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Chapter 3 Section 3&4
The Chinese Dynasties
The Mandate of Heaven was a claim by the Chinese that
their kings or emperors had the authority to rule and keep
order in the universe, directly from heaven.
The Xia were the first dynasty; we don’t know much about
them except that their territory was a small area of land in
the Huang He river valley.
The Shang dynasty came next and expanded the territory. The king
broke the country into provinces and had members of the aristocracy
rule them. They had many large cities, bronze weapons, worshipped
their ancesetors, and used oracle bones to tell the future.
The Zhou dynasty came next. It lasted for over 900 years. They
continued to expand and enlarge the number of cities. Filial piety and
the standardization of the written language were characteristics of this
time period.
After the fall of the Zhou dynasty, the Warring States period erupted.
No central government could control the various states. It was during
this time (lasting about 180 years) that Confucious lived.
One boy for the Warring State of QIN, was successful in defeating, then uniting
the other states. His name was Qin Shi Huangdi. He followed Legalism,
burned books, killed teachers, killed any who opposed him but created an
efficient bureucracy, standardized weights & coins, and built thousands of miles
of roads.
Although the Great Wall of China as we know it today was built about
1000 years ago, Shi Huangdi did build and connect several defensive
walls to keep out the Mongols.
The Han Dynasty comes next. It was started by a peasant named Liu
Bang. The Empire was greatly expanded during this time due to many
great technological advancements and great leaders like Han Wudi
(war-like emperor of the Han)