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Western Zhou Dynasty

Western Zhou Dynasty as the front section of Zhou Dynasty existed roughly 300 years. In the 11th century BC, King Wu of the Zhou conquered the Shang Dynasty (The last King of Shang was said to be a brutal and inhumane ruler who died at last of committing suicide by fire) and established the Western Zhou Dynasty, selecting the capital in Hao (approximately Xi'an City in Shaanxi Province). In 770, King Pingwang of Zhou moved capital to Luo Yi (today's Luoyang City in Henan Province), from then on, Eastern Zhou Dynasty came out.

Western Zhou Dynasty initially was a subsidiary tribe or state to Shang Dynasty (the 17th centuryBC-the11th century BC). In the light of the legend, the forefather of the Zhou tribe was Di Ku (one of Three Kings and Five Emperors in primitive China, who are usually considered as the earliest ancestors of Chinese people). Later, the Zhou got strong and extended its power during the reign of King Wen and King Wu. King Wu launched an attack on Muye, overthrew the Shang Dynasty and finally founded the Zhou Dynasty, which historically is known as the Western Zhou Dynasty.

Western Zhou Dynasty was an important period for the finalization of many Chinese late traditions shown in many aspects such as. Chinese earliest educational system formed in this time, besides it was the governmental educations. In the fields of agriculture, economy, religion, education and art, Zhou Dynasty also made an extraordinary progress. Especially the form and flourish of Rite did a great dedication to the development of Chinese ancient civilization. Bronze metallurgy continued to develop, but drinking vessels commonly seen in the Shang gradually vanished. The oracle-bone divination method was still popular in the Zhou. Unearthed oracle bones, which date back as far as King Wen, are similar to those of the Shang in shape and material. Oracle bones were actually a vital part of Chinese written civilization and assisted Chinese people a lot in understanding their own history. Oracle bones originally were used to record the results of divination, which was extremely popularized in different dynasties or kingdoms before they were about to do something unusual.

Up to the end of Western Zhou Dynasty, owing to the intension of interior conflicts and the outer atmosphere both became sharper. Particularly, the massive land and superiorities were seized by upper class or autocratic kings. In 771BC, King Youwang was killed by external invasion of Quan Rong Tribe, which proclaimed the collapse of Western Zhou Dynasty.

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