INTA 3230 Lecture 1: China history

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Published on 2 Feb 2017
BCE (before common era), BC (before Christ): both mean the same thing.
Pre-Qin era
*Prior to the 3rd Cent (BCE)
* Lasted for 5 Centuries
* One of the creative and innovative epochs in Chinese history/ Foundation of
Chinese civilization
* Creating of hundred school of thoughts that has never appeared again until the
20th Century
* Cultural accomplishments like the golden era of the Hellenic World and the Roman
world (Western civilization), it dominated the history of the Chinese and Eastern
Asian civilization
* People had considerable freedom, individuality, mobility, choice, and prosperity/
Chinese civil rights matched the same in the early modern Europe
* After this era there were no major native ides to emerge/ all new ideas were
imported (Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Marxism-Leninism, nationalism,
capitalism, democracy, and modern science
* (Two phases): Spring-Autumn and warring States (period when region of the
Zhou dynasty was divided between 8 states that had frequent wars until 221 BC,
when Qin conquered them)/ despite its name there were less wars and less death
toll and destruction during these 5 Cent than other eras except in the peaceful Song
*Most wars were regional, repetitive, short, small scale, non destructive
* Competing political power of warring states, vibrant commercial class and its
wealth, the international space, and lack of a unified theocratic world authority
helped intellectuals to flourish
* At the beginning of this era, over 120 states existed in the China proper and the
Centralia. During the warring states, there were 20 states left, eventually one
* A politically divided feudal (rely on indirect ruling, delegation of authority, and
persuasion with moral codes of conducts and socialization) society
* Patriarchal monarchy called King of Zhou Court (common ruler) or Zhou Son of
* Decentralized /multiple states
* Creation of two ideologies: Confucianism and Legalism / they also developed
about 20 different schools of ideology and thoughts (Ex: Taoism, Mohism, Yang Chu,
Yin-Yang, Ming school, The school of vertical and horizontal, the school of
agriculture, and the school of military thinkers (explanation in chapter one, P19/20)
* High pick of Chinese scientific and technological innovation
* Multi-state and multi-nation
* Feudal system was replaced by the prefecture-county system in the 4th Cent for the
for the first time (imperial system that crashed the layers between the imperial state
and the families/individuals)
*Land aristocracy/ emperor owned everything
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Qin era (named after a location)
* United and ruled the bulk of East Asian continent into a single political unit which
was a tragic end of glorious ear for the people of Eastern Eurasia
* Destroyed a de facto Westphalia (the doctrine is named after the peace of
Westphalia, signed in 1648, which ended 30 years war among European states, Holy
Roman empire, Spain, France, Sweden, and Dutch. Agreed to respect one another’s
territorial integrity) world order and replaced it with a centralized rule of autocratic
* After this era the frequency, intensity, length, scope, destruction and death toll of
ward increased
* Legalism (Legalism advocates a policy based on centralized supreme power of
imperial ruler, with ruthless use of force and ruses to directly enforces imperial
laws, decrees, and regulations) (realism)/ authoritarian or totalitarian.
* Ended the warring states Era with superior force and superb diplomacy
* Qin-Han polity mandated a political unification or the china order, a tianxia (the
known world ought to be united under one single ruler, the son of heaven who
provides stability and legitimacy for political order and governance for all), all
under heaven). The China order was first created by Qin and has governed bulk of
Eastern Eurasia from 3rd Cent BCE to mid 19th Cent
* The foundation of China order is the unitary Qin-Han autocratic polity of
Confucian-Legalism (Chinese version of authoritarianism/ totalitarianism)
* Ruler or emperor acts and is accepted as the son of heaven or God or dragon on
earth/ The ruler has all the power and uses it to seek a centralized, direct, and
ultimate authority on everything in everyone’s public and private life
* Feudal system was abolished (the opposite happened in the Mediterranean-
European World on western Eurasia, from imperial to feudal)/ Primogeniture
system was reduced to inheriting noble titles mostly thus the empire successfully
eliminated entrenched land-based manors competing for power
* land-based hereditary and layered aristocratic ruling class was replaced by a
position-based singular hierarchy that receives his power from the emperor
* Commerce and industry were state-monopolized and suppressed
* Appointment system was created / later improved with the controlled imperial
exam system to select officials
* An imperially defined meritocracy that featured an undifferentiated executive,
judiciary and legislative power of the government, with emperor monopolized all
powers as an absolute ruler
* No competing political forces
* Ancestral worship and paternal family-kinship / the emperor was above religion
or ideologies
*Taoist religion of heaven and earth
* History is Chinese faith and
* Burning of non-Qin books to control information
*Expand through slaughter and war
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