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The Song Dynasty - Architecture 低碳生活 Decision Making 张智勇

Civil service examinations

Civil service examinations

During this period greater emphasis was laid upon the civil service system of recruiting officials; this was based upon degrees acquired through competitive examinations, in an effort to select the most capable individuals for governance. Selecting men for office through proven merit was an ancient idea in China. The civil service system became institutionalized on a small scale during the Sui and Tang dynasties, but by the Song period it became virtually the only means for drafting officials into the government. The advent of widespread printing helped to widely circulate Confucian teachings and to educate more and more eligible candidates for the exams. This can be seen in the number of exam takers for the low-level prefectural exams rising from 30,000 annual candidates in the early 11th century to 400,000 candidates by the late 13th century. The civil service and examination system allowed for greater meritocracy, social mobility, and equality in competition for those wishing to attain an official seat in government. By using Song state-gathered statistics, Edward A. Kracke, Sudō Yoshiyuki, and Ho Ping-ti supported the hypothesis that simply because one had a father, grandfather, or great-grandfather who had served as an official of state, it did not guarantee that one would obtain the same level of authority. Robert Hartwell and Robert P. Hymes criticized this model, stating that it places too much emphasis on the role of the nuclear family and demonstrates only three paternal ascendants of exam candidates while ignoring the demographic reality of Song China, the significant proportion of males in each generation that had no surviving sons, and the role of the extended family. Many felt disenfranchised by what they saw as a bureaucratic system that favored the land-holding class able to afford the best education. One of the greatest literary critics of this was the official and famous poet Su Shi. Yet Su was a product of his times, as the identity, habits, and attitudes of the scholar-official had become less aristocratic and more bureaucratic with the transition of the periods from Tang to Song. At the beginning of the dynasty, government posts were disproportionately held by two elite social groups: a founding elite who had ties with the founding emperor and a semi-hereditary professional elite who used long-held clan status, family connections and marriage alliances to secure appointments. By the late 11th century, the founding elite became obsolete while political partisanship and factionalism at court undermined the marriage strategies of the professional elite, which dissolved as a distinguishable social group and was replaced by a multitude of gentry families.

宋朝 La Dynastie Song 宋朝的科举制度 The Song Dynasty - the Gentry French 范仲淹 晏几道减字木兰花 撼庭秋 岳飞登黄鹤楼有感

The Song Dynasty - Economy, industry, and trade


宪法 法律 行政法规 地方法规 境外法规 司法解释 典型案例 国际法及国际惯例