Chinas Ancient Dynastys
The government in ancient China was established by Dynasties. Dynasties were mostly a sequence of rulers or emperors from the same family. As I said, a Dynasty was ruled by an emperor. This emperor had total control of the land and would make all the final decisions. Some of the most popular Dynasties in china were: •Xia Dynasty About 1994 BCE – 1766 BCE •Shang Dynasty 1766 BCE – 1027 BCE •Zhou Dynasty 1122 BCE -256 BCE (skipped because Celeste did it) •Qin Dynasty 221 BCE – 206 BCE (skipped because Celeste did it) • Han Dynasty 25 AD – 220 AD •Sui Dynasty 589 AD – 618 AD Ming Dynasty 1368 AD – 1644 AD • Qing Dynasty 1644 AD – 1912 AD The Xia Dynasty was the first dynasty in the history of China. There is no real archeologal evidence of this dynasty but it is said to be that the Xia ruler was overthrown when he started mistreating his people. The first real evidence found was of the Shang Dynasty. This dynasty mainly ruled the northern part of china, it was based a lot on agriculture like; millet, wheat, and barley were the primary crops grown. In addition to the crops, silkworms, pigs, dogs, sheep, and oxen were raised.
Apart from this the Shang Dynasty also had a lot of income from metallurgy. Some things like bronze ships, weapons, and tools were found from that time. This dynasty was a society where the kind ruled over military forces. This was called an aristocratic class. Under this class came the priest class. The priests were mainly in charge of religion but also keeping records for the government! The religion in this dynasty was based on a worship of many gods, there were many gods but the main god was known as Shang Ti, the lord on high.
The fall of the Shang dynasty was much like the Xia dynasty except the ruler wasn’t overthrown but killed by another smaller kingdom. After the civil war China had, which lead to the death of the leader Qin Shihuangdi, china was reunited by the rule of the Han dynasty. This dynasty is divided into two main times, the Western/Former Han (206 BC- 9AD) and the eastern/later Han (25-220 AD). The rules and the boundaries that the Qin dynasty put and then reinforced by the Han have shaped up Chinese culture.
An example of this is the Western Han Capital, Chang’an, which in present day is called Shaanxi Province. It is a monumental urban center with places, residential wards, and two loud and big market areas. This Dynasty was where they established Confucianism. It was officially chosen over Legalism. After this Dynasty came the Sui dynasty. Under this Dynasty china was brought together again. This dynasty only lasted about 8 years, but there were a lot of things going on during this time. The Sui dynasty introduced china to new religions, such as Taoism and Buddhism.
They weren’t official but people started to take notice in them. The one that people found most interesting was Buddhism, people valued it a lot. Another thing that happened, the Great Wall was repaired, and a canal system was built through china. The canal today is The Gran Canal. The Sui dynasty fell because of losses in the South Manchuria and Northern Korea. Once they were defeated rebels started taking over. Chu Yuan-Chang was the first guy to re gain control power over china since the Mongols had been ruling. This was when the Ming dynasty started.
The Ming focused a lot on literature, schools, and justice systems. Apart from this they improved the Great Wall and the Grand Canal again! As they did so they divided china into 15 provinces, in each province there were 3 commissionaires. One commissioner was in charge of all the finances, another one was for military orders, and the last one was judicial matters. Eventually the financial commissioner got someone who ruled over him and supervised everything was going good. Over time the Ming dynasty got stronger and started spreading.
They started taking over non Chinese lands and eventually defeated the Mongol tribe. Chinas army became so strong that over the first quarter of the 15th century China had influenced many places such as South Asia, India, and even Madagascar! After a period of time the Ming started to grow weak, so weak that the Dynasty couldn’t provide food for its people. This caused a rebellion from the population, the Manchurians saw this as a way in and offered help against the rebellions. Once the rebels were out, Manchurians refused to leave. Since the Ming was so weak, it had to move south.
Like most previous invaders that came to China, they adapted pretty fast to this culture. The government was based on the Ming Dynasties government. Although it was based on the Ming, it was more centralized. There was a new institution called the Gran Council, it had both a Manchurian and a Chinese leader. The Grand Council would check and authorize political and military affairs that were lead by the emperor. Even after all this time the Ming had not given up yet and had kept fighting back but eventually; by the end of the 17 century the Manchurians finished them.
The Manchurians became so powerful they controlled Manchuria, Mongolia, Xinxiang, and Tibet! Because of this other countries began to see China as a super power since it was controlled by Manchurians. During the population replaced/superseded the economic growth. Due to this the economy started to go down and decline. Because of this and because of foreign expansion the government funds were gone! They had used them all up. They had nothing left so they had to give into trading with the West. Their main trading partners were the French, the US, and the British.
The British obviously wanted to gain a lot from trading with China so they started integrating Indian opium in their trades. This made Chinas silver reserves depleted. Apart from this there were still a few people who believed in the Han Dynasty who resented the Manchurians, which caused a rebellion. Apart from this Manchurians became a way of imperial which causes even more rebellions. And especially once Western ideas started influencing in china people started adapting to them and this brought then Qing dynasty to an end.