Classical China
Chapter (II)

1.1 Han Dynasty ESPIRIT chart



1.2 Summary on Taoism Philosophy:
Daoism embraced traditional Chinese beliefs in nature’s harmony and nature mystery, appealed to the upper class for the elevated spirituality. Lao Zi stressed that nature contains a divine impulse that directs life. It was popular among the emperor because it had no political threat. Lao Zi's view of restoring peace in the face of China's collapsing social order and chaos was quite different from that of Confucius. According to Lao Zi, the proper way to escape from war and political tension was to retreat into embracing the harmony of nature. Daoist views on government and human relationships were also different from those of Confucius. Daoism suggests a less active role for the government and more freedom for the people it had a restricted attitude toward politics and society. The basic idea is if constantly trying to keep people without knowledge and without desire, and those who have knowledge keep them from presuming to act on it. When this abstinence from action, good order is universal.

I think that Daoism philosophy is the the best option for china in the period immediately after the Era of Warring States is because it urged that nature is what guides you through life, it didn't have any political turmoil, but produced a mysterious sense of inspired attack. Believing the two sides of nature the Yin and Yang. It helped provide a sense of unity among people to stick together on times of political downfall and disastrous, social turmoil.It also provided a semse of unity, people don't have to be under the rules of a ruler that posses a lot of power.
"I will do nothing and the people will be transformed themselves, I will be fond to of keeping still, and the people themselves become correct.

Key Terms for Classical China

Shi Huangdi- the warrior and strong man, who established the Qin dynasty on 221 B.C.E, vanquished all its rivals and ended the years of strife. He proved to be a tyrant. His death was a result of the empire's resistance to his brutal rule.

Han- a rapidly spreading revolts in 207 B.C.E and gave a rise to its much-longer lived successor. I lasted for more than 400 years; saw the consolidation of Chinese civilization. One peasant leader defeated other opponents and in 202 B.E.C establishing the third dynasty. They sought to reduce brutalness and expanding the empire pushing into Korea. Wu Ti enforced peace throughout much of the continent of Asia and opened trade with India.

Dao- the new philosophy in which, individuals seek ways of appreciating the balanced nature; the yin and yang. Thus, for hot there is cold, for male there is female. It helped unite different schools in China during the classical period.

Zhou- it is the first dynasty lasting from 1029 B.C.E to 258 B.C.E but flourished until about 700B.C.E. It was unsettled by the unsettled political structure and frequent invasions by nomadic people ruling through alliances with regional princes and noble families. Rulers lacked the means to control their territories directly and do gave large regional estates to members of their families and other supporters hoping their loyalty would remain alive.

Confucius- The philosopher known in the west who wrote elaborate statements on political ethics providing a life and political ethics of respecting the elderly, male authority and maintaining social order and choosing the best fit to effective governance. It later emerged as the central beliefs throughout the Middle Kingdom.

Great Wall- a wall built during the Qin dynasty extending over 3000 miles wide enough for chariots to move along the crest. It was the largest construction project in human history was built by forced labor and organized by the central bureaucracy among the peasantry.

Silk road- trade in silk and other luxury products generated a network of roads through central Asia improved routes. To encourage such trade with regions to the west, Middle East, India, and the Roman Empire.

Syncretism- is a common result of contact b/w cultures combing their cultural elements.


Patriarchy- it was a way to define women roles and, dominance of men on their life and family.


Summary on china:

China went through three dynastic cycles the Zhou, the Qin, and the Han covering many centuries of classical China. The dynastic patterns begun in classical Chinese history lasted until the early part of the twentieth century. A family of kings, called a “dynasty,” began ruling China with great power, developing solid political institutions, and encouraging active economies. Each dynasty over time grew weaker, tax revenues declined, and social divisions occurred as the population outstripped available resources. In addition, internal rebellions and sometimes invasions from the outside contributed to each dynasty’s decline. As the ruling dynasty began to weaken, usually another one arose from the family of a successful general, invader, or peasant and the pattern started anew. The Chinese political system was based on state bureaucracy expanded its powers significantly. By the end of the Han dynasty, China had many bureaucrats all trained by the government to carry tax revenues and out the emperor’s policies. Confucianism and Daoism were two of the major systems that competed for the loyalties of various Chinese communities during the years of the classical period based on harmony and peace and social order. The economic system was officially built on three main social groups in classical China. The landowning aristocracy and the bureaucrats formed the top group. Far below them were the laboring peasants and urban artisans. At the bottom of society were the “mean people,” those who performed unskilled labor. Trade became increasingly important, particularly in the Han period as a result of the silk road. In addition, Agricultural societies were usually patriarchal and as they developed the status of women generally very low. Marriages were arranged for women by their parents and husbands had authority over their wives and children. Chinese civilization had an important impact on global trade through the largest interconnection the silk road.