Song Dynasty

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In 960, Zhao Kuangyin, a general of the Later Zhou, established the Song Dynasty, which saw the reunification of China's territory. With a history of 300 years and 18 emperors, the dynasty spanned two periods: the Northern Song from 960 to 1126, basing its capital in Kaifeng; and the Southern Song after Kaifeng was occupied by the Kin (Jin) forces, with the capital moved in 1127 to Lin'an (in present-day Hangzhou). The Song Dynasty saw great growth in the economy, arable land and agricultural production, as well as technological innovations in porcelain, textiles, papermaking, shipbuilding and mining. Booming trade brought progress in the financial industry. Paper currency started to circulate, and foreign trade also flourished. Confucianism experienced resurgence in the form of Neo-Confucianism. New literary forms represented by ci poetry pushed Chinese culture to new heights.

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