Tang and Song China are the two dynasties that arose much later after the fall of Han Dynasty in A.D 220. 30 local dynasties became great and fell after Han Dynasty, but none of them had been strong enough to unite China. Many scholars have written on this subject from different approaches with interests ranging from political, social, historical and scientific. In this specific article the plight of peasants and women are covered almost exhaustively. So, I think the document was written either by a woman or a feminist, based on the keen interest to highlight the challenges women faced during the transitional period in China.
The main theme of the article is social classes and how the composition has changed over time. This document not only addresses the change in political leadership in China. The accomplishments that took place under the leadership of Tang rulers were not without challenges. About one million peasant men and women toiled for five years completing the Grand Canal while other thousands labored and died reconstructing the great wall. The common people were overworked and overtaxed and this eventually led to rebellion against the Sui emperor. An examination system was established to determine people’s entry into the civil service system. However, the poor could not afford the necessary years of education and the people of affluence still manipulated their way into the system. This also changed the composition of the elite class. Initially it had been determined by noble birth, but with the examination system, elite class was composed of educated scholars and members of the civil system.
The historical significance of material in document is that the inventions made during the period transformed history not only of China but other states as well. The invention of the gunpowder led to creation of explosives. Others included the printer, paper money and compass.