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Ancient China Lecture

by: John Stephens

Ancient China Lecture History 1210-001

Marketplace > Auburn University > History > History 1210-001 > Ancient China Lecture
John Stephens
GPA 4.0

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The Lecture of Ancient China and Chinese societies which was covered last Monday, October 2nd.
Technology and Civilization
Dr. James R. Hanson
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by John Stephens on Sunday October 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 1210-001 at Auburn University taught by Dr. James R. Hanson in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Technology and Civilization in History at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 10/09/16
October 3, 2016 Ancient China Lecture: Prehistory to 1279 B.C.E. Lecture Thesis:  The people of Ancient China developed unified cultural traditions characterized by institutional and technological innovations that continue to shape modern China to this very day. Geography and Prehistory:  Yellow River (north). o Cops of millet were grown. o Unpredictable and violent floods.  Yangzi River (south). o Crops of rice were grown. o Irrigation projects. o Grows in fields that must constantly be kept underwater during the growing season. Early Cultural Foundations:  Xia Dynasty: 2205-1766 BCE. o Mostly myth & legend. o What is a “dynasty”?  A dynasty is not the same as an empire. It is useful to think of it as lines of hereditary rulers  Shang Dynasty: 1766-1122 BCE. o We know it existed. o Deposed the last Xia ruler. o Masters of bronze. o Masters of chariot warfare. o Military power was key to Shang power. o Shang military relied on bronze weapons. o Some say Shang had monopoly on Bronze. o 1300 BCE: Shang began using chariots.  Zhou Dynasty: 1122-256 BCE. o Deposed Shang Dynasty in 1122 BCE.  1122-771: Western Zhou era.  771-256: Eastern Zhou era. o Fengjian: Feudalism. o Political Concepts:  Mandate of Heaven (Heaven allows fair and just rulers to have control over the people).  Dynastic Cycles.  Confucius: o Kongfuzi (latinized to “Confucius”). o Teacher, philosopher, moralist, not a religious leader. o His intended audience was leaders/civil servants. October 3, 2016 o Some westerners describe “Confucianism” as an atheistic or secular religion. o Basic Teachings  Daoism: o Lao Tzu or Laozi (400s BCE): traditional founder of Daoism. o Dao: “The Way”, a constant & eternal force based on opposites (not a god).  Legalism: o Shang Yang (390-338 BCE). o Advisor in state of Qin. o Book of Lord Shang. o Meritocracy & Extreme accountability rather than hereditary aristocracy. o Strict application of law.  The Qin Dynasty: st o Qin Shi Huangdi: 1 emperor. o Li Si: his legalistic advisor o Standardized writing system. o Standardized measurements. o Brought law and order. o Great wall of China. o Set territorial boundaries for centuries. o Qin Shi Huangdi: (died 209 BCE).  Toured empire for most of his life.  Broke power of feudal lords.  Promoted generals & advisors based on ability and merit, not birth.  Laws standardized, written, enforced.  Built & improved roads & canals with forced & slave labor.  Tomb complex filled with Terra Cotta Warriors.  Anti-intellectual, buried scholars alive and burned books.  The Han Dynasty: o Modern Chinese refer to them as “Han”. o Borrowed administrative structure of Qin, but applied Confucians rather than legalist principles. o Known for post-Qin cultural renaissance. o Sinicized (related to China), their neighbors. Made them Chinese in culture.  Song Dynasty: o China saw massive population growth: 5 cities with over 1 million people. o Conquered by Mongols. o Chinese technology:  Iron plow, iron smelting.  Huge increase in agricultural production. October 3, 2016  Increase in trade.  Water power and water wheels.  Magnetic compass  Gunpowder.  Papermaking.  Printing, moveable type. Unification & Imperialism: Early Industry in Imperial China:


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