In my treatise I will examine and explain how the Chinese emerged as the world’s largest and sophisticated civilization and the effect it had on the rest of East Asia. Starting from the Neolithic and Bronze ages; touching on important dynasties and their roles, certain philosophies and cultural changes from about 10,000 B.C.E. - 233 B.C.E. I also am going to give my understanding of Buddhism and how it spread thru not only China but all of East Asia. I will describe East Asia from 800-1400 A.D. Finally looking into the cultures that emerged as well as the economic expenditures that shaped the know world as a whole thru the trade goods and the exchange of cultures.
China’s emerging civilizations really began to take shape with the Shang Dynasty and the Zhou Dynasty. Although the Shang Dynasty laid the foundation for future dynasties to rule, China was already established are far as agriculture with the cultivation of rice and the domestication of dogs, pigs and cattle during the Neolithic and Bronze ages. One of the most important things to happen during this period was the evidence of writing. The invention of writing had enormous denouement on the culture and government of China. The literacy of the Chinese enabled Rulers to communicate efficiently with military commanders and governors far away from the palaces. Japan, Korea, and Vietnam all read Chinese writing. Thus making it possible for people from different countries and who spoke different languages able to communicate.
The Zhou Dynasty rose against and defeated the Shang Dynasty around 1050 B.C.E. Three early rulers of Zhou are accredited with expanding the Zhou Empire. Under King Wen the Zhou where the first to transmit text into books; he was also known as the “literate king”. His son King WU conquered the Shang; his brother the Duke of Zhou consolidated the land between the Shang and the Zhou. Opposite of rulers in the past Zhou rulers decentralized the empire giving “Lords” relatives and trusted subordinates soldiers to maintain conquered territories. This style of governing expanded the empire rapidly but also weakened the state at the same time. Some Lords became very powerful and began to disobey orders from the king. Kinship grew distant over the years and resulted in the assassination of a Zhou king in 771 B.C.E. Furthermore disrupting China’s central government leading to a prolonged absence of a one king ruled nation.
Confucius was one of the first men of different ideas. He advocated gentlemanly conduct; being a gentle men and not being petty for personal gain. Confucius thought this until his death in 479 B.C.E. But his teachings did not flourish until three centuries later with the help of two followers Mencius and Xunzi. Mencius did much like Confucius and traveled giving king’s advice. He never gained much political or social headway with the rulers although some did follow the original teaching of Confucius. Xunzi took Confucianism to the next...