Early Civilizations Comparison: China and the Indus Valley

Topics: Zhou Dynasty, Hinduism, India Pages: 2 (387 words) Published: October 6, 2010
The early civilizations of China and the Indus Valley both functioned on a feudalistic political system with a central government, although the Zhou Dynasty based politics on the Mandate of Heaven and eventually consisted of bureaucracies; both civilizations continually believed in polytheism, India believed more in reincarnation while China put more faith in the spirits of their ancestry; India and China both established strict class structures, China focused more on a patriarchal system, India established a caste system.

Both civilizations, India and China, utilized a feudalistic political system. The Indus Valley had a strong centralized government led by a priest king. The Shang Dynasty developed a more centralized government, but as the Zhou Dynasty took over, they ruled on the Mandate of Heaven. This “Mandate” meant that heaven would grant the Zhou power only as long as it’s rulers governed justly and wisely, if they had the blessing of heaven. The Zhou Dynasty contained the most feudal ruling. The king ruled the empire, but China was too big for one ruler so the king entrusted nobles with land and power over it. The noble’s loyalty was required. As their wealth and power developed, China’s complex kingdoms developed bureaucracies. The Indus valley never let their regions gain too much power, like China. But both civilizations contained similar feudal governments.

Early civilizations of the Indus Valley and China both believed in polytheism. When the Aryans took over the Indus Valley they implanted their ideals of reincarnation. These beliefs would later develop into Hinduism. Shang religion held that Gods controlled all parts of life. They believed that they could call on the sprits of their ancestors to act as their advocates with the Gods. The Zhou dynasty upheld this belief but added the Mandate of Heaven aspect. Although the Indus Valley and China were both polytheistic, they had their own sects of religious beliefs.

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