The Shang dynasty or Yin dynasty, according to traditional historiography, ruled in the Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, succeeding the Xia dynasty and followed by the Zhou dynasty. The classic account of the Shang comes from texts such as the Book of Documents, Bamboo Annals and Records of the Grand Historian. According to the traditional chronology based on calculations made 2,000 years ago by Liu Xin, the Shang ruled from 1766 to 1122 BC, but according to the chronology based upon the "current text" of Bamboo Annals, they ruled from 1556 to 1046 BC; the Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project dated them from c. 1600 to 1046 BC. The Shang dynasty is the earliest dynasty of traditional Chinese history supported by archaeological evidence. Excavation at the Ruins of Yin, identified as the last Shang capital, uncovered eleven major royal tombs and the foundations of palaces and ritual sites, containing weapons of war and remains from both animal and human sacrifices. Tens of thousands of bronze, stone and ceramic artifacts have been found.
The Anyang site has yielded the earliest known body of Chinese writing divinations inscribed on oracle bones – turtle shells, ox scapulae, or other bones. More than 20,000 were discovered in the initial scientific excavations during the 1920s and 1930s, over four times as many have been found since; the inscriptions provide critical insight into many topics from the politics and religious practices to the art and medicine of this early stage of Chinese civilization. Many events concerning the Shang dynasty are mentioned in various Chinese classics, including the Book of Documents, the Mencius and the Zuo Zhuan. Working from all the available documents, the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian assembled a sequential account of the Shang dynasty as part of his Records of the Grand Historian, his history describes some events in detail. A related, but different, account is given by the Bamboo Annals; the Annals were interred in 296 BC, but the text has a complex history and the authenticity of the surviving versions is controversial.
The name Yīn is used by Sima Qian for the dynasty, in the "current text" version of the Bamboo Annals for both the dynasty and its final capital. It has been a popular name for the Shang throughout history. Since the Records of Emperors and Kings by Huangfu Mi, it has been used to describe the half of the Shang dynasty. In Japan and Korea, the Shang are still referred to exclusively as the Yin dynasty; however it seems to have been a Zhou name for the earlier dynasty. The word does not appear in the oracle bones, which refer to the state as Shāng, the capital as Dàyì Shāng, it does not appear in securely-dated Western Zhou bronze inscriptions. Sima Qian's Annals of the Yin begins by describing the predynastic founder of the Shang lineage, Xie — appearing as Qi — as having been miraculously conceived when Jiandi, a wife of Emperor Ku, swallowed an egg dropped by a black bird. Xie is said to have helped Yu the Great to control the Great Flood and for his service to have been granted a place called Shang as a fief.
Sima Qian relates that the dynasty itself was founded 13 generations when Xie's descendant Tang overthrew the impious and cruel final Xia ruler in the Battle of Mingtiao. The Records recount events from the reigns of Tang, Tai Jia, Tai Wu, Pan Geng, Wu Ding, Wu Yi and the depraved final king Di Xin, but the rest of the Shang rulers are mentioned by name. According to the Records, the Shang moved their capital five times, with the final move to Yin in the reign of Pan Geng inaugurating the golden age of the dynasty. Di Xin, the last Shang king, is said to have committed suicide after his army was defeated by Wu of Zhou. Legends say that his army and his equipped slaves betrayed him by joining the Zhou rebels in the decisive Battle of Muye. According to the Yi Zhou Shu and Mencius the battle was bloody; the classic, Ming-era novel Fengshen Yanyi retells the story of the war between Shang and Zhou as a conflict where rival factions of gods supported different sides in the war. After the Shang were defeated, King Wu allowed Di Xin's son Wu Geng to rule the Shang as a vassal kingdom.
However, Zhou Wu sent an army to ensure that Wu Geng would not rebel. After Zhou Wu's death, the Shang joined the Rebellion of the Three Guards against the Duke of Zhou, but the rebellion collapsed after three years, leaving Zhou in control of Shang territory. After Shang's collapse, Zhou's rulers forcibly relocated "Yin diehards" and scattered them throughout Zhou territory; some surviving members of the Shang royal family collectively changed their surname from the ancestral name Zi to the name of their fallen dynasty, Yin. The family retained an aristocratic standing and provided needed administrative services to the succeeding Zhou dynasty; the Records of the Grand Historian states that King Cheng of Zhou, with the support of his regent and uncle, the Duke of Zhou, enfeoffed Weiziqi, a brother of Di Xin, as the Duke of Song, with its capital at Shangqiu. This practice was known as 二王三恪; the Dukes of Song would maintain rites honoring the Shang kings until Qi conquered Song in 286 BC. Confucius was a descendant of the Shang Kings through the Dukes of Song.
The Eastern Han dynasty bestowed the title of Duke of Song and "Duke Who Continues and Honours the Yin" upon Kong An because he was part of the Shang dynasty's legacy. This branch of the Confucius family is a separa
Mongol invasions of Japan
The Mongol invasions of Japan, which took place in 1274 and 1281, were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese archipelago after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. A failure, the invasion attempts are of macro-historical importance because they set a limit on Mongol expansion and rank as nation-defining events in the history of Japan; the Mongol invasions are considered a precursor to early modern warfare. One of the most notable technological innovations during the war was the use of explosive, hand-thrown bombs; the invasions are referred to in many works of fiction, are the earliest events for which the word kamikaze is used, originating in reference to the two typhoons faced by the Mongol fleets. After a series of Mongol invasions of Korea between 1231 and 1281, Goryeo signed a treaty in favor of the Mongols and became a vassal state. Kublai was declared Khagan of the Mongol Empire in 1260 and established his capital at Khanbaliq in 1264. Japan at the time was ruled by the Shikken of the Hōjō clan, who had intermarried with and wrested control from Minamoto no Yoriie, shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate, after his death in 1203.
The inner circle of the Hōjō clan had become so preeminent that they no longer consulted the council of the shogunate, the Imperial Court of Kyoto, or their gokenin vassals, made their decisions at private meetings in their residences. The Mongols made attempts to subjugate the native peoples of Sakhalin—the Ainu and Nivkh peoples—from 1260 to 1308. In 1266, Kublai Khan dispatched emissaries to Japan with a letter saying: Cherished by the Mandate of Heaven, the Great Mongol emperor sends this letter to the king of Japan; the sovereigns of small countries, sharing borders with each other, have for a long time been concerned to communicate with each other and become friendly. Since my ancestor governed at heaven's command, innumerable countries from afar disputed our power and slighted our virtue. Goryeo rendered thanks for my ceasefire and for restoring their land and people when I ascended the throne. Our relation is feudatory like a son. We think you know this. Goryeo is my eastern tributary.
Japan was allied with Goryeo and sometimes with China since the founding of your country. We are afraid. Hence we dispatched a mission with our letter expressing our wishes. Enter into friendly relations with each other from now on. We think. How are we in the right, unless we comprehend this? Nobody would wish to resort to arms. Kublai demanded that Japan become a vassal and send tribute under a threat of conflict. However, the emissaries returned empty-handed. A second set of emissaries were sent in 1268. Both sets of emissaries met with the Chinzei Bugyō, or Defense Commissioner for the West, who passed on the message to Shikken, Hōjō Tokimune, Japan's ruler in Kamakura and to the Emperor of Japan in Kyoto. After discussing the letters with his inner circle, there was much debate, but the Shikken had his mind made up; the Mongols continued to send demands, some through Korean emissaries and some through Mongol ambassadors on March 7, 1269. However, each time, the bearers were not permitted to land in Kyushu.
The Imperial Court suggested compromise, but had little effect in the matter, due to political marginalization after the Jōkyū War. The uncompromising shogunate ordered all those who held fiefs in Kyūshū, the area closest to the Korean Peninsula and thus most to be attacked, to return to their lands and forces in Kyūshū moved west, further securing the most landing points. After acknowledging its importance, the Imperial Court led great prayer services to calm local residents, much government business was put off to deal with this crisis; the Khan was willing to go to war as early as 1268 after having been rebuffed twice, but found that his empire did not have the resources to provide him with a sufficient navy at that time. With Mongol entry into the Korean court by marriage of the Korean crown prince to Kublai Khan's daughter, a mass construction of ships began on Korea's south-eastern shores, while the Mongols continued to demand Japan's surrender. Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty in 1271.
In 1272, King Chungnyeol offered counsel to Kublai Khan. According to Goryeosa, Japan is yet to know. So dispatch emissaries and convey our military power to Japan. Battle ships and military rations are well prepared. If you appoint me, I encourage you to the extent of my power. According to the History of Yuan, King of Goryeo ask Kublai Khan for conquering Japan. I encourage your conquest of Japan. According to the Yuanshi, the Yuan fleet set out with an estimated 15,000 Mongol and Chinese soldiers and 1,600–8,000 Korean soldiers in 300 large vessels and 400–500 smaller craft along with several thousand sailors, although figures vary depending on the source and many modern historians consider the numbers exaggerated, they landed on Komodahama beach on Tsushima Island on October 5, 1274. Sō Sukekuni, governor of Tsushima, led a cavalry unit of 80 to defend the island, but he and his outnumbered unit were killed in the engagement; the Mongols and Koreans subsequently invaded Iki. Tairano Takakage, the Governor of Iki, fought the invaders with about 100 of his cavalrymen, but he killed himself after his unit
The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China spanning the 7th to 10th centuries. It was followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty; the Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day. The Lǐ family founded the dynasty, seizing power during the collapse of the Sui Empire; the dynasty was interrupted when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Second Zhou dynasty and becoming the only Chinese empress regnant. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people, yet when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by to about 80 million people.
With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian states such as those in Japan and Korea; the Tang dynasty was a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule, until the An Lushan Rebellion and the decline of central authority in the half of the dynasty. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang dynasty maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office; the rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order.
Chinese culture further matured during the Tang era. Two of China's most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, as did many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, Zhou Fang. Scholars of this period compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works; the adoption of the title Tängri Qaghan by the Tang Emperor Taizong in addition to his title as emperor was eastern Asia's first "simultaneous kingship". Many notable innovations occurred including the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s the Emperor Wuzong of Tang enacted policies to persecute Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence. Although the dynasty and central government had gone into decline by the 9th century and culture continued to flourish; the weakened central government withdrew from managing the economy, but the country's mercantile affairs stayed intact and commercial trade continued to thrive regardless.
However, agrarian rebellions in the latter half of the 9th century resulted in damaging atrocities such as the Guangzhou massacre of 878–879. The Li family belonged to the northwest military aristocracy prevalent during the Sui dynasty and claimed to be paternally descended from the Daoist founder, Laozi the Han dynasty General Li Guang and Western Liang ruler Li Gao; this family was known as the Longxi Li lineage. The Tang Emperors had Xianbei maternal ancestry, from Emperor Gaozu of Tang's Xianbei mother, Duchess Dugu. Li Yuan was Duke of Tang and governor of Taiyuan, modern Shanxi, during the Sui dynasty's collapse, caused in part by the Sui failure to conquer the northern part of the Korean peninsula during the Goguryeo–Sui War, he had prestige and military experience, was a first cousin of Emperor Yang of Sui. Li Yuan rose in rebellion in 617, along with his son and his militant daughter Princess Pingyang, who raised and commanded her own troops. In winter 617, Li Yuan occupied Chang'an, relegated Emperor Yang to the position of Taishang Huang or retired emperor, acted as regent to the puppet child-emperor, Yang You.
On the news of Emperor Yang's murder by General Yuwen Huaji on June 18, 618, Li Yuan declared himself the emperor of a new dynasty, the Tang. Li Yuan, known as Emperor Gaozu of Tang, ruled until 626, when he was forcefully deposed by his son Li Shimin, the Prince of Qin. Li Shimin had commanded troops since the age of 18, had prowess with bow and arrow and lance and was known for his effective cavalry charges. Fighting a numerically superior army, he defeated Dou Jiande at Luoyang in the Battle of Hulao on May 28, 621. In a violent elimination of royal family due to fear of assassination, Li Shimin ambushed and killed two of his brothers, Li Yuanji and Crown prince Li Jiancheng, in the Xuanwu Gate Incident on July 2, 626. Shortly thereafter, his father abdicated in his favor and Li Shimin ascended the throne, he is conventionally known by his temple name Taizong. Although killing two brothers and deposing his father contradicted the Confucian value of filial piety, Taizong showed himself to be a capable leader who listened to the advice of the wisest members of his council.
In 628, Emperor Taizong held a Buddhist memorial service for the casualties of war, in 629 he ha
Chinese ceramics show a continuous development since pre-dynastic times and are one of the most significant forms of Chinese art and ceramics globally. The first pottery was made during the Palaeolithic era. Chinese ceramics range from construction materials such as bricks and tiles, to hand-built pottery vessels fired in bonfires or kilns, to the sophisticated Chinese porcelain wares made for the imperial court and for export. Porcelain was a Chinese invention and is so identified with China that it is still called "china" in everyday English usage. Most Chinese ceramics of the finest quality, were made on an industrial scale, thus few names of individual potters were recorded. Many of the most important kiln workshops were owned by or reserved for the Emperor, large quantities of Chinese export porcelain were exported as diplomatic gifts or for trade from an early date to East Asia and the Islamic world, from around the 16th century to Europe. Chinese ceramics have had an enormous influence on other ceramic traditions in these areas.
Over their long history, Chinese ceramics can be classified between those made for the imperial court, either to use or distribute, those made for a discriminating Chinese market, those for popular Chinese markets or for export. Some types of wares were made only or for special uses such as burial in tombs, or for use on altars; the earliest Chinese pottery was earthenware, which continued in production for utilitarian uses throughout Chinese history, but was less used for fine wares. Stoneware, fired at higher temperatures, impervious to water, was developed early and continued to be used for fine pottery in many areas at most periods. Porcelain, on a Western definition, is "a collective term comprising all ceramic ware, white and translucent, no matter what ingredients are used to make it or to what use it is put"; the Chinese tradition recognizes two primary categories of ceramics, high-fired and low-fired, so doing without stoneware, which in Chinese tradition is grouped with porcelain.
Terms such as "porcellaneous" or "near-porcelain" may be used for stonewares with porcelain-like characteristics. The Erya defined porcelain as "fine, compact pottery". Chinese pottery can be classified as being either northern or southern. China comprises two separate and geologically different land masses, brought together by continental drift and forming a junction that lies between the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, sometimes known as the Nanshan-Qinling divide; the contrasting geology of the north and south led to differences in the raw materials available for making ceramics. Ware-types can be from widespread kiln-sites in either north or south China, but the two can nearly always be distinguished, influences across this divide may affect shape and decoration, but will be based on different clay bodies, with fundamental effects; the kiln types were different, in the north the fuel was coal, as opposed to wood in the south, which affects the wares. Southern materials have high silica, low alumina and high potassium oxide, the reverse of northern materials in each case.
The northern materials are very suitable for stoneware, while in the south there are areas suitable for porcelain. Chinese porcelain is made by a combination of the following materials: Kaolin – essential ingredient composed of the clay mineral kaolinite. Porcelain stone – decomposed micaceous or feldspar rocks also known as petunse. Feldspar Quartz In the context of Chinese ceramics, the term porcelain lacks a universally accepted definition; this in turn has led to confusion about. Claims have been made for the late Eastern Han dynasty, the Three Kingdoms period, the Six Dynasties period, the Tang dynasty. Kiln technology has always been a key factor in the development of Chinese pottery; the Chinese developed effective kilns capable of firing at around 1,000 °C before 2000 BC. These were updraft kilns built below ground. Two main types of kiln remained in use until modern times; these are the dragon kiln of hilly southern China fuelled by wood and thin and running up a slope, the horseshoe-shaped mantou kiln of the north Chinese plains and more compact.
Both could reliably produce the temperatures of up to 1300 °C or more needed for porcelain. In the late Ming, the egg-shaped kiln or zhenyao was developed at Jingdezhen, but used there; this was something of a compromise between the other types, offered locations in the firing chamber with a range of firing conditions. Important specific types of pottery, many coming from more than one period, are dealt with individually in sections lower down. Pottery dating from 20,000 years ago was found at the Xianrendong Cave site in Jiangxi province, making it among the earliest pottery yet found. Another reported -- 18,000 years ago in the Yuchanyan Cave in southern China. By the Middle and Late Neolithic most of the larger archaeological cultures in China were farmers producing a variety of attractive and large vessels boldly painted, or decorated by cutting or impressing. Decoration is abstract or of stylized animals – fish are a speciality at the river settlement of Banpo; the distinctive Majiayao pottery, with orange bodies and black paint, is characterised by fine past
Ferghana horses were one of China's earliest major imports, originating in an area in Central Asia. These horses, as depicted in Tang dynasty tomb figures in earthenware, "resemble the animals on the golden medal of Eucratides, King of Bactria." The Ferghana Horse is known as the "heavenly horse" in China or the Nisean horse in the West. Dayuan, north of Bactria, was a nation centered in the Ferghana Valley of present-day Central Asia, as early as the Han dynasty, China projected its military power to that area; the Han imperial regime required Ferghana horses and imported such great numbers of them that the rulers of Ferghana closed their borders to such trade. That move resulted in a war. In 102 CE, the Chinese required of the defeated Ferghana that they provide at least ten of their finest horses for breeding purposes, three thousand Ferghana horses of ordinary quality. However, there are other views: the Records of the Grand Historian and Book of Han provide no description of Ferghana horses, as it seemed from these chronicles they were not employed in any known Han expeditions and campaigns.
Chinese statuary and paintings, as well as the Bactrian coin shown above, indicate that these horses had legs that were proportionally short, powerful crests, round barrels. The forelegs of the Chinese depictions are straight, resembling the Guoxia horse of present-day China. According to tradition, these horses sweat blood, giving rise to the name: "sweats blood horse". Modern authorities believe that blood-sucking parasites caused sweat to get mixed with blood when the horses were worked. Modern researchers, Mair notes, have come up with two different ideas; the first suggests that small subcutaneous blood vessels burst as the horses sustained a long hard gallop. The second theorizes that a parasitic nematode, Parafilaria multipapillosa, triggered the phenomenon. P. multipapillosa is distributed across the Russian steppes and makes its living by burrowing into the subcutaneous tissues of horses. The resulting skin nodules bleed sometimes copiously, giving rise to a something veterinarians call "summer bleeding."
Over 2,000 years ago two Chinese armies traveled 10,000 km to Ferghana to find "Heavenly Horses", the finest mounts known infected with a tiny worm causing them to "sweat blood" from skin sores: Sometime earlier the emperor had divined by the Book of Changes and been told that "divine horses are due to appear" from the northwest". When the Wusun came with their horses, which were of an excellent breed, he named them "heavenly horses". However, he obtained the blood-sweating horses from Dayuan, which were hardier, he therefore changed the name of the Wusun horses, calling them "horses from the western extremity", used the name "heavenly horses" for the horses of Dayuan. P. multipapillosa is thought to have been the cause of the "blood-sweating" of these famous and much desired horses from Ferghana, which Emperor Wu of Han China renamed "Heavenly Horses". He sent an army of 40,000 men in 104 BCE 5,000 km to Ferghana, but less than half the army reached their destination. Exhausted, they were defeated.
Another army of 60,000 men was sent in 103 BCE and who breached the walls of the city and cut off the water supply after a 40 day siege. Fearing imminent defeat, the inhabitants beheaded their king and presented his head to the Han general and offered the Han to take as many horses as they wanted. After installing a new puppet King, the Han left with 3,000 horses, although only 1,000 remained by the time they reached China in 101 BCE; the Ferghana agreed to send two Heavenly horses each year to the Emperor, lucerne seed was brought back to China providing superior pasture for breeding raising fine horses in China, to provide cavalry which could cope with the Xiongnu who threatened China. The Han dynasty bronze statuette Gansu Flying Horse is most a depiction of this breed. Horses in East Asian warfare Chinese Guoxia Hematidrosis Nisean horse Bonavia: The Silk Road From Xi’an to Kashgar. Judy Bonavia – revised by Christoph Baumer. 2004. Odyssey Publications. ISBN 962-217-741-7. Boulnois: Silk Road: Monks, Warriors & Merchants on the Silk Road.
Luce Boulnois. Translated by Helen Loveday. Odyssey Books, Hong Kong. ISBN 962-217-720-4. Forbes, Andrew. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B005DQV7Q2 Watson, translator.. Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian. Han Dynasty II, Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08167-7. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. North China Branch, China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Issues 39-41. Http://chinesehoroscop-e.com/astrology/ferghana-horses.php http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20110922000098&cid=1103 https://books.google.com/books?id=WD8DAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA36&lpg=RA2-PA36&dq=nisean+orse&source=bl&ots=lFWw_hjTDC&sig=ACfU3U0sfhuW6wFv8EeFSZbBsDg50kUOyA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjiob-9jfHgAhUquVkKHQZ9CpQQ6AEwDnoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=nisean%20horse&f=false
The Qing dynasty the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, it was succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China, it was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing. In an unrelated development, peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng conquered the Ming capital, Beijing, in 1644. Rather than serve them, Ming general Wu Sangui made an alliance with the Manchus and opened the Shanhai Pass to the Banner Armies led by the regent Prince Dorgon.
He seized the capital. Resistance from the Southern Ming and the Revolt of the Three Feudatories led by Wu Sangui delayed the Qing conquest of China proper by nearly four decades; the conquest was only completed in 1683 under the Kangxi Emperor reign. The Ten Great Campaigns of the Qianlong Emperor from the 1750s to the 1790s extended Qing control into Inner Asia; the early Qing rulers maintained their Manchu customs, while their title was Emperor, they used "Bogd khaan" when dealing with the Mongols and they were patrons of Tibetan Buddhism. They governed using Confucian styles and institutions of bureaucratic government and retained the imperial examinations to recruit Han Chinese to work under or in parallel with Manchus, they adapted the ideals of the tributary system in dealing with neighboring territories. During the Qianlong Emperor reign the dynasty reached its apogee, but began its initial decline in prosperity and imperial control; the population rose to some 400 millions, but taxes and government revenues were fixed at a low rate guaranteeing eventual fiscal crisis.
Corruption set in, rebels tested government legitimacy, ruling elites failed to change their mindsets in the face of changes in the world system. Following the Opium Wars, European powers imposed "unequal treaties", free trade, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under foreign control; the Taiping Rebellion and the Dungan Revolt in Central Asia led to the deaths of some 20 million people, most of them due to famines caused by war. In spite of these disasters, in the Tongzhi Restoration of the 1860s, Han Chinese elites rallied to the defense of the Confucian order and the Qing rulers; the initial gains in the Self-Strengthening Movement were destroyed in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1895, in which the Qing lost its influence over Korea and the possession of Taiwan. New Armies were organized, but the ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 was turned back in a coup by the conservative Empress Dowager Cixi; when the Scramble for Concessions by foreign powers triggered the violently anti-foreign "Boxers", the foreign powers invaded China, Cixi declared war on them, leading to defeat and the flight of the Imperial Court to Xi'an.
After agreeing to sign the Boxer Protocol, the government initiated unprecedented fiscal and administrative reforms, including elections, a new legal code, abolition of the examination system. Sun Yat-sen and other revolutionaries competed with constitutional monarchists such as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao to transform the Qing Empire into a modern nation. After the deaths of Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor in 1908, the hardline Manchu court alienated reformers and local elites alike by obstructing social reform; the Wuchang Uprising on 11 October 1911, led to the Xinhai Revolution. General Yuan Shikai negotiated the abdication of Puyi, the last emperor, on 12 February 1912. Nurhaci declared himself the "Bright Khan" of the Later Jin state in honor both of the 12th–13th century Jurchen Jin dynasty and of his Aisin Gioro clan, his son Hong Taiji renamed the dynasty Great Qing in 1636. There are competing explanations on the meaning of Qīng; the name may have been selected in reaction to the name of the Ming dynasty, which consists of the Chinese characters for "sun" and "moon", both associated with the fire element of the Chinese zodiacal system.
The character Qīng is associated with the water element. This association would justify the Qing conquest as defeat of fire by water; the water imagery of the new name may have had Buddhist overtones of perspicacity and enlightenment and connections with the Bodhisattva Manjusri. The Manchu name daicing, which sounds like a phonetic rendering of Dà Qīng or Dai Ching, may in fact have been derived from a Mongolian word "ᠳᠠᠢᠢᠴᠢᠨ, дайчин" that means "warrior". Daicing gurun may therefore have meant "warrior state", a pun, only intelligible to Manchu and Mongol people. In the part of the dynasty, however the Manchus themselves had forgotten this possible meaning. After conquering "China proper", the Manchus identified their state as "China", referred to it as Dulimbai Gurun in Manchu; the emperors equated the lands of the Qing state as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages, defining China as a multi-ethnic state, rejecting the idea that "China" only meant Han areas. The Qing emperors proclaimed that bo
Zhao was one of the seven major states during the Warring States period of ancient China. It was created from the three-way Partition of Jin, together with Han and Wei, in the 5th century BC. Zhao gained significant strength from the military reforms initiated during King Wuling's reign, but suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Qin at the Battle of Changping, its territory included areas now in modern Inner Mongolia, Hebei and Shaanxi provinces. It bordered the Xiongnu, the states of Qin and Yan, its capital was Handan, in modern Hebei Province. Zhao was home to administrative philosopher Shen Dao, sophist Gongsun Long and the Confucian Xun Kuang; the Zhao clan within Jin had accumulated power for centuries, including annexing the Baidi state of Dai for themselves during the mid-5th century BC. At the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, Jin was divided up between three powerful ministers. In 403 BC, the king of Zhou formally recognized the existence of the State of Zhao along with two other States and Wei, marking the start of the Warring States Period.
At the onset of the Warring States period, Zhao was one of the weaker states. Despite its extensive territory, its northern border was subject to harassment by the Xiongnu and by other northern nomadic peoples. At the same time, Zhao was surrounded by strong states and lacked the military strength of Wei or the prosperity of Qi. Zhao became a pawn in the struggle between the states of Wei and Qi, this struggle came to a climax in 354 BC when Wei invaded Zhao, Zhao had to seek aid from Qi; the resulting Battle of Guiling was a major victory for Qi, it lessened the threat to Zhao's southern border. Zhao remained weak until the military reforms of King Wuling of Zhao; the soldiers of Zhao were ordered to dress like their Xiongnu neighbours and to replace war chariots with cavalry archers. This reform proved to be a brilliant strategy. With the advanced technology of the Chinese states and nomadic tactics, the cavalry of Zhao became a powerful force; the result was that the newly strengthened Zhao was evenly matched against its greatest enemy, the state of Qi.
Zhao demonstrated its enhanced military prowess by conquering the State of Zhongshan in 295 BC after a prolonged war, annexing territory from its neighbouring states of Wei and Qin. During this time, the cavalry of Zhao occasionally intruded into the state of Qi in campaigns against the state of Chu. Several brilliant military commanders of the period appeared concurrently, including Lian Po, Zhao She and Li Mu. Lian Po proved instrumental in defending Zhao against the Qin. Zhao She was most active in the east. Li Mu defended Zhao from the Xiongnu and from Qin. By the end of the Warring States Period, Zhao was the only state strong enough to oppose the powerful Qin state. An alliance with Wei against Qin commenced in 287 BC but ended in defeat at Huayang in 273 BC; the struggle culminated in the bloodiest battle of the whole period, the Battle of Changping in 260 BC. The troops of Zhao were defeated by Qin. Although the forces of Wei and Chu saved Handan from a follow-up siege by the victorious Qin, Zhao would never recover from the enormous loss of men in the battle.
In 229 BC, invasions led by the Qin general Wang Jian were opposed by Li Mu and his subordinate officer Sima Shang until 228 BC. Li Mu was one of the best generals of the Warring States era, although he was unable to defeat Wang Jian, Wang Jian was unable to make headway either; the invasion developed into a stalemate. Realizing that he had to get rid of Li Mu to conquer Zhao, the emperor of Qin, Qin Shihuang, attempted to sow discord among the Zhao leadership. Zhao King Youmiu fell for the scheme: acting on faulty advice from disloyal court officials and Qin infiltrators, he ordered the execution of Li Mu and relieved Sima Shang from his duties. Li Mu's replacement, Zhao Cong, was promptly defeated by Wang Jian. Qin captured King Youmiu and conquered Zhao in 228 BC. Prince Jia, the stepbrother of King Qian, was proclaimed King Jia at Dai and led the last Zhao forces against the Qin; the regime lasted until 222 BC, when the Qin army defeated his forces at Dai. In 154 BC, an unrelated Zhao, headed by Liu Sui, the Prince of Zhao kingdom, participated in the unsuccessful Rebellion of the Seven States against the newly installed second emperor of the Han dynasty.
Before the state of Qin unified China in 221 BC, each region had their own unique customs and culture, although they were all dominated by an upper class that shared a common culture. In the Yu Gong, a section of the Book of Documents, most composed in the 4th century BC, the author describes a China, divided into nine regions, each with its own distinctive peoples and products; the core theme of this section is that these nine regions are unified into one state by the travels of the eponymous sage, Yu the Great and by sending each region's unique goods to the capital as tribute. Other texts discussed these regional variations in culture and physical environments. One of these texts was Wuzi, a Warring States military treatise written in response to a query by Marquis Wu of Wei on how to cope with the other states. Wu Qi, the author of the work, declared that the government and nature of the people were linked to the physical environment and territory they live in. Of Zhao, he said: The two states of Han and Zhao train their troops rigorously but have difficulty in applying their skills to the battlefield.
Han and Zhao are states of the Central Plain. Theirs are a gentle p