The Shang and Zhou Dynasty

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by hannahle215
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
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The Shang and Zhou Dynasty

The earliest dynasty was the Shang Dynasty. This dynasty ruled the area centered in the Huang He valley, from 1700 to 1122 B.C.E. This dyansty began the first system of writing, when they wrote pictographs on animal bones, called oracle bones, to send messages to the gods. The Shang government was led by a powerful king. To expand his power, aking set up smaller kingdoms led by his younger brothers and nephews. Whe a king died, his power was often perserved by passing it to a younger brother or son. The Shang armies were made up of large numbers of foot soldiers, archer, men mounted on horses and elephants, and fighters in chariots.The king's armies were especially powerful because Shang men had weapons made of bronze. The Shang were among the first cilvilizations in the world to discover how to make bronze from a mixture of copper and tin.Shang nobles enjoyed a life of luxury. They lived in great palaces and spend time hunting. The king often gave nobles symbols of power, such as jade discs. The discs might be decorated with a "lucky" creature such as a dragon or tiger.Around 1045 B.C.E., a frontier state calle Zhou (joh) rose up against the dynasty. Zhou armies under King Wu caught the Shang unaware, deafeting and overthrowing them.

The Shang Dynasty

Around 1045 B.C.E, the Zhou, a group of people in northwestern China, moved into the central plains. They overthrew the Shang dynasty and made a new dynasty. For several centries, the Zhou dynasty ruled over group of states in China. The Zhou established the Mandate of Heaven, a cycle of ruling. They believe that the gods aprove the ruling, and the gods do not aprove when disasters like earthquakes happen.By 700s B.C.E, the system was starting to break down. The lords of individual states became more greedy and powerful. Eventually, the power of some lords tied with the king.Between about 770 and 453 B.E.C, a number of small states often fought with each other. They eventually grouped into six or seven larger states that fought for power. This brought some glorious 250 years of disorder to China. This time period period was called the Warring States period.

The Zhou Dynasty

The Two Dynasties



The Song!


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