Zhou Dynasty Facts

Zhou Dynasty Facts
The Zhou Dynasty followed the Shang Dynasty, ruling from 1046 B.C. to 256 B.C. making it the longest ruling Chinese dynasty in history. The Zhou Dynasty is usually divided into the Western Zhou, which ruled from 1046 B.C. to 771 B.C., and the Eastern Zhou, which ruled from 770 B.C. to 256 B.C. The division occurred when the Zhou capital was moved to a more eastern location to help protect it from invaders in the west. The Zhou is considered to be a time of artistic and intellectual advancement and awakening. Many of the Chinese culture's greatest thinkers in history existed during the Zhou Dynasty, including Confucius, Mozi, Mencius, and Laozi.
Interesting Zhou Dynasty Facts:
The people of the Zhou Dynasty were civilized and were not barbaric. They preferred to farm instead of invade other civilizations.
The Zhou existed during the Shang Dynasty's rule, and both cultures co-existed either at peace or at war, alternating between the two.
King Wen, the Zhou ruler who became king in 1099 B.C. is credited with building the alliances that would have made it possible to overthrow the Shang Dynasty.
It wasn't until 1046 however that King Wu, King Wen's second son, took control in the Battle of Muye and the Shang Dynasty finally fell.
King Wu died fairly young and his son, King Chen, still a child at the time, became the new Zhou King.
The Duke of Zhou oversaw the Zhou Dynasty as regent of King Chen.
King Chen took over in 1021 B.C. after his uncle the Duke of Zhou had trained him to be ruler.
The Zhou government was based on the feudal system which incorporated land divisions that were ruled by relatives of the King.
During the Zhou Dynasty two important religions or philosophies emerged - Confucianism and Taoism.
Confucianism was born from the ideas and teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Taoism was born from the ideas and teachings of Lao Tzu who introduced yin and yang into Chinese culture.
The people of the Zhou Dynasty are more famous for their bronze work than for their iron work, despite iron being introduced during this dynasty's rule.
It was during the Zhou Dynasty that the Art of War, a famous book about war, was written by Sun Tzu.
During the Zhou Dynasty many schools of thought emerged beyond Confucianism and Taoism. These other philosophies included the Hundred Schools of Thought, the Nine Schools of Thought, Legalism, Mohism, and Agriculturalism.
The Zhou Dynasty moved from worshipping a supreme god to worshipping heaven.
The Zhou invoked the 'Mandate of Heaven' which meant that emperors were granted their right to rule because of their ability to be fair and govern well.
The Zhou believed that a flood or drought was a sign that Heaven was unhappy with the current ruler.
From 475 B.C. to 221 B.C. when the Zhou Dynasty fell, this period is referred to as the warring states period because the eight states fought until only the Qin state, run by Qin Shi Huang, had conquered all the rest.
Qin Shi Huang crowned himself the first united China emperor, and the Zhou Dynasty was over.


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