Chapter 08
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  • Centralized imperial ruleLasted a few years
  • 16504983750


  • 1. The Unification of China
    Chapter 9 Overview
  • 2. SimaQian
    Disgraced Chinese historian
    Wrote accounts of early imperial China
  • 3. In Search of Political and Social Order
    Zhou Dynasty brings political confusion
    Period of Warring States
    Legalists, Daoists, Confucians
  • 4. Confucius
    Chinese thinker who addressed problem of political and social order
    Aristocratic family
    Educator and political advisor
  • 5. Confucian Ideas
    Moral, ethical, political and practical
    Focused on proper ordering of human relationships
    Educated and conscientious rulers – junzi
    Emphasis on Zhou Dynasty texts
  • 6. Confucian Values
    Strong moral integrity
    Ren– kindness and humanity
    Li – propriety, appropriate behavior
    Xiao – filial piety, respect in the family
    Traits lead to development of junzi – ideal leaders
    Self control
    Junzicould bring order to China
  • 7. Mencius (372-289 B.C.E.)
    Confucian scholar
    Human nature basically good
    Encouraged support of education, avoid wars, light taxes, harmony and cooperation
    Not influential at the time
    Authority since 10th century C.E.
  • 8. Xunzi (298 – 238 B.C.E.)
    Career as government administrator
    Belief in fundamental selfishness of humanity
    Compare with Mencius
    Emphasis on li, rigid propriety
    Discipline, standards of conduct
  • 9. Daosim
    Critics of Confucian activism
    Pointless to waste time and energy on problems
    Focus on understanding fundamental nature of the world
    Believed this approach would bring harmony
  • 10. Laozi and the Daodejing
    Founder in 6th century B.C.E.
    The Daodejing(Classic of Way and of Virtue)
    Zhuangzi (named for author, 369-236 BCE)
  • 11. The Dao
    The way (of nature, cosmos)
    It is nothing, yet accomplishes everything
    Water: soft and yielding, but capable of eroding rock
    Cavity of pots, wheels: nonexistent, but essential
  • 12. The Doctrine of Wuwei
    Attempt to control universe results in chaos
    Restore order by disengagement
    No advanced education
    No ambition
    Simple living in harmony with nature
    Cultivate self-knowledge
  • 13. Political Implications of Daosim
    Less government
    Tiny communities instead of expansive empires
    Neither Confucianism nor Daoism exclusive faiths
    Confucianism as public doctrine
    Daoism as private pursuit
    Ironic combination allowed intellectuals to pursue both
  • 14. Legalism
    Problems persisted during Warring States Period
    3rd school of thought
    Emphasis on development of the state
    Ruthless approach to state building
    Unconcerned with ethics and morals, natural laws
  • 15. Shang Yang (390-338 B.C.E.)
    Chief minister to the duke of the Qin state
    Feared for his power and ruthlessness
    Enemies executed him, mutilated body, annihilated family
  • 16. Han Feizi (280-233 B.C.E.)
    Student of Xunzi
    Collection of essays on legalist ideas
    Forced to commit suicide by legalist opponents.
  • 17. Legalist Doctrine
    State strengths: agriculture and military
    Channeled people into military or cultivation
    Adhere to clear, strict laws
    Severe punishment for minor infractions– deterrence
  • 18. Impact of Legalism
    Put an end to the Period of the Warring States
    Ends justifies the means
    Influenced Qin state
    Brought about unification of China
  • 19. Unification of China
  • 20. The Kingdom of Qin
  • 21. Kingdom of Qin
    Qin dynasty develops, 4th-3rd centuries BCE
    Generous land grants under Shang Yang
    Private farmers decrease power of large landholders
    Increasing centralization of power
    Improved military technology
    Qin state attacked one state after another
    Eventually brought China under control of one single state for the first time.
  • 22. The First Emperor
    Qin Shihuangdi proclaims himself emperor in 221 B.C.E.
    Dynasty ends in 207, but sets dramatic precedent
    Basis of rule: centralized bureaucracy
    Long term influence
  • 23. First Emperor
    China divided into administrative provinces and districts
    Disarmed regional militaries
    Built roads – communication and control
    Build defensive walls with drafted labor
    Massive public works
    Brought political stability
  • 24.
  • 25. Resistance to Qin Policies
    Criticized by Confucians and Daosists
    Critics were executed
    Burned books on philosophy, ethics, literature and some history
  • 26. Burning of Books
    460 scholars who criticized Qin were buried alive
    Other critics sentenced to the army to fight in dangerous regions
    Some scholars hid texts
    Many works disappeared
  • 27. Qin Centralization
    Weights and measures
    Building of roads, bridges
    Leads to tight knit society
  • 28. Standardized Script
    Previously: single language written in distinct scripts
    Maintained different spoken languages
  • 29. Tomb of the First Emperor
    Qin died in 210 B.C.E.
    Tom built by 700,000 draft laborers
    15,000 Terra cota soldiers
    Slaves, concubines and craftsmen sacrificed
  • 30.
  • 31. The Early Han Dynasty
    Qin dynasty quickly dissolved after his death
    Revolts began in 207 B.C.E.
    Ill will of laborers
  • 32. Liu Bang
    Commander – restores order in 206 B.C.E
    Founder of new dynasty – Han
    Former Han (206 BCE-9 CE)
    Interruption 9-23 CE
    Later Han (25-220 CE)
    Consolidated the tradition of centralized rule
    Ruled from Chang’an
  • 33. Early Han Policies
    Liu Bang mixed Zhou and Qin policies
    Relaxed Qin tyranny without returning to Zhou anarchy
    Created large landholdings; maintained control over administrative regions
    After failed rebellion, took more central control
  • 34. The Martial Emperor, Han Wudi
    Greatest, most energetic Han ruler
    141-87 B.C.E.
    Centralization and imperial expansion
    Increase authority and prestige of central government
  • 35. Han Centralization
    Built enormous bureaucracy to administer empire
    Legalist ideals
    Imperial officers sent to administer provinces
    Build roads, canals
    Taxed agriculture, trade and crafts
    Monopolized iron and salt
    Enormous bureaucracy required educated individuals
  • 36. The Confucian Education System
    124 B.C.E. – Han Wudi establishes imperial university
    Prepare men for gov’t
    Confucian curriculum
    Ensured survival of
    Enrolled over 3,000
    30,000 by Later Han
  • 37. Han Imperial Expansion
    Invaded northern Vietnam and Korea
    Ruled with Chinese-style government, Confucian values
    Confucianism influences education in Korea and Vietnam
  • 38. The Xiongnu
    Nomadic people
    Central Asian steppes
    Raided villages and trade posts
    Maodun- greatest Xiongnu leader
    Han Wudi briefly dominates Xiongnu
  • 39.
  • 40. Han Expansion into Central Asia
    Han Wudi invades Central Asia with vast army
    100,000 troops
    Xiongnu empire brought under military control
    Pacified area all the way to Bactria
    Xiongnu empire falls as a result of Han policies
  • 41.
  • 42. From Economic Prosperity to Social Disorder
  • 43. Productivity and Prosperity
    High agricultural production
    Craft industries
  • 44. Patriarchal Social Order
    Filial piety – family first
    Han moralist enhance male authority – believed it was fundamental to stable society
    Classic of Filial Piety – subordination of women
    Admonitions of Women – Ban Zhao
    Emphasized humility, obedience, subservience, devotion to husbands
  • 45. Iron Metallurgy
    Iron industry grows under Han
    Cultivators used iron shovels, picks, hoes, sickles and spades
    Craftsmen – iron utensils, pots, stoves, knives, needles, axes, hammer, saws
    Iron armor, sharper swords, spears and arrowheads
  • 46. Silk Textiles
    Sericulture expands beyond Yellow River
    Chinese silk becomes prized commodity – leads to network of trade known as Silk Roads
    Cultivation of silkworms
    Diet control
    Other silk-producing lands relied on wild worms
  • 47. Paper
    Development of paper
    • Bamboo, fabric abandoned in favor of wood and textile-based paper
    Less expensive
  • 48. Population Growth
    Agricultural prosperity = demographic growth
    Taxes claimed small portion of production
    Surplus grain in state granaries often spoiled
  • 49. Economic Social Difficulties
    Han Wudi’s expansion into Central Asia caused economic strain
    Xiongnu expeditions
    Agricultural colonies
    Han Wudi raises taxes, confiscates land from wealthy
    Actions discouraged investment
  • 50. Social Tensions
    Gap between rich and poor grows
    Lived very different lifestyles
    Differences led to tensions
    Peasant organize rebellions
  • 51. Land Distribution
    Poor harvest, taxes led to land loss for some
    Increase in slavery and tenant farmers
    Land holdings of wealthy grow
    Banditry rebellion
    Government on side of wealthy
  • 52. The reign of Wang Mang (9-23 C.E.)
    Wang Mang regent for 2-year old Emperor, 6 CE
    Takes power himself 9 CE
    Introduces massive reforms
    The “socialist emperor”
    Land redistribution, but poorly handled
    Social chaos ends in his assassination 23 CE
  • 53. The Later Han Dynasty
    Han Dynasty emperors manage, with difficulty, to reassert control
    Centralized power regained
    Reorganized bureaucracy
    Controlled Xiongnu and Silk Roads
  • 54. The Yellow Turban Uprising
    Social tensions not addressed in Later Han Dynasty
    Serious revolt throughout China in late second century C.E.
    Rebellions weakened the Han state
  • 55. The Collapse of the Han Dynasty
    Imperial court developed factions
    Rivalries to protect self interests, influence
    Internal conflicts weakened central government
    Early 3rd century B.C.E. – central government disintegrates
    For 4 centuries, China divided into several large regional empires
  • 56. Summary
    Qin – 14 years, opened new era in Chinese History
    Unification of rule
    Created a Chinese society
    Han Dynasty – over 400 years
    Centralized bureaucracy
    Technological innovation
    Spread Chinese culture