Classical china

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A look at the origins of Chinese philosophies and the first two dynasties of the Classical Era, the Qin and Han Dynasties

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  • Classical china

    1. 1. ChinaWhat’s happening behind the Great Wall?
    2. 2. 4 corners• Do you believe that people’s moral character is pre-determined? People are born either good or bad?
    3. 3. Do you think people are born neutral?
    4. 4. Regardless of birth, can a person’s moralcharacter be shaped or changed?
    5. 5. Zhou Dynasty collapses• A loss of centralized control• the empire breaks up into several different states, each at war with the others. • Hence the name “Warring States Period.”• Lots of turmoil, death and uncertainty
    6. 6. People start to questfor stability and reasons why?• Why is life so difficult?• Why must I suffer?• How can this situation get better?
    7. 7. Three solutions emerge• Confucianism• Daoism• Legalism
    8. 8. First is ConfucianismWe’ll pause here to watch a little of his biography. He’s an odd duck...
    9. 9. What’s he all about?• Ethics and politics the key to “the Way” • avoided both religion and metaphysics• Become a junzi “superior man/gentleman” • They are the best leaders of men• Emphasis on Zhou Dynasty texts • the Classics; the core of Chinese teaching
    10. 10. Confucianism has 5 virtues• ren-humanity/benevolence all are born with this• li-rituals/propriety imposed/external to bring out Ren• yi-Honesty/righteousness instinctive, but needs teaching• xin-faithfulness/trust ditto• zhi-wisdom can be developed, but finite amounts in people• some add a 6th: xiao-filial piety
    11. 11. Confucianism has 5 relationships• father-son• husband-wife• elder brother-younger brother• king-minister• friend-friend• All are dominant-subordinat, except the last
    12. 12. Confucius• Itinerant scholar, scold, teacher, OCD-er • Never wrote anything down • Never held a “real” job advising a king• Had many followers• Died believing himself a failure
    13. 13. Mencius• Follows Confucius, but not his actual student• Fleshes out the skeleton left by Confucius’ students• Believes in the inherent goodness of people--focus is on benevolence/ren. • He is an optimist, and is ignored in his lifetime
    14. 14. Xun Zi• The last of the Classical Confucians• A pessimist: people need limits and structure--warped lumber • some are born good, but they are the minority • Regardless, all need education • Focus is on Li (rituals) and discipline• Was a government official
    15. 15. Daoism• also written “Taoism”• Founded by a man named Lao Zi/Tzu • semi-mythical• Is a response to Confucianism
    16. 16. The way to find the Way• I can’t tell you. It’s my Way, not your Way. You have to find your own Way.
    17. 17. 1. The WayThe way that can be spoken ofIs not the constant way;The name that can be namedIs not the constant name.The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets;But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.These two are the sameBut diverge in name as they issue forth.Being the same they are called mysteries,Mystery upon mystery -The gateway of the manifold secrets.
    18. 18. No, seriously, how?• By being like the un-carved block of wood• By acting without expending effort.
    19. 19. :)let’s read a story...
    20. 20. Legalism• More conservative than Xun Zi• People are all bad, self-interested and need to be controlled through punishment and reward. • Mostly strict punishment • Collective responsibility
    21. 21. Legalism• Shang Yang (390-338 BCE), The Book of the Lord Shang first gets the ball rolling: his advice for his son.• Then Han Feizi writes his book (named for him) that gives it a more formal setting (what you read last night) • Han Feizi is forced to commit suicide by his former partner Li Si, the chief advisor to the first Qin Emperor
    22. 22. Legalism continued• Mostly meant as a guide for rulers• How to get and keep power.• No thought to people’s self-improvement, just about how to control them. • They can’t be improved, only ruled.
    23. 23. Legalism selection
    24. 24. Theme 3• Politically, China organized itself as Dynasties of emperors.• Xia, Shang and Zhou were the Dynasties of the Foundational Era.• In the classical era, we have the Qin and the Han Dynasties.
    25. 25. Zhou Dynasty collapses intothe Warring States
    26. 26. Qin Dynasty• Out of the chaos, the state of Qin rises to power in 221 BCE• Ruler takes the name Qin Shi Huang Di (QSHD)• imposes a bureaucracy to rule, and begins massive public works projects
    27. 27. Qin Shi Huangdi
    28. 28. Qin lasts from221-207BCE
    29. 29. Resistance is futile!• Emperor orders execution of all critics• Orders the burning of all books but those relating to agriculture• creatively kills Confucian scholars• Other scholars exiled• Results in massive cultural losses
    30. 30. Standardization is the name of the game• Emperor orders the following items be standardized in the empire: • axle length of carts • coins • written language • weights and measures • laws
    31. 31. Massive public works projects• Starting with his tomb.• 700,000 conscripted peasant workers.• slaves, concubines, horses all sacrificed when he died and buried with him.• unearthed in 1974 by a farmer.
    32. 32. 154,000 soldiers found
    33. 33. with more to come...
    34. 34. horses and weapons too
    35. 35. and one Great Wall
    36. 36. Qin dynasty collapses• QSHD dies. His son rules for a brief period of time before he is killed.• Chaos ensues, and a general, Liu Bang, takes power.• He was a peasant by birth, so he takes the name of the river in his town as his Dynastic name: Han
    37. 37. Han Dynasty• Early policies: • “relax but not too much” • created large landholdings (almost states) • an early rebellion attempt makes them build up the central administration.
    38. 38. Han Centralization• Han Wudi, the martial emperor, comes to power (141-87 BCE)• increases taxes to fund more public works• and the military• huge demand for administrators, but there aren’t any to be found
    39. 39. Time for school• HWD establishes the imperial university in 124 BCE• Confucianism adopted as the formal teaching method/approach• 3000 students, grows to 30,000 students by the end of the Han Dynasty.
    40. 40. Clobberin’ time!• Time to expand the empire to get a bigger tax base• Invades modern Vietnam and Korea• Deals with Xiongnu, nomads to the west • brutal leader Maodun • skilled horsemen • HWD takes a new approach and goes to war and is a beast.
    41. 41. Han Dynasty c. 87BCE
    42. 42. Theme 5• China becomes more patriarchal. (yes, that is possible...)• Classic of Filial piety written and propagated limiting the focus of filial piety to fathers.• Admonitions of Virtue published, extolling female virtues • humility, obedience, subservience, loyalty • but at least they were allowed to read...
    43. 43. Theme 1• Technological innovations take root.• Iron is widespread and plentiful • no longer used only as a tip of a tool or weapon, but whole implements made• The compass is invented and comes into wide use.
    44. 44. Silkworms cultivated
    45. 45. Paper is made fromwood pulp/textile.Up until now, books made on bamboo strips tiedtogether with strips of cloth...
    46. 46. Population growth• Population triples to 60 million over the course of the Han Dynasty. • Increased agricultural productivity • Taxes small part of overall income • Produce occasionally spoiling in state granaries
    47. 47. Problems arise in Themes 4 and 3• those Xiongnu are expensive to fight• taxes increase and peasants can’t pay• Land confiscations increase • slavery, tenant farming increase • banditry and rebellion rise
    48. 48. Break point 9CE-23CE• 2 year old emperor. Regent, Wang Mang takes power--kills emperor and declares himself Emperor.• Instituted massive land reforms • redistributes land to try and solve inequities. Fails spectacularly • Wang Mang killed and eaten by his troops
    49. 49. Post 23CE• Later Han Dynasty: cousin comes to the throne and begins to re-assert power• Has problems: constant rebellions • Yellow Turban uprising • internal court intrigues• 220CE Han Dynasty finally collapses• 400 years of 3 large kingdoms

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