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The Shang Dynasty Of China. Essay

1354 words - 5 pages

The Shang Dynasty has the earliest recorded written history. The Shang Dynasty was from 1600-1046 BC. It lasted over 500 years and belonged to seventeen generations. It arose during the Bronze Age in China. Thousands of archaeological findings have been found in and by the Yellow River valley. The cradle of Chinese civilization.The Shang Dynasty of China was the second hereditary dynasty in China. It lasted almost six hundred years with thirty-one kings and seventeen generations. The Shang used to be an old tribe that lived in the lower reach of the Yellow River. It was a tributary of the Xia Kingdom. At the end of the Xia, the last ruler Jie was a tyrant who made his people live in misery. The chief of the Shang tribe, Tang, led an insurgent army and overthrew the Xia Dynasty. Tang then established the Shang Dynasty and made Bo his capital city.The Shang Dynasty was the second monarchical state in Chinese history. Tang, the founder of Shang, having drawn lessons from the ruin of the previous dynasty, treated his people benevolently and employed many able and virtuous ministers. The Shang made great progresses in its economy during the reign of Tang.The geography of China is in two different groups divided by a line running diagonally from the Greater Hinggan Plateau, southwestward to the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. The country west of this line is dominated by lofty mountains, plateaus, and desserts. South and East of the dividing line is a country filled with alluvial planes and terraced hills.All buildings in the city were rectangular and were made of mud with wooden beams. In addition to the King, the nobility lived within the city. The peasants often lived outside of the city, although there were few within the walls of the city. Those who lived within the city lived in pits and cellars. The common folk outside the city lived in villages. The peasants operated on a "well-field" system. The land was divided into nine squares. The peasants would keep the products of eight squares, while the lord would take the products of the ninth square.While, due to political struggle for power in the imperial court and continuous wars with frontier tribes. The Shang state moved its capital five times. The most notable move was during the reign of King Pangeng, the seventeenth king of the Shang. He reestablished the capital city at Yin, in the neighborhood of present Xiaotuncun, in Anyang City of Henan Province. The new capital contributed a lot to the stable government of the Shang Dynasty afterwards. Once the successful new capital was established, it did not change throughout the remainder of the Shang Dynasty. Therefore, the Shang Dynasty is often called "the Yin" or "the Yin-Shang Dynasty".Another renowned Shang ruler was Wuding, the nephew of Pangeng. He was an aspirant and benevolent king and always endeavored to make his kingdom strong. Under his leadership, the empire of Shang made great achievements in its economy, which laid a foundation for the...

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