Civilizations Of Ancient China And East Asia

1338 words - 5 pages

The main major theme of module three is the development in China and East Asia. The chapters cover the social, philosophical, cultural, governmental and religious aspects. The chapters offer an insight of how China and Eastern Asian cultures had developed. It also elaborates on the dynasties that had ruled during this era.
China was isolated from West and South Asia because of the demographics of the land. The writing system was not influenced by other cultures. They had created a logographic system of writing. Every word had its own symbol. This writing system was not only a major part of Chinese literature but also played a large part in the political process. The Shang Dynasty was the first to have writing, cities, chariots, and metal work. The Shang kings were also High priests. The Shang Dynasty was over thrown by the Zhou Dynasty. When the Zhou Dynasty ruled, they had created a multistate system of government. Because of warfare the culture changed dramatically. Philosophies such as Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism were introduced, and developed. Because of the demographic structure of the land the main crops in northern China was wheat and millet. While in southern China rice was a prime crop because it was warmer and wetter. Inner Asian regions were used to raise livestock. In the Neolithic age decorated pottery emerged in the southwest, and less decorated pottery along with jade ornaments and other ritual objects formed in the east. Shang kings ruled in large settlements such as Anyang, where kings ruled for more than two centuries. The Shang kings were also military chieftains. People captured in times of war were made into slaves or human sacrifices. Bronze was an important metal during this time.
The Zhou Dynasty acquired many traditions and much of the culture from the Shang Dynasty. The Zhou wrote the “Book of Documents” which describes their triumph over the Shang. The Zhou created smaller domains which would eventually over through the central government of Zhou. The Zhou had a hierarchy of rank which started with the king and moved downward to farmers and traders. They also had practiced in the collection concubines. During the Warring States Period the social structure of the Zhou was being under minded by the advancement in military technology. While trying to encourage populations by increasing land cultivation, iron technology advancement also promoted economic expansion.
During this time Confucius emerged and brought on the ethical thought that family was “the basic unit of society” (64). His recorded sayings were in the Analects which were written by his disciples. His political ideas that the government should work for the people, and the people should work with their government were also followed by Menicus, and Xunzi. Daoism which focused on the larger importance of natural order instead of making human actions the center of importance was identified as Dao, or the Way. Legalist insisted on the need...

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