Monday, October 8, 2012

Unity in Ancient China

 Early Chinese history began rocky as it was composed of multiple city states
united by small factors such as a common language, however the main factor that 
united them was their belief in divine rule in which a government being 
overthrown was justified by the gods not seeing it fit for the current ruler to 
retain his power. I find it interesting that the early Chinese were able to stay 
unified as disruptions such as these would ruin a modern day country


wkuehne said...

There seems to be a common theme of smaller city states inciting new golden ages- the greeks, the Italian Renaisance, and now the Chinese have all exhibited their best works in the arts when they were compromised of smaller states. Maybe I'm just trying to come up with a conspiracy theory, but I think out founding fathers saw this theme which is why the U.S is comprised of smaller states governed by a larger body. This incites competition but also allows for overriding regulations and sense of commonality.

Austin Falk said...

This is a very interesting point. Literature seems to have played a much more important role in building the backbone of these societies than people would think. The Romans modeled their society off of the Greeks whose society started as Will and Tejas said as a bunch of city states. Literature (Greek plays) was what unified them. Romans saw the Greeks successful method and copied off of it. We again see another successful society in China that was unified through literature. It seems as if all of the strong societies today started off as individual city states or (states in the USA's case) that later became unified.

Ben Bonner said...

I like what Austin is getting at. First of all, the Chinese people don't share a common language; the pictoral system they use for writing was put in place because it allowed all languages and dialects to be written the same way. Also culture varies to an extent within China, particularly with the introduction of Islam in Western China. I think there are two main "glues" that have held China together throughout history. The first being its retention of a largely autocratic government and the second being a common philosophy running through Chinese society. Because Confucianism isn't a religion per se, it can stretch across ethnic and religious boundaries, while at the same time providing a sort of cultural unity.