Find your subject
in our database of
Spark your creativity...
an impressive essay!
1. Shang: Also called Yin, dynasty that was China's earliest historically verifiable state 1766 B.C. to 1122 B.C.
A. Reason's for Rise: Unlike the early accounts of history by the Chinese, there is archaeological evidence of the Shang, who built their cities in northern China around the eastern parts of the Yellow River. For this reason they are called the Yellow River civilization. They were a bronze age people; bronze-working seems to have entered China around 2000 BC (about one thousand years after its invention in Mesopotamia).
B. Territorial Location & size at height of power (map): The Shang ruled the area from the North China Plain northward into present-day Shantung Province and westward to the tip of Honan Province.
C. System of government & rule & names of noted rulers and their accomplishments: A city-state confederation with a three-fold structure of king, officials, commoners.
D. Major Religious beliefs & practices: The Shang worshiped the earth and other nature deities to whom they offered human sacrifices. They communicated with the supernatural by writing messages on oracle bones.
E. *Major Accomplishments, Achievements, and contributions: The Shang society was many agricultural. They had a large army. Bronze casting was highly developed and a writing system had evolved. There commerce was highly developed and they used cowrie shells was used as currency. Shang art consisted of Bronze, pottery, and jade ornaments.
The singular aspect of Shang civilization is their invention of writing. Almost all the written records of the Shang have
disappeared, for the court records were kept on strips of bamboo. However, inscriptions on bronze and on the oracle bones still survive so we have specimens of the very first Chinese writings. The writing system was originally
pictographic, that is, words were represented by pictures that fairly closely resembled the meaning of the word. The
picture for "sun," for instance, looked much like the sun. This pictographic writing eventually developed into the more
complex ideographic writing that we are more familiar with. Chinese writing is one of the only contemporary writing
systems that still prominently bears traces of its pictographic origins.
The Shang worshipped a figure they called "Shang Ti," or "Lord on High." This supreme god ruled over lesser gods of the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain, and other natural forces and places. Shang-Ti also regulated human affairs as well as ruling over the material universe. This dual function would, in the Chou dynasty, be attributed to a more abstract figure, "t'ien," or "Heaven." The Shang also believed that their ancestors dwelled in heaven after their death and continued to show an interest in their familiy and descendants. The obligations within the family included, therefore, the ancestors. Failing in one's duties to the ancestors could bring all sorts of disaster on a
family. All of these divine and semi-divine figures, from Shang-Ti to a family's ancestors, were sacrificed to. However, we know little of the nature or the frequency of these sacrifices. We do know, however, that in the Chou dynasty only the king could sacrifice to Shang-Ti; it is highly likely that Shang-Ti was the "local god" of the Shang kings who was subsequently elevated in order to elevate the Shang themselves. The one disturbing fact of Shang sacrifice is that it certainly involved humans; slaves and prisoners of war were often sacrificed by the hundreds when a king died. Lesser numbers were sacrificed at the founding of a palace or temple.
F. Major reasons for decline and fall:
2. Chou: dynasty (1122-221 B.C.) that ruled ancient china from almost a thousand years establishing a distinctive political and cultural characteristics which would be identified with China for the next 2,000 years.
B. Territorial Location & size at height of power (map): The Chou people seemed to have been a group of semi-nomadic barbarians living on the western fringe of the north China plain.
C. System of government & rule & names of noted rulers and their accomplishments: A series of feudal states: Primitive communications made it impossible to institute central rule over the territory. They partitioned it off among the members of the ruling family and the loyal generals. The Chou kings never exercised any real military or political power over the entire country.
D. Major Religious beliefs & practices:
E. *Major Accomplishments, Achievements, and contributions: China changed from one of the most backward parts of the world to one of the most advanced. Iron, Ox-drawn plow, crossbow, and horses were all introduced. Large scale irrigation and water control projects increased crop yield greatly. Communication system was improved due to the increase of new roads. Coinage was developed and chopsticks came into use. Chin
Quotes talked about in this paper
Names mentioned in this research paper
the great khan, F. Major, Shang-Ti, his grandson, Shang, Sung, china F. Major, Chin, Batu Khan, Shih Huang Ti, Ogadai, Zhang Heng, Wang, Wang An-shih, Liu Pang, Zhu Yuanzhang, his eldest son, Sui, Tiang,
Organizations mentioned in this research material
government, central government, Shang society, Mongol army, imperial government, Huns, army, Mongols league,
Locations mentioned in this research paper
the vastest country, North China, Central Asia, Beijing, Mongolia, Korea, the Russians, Siberia, Honan, Yellow River, China Sea, Mesopotamia, Wei river valley, B.C., Vietnam, Japan, India, Yangtze river,
Health Conditions included in this paper
Companies mentioned in this essay
sun, oracle, Bibliography Encarta,
Keywords included in this essay
china, mongol, Genghis Khan, decline and fall, Shang, Kublai Khan, writing system, Sung dynasty, chin dynasty, mongol dynasty, Chou dynasty, achievements, north china plain, Han dynasty, southern china, ming dynasty, chinese writing, contributions, empire, great wall, late tang dynasty, Shih Huang Ti, beliefs, Northern Sung, Yuan Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, central asia, imperial dynasty, central government, Song Dynasty, civil government, Shang Ti, the ming dynasty, Mongol Empire, Chinese writing system, Turkestan, Mongol conquests, wang an shih, military force, Mongol army, oracle bones, great khan, Batu Khan, Yellow River, Golden Horde, Yangtze river, the dynasty, official, Russia, local government,