Neolithic to Classical Period in East Asia


Early Civilization in China

8000 BCE - 1500 BCE

During the Neolithic Age, a river-valley civilization at the Yellow River in China developed. Here, they developed irrigational systems that allowed job specialization and surpluses in food.

Shang Dynasty

1600 BCE - 1046 BCE

This is the first Chinese Dynasty. It began with the Shang tribe conquering other tribes and establishing a kingdom.

Zhou Dynasty

1029 BCE - 258 BCE

This dynasty featured the introduction of a standard spoken langauge.


500 BCE - Present

Daoism stressed the basic harmony of nature with every feature in balnace with an opposing force; yin and yang.


470 BCE - Present

This philosophy stressed order and stability through linking political and cultural goals (stable hierarchy and common appreciation of artistic and literary styles) with family structures. Tight family organization solidified the economic, political and social life of China. Women were subordinate and according to filial piety were to submit to their husbands or men. Men took over the most productive work and political leadership. This division of roles was more prominent in upper classes and in cities.

Social Turmoil in China due to the Fall of the Zhou Dynasty

402 BCE - 201 BCE

Era of the Warring States

Qin Dynasty

221 BCE - 207 BCE

This dynasty featured the standardizing of language, money and trade.

The Han Dynasty

202 BCE - 220 CE

This dynasty placed emphasis on values in Confucian philosophy. This promoted the submission of women to men, especially in marriage.

Collapse of Chinese Civilization

200 CE - 500 CE

East Asian Buddhism

500 CE - Present

"Buddhism should have disrupted China's firm belief in patriarchal power, because Buddhists believed that women, like men, had souls... But Chinese culture generated changes in Buddhism within the empire... China's religious composition became increasingly complex, but without overturning earlier cultural directions... 500 million people count themselves as Buddhists, most of which live in areas of east and south east asia." - Peter Stearns, Michael Adas, Stuart Schwartz, Marc Jason GIlbert; World Civilizations: The Global Experience: AP Edition: Sixth Edition; p. 119-120