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What Is Chinese Civilization Essay

1541 words - 7 pages

A question academics and historians have asked throughout time is simply what is Civilization. Civilization can be defined as an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture science, industry and government has been reached. With that stated we must now look upon the question which is pertinent to our studies and this paper. That question is what is Chinese Civilization, and in order to answer this question we shall delve into the history of China itself taking examples from Chinese history going as far back as to china’s earliest empires to the present day.

We will look at details from the Han Dynasty from 206BCE-220CE, the Tang Dynasty from 618 CE-907CE, and the ...view middle of the document...

This action and stability brought about by the government affected the lives of its people in many ways and this theme of the government taking a leading role is also seen in the issue of law and order. Here we see a system set up to address the needs of the people which was continuously improved with reforms over the period of time of Han rule. It was also unique in its ability to affect the people’s lives because it dealt with all the people and not just the male population, by giving women the ability to bring civil and criminal complaints against men. This action conferred more rights upon a portion of the citizenry usually ignored by custom.

Other example of the importance of Government in Chinese society demonstrated by the Han Dynasty was seen in the reforms made to the tax codes which kept smaller land owners out of debt and in possession of their own farms, as well as granting loans and reducing various other taxes. Moving forward in time we come to the Tang Dynasty and its examples of the importance of the role that government takes in the Chinese people’s lives and why that is a cornerstone of Chinese civilization. One example in the Tang Dynasty is demonstrated in how the Tang used civil service test to find individuals to serve in government positions. This giving the potential for people to rise above their stations through government service and thus by passing some of the traditional hierarchical structures imposed by society. And thus make made people reliant on the Government for stability and in some cases for social promotion and well being. Furthermore the Tang Dynasty built upon the legal code of past Dynasties and thus created a new code which became the basis of the legal code for many of the following Chinese Dynasties as well as neighboring countries as well. The Tang Emperors also pushed and encouraged reforms in the field of medicine which greatly affected and improved the lives of the people.

The Tang Dynasty encouraged learning by having Imperial Medical Colleges, having forensic medical manuals published as well as mandating state examinations for doctors. These actions by a governing body had tremendous effects on the lives and well being of the citizens of a country, but could only be implemented effectively to any extent by a strong government which takes a leading role in the lives of its people. The Song Dynasty is another example of a government which took a leading role in the lives of its people. The Song Dynasty was one of the most successful governing bodies in Chinese History; they courted and maintained diplomatic relations with nations as far away as India and Egypt. Through trade and sophisticate economic practices they created some of the largest cities in the world at that time with populations reaching over 1 million people approximately. The role of the government in influencing the lives of the people wasn’t lost as in the Song Dynasty we find that the government supported...

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