Copy of Classical China.docx - China There are three...

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China There are three classical Chinese civilizations: the Zhou Dynasty, the Qin Dynasty, and the Han Dynasty. The Zhou was where a lot of what we think of as classical Chinese culture started. However, many important developments happened in the Qin and Han as well. The Mandate of Heaven The Zhou adapted an earlier Yellow River Valley Civilization belief in a supreme Heavenly god and changed it into a belief in a vague Heavenly force called—no surprise here—heaven. Heaven was thought of as a supreme moral force of nature. It made its will known through the weather, as well as through the actions of lesser heavenly gods. The Zhou kings spread the rumor that heaven loved good, orderly, and just government. They further spread the idea that heaven wanted them to be in charge, or it would be punishing them with bad weather. This idea was rigorously enforced as a state cult in the early Zhou Dynasty, and it became the state ideology of all Chinese governments until 1911. However, as the Zhou Dynasty lost power, people began to think of the world in different terms.
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