Zhou Dynasty - New World Encyclopedia
Zhou Dynasty of Ancient China - laying the foundations of Chinese and others were brought into the Zhou royal family by marriage, but the end result was that. The Zhou Dynasty gave way to the confusion of the Warring States Period, . Liu Bang used the practice of heqin—tactical alliances through marriage—to pacify. The Zhou Dynasty ( BCE) was the longest-lasting of ancient China's point in the Zhou Dynasty, which marks the end of the Western Zhou period. ally to the Zhou and they also had marriage relations with the Zhou ruling class.
Rise of Chinese dynasties
A series of states rose to prominence before each falling in turn, and Zhou was a minor player in most of these conflicts. The last Zhou king is traditionally taken to be Nanwho was killed when Qin captured the capital Wangcheng  in BC.
A " King Hui " was declared, but his splinter state was fully removed by BC. The Eastern Zhou, however, is also remembered as the golden age of Chinese philosophy: The Nine Schools of Thought which came to dominate the others were Confucianism as interpreted by Mencius and othersLegalismTaoismMohismthe utopian communalist Agriculturalismtwo strains of Diplomatiststhe sophistic LogiciansSun-tzu 's Militaristsand the Naturalists.
The Mohistsfor instance, found little interest in their praise of meritocracy but much acceptance for their mastery of defensive siege warfare; much later, however, their arguments against nepotism were used in favor of establishing the imperial examination system.
Culture and society[ edit ] Silk painting depicting a man riding a dragonpainting on silkdated to 5th-3rd century BC, from Zidanku Tomb no. The concept of the "Mandate of Heaven".
They did this so by asserting that their moral superiority justified taking over Shang wealth and territories, also that heaven had imposed a moral mandate on them to replace the Shang and return good governance to the people.
The Zhou agreed that since worldly affairs were supposed to align with those of the heavens, the heavens conferred legitimate power on only one person, the Zhou ruler. In return, the ruler was duty-bound to uphold heaven's principles of harmony and honor.
The Zhou Dynasty of Ancient China
Any ruler who failed in this duty, who let instability creep into earthly affairs, or who let his people suffer, would lose the mandate.
Under this system, it was the prerogative of spiritual authority to withdraw support from any wayward ruler and to find another, more worthy one. In using this creed, the Zhou rulers had to acknowledge that any group of rulers, even they themselves, could be ousted if they lost the mandate of heaven because of improper practices. The book of odes written during the Zhou period clearly intoned this caution.
After the Zhou came to power, the mandate became a political tool.
Zhou Dynasty of Ancient China - foundations of Chinese civilization
One of the duties and privileges of the king was to create a royal calendar. This official document defined times for undertaking agricultural activities and celebrating rituals. But unexpected events such as solar eclipses or natural calamities threw the ruling house's mandate into question. Since rulers claimed that their authority came from heaven, the Zhou made great efforts to gain accurate knowledge of the stars and to perfect the astronomical system on which they based their calendar.
Many of its members were Shang, who were sometimes forcibly transported to new Zhou to produce the bronze ritual objects which were then sold and distributed across the lands, symbolizing Zhou legitimacy.
There were many similarities between the decentralized systems. In matters of inheritance, the Zhou dynasty recognized only patrilineal primogeniture as legal.
The state's operations are more important than personal liberty, and adherence to the law is the most important thing. Apply and uphold the law by any means necessary. A map of the various duchies and kingdoms in the Spring and Autumn Period, just prior to the Warring States period A map of the various kingdoms and states in the Spring and Autumn Period, just prior to the Warring States period. Note the state of Qin in the far west.
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WikimediaYug, Creative Commons 3. Shortly after he took power, he clamped down on freedom of expression. The Han Dynasty historian Sima Qian, who wrote roughly a century after the founding of the Qin Dynasty, quoted the emperor as saying: If behavior such as this is not prohibited, then in upper circles the authority of the ruler will be compromised, and in lower ones, cliques will form.
Therefore it should be prohibited. I therefore request that all records of the historians other than those of the state of Qin be burned.
With the exception of the academicians whose duty it is to possess them, if there are persons anywhere in the empire who have in their possession copies of [Zhou texts], or the writings of the hundred schools of philosophy, they shall in all cases deliver them to the governor or his commandant for burning. Anyone who ventures to discuss the Odes or Documents shall be executed in the marketplace. Anyone who uses antiquity to criticize the present shall be executed along with his family.
And, indeed, there was a clampdown on the scholars of China. Many texts from non-Legalist philosophies were burned, and tradition holds—per Sima Qian—that Qin Shi Huangdi ordered Confucian scholars buried alive.
This mass burial may not have happened as described, however. Sima Qian, as a committed Confucian, may have embellished the truth of it to make Qin Shi Huangdi seem more immoral. Why might Qin Shi Huangdi have wanted to suppress historians?
An eighteenth-century depiction of Qin Shi Huangdi. Wikipedia The emperor's legalism touched everything. Qin Shi Huangdi abolished the divisions between the once-warring states and blunted the power of the aristocracy, establishing instead an imperial bureaucracy that could rule the peasantry directly, all in the name of national unity.
Ordinary people also suffered harsh treatment. Reporting crimes was rewarded, and the lawbreakers, once convicted, were punished severely by execution, hard labour, or mutilation ranging from cutting off the whiskers to the nose or the left foot. Some important manufacturing sectors during this period include bronze making, which was integral in making weapons and farming tools.
Again, these industries were dominated by the nobility who direct the production of such materials.Zhou Dynasty
Legacy The Zhou dynasty left a rich legacy. It gave stability and a large measure of peace to a large area of China from the eleventh to the third centuries B. During this period, the people developed a culture and a way of life and a world-view that bound them together within a common universe.
Confuciuswho lived during the Zhou dynasty, laid the foundations of what became Confucian thought, much of which concerned the correct ordering of society. Much Chinese thought focused less on individual issues of morality, although they were discussed than on social responsibility, on the duties of subjects and rulers.
Morality and benevolence were key concerns. A fundamental concern was balance and harmony, within society, between the rulers and the ruled, heaven and earth, the human and natural worlds. At the heart of Confucius' teaching was the concept of the chun-tzu gentlemanwho has cultivated wisdom chilove of humanity rencourage yung and righteousness yi.