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History of China up to the sixteenth century

Elaine Yang

on 20 May 2010

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Transcript of HISTORY OF CHINA

ANCIENT CHINA By: Ayisha, Caeleb, Elaine, and Michelle TOPICS TO BE COVERED
Trade via Land and Sea
Contact with Outside World
People: Wudi of Han Basic Information
Technological Advancements and Inventions
Social Advancements and Gender Roles
Hierarchy and Social Structure
People: Wu Zetian of Tang
The Emperor's Rule
The Forbidden City
Hierarchy in the Court
Government and Administration
War and Revolt
People: Shi Huangdi of Qin
People: Khubilai Khan of Yuan Art and Architecture
Filial Piety and Ancestor Veneration
Philosophy: Confucianism
People: Confucius
Zhou Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
Han Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
Song Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
Ming Dynasty TIME FRAMES
The Formulative Period
The Classical Age
The First Empire
The Second Empire
The Third Empire
The Last Empire SUMMARY Introduction Religion Agriculture Hierarchy Inventions TRADE over LAND and SEA Philosophy and Confucius Administration and the Emperor Education Art and Architecture The Forbidden City Government Organization Footbinding People: Wu Zetian of Tang Medicine MUSIC Ancestor Veneration and Filial Piety People: Wudi of Han People: Shi Huangdi of Qin War and Revolt People: Khubilai Khan of Yuan FIN. Began during the Sung dynasty in 960 BC
Involved wrapping a girl's foot in cloth bandages, forcing it to grow in a particular way
This left them unable to walk properly and was extremely painful
This practice restructered the shape of the footby breaking the arch and toes on both feet
Process began at a young age of around seven
Footbinding was encouraged as Chinese men found tiny feet beautiful and desirable
Bound feet were referred to as "golden lilies" and the shoes they wore were called "lotus shoes"
Families believed that binding their daughter's feet would be an investment into the future and increase her chances of entering into a good marriage
Bound feet could also be seen as a way to show female status in society as it left them physically disabled and dependent on male labour for survival. This perpetuated the superior rold of men in Chinese society

Filial piety meant that young people must respect and obey their elders. If a person was able to live in harmony, cooperation, and obedience within the family, he or she would be able to do the same with the world and help unite it as a family. Filial piety was a practice Confucius advocated in order to achieve a more benevolent world. Ancestor veneration was a belief that was common among all classes. It consists of offering various offerings to the deceased for their welfare in the afterlife. It is also based upon the belief that the deceased family members have a continued existence and have the ability to influence the fortune on the living. Traditional Chinese music can be tracked back thousands of years to 1600 BCE
In the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties, only royal families and dignitary officials enjoyed music
During the Tang Dynasty, dancing and singing entered the mainstream, spreading from the royal court to the rest of the people.
With the introduction of foreign religions such as Buddhism, exotic and religious melodies were absorbed into Chinese music.
During the Yuan Dynasty, many traditional musical instruments were developed such as the pipa and the flute.
The pipa was loved by everyone and it occupied the predominant place in the orchestra.
During the Ming (1368 - 1644) the art of traditional opera developed rapidly and diversely in different regions.
Besides these types of music, Chinese peasants also composed simple folk songs that described working and daily life such as fishing, farming, and herding and were very popular among the common people.
Chinese painting in ancient time is not as colourful as the western painting
Like calligraphy, using brushes, ink and paper
Color plays very minor role in a good painting
Although nature, mountains, human and other beings are the subjects of the painting, the main themes of the art works are purposed to reflect the artist's imagination and thoughts.
Chinese painting seldom resembles the true appearance of the subject but through the existence of the subject and the environment to bring the viewer into artist inside world
One of the most remarkable examples of craftsmanship in Ancient China were the Terra Cotta Warriors. Emperor Qin Shihuang had these warriors constructed so that he would have protection from enemies in the afterlife. Over 8000 warriors, each in which had their own individual face and personality reveal the arts and crafts achievement of the Qin Dynasty
Another incredible building project of the ancient world is the Great Wall of China. Confucius was one of the greatest Chinese scholars and philosophers of all time.
Living from 551-479 BC he was known as Kong Fuzi, but was translated into Latin by Catholic missionaries as Confucius
He taught the meaning of magnanimity, righteousness and virtue.
He advocated that man should possess qualities such as tolerance, reciprocity, courtesy, magnanimity, trust, industry and kindness.
He believed that if people treated others with respect and honour, much of the evilness in the world would fade away and it would make life happier.
He encouraged people to observe and copy the past as he felt the past was better then the times in which he lived.
He insisted one should never stop learning. Ancient China consisted of many religions
Buddhism was introduced to China from India and spread rapidly
Many Buddhist scholars came to China from the east and worked to make Buddhism a mass religion.
During this time, many Buddhist texts were translated from Indian languages into Chinese.
Temples quickly sprouted and people took interest in studying the religion further
It was a religion that was able to unite numerous amounts of people in times of difficulty The Formative Period 1600-1027 BCE The Classical Age 1027-221 BCE The First Empire 221 BCE-589 CE The Second Empire 589-960 CE The Third Empire 960-1368 CE The Last Empire 1368-1911 CE The Emperor was the supreme figure in Chinese government and his reign was legitimized by a political doctrine called the Mandate of Heaven or T'ien Ming.

He made laws but was above them himself, educated his people, and was responsible for their welfare. He was the only one allowed to perform certain rites and sacrifices such as the great annual ritual that asked Heaven to bless the earth.

The Mandate of Heaven dictates that Heaven chose the ruler and Heaven could get rid of a bad ruler. If a ruler failed to do his job and rule wisely, the Heaven would send omens such as natural disasters and supernatural events would happen. If the warnings were not heeded, the people as representatives of Heaven would rise up and overthrow him. The Chinese were the only ones who had given the power and right of rebellion.

Many imperial houses were founded as a result of civil war or goreign invasion. Offices of central administration was in the capital city and provincial offices were set up around the empire. More were added when China expanded.

Below the empror, there are two senior officials. They were the Prime Minister and the Head of Civil Service. Their duties were to receive news from junior officials and advised the emperor. They also petitioned decrees to be signed by the emperor.

There were nine major offices to operate the government. They were in charge of religious ceremonies, observations of stars, recordkeeping, security, care of stables, punishment for crimes, manage receipts of homage from other leaders, maintain records of the imperial family, and collect the state revenues, and direct working projects. Each office was lead by a senior official.

There are minor offices under the nine major offices and are filled by regular civil servants.

Kublai Khan was a grandson of Ghengis Khan. He was elected Khan over the Mongols in 1260. He was a brilliant general, statesman and became the emperor of China in 1279 after he and his hordes of Mongols captured the Song dynasty's capital and started the Yuan dynasty. He was the first foreign ruler of China.

He was able to rule a vast empire by adapting Chinese traditions to his government. An energetic prince, he suppressed his rivals, encouraged men of letters, and made Buddhism the state religion.

He established himself at Cambaluc (modern Beijing); the splendour of his court was legendary and he became famous in the West because of the writings of Marco Polo who visited his court in 1271.
He was the first emperor of China and his reign began in 221 BCE and ended upon his death in 210 BCE.
He was originally the king of a small kingdom of Ch'in but with the advice from his adviser, he was able to conquer all the other warring kingdoms. He named himself Shi Huangdi which means the First Emperor.
Once he had conquered the other warring states, he had replications of the former leaders' palaces be constructed in a guarded park so he could keep them under control and prevent them from gaining influence. Over 120 000 families were moved into the park.
In order to maintain the stability of the unified kingdom, he organized the land itno 36 different divisions called commanderies and assigned a loyal Qin administrator to oversee it.
He is famous and infamous for many reasons. He is famous for leaving behind the vast Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army and infamous for his cruelty.
Although he was a ruthless and cruel leader, he was a skilled administrator and brought about many positive changes for the unified China. For one, he dismantled the feudal system, standardized the language and currency, abolished hereditary titles of the nobility, developed an extensive network of roads and canals connecting the provinces to improve trade between them, and redistributed land to the peasantry.
However, he was also responsible for burning of books and the burying of the scholars that had defied him.
In his later years, he became obsessed with immortality and feared death. He had died while searching for an elixir of immortality.
His advisors kept his death a secret long enough for them to forge a fake will to put a more pliable son onto the throne while ordering his eldest and most able heir to commit suicide.
He had initially thought that his dynasty would last forever, but his grandson had only ruled for 46 days before he was overthrown and the Han dynasty started.
The Supreme Hall of Harmony
http://www.greattourspots.cn/historic-spots/china/forbidden-city-attractions-hall-of-supreme-harmony.html Shi Huangdi
http://www.crystalinks.com/qinemperor.jpg Kublai Khan of Yuan
Imperial Palace for the Qing and Ming dynasties for 500 years
Supposedly contains 9999 rooms and over 70 courtyards
Commoners were not permitted to enter
Construction began in 1406 and ended in 1420
Over 1 million labourers and 100 000 artisans were needed
Covers 720 000 squared meters of land
Started by the Yongle Emperor of Ming dynasty
Separated into the Inner and Outer Courts.
Inner Court is where the Imperial family lived and the Outer Court was where the Emperor ruled China.

History -before history- Earliest life found in China is the Peking man! Radical Change in Society:
The Discovery of Bronze From Clay Materials (Pots and Tools) To Superior Bronze Materials No longer a Nomadic lifestyle bronze introduced new "leisure" materials, not to meet vital demands
this led to sacred materials, as well as shrines These new "luxury" objects led to a hierachy type of leadership Impact of Geography Life based around the rivers, specifically Yellow River China: A Varied Area in Climate, Terrain and Soil many different subcultures yet, connected by writing! Many Mountain ranges in central China Rivers were very important, for transportation, and flooding(?) Chinese history was documented through the changing of rulers, as well as marking different dynasties. Earthquake Detector Printing Paper Compass Wheelbarrow Silk Civil Service Examinations began in the Han period to recruit suitable candidates to serve state offices senior officials sent men to the capital to be tested chosen for moral standards, devotion to family, as well as knowledge Very little is known about the content of the examinations Schools Existed only for training future civil service members attended by sons of officials and highly placed families traced back to 120BC Han Dynasty Society was split between officials and non-officials Shang Dynasty Ruling Family of Tzu Clan Other Family Members:
Feudal Lords & Officials Common People Slaves Tang Dynasty Emperor Military Affairs Council of State Censorate Secretariart State Affairs Chancellery 6 Ministries Justice & Public Works, Personnel, Revenues, Rites, Military Control 10-20 Circuits 358 prefectures 1573 Districts Gender Roles: Roles of Women Ban Zhou's Adomonitions for Women "on the third day after a girl was born, people placed her at the base of the bed, gave her a pot shard to play with, and made a sacrifice to announce her birth." Confucius obeyed parents, then husband, then son as the next head of the family. Mongol Empire more free than women in China Ming & Qing Dynasties women became more restricted population grew, farms shrank more women worked at home women's household voice increased yet, women's legal rights became more limited economic change led to more upperclass men able to afford concubines (626 - 706 CE) former concubine, became wife of Emperor Kao Tsung ruled under his name, due to his stroke in 660 Kao Tsung died in 668 ruled as a regent for her son for 7 years desposed both of her sons became the first and last female Emporer of China moved court to Luoyang had antipathy towards, and recieved it from the aristocracy therefore promoted "obscure" men was a ferverant Buddhist built many temples, including the White Horse monestary held her position until 705, when she was desposed. Actions http://www.chinapictures.org/images/yunnan/1/yunnan-40116100646656.jpg Statue of Buddha Chinese Painting http://www.chineseartpaintings.com/images/images/NMcj008A.jpg http://filipspagnoli.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/confucius2.jpg Philospher Confucius Woman who has gotten her feet bound http://www.pretty-small-shoes.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/small-size-womens-feet-1-foot-binding-6.jpg He was guided by his advisor, a Legalist, named Li Si. Shi Huangdi ruled with the SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF LEGALISM in mind.
Know and compare all possibilities
Punish failure with unvarying severity to discourage others
Grant generous and reliable rewards for success
Listen to all views and hold the proposer responsible
Issue unfathomable orders and make deceptive assignments to keep potential enemies controlled.
Conceal ones knowledge when making inquiries of a minister to see if you are being lied to
Speak in opposites and act in contraries to keep the element of surprise. What is LEGALISM?
Legalism was a utilitarian political philosophy that does not address higher questions like the nature and purpose of life. The emperor was at the top of the hierarchy and officials rank after the emperor in level of rank
Officials were distinctly dressed according to rank with gold, silver, or bronze seals decked with purple, blue, yellow or black ribbons according to position and salary. The Selection of Officials By the 5th century BC, highest office positions were given to men distinguished by virtue and abilities rather than nobleness of blood and wealth The Nine Dragon Wall
http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/HistoricBeijing/Forbidden_City/pages/154_ForbiddenCity.html The Meridian Gate or Wu Men Gate
http://www.chinapictures.org/photo/travel/forbidden-city/31216151434001/ The Interior of the Hall of Supreme Harmony
http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/Scenery83bye339.html Hall for Ancestral Worship
The Terracotta Army
http://www.macleayvalleytravel.com/terracottawarriors.jpg The Great Wall of China
http://www.janisb.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/great_wall_of_china.jpg In China, the kingdom was separated into commanderies, which were then further separated into prefectures, districts, and wards.
Commanderies were governed by Grand Administrators that were assigned by the central government. They were usually the Emperor's kinsmen.
Local officials were in charge of tax collection, constables were in charge of crime control, and provincial authorities were in charge of keeping in touch with the central government. Ability: moral integrity and intellectual capacity Each commandery's governor must send one person per 200 000 inhabitants with moral standards, a devotion to duties, and is acquainted with literature. The selection process occurs annually. They are sent to the capital to take the exams.

Although some officials come from poor backgrounds and had worked to gain their positions, women were able to secure positions for male relatives, men from affluent families were recommended, and other men buy their positions. Every three years, provincial officials send reports of their area to the capital including reports on junior officials. Junior officials in the central government had the following tasks:
worked in offices
interviewed people
report with colleagues
draft reports
prepare tax records Decisions made by the Emperor were signed and sent to all the provincial governments on topics such as:
nomination of a concubine to become an empress
provisions for religious observances
arrangements for taxation and provincial administration
encouragement of agricultural work
building projects and repair work
relations with foreign leaders.
The Statutes of Odinance are directions for conduct of administration and control of the population.
They are distributed to provincial authorities.
Although the text no longer survives to this day, we know that subjects such as: robbery, banditry, gold and gold coins, palace guards, official rankings, rituals, care for the aged, and irrigation of agriculture. PUNISHMENT LAW & Once accused of committing a crime, a person was arrested and detained. China had a "guilty until proven innocent" policy. Interrogation included flogging to make sure the accused tell the truth. Witnesses were called forth and they may also be imprisoned until the trial.

Punishable crimes were:
Infringement of the Imperial Majesty, such as reviling the emperor and entering the palace precincts without authority.
Interfering with government. Such as forging documents and accepting bribes
Violent acts such as murder, assault, extortion, robbery etc.
Other crimes were: adultery, incest, and failure in denouncing a crime to authorities. When all evidences and statements were considered, an account of the charge was read out and if the accused felt something was treated unjustly, he would requist for further inquiry. Punishment would follow. During the Qin dynasty, punishments were severe. Some punishments were passed on although others were changed or left out altogether in later dynasties.

Some punishments include:
beheadment, self-execution, or at the waist. (Included family members if the crime was extreme)
mutilations such as tattoos
Amputations of nose or feet
Shaving (beard)
Hard labour, exile, fines, and ban from gaining government positions The old and pregnant were treated more leniently and the rich could ransom themselves out from severe punishments. Mixture of Feudalism and Central Bureaucracy The imperial princes were enfeoffed as kings.
The rest of the empire, especially the territory around the capital, stayed in the hands of the emperor.
Land was separated into commanderies under a civil governor and a military governor called "defender".
Commanderies were divided into counties or districts under a civil magistrate and a military defender.
The princedoms and marquisates were largely autonomous, especially in the first few decades of Western Han, and they had their own political administration with a couselor-delegate as head of government. A kind of intermediate administrative unit between the commanderies/princedoms and the central government were the inspective regions. The regional inspectors and governors were installed as a controlling unit to inspect the work of the regional administrators. The central region around the capital Chang'an was controlled by the Three Guardians: the Metropolitian Governor, the Guardian to the Left and the Guardian to the Right, later by a metropolitan commandant.
The central government was run by one (sometimes two) chancellors, the Great Commander, the Censor-in-chief, and the Imperial Mentor. Chancellor, Great Commander and Censor-in-chief were called the Three Dukes.
The Imperial Board of Secretaries was the center of paper bureaucracy. Tasks of the imperial household and central administrative works of the government like the imperial offerings, law enforcement, the imperial insignia, and so on, was run by the Nine Courts under a chamberlain. The central censorate was called yushitai .
The Han Dynasty creators were the first politicians in Chinese history that developed a systematcal training and education for the administrational officialdom. But in this early stage of official recruitment, recommendation was still more important than examinations - although a National University (taixue ) was established during Former Han
This system of central government was the foundation of an administration structure that more or less kept up through the whole imperial history of China. The major parts of it were not invented by the Han politicians but were simply taken over from the Qin administration system. Yellow Turban Rebellion Korea, Vietnam and Japan Ruled by the Emperor officials were selected by competitive examinations The Beaucracy consisted of nine ministers, who managed many aspects such as economics and military. Job of the Emperor:
create laws (yet was above them)
educated the masses
responsible for the people's wellbeing "The Mandate of Heaven" the source of the Emperor's power
Stated that Heaven was responsible for choosing, and disposing of rulers. The Emporer would be punished by Heaven, with floods and other natural disasters, if they displeased Heaven. These were "warnings", and if the Emporer did not change, the people would act for Heaven and revolt. Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty extended Chinese Empire and was able to extend trade roots to the West.
Silk Route or Silk Road came to be as the trade routes between China and the rest of the known world.
Trades went as far as Rome.
Silk Route also connects East, South, and Western Asia to Mediterranian, north Africa and India.
Silk Route stretches over 4000 miles.
Although well known for the trading of the fine silks of China, other goods were also traded.
Goods Traded were: Slaves, musk, perfumes, spices, medicines, jewelry, glassware.
Not many things were traded by Sea.
goods were usually only transported by the Caspian and Mediterranian seas.
Chinese goods also went as far as Egypt.
To the East China traded with Japan. Korea, and Taiwan.
Chinese goods also traveled to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Even Parts of Kazakhastan.

http://www.silkroadproject.org/tabid/177/default.aspx Tea, rice, wheat, barley, cotton and oilseeds.
During 722-481 BC farming technology was introduced.
Iron tools and animal pulled plows were used to make farming faster and easier.
The ancient Chinese were also able to harness the power of rivers, and developed water conservation projects.
Two of the oldest hydraulic engineers were Sunshu Ao and Ximen Bao of the 6th and 5th century.
They had invented the hydraulic-powered trip hammer (water wheel) in the 1st century BC during the Han Dynasty.
They were now able to pound, decorticate and polish grain more quickly.
During the Jin Dynasty the Silk Route also accommodated farming tools.

http://www.topchinatravel.com/china_guide/Agricultural-Calendar.htm http://mailsrv.nara-edu.ac.jp/~asait/kuiper_belt/section4I/hammer.htm Caeleb Goff's Works Cited Elaine Yang's Works Cited Michelle Barretto's Works Cited Ayisha's Works Cited M. Craig, Albert. The Heritage of Chinese Civilization. 2nd ed.
New Jersey, U.S.A: Pearson Education Inc. , 2007. Print. Loewe, Michael. Everyday Life in Early Imperial China.
United States of America: Dorset Press, 1968. Print.

Ye, Ting-Xing. The Chinese Thought of It.
Buffalo, NY: Annick Press, 2009. Print. Hollihan-Elliot, Shelia. Ancient History of China. Broomall, PA: Mason Crest Publishers, 2006. Print. Nothiger, Andreas. Hyper History. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2010. <http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/>. "A History of the World." The British Museum. BBC, n.d. Web. 11 May 2010. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/explorerflash/?timeregion=7>. Newman, Garfield. Echoes From the Past: World History to the 16th Century. Toronto,Canada: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001. Print. Giles, Herbert A. Religions of Ancient China 2010.
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An aristocratic rebel named Xiang Yu and a commoner named Liu Bang worked together.
FIVE YEARS of civil war
The two factions eventually turned on one another and fighting broke out once more.
In 202 BCE, Liu Bang became emperor of Han Throughout the dynasties, emperors wanted to expand their kingdoms while defending its borders.
Repeatedly, they fought off the Mongols from the North
Invaded Korea, Vietnam, and Japan at times. Through these interactions, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese cultures, art clothing, and architecture resemble Chinese culture so closely.
A major cause of the Yellow Turban Rebellion was a famine that forced many farmers and former military settlers in the north to seek employment in the south, where large landowners exploited the labour surplus
The peasants were further oppressed by high taxes imposed in order to fund the construction of fortifications along the Silk Road and garrisons against foreign infiltration and invasion.
At the same time, the Han was weakening internally. The government was widely regarded as corrupt and incapable and the famines and floods were seen as an indication that the emperor had lost his mandate of heaven.
The Yellow Turban Rebellion was led by Zhang Jiao and his two younger brothers Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang. They were healers.
They were helped by local political discontent, and by droughts and plague among the people. The rebels even had allies in the imperial court, and they were able to make their preparations while government officials were either ignorant of their intentions or intimidated by their power.
Tens of thousands of men rose in rebellion, government offices were plundered and destroyed and the imperial armies were immediately forced onto the defensive.
The rebels were defeated in February CE 185, but only two months later, the rebellion broke out again. In CE 185, it spread to the Taihang Mountains on the western border of Hebei Province and in 186 it reached Shaanxi, Hebei, and Liaoning, in 188 it reached Shanxi. The Yellow Turbans eventually ceased to pose a military challenge by the year 205.
184 to 205 Although the Han armies were able to stop the rebels, it eventually led to the fall of the Han dynasty.

government offices were destroyed
officials and magistrates were killed
districts of China were cut off from the central government
people were left homeless
the economy was in shambles
which resulted in the uprising of bandits
military leaders and local administrators were given self-governing poewrs which led to disunity in China

Later uprisings in China were patterned after the Yellow Turban Rebellion or claimed to be its spiritual successors. •Wudi of Han took the throne at the age of fifteen.
•His rein was from 141 BC to 86 BC.
•He was the fifth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty.
•He is also known as Han Wudi, or Wu Han.
•His given name is Liu Che.
•He was the first emperor to unify china in its ideology.
•He enforced Confucianism as the state ideology.
•Because of this change Confucius was pushed into the orthodox position.
• During the Jin Dynasty china was peaceful, and the population grew.
•Wudi was the son of Emperor Jin.
•Unlike his father Wu of Han devoted his time military conquests and extending the borders.
•It was because of him that the Silk Route was so prosperous.
•Han Wudi’s most important military conquest was those against the Han.
•The Han were a nomadic tribe from North China.
•After three battles against the Han, Han Wudi was finally able to make the retreat to the far north of Gobi.
•In order to protect China from further invasions he ordered the construction of the Great Wall.
http://warandgame.wordpress.com/2008/09/09/han-wudi-156%e2%80%9387-bce/ •The first Chinese book on medicine appeared in the Western Han period around 202 BC.
•The book was called The Huangdi Neiging or the Yellow Emperor’s Manual of Corporal Medicine
•The Ancient Chinese believed that the body and soul were connected to the earth and elements.
•They adopted the use of the Yin and Yang Symbols. These elements break down the “fine element”: Fire, Water, Wood, Metal and Earth.
•The ancient Chinese believed that different parts of the body connect with the different elements.
•Balance between Ying and Yang in the body meant good health while bad balance means bad health.
•To restore the harmony in one’s body was the job of the doctor.
•The Doctors prescribe herbal remedies, apply surgery and acupuncture to restore the body’s health.
• The general anesthetic used was made of a wine called Mafesan, the recipe was recorded in the Han Dynasty.
•They also learned to read a person’s pulse, a development made in the Chin Dynasty.
•Advances in clinical medicine, pediatrics, surgery and physiotherapy were made in the Tang Dynasty.
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During the Sung dynasty in 960 BC, foot binding began. Foot binding was a practice that involved wrapping a girl’s foot in cloth bandages, forcing it to grow in a particular way. This usually left them unable to walk properly and was extremely painful. Foot binding restructures the shape of the foot by breaking the arch and four toes on both feet. This process begins at a young age, usually around seven years of age. Foot binding was encouraged as Chinese men found tiny feet beautiful and desirable. The bound feet were referred to as “golden lilies” and the shoes in which they wore were known as “lotus shoes”. Families believed that binding their daughter’s feet would be an investment to her future and increase her chances of entering into a good marriage. It could also be seen as a way to show female status in society. Since women with bound feet were physically disabled, they would be dependent on male labour for survival. This perpetuated the superior role of men in Chinese society. Footbinding http://www.pretty-small-shoes.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/small-size-womens-feet-1-foot-binding-6.jpg Woman who has gotten her foot bound
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