China outline

China outline - Ancient Dynasties Xia(2205-1766 BC...

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Ancient Dynasties Xia (2205-1766 BC) Shang (1766-1050 BC): early bronze age City-centered state, Kings possessed political, economic, social, religious authority Three notable features: writing, bronze, social classes Inscriptions on bronzes and oracle bones Bronze appeared in China about 2000 BC When a king died, hundreds were buried with him Zhou (1050-256 BC): later bronze age Less civilized and more warlike than Shang Continued the Shang pattern of life and city-centered state Social classes, same as Shang: kings & lords > officials & warriors > peasants & slaves Maintained the casting bronze ceremonial vessels but not as fine as Shang Concept of Mandate of Heaven (they believed that Heaven replaced Shang with Zhou) Iron age: Eastern Zhou 771 BC, Western Zhou capital was overrun by Barbarians Western Zhou king was killed and his heir escaped to Luoyang (secondary capital) After moving to Luoyang, the kings could never reestablish authority Second phase of Eastern Zhou = Warring States By 5 th century BC, all defensive alliances had collapsed. Strong states swallowed their weaker neighbors Expansion of population and agricultural lands The rise of commerce, roads built for wars were used by merchants New kind of army Lord of new territorial states began to style themselves as kings Hereditary nobility began to decline, supplanted by ministers appointed for their knowledge of statecraft To survive, new states had to transform from their agricultural and commercial wealth into military strength Shang and Zhou dynasties were centered in north China along the Yellow River Philosophy - All of the philosophical and religious revolutions occurred in or near one of the original river valley civilization - Each was a response to a crisis in a society of the ancient world; each would reconnect ethics to history and restore order in a troubled society - Each held that its doctrines were true to all people and times - The number of philosophical and religious revolutions can almost be counted on the fingers of one hand
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Three major schools: Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism Confucianism: the Analects: recordings of his sayings Confucian (551-479) traveled to look for a ruler who would put his ideas into practice Saw early Zhou as a golden age A political/social vision. The world has lost the way (Dao). Concerned with moral/ethical values. Moral cultivation of the individual leads to harmonious social order. Humankind must be moralized. If everyone fulfilled their duties of their status, then harmony would prevail. 5 relationships: subject, father-son, husband-wife, old bro-younger bro, friend-friend Duties of subordinate member to superior member, obligations of superior member to subordinate member Gentleman: educated in the classics and cultivating the Way, understands moral action. Common people: “can be made to follow the path but not to understand it”
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2009 for the course EACS 4A taught by Professor Ji during the Winter '06 term at UCSB.

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China outline - Ancient Dynasties Xia(2205-1766 BC...

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