Chinese Civilization Introduction & History Summary

According to the records found in ancient books, the history of China extends back around 3,300 years. The records of the Shang Dynasty, which were extensively chronicled on animal bones and tortoise shells, provide insight into the methodical nature of the Chinese intellect. These documents date back to 1767-1123 B.C. Confucius is credited with developing the Code of Conduct during the Chou dynasty (1122-221 BC), which was to dominate Chinese philosophy for the following 25 years. Two enduring legacies were left behind by the “Celestial Empire,” also known as the Ch’in empire, which ruled in 221 BC: the name China and the fundamental framework of an empire. During this time period, construction also began on the Ten Thousand Li Wall, popularly known as the Great Wall of China. This wall is about 1,500 miles long, 15 to 50 feet high, and 15 to 25 feet broad.

After the death of the first emperor of the Ch’in empire, the empire fell apart in a short amount of time. In the year 202 BC, the legal successor to the throne was murdered, and Liu Pang emerged as the victor, which led to the establishment of the Han Dynasty. At the conclusion of the Han Dynasty, 30,000 students were enrolled in the Imperial University that had been established for the purpose of the study of Confucian courses. Paper and porcelain, two of China’s most significant cultural contributions, both date back to the Han dynasty. During the T’ang era, there was a significant Buddhist influence shown in many forms of art, particularly sculpture. Rock temples, such as those located at Yongang and Longmen in northwest China, have allowed for the preservation of exemplary works of Buddhist sculpture.

Landscape painting, which over time became regarded as the pinnacle of classical art, was particularly popular during the Sung dynasty (960-1279), which ran from China. In 1271, Kublai Khan, the fifth “great khan” and grandson of Genghis Khan, proclaimed himself emperor of China. He dubbed the dynasty Yuan, which means “beginning,” to indicate that this was the beginning of a lengthy period of Mongol power. Kublai Khan’s reign in China lasted until 1234. Because the Mongols refused to adopt aspects of Chinese culture, the Chinese looked down on them with contempt. Before the Ming dynasty took over, his Yuan dynasty had not yet reached the century-long milestone in its reign. In Manchuria, the Manchu had established a state patterned after the one in China and had bolstered their armies using a distinctive kind of military organisation known as the banner system. The “Brilliant” Ming dynasty was brought to an end when its last emperor committed suicide by hanging himself. The Ming commander Wu San-kuei invited the Manchu into China in order to destroy the rebels, and they accepted the invitation. After the Manchu were successful in driving the rebels out of the city, they decided to remain and create a new dynasty called the Ch’ing.

By the time the 19th century rolled around, considerable numbers of Europeans had begun to settle in the area. In all, eight countries, including Germany, England, the United States of America, and others, very much had their way with China for many decades. In comparison, the Yuan dynasty only ruled for 89 years, yet Chi’ng’s dominion lasted for 267 years. The White Lotus Rebellion, which lasted from 1796 to 1804, was the first of several important uprisings that occurred throughout the Ching dynasty. This uprising occurred during the lengthy and distinguished reign of Emperor Ch’ien-lung. Ten years passed before it was put down, and China entered the 19th century in the midst of several uprisings.

19th Century

The 19th century saw China beset by internal upheaval on an unprecedented scale. In the year 1773, the British government saw the potential profit in the opium trade and made the decision to capitalise on it. The Chinese handed over money to the British in exchange for opium, and the British, in turn, used the money to make partial payments on items that they had purchased from the Chinese. Because of the official Chinese government’s opposition to opium, two trade wars broke out, during which time Great Britain, France, the United States of America, and Russia won considerable financial advantages. The first Opium War took place between China and Britain from 1839 to 1842, while the second Opium War took place between China and Britain and France from 1856 to 1860. Both of these wars were fought for opium.

Late 19th Century

Sun Yat-sen was a significant figure in the Chinese Revolution. He is regarded as the “Father of Contemporary China” by both the Nationalists and the Communists of modern China. After establishing a covert revolutionary movement and planning an abortive rebellion in Canton in 1894, Sun started a lengthy time of exile outside of China. This exile lasted for a number of years. At 1896, when newspaper stories sensationally reported on his detention in the Chinese legation in London and subsequent rescue, he acquired widespread prominence as a revolutionary leader. This led to his eventual release from prison.

In 1905, he established the Revolutionary Alliance Society in Japan by bringing together a number of revolutionary parties already existing there. Its agenda was comprised on the now-famous Three People’s Principles, which were as follows: nationalism, which included liberating all of China from foreign influence; democracy, which entailed toppling the Manchu and creating a democratic governmental system; and people’s livelihood. Even though Sun could not really reside in China, members of the alliance managed to infiltrate a large number of China’s social groups. The revolutionary zeal that had been fostered by Sun reached an all-time high level of intensity throughout the student and army communities.

More support was garnered for nationalist revolutionaries as a direct result of the failure of the Boxer Rebellion to expel the West and the humiliation of the Chinese by the conditions of the Peace of Peking. The Ch’ing Dynasty fell apart in the year 1911. After that, revolutionary forces directed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen gained control of the Chinese government, putting an end to the country’s more than 2,000 years of monarchical rule.

The Republic of China  (1912-1949)

At the beginning of March 1912, Sun Yat-sen tendered his resignation from his position as president, and Yuan Shih-kai was subsequently chosen as his successor at Nanjing. Inaugurated in March of 1912 in Beijing, the centre of Yuan’s authority, the republican form of government that he built included a premier, a cabinet, a draught constitution, and a plan for legislative elections to take place in the early part of 1913. In order to be ready for the election, the Kuomintang, also known as the National People’s Party (KMT), was established. This party was the successor of Sun Yat-organization. sen’s On March 12, 1925, Sun passed away in Peking due to cancer. A national shrine has been established at Sun’s grave in Nanking.

The People’s Republic of China 

Mao Zedong made the proclamation that the People’s Republic of China will be founded on October 1st, 1949. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrated their takeover of China as a triumph for the Chinese people and their emancipation from imperial dominance (particularly that of the United States) and the tyrannical KMT dictatorship. The People’s Liberation Army is the new moniker for what was once known as the Red Army. They were less corrupt than almost any government or army in the history of China, and the land reforms that they had been carrying out for the previous two decades were fair and successful, so by the time they established the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and things started to stabilise, the Communists were extremely popular. This was due to the fact that they had been less corrupt than almost any government or army in the history of China.

Third Generation of Leaders

After Mao Zedong passed away, a fight for the succession of power ensued, and the pragmatic Deng Xiaoping emerged victorious. Once in power, he transformed himself into a capitalist, and because it just so happened that economic liberalisation was about the only alternative available for the Communist Party to maintain its legitimacy and power, things turned out just great for the Party in the end.

During the 9th National People’s Congress, which took place in March 1998, Jiang was once again chosen to serve as President. The Premier Li Peng was forced to stand down from his job in accordance with the constitution. He now serves as Chairman of the National People’s Congress after being elected to that position. Zhu Rongji was chosen to take over for Li as Premier of China.

The Chinese government is resolutely dedicated to pursuing economic reform and opening its doors to the rest of the world. The restructuring of China’s state-owned companies has been designated as a top priority for the Chinese government by its leadership. The government plans to accomplish this objective via a variety of means, one of which is the extensive privatisation of state-owned businesses that are losing money. Additionally, the leadership has reduced the size of the bloated federal bureaucracy.

We bid you a warm welcome to China, where it is possible to see, by peeling back the layers of time, the beginnings of civilisation on this same soil. A powerful country, the Great Wall of which can be seen from orbit around the Earth.

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