Shang and chou dynasties

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Shang and chou dynasties

  1. 1. Shang Dynasty 1766- 1122 BC
  2. 2. <ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Development of Chinese writing closely tied to use of oracle bones </li></ul><ul><li>Earliest examples of Chinese writing, questions written on bones themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Early Shang texts used picture symbols to represent objects, ideas </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Bronze </li></ul><ul><li>Shang religion led to </li></ul><ul><li>great advances in working with bronze </li></ul><ul><li>Highly decorative bronze vessels, objects created for religious rituals </li></ul><ul><li>Also built huge structures like tombs; created calendar, first money systems </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>End of Dynasty </li></ul><ul><li>Shang ruled for more than 600 years, until about 1100 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Ruling China’s growing population proved too much for Shang </li></ul><ul><li>Armies from nearby tribe, Zhou, invaded, established new ruling dynasty </li></ul>
  5. 5. Chou Dynasty 1122- 256 BC Classical Period of Chinese Civilization
  6. 6. Chou Achievements <ul><li>Before Chou, Chinese metalwork done almost exclusively in bronze </li></ul><ul><li>Chou learned to use iron, became backbone of economy </li></ul><ul><li>Iron weapons strengthened Chou army, as did new weapons like catapult and creation of China’s first cavalry </li></ul>
  7. 7. Growth <ul><li>Population grew unde r Chou </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers learned new techniques, increased size of harvest, created food surpluses; cities also grew </li></ul><ul><li>Roads, canals allowed better transportation, communication </li></ul><ul><li>Introduced coins, use of chopsticks </li></ul>
  8. 8. New Philosophies <ul><li>The conflicts of the late Chou period led many Chinese thinkers to question the nature of society and people’s roles in it. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Confucianism <ul><li>Confucianism based on teachings of scholar named Kongfuzi, better known as Confucius, who believed people should treat one another humanely </li></ul><ul><li>Should express love, respect for others, honor one’s ancestors </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Love and Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that love, respect had disappeared and was responsible for violence in society; restoring respect for tradition would make society stable </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts on how to improve society collected in book, Analects </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Analects </li></ul><ul><li>Ruler should treat subjects fairly; subjects reward ruler with respect, loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>People should respect members of family, devote selves to public service </li></ul><ul><li>Confucian ideas spread elsewhere in Asia, including Korea, Japan, Vietnam </li></ul>
  12. 12. Daoism <ul><li>Unlike Confucianism, which focuses on improving society, Daoism encourages people to retreat from laws of society, yield to law of nature </li></ul><ul><li>Heart of Daoism is concept of the dao, or the way </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Dao is the limitless force that is part of all creation </li></ul><ul><li>Through the dao, all things in nature are connected </li></ul><ul><li>Finding one’s place in nature allows person to achieve harmony with universe </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Yin and Yang </li></ul><ul><li>Daoism embraced Chinese concept of yin and yang, representing balancing aspect of nature—male, female; dark, light; hot, cold </li></ul><ul><li>Neither can exist without other </li></ul><ul><li>Important for two to remain balanced for perfect harmony </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Daoism eventually proved less influential than Confucianism in Chinese history </li></ul><ul><li>Still played major role in later dynasties </li></ul><ul><li>Idea of balance key concept in China for centuries as result of Daoist teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Daoist philosophy led many followers to work for preservation, protection of natural environment </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Result of rebellions was Warring States Period </li></ul><ul><li>403 BC to 221 BC, number of small states fought each other for land, power </li></ul><ul><li>Chou still nominally in charge, but power almost nonexistent by mid-200s BC </li></ul><ul><li>Qin, new dynasty, arose to bring end to Warring States Period, Chou dynasty </li></ul>
  17. 17. Decline of the Chou <ul><li>Conflict arose during latter part of Chou dynasty </li></ul><ul><li>Clan leaders within China rose up against king </li></ul><ul><li>As time passed, more and more local leaders turned against Chou, further weakening rule </li></ul>

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