Chinese dynasties
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Chinese Dynasties. River Valley Dynasties. XIA DYNASTY. Archeological discovery of the Xia is still in its preliminary stage Established about 2200 B.C.E. Legendary King Yu , the dynasty founder, a hero of flood control Erlitou: possibly the capital city of the Xia

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Xia dynasty

  • Archeological discovery of the Xia is still in its preliminary stage

  • Established about 2200 B.C.E.

  • Legendary King Yu, the dynasty founder, a hero of flood control

  • Erlitou: possibly the capital city of the Xia

  • Chinese scholars believe it existed

The shang dynasty 1766 1122 b c e

  • Arose in the southern, eastern areas

  • Many records, material remains discovered

  • Bronze metallurgy, monopolized by elite

  • Agricultural surpluses supported large troops

  • Vast network of walled towns

  • Shang-kings were warriors

  • Constant struggle with nobles for power

  • The Shang capital moved six times

  • Lavish tombs of Shang kings

    • Contained chariots, weapons, bronze goods

    • Sacrificial human victims, dogs, horses

Mandate of heaven

  • The right to rule granted by heaven

    • Zhou justified their overthrow of Shang

    • Ruler called "the son of heaven"

    • Only given to virtuous, strong rulers

    • To lose mandate = someone else should rule

    • Replacement of dynasties = Dynastic Cycle

  • Signs one had lost mandate

    • Corruption, heavy taxes

    • Lazy officials and rulers

    • Revolts, invasions, civil wars, crime

    • Natural disasters

    • Society develops bad morals, habits

The zhou dynasty 1122 256 b c e

  • The rise of the Zhou

    • The last Shang king was a bad ruler

    • The Zhou forces toppled the Shang

  • Political organization

    • Adopted decentralized administration

    • Used princes and relatives to rule regions

    • Consequences

      • Weak central government with ceremonial functions

      • Rise of regional powers; often called feudalism

      • Constant rivalry between warring families, nobles

The fall of the zhou

  • Iron metallurgy

    • Iron technology spread; 1st millennium B.C.E.

    • Iron weapons helped regional authorities to resist the central power

    • Qin mastered iron technology, weapons

  • Nomadic invasion sacked capital

  • Other Troubles

    • Territorial princes became more independent

    • Warring States (403-221 B.C.E.)

    • Rise of Qin state

    • Last king abdicated his position in 256 B.C.E.

The classical dynasties 600 bce to 600 ce
The Classical Dynasties600 BCE to 600 CE

Qin statecraft

  • Suppressing the resistance

    • Bitterly opposed, was opposed by Confucian scholars

    • Buried 460 scholars alive because of their criticism against the Qin

    • Burned all books except some with utilitarian value

  • Policies of centralization

    • Standardization of laws, currencies, weights, measures

    • Standardized scripts: tried to create uniform language

    • Creates a uniform writing system but not language

  • Tomb of the First Emperor

    • The tomb was an underground palace

    • Excavation of the tomb since 1974

    • Terracotta soldiers and army to protect tomb

  • The collapse of the Qin dynasty

    • Massive public works generated ill will among people

    • Waves of rebels overwhelmed the Qin court in 207 B.C.E.

    • A short-lived dynasty, left deep marks in Chinese history

The early han dynasty

  • Liu Bang

    • A general, persistent man, a methodical planner

    • Restored order, established dynasty, 206 B.C.E.

  • Han was long-lived dynasty

  • Early Han policies

    • Sought middle way between Zhou and Qin

    • Royal relatives were not reliable, returned to centralized rule

  • Martial Emperor (141-87 B.C.E.)

    • Han Wudi ruled for 54 years

    • Pursued centralization and expansion

Han statecraft

  • Han centralization

    • Adopted Legalist policies

      • Built an enormous bureaucracy to rule the empire

      • Continued to build roads and canals

      • Levied taxes on agriculture, trade, and craft industries

      • Imperial monopolies on production of iron and salt

    • Established Confucian educational system for training bureaucrats

      • Confucianism as the basis of the curriculum in imperial university

      • Thirty thousand students enrolled in the university in Later Han

  • Han imperial expansion

    • Invaded and colonized northern Vietnam and Korea

    • Extended China into central Asia

      • Han organized vast armies to invade Xiongnu territory

      • Han enjoyed uncontested hegemony in east and central Asia

Han social structure

  • Patriarchal, patrilocal households averaged five inhabitants

  • Large, multigenerational compound families also developed

  • Women's subordination (Ban Zhao Admonitions for Women)

  • Cultivators were the majority of the population

  • Differences apparent between noble, lower class women

  • Scholar bureaucrats: Confucian trained bureaucrats

    • Officials selected through competitive testing

    • Used to run the government in Early Han

  • Scholar Gentry

    • Confucian bureaucrats intermarried with landed elite

    • New class comes to dominate local, national offices

    • Strongest in late Han

  • Merchants held in low social esteem

  • Han troubles

    • Expeditions consumed the empire's surplus

      • Raised taxes and confiscated land of some wealthy individuals

      • Taxes, land confiscations discouraged investment

      • Much of defense consumed on defending against nomads

  • Social tensions, stratification between the poor and rich

  • Problems of land distribution

    • Early Han supported land redistribution

    • Economic difficulties forced some small landowners to sell property

    • Some sold themselves or their families into slavery

    • Lands accumulated in the hands of a few

    • No land reform, because Han needed cooperation of large landowners

  • The reign of Wang Mang

    • A powerful Han minister

    • Dethroned the baby emperor, claimed imperial title himself, 9 C.E.

    • Land reforms - the "socialist emperor"

    • Overthrown by revolts, 23 C.E.

  • Sui dynasty

    • After fall of the Han, turmoil lasted for more than 350 years

      • Three major states contended for rule; further fragmentation

      • Nomads constantly invaded, created their own states, dynasties

    • The rule of the Sui

      • Reunification by Yang Jian in 589

      • Constructions of palaces and granaries, repairing the Great Wall

      • Military expeditions in central Asia and Korea

      • High taxes and compulsory labor services

    • The Grand Canal

      • One of the world's largest waterworks before modern times

      • Purpose: bring abundant food supplies of the south to the north

      • Linked the Yangtze and the Huang-Hi

      • The canal integrated the economies of the south and north

    • The fall of the Sui

      • High taxes and forced labor generated hostility among the people

      • Military reverses in Korea

      • Rebellions broke out in north China beginning in 610

      • Sui Yangdi was assassinated in 618, the end of the dynasty

    The tang dynasty

    • Founding of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 CE)

      • A rebel leader seized Chang'an, proclaimed a new dynasty, the Tang

      • Tang Taizong

        • 2nd Tang emperor, a ruthless but extremely competent ruler

        • China enjoyed an era of unusual stability and prosperity

    • Extensive networks of transportation and communications

    • Adopted the equal-field system

    • Bureaucracy of merit

      • Recruited government officials through civil service examinations

      • Career bureaucrats relied on central government, loyal to the dynasty

      • Restored Confucianism as state ideology, training for bureaucrats

    • Foreign relations

      • Political theory: China was the Middle Kingdom, or the center of civilization

      • Tributary system became diplomatic policy

    • Tang decline

      • Casual and careless leadership led to dynastic crisis

      • Rebellion of An Lushan in 755, weakened the dynasty

      • The Uighurs became de facto rulers

      • The equal-field system deteriorated

      • A large scale peasant rebellion led by Huang Chao lasted from 875 to 884

      • Regional commanders gained power, beyond control of the emperor

      • The last Tang emperor abdicated his throne in 907

    Song dynasty 960 1279 c e
    SONG DYNASTY (960-1279 C.E.)

    • Song Taizu

      • Reigned 960-976 C.E.

      • Founder of the Song dynasty

    • Song weaknesses

      • Song never had military, diplomatic strength of Sui, Tang

      • Financial problems

        • Enormous bureaucracy with high salary devoured surplus

        • Forced to pay large tribute to nomads to avoid war

      • Military problems

        • Civil bureaucrats in charge of military forces

        • Military was largely foot soldiers at war with cavalry nomads

      • External pressures

        • Semi-nomadic Khitan, nomadic Jurchen attacked in north

        • Constant drain on treasury to pay tribute to nomads

      • The Song moved to the south, ruled south China until 1279

        • Nomads invaded, overran northern Song lands

        • Song retreated to the South along Yangtze, moved capital

        • After defeat, constantly forced to pay tribute

    The song world northern and southern dynasties

    Patriarchal society

    • Developments reinforced patriarchal society

      • Chinese reaction to foreign ideas

        • Reaction to Buddhist’s gender equality

        • Neo-Confucianism emphasized patriarchy

        • Ancestor worship revived

      • Preserving of family

      • Family wealth became paramount

    • Results

      • Tightening of patriarchal structure

      • Reinforcing of male domination

    • Foot binding gained popularity during the Song

      • Emphasized dependence of women on men, home

        • Wealthy, aristocrats could afford practice, hire servants to do work

        • Feet of women broken, reformed around stilts

        • Women could not walk without pain but had to shuffle

        • Forced women to remain at home, dependent on others

      • Male sense of beauty at women’s expense

    • Poor, peasant women not subject to footbinding

      • Women had to work with men to support family

      • Men could not afford to have women at home, idle

    Technology industry

    • Porcelain

      • High quality porcelain since the Tang, known as chinaware

      • Technology diffused to other societies, especially to Abbasid Arabia

      • Exported vast quantities to southeast Asia, India, Persia, and Africa

    • Metallurgy

      • Improvement: used coke instead of coal in furnaces to make iron, steel

      • Iron production increased tenfold between the early 9th and 12th century

    • Gunpowder

      • Discovered by Daoist alchemists during the Tang

      • Bamboo "fire lances," a kind of flame thrower, and primitive bombs

      • Gunpowder chemistry diffused throughout Eurasia

    • Printing

      • Became common during the Tang

      • From block-printing to movable type

      • Books became widespread

    • Naval technology

      • "South-pointing needle" - the magnetic compass

      • Double hulled junks with rudder, water-tight compartments

    Yuan dynasty
    Yuan Dynasty

    • Khubilai Khan rules Yuan Dynasty in China

      • Chinggis Khan's grandson, consolidated Mongol rule in China

      • Conquest of southern China

        • Song Dynasty fell in 1276, Yuan Dynasty founded in 1279

        • Unsuccessful conquests of Vietnam, Burma, Java, and Japan

      • Mongol rule in China

        • New hierarchy: Mongol and allies; northern Chinese; Southern Chinese

        • Central administration reserved for Mongols, allies

        • Brought foreign administrators into China and put them in charge

        • Dismissed Confucian scholars; dismantled civil service examination

        • Favored merchants, cities, peasants over Chinese elites

      • Mongol Social Policies

        • Would not allow Mongols to settle in China nor Chinese in Mongolia

        • Outlawed intermarriage between Mongols and Chinese

        • Promoted Buddhism, supported Daoists, Muslims, and Christians

        • Forbade Chinese from learning the Mongol language

        • Mongol ruling elite adopted Lamaist Buddhism of Tibet

        • Mongol women refused to adopt Chinese customs, retained influential status

      • Mongol armies may also have transmitted the plague infection

    The ming dyansty

    • Ming government (1368-1644)

      • Drove the Mongols out of China

        • Constantly faced threats of new nomad invasions

        • Rebuilt Great Wall to prevent northern invasions

      • Centralized government control

        • Restored Chinese cultural traditions

        • Restored Confucian bureaucracy, civil service examinations

        • Eunuchs given impressive role in Forbidden City as bureaucrats

      • Ming attempted to recreate the past, not improve upon it

      • Moved capital to Beijing

        • Built Forbidden City for emperor, bureaucrats

        • City was closer to danger of north

        • Extended Grand Canal to the north to bring food to city

    • Ming decline

      • Centralized government ran poorly under weak emperors

      • Weak emperors isolated by eunuchs, advisors

      • Public works fell into disrepair

      • Coastal cities, trade disrupted by pirates, 1520 – 1560

      • Government corruption and inefficiency

        • Caused by powerful eunuchs

        • Overshadowed by inability of bureaucrats to reform, innovate

      • Famines and peasant rebellions: 1630s and 1640s

      • Rebellion by army units opens door to nomadic invasion

      • Nomadic Manchu invaders led to final Ming collapse, 1644

    The qing dyansty

    • Manchus (1644-1911)

      • Nomadic invaders

        • Originated in Manchuria

        • Last of the steppe invaders, dynasties

        • Overwhelmed Chinese forces

        • Proclaimed Qing dynasty

        • Originally pastoral nomads

        • Military force called banner armies

        • Captured Mongolia first, then China

      • Remained an isolated ethnic elite

        • Forbade intermarriage with Chinese

        • Forbade Chinese immigration to Manchuria, Mongolia

        • Permitted Confucian scholars to run government

        • Maintained Confucian system

    • Emperor Kangxi (1661-1722)

      • Confucian scholar; effective, enlightened ruler

      • Conquered Taiwan

      • Extended control to Central Asia, Tibet, Sinkjiang

    • Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795)

      • A sophisticated and learned ruler, poet, and artist

      • Vietnam, Burma, Nepal made vassal states of China

      • China was peaceful, prosperous, and powerful

    The patriarchal system

    • Ming restored social system; Qing maintained traditions

    • Basic unit of Chinese society

      • Remained the family

      • Highest value, filial piety

      • Family mirrored state-individual relations

      • Confucian duties of loyalty, reciprocity

        • Children to parents

        • Subjects to the emperor

        • Wife to husband (women to men)

        • Younger to elder

      • Important functions of clan, extended families

        • Justice, government administered through extended families

        • Reward, punishment effected all

    • Gender relations

      • Strict patriarchal control over all females

      • Parents preferred boys over girls

      • Marriage was to continue male line

      • Female infanticide; widows encouraged to commit suicide

      • Footbinding of young girls increased

      • Lowest status person in family was a young bride

    Tradition new cultural influences

    • Neo-Confucianism

      • Confucianism

        • Education, traditions supported by Min and Qing emperors

          • Hanlin Academy in Beijing, provincial schools

          • Prepared students for civil service exams

          • Blended with Buddhism, Daoism to produce a Chinese synthesis

    • Christianity comes to China

      • Nestorian Christians not unknown in China, but had little influence

      • Portuguese brought Catholicism to China, courts

        • Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), an Italian Jesuit in the Ming court

          • A learned man who mastered written and oral Chinese

          • Impressed Chinese with European science and mathematics

          • Popular mechanical devices: glass prisms, harpsichords, clocks

        • Confucianism and Christianity

          • Jesuits respectful of Chinese tradition, but won few converts

          • Chinese had problems with exclusivity of Christianity

          • Franciscan, Dominican missionaries criticized Jesuits' tolerance

          • When pope upheld critics, Emperor Kangxi denounced Christianity

          • Jesuits

            • An important bridge between Chinese and western cultures

            • Introducing each to the achievements of the other