The Zhou Dynasty

1111-266 BCE

by Ella and Ryan


People were so fed up with the Shang Dynasty that they left and formed their own dynasty which was called the Zhou Dynasty. From 1046 - 1043 BC, King Wu helped to form the Zhou Dynasty. He helped form the dynasty by making a firm political system. Instead of allowing traditional local rulers to continue in power, they had appointed governors rule. The appointed governors were perfect because they were friends and relatives which creates an advantage because they knew the states would not try to rebel. King Wu also took control of lots of land very quickly. The Zhou Dynasty wrote down laws so that they could keep the land that people lived on and them like the laws. After a little while of the Zhou Dynasty being strong, they started to go downhill. King Wu started to ignore the poor and not meet the basic needs of water, shelter, food, and clothing for the poor. They also did not maintain the army and problems that needed to be fixed. The Zhou Dynasty started off strong but started to go down with lots of problems coming their way.
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This is a picture of King Wu, he was the ruler from 1046 - 1043 BC


The male citizens in the Zhou dynasty had different jobs based on their wealth and background. Wealthy people could go into government and become government officials. Poor citizens were farmers, craftsmen, or iron workers. The Zhou dynasty was famous for their bronze smelting. Bronze smelters made weapons and farming tools. Some important products in the Zhou dynasty are ox drawn plows, crossbows, long irrigation canals, weapons, soybeans, and grain. The Zhou did not do much trading because they did not have the ability to travel far places. Instead they gave gifts or tributes to neighboring places in China or civilizations around the area.

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This is a picture an ancient Chinese coin. They used their money to buy and trade within their civilization.

Inventions, Technology, Science, and Architecture

While the Zhou Dynasty was at it’s best, they had lots of new inventions that benefited their society. These inventions are anything from glass production, engineering technology for irrigation, drainage, waterways, canals, dikes, and dams. They invented sound vibrations by pipes and bells to create music. The Zhou Dynasty improved and perfected the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. They would make gold and silver inlays in metal and wooden lacquered objects. Over 20 states helped to build what is called the Great Wall of China and the Zhou Dynasty. The Zhou Dynasty created lots of inventions which helped the Zhou Dynasty accomplish a lot during 1046 - 1043 BC.

Religion, Culture, and Social Life

Life in the Zhou dynasty was very hard. Women were not valued and had to do hard work around the house and take care of children. The families were ruled by the father of the house and families housed with the three generations. (Children, parents, and grandparents.) Boys went to school and learned to write calligraphy while the girls stayed home and learned to be a mother. Majority of men were peasant farmers and to harvest grain which was their main food source. Families drank a lot of tea. The religions during the Zhou period were Chinese folk religion and worshiped the Shen gods. They liked to consider themselves studying practices because they did not promote the idea of religion. The Zhou mastered musical vibrations and had one hundred twenty-five instruments! These instruments were very complex and made to create classical music. They had a passion for art and created beautiful drawings and paintings on silk. They spoke Classical Chinese and wrote the most important po book called ‘Book of Songs.”