How it all started• When the Zhou’s first came into power they were not the most advanced family out there.• In fact, the Shang’s were in power and were, quite simply, the most powerful family.• But they had been fighting many neighboring tribes and could not keep up.• The Zhou’s used this moment to cease power over the area and become the main leaders.
Timing• The Zhou’s lasted from 1045BC-256BC.• The Zhou’s stable system led them to become the longest reigning Dynasty, almost 800 years• During this period over 36 emperors ruled• Iron had been recently discovered but not yet a hugely common metal (the market was mainly on bronze).
Farming• The future China was a very Agricultural country.• The structure of farming was not dissimilar to the European system of “Feudalism”• Nobles owned land, which they then gave to surfs, which was then farmed.
Philosophy• During the Zhou Dynasty lots of new ideas came about.• The first was called “Mandate of Heaven”. This means that the ruler has been chosen by God (or Gods) and should be praised for it.• The second was Taoism, known today as Daoism. This a religion is similar to Communism, it states that all men are equal and is against the Mandate of Heaven view.• And the last main idea was Confucianism, this teaches in similar structure to Daoism.
Military• The Zhou’s saw a huge increase in military power.• Throughout most of the period there were 14 main armies. – “6 Armies of the West” – “8 Armies of the Changzhou”• There were many battles against the barbarians in this time, many of which, in vain.
Western Zhou• 1045BC-771BC• There were many civil wars that led to emperors dying and new ones coming to the top• This was when the Mandate of Heaven was introduced.• It ended when the Capitol city next to Xi’an was degraded and a city near Luoyang was appointed.
Eastern Zhou Spring and Autumn• Spring – This period was the birth of Capitalism, were the most powerful men rule. – Some cities (states) were growing and annexing smaller cities.• Autumn – Two States Wu and Yue had emerged rulers. – Wu defeated Yue but Gou Jian (from Yue) built up an army and took revenge.
Eastern Zhou Warring• During the Warring period more cities were annexed and 7 emerged – Qi, Chu, Yan, Han, Zhao, Wei, Qin• There was much reforming and leaving behind ideas, because of this economies grew quickly.• In the very end only Qi and Qin were left.
Conclusion• Altogether the Zhou Dynasty was a huge leap forward in economical, military and social standard.• The modern script was invented and so were many other important objects.• The cities changed dramatically and China was about to fully form.
Bibliography• Wikipedia• British Museum• China Guide