China is seen variously as an ancient civilization extending over a large area in East Asia, a nation and/or a multinational entity.
China is one of the world's oldest civilizations and is regarded as the oldest continuous civilizationit possessed one of the the most advanced society and economy in the world through successive dynasties though it subsequently missed theindustrial revolution and began to decline.
China's cultural sphere has extended across East Asia as a whole, with Chinese religion, customs, and writing systems being adopted to varying degrees by neighbors such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam
China ranges from mostly plateaus and mountains in the west to lower lands in the east. Principal rivers flow from west to east, including the Yangtze(central), the Huang He (Yellow river, north-central), and the Amur (northeast), and sometimes toward the south (including the Pearl River, Mekong River, and Brahmaputra), with most Chinese rivers emptying into the Pacific Ocean.The climate of China varies greatly. The northern zone has summer daytime temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius and winters of Arctic severity. The central zone has atemperate continental climate with very hot summers and cold winters. The southern zone has a subtropical climate with very hot summers and mild winters.
Confucianism was the official philosophy throughout most of Imperial China's history, and mastery of Confucian texts was the primary criterion for entry into the imperial bureaucracy. China's traditional values were derived fromvarious versions of Confucianism. A number of more authoritarian strains of thought have also been influential, such as Legalism.
With the rise of European economic and military power beginning in the mid-19th century, non-Chinese systems of social and political organization gained adherents in China. Some of these would-be reformers totally rejected China's cultural legacy, while others sought tocombine the strengths of Chinese and European cultures. In essence, the history of 20th-century China is one of experimentation with new systems of social, political, and economic organization that would allow for the reintegration of the nation in the wake of dynastic collapse.
Chinese tradition names the first dynasty Xia, but it was considered mythical until scientific excavations found earlybronze-age sites at Erlitou in Henan Province in 1959. Archaeologists have since uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs in locations cited as Xia's in ancient historical texts, but it is impossible to verify that these remains are of the Xia without written records from the period.
Some of the thousands of life-size Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, ca. 210 BC.
Thefirst Chinese dynasty that left historical records, the loosely feudal Shang (Yin), settled along the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BC. The Oracle bone script of the Shang Dynasty represent the oldest forms of Chinese writing found and the direct ancestor of modern Chinese characters used throughout East Asia. The Shang were invaded from the west by the Zhou, whoruled from the 12th to the 5th century BC, until their centralized authority was slowly eroded by feudal warlords. Many independent states eventually emerged out of the weakened Zhou state, and continually waged war with each other in the Spring and Autumn period, only occasionally deferring to the Zhou king. By the time of the Warring States period, there were seven powerful sovereign states,each with its own king, ministry and army.
The "official" orthodox faith system held by most dynasties of China since at least the Shang Dynasty , until the overthrow of the last dynasty (1911 AD) centered on the worship of Shangdi ("Supreme God") or "Heaven" as an omnipotent force. This faith system pre-dated the development of Confucianism and Taoism and the introduction of...
Leer documento completo
Regístrate para leer el documento completo.