Ce by the fifth century bce all defensive alliances

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Unformatted text preview: ed known as the Warring States period after a new lands and plowed chronicle of the same name treating the deeper, raising yields and years from 401 to 256 B.C.E. By the fifth century B.C.E., all defensive alliances increasing agricultural had collapsed. Strong states swallowed surpluses. Irrigation and their weaker neighbors. The border drainage canals became states grew in size and power. Interstate important for the first time. stability disappeared. By the fourth cenSerfs gave way to independtury B.C.E., only eight or nine great territorial ent farmers, who bought and states remained as contenders. The only quessold land. By the third century B.C.E., China had about 20 million people, maktion was which one would defeat the others ing it the most populous country in the and go on to unify China. world, a distinction it has never lost. Three basic changes in Chinese society A second development, which would concontributed to the rise of large territorial Bronze Vessel from the Shang Dynasty. The little elephant on top forms tinue for several centuries, was the rise of states. One was the expansion of population the handle of the lid. Wine was poured commerce. Roads built for war were used by and agricultural lands. The walled cities of the through the spout formed by the big merchants. Goods were transported by horses, Shang and Western Zhou had been like oases elephant’s trunk. The Freer Gallery of Art, oxcarts, riverboats, and the camel, which enin the wilds, bounded by plains, marshes, and Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. tered China in the third century B.C.E. The forests. Game was plentiful; thus, hunting, products of one region were traded for those of another. Copalong with sheep and cattle breeding, supplemented agriculper coins joined bolts of silk and precious metals as media of ture. But in the Eastern Zhou, as population grew, wilds exchange. Rich merchants rivaled in lifestyle the landowning began to disappear, the economy became almost entirely agrilower nobility. New outer walls were added to cities to provide cultural, and hunting became an aristocratic pastime. Friction for expanded merchant quarters. Bronze bells and mirrors, arose over boundaries as states began to abut. These changes clay figurines, lacquer boxes, and musical instruments found in late Zhou tombs give ample evidence that the material and artistic culture of China leaped ahead during this period, deYEN spite its endemic wars. A third change that doomed the city-state was the rise l CHI Yel of a new kind of army. The war chariots of the old aristocJIN LU racy, practical only on level terrain, gave way to cavalry SONG armed with crossbows. Most of the fighting was done by QIN i R. WU R. uai conscript foot soldiers. Armies of the territorial states numH ZHOU bered in the hundreds of thousands. The old nobility gave CHU way to professional commanders. The old aristocratic etiR. quette, which governed behavior even in battle, was supzi g Yan planted by military tactics that were bloody and ruthless. Prisoners were often massacred. Change also affected gov...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.

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