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How The Tang Dynasty Show 600-700ad Started

By Mei Liu

A dynasty is a succession of political leaders from the same family. There were several dynasties in ancient China. The Tang Dynasty 600-700ad is amongst the most well-known, mainly because it had accomplished some notable reforms.

The Sui Dynasty, which had defeated the Chen Dynasty in 589, was the immediate predecessor to the Tang Dynasty. As of 611, with a few minor exceptions, China as united under the Sui Dynasty had experienced more than 20 years of prosperity and peace. However, in 611, the Sui emperor, Yang Guang, began the preparations for a military campaign against the Goguryeo kingdom on the Korean peninsula. Yang conducted three military excursions against Goguryeo. The first two were unsuccessful. Disruption of agricultural cycles and heavy battle casualties caused a series of rebellions in the agrarian community, which Emperor Yang could never quash. Yang promised great rewards to anyone who would help him defeat the rebels, but he didn’t keep his promises.

By 617, major portions of China had come under control of various rebel leaders. Several of these leaders received military aid from Ashina Duojishi, leader of the Eastern Tujue royal house. In the winter of 617, Li Yuan, one of the rebel leaders, captured the city Chang’an, site of present-day Xi’an and capital of the Sui empire. He then honored Emperor Yang with the title of “retired emperor”, and declared that Yang You would be the new emperor. Li Yuan declared himself as “Prince of Tang”. However, most of the Sui territory refused to recognize these declarations. Meanwhile, Emperor Yang and his army remained in Jiangdu, on the Chinese coast.

In addition, soldiers began to desert from Emperor Yang Guang’s army. In return, Yang meted out harsh punishments. The remaining army officers plotted to overthrow him, and chose Army General Yuwen Huaji to be their leader. In the spring of 618, they killed Emperor Yang. Yuwen decreed that Yang Hao, Emperor Yang’s nephew, would become the new emperor. Yang Hao assumed the title of “Emperor Gong”.

When this news had reached the rest of the empire, two factions each declared a new emperor. Li Yuan went on to establish the Tang Dynasty by having Emperor Gong relinquish the throne to him. He declared that he would become “Emperor Gaozu”. Seven leaders in Luoyang decreed that Yang Tong, the deceased emperor’s nephew, would become the new emperor. Most in the Sui Dynasty prefectures supported Yang Tong.

Meanwhile, Yuwen Huaji and his army had been advancing northward, toward the city of Luoyang. This concerned the Luoyang administrators sufficiently that they temporarily allied themselves with Li Mi, a former leader of the anti-Sui rebels. Li Mi swore allegiance to Yang Tong, and assisted in turning back General Yuwen’s army.

Previously, the original Emperor Yang had sent General Wang Shichong to Luoyang. His mission had been to defeat Li Mi and his rebel forces. Now, he was opposed to the coalition with Li Mi. Later in 618, With a surprise attack, Wang forced Li Mi to escape to Tang. Li Mi later tried to establish independence for himself, and was assassinated by Tang forces.

By 628, Emperor Taizong had taken Emperor Gaozu’s place as the Tang Dynasty’s new leader. During that year, after a series of military conquests, all of China had been brought under Taizong’s control.

Follow the links if you are interested to know about the rise of the Tang Dynasty or are interested in discounted tickets to see the Tang Dynasty Show in Xian

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Liu, Mei "How The Tang Dynasty Show 600-700ad Started." How The Tang Dynasty Show 600-700ad Started. 27 Jun. 2010. 26 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Liu, M (2010, June 27). How The Tang Dynasty Show 600-700ad Started. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Liu, Mei "How The Tang Dynasty Show 600-700ad Started"

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