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There was one chair for the teacher, but the boys all sat on stools. You learned how to read and write.

The Ancient Chinese World by Terry Kleeman

Then you memorized page after page of Confucian philosophy and learned to write essays and poetry, and how to paint pictures. Very smart boys could try to pass a special test to get into special gifted programs. Otherwise, you stayed at this school until you were sixteen or seventeen, when you were ready for the first examinations.

Starting about AD , some boys and girls got an education in a different way, in the new Buddhist monasteries that Buddhist people were starting. Here children also learned how to read and write, but they did not learn painting or poetry; instead they learned Buddhist ideas. By the time of the Ming Dynasty , beginning about AD , many rich women did learn to read and write at home.

Some rich women wrote poetry and exchanged poems with their husbands. Did you learn what you wanted to know about education in ancient China? Let us know in the comments!

Hi, am Hillary Mukunda from Kenya, congradulations its a good source for Chinese Education history keep it up. Thank you, Hillary! Did their mother teach them or did they not get taught at all??? Please get back to me ASAP. Also great website. Their mothers taught them how to spin and weave, and how to take care of silkworms. The empire existed only briefly from to B. The Ming Dynasty ruled China from to A. Known for its trade expansion to the outside world that established cultural ties with the West, the Ming Dynasty is also remembered for its drama, literature and world-renowned The Shang Dynasty is the earliest ruling dynasty of China to be established in recorded history, though other dynasties predated it.

The Shang ruled from to B. They were known for their advances in math, astronomy, artwork and The Qing Dynasty was the final imperial dynasty in China, lasting from to It was an era noted for its initial prosperity and tumultuous final years, and for being only the second time that China was not ruled by the Han people. In , peasants digging a well near the city of Xian, in Shaanxi province, China, stumbled upon a cache of life-size, terracotta figures of soldiers at what was later determined to be the burial complex of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang B.

He was the first Mongol to rule over China when he conquered the Song Dynasty of southern China in Kublai also spelled Kubla or Khubilai relegated his Chinese subjects The Taiping Rebellion was a revolt against the Qing dynasty in China, fought with religious conviction over regional economic conditions, and lasting from to The Taiping forces were run as a cult-like group called the God Worshipping Society by self-proclaimed prophet It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.

Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

History of science and technology in China

This Day In History. Confucian Revival Confucianism gained popularity among Han royalty around B. Silk Road In B. Innovations in Writing Around the same time, Xu Shen compiled the first Chinese dictionary, which included Han era characters as well as those from the Zhou and Shang periods. Han Dynasty Timeline: B. Ascending the Chinese Throne. Building the Great Wall. Attaining Immortality.

Shang Dynasty The Shang Dynasty is the earliest ruling dynasty of China to be established in recorded history, though other dynasties predated it. Xian Tombs of Qin Dynasty In , peasants digging a well near the city of Xian, in Shaanxi province, China, stumbled upon a cache of life-size, terracotta figures of soldiers at what was later determined to be the burial complex of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang B.


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Taiping Rebellion The Taiping Rebellion was a revolt against the Qing dynasty in China, fought with religious conviction over regional economic conditions, and lasting from to Shi Huangdi also expanded the boundaries of his empire, built the Grand Canal in the south, redistributed land and, initially, was a fair and just ruler.

While he made great strides in building projects and military campaigns, his rule became increasingly characterized by a heavy hand in domestic policy. Claiming the Mandate from Heaven, he suppressed all philosophies save the Legalism which had been developed by Shang Yang and, heeding the counsel of his chief advisor, Li Siu, he ordered the destruction of any history or philosophy books which did not correspond to Legalism, his family line, the state of Qin, or himself.

Since books were then written on strips of bamboo fastened with swivel pins, and a volume might be of some weight, the scholars who sought to evade the order were put to many difficulties. A number of them were detected; tradition says that many of them were sent to labor on the Great Wall, and that four hundred and sixty were put to death. Nevertheless some of the literati memorized the complete works of Confucius and passed them on by word of mouth to equal memories.

Durant, The ancestor worship of the past and the land of the dead began to interest the emperor more than his realm of the living and Shi Huangdi became increasingly engrossed in what this other world consisted of and how he might avoid traveling there. He seems to have developed an obsession with death, became increasingly paranoid regarding his personal safety, and ardently sought after immortality.

His desire to provide for himself an afterlife commensurate with his present one led him to commission a palace built for his tomb and an army of over 8, terracotta warriors created to serve him in eternity. This ceramic army, buried with him, also included terracotta chariots, cavalry, a commander in chief, and assorted birds and animals. He is said to have died while on a quest for an elixir of immortality and Li Siu, hoping to gain control of the government, kept his death a secret until he could alter his will to name his pliable son, Hu-Hai, as heir.

This plan proved untenable, however, as the young prince showed himself to be quite unstable, executing many, and initiating a widespread rebellion in the land. With the fall of the Qin Dynasty, China was plunged into chaos. Two generals emerged among the forces which rebelled against the Qin: Liu-Bang of Hanzhong and General Xiang-Yu of the state of Chu, who fought for control of the government.

The two former allies quickly became antagonists, however, in the power struggle known as the Chu-Han contention until Xiang-Yu negotiated the Treaty of Hong Canal and brought a temporary peace. Xiang-Yu suggested dividing China under the rule of the Chu in the east and the Han in the west, but Liu-Bang wanted a united China under Han rule and, breaking the treaty, resumed hostilities.

source url Xiang-Yu committed suicide but his family was allowed to live and even serve in government positions. The new emperor Gaozu treated all of his former adversaries with respect and united the land under his rule. He pushed back the nomadic Xiongnu tribes, who had been making incursions into China, and made peace with the other states which had risen in rebellion against the failing Qin Dynasty.

The resultant peace initiated by Gaozu brought the stability necessary for culture to again thrive and grow. Trade with the west began during this time and arts and technology increased in sophistication.


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  6. The Han are considered the first dynasty to write their history down but, as Shi Huangdi destroyed so many of the written records of those who came before him, this claim is often disputed. There is no doubt, however, that great advances were made under the Han in every area of culture.

    Gunpowder, which the Chinese had already invented, became more refined. Paper was invented at this time and writing became more sophisticated. Gaozu embraced Confucianism and made it the exclusive philosophy of the government, setting a pattern which would continue on to the present day. Even so, unlike Shi Huangdi, he practiced tolerance for all other philosophies and, as a result, literature and education flourished under his reign. He reduced taxes and disbanded his army who, nevertheless, rallied without delay when called upon.

    These programmes maintained stability and culture enabling the greatest of the Han emperors, Wu Ti also known as Han Wu the Great, 87 BCE , to embark on his enterprises of expansion, public works, and cultural initiatives. Confucianism was further incorporated as the official doctrine of the government and Wu Ti established schools throughout the empire to foster literacy and teach Confucian precepts.

    He also reformed transportation, roads, and trade and decreed many other public projects, employing millions as state workers in these undertakings. After Wu Ti, his successors, more or less, maintained his vision for China and enjoyed equal success. Increase in wealth led to the rise of large estates and general prosperity but, for the peasants who worked the land, life became increasingly difficult.

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    In 9 CE, the acting regent, Wang Mang, usurped control of the government claiming the Mandate of Heaven for himself and declaring an end to the Han Dynasty. Wang Mang founded the Xin Dynasty CE on a platform of extensive land reform and redistribution of wealth. He initially had enormous support from the peasant population and was opposed by the landowners. His programs, however, were poorly conceived and executed resulting in widespread unemployment and resentment.

    The rise of the Xin Dynasty ended the period known as Western Han and its demise led to the establishment of the Eastern Han period. Emperor Guang-Wu returned the lands to the wealthy estate owners and restored order in the land, maintaining the policies of the earlier Western Han rulers. Guang-Wu, in reclaiming lands lost under the Xin Dynasty, was forced to spend much of his time putting down rebellions and re-establishing Chinese rule in the regions of modern-day Korea and Vietnam. Even so, the emperor consolidated his rule and even expanded his boundaries, providing stability which gave rise to an increase in trade and prosperity.

    By the time of Emperor Zhang CE , China was so prosperous that it was partners in trade with all the major nations of the day and continued in this way after his death. Disputes between the landed gentry and the peasants, however, continued to cause problems for the government as exemplified in the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion both in CE. While the Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion began as a religious conflict, it involved a large number of the peasant class at odds with the Confucian ideals of the government and the elite.

    The power of the government to control the people began to disintegrate until full-scale rebellion erupted. The rebel generals Cao Cao and Yuan-Shao then fought each other for control of the land with Cao Cao emerging victorious. The Han Dynasty was now a memory and other, shorter-lived dynasties such as the Wei and Jin, the Wu Hu, and the Sui assumed control of the government and initiated their own platforms from roughly CE.

    The importance of the Sui Dynasty is in its implementation of highly efficient bureaucracy which streamlined the operation of government and led to greater ease in maintaining the empire. Under the Emperor Wen, and then his son, Yang, the Grand Canal was constructed, the Great Wall was enlarged and portions rebuilt, the army was increased to the largest recorded in the world at that time, and coinage was standardized across the realm. Unfortunately, both Wen and Yang were not content with domestic stability and organized massive expeditions against the Korean peninsula.

    Gao-Tzu prudently maintained and improved upon the bureaucracy initiated by the Sui Dynasty while dispensing with extravagant military operations and building projects. With minor modifications, the bureaucratic policies of the Tang Dynasty are still in use in Chinese government in the modern day. Having assassinated his father, Li-Shimin then killed his brothers and others of the noble house and assumed the title Emperor Taizong.

    After the bloody coup, however, Taizong decreed that Buddhist temples be built at the sites of the battles and that the fallen should be memorialized. Continuing, and building upon, the concepts of ancestor worship and the Mandate of Heaven, Taizong claimed divine will in his actions and intimated that those he had killed were now his counselors in the afterlife.