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The Shang Dynasty Government

Explanations The Shang Dynasty is the first known government with progressive villages, cities, and town under the same ruler. The Shang Dynasty’s government was a monarchy, which meant only one leader; in this case a emperor. The emperor was also a judge, so in court, so no one dared to argue. This government was also ruled by a force, if anyone dared to disobey a law , they would be put to death by the kings solders. In the Shang Dynasty, there were many clans, and the strongest clan picked their most reliant member; then he/she became the next emperor. The emperor moved out one a fiercer clan came along. The emperor ruled 200-300 clans! Once the ruler died, the closest family or friend of the emperor would become the next ruler. The Shang Dynasty’s religion has five key premises and they would have not been known if the oracle bone inscriptions had not been found by archeologist today. The five key premises include…. 1. The world is split into three parts; the underworld, heaven, and earth. The underworld is where those who worship the devil go, after death. Heaven, is the opposite; it is a positive place for those in afterlife. Finally, Earth where all living organisms exist. 2. Lineage was a major importance in the Shang Dynasty. It was very important not just to know your parents, but all your ancestors. 3. The human body has two souls. One being the Hun the other the Po. The Hun was the soul that ascends the human’s death. The Po stays in the dead corpse. 4. Present offerings to their counter parts in heaven and produce favors for the care of the middle realm. The Shang Dynasty's social structure consisted of five parts. The emperor, the ruler of all of ancient china. Next, the Shi, the general scholars (no women were allowed an education.) Nongs, where the third class and peasant farmers. They produced most of the food in ancient china. The Gongs were the next social class. They were artesian and craftsmen. The Gongs made the art and technology in the Shang Dynasty. The last social class was the Shang (merchants and traders) they were least known because they just transported things. Only boys were allowed to go to school, while girls were taught how to cook and clean. The technology of the Shang Dynasty is quite impressive! Some of their technological advancements include bronze weapons, armor, and chariots. The bronze made fiercer weapons when it came to war. These weapons made of bronze, made it easier to kill enemies and animals faster. The armor was also stronger. Medicine and ceramics were also a technological advancement. A lot of bowls and sculptures were made out of different materials especially marble which was sturdier. Nevertheless, the biggest achievement is writing which I will take about in the last column. Today, we know about what was eaten in the Shang Dynasty because archeologist have found evidence written on oracle bones. Animals such as dog, sheep, cattle, water buffalo, and fish were also eaten. These animals were hunted with bronze bows and arrows. The most common food in the Shang Dynasty was millet, a type of grain cooked like rice. The Chinese also used the millet to create a sort of wine, which was drunk often; as well as water. The millet was eaten steamed most of the time. Millet was the primary food source they ate it every day with every meal. Art from the Shang Dynasty was very unique. The two main types of art found by archeologist was pottery and bronze working. The pottery was made by hand until the Indo-European's brought a pottery wheel to Ancient China. The pottery wheel made clay working faster and easier. Bronze working was used to make boxes and jars. These pottery jars and boxes that were used to hold things for people in the Shang Dynasty. The Shang Dynasty had a very unique way of art. Writing is considered the biggest achievement of the Shang Dynasty. Archeologist have found this language written on oracle bones and tortoise shells. It has over several thousand characters and symbols. There is a symbol for each word. Much like the Romans, there are many difficult sounds to memorize. But, the roman language is more phonetic. It takes many years to skillfully write and speak this ancient Chinese language.


Social Structure


Stable Food Supply