Chinese Spring & Autumn Period (Shang andZhou Dynasties): Significance of Sun Tzu & His Book “TheArt of War” As we know it today,China has been one of the most successful countries in the world, early Chinais much different from what we know to be the Republic of China. Beforebecoming one massive country, China was divided into many kingdoms between twovery significant rivers, the Yellow and Yangtze rivers.
Today, historiansconclude that they have been able to uncover facts about the Chinese dynastiesto as early as 1700 B.C. Artifacts,bronze weapons, and written records show the successes of an era known as theShang and Zhou dynasty.The Shang Dynasty,known to be the longest dynasty in the history of China, was ruled by 31 Emperorsand Kings.
Every king was portrayed as more than just a ceremonial official,but rather a religious icon, they served as a connection between their people andto the spirit world. The people created the idea of the mandate of heavenwhich would also be adopted by many dynasties. The mandate of heaven explainsthat the heavens give the power to the kings to keep successful rule over thesociety, if it is done in the way of pleasing the gods and protecting the interestsof the nation and its people. This Dynasty waslargely agricultural, most of the population had participated in farming,people often were called upon to participate in wars or to construct largescale projects.
This meant that land lords were very influential, however toavoid any conflicts of interests among the land lords with government, the kinghimself appointed only family or close relatives to govern such lands. At around1500 BC, the people had been known for their large-scale production of bronzeweapons and vessels, with the increase in bronze production, the military waswell equipped with sufficient weaponry. This Dynasty had many contributions to Chinese civilization, but four define this dynasty: the introduction of bronze weapons in warfare, the development of a hierarchy government, the innovation of bronze technology, and the development of writing, Firstly, This Dynasty existed during China’s bronze age, throughoutthis time, bronze signified authority and capital.
Only individuals with any influencewithin the kingdom had access to bronze. The Shang perfectedthe skill of designing, forging, and mastered complicated practises that involvedcreating specialized weaponry and vessels.Secondly, the Shang political system was prearranged into a hierarchysystem, meaning that it had many levels of jobs and social class. Theinvention of writing had a profound effect on the Shang government and its capabilityto rule. It amplified the government’s ability to organize on a substantiallevel, whether it be to oversee an administration, organize the mining of largequantities of bronze, construct city walls, or to wage large militarycampaigns.
Lastly, Historians havedemonstrated that this Dynast have already developed the principles of modernwriting techniques. In fact, Chinese literature has undergone relatively limitedamounts of change since it was first developed. Documents were initially notedon strips of silk and bamboo that have since been decomposed. After numerous years of ruling, the Shangdynasty was overthrown by an influential power known as the Zhou dynasty.
TheZhou Dynasty incorporated the same system of the previous dynasties, howeverchanges were made. It continued to practice the Shang’s scheme of dividing thekingdom into sub-states. But if the gods were dissatisfied with the king,the mandate would be taken away from him, thus having him overthrown andreplaced by a new ruler. The concept of the mandate had definitively become thestructure of Chinese tradition. The Zhou hadconstructed numerous laws for it’s society to keep a strong government. Thisenabled them to begin agricultural production and the use of iron.
Overtime,the Zhou Dynasty become corrupt and avaricious.