The Animated History of China | Part 1


this episode is made possible by audible good audible.com slash Sweeney or text Sweeney – 500 500 to get started with a free audiobook and a 30-day free trial new WA and foo she usually depicted as half human half dragon spirit creatures created humans out of clay as companions the human settled in the Yellow River and were ruled by the five good Empress with illogical figures who were peaceful and benevolent but tragedy struck when the river flooded devastating the land you the engineers spent 13 long years building canals and locks to control the waters burning his place as the lands King he founded the Shah dynasty China’s first ruling family and a structure of government that would remain unchanged for millennia [Music] in the words of John Green an open letter to the shadynasty dear Shia dynasty why you gotta be so fictional yeah the Shah dynasty is largely considered mythological at this point but maybe intertwined with some real events considering how much the lighted Chinese scholars wrote about them speaking of writing the Chinese were really really good at it they developed their own famous pictograph based system concurrently without any outside influences but they looked a lot more like this than this in any case humor settled in the Yellow River Valley forming numerous cultures which is collectively called the Yellow River civilization the myth of you the engineer likely began with this early civilizations attempts to control the flooding of the river these settlers are what we now call the heart although they didn’t refer to themselves as that for at least a few centuries they were surrounded by numerous other people’s to their south north and west the first Chinese state to be supported by historical evidence is the Shang the story goes that the Shang were one of the member states of the SHA dynasty and rose up to overthrow the last Shah Emperor under their leader King Tong Tong defeated the forces of the Shah during a storm at the Battle of Ning tau the storm was seen as a sign that the spirits were blessing his overthrow of the dynasty in 1046 BC the Shang were overthrown by the gel which is China’s longest lasting dynasty it is speculated that the name for China in the Mandarin language comes from this period the Zhao ruled the kingdom under a quasi feudal system meaning that power was given to regional warlords all of whom pledged fealty to the king this means that the Kings power depends on keeping the lords happy which King Yu did not he exiled his wife whom he had married for political reasons and the state she came from rose up in Revolt they deposed the king and installed his son ping to the throne but merely as a figurehead with no real authority as regional warlords began crowning themselves Kings over their own States chroniclers referred to this time as the period of spring and autumn it doesn’t translate well into English soon a rivalry would emerge among these states for control of all China beginning the warring States Period and a collapse of any centralized control waring became so fierce in fact that the local kings began building compacted earth fortifications on their mutual borders to deter invasions from rival states fighting ended in 221 BC when the Qin finally defeated the rest and unified China once more the Qin Dynasty didn’t last very long but they did have absolute authority agriculture and herding were regulated and everyone paid their taxes they did have a weird fear of books for some reason the teachings of Confucius became very popular and his brand of philosophy began having huge impacts on Chinese society in response to the growing power of the zhong knew the ancestors of the mongols emperor qin shi huang began joining parts of the warring States walls at strategic weak points in the border this would be the first foundations of China’s Great Wall the walls continued to be expanded upon using hundreds and thousands of slave laborers and soldiers over successive centuries to protect the Empire from various other nomadic Raiders Qin Shihuang became deranged and senile in his old age became obsessed with finding a cure for death to allow him to attain immortality he travelled far and wide and spent a small fortune on alchemy medicines and potions one of which killed him the succession of the Emperor caused a crisis when their nobles attempted to crown his son and control him as a puppet causing the country to erupted into a civil war between rival states the Han state was victorious which began the rule of the Han Dynasty famous for inventing paper which is apparently what people used to write things on during the unification war the rules of the U state fled to the south in exile where they set up their own kingdoms the non-new and the menu’ stretching all the way to modern vietnam the Han began a period of aggressive foreign policy under emperor wu conquering both the new kingdoms in the south and going to war with the young new confederation in the north annexing vast amounts of the ethnic Turkic harem basin this extremely rapid expansion into Central Asia gave China its first contacts with the numerous nomadic tribes of the inner steps attracting many merchants to the lucrative corridor between east and west it was the beginning of the Silk Road it was during the harm that China experienced its golden age great strides were made in developing art culture and science that would come to shape almost everything we know about oriental culture today a new religion making its way down the Silk Road began taking its own shape in the southwest it is known to us as Buddhism in the year nine the Han Dynasty was briefly interrupted by a usurper named Wang man who seized power from the Han in an attempt to establish his own dynasty and he would have been successful were it not for his reforms to distribute land equally among the populace he lost his territories in the West and was deposed by a mob after only 13 years of rule I guess nobody told him it was way too early for China’s Communist revolution the Han eventually defeated the Zhong Yu after generations of fighting and expanded their trade with the West they eventually split into three rival kingdoms in 222 and briefly reunited under the Jin dynasty in 280 but the northern section rebelled against their rule by the so-called five barbarians which the southerners called the sixteen kingdoms but both the south and the North were unstable and changed ruling families too many times to name thus we came to power as successors to the joust state and unified China again in 589 while the Guk Turks rose to power in the central steppes the Tang succeeded the Sui and expanded the Empire they subjugated the Guk Turks in the north conquered the Koreans in Goryeo and solidified their iron hold in Southwest Asia Tang China spread its influence over all the rest of Asia in China’s second Golden Age they were famous for introducing land reforms called the fuming system which is again a flirtatious experiment with communism I can see where this is going the reforms were albeit successful in the economic boom allowed for the budget of a standing army if you’re thinking to yourself that all this prosperity is too good to be true then you’d be right in 906 China collapsed again due to the power of regional warlords the song managed to control the southern part of China but the North remained ruled by Chinese influence nomads the Jurchens a fringe tribe in modern-day Manchuria rebelled against their nomad rulers and soon conquered all the way down to northern China they proclaimed the Jin dynasty and vied for power with the song in the South but as both kingdoms contended with each other a new powerful Confederacy was brewing in the Mongolian steppes the Mongols were initially a squabbling band of nomadic herdsmen they had distant links to the Zhang knew of the past and made their harm on the Eurasian steppe the culture was deeply steeped in tradition and a religion that tied them to their land but this was also changed with one man named Imogen who history remembers as Genghis Khan a man who would reform the Mongols from within and unite them into a powerful Confederacy bound by blood and honor and create a legal framework an exceptional social mobility the Mongols under Genghis and his descendants founded the largest land Empire in history and would have impacts on nearly every part of Asia and even Europe the story is told brilliantly in Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world Weatherford even narrated the book himself which is available at today’s sponsor audible audible has an unmatched selection of audio books and other audio products perfect for long walks exercising commuting to work or plane journeys and Airport layovers my personal preference for history fans this is one of the best ways to learn about something new you’ve always wondered about or build on those gaps from your favorite topics and time periods just head to audible on any device download your book and start listening it’s that easy audible is offering a free 30-day trial where you can get Weatherford’s book or anything else at no charge with seamless sync between your Amazon Kindle or Kindle app by simply heading to audible.com slash Sweeney or texting sui BH ne2 500 500 which will also support the creation of more episodes thank you to audible for supporting the channel this is where we leave China today tune in next time for the next chapter one that would bring both the song and the gin to their knees when we cover the Mongols and subscribe to never miss out in a new video if you like this series and want to help but grow please consider supporting at patreon there are great rewards such as HD artwork from the videos early previews and merchandise become a patron today using the link in the description until next time [Music]

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