A History of China

Cosimo, Inc., 2005 M11 1 - 380 páginas
The lives of emperors, the great battles, this or the other famous deed, matter less to us than the discovery of the great forces that underlie these features and govern the human element. Only when we have knowledge of those forces and counter-forces can we realize the significance of the great personalities who have emerged in China... -from the Introduction A radical new look at the history of the nation that may well shape the course of the 21st century, this significant exploration of China's past breaks with scholarly traditions to approach its subject with a fresh eye, one that relies less on romanticized mythologies of godlike emperors and more on modern archaeological discoveries and new, fluid theories of ethnography and anthropology. First published in 1950, A History of China is still one of the best sources for understanding the culture and peoples who today are increasingly influencing global society. WOLFRAM EBERHARD (1909-1989) was born in Germany traveled extensively in Asia; from 1948 to 1976, he was a professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. Among his many works examining Chinese folklore, fiction, culture, and history are A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols and China's Minorities: Yesterday and Today.

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Página 47 - The more the people are forbidden to do this and that, the poorer they will be. The more sharp weapons the people possess, the more will darkness and bewilderment spread through the land. The more craft and cunning men have, the more useless and pernicious contraptions will they invent.
Página 97 - During the period of Wang Mang's rule and the fighting connected with it, there had been extensive migration to the south and south-west. Considerable regions of Chinese settlement had come into existence in Yunnan and even in Annam and Tongking, and a series of campaigns under General Ma Yuan (14 BC-AD 49) now added these regions to the territory of the empire.
Página 54 - ... not to him as a person. This development was favoured by the spread of money. In time land in general became an asset with a market value and could be bought and sold. Another important change can be seen from this time on. Under the feudal system of the Chou strict primogeniture among the nobility existed : the fief went to the oldest son by the main wife. The younger sons were given independent pieces of land with its inhabitants as new, secondary fiefs. With the increase in population there...
Página 232 - During the 631 years from 1280 to 1911, China was under alien rulers for 355 years. The alien rulers were first the Mongols, and later the Tungus Manchus. When the Mongols and Manchus conquered China they had already to a considerable extent adopted the culture of the Chinese. Thus though they dominated the Chinese politically, the Chinese dominated them culturally. Therefore they did not create a marked break or change in the continuity and unity of...
Página 31 - According to Eberhard, under Western Chou the imperial central power was established allegedly over a thousand feudal states. These states often consisted of a small garrison only, sometimes a larger one, with the former chietain acting as feudal lord over it. Eberhard continues: "Around these garrisons the old population lived on, in the north the Shang population, farther east and south various other peoples and cultures. The conquerors' garrisons were like islands in a sea. Most of them formed...
Página 30 - ... p. 24. Eberhard says that Marxist scholars tend to call feudal any society in which a class of landowners, who at the same time also exercised political power, controlled a class of farmers and often a class of slaves. EBERHARD 1977, p. 24. On feudalism during the early Chou period, Eberhard states: "We find in the early Chou time the typical signs of true feudalism: fiefs were given in a ceremony in which symbolically a piece of earth was handed over to the new fiefholder, and his instalment,...
Página 296 - China. to work at once with all her energy to emulate Western industrialization, the ruling class in China had shown a marked repugnance to any modernization; and the centre of this conservatism was the dowager empress Tzu Hsi. She was a woman of strong personality, but too...
Página 96 - The massacres of the preceding years had so reduced the population that there was land enough for the peasants who remained alive. Moreover, their lords and the moneylenders of the towns were generally no longer alive, so that many peasants had become free of debt.
Página 134 - The missionary monks who came from abroad with the foreign merchants found little approval among the Chinese gentry. They were regarded as second-rate persons belonging, according to Chinese notions, to an inferior social class. Thus the monks had to turn to the middle and lower classes in China.
Página 152 - Nanking. Countless members of the Chinese gentry had fled from the Huns at that time and had come into the southern empire. They had not done so out of loyalty to the Chinese dynasty or out of national feeling, but because they saw little prospect of attaining rank and influence at the courts of the alien rulers, and because it was to be feared that the aliens would turn the fields into...

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