Chinese Civilization

Examination system in China was used to select officials who represented citizens at the national level. The system dominated education sector during Han and Song dynasties.  The examination system was an important aspect of civilization. It subjected learners to a series of aggressive examinations, which were conducted at provincial and national levels. The system dwelt majorly on the repetition of concepts for an effective learning. However, examinations were capable to scrutinize and portray the knowledgeable who are fit to represent the rest.

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This paper analyzes the examination system in China based on the primary source, Chinese Civilization: A Source Book edited by Patricia Buckley Ebrey and published in 1993. The book indicates how the examination system in China was used as a ladder to select officials into administrative offices. The selection reflects how the examination system was key in getting leadership positions during Han and Song dynasties. It is still evident today how the system is used to get jobs and leads to high innovations in China.  The passage indicates that examination systems are key in changing economies of countries.

Prior to the examination system, people were recruited into administrative offices through consideration of their aristocracy and their relation to the people who have already risen to official duties. To be more specific, high offices were preserved for members of the aristocracy. In this regard, the system was not fair because not everybody had a working relative. The system is not acceptable in a just community where people should be treated equally because it is prone to uneven development due to the fact that aristocracy and relationships occasionally revolve at a given locality. Furthermore, such system promoted tribalism, a situation which is even worse and dangerous as far as a state is concerned. In a just society, job opportunities should be open to everybody who fits the job, irrespective of relativity or aristocracy. Therefore, introduction of the examination system to act as a determinant was a wise idea because everybody was allowed to compete favorably. The system treated everybody equally and hence, promoted uniform development. The examination system selection reflects the way people were molded to official duties during the pre-Ming period. Civil examinations were conducted at provincial and national levels to sieve individuals who were fit to hold official offices. The system created ambitious people from every part of the country. It enabled favorable competition, which was conducted in a free and fair manner for anybody who wanted to improve his living standards through official chores. All an individual needed was to work smart in class to remain within the bracket when the system’s results are due. However, examinations were not used for keeping non-elite out.

In comparison to the former selection mode, which was based on the seniority of people, their relationship with the ones who were already working in government administrative offices, and their membership and probably their class of aristocracy, the examination system was the best way of letting people into offices. The system offered literature programs that encouraged talents in ancient China. Pottery and music were among the courses offered. Such programs released high-skilled personnel who contributed to the development of the state and the world in general. All in all, the economy of China began to rise rapidly. Every sector in the country was equipped with high-skilled personnel whose outcomes were admirable, as evident even today. The system gave Chinese a spirit of hard work. They were highly motivated and hence, adequately prepared for the system’s examinations. Their spirit of hard work is evident even today, through Chinese innovations and technological advancements.

For example, Han dynasty had high centralized administrative areas. The administrative areas were ruled by a central official. There was a structured payee. The payment was based on the hierarchy where seniors were paid more. The promotion was based on examination merits, as outlined by the Chines examination system. However, Han established Confucian ideology. It emphasized on moderation. The Han dynasty was a successful dynasty, which remained relevant for a long period of time. It faced little interruptions until the onset of Wang Mang, which letter established the Xin dynasty after getting into power. Han dynasty can be divided into two segments: the period before Wang Mang and the period after Wang Mang. That is, the period when capital city was in western part of the city, and when it had been moved to the east.

Besides providing a literate society, Han was also a mandatory dynasty whose culture was documented accordingly. For instance, Music Bureau collected details of music of the day and its constituents such as songs and instruments. Dance was one of the rituals used in temple activities. Dances were significantly recorded when large bands and musicians were on live performance. Alongside bands, there were highly informed dances, which were used for private entertainment. The informed dances involved huge body movements with very little footwork.

The examination system also promoted social mobility – a situation that made peasants favorably compete with the rich to ladder up to administrative offices. The long way of civilization has placed China into a new era as experienced today. Scientific inventions are highly appreciated all over the world. Chinese civilization has contributed a lot to the world. In fact, with the creative population, China will prosper even further. It will contribute consistently to the human civilization.

In the history of China, Song dynasty was the first government to set up a permanent navy army. In global history, the latter was the fast one to introduce paper money. The Song dynasty was associated with other innovations such as gunpowder and discernment of the north by the use of a compass. The Song selection was divided into northern and southern periods. During its northern period, capital city was in Bianjing, which is currently referred to as Kaifeng. At this period, the dynasty took a proper control of the vast China. The loss of the control to Jin dynasty resulted into Southern Song, which served between 1127- 1279. During the southern Song, the capital was established in Lin’an, presently known as Hangzhou. Though the Song dynasty lost proper control of the birthplace of Chinese civilization along the Yellow River, China’s economy remained intact. The state enjoyed fertile land from the south, which promoted agricultural activities.  It also had a good navy, which ensured safety from waters and at the border. The navy also conducted maritime mission in foreign countries.

Later on, at the onset of the 10th century, Song dynasty merged the southern hemisphere with the south. On its second effort, Song expanded rice cultivation, especially in the central and southern parts of China (Jixu 8). The result was evident, as the population of China doubled. The unity also promoted civilization. It made China full of rich and skilled people. The northern Song also experienced population rise, much more ahead than reins of Tang and Han dynasty.

The unusual rapid change in population occurred mainly as a result of revolution in economy in the pre-modern China. Cities began to grow alongside the population. The acquisition of new settling grounds by the surplus population resulted into new towns, which grew to become cities after a short period of time. The economy also grew to the national level, making local government shun taking part in economic affairs. Commerce experienced a drastic change, as paper money invaded the market.

As cities flourished along water ways, more Confucian classics printing speeded. The printing introduced literature in China. People began to learn through art, reading, and writing. Thereafter, private and state schools emerged, where people would graduate before competing for civil service examinations. As a result, welfare policies were developed by administrations, making Song the most humane in China’s history.

Song dynasty also stood at the highest point in Chinese pottery. Its wares were recommendable for their simple shapes. They were also made of pure color and toned glazes. The pottery works in China’s capital city attracted many people. It generated more income for the living hoods. It also resulted into more skilled artists. Art works were also stretched into music. Bei Song brought a two-stringed fiddle. It was plucked to produce rhythmic sounds.

Song dynasty’s work on literature had much impact on people’s lives, especially through music. Most of the dynasty’s devotions were musical events. However, the dynasty emphasized much on the old-time simplicity of expressing short stories tale and prose. The emphasis led to the establishment of schools of vernacular oral stories. It also brought conventional poetry. Evidently, Song dynasty had great achievements.

In conclusion, the passage indicates that the system of examination in China during Han and Song dynasties was created majorly for the achievement of administrative tasks. The system promoted hard work, which made China one of the most respected countries in innovation and invention today. The system ensured that people who got administrative duties had enough knowledge and skills to perform their duties. The system also ensured that people explored their creative skills by getting involved in art work, such as making pottery and participating in music activities. The passage has a great impact today, as in indicates that historical happenings or policies determine a country’s future.


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