Zhou Dynasty

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1122 BCE - 256 BCE

The Chinese civilization expanded during the time of the Zhou dynasty.  The massive size that the dynasty covered was too much for the Zhou leaders to handle due to the poor means of communication.  Because of this, the leaders decided to appoint people to oversee each of the territories.  The territories started off as walled off cities.  The leader of each of the territories were the lords, each receiving the title through inheritance.  Next in the hierarchy were the fighting men, followed by the peasants and the domestic slaves.  Soon, these territories became more independent, eventually breaking away from the main Zhou dynasty leaders.

The Zhou society was based on agricultural production.  During that time, the land of the lords was divided among the peasants to grow crops.  They were divided up into three by three squares, with the eight outer squares being worked on by the peasants.  The center tract of land was worked on by all eight of the peasants for the lord.  The extent of this type of land distribution was unclear, but the later dynasties believed that this was the most equitable way of dealing with land distribution and use.

The religious practice of the Zhou empire reflected their hierarchical way of life.  The Zhou kings believed that they were given a mandate from heaven to rule.  The kings prayed and sacrificed to Shang Ti, the Lord on High, now called T'ien (Heaven), and to their ancestors.The lords of the territories prayed to the local nature gods and to the gods of agriculture in addition to their ancestors.  If any sacrifices or prayers were missed, great ill was predicted to fall on the territory or kingdom of the neglectful leader.



Last editedXalheart edit at 2010-04-30 10:00:01
Khappy & Zhou Yu Best Friendz Forever Live Forever In Kingory! =]

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