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Life in Ancient China
Transcript of Life in Ancient China
Aristocratic families lived in large houses with tile roofs, courtyards, and gardens.
Aristocrats did not own land for long. They eventually divided the land amongst their sons.
Aristocrats relied on farmers to grow crops and make them rich.
About 9 of 10 Chinese were farmers.
Chinese families practiced filial piety. This meant that children had to respect their parents and older relatives. Oldest male was the head of the family. As the Zhou dynasty weakened, violence became a serious problem.
During the Period of Warring States, rulers sent armies to destroy enemy states.
Whole villages of men, women, and children were beheaded.
After this, the Chinese began looking for ways to restore peace and order to society.
Three philosophers developed ways to restore China: Confucius, Laozi, and Hanfeizi. Legalism Confucius was China's first great thinker and teacher.
Wished to bring peace to China.
Believed that all people needed to have a sense of duty. This meant that every person needed to put the needs of their family and community above their own needs.
He believed the best way to behave was similar to the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Confucianism taught that all men with a talent for governing should take part in government. This idea was not popular with the aristocrats, and few leaders listened. Daoism (also called Taoism) is another Chinese philosophy that promotes a peaceful society.
It is based on the teachings of Laozi.
Laozi, or Old Master, around the same time as Confucius.
The ideas of Daoism are written in Dao De Jing (The Way of the Dao).
Similar to Confucianism, Daoism tells people how to behave.
Daoists believed that people should give up their worldly desires and turn to nature.
In ways, Daoism and Confucianism are opposite. Hard Work vs. Worldly Desires Hanfeizi disagreed with the other great thinkers. He argued for a system of laws.
Hanfeizi taught that humans were naturally evil. He believed that they needed harsh laws and stiff punishments to force them to do their duty.
Most aristocrats liked Legalism because if favored force and power and did not require rulers to show kindness and understanding.
The idea of Legalism led to cruel laws and punishments used to control Chinese farmers. Daoism