A short dynasty, which did succeed in re-uniting Northern and Southern China.

The Chinese rulers required horses from the Northern tribal groups, who wanted silk, metal objects and other goods from the Chinese. Aristocratic Chinese families in Northern China married their children to leading families of the Northern tribal groups to cement trade alliances Their children and grandchildren adopted Chinese culture and language, while the Chinese adopted stirrups and the use of trousers for riding horses from the northern tribes. The founder of the Sui dynasty, and later many Tang aristocrats, who were important in government, were from these part-Chinese, part-tribal families.

The Grand Canal was extended during this time. Smaller pieces of canals, mostly linking natural bodies of water, already existed, but work was started on a larger canal to link Northern China and Southern China. The canal allowed food from the south to be brought to the north.

The Grand Canal linking north and south was built from Luoyang to (modern) Yangzhou. Later the canal was extended south to Hangzhou and north to the Beijing area, a length of almost 1200 miles, all accomplished only with muscle power (man and beast). The canal meant that food from the Yangtze river area could be brought to northern China, and the capital, and army troops could be moved where needed in a hurry.


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