Zhou Dynasty (1122 B.C.E. - 256 B.C.E.)

external image zhoumap.gif Land controlled by the Zhou Dynasty also shows the sections of the Great Wall built during their rule

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Shang Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
Confucianism
Daoists

Technology

During our long dynasty (the longest in Chinese history) we perfected the technique of bronze metalurgy and introduced iron metalurgy to China. We also developed a more sophisticated written language from the primitive inscriptions found early during our rule.

Culture

We are widely considered to be the best bronze workers China has ever seen and most of our daily instruments and vessels are made of this malleable material. We are also the center of philisophical thought for the world, producing such great thinkers as Kong Fuzi (Confucius), Laozi, Mengzi, Shang Yang and Han Feizi. We were politically organized into a Fengjian system, an system loosely related to feudalism, with several city-states.

Religion

Laozi, founder of Daoism (Taoism), was around during our prosperous dynasty, and the religion he created, though never overly popular, effected the development of our empire. Also prevalent during our rule is the concept of ancestor worship. Honoring the deaceased members of a family is supposed to bring prosperity and good fortune. Another religious concept promonint in our culture is the "Mandate of Heaven". We believe our emperor has the divine providence to rule. He is supported by the Gods, and when the Gods see it fit they will remove him and elevate another to his position.

Blog

Blog Entry One:
1122 B.C.E. -- I, Ji Fa, leader of China and founder of the Zhou dynasty, have finally succeeded in overthrowing the incompetent Shang ruler and establishing myself as ruler of all China. I have recieved this power through the "Mandate of Heaven", the gods have decided that the Shang are unfit to rule and that I will provide a better government so they were removed and I ascended the throne. The vastness of my empire proves difficult to control I am thinking of establishing regional provinces each ruled by faithful supporters of my rule. I hope this works out ok.
Blog Entry Two:
771 B.C.E. -- They came from the west. Thousands upon thousands of nomadic warriors intent on destroying the power of China. Why does this have to come during my time. I, Ji Gongsheng, am not a particularly strong ruler and I just wanted to live my life out in peace. It looks like the capital city of Hao is lost and I will have to establish a new one east away from the invaders. I hope my subordinates don't see this as a weakness and start to take control of the government. This could end badly.
Blog Entry Three:

256 B.C.E. -- The power of my line is ended. The Zhou are finished. After years of warfare and strife, still no compromise can be reached. I cannot take it any more. China is in a state of turmoil that it may never recover from. People have already started calling it the Period of the Warring States. I see no other alternative, I, Ji Yan, must abdicate the throne and hope China can striaghten itself out without imperial rule. I have failed the Zhou dynasty. Goodbye.

The Wall

Yeah, thanks a bunch guys. We totally love not being in control any more. VERY nice. You could've just submitted to our ultimate power, but nooo you had to go and take us over like we don't even matter. Oh, and we still matter. A lot. Just because we had a few lame duck emperors doesn't mean that you shouldn't have waited until there were some better ones. It would've happened if you had just been a little more patient, trust me. Oh, and about the Mandate of Heaven...you guys were obviously not reading the right mandate because the Mandate of Heaven clearly states that Shang emperors are the ones that are supposed to rule. Maybe you guys were reading the "Mandate of Dumb"...

Hugs and kisses,
the Shang Dynasty
Bibliography:
Bentley, Jerry, and Herbert Ziegler. Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. 3rd. Boston: Mc Graw Hill, 2006.
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