Dissertation > History, geography > History of China > Feudal society ( 475 BC - AD 1840 ) > Sui and Tang period ( 581 ~ 1840 ) > Tang Dynasty ( 618 ~ 907 years)

Study on Rewards for Army of Tang Dynasty

Author ZhaoJie
Tutor ZhangJinXi
School Anhui University
Course History
Keywords Tang Dynasty Rewards for Army Study
CLC K242
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 33
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This thesis aims at making a thorough inquiry into the adjustments to the regulation of rewards for army.These adjustments were made by the the Imperial Court of Tang Dynasty with the political,military,social and economic development.This study also trys to reveal the link between these adjustments and the efforts to renew the political authority by the Imperial Court. For these purposes,this thesis devides Tang Dynatsy into three hitorical periods according to the political and military situations.And much emphasis is placed on the implementation of the regulation in order to discuss significant changes of rewards for army in different periods of Tang Dynasty.During the early days of the establishment of Tang Dynasty,Li Yuan,who is known as Emperor Gaozu of Tang prohibited his soldiers from pillaging the booty.Instead.he awarded them with a more generous amount of titular honors than Sui Dynasty for their meritorious service. After that,however,lots of other armed groups which were composed mainly of landless peasants surrendered to Li Yuan and joined his army. They generally had a strong desire for material benefits but lacking in restraint or discipline.The Imperial Court permitted soldiers to pillage the booty as the rewards in order to keep their loyalties during the war of unification,because it was constrained by the limited possession of material wealth at that time.The Imperial Court established the Mansion Army System which was modeled upon that of Sui Dynatsy soon after its power was consolidated in Guanzhong region.As a result,rewards for army had become institutionalized. Titular honors was in a dominant position in the contents of rewards at that time.The bureaucracy had been so bloated that the Imperial Court suspended the regulation that titular honors would surely be bestowed on soldiers once they went on an expedition since660A.D.The conscription system was gradually replaced by the mercenary system in the early Tang Dynasty,which had naturally brought about changes in the contents of rewards for army.Under the conscription system, much emphasis was put on titular honors,while under the mercenary system material rewards was stressed. The Imperial Court enacted Kaiyuan Law of awarding army due to such changes. And pre-war rewards for soldiers had become regularly based on material abundance in the Xuanzong period.An Lushan Rebellion was a crisis of Tang Dynasty.The Imperial Court awarded soldiers much more generous than usual to inspire them and approved devolution of awarding troops in order to put down the rebellion as soon as possible.The rebel armies had been cut down transportation corridors for a long time,the supplies transferred from Yangtse-Huai region were very limited. The Imperial Court was constrained to award its army with flooded titular honors as well as permit soldiers to pillage the booty as the rewards.After An Lushan Rebellion,the powerful new provincial administrations emerged,which has long been regarded as the symbol of the decline of Tang’s political authority. The significance of rewards for army had been expanded under new circumstances.First,it became an important way to support the Shence Army which was under direct control of the Imperial Court.Second,there were financial difficulties for provincial administrations to keep soldiers after the implementation of Two-tax Law. So the rewards for army could be used as a kind of economic measures for the Imperial Court to control the provincial administrations.The Imperial Court also tried to appease Hepei region by means of awarding their armies.It is equally obvious that quite a huge sum of money was the cause of provincial administrations submitted to the authority of the Imperial Court one after another.In the late Tang Dynasty,the Imperial Court awarded army to prevent the provincial administrations in Central Plains from being strongly influenced by the provincial administrations in Hepei Region and eliminate military threats from the minorities in peripheral region. The fiscal problems was growing and the Imperial Court squeezed peasants for more taxes which actually led to civil disturbances. The Huang Chao Uprising,one of the civil disturbances, formed enormous impact to the national dominant order,the government finance collapsed and Tang Dynatsy ended along with it.

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