Classical Civilization 1: China Shang - Han Dynasties AP World History Chinese Dynasty Song Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han shang, joe, chin, hahn Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han Sui, Tang, Song sway, tang, soong Sui, Tang, Song Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic yooan, ming, ching, Republic Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic Mao Zedong mou dzu dong Mao Zedong From Ancient to Classical Civ • Most ancient river valley civs declined after 1200 B.C.E. • The classical civilizations, which began to emerge around 1000 B.C.E., were measurably different than their river valley predecessors. • They grew noticeably larger through trade and conquest. • Classical civilizations developed in China, India, Greece, and Rome. China was the 1st and the largest of the classical civs. • Though all the classical civilizations had declined by 500 C.E., they left an indelible mark on world civilization. Their impact endures to the present. • Great developments in philosophy, politics, and art in classical civilizations formed the foundation for subsequent civilizations. • Patriarchal culture prevailed in each of the classical civilizations. Ancient Chinese Civilization • Chinese civilization along the Huanghe (Yellow River) developed in relative isolation, save for some overland trading with India and the Middle East. • By around 1500 B.C.E. a line of kings called the Shang ruled over the Huanghe valley. They began the dynastic cycle that would endure until the 20th century. Dynastic Cycle • Dynastic cycle lasted from 1700 BCE until the early part of the 20th century. • Dynasty=family of kings. • 3 Dynasties of classical China: Zhou, Qin, and Han. Shang (1700 - 1027 BCE) • First recorded Dynasty • Ruled by a belligerent aristocracy • First Chinese cities, center of court life • Villages organized by clans, not nuclear families. • Cast bronze, created silk • Developed writing. Ideas through pictographs. Thousands of characters. • Honored ancestors, used oracle bones • Shang tyrant emperor overthrown by Zhou, who ushered in the 2nd dynasty. Shang Bronzes Dao • Early Chinese philosophy stressed the basic harmony of nature: every feature is balanced by an opposite (yin and yang). For hot there is cold, for male, female. • Forms basis for Daoism, a philosophy by which a individual seeks a way, called Dao, to relate to this harmony, avoiding excess and appreciating balance of opposites. Zhou (Chou) (1027 - 250 BCE) • Longest lasting Chinese Dynasty. • First classical era dynasty. • First period of territorial expansion (complicated problems of central rule). • Featured decentralized politics but important cultural innovations incl. Confucianism, Mandate of Heaven, and Chinese language. • Est system of currency • China’s feudal period (rulers gave land to their supporters in exchange for defense). Zhou Coins - bronze Zhou (Chou) (1027 - 250 BCE) • Zhou rulers claimed direct links to the Shang rulers. • Also asserted that heaven had transferred its mandate to rule China to the Zhou emperors- Mandate of Heaven. • Mandate of Heaven remained a key justification for Chinese imperial rule in all subsequent dynasties (think Divine Right). • Promoted linguistic unity via a standard spoken language (Mandarin Chinese). Largest single group of people speaking the same language in the world at this time. Confucius • As a wondering scholar-philosopher in Zhou China, Kung Fuzi (Confucius) undertook a quest to become chief advisor to a ruler who possessed the wisdom to restore centralized control, peace, and order in his realm (like Aristotle philosopher-king). • Though he never fulfilled this goal in his lifetime, his students preserved, spread, and debated his teachings after his death in the early 5th c B.C.E., and compiled his teachings in the Analects. (Consider Greek philos, the Buddha, and Jesus’ disciples). • His social and political teachings formed the basis for one of humanity’s greatest and most enduring civs. 551 – 479 B.C.E. Born in the feudal state of Liu. Became a teacher and editor of books. Confucianism 101 • Idealized strong rulers and consolidation of polit power. • Advocated rule by highly educated, exclusively male elite (think Aristotle). • Began as an ethical rather than religious system. • Est norms for all aspects of Chinese life, from familial relationships, filial piety, ancestor veneration, and male authority. • Est norms for etiquette of rulers and scholar bureaucrats. • Influenced art, music, calligraphyI • Formed basis of Chinese philosophical and religious beliefs for more than 2000 years. • Confucianism waxed and waned during subsequent dynasties, but continues to influence Chinese culture today. • Also exerted influence on other Asian societies incl Japan and Korea. Zhou (Chou) (1027 - 250 BCE) • The breakdown of the Zhou dynasty’s ability to control its vassals in the 8th c B.C.E. led to a long period of political conflict (i.e. land-owning aristocrats solidified their own power base and disregarded the central govt.) • Internal conflicts left China vulnerable to outside invaders btwn 8th-3rd c B.C.E. Qin (221 - 207 BCE) • By 221 BCE, warrior Shi Huangdi brought an end to the years of civil strife and disunity, ushering in the Qin Dynasty. • Shi Huangdi vanquished all his rivals and founded a new imperial court. • But Shi Huangdi proved to be a tyrant, so the Qin Dynasty ended shortly after his death in 210 BCE. Qin (221 - 207 BCE) • Self appointed title Qin Shi Huangdi , meaning First Emperor. • The name Qin conferred on the whole country its name of China. • Brutal yet effective. Organized China into large provinces ruled by bureaucrats. • Shi Huangdi appointed officials from nonaristocratic groups, so that they would not dare to develop their own independent bases of power. Qin (221 - 207 BCE) • For defense, built first Great Wall (Ming built other part later), extending 3000+ miles. Largest construction project in human hist. • Adopted Legalism: only way to achieve order was to pass strict laws and impose harsh punishments. (Hanfeizi) • Ordered natl census, standardized currency, weights measurements, laws, and unified written script throughout the realm. • Banned Confucianism, burned books. Attacks on intellectuals and high taxes made him fiercely unpopular. Han (202 BCE - 221 CE) • After Shi Huangdi’s death, massive peasant revolts broke out. Two peasants led a revolt against Qin oppression, toppling the dynasty, giving rise to the Han dynasty. • Lasted for 400+ years. Most effective, & most enduring bureaucracy in the preindustrial world. • Legalism replaced by Confucianism • Introduced civil service examination (process of selecting govt officials based on merit rather than noble birth). Ltd. power of emperor (checks & balances) • Expanded Chinese territory into Korea, Indochina, and central Asia. Silk Roads developed, opens trade Han (202 BCE - 221 CE) • Peace brought great prosperity. • Wu Ti erected shrines to Confucius, and he was established as a god. Official state philosophy. • Buddhism introduced, paper invented • Great increase in population • Govt sponsored public works projects incl complex irrigation & canal systems (compare to Rome) • Not highly militaristic. Decline • Nomadic raiders • Corruption, weak leaders 221 - 581 (CE) • Han dynasty overturned by a nomadic tribe, the Huns • Warlords control china - no centralized gov’t • Non-Chinese nomads control much of China • Buddhism becomes popular - Confucianism failed • (Invaders like Huns might topple a dynasty, but they couldn’t devise a better system to run the country, so the system & its bureaucratic administrators normally endured). Religion • Confucianism • Daoism • Buddhism • Confucianists & Daoists tolerated each other. You could be politically a Confucianist & spiritually a Daoist. Economy & Society • Considerable gap btwn landed elite and the masses (peasant farmers). Strength of agrarian base allowed China to carry about 1/5 of the total human population from the last centuries BCE to the present day. • Slavery waned after the Zhou dynasty. • 3 main social groups: – Landowning aristocracy (educated bureaucrats or mandarins) – Laboring masses (peasant farmers, urban artisans) – Mean people (unskilled laborers, performing artists). Required to wear green scarves for identification. Punished for crime more harshly. • According to Confucianism, men superior to women, old superior to young, etc. • “There are no wrongdoing parents.” Courts didn’t prosecute parents who injured or killed children, but would punish a disobedient child. • Strict control over one’s emotions. Economy & Society • Trade became important during Zhou & Han. Focused on luxury items: silk, porcelain. • Confucian emphasis on learning and political service led to scorn of lives devoted to moneymaking. Therefore, wealthy merchants had low prestige in social hierarchy. Economy & Society • Chinese civ evolved with very little outside contact. Most saw China as an island of civilization in a sea of barbarians with nothing to offer except threat of invasion. They saw no need to learn from other societies. • Spread of Buddhism is exception to this rule, b/c it came from India during & after the Han decline. • Chinese pioneered technologies that were later disseminated over much of Eurasia & northern Africa: paper & compasses. • Asian nomads disseminated these inventions over much of the globe, contributing to tech transformations in Japan, Rome, Mid East, & Eng. • China’s silk became valued in Mide East & Roman Empire. Trade of silk and other luxury products generated a network of roads thru ctrl Asia known as the Silk Road. Han actively encouraged Silk Road trade.
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