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60314 LAW 607
verified elite notetaker
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Daniel Ferolie on Thursday February 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST3610 at George Washington University taught by in Spring2013. Since its upload, it has received 108 views.
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Date Created: 02/12/15
Introduction The Lay of the Land and the Origin of the Chinese People Han Chinese largest ethnic group 915 and 55 other minority ethnic groups Homeland of the Han is what geographers refer to as quotChina Properquot Area includes the Yellow River Yangzi River and Xi River Suited to settled agriculture China Proper Can be roughly divided into two parts 0 North relatively dry and cool soil and climate are suitable for the cultivation of barley millet wheat and soybeans South heavier rainfall blessed with an abundance of rivers and lakes soil and climate suitable for irrigated rice cultivation Yellow River in north Yangzi River in center and Xi River in the south Central plains Yangzi Valley Guangdong Basin and Sichuan Basin Han Chinese Suited for settled agriculture North dry and cool South abundance of rainfall and rivers Often ghting among people of China Proper and the Inner Asian Periphery China39s Inner Asian Periphery Tibet Xinjiang Ningxia Inner Mongolia and Manchuria Sometimes ruled by government from China proper others by nomadic confederations and kingdoms or other imperial states Village Towns and Cities For all of history the vast majority 80 or more of the Han people of China proper were farmers Found their identity in quotFamily eld and ancestorsquot Chinese farmers were not self suf cient peasants living their lives in the narrow con nes of elds and villages instead they were actively involved in the larger community market towns intermediate market towns central market towns local and regional cities China39s cities were the natural environment of the elite the centers of trade administration and higher culture The Origins of the Chinese Pe0ple Home Sapiens migrated out of Africa around 100000 years ago with rest of world39s current inhabitants China Proper may have been populated by migrations from two separate directions 1 People from Africa migrated to Eurasian continent across central Asia and Siberia and thus down into northern China 2 Brought people to S China via Southeast Asia ginnings of Civilization Myth and myth based history represented the central plains as the point of origin of all the elements of civilization which were then dispersed outward to the other regions of China As in many areas of the world huntergatherers in China began to domesticate plants for food and animals for food and for power around 10000 BC There is evidence of agricultural societies existing in both northern and southern China dating back to a period roughly between 10000 and 5000 BC Yangshao Culture Extended from middle Yellow River valley up to the eastern portions of modern Qinghai and Gansu provinces Present in this area from roughly 5000 BC to 3000 BC Coincides with climatic optimum of the Holocene North China was relatively warm and humid conditions were excellent for vegetation wild animals and agriculture Agriculturalists who supplemented their diet with wild game and plants Buried their dead carefully and with ceremony Layout of cemeteries and way in which their houses were arranged around the central plazas of their villages indicate the Yangshao people organized themselves in lineages or clans Fairly egalitarian Religion of the Yangshao was related to the clan structure of their society Yangshao pottery is a distinctive red pottery with designs painted in black Bowls water bottles jars and urns Yangshao were one of a number of cultures that interacted with each other D this interaction along with changes in climate and economy would eventually lead to the demise of the Yangshao and its replacement by the Longshan Longshan Culture Interaction between the various Neolithic cultures increased signi cantly in the period after 4000 BC D by 3000 BC this leads to the development of common characteristics Existed roughly from 3000 BC to 2000 BC with its center in modern Shandong province De ned by its unpainted gray and later black pottery that was elevated by either a circular base or tripod legs Copper objects Use of potter s wheel Rammedearth defensive walls Bird and animal motifs in ritual art Use of mammal scapulae for divination Increasingly strati ed society Practice of institutional violence Decline and disappearance of Yangshao culture and the rise of the Longshan culture coincide with a period of environmental change between 4000 BC and 3000 BC marks the end of the warm moist climate Distinct hierarchy of settlements centrally located major town connected to a number of smaller surrounding cities Household unit was the nuclear family Division of labor between men and women Social hierarchy evident in household items walls and moats and carefully organized burial grounds Particular deceased family member chosen for reverence as ancestors Divination of animal bones Massive defensive walls and many weapons indicate the signi cance and common occurrence of warfare Origin Mvth Yellow Emperor Chinese mythical hero who is credited with founding the rst Chinese empire Three Sage Kings Yao Shun and Yu D Benevolent wise rulers who passed over their sons and handed down the throne to the most benevolent man in the kingdom King Yu is credited with establishing the principle of dynastic rule by passing down the throne to one of his sons founding the Xia Dynasty Xia dynasty retains control until its leaders lose track of priorities l A hero Cheng Teng emerges and overthrows the Xia forming the Shang dynasty Shang dynasty retains control until their rulers become un t At this time a new hero Wen Wang emerges and overthrows the Xia leading to the establishment of the Zhou Dynasty quotIn this traditional mythhistory the Xia Shang and Zhou Dynasties succeed one another in linear fashion each falling when its leader behaved immorallyquot Reality Sh Yellow Emperor and Three Sage Kings have been consigned to the world of myth The idea that the Xia Shang and Zhou succeeded one another in linear succession is no longer considered likely quotInstead evidence points to the existence of tens or hundreds of small states in China during the time of the Xia if it actually existed and Shang periodsquot The strongest theory is that the Xia Shang and Zhou were three such states with the Xia in the center the Shang to the east and the Zhou to the West l The three overlapped with the Shang eventually taking over the Xia and the Zhou eventually taking over the Shang ang Dvnasty 16003C 10503C Originated in an area corresponding to eastern Henan western Anhui and northern Shandong on a modern map Traditional accounts tell how a Shang King named Cheng Tang rst annexed neighboring states then attacked and defeated the Xia to form the larger kingdom we know as Shang One important reason for the Shang39s power and its longterm historical signi cance is its writing system Enabled the Shang elite to organize a bureaucratic government and to keep written records including the so called quotOracle Bone Inscriptionsquot Practiced divination by boring a series of pits into either a tortoise platform bottom part of a tortoise shell or cattle scapulae These so called quotoracle bonesquot are the earliest written records of Chinese civilization Highly productive agriculture The King owned all land and directly controlled large farms Common people were not slaves but could be mobilized for large projects such as the construction of rammedearth walls and platforms and the excavation of elaborate tombs Supreme deity was called quotDiquot The Gods sprits and ancestors could affect crops weather childbirth the Kings health warfare and so on important to offer sacri ce to them I Fall of the Shang Dvnasty Shang faced at least twentysix neighboring states on their periphery Sometimes they were allies sometimes they were enemies ln around llooBC there was a sudden increase in average temperatures and increase in aridity in central Asia and northern China D forced people to move south into Shang territory Climate change led to drought induced famine creating social instability and draining the kingdom39s resources In 1045 BC King Wu and eight other allied states attack and defeat the Shang forming the Zhou Dynasty quotThe collapse of the Shang Empire was due to the drying up of the Yellow and other riversquot Zhou Dynasty 104GBC 2213C Divided into two periods Western Zhou and Eastern Zhou Western Zhou 104GBC 77lBC King Wu dies shortly after his victory over the Shang and the throne is passed down to his son King Cheng King Cheng is too young to assume official duties so one of King Wu39s brothers the Duke of Zhou took it upon himself to act as his regent Several of King Wu39s other brothers are unhappy with the Duke of Zhou39s power drive and ally against him 0 Civil war breaks out and lasts for two years until the Zhou are able to consolidate their control over China proper King Cheng and his successor King Kang establish a system now known as quotkinship feudalismquot After the civil war the Zhou kingdom establishes a feudal system consisting of a number of states whose rulers accepted the overall authority of the Zhou Kings Collectively these states are referred to as the quotZhongguoquot or Middle Kingdom 0 Zhou Kings enfeoffed nobles and stationed them in strategic garrison towns D The nobles were granted states that consisted of people farmers and land D In return the efs were expected to support the royal house economically w tribute and militarily They were also expected to show appropriate ritual deference o The entire feudal system of the Western Zhou was de ned in terms of kinship members of the royal family and relatives by marriage were sent to occupy existing towns or to establish new ones Others were incorporated into the system through marriage or by establishing ctional kinship relations The Western Zhou system was a patchwork of seventy or so feudal states 0 Additionally the hereditary Lords of each feudal state in turn went on to enfeoff parts of their states to their subordinates Farmers made up a vast majority of the population D Individual farming families worked in elds to which they had some sense of ownership to and in turn offered part of their crop to the feudal lord and performed corvee labor free labor for the state 0 Fall of the Zhoul l As families established branch lineages legal disputes over land ownership increased D Feudal states began to compete for land In the 9th century BC King Zhao losses his life in a devastating military con ict with the State of Chu in which the Zhou are signi cantly defeated D His successors undertook a number of reforms to help alleviate the problems arising in the Zhou D Of cials39 talent and job performance taken into account in addition to heredity when being appointed The Zhou also initiated a quotritual revolutionquot Bureaucratic professionalization and ritual standardization may have provided cultural unity but it couldn39t stop the centrifugal forces of regionalism D Under constant pressure from nomadic people to the north and northwest the Zhou Royal house relocated to the eastern capital at modern day Luoyang Eastern Zhou 77lBC 2213C The Eastern Zhou dynasty is further divided into two distinct periods 1 Spring and Autumn Period 77lBC 475BC Around 120 feudal states existed in the Eastern Zhou Kingdom at the beginning of the Spring and Autumn Period all varying in size and capabilities l It was impossible for Zhou kings to maintain order over all of the feudal kingdoms D Larger states were free to do as they chose while smaller states were forced to ally with neighbors or enemies of neighbors for protection In 671 Zhou kings begin to appoint states as hegemons By 475 BC no one state was willing to act as hegemon 2 Warring States Period 47GBC 2213C Eventually the Zhou house became powerless and what was previously the Zhou Kingdom was now seven maior states competing with one another lThis situation persisted until 221 BC when the state of Qin conquered all other states in the central plains and formed the Qin Dynasty quotA hundred owers blooming a hundred schools of thought contendingquot D Schools of philosophy such as DaoismConfucianism Strategic thought of Sun Tzu art of government taught by legalists and the many historical philosophical and literary texts attributed to this period played a key role in the formation of a Chinese cultural identity Daoism Confucianism Mohism Legalism
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