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ANCIENT AND CLASSICAL CHINA. ANCIENT LEGENDS: THE THREE WISE SAGE KINGS –King Yao: a virtuous ruler bringing harmony to society –King Shun: regulating.

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Presentation on theme: "ANCIENT AND CLASSICAL CHINA. ANCIENT LEGENDS: THE THREE WISE SAGE KINGS –King Yao: a virtuous ruler bringing harmony to society –King Shun: regulating."— Presentation transcript:


2 ANCIENT LEGENDS: THE THREE WISE SAGE KINGS –King Yao: a virtuous ruler bringing harmony to society –King Shun: regulating the four seasons, weights, measures, and units of time –King Yu: rescued China from raging floods of the Yellow River Legends reflected the values of society; many may prove true!

3 APPEARANCE OF HUMANS IN EAST ASIA –Beginnings were over two hundred thousand years ago –Domesticated rice around 7000 B.C.E. in the valley of the Yangzi River –Millet cultivation in the valley of the Yellow River –Wheat and barley became staple foods of north China by 2000 B.C.E.

4 EMERGENCE OF CHINESE SOCIETY 2 ND MILLENNIUM BCE  Agricultural villages appeared in the valleys of the two rivers  Society was patriarchal  Fathers dominated families  Elder males ruled village  Males performed religious sacrifices  Cities, states appeared in north China during 2 nd millennium B.C.E.  Three dynastic states in the valley of Yellow River: Xia, Shang, Zhou

5 EARLY AGRARIAN SOCIETY –The Yellow River  Water source at high plateau of Tibet  Loess soil carried by the river's water, hence "yellow"  The river was "China's Sorrow" as it flooded uncontrollably  Loess: rich soil, soft, easy to work –Neolithic societies after 5000 B.C.E.  Yangshao society, 5000-3000 B.C.E.  Excavations at Banpo village: fine pottery, bone tools


7 XIA DYNASTY Archeological discovery of the Xia is still in its preliminary stageArcheological discovery of the Xia is still in its preliminary stage Established about 2200 B.C.E.Established about 2200 B.C.E. Legendary King Yu, the dynasty founder, a hero of flood controlLegendary King Yu, the dynasty founder, a hero of flood control Erlitou: possibly the capital city of the XiaErlitou: possibly the capital city of the Xia Chinese scholars believe it existedChinese scholars believe it existed

8 THE SHANG DYNASTY: 1766-1122 B.C.E.  Arose in the southern, eastern areas  Many records, material remains discovered  Bronze metallurgy, monopolized by elite  Agricultural surpluses supported large troops  Vast network of walled towns  Shang-kings were warriors  Constant struggle with nobles for power  The Shang capital moved six times  Lavish tombs of Shang kings –Contained chariots, weapons, bronze goods –Sacrificial human victims, dogs, horses

9 MANDATE OF HEAVEN  The right to rule granted by heaven –Zhou justified their overthrow of Shang –Ruler called "the son of heaven" –Only given to virtuous, strong rulers –To lose mandate = someone else should rule –Replacement of dynasties = Dynastic Cycle  Signs one had lost mandate –Corruption, heavy taxes –Lazy officials and rulers –Revolts, invasions, civil wars, crime –Natural disasters –Society develops bad morals, habits

10 THE ZHOU DYNASTY: 1122-256 B.C.E. –The rise of the Zhou  The last Shang king was a bad ruler  The Zhou forces toppled the Shang –Political organization  Adopted decentralized administration  Used princes and relatives to rule regions  Consequences –Weak central government with ceremonial functions –Rise of regional powers; often called feudalism –Constant rivalry between warring families, nobles

11 FAMILY  Xia to Zhou ruled through family, kinship  Veneration of ancestors  Belief in ancestors' presence, continuing influence  Burial of material goods with the dead  Offering sacrifices at the graves  Eldest males presided over rites honoring ancestors  Only males could perform religious duties  Patriarchal society  During Neolithic times, Chinese society = matrilineal  Rise of states, war due to men's contribution s  After Shang, not even queens merited temples

12 THE SOCIAL ORDER  The ruling elites  Royal family and allied noble families at the top  Their lavish consumption of bronze products, silk  Hereditary aristocrats with extensive landholding  Most of the land owned by the king, nobles  Peasants, the majority of population  Called the “mean” people  Landless peasants provided labor  Lived in small subterranean houses  Wood, bone, stone tools before iron spread in the 6th century B.C.E.  Women’s World  Wine making, weaving, silkworm raising  Managing household, raising children  Elite women vs. poor women

13 OTHERS  Specialized labor  Free artisans, craftsmen in great demand  Also served the needs of the ruling elites  Merchants, trade were important  Jade from Central Asia, tin from SE Asia  A few pieces of pottery from India  Merchants ranked socially lower  Slaves  Mostly war prisoners  Performed hard work  Became sacrificial victims  Suspicious towards Foreigners

14 CHINESE POPULAR RELIGION  Customary beliefs and practice –As old as civilization in China –Never encouraged/discouraged by state  Believes gods, spirits (shen) influence family, world –Power over world affairs –Deceased members of community, family –Deified figures of history, literature –Spiritual embodiment of nature, geography  Maintenance of family shrines, community temples –Prayers, supplications –Food offerings –Shamanism and divination are practiced

15 THE FALL OF THE ZHOU  Iron metallurgy. –Iron weapons helped regional authorities to resist the central power –Qin mastered iron technology, weapons  Nomadic invasion sacked capital  Other Troubles –Territorial princes became more independent –Warring States (403-221 B.C.E.) –Rise of Qin state –Last king abdicated his position in 256 B.C.E.

16 THOUGHT, LITERATURE  Zhou literature  The Book of Change, a manual of diviners  The Book of History, the history of the Zhou  The Book of Rites –The rules of etiquette and rituals for aristocrats  The Book of Songs –The most notable of the classic works –Verses on themes both light and serious –Reflected social conditions of the early Zhou  Destruction of early literature  Most Zhou writings have perished  1st emperor destroyed most writings

17 CONFUCIUS’ SEARCH FOR ORDER  Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.)  A strong-willed man, from an aristocratic family  Traveled ten years searching for an official post  Educator with numerous disciples  Sayings compiled in the Analects by disciples  Confucian ideas  Fundamentally moral and ethical in character  Restore political and social order; stress ritual  Formation of junzi - "superior individuals"  Edited Zhou classics for his disciples to study  The key Confucian concepts  Ren - a sense of humanity  Li - a sense of propriety  Xiao - filial piety  5 Relationships and filial piety as basis of society

18 LEGALISM –Legalism  The doctrine of statecraft –Promoted a practical and ruthlessly efficient approach –No concern with ethics and morality –No concern with the principles governing nature  Doctrine used by Qin dynasty –Shang Yang (ca. 390-338 B.C.E.)  A chief minister of the Qin state  His policies summarized in The Book of Lord Shang  Was executed by his political enemies –Han Feizi (ca. 280-233 B.C.E.)  Student of Xunzi, became the most articulate Legalist  A synthesizer of Legalist ideas  Forced to suicide by his political enemies

19 LEGALISM IN PRACTICE –The state's strength  Agriculture  Military force –Discouraged commerce, education, and the arts –Harnessing self-interest of people for needs of state –Called “carrot and stick” approach in west –Called for harsh penalties even for minor infractions –Advocated collective responsibility before law –Not popular among the Chinese, –Chinese used legalism if state threatened –Legalism still doctrine common to China

20 MOHISM  Founder Mo Zi –Lived 470 – 391 BC –A commoner, worked with mean people –Served in military, ideas based on it  Beliefs –Partiality, competition causes problems –Advocates doctrine of universal love –Advocates cooperation –Stress discipline, order, authority –Loyalty to all elders, not family –Emphasized practical; hate waste, war –Favor math, science over arts, ritual

21 DAOISM  Prominent critics of Confucianism  Understand natural principles, live in harmony with them  Laozi and Zhuangzi  Laozi, founder of Daoism; wrote the Daodejing  Philosophical Daoism  Dao - The way of nature, the way of the cosmos  Opposites in balance, complementary  Passive, yielding, does nothing, accomplishes everything  Tailor behavior to passive, yielding nature  Ambition, activism brought the world to chaos

22 DAOIST WUWEI –The doctrine of wuwei  Disengagement from worldly affairs  Called for simple, unpretentious life, living in harmony with nature  Advocated small state, self-sufficient community –Political implications  Served as a counterbalance to Confucian activism  Individuals could live as Confucians by day, Daoists by night  Generally Daoism flourishes when society at peace, prosperous

23 UNIFICATION OF CHINA  The Qin State and Dynasty –Located in west China and adopted Legalist policies –Encouraged agriculture, resulted in strong economy –Organized a powerful army equipped with iron weapons –Conquered other states and unified China in 221 B.C.E.  Qin Shi Huang di –King of the Qin proclaimed himself First Emperor, 221 B.C.E. –Established centralized imperial rule –Held sons of nobles as hostages; demolished nobles castles –Project of connecting and extending the Great Wall –700,000 people worked on project; 100,000 killed

24 QIN STATECRAFT  Suppressing the resistance –Bitterly opposed, was opposed by Confucian scholars –Buried 460 scholars alive because of their criticism against the Qin –Burned all books except some with utilitarian value  Policies of centralization –Standardization of laws, currencies, weights, measures –Standardized scripts: tried to create uniform language –Creates a uniform writing system but not language  Tomb of the First Emperor –The tomb was an underground palace –Excavation of the tomb since 1974 –Terracotta soldiers and army to protect tomb  The collapse of the Qin dynasty –Massive public works generated ill will among people –Waves of rebels overwhelmed the Qin court in 207 B.C.E. –A short-lived dynasty, left deep marks in Chinese history

25 THE EARLY HAN DYNASTY –Han was long-lived dynasty –Early Han policies  Sought middle way between Zhou and Qin  Royal relatives were not reliable, returned to centralized rule –Martial Emperor (141-87 B.C.E.)  Han Wudi ruled for 54 years  Pursued centralization and expansion

26 HAN STATECRAFT  Han centralization –Adopted Legalist policies  Built an enormous bureaucracy to rule the empire  Continued to build roads and canals  Levied taxes on agriculture, trade, and craft industries  Imperial monopolies on production of iron and salt –Established Confucian educational system for training bureaucrats  Confucianism as the basis of the curriculum in imperial university  Thirty thousand students enrolled in the university in Later Han  Han imperial expansion –Invaded and colonized northern Vietnam and Korea –Extended China into central Asia

27 HAN SOCIAL STRUCTURE Large, multigenerational compound families also developedLarge, multigenerational compound families also developed Women's subordination (Ban Zhao Admonitions for Women)Women's subordination (Ban Zhao Admonitions for Women) Differences apparent between noble, lower class womenDifferences apparent between noble, lower class women Scholar bureaucrats: Confucian trained bureaucratsScholar bureaucrats: Confucian trained bureaucrats Officials selected through competitive testingOfficials selected through competitive testing Used to run the government in Early HanUsed to run the government in Early Han Scholar GentryScholar Gentry Confucian bureaucrats intermarried with landed eliteConfucian bureaucrats intermarried with landed elite New class comes to dominate local, national officesNew class comes to dominate local, national offices Strongest in late HanStrongest in late Han Merchants held in low social esteemMerchants held in low social esteem

28 TRADE AND COMMERCE –Iron metallurgy: Farming tools, utensils, and weapons –State monopolies on liquor, salt and iron –Silk textiles  High quality Chinese silk became a prized commodity  Traded as far a field as India, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Rome –Paper production  Invented probably before 100 C.E.  Began to replace silk and bamboo as writing materials –Population growth  Increased from twenty to sixty million from 220 B.C.E. to 9 C.E.  Despite light taxation, state revenue was large –Silk Road established: horses for silk

29 HAN TROUBLES  Expeditions consumed the empire's surplus  Raised taxes and confiscated land of some wealthy individuals  Much of defense consumed on defending against nomads  Social tensions, stratification between the poor and rich  Problems of land distribution –Early Han supported land redistribution –Lands accumulated in the hands of a few

30 LOSS OF THE MANDATE –Collapse of the Han  Factions at court paralyzed the central government  Han empire dissolved  China was divided into regional kingdoms

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