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Dynastic China. Zhou, Qin, and Han. Introduction. Isolated Could not learn from other cultures Rare invasions Distinctive identity Intellectual theory Harmony of nature – yin and yang Seek Dao – the Way Avoid access Appreciate balance of opposites. Introduction continued.

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dynastic china

Dynastic China

Zhou, Qin, and Han

  • Isolated
    • Could not learn from other


    • Rare invasions
    • Distinctive identity
  • Intellectual theory
    • Harmony of nature – yin and yang
    • Seek Dao – the Way
      • Avoid access
      • Appreciate balance of opposites
introduction continued
Introduction continued
  • Thesis – China emerged with an unusually well-integrated system in which government, philosophy, economic incentives, the family, and the individual were intended to blend into a harmonious whole
patterns in classical china
Patterns in Classical China
  • Pattern of rule
    • Dynasty (family of kings) – created strong political institutions and economy
    • Dynasty weakened; subsequently taxes declined and societal divisions grew stronger
    • Invasion or internal rebellion
    • New dynasty emerged
patterns in classical china continued
Patterns in Classical China continued
  • Mandate of Heaven – justification for Chinese imperial rule
    • The right to rule is granted by Heaven, thus granting the ruler prestige, supreme power and religious importance.
      • Son of Heaven
    • The right to rule is based on the virtue of the ruler. If the ruler is not virtuous they will lose power.
    • The Mandate of Heaven justifies rebellion as long as the rebellion is successful – if successful, the new ruler was granted the Mandate of Heaven.
zhou dyansty 1029 258 bce
Zhou Dyansty (1029-258 BCE)
  • No powerful central government
    • Relied on an alliance system with regional princes and nobles (Feudalism)
    • Princes received land in return for troops and taxes
    • Over time this alliance grew weaker and princes disregarded the central government
zhou dynasty continued
Zhou Dynasty continued
  • Contributions to the development of China
    • Extended territory to “Middle Kingdom” (land between the Huang he and Yangtze
    • Established the “Mandate of Heaven”
    • Greater cultural unity
      • Banned human sacrifice (encouraged restraint)
      • Standardized language – Mandarin
qin dynasty 221 207 bce
Qin Dynasty (221-207 BCE)
  • Qin Shi Huangdi – “First Emperor”
    • Centralized his authority by ending the feudal system
      • Nobles ordered to attend court (Qin then took control of their lands)
      • Destroyed fortifications that were not necessary
          • Officials selected from non-aristocratic groups
qin dynasty continued
Qin Dynasty continued
  • Supported Legalism
    • Chinese political philosophy that emphasized the need for order above all other human concerns
    • People needed a strong government and code of law
      • Clear rules and harsh punishments
qin dynasty continued1
Qin Dynasty continued
  • Expanded the empire south and pushed toward the Korean Peninsula
  • Relied heavily on conscripted labor to build massive palaces and the emperor’s mausoleum
  • Built Great Wall to guard against invasion from the north
  • Executed those that who criticized him
  • Burned books of philosophy, ethics, history, literature
qin dynasty continued2
Qin Dynasty continued
  • Innovations
    • National census – for purpose of taxation and labor
    • Standardized coins, weights, measures
    • Uniform written language
    • Irrigation Projects
    • Built an extensive system of roads to facilitate communication and troop movement
    • Promoted manufacturing – silk
han dynasty 202 bce 220 ce
Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE)
  • Maintained the centralization of power established by the Qin, but reduced the repression
  • Expanded territory (Korea, Indochina)
  • Established a period of peace
  • Supported Confucianism
    • Built shrines
    • Stressed Confucian values in government
han dynasty continued
Han Dynasty continued
  • Invasions – Xiongnu
    • Xiongnu were a nomadic group from central Asia that often invaded Chinese villages and trade centers
    • Han attempted to appease Xiongnu by offering them tribute and arranged marriages
    • Emperor Wudi put an end to this struggle by invading central Asia with armies as large as 100,000 soldiers
      • Crossbow
      • Defeated the Xiongnu and stretched Chinese territory into Central Asia