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China in The Classical Era: Change and Continuities

Analyzing the political and social changes and continuities of China’s civilization during the Classical Era( 100 CE – 600 CE ).

Throughout history, each civilization has had it’s own unique cultural and political structures that define it and help us to understand why they have lasted so long and have developed and grown to be what they are today. During the last centuries of the classical era, 100 C.E. To 600 C.E., the culture and politics of China have remained mostly as continuities, but there are still some changes. Although yes, there were many changes in China’s history including the rise and fall of dynasties, the continuities seem to stand our more in comparison. Within the classical era, China’s civilization was one of the ones with more outstanding continuities, the other civilization being India and Roman civilization having more change than continuity. Analyzing China’s various changes and continuities helps us to understand why China is still around – still alive and thriving.

Throughout the classical era, China’s culture and it’s values have stayed as mostly continuities and few or little changes. One of the most obvious continuities would be the teachings and values of Confucianism that were so strong that they have lasted throughout the centuries of Chinese history and is still well-known today. These values of Confucianism that lasted so long included guidelines on respect with in the family. Chinese civilization during the classical civilization was a patriarchy and with the Confucius teaching of the 5 relationships, the two created the outline of how a good family should work like. The patriarchy of Chinese civilization is quite different compared to the Roman civilization after Christianity, which taught that men’s and women’s souls were equal, came in. Patriarchy was a continuity for Chinese civilization during the classical period but for Roman civilization, Christianity itself was a change that affected every bit of Roman civilization. These family values were only one thing that Confucius taught but seeing how Confucianism itself is one of the most recognized continuities of the Chinese civilization, many of his beliefs and values will survive and withstand many potential changes to come. One of these changes were Buddhism, which came into China through many different paths such as the Silk Route. However, the peaceful continuities of China could not last forever, and such was demonstrated when the Han Dynasty fell and China entered 3 years of chaos which I extremely long for China’s history. At this time, China’s cultural unity was also threatened by the spread of Buddhism, though it was tone of the one ideas that was imported into China before the 20th century. Luckily for China’s streak of continuity, the three century period of chaos would end with the rise of the T’ang Dynasty, which would also revive Confucianism. This was also one of China’s continuities, the rising and falling of dynasties – the dynastic cycle, it would remain part of China’s history for ages. India was much like China as for the philosophies of life surviving throughout the ages. For India, Hinduism was the key aspect of their culture that kept the civilization united socially and for China, it was Confucianism that kept China together socially. Despite the many changes that took place between 100 C.E. to 600 C.E., China always leveled out culturally and remained in their streak of cultural continuity due to Confucius and how his teachings united China culturally and socially.

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