The Rise and Fall of the Shang Dynasty

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The Cities of ancient times are a wonder to us. How did they flourish? What did they do to survive? What technology did they learn and use? It is all these things that we search for when we try to uncover how the past led to the people of the present. Here we’ll learn what the Shang Dynasty of China was, what they accomplished, what problems occurred, and finally what became of them. The Shang Dynasty, or Yin Dynasty, was the first real historic Chinese Dynasty. It existed from around 1766 BC to 1122 BC. Long thought to be only a “Legendary Dynasty”, it ruled in the northeastern region of area known as “China Proper”, which refers to the lands of China where the Han Chinese were the Majority Ethnic Group. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, the Shang dynasty moved its capital 6 times before it finally settled in Yin, in 1350 BC, and had its Golden Age. Historians believe that the Shang dynasty was founded by a rebel, now known as King Tang, who in 1766 BC overthrew the leader of the Xia Dynasty, Jie. Learning from the ways of the former Xia leader, King Tang used a series of creative measures to help the people. He is known for his abolition of the persecution and oppression of the people that Jie had brought. During Tangs reign, people lead happy lives, a lot of the conflict died and the country prospered. In all areas of life, great achievements were made. This continued on for the next eight Emperors. But during the reign of the tenth Emperor, the conditions of the Cities and peoples lives began to deteriorate. Things became so bad that the Emperors own family tried to overthrow him and take command. Socials problems started emerging and the Emperors power gradually declines. During the Final period of the Dynasty, the country was in a crisis and the Vassals, or people granted the use of land in return for homage, fealty and usually military service to his lord, began to rebel. Despite the crisis and trouble,...
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