The Shaping of China

Since the originating of the Chinese civilization in the Yellow River valley, geographical conditions have helped to shape the development of the civilization. Due to the restrictive region of a flooding river and mountainous terrains surrounding the valley, only a small portion of land was fertile enough to grow crops to maintain a growing population. Geographical restrictions along with the climate of the region had a great impact on the ever-growing inhabitation of people. Many of the crops and food sources of the early Chinese civilization would be destroyed during these ferocious displays of nature. It was not until the ability to control the flooding and flow of the river, did China see its first “government”, one capable of organizing the resources and manpower to deal with these harsh conditions.

These harsh conditions of the area also led to the development of the civilization, having to work as a collective group in order to survive and support the ever-growing population. In creating a collective community the relationship of one man to another was viewed as a necessary survival tool. Functioning as a collective community would lead to the basis of early Chinese system of government, a government that would seek to perform in the best interest of the common good of its people. Not only did the harsh environment shape the system of government, it also helped to solidify the spiritual and worship habits of the culture. With those living in certain areas relying on resources of the area respectively, people began to form ideas of spirituality and superstitions. Looking to nature or the spirit of nature, to provide and help the region thrive gave the early farmers a system of “nature” could punish/award for wrong/right doings in society. This sense of spiritualism, moral good, and ethics in government would be passed down from generation to generation and be later referred to as Confucianism.

This early system of government would be the norm for thousands of years. As the civilization grew, the government too, grew into a system of political hierarchies. The main head of the government, the Emperor, had absolute power and say over everything in the land. Without the presence of opposition, the Emperor would remain the main head of the government. Tightly intertwined with Confucianist belief, the only way to rise in ranks was through education and mastery of traditional ideology. Despite the rise and fall of the dynasties, the ideologies and structure of this basic form held through thousands of years. Even until today, the Chinese culture is still holding strongly in these beliefs and ideologies of the ancient culture based on early collective and Confucianism.

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