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China: Zhou Dynasty 11th-3rd centuries

The history of the China Zhou dynasty, based on Chinese mythology, started when Qi was conceived by Emperor Ku’s consort.  In the texts, Qi was referred to as a type of cultural hero, and he was said to have survived three periods of abandonment by his birth mother. He was noted for having introduced much improvements to the Xia agriculture. As a result, he was given the name “Lord of Millet”.

China advanced in several ways after the start of these events peaking around 1000 BC where it can be found on the Biblical Timeline with world history.

In Western Zhou, the old capital of the dynasty remained with King Wu, which was used for ceremonial purposes. When he died, the Duke of Zhou became his heir, and he developed the fengjian system in maintaining the Zhou authority throughout the broad territory.

Eventually, the decentralized system of the Western Zhou dynasty was strained due to the thinning of the regional dynasties and Zhou kings. Soon, the capital was transferred to Changzhou in the east, and this marked the start of the Eastern Zhou dynasty.

The rise of the influence of Eastern Zhou is linked with the collapse of the royal authorities. It is also worth noting that the Eastern Zhou was the time when the Chinese philosophy became widespread. There came the Nine Schools of Thought, and these included Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism, Agricultural, Naturalism, Militarism, Logism, Mohism and Diplomatism.

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Zhou-thinking
‘King Zhou of Shang and his consort Daji’

Additional Facts about the Dynasty

The Dynasty began with the Zhou clan, whose power greatly increased and extended to the Gansu and Shaanxi provinces by 11th century BC. The powerful clan served as a threat to the Shang Dynasty, and this resulted in an intense conflict between the two.

During this period, King Zhou ruled the Shang, and he was known to be cruel to the citizens in his empire.  Thus, Wenwang, the Zhou tribe’s chief, decided to attack the Shang. He assigned Ji Fa, his son, to carry out this task. The Shang reached its end in 1046 BC after losing the war against the Zhou.

Wuwang, son of Wenwang, formed the Zhou Dynasty. He proclaimed Haojing the dynasty’s capital. According to Chinese history, the Zhou was the longest dynasty as it lasted for more than 800 years. During this period, there were 37 emperors who ruled the dynasty.

The Zhou Dynasty was divided geographically into the Western Zhou and Eastern Zhou. The Eastern Zhou Dynasty was also divided into two time periods called Spring and Autumn. Both of these periods involved massive wars that lasted from 770 BC to 221 BC.

The Zhou is credited with a number of contributions to the history of China. For instance, it was in this period of time that there were improvements in the fields of science, culture, politics and economy. These advancements were substantial compared to what transpired in the Shang Dynasty.

The Zhou dynasty ended in 221 BC when Qin successfully defeated the six states that formed Eastern Zhou. Then he was able to unify China, and this resulted to the Qin Dynasty, which is known as The New Age of China.

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