During his reign, Shenzong noticed Wang Anshi's policy and appointed Wang as Chancellor. Wang implemented his famous reforms aimed at improving the lot of the peasantry and unemployed, which some have seen as a forerunner of the modern welfare state. These acts became the hallmark reform of Shenzong's reign.
Shenzong's other notable act as emperor included his attempts to rid the Song empire of the Tangut Empire by invading and expelling the Xixia forces in Qingzhou (today's Gansu). Shenzong was initially quite successful at these campaigns but during the City of Yongle battle of 1082, Shenzong's forces were defeated. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
Shenzong died in 1085 and was succeeded by his son. He was 36. His temple name means "Divine Ancestor".
- Wang Anshi
- Shen Kuo
- List of Song Emperors
- Architecture of the Song Dynasty
- Culture of the Song Dynasty
- Economy of the Song Dynasty
- History of the Song Dynasty
- Society of the Song Dynasty
- Technology of the Song Dynasty