The test will be devoted to answering two half-hour essay questions, which will be drawn from the questions below. I will select three of the following questions; from which you are to choose two. Your answers should be thoughtful, well organized, clearly written, and demonstrate a command of the material covered in the readings and lectures.
1. The threat of nomadic peoples to the north and west of China constituted one of the most intractable problems faced by Chinese governments throughout its history. Briefly survey the history of Chinese-nomadic relations from the Western Zhou through the Yuan and discuss what accounted for the success of the Northern Wei, Liao, Jin and the Mongol Yuan in conquering and ruling part or all of China.
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2. The use of examinations in the selection of officials is one of the most distinctive and important features of Chinese society in the imperial period. Describe the use of examinations during the Han, Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties. What were the distinctive features of examinations in each of these periods? In what ways can the examinations be said to have influenced Chinese society and culture?
3. Describe the history Chinese women from the Han through Song dynasties. While it is certainly appropriate to mention women from those periods, your answer should analyze both the continuities and significant changes that occurred in their roles, activities and status.