Huangzhou was the capital of the southern Song Dynasty. This occurred after the Jerchins took over the northern half and created the Jin Dynasty. It originated as a small port town, with an average size wealth and population, but grew to a bustling economic center after it was integrated to the Grand Canal system (it is located at the end). As a result, art and culture flourished and scholars migrated to the city. As a capital it boasts a sophisticated examination system to ensure only the best people held governmental jobs.

China has been a major world power since civilization sprouted out of the Huang He. It is not surprising, then, that it continues to be an influential force in Unit 2, thousands of years after the foundation of the Xia dynasty. In many ways, cities mirror the success and power that the civilizations they belong to possessed. This is the case with China as it is with other civilizations such as Constantinople in the Byzantine empire or Pataliputra in the Mauryan empire. Being the southern capital of the Tang dynasty and imperial capital of the Southern Song dynasty, Hangzhou was the epitome of Chinese success economically, culturally, and politically.

Started during the Sui Dynasty, the Da Yunhe(Grand Canal) was a principal transportation and trade route for much of Unit 2. It was constructed with the purpose of transporting foods from the agriculturally rich south China with the less fertile northern China. Because the large nomadic presence along the overland trade routes, the Chinese economy leaned more towards maritime trade. However, this proved to also be troublesome due to the constant piracy that occurred along coastal routes. In addition, the vastness of the open ocean instilled fear into merchants. Rivers had a set direction in which they flowed, and it was easy to tell which way was upstream or downstream; seas had no clearly defined boundaries. These factors helped spur the construction of an inland canal of grand proportions.

Trade was a crucial part of the Tang and Song empires. Indeed, these two dynasties often led the Afro-Eurasian trade world in terms of economy because of their high export output. Although the technology wasn't necessarily Chinese anymore due to Byzantine adaptation, high-quality silk was still popular worldwide and remained one of China's chief exports. Other goods such as porcelain and tea also increased in value and became major trade materials within and without China.

Hangzhou's location at the southern tip of the Da Yunhe gave it an advantage economically over other coastal cities. For one, the city was at the mouth of the Hangzhou Bay. The natural bay allowed numerous large ships to dock, facilitating the transport of both foreign and local goods. This also eliminated the need to construct artificial docks, reducing the stress on the Chinese infrastructure brought about by large-scale building projects. Second, being the southern tip of the Da Yunhe meant that goods from the southern reaches of China heading northward by way of the canal would first pass through Hangzhou. This greater exposure to trade goods compared to other coastal cities promoted great population growth due to the influx of merchants and other travelers seeking to do business in the city.

The large volume of trade occurring in the city yielded fortunes for numerous merchants. However, carrying around goods in order to trade was tedious and costly. Nuances in the values of goods also compounded the problem. A universal medium of payment was needed in order to further facilitate transactions between merchants. Coins and paper bills were developed for this purpose. The developing printing technology in China allowed the mass production of paper bills. However, paper bills brought the problem of infidelity to debts. Coins, on the other hand, carried with them the value of the metal they were cast from. This ensured that merchants owned something of value instead of worthless sheets of paper. As a result, in later Chinese dynasties the value of certain bills was reinforced with metals such as iron, with bills even printed utilizing some copper in their construction.

Trade in Hangzhou not only brought wealth into the city's coffers. It also exposed new religions to the city. The foreign merchants that did business would often practice their chosen faith openly, catching the attention of the Chinese populace. It is in this way that numerous Chinese were exposed, and eventually converted, to the new religions.

After the decline of the Han dynasty, things in China began to change. As the Tang dynasty came into power, Confucianism began to lose credibility in China. As we move into the Song and Tang dynasty, Buddhism enters the city of Hangzhou. Buddhism was commonly followed throughout China during the Post Classical era. It is fist seen during the Han dynasty but, did not attract many followers. Merchants ,who followed Buddhism, traveled to China along the silk routes. As we move further into the Tang and Song dynasties we see more and more people converting . Buddhism appealed to the people in China for many reasons. It was practical, it promised salvation and intellectual sophistication . During this time, the Emperor was very open to new faiths. Other commonly practiced religions were Daoism and Chinese Folk religion. Along with these indigenous religions, many foreigners were traveling into Hangzhou and the other cities of the Song dynasty and brought along their faiths. Some foreign religions included Middle Eastern Muslims, the Kaifeng Jews, and Persian Manichaeans.

Hangzhou was for the most part a patriarchal society; husbands and fathers kept a close watch on the women. Things such as the binding of the feet is an example of this. Women would constrict the bones of their feet by wrapping tight cloth around them when girls were young. The image of small feet showed beauty, class and sophistication. During this time women who did not bind their feet were alien to feudal virtue. It also meant that they would have to rely on the man in the household to do things for them, and in some cases carry them. The bones in their feet were so misshaped that they could not walk much and it became very painful to even try. Husbands were also able to monitor the women through this and it ensured fidelity. However, as the Song dynasty became prosperous, women began to gain rights. They became equally eligible for the inheritance of family property as well as ownership of property. There were also many well educated women during this time period as well. Women were believed to have the most freedom however, during the Tang dynasty. Some say that they were lucky to live during a time of open mindedness and liberal ideas. Divorces during this time became a mutual agreement and widows who remarried were not frowned upon. With less restraints, this showed woman's equality within marriage as well as the open mindedness of the Tang people. And with the ability to own their own land women could be more economically independent.

Large cities such as Hangzhou were often popular locations for entertainment. There were many different activities and festivals people could attend and social life was quite vibrant. There were puppeteers, acrobats, theater actors, sword swallowers, snake charmers, storytellers, singers and musicians, prostitutes, and places to relax including tea houses, restaurants, and organized banquets. Along with being prosperous, the Song dynasty was an era of administrative sophistication and elaborate social organization. Throughout the cities of Southern China were many schools and temples to provide the people with education and religious services.

In order to adapt to the changes in the Chinese state, numerous political developments ensued. The Civil Service exam devised during the Qin and Han dynasties was still in use, albeit in somewhat of a larger scale due to amendments in Chinese bureaucracy. In addition, new laws were created that catered to the needs of China's population.

During this time period Hangzhou politics and government were very complex. They had a great idea of how to pick government officials. Whether it was successful is debatable because although they had to pass a extremely important test,similar to our SAT's, the nobles had tutors to educate them which gave them an advantage over commoners. But some say, even though the nobles have an advantage, they are the more educated people and deserve the jobs. Whether how they were chosen is fair, is arguable.

One of the most important jobs of the governmental people was to create laws. During the early years of Hangzhou they used many Tang dynasty laws. Also one of the most important parts of Hangzhou law was, You are proven guilty until proven otherwise. Even the accuser was under suspicion by the judge. The Hangzhou court system acted very swiftly, in such a way that it made people not want to use the court system, so they resorted to solving these problems privately.

The Hangzhou government created a useful system, like our today fire department. In the year 1237 there was a huge fire which destroyed over thirty thousand buildings! To defend against this threat they established an elaborate system for fighting fires, erected watchtowers, devised a system of lantern and flag signals to identify the source of the flames and direct the response, and charged more than 3,000 soldiers with the task of putting out fires.

In many ways Hangzhou's development reflected China as a whole during its time as capital of the Chinese imperium. China's greater role in Silk Route trade prompted the need to create an internal waterway that united the northern and southern halves of the state. New religions and developments to the Chinese social system were brought about as merchants traded goods and ideas. Political innovations were also devised to properly manage the empire. It is safe to say, then, that cities, in many aspects, are miniature copies of their respective civilizations.

I don't have the APA format thing so i can't like put everything together so someone else is going to have to. I can do the cover page or bibliography if you need. - Marissa

Transitions and conclusion finished. Right now, I think it's safe to say that the essay is done. I'll be working on the Bibliography, and Marissa's handling the cover page. SEND ME YOUR SOURCES!!!-- John