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CHINESE DYNASTIES
AND THE IMPACT OF
BELIEF SYSTEMS
Legalism and Qin Dynasty
• Founder – Hanfeizi
• Order only through strict laws and
punishments
• Adopted by Emperor Shi Huangdi
• Standardized weights, measures,
writing
• Constructed Great Wall to protect
from northern invasion
• Harsh crackdowns on opposition – jail,
torture, burned books
Confucianism & Han Dynasty
• Liu Bang defeats Qin and adopts
Confucian policies – scholars serve in
government
• Emperor Wudi
– Civil service system – Confucian exam
– Expands China into Central Asia, Korea,
Manchuria, Vietnam
Han Society
• Male dominated
– Father runs household
– Women – little education, no property
rights
– Filial piety
• Achievements
– Paper, acupuncture, jade carvings,
bronze figurines, iron plow
– Later dynasties – woodblock printing,
movable type, gunpowder
Silk Road
• 4,000 mile trade route from China
– Links to India, Middle East, Rome
• Rugged terrain, dangerous bandits
• Carried items and ideas
– Silk, pottery, armor, Buddhism from
India
Mongols
• Nomads from Central Asia (1200s),
united by Genghis Khan
• Skilled horsemen, warriors
– Strict military discipline
– Highly mobile army with good coordination
– Burned towns who resist
• Control most of North China and
Central Asia
• Tolerant of local beliefs and rulers
• Spread Chinese ideas westward