China: A Short Cultural History

By C. P. Fitzgerald; C. G. Seligman | Go to book overview

Chapter III
THE FEUDAL AGE, 841-221 B.C.

WHEN in the 9th century B.C. authentic dated records replaced misty traditions the Chinese confederacy was organised as a strictly feudal society. The Kings of the Chou royal dynasty, if they had ever exercised the paramount authority which tradition attributed to the founders of their house, had ceased to have more than a formal primacy over the princes of the feudal states. They were in no sense emperors such as the rulers of China in later times. The term "Emperor," in Chinese Huang Ti, should not be applied to the sovereigns of the feudal period, for this title was only adopted by the first ruler of the dynasty that succeeded the Chou, and it was only then, when feudalism was destroyed, that the Chinese confederacy was converted into a centralised state. In the Chou period the King was known as the Son of Heaven (a title retained by the later emperors), and until the last days of feudalism none but the Chou Son of Heaven might legitimately bear the title of King (Wang).

In the middle of the 8th century, the Chinese feudal system, however, was already verging on decay. The authority of the Chou Kings had been shattered in 770 B.C. by a catastrophe which had transferred real power to the rulers of the larger feudal states. In that year the Ch'uan Jung, probably a nomad people from the northern steppes, had taken and sacked the royal capital, a city near the modern Sianfu, in Shensi province. The Chou Kings, forced to abandon the homeland of their house, established themselves at Lo Yang in Honan province, not far from the Yellow River. The absence of dated and detailed records of the earlier years of the dynasty is very probably due to the destruction of such records when the old capital fell.

The period following this migration, from 722-481 B.C., is known as the Ch'un Ch'iu period, from the historical work of that name, the "Spring and Autumn Annals" which was the first accurate chronological history written in China. This work is a chronicle of the feudal state of Lu, of which Confucius was a native. Chinese orthodox tradition assigns the authorship of the

-53-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
China: A Short Cultural History
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 618

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.