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Zhou Dynasty

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Helen Shi

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of Zhou Dynasty

Works Cited
"China Zhou Dynasty (1100-221BC)." China Zhou Dynasty (1100-221BC). N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
Cook, Constance A. "Scribes, Cooks, and Artisans: Breaking Zhou Tradition." N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web.
Muntone, Stephanie. "The Zhou Dynasty." Education.com. N.p., 3 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
"Part 1: Introduction." Chinese History. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
Theobald, Ulrich. "Chinese History - Zhou Dynasty 周 Science, Technology, and Inventions (www.chinaknowledge.de)." Chinese History - Zhou Dynasty 周 Science, Technology, and Inventions (www.chinaknowledge.de). N.p., 2000. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
"Zhou Dynasty Bronzes." China Online Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
"Zhou Dynasty: The Long March Toward Chinese Nationhood." Zhou Dynasty: The Long March Toward Chinese Nationhood. Ancient China History, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
"Zhou Dynasty." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

The Zhou Dynasty (1122 BCE - 256 BCE), the longest in Chinese history

The Zhou Dynasty
Who are they?
In the Zhou Dynasty, there was a feudal system. The political changes inside the feudal states caused the replacement of the ancient feudal dynasties. Politcians tried to implement new forms of administration to strengthen the state. The most famous politician was named Guan Zhong. Guan Zhong convinced the people of the Zhou Dynasty that a reform in government structure would get rid of aristocracy clans. The feudal system (also called the classification system) was then divided into four classes:
1. Officials
2. Peasants
3. Merchants
4. Craftsmen
5. Women and Slaves

agricultural, later merchantile
irrigation --> population increase --> greater wealth --> merchants and traders
industrial and agricultural goods were traded and then sold in capital markets (observed by the police who collected taxes)
developed currency of cowrie shells, but they were later replaced by copper coins
main trading product was silk, but there were numerous other artisanal products
The religion of the Zhou dynasty was different from other dynasties before it. Older dynasties relied on the belief of ghosts and spirits that were good and bad. The Zhou dynasty marked the period where there was three high celestial deities: the God of Millet, the Five Offereables, and the Five Mountains. Because of the absence of spirits and official gods, human sacrifices were rare. The gradual disappearance of the belief of spirits and ghosts can be seen in the patterns of ritual bronze vessel decorations. Instead of dragons and monsters to "guard" against bad luck, the decorations were abstract. The view of the people went from god centered to human centered.
The Zhou dynasty accomplished a extraordinary feat: they agreed on a standardized spoken language. This language was then used through China and then on to many Chinese dynasties. This language held society together. Because they spoke one language, it's much easier for anthropologists and historians to deduce what happened back them. The Zhou dynasty ruled with a Confucian Social Hierarchy. This meant that emperors and rulers were above all, scholars were a close second, then farmers, then slaves and women last. The Confucian Social hierachy prized scholars, and many theorize that this hierarchy was the reason that the Zhou dynasty lasted for such a long time.
Classic writings:
Daodejing (Laozi)
Analects of Confucius
Book of Songs (which was a book of poems)
Art of War
only royal families and officials enjoyed music
bells-- made of bronze, cast in sets of eight or more to form a musical scale
bronze vessels-- contained inscriptions to be reported to ancestral spirits
2 types: civilian (symbolized the day's hunting or fishing) and military (brandishing of weapons)
Cowrie shell, used as a form of standardized currency...
Characterized by multiple intellectual achievements (all of which have greatly impacted Chinese culture)
Confucianism (founded by Confucius)
Daoism (founded by Laozi)
Mohism (founded by Mozi)
Other Philosophers/Theorists
Mencius (Confucian thinker, believed that human nature is good)
Zhuangzi (Daoist thinker)
nobles built schools so that their children could be officials (official evaluation system is based on education, used to determine who has talent)
poor children did not get much of an education
lost wax casting
iron and bronze casting
warfare technology (chariots, iron weapons, etc.)
hydraulic engineering
weaving and dyeing techniques
corbel brackets (architectural novelty)
glass production
earth tiles
first geographical maps
discovery of magnetism
medicinal improvements (acupuncture, moxibustion)
perfection of the calendar
geometry and trigonometry
use of fertilizers and pesticides
later replaced by copper
Musical instruments
Ritual Bronze Vessel
Michele Wang and Helen Shi
originated in northeastern China
established capital at Luoyang (although it was moved several times)
Guan Zhong
Basic Social Hierarchy during the Zhou Dynasty
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