ASIAN HISTORY 5
Chinesedynasties of the Zhou Era
TheZhou clan was the founders of the Zhou dynasty whose existencestretches back o the eleventh century BC. At this period, the clanwas getting more and more powerful and had extended all through theGansu and Shaanxi provinces. The Zhou clan sort to menace the ShangDynasty, which made the conflicts between them intensify. ShangDynasty was being ruled by King Zhou, who was later killed in a warthat had been organized by the chief of Zhou. After his death, theZhou Dynasty was formed and is credited for being the dynasty thatlasted longest in Chinese history with over eight hundred years ofrule. In addition, it had thirty-seven emperors. The dynasty had twoperiods the eastern Zhou and the western Zhou. The achievements ofthis dynasty in politics, culture, economy and science seemed moreillustrious as compared to the Shang dynasty (Wachtel, 2009).
Withinthe period that Zhou dynasty ruled, there were many activities thatled to the Iron Age. This allowed the people have a sustainableeconomy since much of their economy was dependent on agriculture. The dynasty agreed on the use of a common language that was referredto as the Archaic Chinese and Old Chinese. It helped bond the peopletogether and also made the historians have an easy job in discoveringwhat happened during the era of the Zhou dynasty. It is during theirover 800 year’s rule that the Confucian social hierarchy came intorule. The kings expected the people to adhere to the values and rulesof the Confucianism (Wachtel, 2009). This is the reason behind thedynasty remaining in rule for such a long time. The Zhou dynasty cameto end after one independent noble by the name Qin Huang united thewhole of China into the Qin dynasty.
Otherdynasties that ruled during this era were the Sui, Song and Tangdynasties. The three dynasties played significant roles intransforming the social, economic and political structure of China.The Sui dynasty ruled by Wen Ti for two distinct periods. HEintroduced the land allocation system, tax reduction and a census inorder to address fair and equitable tax. The Tang Dynasty was ruledby Liu Yuan, who saw the level of the economy rise as a result of thethree department system of government he used. The Song Dynasty sawso many changes in the political and social system and variousinterventions that shaped the country. It was referred to as theGolden Age (Hall, 2000). The three dynasties made indelible change onChina and the world as a whole.
Theancient leaders of the Zhou Dynasty introduced the “Mandate ofheaven” idea. It asserts that the leaders of the Dynasty gainedtheir authority to rule the people from the gods. It was significantto the people of Zhou since it struck fear amongst the people allover the dynasty. The Mandate of heaven was one of the mostsignificant ancient Chinese philosophical concepts that were foundedby the Zhou dynasty as determined whether an emperor was sufficientto rule China (Perry, 2002). The mandate of heaven operated withinfour principle that stated that heaven grants an emperor the powerand right to rule, the virtue of the emperor determines his right torule, no dynasty has a right to practice permanent rule and for thereason that there is only one heaven, only one emperor is allowed torule per time. If a ruler faced signs like invasion by foreigntroops, famine, floods, peasant uprisings or earth quakes, it wasevident that he had lost the mandate of heaven. The majorachievements that were experienced during the Han dynasty rulerevolved around the mandate of heaven. Their successes dependedhighly on the opinions of the gods. The Han dynasty had ruled forclose to fifty-four years before they lost the mandate of heaven tothe Yuan dynasty (Perry, 2002).
Initially,China was a Confucius community before the Mongols expose the TibetanBuddhism. This led attracted several Qing and Ming dynasties andtheir people. During the Mongol era, there were economic factors suchas an increase in commerce that greatly benefited the consumers andthe merchants. The practice of Agriculture remained the same, butthere was a demand for Asian products from the European side hencethe urge to seek for more efficient and less hazardous ways fortransporting these products. The Mongols were politically active andbrought many changes in power reforms within Russia and China. Theyused tactics such as terror attack as a way of governing anddestroying the cities and eventually the forms of government rule(Eisma, 2003).
Theeffects of Mongols rule had diverse impacts to China. There wereconsiderable damages to many territories during the Mongols conquestof the South and North China. The population of North China decreasedand perceived China as a section of their vast empire (Eisma, 2003).The Mongols rulers are believed to have been distrustful of theofficials in the Confucian society of China since they represented apath that was different from what they conceived.
Eisma,D. (2003). Mongolrule: Reflections on Mongol sociopolitics.Leiden: Research School CNWS, Leiden University.
Hall,E. J. (2000). AncientChinese dynasties.San Diego, CA: Lucent Books.
Perry,E. J. (2002). Challengingthe mandate of Heaven: Social protest and state power in China.Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe.
Wachtel,A., & World Book, Inc. (2009). Chineseof the Shang, Zhou, and Qin dynasties.Chicago: World Book.