De Bary; Chapter Two

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East Asian Studies
Graham Sanders

Chapter Two Philosophers and Warring States During the Eastern Zhou Period 770256 BCEFoundations of Chinese were established in the five centuries that followed the transfer of the Zhou court to Luoyang in 770 BCEold Zhou fiefs came to function more and more independent states linked to one another in a multistate systemWarfare between states intensifiedsocial political and cultural change quickened rdBy 3 century BCE only seven important states remainedhereditary ranks meant less and less and rulers made more use of the shi lower ranks of the aristocratic order competed to offer advice to rulers advanced the art of argument and set in motion a tremendous intellectual flowering Time of era when ideas of Confucian Daoist and Legalist traditions were developed The Multistate System of the Eastern ZhouEastern Zhou Dynasty divided into two periods Spring and Autumn period To 479 BCE and to the Warring States period after itHistory of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty better documented than history of Western Zhou advances in the art of political narrative Zhou kings still considered the supreme monarchs but no longer had military might to force obedience Sometimes supposed vassals would even attack the Zhou kingRuler of one state would sometimes be recognized as the hegemon the leader of the alliance of Zhou statescalled meetings of the allied states where rulers or leading ministers would swear to uphold the Zhou feudal structure ie a meeting in 657 BCE states swore not to dam irrigation waters withhold sales of grain replace heirs apparent promote concubines to wives or let women interfere in state affairs Succession disuptes common pretext for war between statesA ruler typically had concubines in addition to a wife and thus would have many children by several womenIn theory succession went to the eldest son of the wife then younger sons by her and only in their absence sons of concubinesActual practice ruler of a statehead of a powerful ministerial family could select a son of a concubine to be his heir if he wishedLed to schemingdeception Sons who felt excluded journeyed to other states in search of alliesRulers regularly took their wives from ruling families of other statesa contender could try the state that his mothergrandmother had come from or the states his sistersaunts married into Rulers of these states often happy to see someone indebted to them on the throne of a neighboring state and would lend armies to help oust rivals Other reasons for warfarestates tried to maintain a balance of power and prevent any one state from becoming too strongStates on the periphery had advantageexpand outward Four states to gain the most over the course of the Spring and Autumn period were Qin in the west Jin in the north Qi in the east and Chu in the south Chu expanded from its base in the south Qi organized other states to resist itStates in the middle weary of being caught in fighting between larger powers organized peace conferences sometimes
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