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Early China History

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The origin of Chinese civilization began near the Yellow River around 1200-221 B.C.E. Throughout this time many ancient Chinese dynasties came about that were different in many ways. Though every dynasty differed, all Chinese seemed to value the same things in life. Of these values the strongest were family, religion, and government. Many of the ancient Chinese people were familiar with the Book of Songs, and the Mandate of Heaven. The Mandate of Heaven and the Book of Songs greatly reflected the loyalty of the ancient Chinese people to the sense of family, government, and religion, therefore this is evidence that ancient Chinese used the teachings of both the Mandate of Heaven and the Book of Songs to guide the way they lived there lives and also shows that the Ancient Chinese developed ideas from one another no matter which dynasty they originated from.

First of all the ancient Chinese were very loyal to their family. In ancient china, not even death weakened familial bonds. The poem, Glorious Ancestors in the book of songs, is about worshiping ancestors who have passed on. This poem reflects that even after death the living Chinese people still provide for their family who has passed on. One part of the poem says, "We have brought them clear wine, they will give victory" (Human Record 28). This shows that in sacrificing goods for the ancestors, their ancestors will also return the favor in leading them victorious lives. The ancient Chinese would do anything for their family, and would not do anything that would threaten their family members. In the Mandate of Heaven it talks about three fashions; the fashion of sorcerers, the fashion of extravagance, and the fashion of disorder. In the document it states, "If a high noble or officer be addicted to one of these three fashions with their ten evil ways, his family will surely come to ruin" (Human Record 25). This shows that family was so important in ancient Chinese history that it even intertwined with ancient Chinese politics and as well as reflected on the way each individual of that family lived their lives.

Secondly loyalty was also of great importance in Chinese government. The Mandate of Heaven gave ancient Chinese an explanation to why somebody is able to rule as well as used it as justification to overthrowing a dynasty. "Mandate of Heaven, developed by the early Zhou Dynasty created a sense of order in Chinese politics of religion" (Voyages 95). This shows that the ancient Chinese used this document in order to create understanding in their political system and also create order. One of the main teachings of the mandate of heaven is "Since there is only one heaven, there can only be one ruler at a time" (Spohnholz 9/5/10). This shows that early Chinese intertwined both religion and politics in order to dictate whom gets to rule. Also showing that since religion is a big deal throughout the world and the Chinese related it to their



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