Analyse the significance during the Three Kingdoms reign in China. The Three Kingdom period consists of the Kingdom of Wei, Kingdom of Shu and Kingdom of Wu. As a single dynasty, the Three Kingdoms Period originated in 220 AD when the Kingdom of Wei replaced the Eastern Han Dynasty which took place in 25 AD-220 AD. The Three Kingdom dynasty ended at 280 AD when the Kingdom of Wu was defeated by the Court of Jin. It is considered to be a special historical period full of power struggles and sophisticated military strategies, which some methods are still used today in modern warfare.
Much can be said to justify their significance during their existence and their affects towards China during their reign. Religion would be one of the factors that contributed in China throughout this period. Buddhism had already arrived in China in the mid of Han Dynasty and brought up of its first congregation in southern China at the court of Prince of Chu. Buddhism was originally introduced in China with the development of the Silk Road when monks travelled with merchants.
There was a need amongst the population for a belief with spiritual meanings. Hence, Buddhism took roots in China during this era. This religion was unique from other religions during the time. This new religion covered all people rich or poor, Chinese or not. Buddhist temples were constructed within the three kingdoms and thus millions of Chinese converted into Buddhism and which affected China greatly. Majority of the population in China were Buddhists. Till this day, Buddhism is recognised greatly.
Architecture found new challenges in the construction of Buddhist pagodas and temples and in the monastery grottoes in the north. The Yungang cave temples are evident that Temples existed and were built during the Three Kingdoms reign. Archaeologist proved that these temples were built during the time because of the unearthed relics found on the site of these temples which dated back to the Three Kingdom period. The economy during the reign of these three kingdoms, chaos caused by war between these countries damaged the economic development of the three kingdoms.
In the late Eastern Han Dynasty, also due to natural disasters, the economy was badly depressed, leading to the massive waste of farmland. Because of the collapse of the imperial court, newly minted coins never made their way into currency. Those worn copper coins were not melted and reminted and many privately minted coins appeared. Due to the collapse of the currency, China officially declared silk cloth and grains as their main currencies in 221 AD. The significance of status was well reflected during the three kingdoms.
Status affected China greatly in the Southern Kingdom. They established a civil service system based on social ranks to determine the value of a person to contribute to the prosperity of the Wei. However, this system failed since the social status of a person and family affiliations would be unfair for those with a higher status, as they are more advantaged to those who are in a lower class than them, such as commoners and slaves. Aristocrats would marry only within their social rank or higher and gained large estates and financial wealth.
Thus categorizing Chinese civilians into socio status in either rich or poor. Nobles were given high salaries and were excluded from paying taxes. However, because these rich families can afford education, literature, painting, poetry and culture, these practices became popular which helped their economy rise. The northern Kingdom improved Chinese culture and introduced strict reforms which strengthened the Chinese empire. The emperor of China had many officials and advisors which adapted a unifying Chinese style for clothes and accessories, interior designs, landscaping and even cuisine.
One of the major significance that affected China was that it was the first Kingdoms to adopt traditional Chinese as the official language. This affected China immensely as China had now adapted to its own official language which is still spoken today. Despite some of the negative impact of China’s economy, there were many significant advances on technology and science such as high level of military strategies with the invention of gunpowder for fireworks and gun. Smelting and metal works also became popular and was improved greatly during this period as armies were more gained more power.
Improvements in other social factors were also significant such as the invention of the wind mill for irrigation, silk developments in Luoyang and Henan and Shu Kingdom’s irrigation and canal system. Machines were also constructed for food processing and transport. Brewing also became more refined because of the advances of food processors. Although crossbows had been in use for hundreds of years before this time, its design and model during this era is unknown. The crossbow used during this time period is more likely used in large group of marksmen deployed to fire waves of bolts onto enemies from afar.
The crossbow itself has superior range than normal bows. Thus it becomes more commonly used like an artillery purpose than sniping. Crossbows have been in use in China since the Zhou dynasty over 700 year earlier. In the later years, the great strategist and inventor Zhuge Liang had devised a more complicated platform. A multiple bolt firing crossbow and a semi-automatic crossbow was created to be used as an anti-personnel weapon. In terms of population the Wei was by far the strongest, retaining more than 660,000 households and 4,400,000 people within its borders.
Shu had a population of 940,000, and Wu 2,300,000. Thus, Wei had more than 58% of the population and around 40% of territory. With these resources, it is estimated that it could raise an army of 400,000 whilst Shu and Wu could manage 100,000 and 230,000 respectively: roughly 10% of their registered populations. The Wu-Shu alliance against the Wei proved itself to be a militarily stable configuration; this affected China for more than forty years as the population was unchanging during the time.
In conclusive, the significance of the Three Kingdoms reign resulted in China’s technological advances like weaponry and the invention of the windmill which are evident through secondary sources. Religion also affected China during the Three Kingdom period as it was greatly recognised throughout China which is evident through archaeological structures like the temples that were built. Christina Lam Ung BIBLIOGRAPHY Hucker, C 1975, China’s Imperial Past, Stanford University Press http://www. chinapage. com/calligraphy/sushi/shu. html http://www. historyforkids. rg/learn/china/architecture/3kingdomsarchitecture. htm http://threekingdoms. com/ http://polaris. gseis. ucla. edu/yanglu/ECC_HISTORY_THREE%20KINGDOMS. htm http://www. buddhanet. net/e-learning/buddhistworld/china-txt. htm http://www. history-of-china. com/three-kingdoms/ http://www. chinaknowledge. de/History/Division/jin-arts. html http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Records_of_the_Three_Kingdoms http://polaris. gseis. ucla. edu/yanglu/ECC_HISTORY_THREE%20KINGDOMS. htm http://www. chinavoc. com/history/threeking. htm http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Empty_Fort_Strategy