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Current time:0:00Total duration:4:36

Video transcript

in other videos when we talked about the various Chinese empires we talked about the Sung dynasty in particular as a time of significant technological innovation and here are just some of the examples that we talked about most notably gunpowder movable block print you have block printing emerged during the Tang Dynasty but during on during the Song Dynasty it gets perfected and you and it becomes more efficient with movable block print you have the compass being perfected especially for naval use the boats being perfected you see this reinvigoration it really the high point of the Chinese Civil Service you see the emergence of neo-confucianism but one question is well what allowed all of this innovation to take place and also what allowed for the stability of the Song Dynasty when you look at it on the timeline like this that's covering over 2,000 years it might not look that long but when you actually think about it this is over 300 years of dynastic rule by one dynasty now it is split in the middle between the northern Song and the southern Song that happens in 1127 we'll talk about that in a little bit but for the most part it is a very prosperous time for China the population actually grows from roughly 50 million people during the Tong dynasty - it is estimated a hundred million people by the northern Song Dynasty and eventually keeps growing by the so that by the time we get to the Ming Dynasty we have a population of about 200 million people so what are the things that allows for that population explosion really well what one thing you can imagine is food is very important and it's during this time period that the Song Dynasty is able to leverage a more robust rice seed from Southeast Asia that allows it to feed many many more people and so this obviously allows a population growth but anytime you're able to feed people and there's more prosperity you are going to have a more stable Empire now another major input to prosperity and the stability of Empires is the notion of trade and China had always many river systems which helped facilitate agriculture and trade but as you get into the sway dynasty right over here you have the completion of the Grand Canal which is even today the largest man-made canal it stretches from Beijing to Hangzhou and actually goes beyond that and has other tributaries and that connected with the existing river systems allowed for a lot of trade to happen especially as we get into the tongue and the Sung dynasty now the Song Dynasty in particular you have the pound Locke being invented which allows for easier travel across waterways when you have a change in the level of water and the pound Locke is still the standard technology used in canals throughout the world you also have the first use of paper money this is a big deal we use paper money today our ability to have transactions in our society are not dependent on our ability to mine for gold or silver or copper and one of the things that allowed for paper money to even be used was this notion of block printing and block printing with movable type in particular once again a Song Dynasty innovation now as I mentioned as we get into 11:27 you have conquerors from the north in particular the Jin who are able to conquer northern China they caused the song to move their capital from Kaifeng in the north to Hangzhou in the south here you see Hangzhou is the major southern terminal of the Grand Canal and even though the northern Song had to move and essentially become the southern Song Dynasty you continue to have that prosperity for roughly another hundred fifty years and once again this comes from this meritocracy from the civil service system this abundance of food the stability from having the dynastic rule the trade the money all of these technological advances which make the Song Dynasty one of the notable periods of Chinese history