Dynasties Xia (about 2200 -1800 BCE) –Only legend –Farming begins along Huang He
Shang Dynasty 1800 - 1100 BCE Built walled cities to keep invaders out- Anyang, capital city Made ivory and jade statues Wove silk into elegant colored clothes Perfected metal casting- produced some of the finest bronze objects ever made many oracle bones
Oracle Bones 1 st known examples of writing in China Used to predict the future- method of divination Historical writing on tortoise shells and bones. This shows that a complete system of written signs was formed in this early age.
Zhou Dynasty 1100 - 220s BCE Agricultural system- nobles own land & peasants worked land – term feudal has often been applied to the Zhou period (compared with medieval Europe) Iron came into general use Iron plow, irrigation system, and flood control Built roads & expanded foreign trade Added crossbow (centuries earlier than Europeans)
Mandate of Heaven Last Shang king considered corrupt and a fool Overthrown by a Zhou overlord Justification for rule = “mandate of heaven” If the ruler does not rule well, he will lose this mandate and will be overthrown
Schools of Thought Warring States Period –Toward end of the Zhou Dynasty Much strife, pain, death Farmers had to fight in armies which produced many crop failures and food shortages Soon the empire became weak AND brought about much political and philosophical thought--how to best organize a society! –Confucianism –Daoism –Legalism
Confucianism Confucius –Taught social harmony and good government would come to China if people lived according to principles of ethics, good conduct and moral judgment Followers of Confucius Mencius Believed people are born GOOD Therefore, society should nurture, educate, support people Xunzi believe people are naturally BAD but can be guided/forced to goodness
Five Relationships Ruler/Subject Parent/Child Husband/Wife Old/Young Friend/Friend Each relationship has certain responsibilities to follow
Legalism Founder - Han Feizi –Studied Xunzi Strong, dominating government should rule FORCE order and take power People by nature selfish and untrustworthy Peace and prosperity only achieved by threatening severe punishment –Cruelty = OK
Daoism Founder = Lao Zi Harmonious living with the universe Rejected formal social structures and idea that people must fill specific roles in society Yin and Yang –opposites in harmony –believed to be present in all nature –Yin- cool, dark, female, & submissive –Yang- warm, light, male, & aggressive –For harmony, the two must be in balance Don’t take forceful action –Wuwei (“non-action”)
Qin Dynasty Duke of Qin dominates neighbors after Warring States period & unifies China (221 - 210 BCE) First emperor! Qin Shihuangdi Capital = Xian Centralized bureaucracy- less power to local lords Forced labor: Great Wall of China, roads, bridges, irrigation Standardized weights, measures, money, law, writing Burned books and even burned alive his scholarly critics!
Tomb of the 1st Emperor Emperor died in 210 BCE 700,000 laborers built tomb in Xian Elaborate underground palace! Terra cotta soldiers (and other sculpture) –Qin wanted the afterlife to be the same as his life on earth –To substitute for the actual humans, Qin ordered a massive clay army to be produced for his protection Discovery In 1974, workers digging a well discovered a pottery head of a human figure Some 8,000 figures have been uncovered grouped in battle order The army consisted of 7,000 warriors: archers, foot soldiers, cavalrymen, and charioteers of various rank, 500 chariot horses, 130 war chariots, and 110 cavalry horses
Han Dynasty After Shihuangdi’s death, peasants revolted and formed a strong army to defeat the emperor thus ending the Qin Dynasty Liu Bang, a military officer from a peasant background, led the defeat of the Qin Dynasty and declared himself emperor of the new Han dynasty….
The Glorious Han 206 BCE - 220 CE (over 400 years!) Balance between centralized control and rule in local regions by lords Followed Confucian ideals Built roads, canals, and more Wall Expanded empire- conquered lands to the north, including Korea and Manchuria, south into Southeast Asia and as far as northern India
Education & Leadership Imperial university based on Confucianism Government jobs were given to educated people (in the past given to family members or the aristocracy) This system of government was called Civil Service (based on merit) Learning became the main focus of society- expanded the language and wrote the first Chinese dictionary
Fall of the Han Empire As the empire grew in size, its borders were often under attack. Eventually, the empire’s great expansion became its downfall.
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