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Song Dynasty facts for kids

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A map showing the territory of the Song, Liao, and Western Xia dynasties. The Song occupies the east half of what constitutes the territory of the modern China, except for the northernmost areas (modern Inner Mongolia and above). Western Xia occupies a small strip of land surrounding a river in what is now Inner Mongolia and Ningxia, and the Liao occupy a large section of what is today north-east China.
The Song dynasty at its greatest extent in 1111
Capital Bianjing (960–1127)
Jiangning (1129–1138)
Lin'an (1138–1276)
Common languages Middle Chinese
Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion, Islam, Chinese Nestorian Christianity
Government Monarchy
• 960–976
Emperor Taizu (founder of Northern Song)
• 1127–1162
Emperor Gaozong (founder of Southern Song)
• 1278–1279
Zhao Bing (last)
Historical era Postclassical Era
• Established
February 4 960
• Signing of the Chanyuan Treaty with Liao
• Alliance with Jin
• Jingkang Incident
• Beginning of Mongol invasion
• Fall of Lin'an
• Battle of Yamen (end of dynasty)
March 19 1279
958 est. 800,000 km2 (310,000 sq mi)
980 est. 3,100,000 km2 (1,200,000 sq mi)
1127 est. 2,100,000 km2 (810,000 sq mi)
1204 est. 1,800,000 km2 (690,000 sq mi)
• 1120s
Northern: 80-110,000,000
Southern: 65,000,000
GDP (nominal) estimate
• Per capita
Increase 26.5 taels
Currency Jiaozi, Guanzi, Huizi, Chinese cash, Chinese coin, copper coins, etc.
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Later Zhou
Later Shu
Southern Han
Southern Tang
Northern Han
Yuan dynasty
Today part of  People's Republic of China
Flag of the Republic of China.svg
  Quemoy and Matsu
Song Taizu
Song Taizu, first emperor of the Song Dynasty
China 11a
Map of the Song Dynasty.

The Song Dynasty ruled in China from 960–1279 AD. It started the reunification of China for the first time since the fall of the Tang Dynasty in 907. The years in between, known as the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, were a time of division between north and south, and of rapidly changing administrations. In 960, a general of the Later Zhou dynasty named Zhao Kuangyin (the later Emperor Taizu of Song) overthrew the emperor through a mutiny and established the Song dynasty. Although it unified China, its army was weak and lost the wars against the Liao dynasty and Western Xia. Soon after the death of Emperor Taizu, the empire faced many economic and military problems.

In 1127, the Manchu clans led by the Jin Dynasty emperors destroyed the Liao Dynasty, invaded Song, and captured the emperor, princes, and ministers. A prince at southern China was lucky to be the only one who was not taken by the Manchus, and after the invasion of northern China he succeeded the throne at Hangzhou. Because of this, historians named the Song that was before the invasion as Northern Song, and the one after the invasion as Southern Song. Southern Song made peace with the Manchus and existed until Kublai Khan of the Mongols conquered all of southern China in 1279.


Northern Song: 960–1127

The Northern Song Dynasty ruled in China from 960 to 1127. The first emperor Zhao Kuangyin set the capital in Bianliang (now we call this city Kaifeng) in northern China. The Northern Song Dynasty enjoyed the highest economic and cultural prosperity during the ancient Chinese history. In 1126, the army from Jin Dynasty started attcking Bianliang city and Northern Song Dynasty ended the next year. The Song Dynasty also was one of the best dynasties in architecture.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dinastía Song para niños

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