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CHINA. Post-Classical China(1000B.C.E-500c.e). Shang - decentralized Zhou(1029-258 B.C.E) “Middle kingdom” (Yangtze to Huang)-ethnocentrism No central gov’t instead alliances with regional princes Qin(221-202 B.C.E)

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  • Shang - decentralized

  • Zhou(1029-258 B.C.E)

    • “Middle kingdom” (Yangtze to Huang)-ethnocentrism

    • No central gov’t instead alliances with regional princes

  • Qin(221-202 B.C.E)

    • Shi-huangdi~centralized gov’t, Great wall, Mandate of Heaven, strong unification & expansion south

  • Han(202 B.C.E- 220 C.E.)

    • power=Mandate of Heaven, Civil service exams,

    • Wu Ti- Golden age, kept Huns out, expansion


  • Large differences between high and low class

  • Three main groups:

    • Landowning aristocracy & Bureaucrats

    • Laboring peasants and artisans

    • “mean people” unskilled labor jobs

  • Rice, silk, wheat and trade with India + spice islands

  • Merchants had low standing



Confucianism, Daoism, legalism, Buddhism

Confucianism= mutual respect and eventually became the foundation of bureaucracy

-HAN Dynasty somewhat ZHOU

Daoism- balance with nature founded by Laozi

Legalism- Qin dynasty & best gov’t = by force

Technological advances like calendar, astronomy and seismographs

ART- pottery/calligraphy

Social structure- aristocratic and merit


High knowledge of science

Mandarin language


Silk road ~ India, Mesopotamia, Greece

Little allances

Spread of Buddhism due to trade with India


Ethnocentrism~ all non-Chinese= Barbarians


Comparison with the outside




Emphasis on religion

Mainly Hinduism/Buddhism

Huge market/trade econ


Rigid social structure

No slaves

  • Differences

    • Emphasis on Gov’t

    • Confucianism

    • Locked up and small market econ

  • Similarities

    • Rigid social structure

    • No slaves


After Han, China= three kingdoms: Northern Zhou, Chen, and The Northern Qi

Wendi~ Sui -married daughter to zhou empire

Yangdi~(son of Wendi) milder legal codes, Confucianism, civil service exam~luxury=decline

TANG~ Li Yuan revived bureaucracy, civil service exams

Hereditary aristocracy declined

Tang & Song-Scholar-gentry increased

Post Classical time(600c.e.-1450)

Grand Canal by Yangdi

Tang promoted Chinese, Buddhist, and Islamic exchange

Merchants traded


Flying money or credit vouchers

Inventions like wheelbarrow helped plowing, planting, etc


  • Buddhism strong especially Chan or Zen

    • Wide-spread conversions and monasteries

  • Empress Wu= attempt commission Buddhism as state religion

  • Envy of Confucius/ Daoist

    • Mid-9th Cent. Emperor Wuzong= persecution of Buddhism

  • Confucianism flourished in Tang and Song


  • Neo-Confucianism-women=homemakers

    • Confinement of women, chastity for wives

    • Like India widows can’t remarry

    • Foot-binding

  • Song & Tang technology, art &literature

    • Gunpowder, chairs, calculator(abascus) & compass~ Song

  • Scholar-gentry~ artistic and literary creativety


  • Reopening of Silk road

  • Increased interaction with India, Persia, and Central Asia

    • Imports: Horses, Persian rugs, tapestries

    • Exports: silk, textiles, porcelain, paper

  • Merchants traded with other countries and transported it to China


Continuites and Changes



Buddhism became popular during this time period whereas before it was unknown to China

The merchant class’ role became more important to that of Chinese economy.

  • There were multiple continuities like Confucianism based civil service exams and Bureaucracy.

  • Women also continued to have a subordinate role.

Early modern Times(1450-1750c.e)

Song dynasty fell to Mongol invasion leading to the Yuan dynasty in 1271 by Kublai Khan

Kublai discontinued civil service exams but surrounded by Confucius, Buddhist, and Taoist scholars

Wife Chabi = promotion of Buddhism

  • Ming dynasty(1368-1644)

    • Founded: Zhu Yuan Zhang revolted against Yuan

    • He eradicated all Mongol evidence like dress(skirts and leather), names

    • Bureaucracy and Confucianism revived

    • Emperor Hongwu=power for himself eradicated ministery

      • Anyone corrupt= public beating

    • Decline of Ming due to political inbalance


  • Zhenghe(1405-1423)~ third Ming emperor

    • 7 huge expeditions throughout world: Persia, Arabia, East indies, and East/south of Africa

    • Huge fleets(six times larger than European)

    • Isolation after due to Ethnocentrism, too much money in that it can be used to fix internal problems

  • Trade allowed in Macao and Canton

    • Trade=high Europeans loved silk and spices

    • Also architecture became huge


  • Buddhism rose due to the rise in completion

    • Morality books with lots of merits points for good deeds

    • Hand in hand with Confucianism

  • Daoism

    • Supported by emperor

  • Christianity by Italian Jesuits 1583 Michael Ruggerius & Matteo ricci w/ knowledge of math and Science


Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang promoted art work

Bureaucracy= lots of Scholar-gentry w/ free time pursued art careers

Time of peace meant more display opportunities

Confucianism impacted culture~ sayings, art,etc

Buddhism and Taoism had little impact for not as popular as Confucianism


Zenghe’s Expedition With huge fleets


Europeans with Christianity flowing into China

Ethnocentrism made Chinese despise foreign rule

Hatred towards Christian converts


Continuites and Changes

  • Continuites

    • Confucianism continued to be major belief in China and continued to be the base for civil service examinations.

  • Changes

    • China went from subtly open country to completely isolated country due to the idea of Ethnocentrism.

Modern Period(1750-1914)

  • Qing Dynasty (or Manchu Dynasty)

    • Last dynasty of China

    • People unhappy since foreign rule

    • Qing= Chinese ideas

  • The Scholar-gentry still in power but Manchus were the main power

  • Mandate of Heaven


  • Qing fall

    • Corrupted Exam system and bribery started it all

    • Wealthy were put into power again

    • Confucius value waned

    • Poor were neglected so lots of robbery

  • Qing= last dynasty because deprived of needed change, “barbarians”, and crops brought population growth

  • Lin Zexu enforced laws on opium

Politics continued

  • Opium

    • Chinese got hooked & officials had no money for infrastructure

    • Lin Zexu enforces laws against opium so British angry

  • Opium war won by british & Chinese ports forced open

  • Taiping Rebellion= Christian prophet Hong Xiuquan Social order, rights to Women, question Confucianism

  • Boxer rebellion = Cixi oust Europe, Japan and America Failed


  • Confucianism is still there but weakening due to corruption

  • Christianity brought into China

    • Chinese despised foreign influence

    • Converts looked down upon

    • Barely excepted after two Italian Christians brought it over


  • Women treated horribly

    • Infanticide

    • Males marry lower class women to keep woman under control

  • Mandate of heaven

  • Art and architecture


  • Lots of Foreign interaction

    • Europeans

    • This made them realize they are not at the top

    • Technology level low so conquering was easy

  • New religions brought over to China


Continuites and Changes



China was forced out of the isolation that had once been in action and had to trade with Europeans without their consent.

  • Although there was foreign rule in China, Confucianism still continued to be the main belief that everyone followed.

Opium war

Industrial age(20th cent-present)

Present-day Hong kong pictured on the right.

  • Beginning= End of Puyi the last of the Qing

  • China in Chaos

  • Students and Teachers factor in China

  • Japan= constant threat~ Revolutionary alliance but failed

  • Japan took German land

  • May 4th= Liberal Democracy movement but students = radical communist

    • 1921 communist party born

    • MAO ZEDONG communist leader considered a hero and ideas of moving forward and cultural revolution

    • DENG XIAOPING promoted economic reform and opened China to the world


Mao Zedong

  • Technological developments only some

  • Plants used in factories

  • Productivity growth by 1949

    • Match by the growing population of China

  • Foreign trade involvement rose


Confucianism is the most popular still throughout China

Buddhism and Islam in China of the Hui and Uyghur

Freedom of religion

Buddhism widely influential throughout China

Taoist about 300 Taoist temples spread across China

Others are Ancestor soul existence and the Chinese astrology is popular



  • Buddhism

  • Taoist

  • Chinese new year a huge parade

  • Clothing and ornaments like Dragon robe

    • Folk art

  • Chinese zodiac

  • New year market selling fireworks, clothing and usually decorated with lots of lanterns



Chinese new year

Chinese Zodiac

Foreign trade

Ministry of Foreign affairs like other nations

U.S. used Mainland China as counter to the Soviet Union

China and U.S. are rivals in many areas today including economy

U.S. – China trade largest in the world


Continuities and Changes



The gov’t went from a single ruler with Mandate of Heaven to slowly developing Communist gov’t.

  • Even through the modern times, Confucianism stays strong as the major belief of most Chinese population today.

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