Day 5: The Warring States Period

historicity-was-already-taken:

History Meme: Day 1: a Movement, Day 2: a Leader, Day 3: a Dynasty, "Day 4: a Religious Movement, Day 5: a Conflict, Day 6: a Civilization, Day 7: an Individual, Day 8: an Artistic Movement, Day 9: a Death, Day 10: an Innovation, Day 11: a Mystery or Story, Day 12: a Small Human Moment

Editor suggested subtitle: A Wild Confucius Appears

In 771 BCE the Zhou Dynasty moved its seat from Hao to the eastern city of Luoyang, precipitating a long period of gradual decentralization, spanning from 770-221 BCE. This period of Chinese history is divided into two segments: the Spring and Autumn Period (770-479 BCE) and the Warring States Period (479-221 BCE).

The Zhou kings retained their technical status as supreme monarchs during the Spring and Autumn Period. However, their once centrally governed fiefs increasingly began to function as independent, competing entities. Frequent intermarriage between the ruling families of various states made for messy succession disputes, and states constantly plotted with and against each other to maintain a balance of power. Sometimes the states would even attack the Zhou monarch.

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Map courtesy of wikipedia; no further source material provided despite geographic accuracy.

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Map courtesy of East Asia: a Cultural, Social, and Political History by Patricia Ebrey and Anne Walthall.

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See attribution of first map.

The states of Qin, Jin, Qi, and Chu emerged as the most powerful actors as the Spring and Autumn Period drew to a close. They made official their dominance by styling themselves as kings, a direct challenge to the charade of a Zhou-centered power balance which had endured through the Spring and Autumn Period.

This new balance of power represented the fifth century beginning of the Warring States Period. This period saw dramatic changes in modes of warfare as chivalric codes of warfare fell by the wayside; as the increased use of defensive walls led to the development of siege warfare; as the states adopted the use of the crossbow; and as militaries began dressing in the style of nomadic groups to ease the transition to cavalry warfare. Where Spring and Autumn Period military campaigns typically lasted no longer than one season and battles lasted no more than two days, Warring States Period campaigns lasted for years, and were fought over many fronts.

However, changes more profound than pure military innovation occurred. The combined social and political instability of both the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Period led to a flowering of intellectual thought, the impact of which has never truly been absent from Chinese thinking, culture, and subsequent history.

As various states fell, the nobility of each successive state lost its status. The lower ranks of these defunct nobilities, the shi, began to serve as advisers to victorious rulers. As the shi competed for influence within this ever-changing socio-political environment, they set into motion an intellectual movement known as the “Hundred Schools of Thought.”

The most famous and influential of the shi, Confucius, began his career in the state of Lu in the mid-sixth century BCE. Failing to gain much influence in his home state, Confucius wandered with a group of his students until he found a ruler interested in his philosophy, which put forth the idea that sets of interdependent relationships between superior and inferiors must be followed in order to maintain the balance of the universe.

The third century BCE founders of Daoism disagreed with Confucian thinking, focusing on the flow of the universe, and the effect of human action on that flow. The Legalist school of thought emerged in the third and fourth centuries BCE in response to the fear of various rulers that their polity may be next to fall. This school places emphasis on rigorous laws and obedience as necessary to the existence of a state.

Other schools of thought and thinkers which emerged out of this period included Mohism, a school of thought opposed to Confucianism founded by Mozi in the fifth century BCE. Mohism stresses universal equality and is opposed to decadence on the part of rulers; it was rediscovered in the twentieth century after falling into disuse a few centuries after its founding. There was Mencius, a fourth century BCE Confucian scholar who rose out of a school eager to defend Confucianism against Mohism. He argued that human nature was inherently moral. The fourth century BCE Xunxi, a Confucian rival of Mencius who opposed the Mencian perception of human nature, argued that people are born selfish, and may only become moral through education and ritual. Sunzi’s third century Art of War stressed the importance of discipline, spying, and manipulation in the course of warfare, and argues that great generals are not those who charge uphill against overwhelming odds, but those who advance only when positive that they will emerge victorious.

The Warring States Period ended as the state of Qin emerged victorious in 221 BCE. The Qin Dynasty was quickly supplanted by the Han Dynasty in 206 BCE. The Hundred Schools of Thought came to an end alongside the Warring States Period as the First Emperor (the self-styled title of Zhoa Zheng, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty), a staunch Legalist, ordered a mass burning of scholarly works beginning in 213 BCE.

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Koxinga (1624 - 1662)
Koxinga a.k.a Zheng Chenggong was a Chinese/Japanese military leader who was a Ming dynasty loyalist and resisted Manchu rule at the beginning of the Qing dynasty. He is also known for expelling the Dutch from Taiwan.
Koxinga was born in 1624 in Hirado, Japan, to a famous Chinese merchant/pirate known as Zheng Zhilong, and a Japanese woman known as Tagawa. He moved to his father’s home in Fujian at the age of 7. Later, he attended the Imperial Nanking University and studied with renowned poet Qin Qianyi.
At this same time, the Manchus were invading from the north and managed to capture major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Yangzhou, and Nanjing. This led to the collapse of the Ming Dynasty and the establishment of the Qing in 1644.
Koxinga first began resisting the Qing in 1646. However, the Qing army still managed to enter Fujian and killed the Emperor, leading Zheng Zhilong defected to the Manchus. Koxinga and his mother, who had moved to Fujian as well, did not. She was eventually captured and committed suicide. Koxinga kept fighting.
He eventually began assembling and securing an army on the southeast coast of China so that in between 1651 and 1652, and was able to win a series of military successes, instilling fear in the Qing government. Under pressure, Koxinga’s father begged his son to negotiate with the Manchus. Choosing loyalty to his country over his father, he refused. Zheng Zhilong was later executed by Qing officials for his son’s actions.
Intent on gaining more bases to battle the Manchus after he crushed the Qing forces at Jinmen/captured the strategic island of Zhoushan, Koxinga attacked the Dutch colonists in Taiwan, ending 38 years of Dutch imperialism. In the following year of 1662, he also threatened to invade the Philippines, scaring the Spanish into withdrawing their troops from the area. Finally at the age of 37, he died of malaria in Taiwan.
Today, he is hailed as a hero in China, Taiwan, and Japan, and has many shrines in all three places named after him despite the fact that these three countries are considered opposing political forces. However, there is some conflicting views on his achievements among Taiwanese aborigines, as his expulsion of the Dutch from the island led to many Han Chinese coming and settling there.

Koxinga (1624 - 1662)

Koxinga a.k.a Zheng Chenggong was a Chinese/Japanese military leader who was a Ming dynasty loyalist and resisted Manchu rule at the beginning of the Qing dynasty. He is also known for expelling the Dutch from Taiwan.

Koxinga was born in 1624 in Hirado, Japan, to a famous Chinese merchant/pirate known as Zheng Zhilong, and a Japanese woman known as Tagawa. He moved to his father’s home in Fujian at the age of 7. Later, he attended the Imperial Nanking University and studied with renowned poet Qin Qianyi.

At this same time, the Manchus were invading from the north and managed to capture major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Yangzhou, and Nanjing. This led to the collapse of the Ming Dynasty and the establishment of the Qing in 1644.

Koxinga first began resisting the Qing in 1646. However, the Qing army still managed to enter Fujian and killed the Emperor, leading Zheng Zhilong defected to the Manchus. Koxinga and his mother, who had moved to Fujian as well, did not. She was eventually captured and committed suicide. Koxinga kept fighting.

He eventually began assembling and securing an army on the southeast coast of China so that in between 1651 and 1652, and was able to win a series of military successes, instilling fear in the Qing government. Under pressure, Koxinga’s father begged his son to negotiate with the Manchus. Choosing loyalty to his country over his father, he refused. Zheng Zhilong was later executed by Qing officials for his son’s actions.

Intent on gaining more bases to battle the Manchus after he crushed the Qing forces at Jinmen/captured the strategic island of Zhoushan, Koxinga attacked the Dutch colonists in Taiwan, ending 38 years of Dutch imperialism. In the following year of 1662, he also threatened to invade the Philippines, scaring the Spanish into withdrawing their troops from the area. Finally at the age of 37, he died of malaria in Taiwan.

Today, he is hailed as a hero in China, Taiwan, and Japan, and has many shrines in all three places named after him despite the fact that these three countries are considered opposing political forces. However, there is some conflicting views on his achievements among Taiwanese aborigines, as his expulsion of the Dutch from the island led to many Han Chinese coming and settling there.

its-the-capaldigan-deactivated2 said: What (in your opinion) is the most significant event/events in Chinese history?

Honestly? This is a question I’m not sure I could choose an answer for. Chinese history stretches back for quite some time, with the first recorded presence of homo erectus dating back to 1.36 million years ago, and the neolithic age dating back to around 10,000 B.C.E. 

That’s, quite frankly, a really long time to be choosing some events from. And defining it as an “event” rather than a broader discovery or process (The evolution of the Chinese writing system, for example) makes it equally difficult. 

I suppose that’s a non-answer, but I don’t think I could pick events based on thousands of years of history? There are plenty of books which try to pack as much as they can into several hundred pages, however, ones that “glean” the most important and reduce it all down as succinctly as possible. I think if you were going to study China, your first order of business would be to study the order and succession of different Dynasties, and related countries which are either close-by or have been subsumed by China at any point in time. 

It would be worth it to know the flux of the Chinese Empire, as well as when the last dynasty was, etc. 

— Asianhistory mod

This might be of interest to you and fellow followers :)

TsinghuaX: History of Chinese Architecture part 1

ABOUT THIS COURSE

China’s architectural history spans thousands of years. In this course, we will explore the ancient cities of Chang’an of Han, Luoyang of Northern Wei, Chang’an and Luoyang of Sui and Tang, Kaifeng of Song and Dadu of Yuan, and delve into the history of the awe-inspiring ancient buildings that still grace the landscape of these bustling cities. The course will cover construction and aesthetics of these imperial palaces, religious structures, pagodas, tombs and gardens. We will study the basis of Chinese architecture, the wood framed building, as well as the brick and stone construction of many Buddhist pagodas and tombs. The course will culminate in an examination of the Summer Palace in Beijing, the ancient royal garden at the Chengde Mountain Resort, and the private gardens of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Two seminal textbooks on the Song and Qing dynasties are included in the course in electronic form.


Link to enrollment page

Oh this looks very interesting! Thanks for the submission. Class begins Oct. 18th.

How Third-Century China Saw Rome, a Land Ruled by “Minor Kings”

archaeologicalnews:

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When archaeologists work to understand an ancient civilization, they often use that civilization’s texts to get a clue as to how they saw themselves. But these people didn’t live in isolation. They traded; they invaded. They carried inventions and knowledge back and forth down the Silk Road, the Tea Road and Roman roads. They also, sometimes, wrote down what they thought of each other.

A few years ago, the University of Washington’s John E. Hill drafted an English copy of the Weilüe, a third century C.E. account of the interactions between the Romans and the Chinese, as told from the perspective of ancient China. “Although the Weilue was never classed among the official or ‘canonical’ histories, it has always been held in the highest regard by Chinese scholars as a unique and precious source of historical and geographical information,” says Hill. Read more.

angrywomenofcolorunited:

Badass Women of Color in History: Ching Shih,  became one of the most powerful and successful pirates in history.
Her date of birth is unknown, but it is believed she was born around1775. At the age of twenty-six, she worked as a prostitute at a brothel in Canton. While working there, she met Zhèng Yi, a successful pirate commanding small fleet ships, called the “Red Flag Fleet”. It is also unknown how Ching Shih and Zheng Yi met each other. It is believed by historians that Zhèng Yi raided the brothel that Ching Shih worked at, commanding his men to bring him his favorite prostitute, Ching Shih, while others believe that  Zhèng Yi went to the brothel asking Ching Shih to marry him in which she agreed to only if he agrees an equally share of his plunder and to allow her to help run the “Red Flag Fleet”. The next six years, the “Red Flag Fleet” grew from 200 ships to 600 with the help of alliances.  Zhèng Yi unfortunately died in a typhoon, so Ching Shih convinced Zhèng Yi’s second in command, Chang Pao, to take over “Red Flag Fleet.” Ching Shih focused more on the “business” side of things such as military strategies. When the Red Flag Fleet’s peaked in 1810, she commanded 1800 ships, big and small, 70,000 to 80,000 pirates with 17,000 male pirates under her control, with other pirate groups who agreed working for her, female pirates, children, spies, and farmers enlisting to supply food. She controlled nearly the entire Guangdong province, held a spy network within the Qing Dynasty, and ruled the South Chinese Sea. To support her troops, she didn’t rely on things like looting, blackmailing etc. instead she constructed an ad hoc government to support her pirates which included establishing laws and taxes. Ching Shih was strict as hell. In order to successfully control her pirates, Ching Shih created strict rules: 
If you disobey an order, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
If you steal anything from the common plunder before it has been divvied up, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
If you rape anyone without permission from the leader of your squadron, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean.
If you have consensual sex with anyone while on duty, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean and the woman involved would get something heavy strapped to her and also tossed in the ocean.
If you loot a town or ship of anything at all or otherwise harass them when they have paid tribute, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown into the ocean.
If you take shore-leave without permission, you get your head chopped off and body thrown into the ocean.
If you try to leave the organization, you get your ears chopped off.
Captured ugly women were to be set free unharmed.  Captured pretty women could be divvied up or purchased by members of the Red Flag Fleet.  However, if a pirate was awarded or purchased a pretty woman, he was then considered married to her and was expected to treat her accordingly. If he didn’t, he gets his head cut off and body thrown in the ocean.
Ching Shih also marched her army to two towns who formed an army against her, she ransacked and beheaded every male found there. The Emperor didn’t like the idea of a pirate controlling a portion of his land, so he commanded a fleet of ships to attack Ching Shih’s fleet. Ching being a great military strategist confronted the Emperor’s fleet and easily defeated them. Also, she managed to steal 63 of the large ships sent against her, demanding the surviving crews to work for her. Refusal to work for Ching Shih resulted in surviving crews deciding on being nailed to the deck by their feet or getting beaten to death. The Admiral of the fleet sent against her, Kwo Lang, committed suicide before Ching Shih could capture him.  Qing Dynasty government requested aid from the British, Dutch, and Portuguese to defeat Ching Shih’s fleet, even with their help they remained unsuccessful. Ching Shih won every battle until finally the Emperor took a different approach, he decided to offer her and her fleet amnesty. At first, Ching Shih refused the Emperor’s amnesty but in 1810 she worked out a peace treaty. Ching Shih at the age of 35, became a mother to one son, opened a gamble house/brothel in Guangzhou, Canton, in which she managed until her death at the age of 69.
Sources:
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angrywomenofcolorunited:

Badass Women of Color in History: Ching Shih, became one of the most powerful and successful pirates in history.

Her date of birth is unknown, but it is believed she was born around1775. At the age of twenty-six, she worked as a prostitute at a brothel in Canton. While working there, she met Zhèng Yi, a successful pirate commanding small fleet ships, called the “Red Flag Fleet”. It is also unknown how Ching Shih and Zheng Yi met each other. It is believed by historians that Zhèng Yi raided the brothel that Ching Shih worked at, commanding his men to bring him his favorite prostitute, Ching Shih, while others believe that  Zhèng Yi went to the brothel asking Ching Shih to marry him in which she agreed to only if he agrees an equally share of his plunder and to allow her to help run the “Red Flag Fleet”. The next six years, the “Red Flag Fleet” grew from 200 ships to 600 with the help of alliances.  Zhèng Yi unfortunately died in a typhoon, so Ching Shih convinced Zhèng Yi’s second in command, Chang Pao, to take over “Red Flag Fleet.” Ching Shih focused more on the “business” side of things such as military strategies. When the Red Flag Fleet’s peaked in 1810, she commanded 1800 ships, big and small, 70,000 to 80,000 pirates with 17,000 male pirates under her control, with other pirate groups who agreed working for her, female pirates, children, spies, and farmers enlisting to supply food. She controlled nearly the entire Guangdong province, held a spy network within the Qing Dynasty, and ruled the South Chinese Sea. To support her troops, she didn’t rely on things like looting, blackmailing etc. instead she constructed an ad hoc government to support her pirates which included establishing laws and taxes. Ching Shih was strict as hell. In order to successfully control her pirates, Ching Shih created strict rules: 

  • If you disobey an order, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
  • If you steal anything from the common plunder before it has been divvied up, you get your head chopped off and body thrown in the ocean.
  • If you rape anyone without permission from the leader of your squadron, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean.
  • If you have consensual sex with anyone while on duty, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown in the ocean and the woman involved would get something heavy strapped to her and also tossed in the ocean.
  • If you loot a town or ship of anything at all or otherwise harass them when they have paid tribute, you get your head chopped off and your body thrown into the ocean.
  • If you take shore-leave without permission, you get your head chopped off and body thrown into the ocean.
  • If you try to leave the organization, you get your ears chopped off.
  • Captured ugly women were to be set free unharmed.  Captured pretty women could be divvied up or purchased by members of the Red Flag Fleet.  However, if a pirate was awarded or purchased a pretty woman, he was then considered married to her and was expected to treat her accordingly. If he didn’t, he gets his head cut off and body thrown in the ocean.

Ching Shih also marched her army to two towns who formed an army against her, she ransacked and beheaded every male found there. The Emperor didn’t like the idea of a pirate controlling a portion of his land, so he commanded a fleet of ships to attack Ching Shih’s fleet. Ching being a great military strategist confronted the Emperor’s fleet and easily defeated them. Also, she managed to steal 63 of the large ships sent against her, demanding the surviving crews to work for her. Refusal to work for Ching Shih resulted in surviving crews deciding on being nailed to the deck by their feet or getting beaten to death. The Admiral of the fleet sent against her, Kwo Lang, committed suicide before Ching Shih could capture him.  Qing Dynasty government requested aid from the British, Dutch, and Portuguese to defeat Ching Shih’s fleet, even with their help they remained unsuccessful. Ching Shih won every battle until finally the Emperor took a different approach, he decided to offer her and her fleet amnesty. At first, Ching Shih refused the Emperor’s amnesty but in 1810 she worked out a peace treaty. Ching Shih at the age of 35, became a mother to one son, opened a gamble house/brothel in Guangzhou, Canton, in which she managed until her death at the age of 69.

Sources:

(via beyondvictoriana)

theatlantic:

The Maoist Irony of Bo Xilai’s Downfall

When President Xi Jinping was preparing the ground for the trial and conviction of his princeling rival, Bo Xilai, sentenced to life in prison yesterday, he called China’s entire leadership together to launch a “rectification campaign.”  Xi promised to save degenerate cadres and the Party itself by “vigorously” mobilizing the political machinery in a process of criticism, self-criticism and self-purification. He dubbed it the “Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement,” to be overseen by a specially-convened small leadership group of the same name. The aim was to “cure the illness and save the patient,” said Xi, adding that the “life and death” of the Party was at stake.
The language, aims and structure of Xi’s ongoing rectification campaign are directly borrowed from Chairman Mao Zedong’s efforts to instill discipline and consolidate personal power at Yan’an, then the Communist Party base, in the early 1940s. Mao’s success hinged on having tight personal control of the internal security and propaganda apparatus, giving him the capacity to create an atmosphere of fear and panic and forcefully extract confessions.  He used “special case groups” to root out and intimidate the patronage networks of perceived rivals until his power was unchallengeable.
These, ironically, were the techniques that Bo Xilai revived to transform the Communist Party in Chongqing and build a formidable personal power base there, striking terror inside the Party in ways that are still not widely understood. Now, Xi is applying the same underlying political logic to revitalize and impose his will over the world’s largest and most powerful political party, with some important innovations. And he is doing it by purging Bo.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

The Maoist Irony of Bo Xilai’s Downfall

When President Xi Jinping was preparing the ground for the trial and conviction of his princeling rival, Bo Xilai, sentenced to life in prison yesterday, he called China’s entire leadership together to launch a “rectification campaign.”  Xi promised to save degenerate cadres and the Party itself by “vigorously” mobilizing the political machinery in a process of criticism, self-criticism and self-purification. He dubbed it the “Party Mass Line Education and Practice Movement,” to be overseen by a specially-convened small leadership group of the same name. The aim was to “cure the illness and save the patient,” said Xi, adding that the “life and death” of the Party was at stake.

The language, aims and structure of Xi’s ongoing rectification campaign are directly borrowed from Chairman Mao Zedong’s efforts to instill discipline and consolidate personal power at Yan’an, then the Communist Party base, in the early 1940s. Mao’s success hinged on having tight personal control of the internal security and propaganda apparatus, giving him the capacity to create an atmosphere of fear and panic and forcefully extract confessions.  He used “special case groups” to root out and intimidate the patronage networks of perceived rivals until his power was unchallengeable.

These, ironically, were the techniques that Bo Xilai revived to transform the Communist Party in Chongqing and build a formidable personal power base there, striking terror inside the Party in ways that are still not widely understood. Now, Xi is applying the same underlying political logic to revitalize and impose his will over the world’s largest and most powerful political party, with some important innovations. And he is doing it by purging Bo.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

The Surprising Economics of Mooncakes—An Infographic
orientallyyours:

Actress Wu Suxin 吳素馨 (born in 1905 or 1906) in traditional bridal dress. Wu Suxin became a leading martial arts film heroine during the late-1920s mania for the genre.
Source: The Chinese Mirror 

orientallyyours:

Actress Wu Suxin 吳素馨 (born in 1905 or 1906) in traditional bridal dress. Wu Suxin became a leading martial arts film heroine during the late-1920s mania for the genre.

Source: The Chinese Mirror 

fydynasticchina:

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanshiyin), Shanxi Province, China. 11th-12th century CE. Liao Dynasty (907-1125 CE). Polychromed Wood. Nelson-Atkins Museum Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.

fydynasticchina:

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanshiyin), Shanxi Province, China. 11th-12th century CE. Liao Dynasty (907-1125 CE). Polychromed Wood. Nelson-Atkins Museum Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.