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The Song dynasty lasted over 300 years from 960 to 1279 Their history isdivided into two periods of Northern and Southern Song The Song period wasone of Chinas most peaceful and prosperous era However the Song governmentwas corrupt and weakThe Song Dynasty or Sung Dynasty was a period in which the Chinese governmentwas very weak In the beginning General Chao Kuang-yin also known as SungTai Tsu was forced to become emperor in order to unify China Sung TaiTsu created a national army under his direct control He and only he hadcontrol of the military Once he had passed away his less competent successorswere unable to keep the military under control the military increasinglylost prestige The weakening of Chinas military coincided with the riseof strong nomadic nations on the boardersDuring the same time of the militarys loss of prestige the civil servicerose in dignity This was an examination system that had been restored inSui and Tang and was further elaborated and regularized Selection examinationswere help every three years at the district provincial and metropolitanlevelsOnly 200 out of thousands of applicants were granted the jinshi degree Thiswas the highest degree and appointed on government posts From this timeon civil servants became Chinas most envied elite replacing the hereditarynobles and landlordsThe Song dynasty only extended over to the parts of earlier Chinese empiresThe Khitans controlled the northeastern territories and the His Hsia controlledthe northwestern territories The Song emperors were unable to recover theselands so they were forced to make peace with the Khitans and the Hsi HsiaThey gave massive amounts of payments to the barbarians under these peaceterms it depleted the state treasury and cause heavy payments on taxpayingpeasantsAbout 100 years after the Songs first started ruling over China their governmentstarted to go through a major decline Officials that held important governmentpositions were corrupt Wealthy merchants that became rich from foreign tradefound ways to avoid paying taxes The peasants began to rebel when the heavytaxes were placed on
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