Sui Dynasty, China Culture

China was reunified in A.D. 589 by the short-lived Sui dynasty (A.D. 581-617), which has often been compared to the earlier Qin dynasty in tenure and the ruthlessness of its accomplishments. The Sui dynasty's early demise was attributed to the government's tyrannical demands on the people, who bore the crushing burden of taxes and compulsory labor. These resources were overstrained in the completion of the Grand Canal--a monumental engineering feat--and in the undertaking of other construction projects, including the reconstruction of the Great Wall. Weakened by costly and disastrous military campaigns against Korea in the early seventh century, the dynasty disintegrated through a combination of popular revolts, disloyalty, and assassination.

China Culture

In 581 AD, a general named Wen Ti from northwest China succeeded in conquering the other two kingdoms and establishing a new dynasty in China, with emperors who ruled all of China like the Ch'in and the Han. This was the Sui Dynasty. Wen Ti made himself popular by trying to make the government better than it was during the Three Kingdoms. Wen Ti ordered that poor people in the countryside should pay less taxes than they had before. And he sent men around to all the provinces to count how many people there were and how much land and money each of them had (this is called a census) so that the government would know how much taxes that province should pay. He ordered that every man should get a certain amount of land to farm. When the man turned 60 and was too old to farm, he would stop paying taxes and give back some of the land, and pass on the rest to his sons.

Sui Dynasty, China

Wen Ti also decided to go back to the Han Dynasty way of picking his government officials through the university and the great examinations, to find out who were the smartest and best educated men (Women were not allowed to be government officials at this time).


Wen Ti died while he was still not old. He may have been killed by his son, Yang Ti, who wanted to be the emperor himself. In any case Yang Ti did become the next Sui emperor. Yang Ti wanted to be a great emperor, so he began a lot of important projects. Yang Ti's best project was one where people dug a Grand Canal which connected the Yellow River with the Huai and Yangtze Rivers and made it much easier to get from northern to southern China and back again.


Kings / Kingdoms

Events In China

Comments / Worldwide Events

Sui Dynasty (581 618 A.D.)

Archeology and Historical Sites
Historical Figures
Maps of Xi Han

Sui Wen Di

(589 605 A.D.)

Sui Wen Di (last name Chen) united China and changed its name to Sui. Wen Di reconstructed the Great Wall.


Sui Yang Di

(605 617 A.D.)

Built first grand canal in China (605 A.D.).

Japan sent boarding students to China (607 A.D.). China attacked Korea (614 A.D.). Turkish invaded China (615 A.D.).

Sui Gong Di

(617 618 A.D.)

Li Yuan rebelled against Sui Dynasty.

But Yang Ti's worst project was that he attacked Korea to try to take it over. He got together a great army of over a million men to invade Korea, but his great army was defeated and had to run away. The army generals were angry about this and killed Yang Ti. That was the end of the Sui Dynasty.

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