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Chapter 2 Class Discussion Questions

Chapter 2 Class Discussion Questions

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Chapter 2 Class Discussion Questions

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  1. Chapter 2Class Discussion Questions • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of classical Chinese society • Trace the rise of Confucianism • Identify the ways that Confucian philosophy supported the political structure in China • Summarize why bureaucracy developed in classical China • How was China able to accept two major belief systems, Confucianism and Daoism?

  2. Chapter 2 Classical Civilization: China

  3. Chapter Outline Patterns in Classical China Political Institutions Religion and culture Economy and Society How Chinese Civilization Fits Together Chapter 2

  4. Kung Fuzi (Confucius) (551–478 B.C.E.) wandering scholar Analects Ethical or Religious system? WHY? Zhou Dynasty (1029–258 B.C.E.) 8th century B.C.E. disruptions nomadic invasions rival kingdoms Shi Huangdi Qin Dynasty (221–207 B.C.E.) death leads to revolt Han Dynasty (202 B.C.E.–220 C.E.) Dao China in the Shang and Zhou Eras Chapter 2

  5. Warring States Period (402 – 201 BCE) Following death of Confucius, end of Zhou to beginning of Qin Political and social disintegration What led to this period? What was going on inside China? Control of vassals under Zhou; internal rebellion, which leaves open to outside invaders Chapter 2

  6. Chapter 2 • How do Chinese typically view their history as compared to other civilizations? • They have maintained clearest links to classical past • Look at history in terms of cycles rather than as progress from past to present; a dynastic cycle • 3 Big Ones from Classical China: • Zhou (1029 – 258 BCE) • Qin (221 – 202 BCE) • Han (202 BCE – 220 CE)

  7. Patterns in Classical China Zhou Dynasty (1029–258 B.C.E.) height c. 700 B.C.E. Yangzi River valley settled "Middle Kingdom" Mandate of Heaven Confucius Chapter 2 China from the Later Zhou to the Han Era

  8. Chapter 2 • How did the Zhou contribute to the development of Chinese politics and culture in early centuries? • Extended territory of China – HOW? • Encourage settlers to move into Yangtze River Valley, creating China Proper, or the Middle Kingdom • Provided rich ag lands + benefits of 2 different agricultures • Wheat growing in north, rice in south – What did this encourage? • Population growth. Is this good for central rule? • No – complicates things. Comm and transport more difficult • However, claimed Mandate of Heaven as key justification of rule • Want greater cultural unity • Ban human sacrifice • Urge more restrained ceremonies to worship gods • Promote linguistic unity

  9. Patterns in Classical China Shi Huangdi (1st Emperor) Qin Dynasty (221–207 B.C.E.) Great Wall 3000 miles Innovations Census – WHY? standardized coinage, weights, measures common writing system More centralized gov’t through Legalism Burned books – thinking was subversive Han Dynasty (202 B.C.E.–220 C.E.) into Korea, Indochina, central Asia contact with India, Parthian Empire Wu Ti (140–87 B.C.E.) support of Confucianism Chapter 2 China from the Later Zhou to the Han Era

  10. Political Institutions Political traditions patriarchal family ancestor worship semi-autonomous villages Nobles local authority justice local armies Regional governors Bureaucracies Examinations Schools Chapter 2

  11. Chapter 2 • What were key elements of the political framework that emerged as a result of the classical period in China? • Strong local units never disappeared • Rely on tightly knit patriarchal families • Single law code and uniform tax system • Establishment of effective central gov’t • Highly skilled bureaucracy • Civil service tests; SLIGHT check on upper class rule • Gov’t sponsored intellectual life • Research in astronomy and maintenance of historical records • Active in economy • Org production of iron and salt • Standardization of currency, weight, measures – help facilitate trade

  12. Religion and Culture Balance unifying traditions Kung Fuzi (ca. 551–478 B.C.E.) respect for superiors leaders must show moderation rank based on intelligence, merit Really wanted to cure political disorder Legalism alternative to Confucianism support authoritarian state belief in evil nature of humankind Qin, early Han Daoism more religious Laozi (5th century B.C.E.) force of nature ethical code “Way of Nature” Five Classics – pg. 48 Art Largely decorative Calligraphy No monumental buildings Science 365.5 day year by 444 BCE Sunspots – Why important? Chapter 2

  13. Chapter 2 • What were limits to Confucianism? • Did not seek popular loyalty; diff groups embrace diff values • Limits in appeal to masses: • Reluctance to explore mysteries of life or nature = no spiritual side • Most easily accepted by upper classes – WHY? • Had time to pursue an education and participate in ceremony • Most peasants needed more civic virtue to understand and survive their harsh life

  14. Economy and Society Trade Wheat for rice Become increasingly important during Zhou and Han dynasties Agriculture Ox-drawn plow Collar Water-powered mills Chapter 2

  15. Economy and Society By Zhou…. Social division was mainly b/t land owning gentry (2%) and peasants Peasantry depends on cooperation, particularly in south Classical China’s 3 Main Social Groups Landowning aristocracy Laboring classes Mean people People w/o meaningful skills Chapter 2

  16. How Chinese Civilization Fits Together Isolation Confucianism & bureaucracy Political stability & economic growth Divisions Confucianism v. Daoism Chapter 2

  17. Chapter 2 • Why did China remain isolated? • Chinese saw world in terms of a large island of civilization surrounded by barbarian peoples with nothing to offer • Proud of their own culture & durability, had neither need or desire to learn from other societies • No desire to teach the rest of the world • They thought of their society as a “whole”