. He created the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and waged war on the Qing dynasty, devastating parts of southeast China which would not recover for decades.

Pu Songling — failed the examination multiple times. He immortalized the frustrations of candidates trapped in the relentless system in numerous stories that parodied the system. Reformers charged that the set format of the " eight-legged essay " stifled original thought and satirists portrayed the rigidity of the system in novels such as Rulin waishi. In the twentieth century, the New Culture Movement portrayed the examination system as a cause for China's weakness in such stories as Lu Xun 's Kong Yiji. Some have suggested that limiting the topics prescribed in examination system removed the incentives for Chinese intellectuals to learn mathematics or to conduct experimentation, perhaps contributing to the Great Divergence , in which China's scientific and economic development fell behind Europe.

However, the political and ethical theories of Confucian classical curriculum have also been likened to the classical studies of humanism in European nations which proved instrumental in selecting an "all-rounded" top-level leadership. US leaders included "virtue" such as reputation and support for the US constitution as a criterion for government service. These features have been compared to similar aspects of the earlier Chinese model. The Cambridge-Oxford ideal of the civil service was identical to the Confucian ideal of a general education in world affairs through humanism.

In late imperial China , the examination system was the primary mechanism by which the central government captured and held the loyalty of local-level elites. Their loyalty, in turn, ensured the integration of the Chinese state, and countered tendencies toward regional autonomy and the breakup of the centralized system. The examination system distributed its prizes according to provincial and prefectural quotas, which meant that imperial officials were recruited from the whole country, in numbers roughly proportional to each province's population.

Elite individuals all over China, even in the disadvantaged peripheral regions, had a chance at succeeding in the examinations and achieving the rewards and emoluments office brought. The examination-based civil service thus promoted stability and social mobility. The Confucianism -based examinations meant that the local elites and ambitious would-be members of those elites across the whole of China were taught with similar values.

Even though only a small fraction about 5 percent of those who attempted the examinations actually passed them and even fewer received titles, the hope of eventual success sustained their commitment. Those who failed to pass did not lose wealth or local social standing; as dedicated believers in Confucian orthodoxy, they served, without the benefit of state appointments, as civilian teachers, patrons of the arts, and managers of local projects, such as irrigation works, schools, or charitable foundations. During the Tang dynasty, candidates were either recommended by their schools or had to register for exams at their home prefecture.

By the Song dynasty, theoretically all adult Chinese men were eligible for the examinations. The only requirement was education. In practice, a number of official and unofficial restrictions applied to who was able to take the imperial exams. The commoners were divided into four groups according to occupation: scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants. Among the forms of discrimination faced by the "mean" people were restriction from government office and the credential to take the imperial exam.

Butchers and sorcerers were also excluded at times. During the Song dynasty, artisans and merchants were specifically excluded from the jinshi exam; and, in the Liao dynasty, physicians, diviners, butchers, and merchants were all prohibited from taking the examinations. In one prefecture, within a few decades of the dynasty's founding, most of those who passed the jinshi examination came from families that had been members of the local elite for a generation or longer. Despite the six- or sevenfold increase in the numbers of men gaining jinshi , the sons of officials had better chances than most of getting these degrees Aside from official restrictions, there was also the economic problem faced by men of poorer means.

The route to a jinshi degree was long and the competition fierce. Men who achieved a jinshi degree in their twenties were considered extremely fortunate. Someone who obtained a jinshi degree in their thirties was also considered on schedule. Both were expected to study continuously for years without interruption. Without the necessary financial support, studying for the exams would have been an impractical task. After completing their studies, candidates also had to pay for travel and lodging expenses, not to mention thank-you gifts for the examiners and tips for the staff.

Banquets and entertainment also had to be paid for. As a result of these expenses, the nurturing of a candidate was a common burden for the whole family. Each candidate arrived at an examination compound with only a few amenities: a water pitcher, a chamber pot , bedding, food prepared by the examinee , an inkstone , ink and brushes. Guards verified a student's identity and searched him for hidden texts such as cheat sheets. The facilities provided for the examinee consisted of an isolated room or cell with a makeshift bed, desk, and bench. Each examinee was assigned to a cell according to their number. Paper was provided by the examiners and stamped with an official seal.

The examinees of the Ming and Qing periods could take up to three days and two nights writing " eight-legged essays "—literary compositions with eight distinct sections. Interruptions and outside communication were forbidden for the duration of the exam. If a candidate died, officials wrapped his body in a straw mat and tossed it over the high walls that ringed the compound. At the end of the examination, answer sheets were processed by the sealing office. The Ming era Book of Swindles ca. To prevent cheating, the sealing office erased any information about the candidate found on the paper and assigned a number to each candidate's papers. Persons in the copy office then recopied the entire text three times so that the examiners would not be able to identify the author.

The first review was carried out by an examining official, and the papers were then handed over to a secondary examining official and to an examiner, either the chief examiner or one of several vice examiners. Judgments by the first and second examining official were checked again by a determining official, who fixed the final grade. Working with the team of examiners were a legion of gate supervisors, registrars, sealers, copyists and specialist assessors of literature. Pu Songling , a Qing dynasty satirist, described the "seven transformations of the candidate":.

When he first enters the examination compound and walks along, panting under his heavy load of luggage, he is just like a beggar. Next, while undergoing the personal body search and being scolded by the clerks and shouted at by the soldiers, he is just like a prisoner. When he finally enters his cell and, along with the other candidates, stretches his neck to peer out, he is just like the larva of a bee. When the examination is finished at last and he leaves, his mind in a haze and his legs tottering, he is just like a sick bird that has been released from a cage. While he is wondering when the results will be announced and waiting to learn whether he passed or failed, so nervous that he is startled even by the rustling of the trees and the grass and is unable to sit or stand still, his restlessness is like that of a monkey on a leash.

When at last the results are announced and he has definitely failed, he loses his vitality like one dead, rolls over on his side, and lies there without moving, like a poisoned fly. Then, when he pulls himself together and stands up, he is provoked by every sight and sound, gradually flings away everything within his reach, and complains of the illiteracy of the examiners. When he calms down at last, he finds everything in the room broken. At this time he is like a pigeon smashing its own precious eggs. These are the seven transformations of a candidate.

In the main hall of the imperial palace during the Tang and Song dynasties there were two stone statues. When the list was published, all the names of the graduates were read aloud in the presence of the emperor, and recorded in the archival documents of the dynasty. Graduates were given a green gown, a tablet as a symbol of status, and boots.

Shengyuan degree holders were given some general tax exemptions. Metropolitan exam graduates were allowed to buy themselves free of exile in cases of crime and to decrease the number of blows with the stick for a fee. Other than the title of jinshi, graduates of the palace examination were also exempted from all taxes and corvee labour. The top three graduates of the palace examinations were directly appointed to the Hanlin Academy. During the Tang dynasty, successful candidates reported to the Ministry of Personnel for placement examinations. Unassigned officials and honorary title holders were expected to take placement examinations at regular intervals.

Non-assigned status could last a very long time especially when waiting for a substantive appointment. After being assigned to office, a junior official was given an annual merit rating. There was no specified term limit, but most junior officials served for at least three years or more in one post. Senior officials served indefinitely at the pleasure of the emperor. In the Song dynasty, successful candidates were appointed to office almost immediately and waiting periods between appointments were not long.

Annual merit ratings were still taken but officials could request evaluation for reassignment. Officials who wished to escape harsh assignments often requested reassignment as a state supervisor of a Taoist temple or monastery. Senior officials in the capital also sometimes nominated themselves for the position of prefect in obscure prefectures. In addition to an obvious thinning of the numbers as one progresses into the upper ranks, the numbers also reveal important divisions between groups in the middle ranges of the administrative class. The distinct bulge in the court official group grades twenty-five through twenty-three , with a total of 1, officials, the largest of any group, reveals the real promotion barrier between grades twenty-three and twenty-two.

The wide disparity between directors grades nineteen through fifteen with a total of officials and vice directors grades twenty-two through twenty with officials also reveals the importance and the difficulty of promotion above grade twenty. These patterns formed because as early as the state effectively placed quotas on the number of officials who could be appointed to each group. Promotion across these major boundaries into the above group thus became more difficult. Recruitment by examination during the Yuan dynasty constituted a very minor part of the Yuan administration. Hereditary Mongol nobility formed the elite nucleus of the government. Initially the Mongols drew administrators from their subjects. In , Kublai Khan ordered the establishment of Mongolian schools to draw officials from.

The School for the Sons of the State was established in to give two or three years of training for the sons of the Imperial Bodyguards so that they might become suitable for official recruitment. Recruitment by examination flourished after in the Ming dynasty. Provincial graduates were sometimes appointed to low-ranking offices or entered the Guozijian for further training, after which they might be considered for better appointments. Before appointment to office, metropolitan graduates were assigned to observe the functions of an office for up to one year. The maximum tenure for an office was nine years, but triennial evaluations were also taken, at which point an official could be reassigned.

Magistrates of districts submitted monthly evaluation reports to their prefects and the prefects submitted annual evaluations to provincial authorities. Every third year, provincial authorities submitted evaluations to the central government, at which point an "outer evaluation" was conducted, requiring local administration to send representatives to attend a grand audience at the capital. Officials at the capital conducted an evaluation every six years. Capital officials of rank 4 and above were exempted from regular evaluations. Irregular evaluations were conducted by censorial officials. Graduates of the metropolitan examination during the Qing dynasty were assured influential posts in the officialdom.

The Ministry of Personnel submitted a list of nominees to the emperor, who then decided all major appointments in the capital and in the provinces in consultation with the Grand Council. Appointments were generally on a three year basis with an evaluation at the end and the option for renewal. Officials rank three and above were personally evaluated by the emperor. Due to a population boom in the early modern era, qualified men far exceeded vacancies in the bureaucracy so that many waited for years between active duty assignments. Purchase of office became a common practice during the 19th century since it was very hard for qualified men to be appointed to one of the very limited number of posts.

The Ministry of Rites , under the Department of State Affairs , was responsible for organizing and carrying out the imperial examinations. It was located directly in the palace compound and staffed by officials who drafted official documents such as edicts. These officials, commonly appointed from the top three ranks of the palace examination graduates, came to be known as academicians after , when a new building was constructed to provide them living quarters. The title "academician" was not only for the staff of the Hanlin Academy, but any special assignment to special posts.

The number of academicians in the Hanlin Academy was fixed to six at a later date and they were given the task of doing paperwork and consulting the emperor. The Hanlin Academy drafted documents about the appointment and dismissal of high ministers, proclamation of amnesties, and imperial military commands. It also aided the emperor in reading documents. The number of Hanlin academicians was reduced to two during the Song dynasty. During the Yuan dynasty , a Hanlin Academy just for Mongols was created to translate documents. More emphasis was put on the oversight of imperial publications such as dynastic histories. In the Qing dynasty , the number of posts in the Hanlin Academy increased immensely and a Manchu official was installed at all times.

The posts became purely honorary and the institution was reduced to just another stepping stone for persons seeking higher positions in the government. Lower officials in the Hanlin Academy often had other posts at the same time. The Taixue National University , was the highest educational institution in imperial China. During the reign of Emperor Wu of Han r. The Confucian scholar Dong Zhongshu suggested establishing a National University Taixue in the capital, Chang'an , so that erudites could teach the Classics. Teaching at the Taixue was a prestigious job because the emperor commonly picked from among them for appointment in high offices.

At first the Taixue had only 50 students but increased to around 3, by the end of the millennium. Under the reign of Wang Mang r. The professors and students were able to exercise some political power by criticizing their opponents such as governors and eunuchs. This eventually led to the arrest of more than 1, professors and students by the eunuchs. After the collapse of the Han dynasty , the Taixue was reduced to just 19 teaching positions and 1, students but climbed back to 7, students under the Jin dynasty — After the nine rank system was introduced, a "Directorate of Education" Guozijian was created for persons rank five and above, effectively making it the educational institution for nobles, while the Taixue was relegated to teaching commoners.

Over the next two centuries, the Guozijian became the primary educational institute in the Southern Dynasties. The Sixteen Kingdoms and Northern Dynasties also created their own schools but they were only available for sons and relatives of high officials. These schools accepted the relatives of officials rank eight and below while the Taixue, Guozijian, and Four Gates School served higher ranks. By the start of the Tang dynasty , students were enrolled in the Guozijian, at the Taixue, 1, at the Four Gates School, 50 at the Law School, and a mere 30 at the Calligraphy and Arithmetics Schools. Emperor Gaozong of Tang r.

The average age of admission was 14 to 19 but 18 to 25 for the Law School. Students of these institutions who applied for the state examinations had their names transmitted to the Ministry of Rites , which was also responsible for their appointment to a government post. Emperor Shenzong of Song r. Under the three-colleges law, students first attended the Outer College, then the Inner College, and finally the Superior College. One of the aims of the three-colleges was to provide a more balanced education for students and to de-emphasize Confucian learning. Students were taught in only one of the Confucian classics, depending on the college, as well as arithmetics and medicine. Students of the Outer College who passed a public and institutional examination were allowed to enter the Inner College.

At the Inner College there were two exams over a two-year period on which the students were graded. Those who achieved the superior grade on both exams were directly appointed to office equal to that of a metropolitan exam graduate. Those who achieved an excellent grade on one exam but slightly worse on the other could still be considered for promotion, and having a good grade in one exam but mediocre in another still awarded merit equal to that of a provincial exam graduate. In , the prefectural examinations were abolished in favor of the three-colleges system, which required each prefecture to send an annual quota of students to the Taixue.

This drew criticism from some officials who claimed that the new system benefited the rich and young, and was less fair because the relatives of officials could enroll without being examined for their skills. In , the local three-college system was abolished but retained at the national level. The Taixue itself did not survive the demise of the Song dynasty and ceased to exist afterwards, becoming a synonym for the Guozijian. Under the Song dynasty , the Guozijian became the central administrative institution for all state schools throughout the empire. Among its duties were the maintenance of the buildings, the construction of new facilities, and the promotion of students.

The Guozijian itself was equipped with a library and printing shop to create model printing blocks for distribution. The Guozijian was abolished in The examinations were administered at the district, provincial, and metropolitan levels. Tight quotas restricted the number of successful candidates at each level—for example, only three hundred students could pass the metropolitan examinations. Students often took the examinations several times before earning a degree. By the Ming dynasty , the examinations and degrees formed a "ladder of success", with success generally being equated with being graduated as jinshi , a degree similar to a modern Doctor of Literature degree, or PhD. Modifications to the basic jinshi or other degree were made for higher-placing graduates, similar to the modern Summa cum laude.

The examination process extended down to the county level, and included examinations at the provincial and national levels. The highest level tests would be at the imperial court or palace level, of which the jinshi was the highest regular level, although special purpose tests were occasionally offered, by imperial decree:. The classicist mingjing originated as a category for recruitment by local authorities to the appointment of state offices. The term was created during the Han dynasty under Emperor Wu of Han for candidates eligible for official appointment or for enrolment in the Taixue. Classicists were expected to be familiar with the Confucian canon and the Taoist text Laozi. The classicist category fell out of use under Cao Wei and the Jin dynasty but was revived during the Southern Dynasties for filling places in the Taixue.

During the Sui dynasty, examinations for classicists and cultivated talents were introduced. Unlike cultivated talents, classicists were only tested on the Confucian canon, which was considered an easy task at the time, so those who passed were awarded posts in the lower rungs of officialdom. They then had to write the whole paragraph to complete the phrase. In contrast, the jinshi examination tested not only the Confucian classics, but also history, proficiency in compiling official documents, inscriptions, discursive treatises, memorials, and poems and rhapsodies.

The cultivated talent xiucai originated in the Han dynasty when Emperor Wu of Han declared that each province had to present one cultivated talent per year to be appointed in the government. During the Sui dynasty, examinations for "cultivated talents" were introduced. They were tested on matters of statecraft and the Confucian canon. This type of examination was very limited in its implementation and there were only 11 or 12 graduates throughout its entire history. During the Song dynasty, cultivated talent became a general title for graduates of the state examinations. The strategic questions examination cewen was a question-and-answer type essay examination introduced during the Han dynasty.

The purpose of the exam was to ensure examinees could apply Confucian doctrine to practical matters of statecraft. A question on a problematic political issue was asked and the examinee was expected to answer it according to his own opinion and how the issue could be resolved. The strategic questions examination became obsolete during the Ming dynasty due to the prevalence of the eight-legged essay. During the reign of Wu Zetian the imperial government created military examinations for the selection of army officers as a response to the breakdown of garrison militias known as the Fubing system.

The military exam included both a written and physical portion. In theory, candidates were supposed to master not only the same Confucian texts as required by the civil exam, but also Chinese military texts such as The Art of War , in addition to martial skills such as archery and horsemanship. The first session tested mounted archery by having candidates shoot three arrows while riding a horse toward a target at a distance of 35 and 80 paces. The target was in the shape of a man 1. A perfect score was three hits, a good score two, and one hit earned a pass.

Those who fell off their horse or failed to score even one hit were eliminated. The second session was held in a garden at the prefectural office. Candidates were ordered to shoot five arrows at a target at 50 paces. Again, five hits were graded excellent while one hit earned a pass. Next they had to bend a bow into the shape of a full moon. The bows were graded by strength into 72 kg, 60 kg, and 48 kg weapons.

Bending a 72 kg bow was excellent while bending a 48 kg bow earned a pass. Then they were ordered to perform a number of exercises with a halberd without it touching the ground. The halberds were graded by weight from 72 kg to 48 kg, with the lowest grade weapon earning a pass. For the final portion of the second session, candidates were required to lift a stone 35 cm off the ground. Lifting a kg stone earned an excellent grade, a kg stone good, and a kg stone passing. The third session involved writing out by memory entire portions of the Seven Military Classics , but only three of the classics were ever used, those being The Methods of the Sima , the Wuzi , and The Art of War.

Even just memorizing the reduced portion of the classics was too difficult for most military examinees, who resorted to cheating and bringing with them miniature books to copy, a behavior the examiners let slide owing to the greater weighting of the first two sessions. In some cases the examinees still made mistakes while copying the text word for word. The contents of the military exam were largely the same at the prefectural, provincial, metropolitan, and palace levels, with the only difference being tougher grading. Military degrees were considered inferior to civil degrees and did not carry the same prestige.

The names of civil jinshi were carved in marble whereas military jinshi were not. While the military and civil services were imagined in Chinese political philosophy as the two wheels of a chariot , in practice, the military examination degree was highly regarded by neither the army or the world at large. Final decision for appointment in the military still came down to forces outside the examination system. For example, at the beginning of , An Lushan replaced 32 Han Chinese commanders with his own barbarian favorites without any repercussions.

Some of the few military examination graduates who did achieve distinction include the Tang general Guo Ziyi , the father of the founder of the Song dynasty Zhao Hongyin , Ming generals Yu Dayou and Qi Jiguang , and Ming general turned traitor Wu Sangui. However these are but a minuscule number among those who passed the military metropolitan exams held between their inception in and abolishment in Even in desperate times of war, the majority of distinguished military figures in Chinese history have come from civil degree holders. The practices of the Ming and Qing military exams were incorporated into physical education in the Republic of China. During the Qing dynasty, translation examinations were held for young men from the Eight Banners who held no military post.

Manchus , Mongols and Chinese Bannermen were allowed to participate in the Manchu exam while the Mongolian exam was restricted to Mongol Bannermen. The examinees did not take the examinations expecting to become translators. The content of the exam consisted of material from the Manchu or Mongol versions of the Four Books and the Five Classics, while only a minor part of the exam consisted of translation from Chinese into Manchu or Mongolian. Three levels of the exam were implemented but there was no palace examination. The quota on the provincial level was 33 persons for the Manchu, and 9 for the Mongolian examination.

The number of graduates declined to just 7 and 3 persons, respectively, in , and 4 and 1 in In the Mongolian exam was abolished because there were only 6 candidates. Graduates of the metropolitan translation examination were all given the title of regular metropolitan translation graduate without further gradation or extraordinary designations. Excellent graduates of the Manchu exam were directly appointed secretaries in one of the Six Ministries while those of the Mongol one were commonly made officials in the Court of Colonial Affairs.

Besides the regular tests for the jinshi and other degrees, there were also occasionally special purpose examinations, by imperial decree zhiju. Decree examinations could be for a number of purposes such as identifying talent for specific assignments, or to satisfy particular interest groups such as ethnic groups and the imperial clan. In the Tang dynasty, the emperor held on occasion irregular examinations for specialized topics. These were open to persons already employed by the government. In the examination room, the examinees then had a day to write essays on six topics chosen by the test officials, and finally were required to write a 3, character essay on a complex policy problem, personally chosen by the emperor, Renzong.

Among the few successful candidates were the Su brothers, Su Shi and Su Zhe who had already attained their jinshi degrees, in , with Su Shi scoring exceptionally high in the examinations, and subsequently having copies of his examination essays widely circulated. All Chinese imperial examinations were written in Classical Chinese , also known as Literary Chinese, using the regular script kaishu , which is today the most commonly seen calligraphic style in modern China.

The importance of knowledge in Classical Chinese was retained in examination systems in other countries such as in Japan , Korea , and Vietnam , where candidates were required to be well-versed in the Confucian classics , to be able to compose essays and poetry in Classical Chinese, and to be able to write in regular script. Owing to the examination system, Classical Chinese became a basic educational standard throughout these countries. Owing to the shared literary and philosophical traditions rooted in Confucian and Buddhist texts and the use of the same script, a large number of Chinese words were borrowed into Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese KJV. To prepare for the civil service exams, candidates mastered Chinese words through reciting the texts and composing prose and verses in Classical Chinese, so it is hardly surprising that they gradually added Chinese vocabulary to their native lexicon.

However, they have long been integrated into the vocabulary of the KJV languages so that native speakers may be oblivious of their Sinitic origin. Some of the main outstanding questions regarding the imperial examinations are in regard to poetry. Starting from the Yuan dynasty, poetry was abolished as a subject in the examinations, being regarded as frivolous. This process was completed at the inception of the following Ming dynasty. The imperial examinations influenced traditional Chinese religion as well as contemporary literary tradition.

In practice, the examinations also included various religious and superstitious beliefs that extend the examinations beyond Confucian idealism. The story is that he was a scholar who took the tests, and, despite his most excellent performance, he was unfairly deprived of the first-place prize by a corrupt system: in response, he killed himself, the act of suicide condemning him to be a ghost. Many people afraid of traveling on roads and paths that may be haunted by evil spirits have worshiped Zhong Kui as a protective deity. Click here for more details and apply for the scholarship! Why CS at Tsinghua? Your browser does not support the video tag. Tsinghua University Introduction Tsinghua University was established in Recent News.

Hear from our students " I really appreciated my experience in Knowledge Engineering Group, a laboratory of the department. I try to do my best to integrate myself with my Chinese collegues I thought the teaching was excellent, the course structure was excellent, the teaching materials were excellent, and I looked forward to getting every new lab assignment, they were really fun! I thought the teaching was excellent, maybe one of the best teachers we have. The teacher was very good at understanding people's questions and giving easy to understand answers that were the answer to the question asked, and not to some related, but different, question Our student life is also animated thanks to the large variety of associations in the campus which organize all sorts of interesting events

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