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Chinese Dynasties. Too Many Dynasties to Remember? Lets try a SONG! Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han Sui, Tang, Song Sui, Tang, Song Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic Mao Zedong Mao Zedong Let’s try Frere Jacques

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Chinese dynasties l.jpg
Chinese Dynasties

  • Too Many Dynasties to Remember? Lets try a SONG!

  • Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han

  • Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han

  • Sui, Tang, Song

  • Sui, Tang, Song

  • Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

  • Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

  • Mao Zedong

  • Mao Zedong

  • Let’s try Frere Jacques

  • http://rhs.rocklin.k12.ca.us/academics/socialscience/apwh/index.html


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Chinese DynastiesShang through Qing- sources: Barron’s, Earth and Its Peoples


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Chinese Dynasties – Shang 1750 BCE – 1027 BCE

Shang (1750 BCE – 1027 BCE)

- confined area of northeastern China

- Governance

- King and adminstrators ruled over core area (Yellow River Valley)

- Royal family and high-ranking nobility managed provinces further out. - More distant areas were administered by native rulers

- The King would often travel from province to province to reinforce ties of loyalty (Bulliet 59)


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Chinese Dynasties – Shang 1750 BCE – 1027 BCE

Shang (1750 BCE – 1027 BCE)

- Governance

- King made himself indispensable

-served as intermediary between the people and the gods.

- Religion

- Royal family worshipped ancestors, practiced divination

- Sacrifice of animals and people used

(Bulliet 59)


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Chinese Dynasties – Shang 1750 BCE – 1027 BCE

Shang (1750 BCE – 1027 BCE)

- Governance

- Frequent military campaigns

- warrior aristocracy

- most prominent class

- frequent battles with “barbarians”

- gave opportunity for brave achievements

- many POWs – used as slaves in capital city (Bulliet 59)


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Chinese Dynasties – Shang 1750 BCE – 1027 BCE

Shang (1750 BCE – 1027 BCE)

- Trade

- Far reaching trade networks

- brought in ivory, jade, mother-of-pearl

- May have traded with Mesopotamia (Bulliet 59)


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Chinese Dynasties – Shang 1750 BCE – 1027 BCE

Shang (1750 BCE – 1027 BCE)

- Bronze

- Was a sign of authority

- used in warfare and ritual

- Artisans

- who made bronze were well- compensated (Bulliet 59)


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Chinese Dynasties – Shang 1750 BCE – 1027 BCE

Shang (1750 BCE – 1027 BCE)

Technology

- horse-drawn chariot

- may have borrowed from M. East

- domestication of water buffalo

- for labor

- engineering

- construction of cities, massive defensive walls made of earth, monumental royal tombs.

- writing

- pictogram and phonetic symbols that made up writing system a key to effective administration (Bulliet 60)


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

- longest lasting and most revered of all Chinese dynasties

- preserved Shang foundational culture while adding new important elements


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

- Mandate of Heaven

- Other elements of religion


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

- Governance of early Zhou era

- Western Zhou 11th – 9th century BCE

- sophisticated administrative system (Bulliet 61)


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

- Governance of early Zhou era

- Western Zhou 11th – 9th century BCE

- Imperial official expected to model decorum

- Highly decentralized as the Shang had been

(Bulliet 62)


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

- By 800 BCE Zhou power began to wane

- Local rulers had more power and warred with each other.

- Bureaucracy increased

- wealth and power was justified by authoritarian political philosophies (Bulliet 62)

Legalism –


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

Legalism –

- idea that humans are essentially wicked and will behave in an orderly fashion only if compelled by strict laws and harsh punishments, administered by a powerful ruler.

- every aspect of a human society needed to be controlled.

- personal freedom needed to be sacrificed to the needs and demands of the state. (Bulliet 62)


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

Confucianism –

Confucius (551-479 BCE)

Mengzi (371-289 BCE) made teachings much better known

- roots in earlier beliefs

- veneration of ancestors

- mandate of heaven etc.

- each person has a particular role to play – each person’s conduct necessary to maintain the social order.

- emphasized benevolence, avoidance of (Bulliet 63)


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

Confucianism –

Later in the era of the early emperors became the dominant political philosophy.


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

The Warring States Period (480-221 BCE) –

- saw the rise of Daoism – “the path”

- ideas of Yin and Yang also

- social organization also changed

- from clan-based to the three- generational family

- grandparents, parents, children

- also concept of private property

- Land belonged to the men of the family

-either divided equally among sons at father’s death or given to eldest son.

(Bulliet 63)


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Chinese Dynasties – Zhou 1027 BCE – 221 BCE

Zhou (1027 BCE – 221 BCE)

Classical ideas of family, property, and bureaucracy took shape during Zhou rule

- The rise of competitive and quarrelling smaller states at the end of the Zhou period set things up for a strong central power to unify the Chinese lands.

- commonalities in culture between the smaller states but also distinct cultural differences (similar in some ways to the different Greek city-states) (Bulliet 64)


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Chinese Dynasties – Qin 221 - 206 BCE

Qin (221 BCE – 206 BCE)

- Began long period of Imperial China that would last into the 20th century.

Aggressive tendencies and disciplined way of life made it the premier power among the warring states in the early 3rd century BCE

- Qin rapidly conquered their rivals and created China’s first empire.

- Empire was extensive – basically the China of today – much more extensive than the relatively compact zone in northeastern China of the Shang and Zhou

- BUT at great human cost – empire barely survived its founder (Shi Huangdi)

(Bulliet 64, 160)


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Chinese Dynasties – Qin 221 - 206 BCE

Qin (221 BCE – 206 BCE)

- Leaders were able and ruthless men

- drew on ideas of legalism

- cracked down on Confucianism

- worked to eliminate potential rivals

- eliminated primogeniture

- so land would be split up to several heirs.

- why?

- abolished slavery

- wanted a free peasantry of small land owners

- why?


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Chinese Dynasties – Qin 221 - 206 BCE

Qin (221 BCE – 206 BCE)

- Committed to standarization

- with writing, weights, coinage, a uniform law code etc.

- tried to eliminate individual version of these in each state.

- Qin

- built thousands of miles of roads

- built canals

- linked some walls as a barricade to foreigners (Bulliet 163-164)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Qin and Han

- began the long history of imperial China that would last into the 20th century

- remarkable achievement to consolidate these lands because they were quite diverse in topography, climate, plant and animal life and human population

- there were great obstacles to communication and a uniform way of life – more so than the Roman Empire experienced

- there was no internal sea like the Mediterranean that the Romans had to help with transportation. (Bulliet 160)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Qin and Han

- Key to empires

-1) Agricultural production

- the primary source of wealth and taxes that supported imperial China.

(Bulliet 160)

2) Human labor

- the other fundamental commodity

- took advantage of this much as the Romans did

- dependence on large population of free peasants to give taxes and labor to the state (Bulliet 161)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Han

Human labor

- in between growing seasons required every able-bodied man to donate one month of labor a year to public work projects

- construction was done on palaces, temples, roads, canals, transporting goods etc.

- Another obligation was two years of military service (Bulliet 161)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Han

Human labor

- in between growing seasons required every able-bodied man to donate one month of labor a year to public work projects

- construction was done on palaces, temples, roads, canals, transporting goods etc.

- Another obligation was two years of military service (Bulliet 161)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Han

- continued structure and Legalist ideology but less harsh

- mixed with form of Confucianism

- emphasized the benevolence of the government and the appropriate behaviors in a hierarchal society.

- Han structure became the standard


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Han -

- Gradually, but persistently the Han expanded at the expense of other ethnic groups.

- As they expanded they brought their culture with them

- ideas about family, Confucianism etc.

- Chinese today refer to themselves ethnically as “Han”

(Bulliet 161, 164)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Han captial Chang’an -

- thriving city

- 246,000 in 2 CE

- filled with officials, soldiers, merchants, craftsmen and foreign visitors

- high walls to protect government buildings

- became a model for urban planning

- some of city was planned


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Han captial Chang’an -

- thriving city

- gap between rich and poor

- government officials and merchants lived a very different life from the common man


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Leadership and Mandate of Heaven

- continued this idea

- ruler was regarded as a divinity – his word was law to a much higher degree than in Rome.

- However, the Chinese believed there was a strong tie between heaven and the natural world

- THEREFORE, floods, earthquakes, droughts etc. were seen as a due to the emperors mismanagement and a reason for him to be replaced. (Bulliet 165)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Leadership

- Emperor lived secluded life with wives, children, servants, courtiers etc.

- Central government rarely came in contact with the common man

- local officials would have contact

- Local officials were often “gentry”

- moderately wealthy, educated men who were desired by emperors to weaken the rich, powerful rural aristrocrats.

- gentry were generally efficient, respected, and responded quickly to the needs of the people


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Leadership (Bulliet 165 - 166)

- System was set up

1) to train officials (gentry) to be intellectually capable and morally worthy to serve.

2) to measure an officials performance with a code of conduct.

- According to tradition an Imperial University trained the would-be officials and had more than 30,000 students. Some scholars doubt this however.

- In theory any man could advance in this system. In practice, the sons of gentry had a distinct advantage to receive the necessary training.


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Leadership (Bulliet 165 - 166)

- When emperor died, his most favored wife got to choose the next emperor from among the males of his ruling clan.


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Technology

- Iron – Qin may have been first to take advantage of this as Chinese metallurgists were ahead of other areas.

- Crossbow

- watermill – power to use with grindstone.

- advanced horse collar

- allowed horse to breathe better and carry heavier loads.

- Roads and waterways

- helped with transportation and trade.(Bulliet 166-167)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Decline

- Several reasons

1) Harder and harder to provide adequate protection versus nomadic invaders

- this led to local nobles, merchants, and/or warlords offering their protection

2) military conscriptions system broke down

3)corruption, inefficiency


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Han (206 BCE – 220 CE)

- Decline

- All of these reasons led to political fragmentation.

- This fragmentation lasted until the rise of the Sui and Tang in the late 6th and 7th centuries. (Bulliet 168)

- For good comparison of Roman and Han Empires read pgs. 168-170


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

Between Han (206 BCE – 220 CE) and the Sui (589 CE – 618 CE)

- Power vacuum

- small kingdoms

- some used Chinese style governance

- others affected by Tibetan, Turkish or other regional cultures. Buddhism sometimes legitimized these rulers. (Bulliet 276)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

The Sui (589 CE – 618 CE)

- In a span of less than 40 years, the Sui reunified China

- Confucianism was the central ideology.

- However, there was a strong Buddhist influence and also a wide variety of other contributing religious beliefs as well. (Bulliet 276)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

The Sui (589 CE – 618 CE)

- built Grand Canal – 1,100 miles long

- irrigation systems in Yangzi River Valley

- waged massive military campaigns against Korea, and Japan.

- Perhaps moved too fast – became overextended – led to downfall. They could not sustain these efforts.


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

The Tang Empire (618 CE – 907 CE)

- maintained the eastern borders established by the Sui and expanded westward into Central Asia, under the leadership of “brilliant” Emperor Li Shimin (Bulliet 627-649)

- avoided overcentralization by allowing local nobles, gentry, officials, and religious establishments to exercise significant power.

- Tang were heavily influenced by Central Asian expertise but also by Chinese traditions

- Tang were descendants of Turkic elites and Chinese officials who had intermarried with the Turks.


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

The Tang Empire (618 CE – 907 CE)

- Tang were heavily influenced by Central Asian expertise but also by Chinese traditions

- Tang were descendants of Turkic elites and Chinese officials who had intermarried with the Turks.

- This combination of knowledge proved very valuable

example: Warfare

- the Tang combined Chinese weapons

(crossbow and armored infantrymen) with Central Asian expertise in horsemanship and the use of iron stirrups.

- The result: From 650-750 CE, Tang armies were the most formidable on earth. (Bulliet 278)


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

The Tang Empire (618 CE – 907 CE)

- Role of Buddhism

- Buddhism had played a large role in northern China and Central Asia after the fall of the Han.

- Buddhism gave a spiritual function to kings and emperors – bring humankind into the Buddhist realm

- Mahayana Buddhism encouraged the translation of Buddhist scriptures into other languages.


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Chinese Dynasties – Han 206 BCE – 220 CE

The Tang Empire (618 CE – 907 CE)

- Role of Buddhism – helped make Tang “cosmopolitan”

- Buddhism became an important ally of the early Tang imperial family.

- asked for prayer and expected monetary contributions.

- in return, monasteries received tax exemptions land and other privileges.

- As Tang expanded, Buddhism became even more important

- Chang’an became the center of continent-wide system of communication

- Buddhist Central Asians, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Koreans all regularly visited the capital Chang’an

- they left with Tang cultural ideas and contributed their own.


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