Ancient China And it's history

The Forbidden City, A symbol of power, wealth, and faith within China.

Ancient China Creates

Ancient Chinese inventors were world renowned for their inventions, as many of them are still used today. Things such as paper, gunpowder, and compasses. The invention of paper allowed them to spread their empire much farther than any other empire, as they could spread more accurate information much quicker than had ever been previously available. Along with the invention of paper came the printing press, which further sped up the communication process. Rather than scholars and monks having to write entire books by hand, an early machine could it for them. They could spread religious and scholarly texts to their subjects and relay military communications for the many wars that happened throughout their long history. Then came their second most important invention, gunpowder. This came around the Tang Dynasty, and it revolutionized warfare for centuries to come. With this new weapon, they could easily punch through medieval armor and guns were very effective and being lethal.

One of the earliest examples of a gun, an iron tube filled with gunpowder and a metal ball or stone placed inside and fired out. Gunpowder was discovered accidentally as alchemists tried to discover an elixir to immortality.

Possibly the greatest invention besides paper would be the compass. With it, the Chinese were capable of navigating over land and sea, further increasing their vast silk trade empire. The compass also kept a religious purpose, for having a southern facing house was a sign of peace, prosperity, and harmony to the Chinese. They used lodestones which face South, unlike our modern day compasses which face to the North.

Ancient China Thinks

The Ancient Chinese civilization focused around military, science, and philosophy throughout their long history. Even at the beginning of recorded history, China was ahead of most of the world in technological advancements. Around the year 5000 BC, China already had housing, farming, and basic tools and weapons. They created spears and arrowheads out of stone and jade to hunt and basic wooden tools for farming. Around 2000 BC came the first form of true government and unity among the people, in the form of a dynasty of emperors or military rulers. The first dynasty was the Xia, which was founded on the banks of the Yellow river under China's first military ruler, Yu. During this time, they moved into an age of bronze working.

A large jade ring believed to be for around 1800 BC from the Xia Dynasty.

Around 1600 the Xia Dynasty was overthrown by a larger, more powerful empire, the Shang. The Shang Dynasty was one of the shorter dynasties, but one of the most important. During this 70 year period, Chinese advancements in Philosophy and military increased exponentially. Writing and architecture were perfected, religion became more advanced, and bronze working spread. A pantheon of Gods formed under one divine god, Shangti, and this led the Mandate of Heaven and Divinity later in the Zhou Dynasty. Much of China's history revolved around the Mandate of Heaven until their last emperor, Puyi, fell. The history after the Shang Dynasty becomes blurred as a rapid series of dynasties passes through a huge warring period. During this time period, a legendary figure came into light. Sun Tzu. Also during this time period came Shi Huangti, who conquered and unified all the separate tribes and kingdoms of China, then declared himself the first emperor. Shi strengthened China during what's called the Imperial Period, and he stayed true to China's way of thinking, further increasing their military prowess by beginning construction of The Great Wall. All this history shows that China has always had one mindset; furthering it's incredible military and scientific lead over the world.

The Great Wall took centuries to construct and was used to guard against barbarians and Mongol hordes.

Ancient China Explores

As the dynasties progressed forward, China explored new lands, civilizations, and methods of improving their culture and empire that others hadn't thought of. As an example, they were far more willing to use iron than Europe was, entering the Iron Age decades before the Middle East and Europe do. However, shortly after the Iron age began and the Qin (Chin) Dynasty fell into the shadows of history to be replaced by the Han. The biggest explosion of Philosophy in China came during this time, with the scholar Confucius and many religious and scholarly texts published during this time. After the Qin came the great chaos and warring after the peace experienced under Shi Huangti's rule. Two great warlord's, Xiang-Yu and Yiu-Bang, fought a violent and bloody war of succession for the throne of China. Finally Yiu-Bang triumphed over Xiang and created the Han dynasty. During this time, trade between China and the West began, a great expansion of Chinese borders came, and their culture spread over a vast area of the world. The Han dynasty lasted for around 400 years until it's fall around 75 AD.

(Left) a statue of a Chinese Warhorse (Middle) The Terra Cotta army was made just before the Qin (Right) An iron and Terra cotta pot found in a tomb from the Han Dynasty.

Fast forward 600 years from the Han dynasties fall and a series of inconsequential dynasties and little advancement in Chinese power, land, science, or culture. China arrives in the Tang Dynasty(618 AD - 907 AD), which is considered the Great Chinese Golden Age. The Silk Road formed, spreading silk trade all the way to Rome and Byzantium and China's borders spread further East over the Tibetan Empire and the Himalayas. During this time period, China became the world's most powerful empire, producing many great scholars and leaders throughout this time period that advanced their technology their religion even further.

Ancient China Leads

Throughout this entire paper and through my research, there was one trend throughout everything I read. China has been a world power throughout the majority of it's history. Whether it's leading the world in technological advancements or coming up with some of the most brilliant thinkers and scholarly minds to ever exist, China has been a global powerhouse. From the second century back, Chinese rulers have taken the various tribes and smaller branch offs from their empire to form an even bigger and more powerful one. Over the centuries, they built The Great Wall, a five thousand mile long wall that is a true symbol of power and wealth over other nations. Even when the great Mongol warlord Kublai Khan took over all of Song Dynasty China, their advent of gunpowder and vast number of people enabled China to fight back years later and recapture their homeland.

The great teacher and philosopher, Confucius

In conclusion, China could be summed up as one of the greatest empires to ever exist. From it's great thinkers to it's military prowess, they have it all. Even now, China is one of the strongest and wealthiest nations on Earth, with a vast army and huge amounts of exports. Stop studying Ancient Greece and Rome, and start learning of a far older, greater empire.

China

Bibliography:

Mark, Joshua J. "Ancient China." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 18 Dec. 2012. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

N/A, N/A N/A. "Chinese Compass History: Invention, Dynasty and Navigation." Learn Chinese History. Learn Chinese History, 11 June 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Nele, Jaylee R. "TimeMaps." TimeMaps Atlas of World History. Timemaps LTD., 23 June 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Boyd, Lane A., Parker M. Randell, and Isabel K. Lele. "Great Wall of China." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Watkins, Thayer H. "The Advanced Technology of Ancient China." The Advanced Technology of Ancient China. San Jose State University, 4 Oct. 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

Yates, Robin K. "China's Age of Invention." PBS. PBS, 29 Feb. 2000. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

Fields, Micheal E. "Chinese Cultural Studies: Concise Political History of China." Chinese Cultural Studies: Concise Political History of China. Chinese Political History, 23 July 2014. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

Credits:

Created with images by capelle79 - "Forbidden City, Beijing" • Michael Kan - "erlitoumask" • SmokingPermitted - "Cosa sono? La bambina dei no" - ""The Great Wall of China" - 长城" • Forever Wiser - "Asian Han Dynasty INDY" • SmokingPermitted - "Cosa sono? La bambina dei no" - "Soldiers" • Fæ - "Lidded Funerary Jar (Hu) with Cloud Scrolls LACMA M.2003.52a-b" • ErikaWittlieb - "confucius statue chinese" • llama2014020 - "china fuzhou this temple"

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