The Northern Song

Authored by: Yongguang Hu

Routledge Handbook of Imperial Chinese History

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847286
eBook ISBN: 9781315726878
Adobe ISBN:


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The Northern Song (960–1127) was a pivotal period that witnessed a number of key transitions in Chinese history. The state adopted the principle of meritocracy and promoted scholar-officials to manage the bureaucracy. Its society benefited from agricultural growth, the expansion of handicraft industries, and the development of trade. At the same time, the court suffered from severe factional conflicts in its last five decades, and the dynasty constantly faced military threats from non-Chinese regimes in the north and northwest. The Northern Song eventually fell to the invasion of the Jurchen in 1127.

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