Early Chinese Civiization

Early Chinese Civiization - EarlyChineseCivilization

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Unformatted text preview: EarlyChineseCivilization Chinesecivilizationmaybetheoldestcontinuousoneinworldhistory,andithasa numberofenduringcharacteristics. 1)TheuniquenessanddistinctivenessofChinesecivilizationisdueatleastinpart togeography.ItislocationattheeasternendofEurasiaandisboundedby mountains,deserts,andsteppes.TothenorthisSiberia,andtotheeastisthe PacificOcean. 2)FurthercharacteristicofChinesecivilizationhasbeenitsabilitytohaveless civilizedinvaderswhothenabsorbedChinesecultureandthelanguageratherthan theotherwayaround,aswasfrequentlythecaseinIndia. 3)AlsoimportantwasthesecularnatureofChinesecivilization;itneverproduceda priestlyclassthathadanimportantpoliticalrole. 4)Inaddition,Chineseculturestressesthesocialratherthantheindividuallifeof humanbeings,thusemphasizing,aswewillseeinourdiscussionofConfucianism, theimportanceofrelationsbetweenmembersofafamilyorbetweensubjectand king. 5)Finally,againasweshallsee,theChineseinvented(thousandsofyearsbefore othernations)auniqueandstabilizinginstitution--acivilservicerecruitedby meansofpubliccompetitiveexaminations--thatlastedintothetwentiethcentury. Hence,unlikethediscontinuitiesandfragmentationofIndiancivilization,Chinese civilizationischaracterizedbyculturalaswellaspoliticalcohesionandcontinuity. NeolithicChina:EarlyneolithicagriculturalvillagesappearedinChina'sYellow RiverValleyabout4,000BC.OthersdevelopedalongotherriversliketheHuaiand theYangtze.Theearliestcropwasmillet,followedbymillet,rice,wheat,cabbage, andsoybeans,amongothers.EarlyChinesealsodomesticatedanimals,madepots forthestorageofgrainandliquids,andownedweapons.Littleisknownabout religiousbeliefsorpractices,althoughitisthoughtthatancestorworshipwas important. TheUrbanRevolution(withtheinventionofcivilizationssimilartothoseinthe Indus,TigrisEuphrates,andNilevalleys)mayhaveoccurredabout2,000BC,but thedetailsaresketchy,largelybecauseextensivearcheologicalexcavationshavenot beenundertaken. EarlyChinesehistoryistraditionallydividedintothreedynasties: 1)theHsia[=SHEEuh](ca.22051766BC); 2)theShang(ca.17661050BC); 3)theChou(ca.1050256BC). Untilthe20thcentury,mosthistoriansassumedthefirsttwoweremythical,butthe discoveryofShangcitieshasforcedareevaluationandthesuggestiontheHsiamay alsobereal;itslegendaryfounderisnamedYutheGreat.Nonetheless,littleis knownaboutit,exceptforlegendsdescribingthecrueltyoftheHsiaprinces. TheShangDynasty(ca.17661050):TheHsiaDynastywasoverthrownby membersoftheShangfamilyledbytheperhapsmythicalkingT'ang,whoaccording toearlyrecordswascalleduponbyHeaventoousttheHsiarulers.Locatednearthe YellowRiver,ShangcivilizationcenteredongreatcitystateslikethecapitalAnyang [=AHNYAHNG],whichwasfoundedbyP'anKengin1384BCandconsistedofa walledcitysurroundedbyNeolithicagriculturalvillages.CharacteristicsofShang civilization:1)Political,economic,social,andreligiouspowerbelongedtotheking, whowiththenobilitylivedinthefortifiedcities.2)Armieswerecomposedof aristocratswhofoughtinhorsedrawnchariotsandfootsoldiers;armieswere around4,000troopsandwereequippedwithbronzeweapons.3)TheShanghada complexsystemofwriting(pictographs=pictureoftheitemreferredto;ideographs =twoormorepictographs;logograph=pictographorideographtoprovide meaningandapronunciationkey),andithasbeenpreservedonbronzesandoracle bones,whichcontainthequestionasked(i.e.Whichancestoriscausingtheking's eartoache?),theanswer,andtheeventualoutcome. ShangOracleBone. 4)Shangreligioncombinedanimismandancestorworship.Theybelieved,for example,intheexistenceofakindlyandallpowerfuldragon,wholivedintherivers andseasandwhoriseintotheheavens.Theyalsohadasupreme"DietyAbove" whowasservedbyacourtoflessernaturalgods.Thegodswerenotworshiped directlybutthroughtheintermediaryofancestors,andreverenceforone'sparents andancestorswasofparamountimportance.Religionwasassociatedwith cosmology,andthemovementsoftheplanetsandstarswasrecorded.Important foranagriculturalpeoplewasacalendar.TheShangcalendarhad30daymonths anda360dayyears;extradayswereaddedasneededtocorrectthecalendar.5) TheShangweremastersofbronzetechnology;itwasusedforweapons,armor,and ceremonialvessels. Shangbronzewinejar. 6)AsShangsocietydeveloped,arigidstratificationsystemwasintroduced.Atthe topweretheking,hiscourtofficials,andwarriors;atthebottomweremassesof artisans,agriculturalworkers,andslaveswhodidtheneededmanuallaborlike buildingcitywallsthoseofonecityrequiredthelaborof10,000menfor18years. EvidenceforthelowlystatusofthoseatthebottomisprovidedbyShangroyal tombs;somewerefilledwiththebodiesoftheking'sslavesandservants,all sacrificedtoaccompanytheirmasterforeternity;oneroyaltombatAnyang containstheremainsoffiftytwoanimalsandseventyninehumans. TheChouDynasty(ca.1050256BC):ThethirdoftheearlyChinesedynasties, theChou[=JOH]dynastyoriginatedalongtheWeiRiver,atributaryoftheYellow River.Itshistoryisdividedintotwomajorperiods,thatoftheWestern(ca.1050 771BC)andthatoftheEasternChou(771256BC).Alesscivilizedbutmore warlikepeople,theyconqueredtheneighboringShangabout1050BC,perhaps becausetheyweretiredofpayingtribute,perhapsbecauseofthewickednessofthe lastShangking,oneChouHsin. Characteristics:1)TheythenadoptedandpreservedthemainfeaturesofShang civilization,includingtheirwritingsystem,thepracticeofancestorworship, divinationbythereadingoforaclebones,andthedivisionofsocietyintotwomajor groups,peasantsandanaristocraticwarriorclass. 2)OneinnovationwastheconceptoftheMandateofHeaven--theapprovalofthe godstogovern--,whichgavetheChoukingspoliticallegitimacyandwhichjustified theoverthrowoftheShangDynasty.TheyclaimedthattheShanghadoncehadit, butthatithadbeenwithdrawnbecauseofthewickednessofthelastShangking;it thereforepassedtotheChoukings.Thisbasicideasurvivedintothe20thcentury. 3)Government:Becauseofthesizeoftheirlands,theChourulerssetupa feudalisticsystem.Trustedroyalfamilymembersandmilitaryleadersweregranted landinexchangeforloyalandmilitaryservicetotherulerandprotectionforthe peoplelivingontheland.Overtime,someoftheselordsbuiltcitystatesandgrew verypowerful,andtheyfoughtwitheachotherorpower,wealth,andland,andthey weakenedtheroleoftheking.TheWesternChoustateendedin771BCwhenit wasoverrunbybarbarians.SurvivorsescapedtoLoyangontheYellowRiver, wheretheEasternChoustatewasestablished,butChoupowerhadbeenbroken andtheauthorityofthecentralgovernmentdeclined. TherefollowedtheSpringandAutumnperiod(722481BC)andtheWarringStates period(481221BC)duringwhichalargenumberofcitystatesmadealliancesfor selfdefenseandfoughteachother.Overtime,eightornineofthesecitystates becamemorepowerfulandattemptedtoconquertheothers.TheMandateof Heaven,however,remainedwithpowerlessChourulersuntiltheywerereplacedby theCh'inDynasty,whounitedChinain221BC. 4)GreatintellectualfloweringwiththedevelopmentofConfucianism,Taoism,and Legalism,whichwewilldiscusslater. TheCh'inDynasty(221202BC):TheweakChouDynastyendedin221BCEand wasreplacedbytheshortlivedCh'in,whichendedthefeudalperiodandcreateda greatcentralizedempire.Historiansconsiderthisaneventequalinimportanceto therevolutionin1911thatendedtheempireandthecommunisttakeoverin1949. TheambitiousandruthlessCh'inrulersattainedpowerbyusingcavalryarmedwith bowsandarrowsandironratherthanbronzeweapons,militarytechniques unfamiliartotheChinese.TheCh'in(sourceofthemodernwordChinese)built XianyangorHsienyang[=SHEEENYAHNG]ontheWeiHeRiverastheircapital, andfromthere,theyruledanempirelargerthanthatofanypreviousruler.Their firstgreatemperor,ShiHuangdi,alsoexpandedtheempiretothesouth,reaching thedeltaoftheXiJiangRiver. InthefewyearsofCh'inrule,Chinawasunifiedanempireforthefirsttimeand givenastrongcentralgovernmentandabureaucraticformofgovernmentthat servedasamodelforChinesepoliticalorganizationdowntothetwentieth centuries. TheEmperorShiHuangdi. TheCh'inDynasty. 1)Government:Controloverthisvastterritorywasachievedbyabolishingfeudal fiefs,byendingtheindependenceofthecitystates,bydisarmingtheirarmies,and bydividingtheempireintomilitarydistrictsadministeredbygovernorsappointed andresponsibletothecentralgovernment.HerearetheoriginsoftheChinese versionofbureaucraticgovernment. 2)TheCh'inalsostandardizedweightsandmeasures,establishedasystemof coinage. 3)Theymadeuniformthesystemofwritingbyintroducingastandardizedscript. ThisscriptcouldbereadbyeducatedChinese,eveniftheyspokealocaldialect. 4)Likewise,theyreplacedapatchworkquiltoflocallawswithauniformsystem andimposedasingletaxsystem.TheCh'inlegalsystemwasbasedonthe PhilosophyofLegalism.Itstatedthatpeoplewereevilandselfishatheartandhad thereforetobecontrolledbystrictlawsimposedbyapowerfulstateandabsolutist ruler. 5)Awarethatcommunicationwaskeytogoverninganempire,theCh'inbuilta nationalnetworkofstandardizedhighways.Suchmeasures,aswehaveseeninthe caseofthePersianEmpireandasweseeinthecaseoftheRoman,werenecessary forthecontrolofanyempire. 6)Toprotecttheirempireagainstinvadersfromthewest,theybeganconnecting existingwallsin214BCtocompletethemassiveGreatWallofChina.Itextended fromsome1500milesfromGansu[=GAHNSOO]tothesea;itwas25feethighand 15feetwide,witharoadthatpermittedsoldierstomoverapidly.Accordingto somereports,1,000,000workersdiedwhileworkingontheGreatWall. TwoimagesoftheGreatWallofChina. ThegovernmentofShiHuangdiwasharsh,andhesoughttocontrolthought,by banningprivateownershipofbooksandbyexecutionifnecessary.Hetriedbut failedtoeradicatetraditionalChineseculturebyburningallbuttextsonLegalism andutilitarianbooks,likeworksonmedicine,divination,andagriculture.Healso earnedthehatredofhispeople.Inaddition,thetaxburdenonthepeasantswas extremelyheavy. TerracottaSoldiersfromtheTombofShiHuangdi. ASoldierandhisHorsefromtheTombofShiHuangdi. SuchdiscontentallowedLiuBang[=LEEOOBAHNG],ageneralwhohadrisenfrom thepeasantry,tooverthrowtheCh'inin207BCEandfoundtheHanDynasty. Despiteitbriefappearanceonthestageofhistory,theCh'inDynastycreatedthe foundationsofthecentralizedChineseempirethatlasteduntiltheearlytwentieth century. TheChineseDynasticCycle:TherapidriseandcollapseoftheCh'inDynasty illustratessomeoftheconstantfeaturesofChinesehistory. 1)Rebellionsbyambitiouslordsanddiscontentpeasantswerecommon,aswere barbarianinvasionsandnaturaldisasters.Thesefactorscontributedtothecreation ofaregularpatternofrisingandfallingdynasties. 2)Theadventofanewdynastyusuallyinauguratedaperiodofoptimism,peace, andprosperity.BecausethenewrulerwasbelievedtoholdtheMandateofHeaven, peopleweresupportive,andthegovernmentlavishedmoneyonpublicworks projects,suchaswalls,canals,androads. 3)Soon,however,thequalityofgovernmentdeclined,corruptandgreedymen begantoholdoffice,morefundswereneededfordefense,taxesrose,infrastructure wentunrepaired,andfloods,invasions,andfaminebecamecommon. 4)Whenthequalityoflifehaddeclinedbeyondthepointoftoleration,thepeasants rebelled,assertingthattheMandateofHeavenhadbeenwithdrawn.Localnobles tooktheopportunitytoseizepowerandtaxrevenuesdeclined. 5)Eventuallytheolddynastyfellandwasreplacedbyanewone.Thenthedynastic cyclestartedover.Nonetheless,thegreatercontinuityofChinesecivilization discussedintheintroductionwasmaintained. TheHanDynasty(202BCAD220) TheemperorsoftheHanDynastyestablishedacentralizedgovernment,butwisely avoidedmanyofthebrutalexcessesoftheCh'in,andtheirrulelastedfrom202BC toAD220,roughlythetimespanoftheRomanEmpire. TheHanDynasty. Asthefirstemperor,LiuBangbecameGaoZu(alsoHanKaotzu)[=KOWDZOO]and thecapitalChang'an[=CHAHNGAHN],thepresentdayXi'an[=SHEEAHN],was locatedintheWeiRiverValley. 1)Expansion:Successiveemperors,especiallyWuDi[=WOODEE](ruled14087 BC],expandedtheempiretothesouthintoIndochinaandtothenorthintoKorea andManchuria;campaignswerealsolaunchedagainsttheHunsandintoCentral Asia.TheexpeditionsagainsttheHunswereprobablydefensiveinnature.InAD1, thepopulationwasprobablyaboutsixtymillion. 2)GovernmentandtheCivilService:AnempirethesizeoftheHanrequireda bureaucracyofeducatedanddedicatedcivilservants,whowerechargedwiththe collectionofrevenueanddefenseagainstenemiesforeignaswellasdomestic.The HanemperorsaccordinglydrewontheworkoftheirCh'inpredecessorsand establishedacompetitivecivilservicesysteminthesecondcenturyBC.The ideaoriginatedwithConfucius,whothoughtcivilservantsshouldbeeducatedand virtuous,asortofscholarofficial.Thedifficultentranceexaminations,firstgivenin 130BCduringthereignoftheemperorWuti,testedacandidate'sknowledgeofthe Chineseclassicsoflawandliterature;theregularexaminationsystemwas establishedafterAD600.Intheory,anyonecouldtaketheexaminations.In practice,itwasthesonsofwealthylandownerswhodidso,forotherscouldnot affordthenecessaryeducation. 3)EducationandtheUniversity:Topreparecandidatesfortheseexamination,the ImperialUniversitywasfoundedin124BC,withacurriculumbaseduponthe Chineseclassics: theIChing(BookofChangesforetellingthefuture); theShuChing(BookofDocumentsdocumentsrelatingtogovernmentand politics); theShihChing(BookofOdessongsonlove,joy,etc); Ch'unCh'iu(SpringandAutumnAnnalshistoryofthecitystateofLu); theLiChi(BookofRites);theChouLi(BookofCeremonialUsage); andtheILi(BookofCeremonies). Theseexaminationsremainedinplaceuntiltheearlytwentiethcentury.They ensuredthatthebureaucracywasrecruitedonthebasisofmerit,whilealsomaking surethatitwasconservativeandelitist. 4)ThereignofWuDi(14187BC)wasalsonotablefortheopeningofthefamous SilkRoad,whichmadetradepossiblebetweenChinaandtheMediterraneanworld andtheRomanworld. TheChineseSilkRoad.Andthedevelopmentoftrade Caravansofcamelscarriedsilk,jade,andothergoodsfromChang'antoAntioch,a journeyof4,000miles.AlsoopenedweresearoutesaroundIndia.Silkwas particularlyprized,sincenootherpeopleknewhowtoraisesilkwormsandto weaveclothfromtheworm'sfibers.Thecaravansreturnedwithglassandamber,as wellaswoolandlinenclothforthemarketsofChang'an.Itspopulationreached 250,00,anditwasfilledwithpalacesandmagnificentavenues,nottomention shops. 5)OtherculturalachievementsoftheHanDynastyincludedpapermakingandthe manufactureofporcelain,whatwecall"china". 6)Butsoonthewheelofthedynasticcycleturneddown.Thecentralgovernment weakened,revenuesdeclinedandtaxesrose,thepeasantsrebelled,andpolitical influencepeddlingsappedthecivilservice.Astheauthorityofthecentral governmentwaned,warlordswithprivatearmiesestablishedthemselvesand furtherunderminedthecentralgovernment. InAD220,theHanDynastysplitintothreekingdoms,andperiodscalledtheAgeof theThreeKingdoms(AD220280),ortheAgeofDisunity(AD280589),ensued. NomadictribesraidedChina,bringingconstantwarfareandgreathardship.Inthis regard,thirdcenturyChinawouldresemblefifthcenturyRome.Neverthelessthe achievementsinthought,politics,andcultureaccomplishedduringthereignofthe Hanendured. ChineseThought:Confucianism,Taoism,andLegalism TheChouDynasty(1050256BC),especiallytheWarringStatesperiod,witnessed remarkablecreativityinChineseintellectuallife. ItiscalledthetimeoftheHundredSchools.Thepolitical,social,andeconomic challengesconfrontingtheChinesestateandChinesesocietystimulatedthe productionofnewideasandtheories.Some,likeSunWuwroteaboutsuchmatters asTheArtofWar. But,themostnoteworthyisConfucius;otherschoolofthoughtareDaoismand Legalism.Thesethinkersarethecontemporariesaswellastheintellectualequalsof theHebrewprophets,theGreekphilosophers,andanumberofreligiousteachersin India. Confucius(ca551478BC)isconsideredChina'sgreatestthinkerandteacher,and hisideashaveinfluencedChinesebeliefsandstylesoflivingtothepresenttime. Confucius. HisnumerousfollowerscollectedhisideasinabookcalledtheAnalects. 1)Confuciuswasnotareligiousthinker,butateacher,andherarelyconcerned himselfwithquestionsconcerningthegods,thesoul,themeaningoflife,orthe afterlife."Istandinaweofthespirits,"hesaid,"butkeepthematadistance." (PenguinEncyclopedia,295) 2)Rather,hewasinterestedinthematterofcivicmorality,whichdealswithhow peopleshouldliveandbehaveintheirdailyrelationshipswithothers,andingood government.Confuciuswasreportedtohavesaid: They[theTaoists]dislikemebecauseIwanttoreformsociety,butifwearenotto livewithourfellowmen,withwhomcanwelive?Wecannotlivewithanimals.If societywasasitoughttobe,Iwouldnotbeseekingchange.(PenguinEncyclopedia, 295) Despitehisambitionsandhislearning,heneverheldanimportantpublicoffice, perhapsbecausehewouldnotflatterorintrigue.This,however,didnotstophim fromadvisingothers. 3)AccordingtoConfucius,therearefivefundamentalsocialrelationships: rulerandsubjects, fatherandson, husbandandwife, olderandyoungerbrothers, membersofacommunity. Twoobservationsaboutthislistmaybemade.Threeofthesefivedealwiththe family,whichConfuciusconsideredoffundamentalimportance.And,inthefirst four,therelationshipisbetweensuperior,whoisworthyofrespectandobedience, andonewhoisinferior.Additionalkeyconceptsincluderespectforone'selders andforthepastandone'sancestors. 4)Aboveall,Confuciusargued,personsinapositionofsuperiorityweretoseta goodexampleofmoralbehavior.Thus,justasafatherwasresponsibleforthegood behaviorofhischildren,sotherulerofstatewasresponsibleforthegoodbehavior ofhisofficialsandsubjects. 5)Confuciushadmanydiscipleswhoclarifiedandcodifiedhisthought.Oneofthe mostimportantwasMencius(c.372c.289BC).Hearguedthathumannaturewas originallygoodandthereforeeachpersonhadthepotentialforactingmorallyin socialsettings.Inaddition,heinsistedthatthestatewasamoralinstitutionand thattherulerhadtoexemplifymoralbehaviorandcreateaclimateinwhichhigh moralstandardswereexpectedofall.Whensuchwasthecase,agoldenageor peaceandharmonyresulted.Intheinstancewhenarulerdidnotexemplifymoral behavior,thenhehadlosttheMandateofHeaven,andthepeoplehavetherightto overthrowhim.Overthefollowingcenturies,otherscholarstransformedthe teachingsofConfuciusintoaschoolofthought,Confucianism,whichbecameChina's officialideology.Itstressedproperconduct,avirtuouslife,andhumanity,allof whichcanbelearnedfromthestudyofhistoryandtheclassics. Taoism Taoism[=DOWizum],thesecondmostimportantChinesephilosophyandthe complementtoConfucianism,hasbeenattributedtothepossiblylegendaryLaoTzu, theOldPhilosopher,whomayhavelivedisthesixthcenturyBC. 1) ThecentralworkofTaoismistheTaoTeChingorTheWayofVirtue,an enigmaticpoemofaboutfivethousandwords.AccordingtoLaoTzu:"Those whoknowdon'ttell,andthosewhotelldon'tknow."(PenguinEncyclopedia, 295)MuchoftheteachingoftheTaoistmasterswasdoneusingfablesor anecdotes. 2) ThewordTaoitselfmeansofthe"Way"orthe"WayofNature,"anditisan incomprehensibleandindescribableforcethatgovernstheuniverseand nature;itcanonlybesensedorfelt.AccordingtoTaoism,peopleshould withdrawfromactingintheworldandcontemplatenatureandonlythen wouldtheyunderstandtheTaoandlivesimplyandinharmonywithit."The wisemankeepstothedeedthatconsistsintakingnoactionandpracticesthe teachingthatusesnowords."(PenguinEncyclopedia,295) 3) Peopleshouldabandonthepursuitofwealth,learningorpoliticalpowerand be,instead,quiet,thoughtful,andhumble.InthewordsofLaoTzu,"Hewho overcomesothersisstrong;hewhoovercomeshimselfismighty." 4) Taoismappealedtopeasantsbecauseofitsemphasisonnature,toartists andpoetsbecauseitencouragedartisticexpressionasawayof understandingnature,andsomeConfucianistsbecauseitbalancedthe Confucianemphasisonpolitics. Legalism LegalismwasaMachiavellianschoolofpoliticalphilosophythatbeganwiththe premisethatpeoplewerebynatureevil,selfish,anduntrustworthy. 1)AmongitsprincipalthinkerswasLordShangandHanFei. 2)Thinkersofthisschoolalsoarguedthatpeopleweremotivedprimarilybygreed andfear. 3)Thisbeingthecase,itwasthennecessarytohaveawealthyandpowerfulstate withanabsoluterulerwhowouldcontroltheunrulypeoplewithharshlawsand cruelpunishments.AccordingtoHanFei:"Ifthelawsareweak,soisthekingdom." Or:"Theruleraloneshouldpossessthepower,wieldingitlikelightningorlike thunder."(PenguinEncyclopedia,294)Theemphasisonlawsgavethisschoolof thoughtitsname. 4)Notsurprisingly,Legalismappealedtorulersandpragmaticpeoplewhoheld publicofficeandwhoconfrontedthedaytodayproblemsofadministration. 5)Legalistsalsothoughttheprimaryoccupationsforthepeopleshouldbe agricultureandwar.AccordingtotheBookofLordShang,writtenbyShangYang(d. 338BC):"Acountrythatdirecteditselftothesetwoends[agricultureandwar] wouldnothavetowaitlongbeforeitestablishedhegemonyorevencomplete masteryoverallotherstates." 6)Legalistsalsohadlittleuseforformaleducation,fearingthatthestudyofhistory ortheclassicsorphilosophywouldteachpeopletothinkandmakethemdiscontent andrebellious.ThecynicalrealismoftheLegalistslackedthemoralandspiritual qualitiesofConfucianismandTaoism. SocietyandCultureduringtheChou,Ch'in,andHanDynasties 1)Family:Thefamily,nottheindividual,wasthemostimportantunityinancient China.FundamentaltoChinesesocietyandculturewastheConfucianconceptthat thehealthofthefamilywasthekeytothewelfareofthestate.Valuesassociated withahealthyfamilylifewerereverenceformembersofthefamily,respectforage, andtheacceptanceofdecisionsmadebythosesuperiorwerethesamevaluesthat governedthestateandshapedsocialandculturallife,includingtheeconomy, education,literature,andscience. One'spositioninsocietydependedonthatofhisfamily,notuponwealthof individualachievements.Familieswereextendedfamilies,consistingofhusband, wife,thesonsandtheirfamilies,andunmarrieddaughters,andtheygenerallylived together.Authorityinthefamilybelongedtothefather,justasauthorityinthestate belongedtotheemperor.Educationwastheresponsibilityofthefamily,notthe state,andthemoreprosperousfamilieshiredtutors.Educationalopportunities wereaccordinglylimited,andaslateas1900some95%ofthepopulationwas illiterate.Fathersarrangedthemarriagesofchildren,controlledtheamountof educationanyonechildreceived,andusuallychosecareersforsons.Women occupiedasubordinateposition,andtheywereunabletoownproperty.Oncethey hadchildren,however,theygainedstatusinthehousehold.Importantwithinthe Chinesefamilywasancestorworship.Familieskeptcarefulgenealogies,and shrineswereerectedfortheworshipofancestorsaslinksbetweenthepast, present,andfuture. 2)SocialStructure:ThebasicelementsoftheChinesesocialstructurewere recognizedandnamedduringtheWarringStatesperiod. Firstweretheshih,theclassmadeupofthelessernobility,i.e.gentry,knights,and scholars; Secondcamethenung,thepeasantfarmers; Thirdwerethekung,theartisans,andlastweretheshang,themerchantclass.The lowstatusaccordedmerchantsbecameaprevailingthemeinChinesehistory. ...
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