The History of China (Understanding China)
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On October 2, 2009, the People's Republic of China celebrated its 60th anniversary with a stunning display of weapons, rumbling tanks, and smartly dressed soldiers under a blue sky in the capital city of Beijing. It was an impressive show of military might that displayed China's rising power in the modern world. From a nation devastated by civil war and the ravages of World War II, China has become the world's third-largest economy and a major player on the world stage. But the ability to renew itself is far from new for China. Despite upheavals that have shattered the China is unique among nations: its many cultural and economic accomplishments stretch across a continuous period, from its earliest recorded history, more than 4,000 years ago, to today. This book will reveal much about this exceptional nation and its long, varied history, which reaches back to one of the earliest periods in world civilzation.
obligation among the living, were deeply rooted and extensively developed by the Late Neolithic Period. Such religious belief and practice undoubtedly served to validate and encourage the decline of the more egalitarian societies of earlier periods. The first historical dynasty: the Shang The Advent of Bronze Casting The 3rd and 2nd millennia were marked by the appearance of increasing warfare, complex urban settlements, intense status differentiation, and administrative and religious
and beyond. A hardworking administrator, he employed a number of extremely able ministers who combined skill in practical statecraft with a flexible approach to ideological problems. They revived the Confucian state rituals to win favour with the literati and to establish a link with the empire of the Han, and, at the same time, they fostered Buddhism, the dominant religion of the south, attempting to establish the emperor’s image as an ideal Buddhist saint-king. Wendi’s lasting success, however,
rate, low for the period, of 20 percent to the whole peasantry during the sowing season, thus assuring their farming productivity and undercutting their dependency upon usurious loans from the well-to-do. The government also maintained granaries in various cities to ensure adequate supplies on hand in case of emergency need. The burden on wealthy and poor alike was made more equitable by a graduated tax scale based on a reassessment of the size and the productivity of the landholdings.
results of this outpouring of new laws. The new rules not only altered the content of the (largely criminal) sphere covered by the code but also legislated in the areas of administrative, commercial, property, sumptuary, and ritual law. There were literally hundreds of compilations of various sorts of laws. Perhaps as a result of the growth of this legal tangle from the late Bei Song onward, magistrates made increasing use of precedents, decisions by the central legal authorities on individual
found in Daxi sites include eggshell-thin goblets and bowls painted with black or orange designs, doublewaisted bowls, tall, ring-footed goblets and serving stands, and many styles of tripods. Admirably executed and painted clay whorls suggest a thriving textile industry. The chronological distribution of ceramic features suggests a transmission from Daxi to Qujialing, but the precise relationship between the two cultures has been much debated. The Majiabang culture in the Lake Tai basin was