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The Shang Dynasty

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BB Loughlin

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of The Shang Dynasty

Because of the success of the Bronze Age, the Shang people traded by ship, with bronze being their main product
Bronze was used a commodity for the beginning of trade
They also traded a number of fine pottery and embroidered goods

1500-1028 B.C.E
Their society revolved around agriculture
The capital was moved multiple times
The government was authoritarian
They demanded strict obedience
Offered little to no personal freedom
Laws were created by the Emperor
Most were unfair
High taxes on lesser people
Slaves were usually buried alive in tombs
Economy of the Shang Dynasty
Agriculture and Bronze were their most important sources of income
Class System
Royalty and landlords were at the top, and they held most of the wealth
Artisans had their own economic class entirely, and often worked with bronze
Serfs and slaves performed all the economic duties, and were owned by the state
Social class was usually hereditary based, but could also be changed by occupation
Effect of Social Classes on the People
Professional diviners hired by the King made predictions about various things in the kingdom, particularly about the crop
Officials who had specialized positions of authority served the king
Artisans crafted bronze and porcelain objects
Priests kept predictions on oracle bones
Labor conscripts were employed for several tasks such as field opening, military service, building palaces or temples, or digging tombs for nobles
The most important industry during the Shang dynasty
Shamans and oracles made predictions about the crops
Silk production was very important during the Shang dynasty
Their most important crop was millet, and harvests were stored in royal granary
Shop owners traded silks and crop
They also grew rice, corn, and wheat
Military Nobility
Economics and its impact on society
Slaves and Serfs/Servants
Bronze Age
Bronze working became extremely common during the Shang dynasty
The metal was associated with royalty, and often used in ritualistic ceremonies
People bought and sold bronze goods and weapons, and the military used bronze chariots
Some of the first Chinese characters ever were carved onto bronze objects
Women needed to be gentle, calm, respectful, and obey their husband.
Women were the ones who tended to children.
Agriculture and Handicrafts played a big role in the Shang society
Fishing began to grow as an industry
The skills that people had placed them where they were in society
They Developed a system of writing that consisted of over 3,000 symbols
Written on bamboo strips
Skilled in bronze making
Made weapons and armor using bronze
Invented the yoke, harness, and spoked wheel
Also made ivory carvings and silk textiles
Becoming a king was hereditary, they owned all of the land in their empire, and imposed taxes on his people
As warfare became more important
to their society, the warriors, especially
the chariot drivers, became very important to their society
Leaders of the civilization's religious aspects and generally a trusted individual
Sold and traded goods for
a living, usually living a humble lifestyle
They were responsible for producing the civilization's food supply. They also often owned slaves and had to pay high taxes
The slaves and servants were viewed as property and would often be buried alive in the tombs, typically of royalty, so the deceased person would have
them in the afterlife
Outside of China
Traded with other civilizations
Traded silk
Expanded their territiory through the military
Expanded into neighboring countries
This caused their downfall, too many years of war
Main Points
The Bronze Age
Agriculture was an important point in their society
Social status had a lot to do with wealth
Artisans had a lot of importance at the time
Oracle bones affected a lot of the agriculture
Trade was important
Map of the Shang Empire
Arts and Technology
Would you like to live during this dynasty?
Unfair laws that favored the higher classes
Many of the laws were harsh or cruel
They were constantly warring with other civilizations
People were buried alive
Full transcript