Zhou dynasty

dynasty of Ancient Chinese kings (王) lasting from c. 1046 to 256 BC
(Redirected from Zhou Dynasty)

The Zhou dynasty replaced the Shang dynasty in 1046 BCE. The kings of this dynasty made the empire a lot bigger. For the first time in the history of China, many people began moving to far away places inside the empire. The Zhou rulers moved the capital from Henan to a place near present-day Xi'an, near the Yellow River. The Zhou Dynasty also brought the theory of the Mandate of Heaven. This theory said that the fact that rulers were in charge proved that the gods wanted them to be in charge. Almost all dynasties of Chinese rulers after the Zhou continued to believe this theory.

Zhou Dynasty
1045 BC–256 BC
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1050–771 BC) in China
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1050–771 BC) in China
CapitalHaojing, Luoyang
Common languagesChinese
Chinese folk religion, Hundred Schools of Thought
1045 BC
• Disestablished
256 BC
• 273 BC
• 230 BC
CurrencyCash (Chinese coin), Chinese coin
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Shang Dynasty
Qin Dynasty

Mature Chinese philosophy developed during the Zhou Dynasty. The greatest Chinese philosophers were Confucius (Chinese: 孔夫子; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ), founder of Confucianism, and Laozi, founder of Daoism. Other philosophers, theorists, and schools of thought from the Zhou Dynasty were Mozi (Latin: Micius), founder of Mohism, Mencius (Chinese: 孟子; pinyin: Mèngzǐ), a famous Confucian who expanded upon Confucius legacy, Shang Yang and Han Feizi, responsible for the development of ancient Chinese Legalism (the core philosophy of the Qin Dynasty), and Xunzi.[1]


  1. Schirokauer & Brown 2006. "A Brief history of Chinese civilization: second edition". Wadsworth, Thomson Learning, pp. 25–47.

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