Ancient Chinese Civilization Essay

1300 words - 5 pages

China has had many changes throughout its history. China unlike many other countries had the opportunity to grow with minimal outside interference. Due to this they created unique Chinese philosophy, writing, and government. There are two other countries that China greatly influenced. These countries are Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.
China was one of the few countries in the world that grew with minimal interference from its outside neighbors. The reason for this is due to China’s geography. One of the most important and unique items to come from this isolation is China’s writing system. China retained its logographic writing system since there were no other civilizations that came in and changed the way the Chinese wrote during its advancement. China’s writing system shaped many aspects of everyday life. Their writing system was used in literature, philosophy, politics, and everyday social workings. The first Chinese dynasty to rule was the Shang dynasty (ca. 1500-ca. 1050 B.C.E.) The Shang dynasty was the first dynasty to have chariots, writing, metalworking, and standing cities. During the Shang dynasty the Rulers were Kings that were military chieftains. During this period warfare was revolutionary, because of the use of bronze in warfare (ca 1200B.C.E.)Some of the reasons for the Shang dynasty to go to war were for riches, slaves, to quell a rebellion, and to appease gods. Most of the cities during this time were not large urban centers. Most people lived in villages. The Shang kings ruled from large cities. The best known and excavated city that is known to have housed Shang kings is the settlement of Anyang. The dynasty that overthrew the Shang dynasty was the Zhou dynasty (ca1050-256 B.C.E). Before the Zhou overthrew the Shang they were a vassal state to the Shang dynasty. Warfare between the Chinese states intensified during the 6th century B.C.E. This is also the period of Chinese history where three of their greatest philosophies were invented. The philosophies are Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. During the Zhou dynasty the everyday social life changed dramatically. The Zhou dynasty followed and strict hierarchy with the King on top followed by leaders of states and so on. During the warring states period warfare was greatly improved by the cross bow. The cross bow allowed soldiers on foot to shoot further than those mounted with long bows. Another item that came after the cross bow was the armor. The Chinese soldiers would have to wear armor to help protect themselves from the cross bow.
Some of the longest lasting philosophies as well as schools of thought have come from China. Three of the most important Chinese philosophies that came from the warring states period and that are still important are Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.) served in the court of his home state of Lu. After a period of not gaining much influence Confucius left his home with followers and searched around the neighboring...

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