Ancient China Facts, History and Information : Culture, Dynasties, Achievements, Art, Religion, Food Cutivation
The Chinese civilization began earlier than other civilizations. It was never conquered until the Mongols. Therefore, the civilization was free from foreign influences. Early civilization was isolated from the rest of the world.
Food cultivation and pottery making began about 8000 BCE. Used slash and burn agriculture. Domesticated animals such as dogs, cattle, chickens, sheep, pigs and goats by 5000 BCE.
The first dynasty began in 1750 BCE on the Yellow River plain.
The Shang Dynasty 1750 - 1100 BCE
The Shang Dynasty used bronze technology which became a symbol of wealth and authority. It used chariots and horses in war without any influence from a far. It had a system of writing. Invented the compound bow which is deadlier than the English longbow. Used leather for armor. Invented the decimal system and invented laguer as a preservation for artwork.
The king owned all property and was the spiritual leader. They believed that human nature and natural events were linked together.
The Zhou Dynasty 100-256 BCE
After a rebellion against the Shang, The Zhou won and came to power. The new ruler proved to be a good administrator. He set precedent by passing power to his son in an orderly succession of power. He initiated the concept of god's will or divine right to rule.
The decline of the Zhou dynasty came to pass when the excesses of the king led to a refusal to of help by the warlords when called to repel an invasion. The ruler was killed. The palace ransacked. After which, the son rose to power and the capitol moved to a safer location.
The Zhou had five classes of people based on productivity: Scholars, farmers, artisans, merchants, soldiers, and slaves. The class system was never fully established.
A market economy developed
Men wore gowns that flowed to the ground and a black cap after age 16. White was the color of mourning. Girls reached adulthood at age 15 and afterwards, wore a hairclip.
Zhou dynasty was a period of intense philosophical thought. Three schools developed, Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism.
Confucius was one of the most influential men in all history. His teachings, Analects contains a collection of his sayings and dialogues compiled by disciples after his death. Confucius major effect came from his teachings which became effective after his death.
Daoism was founded by Laozi or Old Sage. It advocated a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events. It exalted the primitive. (A wise man learns more by staying at home than by traveling). It sought freedom from rule so people could live in harmony with nature. Zhuangzi promoted the yin/yang concept of the interplay of opposites as a necessary part of existence. Opposites are all natural as good and evil.
Legalism called for structure. People are motivated only by reward or punishment. A ruler is necessary. People need defined fundamentally punitive codes of conduct.
Other Achievements of the Zhou
After the king had been killed, the government promoted impendent thought and action. Warfare and rebellion became the norm. The Qin state gradually conquered other states. The Zhou dynasty ended in 256 BCE.
Great Wall of China
The Silk Road
The exam system
The capital of China, in the northeast part of the country. Founded c. 700 B.C., it served as Kublai Khan's capital (13th century) and the capital of China
The huang ho