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Avant-Ancient China

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by

Brian Avant

on 21 October 2011

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Transcript of Avant-Ancient China

Ancient China
In China, civilization began in the
North China Plain.
The importance of family
The extended family
The oldest male is in charge.
When he died, his estate was divided amongst his sons.
Women followed the 3 obediences
Obedience to father
Obedience to husband
Obedience to sons
Confucius
His real name is Kong Fu Zi which means Master Kong.
Probably the first professional teacher in China.
He never wrote down his ideas, but his students did.
He lived in the Warring States period.
"What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others."
"By nature men are similar; by practice men are wide apart"
He believed strongly in Filial Piety- respect for parents and ancestors.
Confucianism, as a guide for how to live, truly caught on in the Han Dynasty.
This led to the Five Relationships.
Alongside Confucianism, there existed Taoism.
"The three rules that formed the practical, political side of the author's teaching
(1) abstention from aggressive war and capital punishment,
(2) absolute simplicity of living,
(3) refusal to assert active authority."
Created by Laozi and studied by reading the Tao Te Ching.
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength.
He who knows he has enough is rich;
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures;
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.
Combined with Buddha, Confucius and Laozi form the foundation for Chinese thought.
Shi Huangdi
Was he good for China or bad?
What did he do for China?
What was the bad side?
The Han Dynasty
Shi Huangdi died, four years of civil war followed, his son died and his grandson couldn't hold things together.
Liu Bang emerged from the chaos of the death of Shi Huangdi as the next emperor.
His government was stable, like most of the Han dynasty.
In 140 BC, Wudi took over.
Wudi greatly expanded the borders of China through conquest.
He expanded the Great Wall and made the Silk Road possible.
His reign lasted for 54 years.
Achievements (mostly under the Han)
The Silk Road opened trade between China and the West.
It was a 4000 mile-long route from Chang'An to Antioch.
The Han had raised the making of silk to an art form.
Under the Han, everything improved.
They embraced Confucian ideas, requiring all civil servants to pass Confucian-based exams.
Sima Qian wrote an exhaustive history of China.
They also developed many advanced pieces of technology.
Full transcript