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EARLY SOCIETY IN EAST ASIA Chapter 5 Political Organization in Early China Early Agricultural Society and the Xia Dynasty The Yellow River • • • • 2920 miles HuangHe=Yellow River nickname “China’s Sorrow”, altered course and caused destruction Loess soil is extremely fertile and easy to work Yanshao Society and Banpo Village • • • • neolithic village fine painted pottery and bone tools as population increased settlements cropped up in the valley of the Yangzi River and Yellow River. Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties emerge which were hereditary states that extended control over larger regions Xia Dynasty • made one of the first efforts to organize the public life • hereditary monarchical rule • dynasty founder was the sage king Yu • organized large public works projects (flood control) helped to est. a recognized authority and political institutions, promoted selflessness, social harmony and hard work • dynasty encouraged founding of cities and the development of metallurgy. • Erlitou may have been the capital Discussion Questions • 1. Why do you think the Xia Dynasty promoted “selflessness, social harmony and hard work”? The Shang Dynasty Bronze Metallurgy & Horse Drawn Chariots • • • • • • • Technology aids in Shang success Bronze maybe used to beat their competitors Chinese chariots similar to Indo-European assigned gov’t craftsmen to create weaponry for Shang rulers and armies/no public creations w/bronze allowed Used bronze for horse fittings Imposed rule on agricultural villages kings claimed agricultural surplus portions from regions they controlled to support military forces Shang Political Organization • • • • • Shang relied heavily on political allies Not centralized authority but relied on a network of vast towns that recognized the authority of the Shang king Others who shared agricultural surplus and who also influenced Shang policy include: advisors, ministers, craftsmen, and metalsmiths Shang dynasty revolved around large cities, supposedly the dynastic capital moved 6 times. Though each city chosen for military & political reasons The Shang Capital at AO • • one of the earliest capitals remarkable city wall (33ft high & 66ft thick) Discussion Questions • 2. What can you infer about Bronze in the Shang Dynasty? • 3. Why do you think a non-Central authority worked for the Shang dynasty? The Shang Dynasty Shang Capital at Yin • • • capital during the last two or three centuries of Shang had large palaces, written texts, residential neighborhoods, tombs for kings tombs had sacrificial victims to go onto the afterlife with the kings The Tomb of Lady Fu Hao • • • • 1/64 wives of Shang king Wu Ding (his favorite wife) escaped notice of grave robbers 468 bronze objects, would have required 11 tons of ore, also jade figurines, cowrie shells, sacrificial humans and dogs unlooted tomb shows the valuable resources that were available to the royal court. Beyond the Yellow River Valley • while Xia and Shang ruled the Yellow River Valley other areas were ruled by contemporaries to those of the Shang Dynasty (ex. Sanxingdui) Discussion Questions • 4. Based on the tomb of Lady Fu Hao, what can you infer about the importance of her? Zhou Dynasty Rise of the Zhou • • • the last Shang king gave himself up to many vices and resulted in the towns and political districts to change allegiance to the Zhou. Zhou forces seized Shang capital of Yin, beheaded the king, and replaced administration allowed Shang heirs to rule small districts but reserved the right to rule throughout the realm, mainly entrusted their relatives to the regions Political Organization The Mandate of Heaven • • • In order to justify the disposition of the Shang, Zhou held an idea of heavenly powers granted the right to govern “mandate of heaven” to an esp.deserving individual known as the son of heaven ruler served as a link between heaven and earth duties: observe high standards, maintain order & harmony as long as he did this he would maintain control when disorder occurred he would be able to lose control. • • • • Zhou was much larger than Shang decentralized administration entrusted power, authority and responsibility to subordinates who show allegiance, tribute and military support to central gov’t. Zhou rulers sought to arrange marriages in order to strengthen ties to their political allies Discussion Questions • 5. Why do you think the Chinese Dynasties continued to have a decentralized rule? • 6. Create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the Egyptian leaders to the Chinese leaders. Zhou Dynasty Weakening of the Zhou Iron Metallurgy • • • • • subordinates gradually est. their own bases of power: set up regional bureaucracies, armies, and tax systems As they became more secure in their rule they also became more independent of the Zhou Dynasty subordinates sometimes ignored their obligations to the Zhou • • • • • • Technological developments worked in favor of subordinate rulers Zhou controlled all uses for the creation of bronze couldn’t control the entrance of iron metallurgy subordinates moved quickly to est. ironworks and outfit their forces. iron weapons allowed subordinates to resist the central gov’t and pursue their own interests reasons for collapse: nomadic peoples invaded China during an ineffective king, territorial princes ignored central gov’t and used their resources to build, strengthen and expand their states Period of Warring States (403-221bce)-period of violence where the Zhou Dynasty ended when the last king abdicated his position under pressure from his ambitious subordinate the king of Qin Discussion Questions • 7. Of the reasons provided as to why the Zhou Dynasty ended, which do you think was mostly likely to have occurred and why? Society and Family in Ancient China The Social Order Ruling Elites Merchants and Trade Specialized Labor • • • families occupied the most honored positions in Chinese society (resided in palatial compounds, agricultural surplus, and taxes delivered) ruling elites possessed much of the bronze weaponry which ensured military strength and political hegemony, and through the subordinates and retainers they controlled most of the remaining bronze weapons available in N China • • free artisans and craftsmen in China • worked for privileged classes • • • little info on merchants and trade linked trade networks to the W and S of China (Jade from Central Asia, chariots from Mesopotamia) found Shang pottery from Mohenjo-Daro King Yu invention of sails, used large oar-propelled vessels which helped to support the large fishing trade Zhou dynasty shipbuilding emerged as a prominent business, mariners learned how to navigate their vessels by the stars and other heavenly bodies Discussion Questions • 8. What can we infer about the interactions we know about between Chinese dynasties? The Social Order Peasants • semi-servile peasants, owned no land but provided agricultural, military and labor services for their lords in exchange for plots of land to cultivate, security and a portion of the harvest. Slave • sizable class of slaves, enemy warriors captured during battle, performed hard labor Family and Patriarchy Veneration of Ancestors • • • believed spirits of ancestors passed into another existence where they could protect and support their surviving families if the descendants displayed proper respect and ministered to the spirits needs. this led to a strong ethic of family solidarity all family members had to work cooperatively toward common interests Patriarchal Society • vested authority in elderly males • Chinese men gained public authority by virtue of the female line of descent Women’s Influence • vested authority in elderly males • Chinese men gained public authority by virtue of the female line of descent Discussion Question • 9. How are the ideas of Family and Patriarchy still in existence in today’s Chinese society? Early Chinese Writing and Cultural Development Oracle Bones and Early Chinese Writing Oracle Bones Early Chinese Writing • principal instruments used by ancient Chinese • heated, developed splits and cracks, fortune tellers studied the patterns of the splits and cracks and determined the answer to the question inscribed on the bone. • most come from royal archives, questions posed clearly reveal the day to day concerns • oracle bones offer earliest glimpse into Chinese writing • pictographic, sometimes pictographic to ideographic Discussion Questions • 10. Why do you think Oracle Bones were so important to the royals of Chinese society? Thought and Literature in Ancient China Zhou Literature • • • Book of Changes= foretelling instruction manual Book of History=book of history that justified the Zhou state and called for subjects to obey their overlords Book of Etiquette aka Book of Rites=art of polite behavior Destruction of Early Chinese Literature Book of Songs • • • aka Book of Poetry aka Book of Odes traditions of Early Zhou, some poems had political implications verses about life, love, family, friendship, eating drinking, work, play, nature, daily life that offer reflections on human affairs without particular concerns for political or social conditions • • • books fell victim to human enemies Qin dynasty ordered destruction of all Zhou writing kept those on divination, agricultural but destroyed those on poetry, history and philosophy, feared that it might inspire doubts about Qin gov’t or encourage the mind Discussion Questions • 11. What can you infer about all the creation of “Books” in the Zhou Dynasty? Chinese cultivators and Nomadic Peoples of Central Asia Steppe Nomads • pastoral societies located N and W of China • not really suitable for agriculture or settlement Nomadic Society • nomadic societies of central Asia helped to link agricultural societies of the East and West Asia • tense relations, posed a threat to northern and western regions of China The Southern Expansion of Chinese Society The Yangzi Valley • Chinese influence spread to the north, south and west through migration and assimilation • supports more intensive agriculture than in the Yellow River • aka as the Long River State of Chu • agricultural surpluses and growing populations led to the emergence of cities, states and complex societies in the Yangzi and Yellow River valley • autonomous and challenged Zhou for supremacy • adopted Chinese political and social traditions and writing Discussion Questions • Why did the State of Chu become a powerful dynasty like Xia, Shang and Zhou?