Key Ideas from this chapter Understand the achievements of the short Qin dynasty and how the Han dynasty continues them.
Search for Political and Social Order in China Period of Warring States – 403 – 221 BCE Started with the decay of the Zhou Dynasty Included a period of political chaos Notable cultural developments came out of it, especially in the area of philosophy with Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism.
Confucianism Sixth century BCE Kong Fuxi (Confucius) Philosophy had moral, social and political dimensions His disciples recorded his teachings in the ANALECTS. Philosophy was practical and focused on ethical and moral behavior of individuals. Did not deal with religion or abstract philosophy.
Confucianism 3 Important Qualities in a superior individual (Junzi) Courtesy (Ren) Propriety (Li) – Know and respect your social role. Superiors should not abuse power, subjects should not rebel. Applies to both social and familial relationships. Filial Piety (Xiao) – Everyone should be treated with respectful reverence.
Confucianism Said it was the presence of highly moral individuals that produces an effective society and government. Encouraged people to study the classic works of the Zhou Dynasty Teachings were initially put in very general terms, so they allowed from input from Confucius’s later disciples.
Daoism Looked at the period of Warring States and said there was no solution to society’s problems, and, as a result, people should withdrawal from society. Advocated learning to live in passive harmony with the world. If everyone worked on following the dao, or “the way of the cosmos,” society would fix itself.
Daoism Ideal citizen practiced wuwei – complete withdrawal from the active world, and emphasized pursuit of self- knowledge. Believed diet and meditation would restore balance and harmony. Founder Laozi (and some others)
Daoism People often merged Confucianism and Daoism Confucianism in public life, Daoism in private life.
Legalism Neither Confucianism nor Daoism solved the problems of the Warring States. Legalism unified and calmed China. Legalists – Representatives of the Qin Dynasty who believed that the only answer to chaos was harsh governance.
Legalism Basis of an orderly society is agriculture and military, so they emphasized soldiers and peasants. Harsh penalties were imposed on criminals and dissenters and even entire families could be punished along with the offender. This idea conflicted with Confucianism Legalism was effective, but Confucianism was influential throughout Chinese history.
Qin Dynasty The harsh policies of Legalism allow the Qin State to unify China Lasted only a short time Government structure persisted into the twentieth century and cultural unity continues to this day. Short, but very important.
The Qin Dynasty Built loyalty of common citizens with land reform and produced a powerful army with the profits of agriculture. Used army to conquer surrounding states 221 BCE – Qin Shihuangdi pronounced himself the first emperor of the new Qin Dynasty. Had centralized government Divided China into provinces but kept strict central control over them. Built roads to facilitate transportation, communication and governance
Qin Dynasty Standardization of China Weights and measurements Coinage Laws Written Language Other Empires such as Rome would eventually standardize in the same way.
Qin Dynasty Harsh Rule Drew a lot of criticism from Confucians and Daosists Eventually fell because of it Constructed large parts of great wall by conscription of citizen works Elaborate tomb of Qin Terra-cotta soldiers
Han Dynasty Liu Bang – One of the peasant rebel commanders who overthrew the Qin Dynasty. Consolidated power through persistence and military loyalty Declared himself the first emperor of the Han Dynasty in 206 BCE At first let provinces operate independently, but eventually brought all provinces under centralized control Dynasty lasted over 400 years (206 BCE – 200 CE) Chinese people refer to themselves as the “people of the Han” out of reverence and respect or the Han Dynasty.
The Han Dynasty Han Wudi –Most successful Han Emperor. Relied on Legalism to sustain the Han empire, but emphasized and valued Confucianism as well. Implemented elaborate bureaucracy, roads and canals, and a university. Had fairly persistent conflict with Turkish nomads of central Asia.
Han Dynasty Social Characteristics Filial Piety – Obedience to Elders Admonitions for Women – Women should be humble, obedient, and subservient
The Han Economy Iron Metallurgy Silk Production Invention of paper Economic problems: Unequal distribution of wealth and land led to many problems, which in turn led to rebellion and banditry, which in turn led to the demise of the Han Empire.