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HIST241: Pre-Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 2: Consolidation in China: The Qin and the Han   The power of the Zhou dynasty began to falter in the third century B.C.E.  Rather than consolidating their power into a central authority, the Zhou had used regional alliances to maintain their influence.  But when these alliances weakened, so did the Zhou.  The breakdown of the Zhou Empire permitted both the establishment of many small kingdoms ruled by former vassals and invasions by nomadic peoples who lived on the Chinese border.  However, this period of internal warfare known as the Warring States Period stimulated intellectual ferment and drove Chinese philosophers, such as Lao-Tzu and Confucius, to question the spiritual and ethical meaning of the political turmoil.  The establishment of the brief Qin Empire in 221 B.C.E. seemed to promise a return to political order.  Emperor Shi Huangdi not only used brutal techniques and legalist doctrine to consolidate his power, but he also built the beginnings of the Great Wall of China, standardized a system of weights and measures, conducted a census of his people, and expanded his empire.  Qin tyranny, however, produced resistance, especially among the conscripted peasants and farmers whose labors built the empire and the dynasty collapsed in 207 B.C.E.  The Han dynasty (which replaced the Qin dynasty) ruled for nearly four centuries (with a brief interruption) by achieving political unity through the creation of a large civil bureaucracy that set a precedent for future dynastic rule in China.  After the collapse of the Han Dynasty, China splintered into multiple kingdoms for several centuries.  This period of the Three Kindgoms, though fragmented politically, would ultimately be the cultural inspiration for future Chinese scholars and authors.

In this unit, we will examine how political and social disorder of the Zhou dynasty later resulted in the centralization of Han dynastic power and the emergence of a distinct Chinese identity.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
Time Advisory: This unit should take you 15.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 6.5 hours ☐    Introduction: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 2.1.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 2.1.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.1.3: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 3 hours ☐    Subunit 2.3: 3.75 hours

☐    Subunit 2.4: 2.25 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
- Compare the Confucian, Daoist, and Legalist philosophical schools of thought, and situate them in the context of the Warring States Period and Qin Dynasty. - Compare selections from both Confucian and Daoist scholars to examine how the two schools of thought viewed humanity, nature, and government. - Explain how Legalist doctrine proved to be both helpful and detrimental to the Qin Dynasty. - Connect the role of Confucian thought with the formation of the Han Dynasty and its elaborate civil bureaucracy. 

2.1 Philosophy and Political Turmoil   - Reading: Carson-Newman College: Dr. Kip Wheeler’s Confucius and Confucianism Link: Carson-Newman College: Dr. Kip Wheeler’s Confucius and Confucianism (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the link titled “Confucius and
Confucianism,” and read the entire page to get a sense of the life
and philosophy of Confucius.  This material will also provide
background for other Confucian scholars, including Mencius.  Note
that this reading will cover the material you need to know for
sub-Subunits 2.1.1 and 2.1.2.  You should spend approximately 30
minutes reading and studying this resource.  
    
 Terms of Use: The above articles are hosted with permission by Dr.
L. Kip Wheeler for non-profit, educational, and student use.  You
can find the original versions
[here](http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/chinese_poetry.html) (HTML)

2.1.1 Confucian Thought and Ideals   - Lecture: iTunes U: Suffolk University: Dr. Ronald Suleski’s “Confucius and Confucianism” Link: iTunes U: Suffolk University: Dr. Ronald Suleski’s “Confucius and Confucianism” (iTunes U)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to the title “Confucius and Confucianism,” and select the “View in iTunes” link for this lecture.  Please start the lecture at 8 minutes in.  Listen to Dr. Ronald Suleski discuss the historical background of Confucius and how his writings have impacted Chinese society for over 2000 years.  Dr. Suleski places Confucian beliefs within the context of Chinese culture and examines the philosophers who followed in the footsteps of Confucius and operated within the Confucian framework.  Listening to this lecture and taking notes should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Confucius’ “Selections from the Analects” Link: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Confucius’ “Selections from the Analects” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above to access excerpts from Confucius’ Analects, and read through all the selections on Jen, Junzi, Li, Yüeh, Learning and Teaching, Government, and Rectifying the Names This document describes the teachings and philosophy of Confucius, the Chinese social thinker who lived during the Warring States Period.  Written around 500 BCE, his Analects, focused on the basic Confucian tenets of propriety (li), righteousness/benevolence (ren), and loyalty and filial piety (xiao), as well as it had an enormous impact on Chinese philosophy and moral values.  As you read, think about the time in which Confucius wrote and the political and social instability of the era.  You should spend approximately 1 hour reading, taking-notes on, and studying this resource.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the linked page.

2.1.2 Heirs of Confucius   - Reading: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Xunzi’s Selections from Xunzi (c. 213 BCE) Link: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Xunzi’s Selections from Xunzi (c. 213 BCE) (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read all of the selections from Xunzi (c. 298-238 B.C.E.), who had a career as government administrator unlike Confucius and Mencius.  Believing that humans were inherently greedy, he called for the government to harshly discipline society and rigidly emphasized the Confucian principle of li or “propriety.”  Similar to other thinkers of the period, his followers collected his writings and beliefs after his death into the works presented here, meaning that Xunzi himself may not have written these passages.  
 
The reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1, specifically the section entitled “Mencius,” also covers the heirs of Confucius.  Mencius and Xunzi offered contrasting ideas about the motivations and essential nature of individuals while operating within the Confucian framework.  The lecture from Dr. Ronald Suleski in Subunit 2.1.1 also discusses the heirs of Confucius.  You may want to review these readings and lectures in conjunction with the reading from Xunzi in order to gain a broader comparative perspective on the work of Confucian scholars.
 
You should dedicate approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to reading the main text for this subunit, taking notes, and re-reading the lectures suggested above.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.3 Daoist/Taoist Alternatives   - Reading: Carson-Newman College: Dr. Kip Wheeler’s The Tao and Taoism Link: Carson-Newman College: Dr. Kip Wheeler’s The Tao and Taoism (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read the page titled “The Tao and Taoism” to
understand the early scholars and basic tenets of Daoism/Taoism. 
This material will discuss the religious and mystical aspects of
Daoism as well as its influence on later Chinese dynasties.  Click
on any embedded hyperlinks to explore associated content.  Studying
this resource and taking notes should take you approximately 1 hour
to complete.  

 Terms of Use: The above articles are hosted with permission by Dr.
L. Kip Wheeler for non-profit, educational, and student use.  You
can find the original versions
[here](http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/chinese_poetry.html) (HTML)
  • Reading: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Lao-Tzu, Dao De Jing/TaoTe Ching: Selections Link: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Dao De Jing/TaoTe Ching: Selections (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above to access the text, and carefully read all of the selections from the Dao De Jing, one of the foundational texts of Daoism.  If necessary, it may help to re-read the text to better understand the material.  This text was supposedly written by Lao-tzu—meaning “Old Master”—the keeper of the Imperial library during the Zhou dynasty.  Regardless of whether or not Lao-tzu was an actual person, his writings form the basis of Daoist philosophy.  The Tao-Te Ching, “the classic of the way of virtue,” is comprised of 81 short poems detailing the Tao, or “the way.”  According the Lao-tzu, the Tao is nameless, goes beyond distinctions, and even transcends language.
     
    Think about its philosophy in connection with the readings presented in Subunit 2.1.2, in particular with The Analects.  Compare how Daoism and Confucian thought developed in the midst of political and social turmoil and how Daoism both reacted and situated itself in opposition to Confucian principles.  

    You should dedicate approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to studying the text and comparing the text to Confucian thought.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2 Triumph of the Qin   2.2.1 Transformations   - Reading: Penn State University: Professor Gregory James Smits’ Topics in Pre-Modern Chinese History: “Chapter 2: Classical China” Link: Penn State University: Professor Gregory James Smits’ Topics in Pre-Modern Chinese History: “Chapter 2: Classical China” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link titled “The Qin Dynasty” on the left- hand side of the page to learn about the rise of the powerful Qin Dynasty under Shi Huangdi, who used the Legalist school of thought to bring about an end to the Warring States Period.  Note that this reading will cover the material you need to know for Subunits 2.2.2 through 2.2.4.  Some of the hyperlinks in the text are broken, but most links provide images and additional resources for exploring the rise and fall of the Qin Dynasty.  Reading this text, taking notes, and exploring any embedded hyperlinks should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the
webpage displayed above.

2.2.2 Legalism   - Reading: Penn State University: Professor Gregory James Smits’ Topics in Pre-Modern Chinese History: “Chapter 5: Legalism” Link: Penn State University: Professor Gregory James Smits’ Topics in Pre-Modern Chinese HistoryChapter 5: Legalism” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read all of the sections in this chapter in order to understand the Legalist school of thought.  Pay attention to the writings of Han Feizi, and describe how Qin Shihuang used Legalists tenets to unite China in the wake of the Warring States Period.  Some of the hyperlinks in the text are broken, but most links provide images and additional resources for exploring.  This reading should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the linked page.

2.2.3 Shi Huangdi, Emperor of China   - Reading: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Sima Qian’s The Legalist Polices of the Qin, Selections from The Records of the Grand Historian Link: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Sima Qian’s The Legalist Polices of the Qin, Selections from The Records of the Grand Historian (HTML)
                       
Instructions: Please read the excerpt in order to examine how historian Sima Qian describes a memorial proclaiming the accomplishments of Emperor Shi Huangdi.  Think about how his accomplishments reflect the basic tenets of Legalist philosophy.  Try to answer the questions for analysis at the end of the reading to test your knowledge.  Note that these selections are different from the ones provided in Subunit 1.1.3.  You should dedicate approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to reading and studying this text, as well as answering the questions at the end of the webpage.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the linked page.

2.2.4 Collapse of a Tyrannical Regime   Note: This topic is covered by the material assigned below subunit 2.2.1. Focus on the last three paragraphs of the section entitled “The Qin Dynasty” to understand how the harsh legalist policies of the dynasty ultimately led to its downfall.

2.3 The Han Dynasty and Foundations of China’s Classical Age   - Reading: The Ohio State University: Professor Mark Bender’s Module 2: Histories of East Asia: “Chinese History: Early Feudal Era: Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD)” Link: The Ohio State University: Professor Mark Bender’s Module 2: Histories of East Asia: “Chinese History: Early Feudal Era: Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above to access the Ohio State University website.  Then, in the table of contents on the left side of the webpage, click on the link entitled “Chinese History,” then click on “Early Feudal Era,” and finally click on “Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD).  Read this section on the Han Dynasty in its entirety.  The Han Dynasty, started by Liu Bang, brought about resurgence in Confucian principles in the wake of the harsh Legalist rule of the Qin.  The Han built on some of the fundamental Chinese social and cultural concepts developed by previous dynasties, especially the Zhou.  With the growth of foreign trade during this dynasty, the Chinese shaped their own theoretical worldview based on Confucian principles.  The Chinese viewed foreign tribes and peoples as uncivilized barbarians.  In contrast, Chinese culture was seen as the aspiration for all peoples.  Initially, the Chinese would bribe more powerful tribes, but over time, as dynasties became more powerful, the emperor would use military means and a tribute system to subordinate foreign tribes.  Please note that this resource covers the topics outlined in Subunits 2.3.1-2.3.3.  This reading should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the linked page.  
  
  • Lecture: iTunes U: Harrisburg Area Community College: Dr. Richard Moss’s “Week 9 –The Han Dynasty” Link: iTunes U: Harrisburg Area Community College: Dr. Richard Moss’s “Week 9 –The Han Dynasty” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Scroll down to the lecture titled “Week 9 – The Han Dynasty,” and click on the “View in iTunes” link to launch the lecture.  Please listen to this entire 25-minute lecture from Dr. Richard Moss to understand the political structure of the Han dynasty in comparison with that of other governmental structures in world history.  This global comparative perspective helps to place the rise of the Han in the context of world political history, with a special emphasis on the similarities between the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty. The lecture also discusses how the Han adopted ideas and philosophies from their predecessors, the Qin.  Listening to this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the linked page.

2.3.1 Trade Routes of the Silk Road   - Lecture: iTunes: The China History Podcast: Lazlo Montgomery’s “047 Adventurer Zhang Qian” Link: iTunes: The China History Podcast: Lazlo Montgomery’s “047 Adventurer Zhang Qian” (iTunes)
 
Instructions: Please scroll down the webpage to the “CHP-047 Adventurer Zhang Qian” lecture, and select the “View in iTunes” link to launch the lecture.  Please listen to the entire 28-minute lecture from Lazlo Montgomery, an amateur historian who hosts the “China History Podcast” series.  This lecture discusses the exploits of Zhang Qian, an envoy of emperor Han Wudi who embarked on a 13-year journey from the capital of Chang’an to the western borderlands of the Xiongnu and Yuezhi.  His trek represents the beginnings of the Silk Road as many merchants would follow in his footsteps to the frontier of Han territory, ultimately helping to create new networks of commerce and transportation in Eurasia.  His missions to the “barbarian” peoples on the borders of the Han Dynasty reflect the larger focus on the expanding role of foreign relations in China.  By sending Zhang to make contact with these peoples, the emperor could incorporate them into the Chinese world order.  Listening to this lecture and taking notes should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Harrisburg Area Community College: Dr. Richard Moss’s “Week 8 – The Silk Road” Link: iTunes U: Harrisburg Area Community College: Dr. Richard Moss’s “Week 8 – The Silk Road” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Scroll down to the lecture titled “Week 8 – The Silk Road,” and click on the “View in iTunes” link to launch the lecture.  Please listen to this entire 15-minute lecture from Dr. Richard Moss to explore one of the major economic and commercial aspects of the Han Dynasty: the Silk Road, so-named for the valuable Chinese commodity of silk.  Using a comparative perspective, this podcast explores the rise of caravan cities, the goods exchanged along the way, and the connections established by the trade routes of the Silk Road, ultimately connecting China and Eurasia. Listening to this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the linked page.

2.3.2 Interlude of Wang Mang (9 CE - 23 CE)   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 2.3.  Focus specifically on the sixth through eighth paragraphs to examine the brief rule of the usurper Wang Mang, whose failed reform policies brought the Han Dynasty back into power.

2.3.3 The Later Han, Imperial Collapse, and the Three Kingdoms   - Lecture: iTunes: The China History Podcast: Lazlo Montgomery’s “022 The Three Kingdoms, the Jin Dynasty and the Sixteen Kingdoms” Link: iTunes: The China History Podcast: Lazlo Montgomery’s “022 The Three Kingdoms, the Jin Dynasty and the Sixteen Kingdoms” (iTunes)
 
Instructions: Please scroll down the webpage to the “CHP-022 The Three Kingdoms, the Jin Dynasty and the Sixteen Kingdoms” lecture, and select the “View in iTunes” link to launch the lecture.  Please listen to the entire 35-minute lecture from Lazlo Montgomery, an amateur historian who hosts the “China History Podcast” series.  This lecture discusses the history of the Three Kingdoms Period and the 13th-century Chinese novel that is based on this time of warfare and disunity in China.  Listening to this lecture and taking notes should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Ohio State University: Professor Mark Bender’s Module 2: Histories of East Asia: “Chinese History: Period of Disunion and Alien Empires (220-581 AD)” Link: The Ohio State University: Professor Mark Bender’s Module 2: Histories of East Asia: “Chinese History: Period of Disunion and Alien Empires (220-581 AD)” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above to access the Ohio State University website.  Then, in the table of contents on the left side of the webpage, click on the link entitled “Chinese History,” then click on “Early Feudal Era,” and finally click on “Period of Disunion and Alien Empires (220-581 AD).”  Read this entire section on the late Han Dynasty to examine how internal and external forces worked to bring an end to Han rule in China and led to a power vacuum in the region.  In the wake of the collapse of the Middle Kingdom, smaller areas of political power arose, most notably the Three Kingdoms (Wu, Wei, and Shu).  This topic is also covered by the reading assigned below subunit 2.3.  Focus specifically on the last (or ninth) paragraph of the section.  This reading should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the linked page.

2.4 Han Society and Culture   2.4.1 Class and Gender Roles in Han Society   - Reading: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Ban Zhao’s Lessons for a Woman Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Ban Zhao’s Lessons for a Woman Link: Fordham University’s East Asian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Ban Zhao’s Lessons for a Woman (HTML)
                       
Instructions: Please read the excerpts from the Confucian scholar, Ban Zhao and try to answer the questions presented at the end of the reading. How does Ban Zhao’s philosophy of gender relations fit with what you have already learned about the role of Confucian order in Chinese society during the Han Dynasty?  This reading and these questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
           
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the linked page.

2.4.2 The Arts and Material Culture of the Han   - Lecture: The Saylor Foundation’s “Han Art and Material Culture” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Han Art and Material Culture” (PPT)
           
Instructions: Examine the images in the PowerPoint file and read the summaries of the different art and architectural forms, noting the types of materials used, the forms of the pieces and the ways in which they are decorated. As you study this lecture, consider the following questions:
 
1. What, if any, differences can you identify between the pieces shown in the images here and those you examined in subunit 1.2.5?
 
2. What purpose did funerary art serve and what information about Han society can we learn from it?
 
3. Why are the tomb models so useful in teaching us about Han architecture?

 Make sure to also read the notes below the slides. If you find
reading these notes in the PowerPoint difficult, you may also view
them
[here](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/HIST241_2.4.2_HanArtandMaterialCulture.pdf) (PDF).  

 Reading the text, examining the images and answering the questions
should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/).  It has
been adapted from content from Wikipedia and Boundless.  Further
information can be found in the comments of the PowerPoint.