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On February 4, 960, military leader Zhao Kuangyin became the first emperor of the Song Dynasty. The Song ruled China for more than 300 years. 
 
The Song Dynasty was notable for its contributions to government and science. Under the Song, China became the first government in the world to issue paper money (called jiaozi) on a national scale, allowing traders in far-flung portions of the empire to buy and sell goods at established prices. Scientists experimenting with magnetism were the first in the world to identify the concept of “magnetic north” by reading a compass. The first instances of moveable type are dated to Song Dynasty. Song military leaders were the first in the world to use gunpowder.
 
Gunpowder, however, was not enough to ward off the powerful Mongol army led by Kublai Khan. The “Great Khan” conquered the Song and established the Yuan Dynasty throughout China in 1279.
cartographer
Noun

person who makes maps.

clay
Noun

type of sedimentary rock that is able to be shaped when wet.

Noun

instrument used to tell direction.

concept
Noun

idea.

emperor
Noun

ruler of an empire.

empire
Noun

group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

far-flung
Adjective

spread over a great distance.

government
Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

identify
Verb

to recognize or establish the identity of something.

instance
Noun

an occurrence or example of something.

magnetic north
Adjective

direction that all compass needles point.

Noun

force by which objects attract or repel one another.

military
Noun

armed forces.

mountain
Noun

landmass that forms as tectonic plates interact with each other.

notable
Adjective

important or impressive.

Noun

large region that is higher than the surrounding area and relatively flat.

Noun

large stream of flowing fresh water.

terrain map
Noun

map displaying the surface features of an area.

trade
Noun

buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.

type
Noun

metal block with a letter or symbol engraved on one side, used in printing presses.

ward off
Verb

to repel or keep back.

More Dates in History

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