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Home China History China Ancient History China Dynasties Eastern Zhou Dynasty


Eastern Zhou Dynasty


After King Youwang of Western Zhou Dynasty was killed by Chuan Rong Rite, his heir King Ping for avoiding the disruption moved capital to Luoyi (today's Luoyang City of Henan Province), which symbolized the foundation of Eastern Zhou Dynasty. However, the Zhou's power and influence gradually wane. King was unable to control his dependent kingdoms or states any longer though he still retained the position as the nominal overlord of Zhou Dynasty. Actually, China in Eastern Zhou Dynasty was in the turbulence due to the economic and power imbalance. The stronger states always wanted to get more land and vassals via declaring wars on the weaker states. Annexation Wars were easily found. Even some local state kings dared to question the weight and size of Ding (conventionally seen as the representative of power and superiority of top leader) to Overlord of Zhou. In Chinese historian's viewpoints, the wars or battles in this period were hard to judge or comment, because none of them was for justice. From the beginning of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty to the first unification by the Qin, China was plagued by interior wars and lasting conflict. Historically, this period is generally comprised of the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC- 476BC) and the Warring States Period (476BC- 221BC).

Thanks to the weakness of Zhou Dynasty, on the one hand, it enhanced the extension of governmental education to the folk society, and more and more famous left the capital and acted as a recluse lived on teaching the folk people. It was an important source that why later a large number of ideological schools and saints appeared. On the other hand, every regional lord competed in building strong and loyal armies and ensuring an advantage over rivals in the struggle for survival among warring regional wars in terms of economic production. Kingdom rulers sought the advice of teachers and strategists. Apart from teaching their disciples, thinkers and intellectuals were employed as advisors of various kingdom rulers concerning methods of government, war and diplomacy procedures. This fueled intensive activities and debates in the intellectual and ideological system. The five most influential schools of thought that evolved during this period were Confucianism, Taoism (Daoism), Mohism, legalism and militarism. This was a turbulent time in security and stability of society but also a boom period that a mass of great sages appeared. It was a vital time for Chinese civilization and greatly promoted the accomplishment of maturity of Chinese culture. It was the time performing wisdom and intelligence, and Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism, Legalism and Militarism, Yin and Yang School and other schools all showed their infinite charm and strength in this time.





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