EAS103H1 study notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
East Asian Studies
Graham Sanders

EAS103H1 Pre-modern East Asian History MIDTERM NOTES Liu Bang From 256-195 BCE, the first emperor of Han, called Emperor Gao; set up his capital at Chang-An. The significance of Liu Bang in history is that he cooperated with Xiang Yu and destroyed Qin, afterwards they fought against each other for their own dynasty while Liu Bang successfully attacked Xiang Yu and begin the Han dynasty. Emperor Wu The emperor that had the greatest impact on Chinese culture and society in Han dynasty; in significance, he developed good culture and government. One thing he had done was to send armies troops into Xiongnu territory in order to push the Xiongnu back. Confucianism: Emperor Wu was the first Han emperor to privilege Confucian scholars within the government. He listened to Dong Zhongshu, a Confucian scholar. Confucius, 551-479 B.C.E, the first and the most important thinker of ideas to influence/improve/develop rulers and form a better society in early Zhou. His ideas are recorded by his disciples in the Analects. The significance historically is that Confucianism is still powerful in today’s education in Asia since he taught things ethically rather than theoretical or metaphysically that people can become a “junzi,” a true gentlemen to be ethical to the 5 relationships, such as relationship between ruler and subject, husband and wife, father and son, elder and younger and also between friends. Chinese family like: Confucianism helped to shape the Chinese family system Han form: Han scholars attempted to make Confucianism more useful as a moral guidance by writing books that explained ancient language; referring to The Five Classics of Book of Changes (易), Book of Documents(書), Book of Poetry(詩), Spring and Autumn Annals(春秋) and Book of Rites(禮). Confucian Virtues The virtues were developed by Confucius that Ren as in benevolence; xiao as in filial piety; yi as integrity; zhong as loyalty; xin as honesty; jing as respect and li as ritual decorum. Zhuangzi A Chinese thinker in the period of Warring States and is also the title of the book. He’s idea could be concern as one of the responses to Confucianism; he contributed Daoist philosophy that deals with personal freedom. Writing technologies Writing had became a major element in chinese culture by 1200 BC. Shang dynasty developed writing, referring to oracle bones(甲骨文). Chu Kingdom(South) One of the four states in the Spring and Autumn period; the others were Qin(west), Jin(north) and Qi(east). Chu kept expanding from Western Zhou time on and became one of the strongest and most innovative states, it absorbed 50 or more small states as it expanded toward east and north. It was also the first to form countries outside of their official lands. It later conquered the state of Yue and then became a full participant in the alliance to maintain more power. Hundred Schools Mencius, supported Confucius’ points, and also pointed out that human nature was actually good as people is born with good moral and people have the ability to differentiate right and wrong. Xunzi, opposed Mencius’s point of view to human nature, he thought that people are born selfish and thus people need to be educated and taught in order to understand and obey their norms. Mozi, challenged Confucius’ ideas. He said that “conflict could eliminated if everyone gave other people’s families and states and same concern he gave his own,” which means to treat other people as how you would like to be treated. Daoism, disagreed with Confucianism; Laozi and Zhuangzi thought it’s better if rulers can leave people alone; let them think freely. Laozi said that “people would be better off if they knew less, gave up tools, renounced writing, stopped envying their neighbors, and lost their desire to travel or wage war.” Legalism, “strong government depended not on the moral qualities of the ruler and his officials, as Confucians claimed, but on establishing effective laws and procedures.” Referring to Han Feizi. Han Feizi rd The great exponent in Legalism in the 3 century. He warned rulers that “when the ruler trusts someone, he falls under that person’s control.” He suggested that rulers better make their own laws and prohibitions clear; as well as rewards and punishments in order to easier governing people. As a result, Qin was the only dynasty which followed his theory. Great Learning Three Dynasties Xia, Shang, Zhou Warring States The Eastern Zhou was divided into the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period. What happened in the Warring States was recorded in The Intrigues of the Warring States, and the other one is called the Discourses of the States. Buddhism in China A religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama, also called Shakyamuni. “The central concepts were samsara(to reincarnation), the transmigration of soul by a continual process of rebirth, and karma, the tally of good and bed deeds that determined the status of an individual’s next life.”  “There was no all-knowing god who judge people and could be petitioned to forgive a sin.”  “Each individual was responsible for his or her own destiny in a just and impartial world.”  “The optimistic interpretation of samsara was that people could improve their lot in the next life by living righteously.”  “The pessimistic view was that life is a treadmill, a relentless cycle of birth and death.”  “B
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