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China, a History

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Author Topic: China, a History  (Read 3112 times)
Bee Cha
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« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2007, 12:27:15 am »



Zhou vase with glass inlays, 4th-3rd century BCE, British Museum.
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Bee Cha
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« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2007, 12:28:26 am »



Dake bronze ritual vessel, Western Zhou Dynasty
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« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2007, 12:30:37 am »



You bronze ritual vessel, Western Zhou Dynasty
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« Reply #48 on: September 02, 2007, 12:31:36 am »



Qizhong Hu bronze vessel, Western Zhou Dynasty
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« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2007, 12:32:46 am »



Dou vessel with a hunting scene, Eastern Zhou Dynasty
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« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2007, 12:33:56 am »



A bo vessel of the Duke of Qin, Eastern Zhou Dynasty
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« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2007, 12:34:54 am »



Pu vessel with dragon designs, Eastern Zhou Dynasty
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« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2007, 12:36:41 am »

Spring and Autumn Period

The Spring and Autumn Period (Chinese: 春秋時代; Pinyin: Chūnqiū Shdi) was a period in Chinese history, which roughly corresponds to the first half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (from the second half of the 8th century BC to the first half of the 5th century BC). Its name comes from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the state of Lu between 722 BC and 481 BC, which tradition associates with Confucius.

During the Springs and Autumns, China was ruled by a feudal system. The Zhou dynasty kings held nominal power over a small Royal Domain, centered on their capital (modern Luoyang), and granted fiefdoms over the rest of China to several hundreds of hereditary nobles (Zhuhou 诸侯), descendants of members of the Zhou clan, close associates of the founders of the dynasty, or local potentates. The most important feudal princes (known later as the twelve princes, 十二诸侯) met during regular conferences, where important matters, such as military expeditions against foreign groups or offending nobles were decided. During these conferences, one prince was sometimes declared hegemon (伯 and then 霸), and took the leadership over the armies of all feudal states.

As the era unfolded, larger states annexed or claim suzerainty over smaller ones. By the 6th century BC, most small states had disappeared, and a few large and powerful principalities dominated China. Some southern states, such as Chu and Wu, claimed independence from the Zhou. Wars were undertaken to oppose some of these states (Wu and Yue). In the state of Jin, six powerful families fought for supremacy, and a series of civil wars resulted in the splitting of Jin into three smaller states by the beginning of the fifth century.

At that time, the control Zhou kings exerted over feudal princes was greatly reduced, the feudal system crumbled, and the Warring States Period began.

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« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2007, 12:37:41 am »



Urbanisation during the Spring and Autumn period.
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« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2007, 12:38:40 am »

Beginning of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty

After the Zhou capital was sacked by western barbarian tribes, crown prince Ji Yijiu (姬宜臼) fled to the east. During the flight from the western capital to the east, the king relied on the nearby lords of Qi (齐), Zheng (郑) and Jin (晋) for protection from barbarians and rebellious lords. He moved the Zhou capital from Zongzhou (Hao) to Chengzhou (Luoyang) in the Yellow River valley.

The fleeing Zhou elite did not have strong footholds in the eastern territories; even the crown prince's coronation had to be supported by those states to be successful. With the Zhou domain greatly reduced, i.e. to Luoyang and nearby areas, the court could no longer support six groups of standing troops (六軍, li jūn). Subsequent Zhou kings had to request help from neighbouring powerful states for protection from raids and for resolution of internal power struggles. The Zhou court would never regain its original authority; instead, it was relegated to being merely a figurehead of the feudal states. Though the king de jure retained the Mandate of Heaven, de facto the title held no real power.
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« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2007, 12:40:21 am »

Rise of the hegemonies

The first nobility to help the Zhou kings was the Duke Zhuang of Zheng (郑庄公) (r. 743 BC-701 BC). He was the first to establish the hegemonical system (b 霸), which was intended to retain the old proto-feudal system. Traditional historians justified the new system as a means of protecting weaker civilized states and the Zhou royalty from the intruding "barbarian" tribes. Located in the south, north, east and west, the barbarian tribes were, respectively, the Man, Yi, Rong and Di.

The newly powerful states were more eager to maintain aristocratic privileges over the traditional ideology of supporting the weak ruling entity during times of unrest (匡扶社稷 kuāng f sh j), which had been widely propagated during imperial China to consolidate power into the ruling family.

Dukes Huan of Qi (r. 685 BC-643 BC) and Wen of Jin (r. 636 BC-628 BC) made further steps in installing the overlordship system, which brought relative stability, but in shorter time periods than before. Annexations increased, favoring the several most powerful states, including Qin, Jin, Qi and Chu. The overlord role gradually drifted from its stated intention of protecting weaker states; the overlordship eventually became a system of hegemony of major states over weaker satellites of Chinese and "barbarian" origin.

The great states used the pretext of aid and protection to intervene and gain advantages over the smaller states during their internal quarrels. Later overlords were mostly derived from these great states. They proclaimed themselves master of their territories, without even recognizing the petty figurehead of Zhou. Establishment of the local administration system (Jun and Xian), with its officials appointed by the government, gave states better control over the dominion. Taxation facilitated commerce and agriculture more than proto-feudalism.

The three states of Qin, Jin and Qi not only optimized their own strength, but also repelled the southern state of Chu, whose rulers had proclaimed themselves kings. The Chu armies gradually intruded into the Yellow River Basin. Framing Chu as the "southern barbarian", Chu Man, was merely a pretext to warn Chu not to intervene into their respective spheres of influence. Chu intrusion was checked several times in three major battles with increasing violence - the Battle of Chengpu, the Battle of Bi and the Battle of Yanling; this resulted in the restorations of the states of Chen and Cai.


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« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2007, 12:42:48 am »

Interstate relations

During the period a complex system of interstate relations developed. It was partially structured upon the Western Zhou system of feudalism, but elements of realpolitik were emerging. A collection of interstate customary norms and values, which can perhaps be loosely termed international law, was also evident. As the operational and cultural areas of states expanded and intersected, diplomatic encounters increased.

Changing tempo of war

After a period of increasingly exhaustive warfare, Qi, Qin, Jin and Chu finally met for a disarmament conference in 579 BC, where the other states essentially became satellites. In 546 BC, Jin and Chu agreed to yet another truce.

During the relatively peaceful 6th century BC, the two coastal states in today's Zhejiang, Wu and Yue, gradually grew in power. After defeating and banishing King Fu Chai of Wu, King Gou Jian of Yue (r. 496 BC-465 BC) became the last recognized overlord.

This era of peace was only a prelude to the maelstrom of the Warring States Period. The four powerful states were all in the midst of power struggles. Six elite landholding families waged war on each other in Jin. The Chen family was eliminating political enemies in Qi. Legitimacy of the rulers was often challenged in civil wars by various royal family members in Qin and Chu. Once all these power strugglers firmly established themselves in their dominions, the bloodshed among states would continue in the Warring State Period. The Warring States Period officially started in 403 BC when the three remaining elite families in Jin - Zhao, Wei and Han - partitioned the state; the impotent Zhou court was forced to recognize their authority.

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« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2007, 12:47:02 am »

List of overlords, or Ba (霸)
Traditionally, the Five Overlords of Spring and Autumn Period (春秋五霸 Chūn Qiū Wǔ B) include:
   Duke Huan of Qi (齐桓公)
   Duke Wen of Jin (晋文公)
   King Zhuang of Chu (楚莊王)
   Duke Mu of Qin (秦穆公)
   Duke Xiang of Song (宋襄公)
While some other historians suggest that the Five Overlords include:
   Duke Huan of Qi (齐桓公)
   Duke Wen of Jin (晋文公)
   King Zhuang of Chu (楚庄王)
   King Fu Chai of Wu (吴王夫差)
   King Gou Jian of Yue (越王勾踐)
List of prominent states
The name following the name of the state is the capital (English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese).
Qi (state) 齐 - Linzi 臨淄 临淄
Chu (state) 楚 - Ying 郢 郢
Qin (state) 秦 - Xianyang 咸陽 咸阳
Jin (state) 晉
Lu (state) 鲁 - Qufu 曲阜 曲阜
Chen (state) 陈; - Wanqiu 宛丘; 宛丘
Cai (state) 蔡 - Shangcai 上蔡 上蔡
Cao (state) 曹
Song (state) 宋 - Shangqiu 商丘 商丘
Wei (Spring and Autumn state) 卫
Wu (state) 吴 - Gusu 姑蘇 姑苏
Yue (state) 越 - Kuaiji 會稽 会稽
Hua (state) 滑
Zheng (state) 郑 - Xinzheng 新鄭
Yan (state) 燕
List of important figures
Bureaucrats or Officers
Guan Zhong (管仲), statesman and advisor of Duke Huan of Qi and regarded by some modern scholars as the first Legalist.
Baili Xi (百里奚), famous prime minister of Qin.
Bo Pi, (伯噽)the corrupted bureaucrat under King He Lu and played important diplomatic role of Wu-Yue relations.
Wen Zhong文種 and Fan Li范蠡, the two advisors and partisans of King Gou Jian of his rally against Wu.
Zi Chan, (子产)leader of self-strengthening movements in Zheng
Influential scholars
Confucius(孔子), leading figure in Confucianism
Laozi (老子)or Lao tse, founder of Daoism
Mozi, known as Motse (墨子 M Zǐ) or "Mocius" (also "Micius") to Western scholars, founder of Mohism
Historians
Confucius(孔子), the editor of Spring and Autumn Annals (春秋)
Engineers
Mozi(墨子)
Lu Ban(鲁班)
Wielders
Ou Ye Zi, literally means Ou the wielder and mentor of the couple Gan Jiang and Mo Ye
Entrepreneurs and Commercial personnel
Fan Li
Generals, military leaders and authors
Rang Ju, elder contemporary and possibly mentor of
Sun Tzu, (孙子)the author of The Art of War
Assassins
Yao Li, (要离)sent by He Lu to kill Qing Ji(庆忌).
Zhuan Zhu,(专渚) sent by He Lu to kill his cousin King Liao
Mo Xie
« Last Edit: September 02, 2007, 12:49:30 am by Bee Cha » Report Spam   Logged
Bee Cha
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« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2007, 12:50:32 am »

Warring States Period

The Warring States Period (Traditional Chinese: 戰國時代; Simplified Chinese: 战国时代; Pinyin: Zhngu Shdi), also known as the Era of Warring States, covers the period from some time in the 5th century BC to the unification of China by the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC. It is nominally considered to be the second part of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, following the Spring and Autumn Period, although the Zhou dynasty itself ended in 256 BC, 35 years earlier than the end of the Warring States period. As with the Spring and Autumn Period, the king of Zhou acted merely as a figurehead. The name Warring States Period was derived from the Record of the Warring States, a historical work compiled early in the Han Dynasty. The date for the beginning of the Warring States Period is somewhat in dispute. While it is frequently cited as 475 BC (following the Spring and Autumn Period), 403 BC the date of the tripartition of the Jin is also sometimes considered as the beginning of the period.

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« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2007, 12:51:45 am »



 
Warring States period
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