Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Asian History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Asian History Asian History Forum - China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific Region


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 18th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #1
Archivist
 
Joined: Aug 2008
From: Auckland
Posts: 208
Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


I was just reading up on Chinese history, and everything I've read treats each successive dynasty as if it was an independent nation from the one previously.

Such as China (Han Dynasty) is considered completely different from it's predecessor, the Qin Dynasty, and it's successor, the Three Kingdoms?

However, in England/United Kingdom, the Dynasties that succeeded each other (i.e Norman to Plantagenet, Hanover to Saxe-Coburg-Goth) are considered the same thing, it's hard for me to explain, but when there is a dynastic change, England was still called England, but in China, the country is renamed to the Dynasty's name.

Ahhhh....sorry if I sound confusing, I just don't get it :X
Kiwi is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 19th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #2

Black Dog's Avatar
Idiot of the year 2013
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: Damned England
Posts: 9,986
Blog Entries: 2
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


I guess it's because European history is largely written by Europeans, whereas much of Far Eastern history that gets published is also by Europeans, or those of a European ancestry. Pretty much the same happens to ancient civilisations, such as Ancient Egypt (first dynasty, second dynasty etc), and because we're very much outsiders, it's easier to do this.

I find it very significant that British historians neglect the Anglo-Saxons terribly. Hence, when we switch from Anglo-Saxon England to Norman England, we DO get a definite change of dynasty. There were a few Edwards before Edward I (the Angevin longshanks). Once we switch to the Norman dynasty, it is as if the Anglo-Saxon monarchs had never been.

But since then, our institutions- especially royalty- have only survived by emphasising the continuity of British monarchy. Yes, we've had what we'd call a change of dynasty several times, but our culture has been taught that they're all English kings. There's a popular TV comedy over here from a few years ago, called "Only fools and horses" and one character, a roadsweeper, claims to have had his yardbrush for 20+ years or so. It has had 10 new heads, and 5 new handles, but it's the same brush. English monarchy is the same. Yes, we've had Normans, Angevins, Tudors, Stuarts, Hanovers and reinvented Saxe-Coburgs etc, but it is presented as continuity. Politics has more to do with it than fact!
Black Dog is offline  
Old January 19th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #3

Belisarius's Avatar
Dominus Historiae
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: U.K.
Posts: 10,323
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


I'd guess that from Norman times (Henry I?) England became a unitary state, whereas in China the various dynasties never controlled the whole of China?
Belisarius is offline  
Old January 19th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #4
Citizen
 
Joined: Aug 2008
From: Iowa
Posts: 13
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


The dynasties, beyond being ruled by different families, also differed in bureaucratic style, ethnic makeup, and religion/cultural stances.

Just a few examples: The Qin and Han were predominantly in central china whereas the Sui and Tang were in the North, and the Song and Ming in the South. Despite the traditional mode of ignoring Mongolian roots, the central Chinese of the Qin were very largely made of Mongolian descendants, likewise the Song dynasty would've have been much more influenced by southern Yunnan and Guandong Chinese. Lastly, some dynasties chose to be more open, like the Tang in being multi-religious, some relied on abandoned traditions as a way to power, and the Qin dynasty tried to destroy many traditional religions.

In answer to your question: The Chinese character of each dynasty, while emanating a sense of a greater China, was largely its own country in culture and ruling style. Contrary to this, whether it be Bourbon or Hapsburg, the same system of the ruling clergy and aristocracy was going to be used. If it helps at all, I would try to compare China much more like the Persian dynasties.
zjl56 is offline  
Old January 21st, 2009, 06:44 PM   #5
Citizen
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 8
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


in China,the dynasty is always from one generation to the next,but ,the nation is always the same--China.

in my view,China is not always called China in China,in reality,the name is alwanys changing,such as Qin,Han,Tang.But,in other countries,China is always called China and never change.

On the other hand,in history,England is not alwways called England in China
wz0923 is offline  
Old January 21st, 2009, 08:34 PM   #6
Citizen
 
Joined: Aug 2008
From: Iowa
Posts: 13
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


While your statement is true on the level of individual regions, I believe that China has called itself Zhonggou(central kingdom) for a long time.
zjl56 is offline  
Old January 22nd, 2009, 01:56 AM   #7
Citizen
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


Because the different dinasties in China come from different ethnic groups? The same happens with the Arab Empire, most familiar to the european historians.
nscampos is offline  
Old February 6th, 2009, 10:50 AM   #8

VM1138's Avatar
Lecturer
 
Joined: Feb 2009
From: United States
Posts: 357
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


I think it has something to do with the fact that the different dynasties in China were drastically different from each other. Whereas there was usually some thread running through all (or most) Western dynasties, Chinese dynasties usually started from scratch all over again.

Also, they are ethnically different, and the territory of China changed drastically through various times. Also, the Capital cities changed frequently, if I remember correctly.
VM1138 is offline  
Old February 6th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #9
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2008
From: NE PA
Posts: 1,211
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


I don't know if I will express myself very well, but wouldn't the extremely lengthy history of what we call China make it kind of necessary to divide it in some way?
mlipo is offline  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:46 PM   #10
Citizen
 
Joined: Sep 2008
From: Ningbo, China
Posts: 36
Re: Why are Chinese Dynasties treated differently from European ones?


Because the kings in England are all in one family, from William I to the current time, right?
KevinRuan is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Asian History

Tags
china, early modern period



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Political Dynasties Dr Realism American History 10 March 22nd, 2009 06:27 AM
The cause of European Imperialism Kj°ter General History 12 June 18th, 2008 06:35 PM
The European Union. Kampfpanzer European History 42 September 25th, 2007 04:11 AM
In What Way Did English Colonies Developed Differently From Sapnish and French Jubelu American History 1 June 9th, 2007 11:27 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.