Let me lead you off...
In what ways did Tang and Song dynasty China resemble the classical Han dynasty period, and in what ways had China changed?
• Tang and Song dynasty China resembled the Han dynasty period in a number of ways, including the maintenance of the imperial political system, and the importance of a professional bureaucracy formally trained and subject to competitive exams.
• Another similarity was a focus on establishing a dominant political position in East Asia that was recognized by China’s neighbors; an interest in and support for long-distance trade; and the continued importance of the Confucian tradition in elite society.
• China also experienced important changes following the Han dynasty period, including tighter unification of northern and southern China through a vast waterway system; the long-term migration of Chinese populations south into the Yangzi River valley after 220 c.e.; and an economic revolution that made it the richest empire on earth.
• There was rapid population growth, from 50 million to 60 million people during the Tang dynasty to 120 million people by 1200, which was spurred in part by a remarkable growth in agricultural production.
• Also, the economy of China became the most highly commercialized in the world and became more active in long-distance trade than during the Han dynasty.