Why did Chinese civilization last for so long? There were three ecological benefits that contributed to the longevity of Chinese civilization: an extensive river web that allowed for cultural harmonization, its vast size which allowed for possible self-sufficiency, and China’s moderate/colderclimate which bred Chinese people to have harder working spirits and less of a tendency towards decadence.Politically and culturally, there were also several factors. In China, political and cultural unity coincided. The Chinese government did not rule or gain its authority/legitimacy in a manner that emphasized control or dominance or by rule of law; instead, the government made its leadership attractive which caused peopleto follow voluntarily. Similarly, the main vehicle of expansion for China has never been conquest; instead, Chinese preferred cultural absorption, causing other cultures to assimilate to their own. This is likely because the nature of Chinese culture is to be “all inclusive,” which bleeds over to the religious beliefs/teachings ofChina. The nature of Chinese religion is that we all live under the same sky/deity: this deity is not assigned to any specific ethnicity and belongs to no one specifically (instead, belongs to everyone). Therefore, there were never any religious wars in China. Additionally, Chinese enjoyed a common written script that allowed their society to communicate and they had a civil service. Why was Confucianism adopted and accepted as the national belief/teaching?When feudalism in China ended, the land was freed from landlord control and available for sale. Wealthy families grew wealthier and more powerful because wealth was handed down from generation to generation. Confucianism was originally adopted in order to shift the ideology from wealth as a means of increasing social mobility to knowledge as the unit that measures social status. Thiswas to protect the government from the threat of wealthy families revolting. Confucianism emphasizes harmony and promotes government intervention in the economy. Material things and capital are trivialized and knowledge is the true measure of power. “China should be ruled by the best brain.” (Best brain determined by the Keju system)Why did capitalism fail to develop in China?In other societies where capitalism prevailed, empires had come before feudalism. In China, feudalism came first, followed by empires. This reverse sequence of events caused capitalism to have less appeal because Chinese civilization was trying to move towards unification.The introduction of the Keju system combined with the acceptance of Confucianism trivialized capital- wealth was no longer the measure of social mobilityor status, knowledge was. Even wealthy merchants invested in their children’s education and this status (knowledge) could not be passed down from one generation of elites to another; each individual had to study and pass the Keju examination.
Why did Communism arise and Succeed?Communism tends to appeal to societies that are downtrodden.
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- Fall '15
- James Hsuing
- Mao Zedong, People's Republic of China, Deng Xiaoping