古代中国是超级大国吗？Was China a super power in ancient times?
2022-06-10 squart 24728 0 2 收藏 纠错&举报
Was China a super power in ancient times?
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The only exception was the century of humiliation (1850–1949), or during the imperialism era.
In Pre-Qin dynasties, China was ruled (nominally) by Shang and Zhou rulers. Their territories, despite being small compared to present-day China, was larger than its contemporary civilization, such as ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. The technology was at least equal to both civilizations. Almost every nomadic tribe in China proper was subjugated by Chinese states under the Zhou dynasty. The tribal people were sinicized, and became “Chinese.” During this age, Chinese culture flourished. Many ideological groups (Confucianism, Legalism, etc.) spawned in this era.
Chinese civilization in the Spring-Autumn period.
Chinese civilization in the Warring States period, notice that the entire territory of Chinese civilization increased because of the colonization of the outer areas by states, especially Qin and Chu. Qin defeated as many as 25 tribes, and annexed the areas once controlled by nomads.
In Qin dynasty and Han dynasty, China became a unified, centralized empire (completely in the reign of Emperor Wu of Han). China became the end destination of the silk road. Trade and economy were flourished. Unlike Rome that was defeated by the nomads, Han Dynasty managed to defeat the mighty Xiongnu confederacy at its homeland, and repelled these nomads from the Chinese border. Furthermore, the eastern part of Central Asia, and Korea was conquered by Han Dynasty as well.
Map of Han Dynasty: National Geographic Magazine. Han Dynasty later defeated the Yue people in Fujian, and sinicized them.
China (In red) had a large economy since antiquity. Notice that the share of world GDP decreased sharply during the century of humiliation (1849–1949), which paralleled to the imperialist era. The only country that had a larger share of world GDP in antiquity than China was India. However, since AD1, ancient India was not united into a single state as China (Han Dynasty). The closest ones were the Gupta Empire (320CE–550CE).
The superpower era only began in the latter part of the 20th century, when a large nuclear arsenal, the ability to project power through an army and/or navy and a large economy was possessed. I''d say they can be called super powers only in the globalised era which is fairly recent.
From the first Shang Dynasty all the way to the current People’s Republic of China, only three dynasties stood out to the world that were close to qualify as world power, the Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty (China’s zenith period), before Mongol annihilation. Only these three Chinese dynasties can closely characterized as regional power. The rest of the various dynasties were either simply too weak, too isolated or too poor to be considered a world power.
This is a historical fact and obxtive reality about China’s history.
The following were historical Superpowers before the United States, in chronological order:
Indus Valley empire
Shang Dynasty (limited influence)
Greek Empire (including Alexander’s empire)
Han Dynasty (there you go China. Yet, still limited in influence)
United States of America
These were the major powers throughout World history.
But, if we are to be true to the real definition of a Superpower, only two countries came close to world domination in history, that is the British Empire (UK) and the United States. The other country that qualifies to this definition is the Spanish Empire.
*United States of America (The Current lone Superpower)
No, China has never been a superpower. A ‘superpower’ is a country that has influence globally, and China’s influence has only ever been regional. In fact, beyond Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam, China has had no colonies or protectorates. Sure, it influenced Japan, but never occupied it.
Also, China has often been invaded and ruled by foreigners: Mongols, Manchus, and Jin ruled China for centuries. Then there were long periods when China was divided into 2, 3, 6, 10 or more separate kingdoms.
The term “superpower” that is used in the present context has a very specific meaning and that is a country that can project power and influence across the world. If that country cannot project its power and influence across the world but only in a particular region, then that country is a regional power.
In ancient times, no country even knew that the world was round much less travelled around the world much less project its power and influence across the world. Hence, no. China was not a super power in ancient times and neither was any other country including the older civilizations of Egypt, Persia and India. At best, these were regional powers.
In my opinion, terms like “superpower” and “globalization” are inappropriately used with reference to ancient time periods. None of the great ancient civilizations had a global reach, and there was relatively sporadic and infrequent contacts between them, so you can think of the world as divided into regions, and each region may have had its own local “superpower” civilization at different points in time. The truly trans-regional empires (like the Mongols or the Macedonians under Alexander), generally did not last very long, partly because of their inability to create large-scale organizational capacities to rule. They could conquer, but not rule.
Globalization (in both economic and political terms) did not really become a phenomenon until European colonization. This does not deny that other civilizations had global trading routes prior to and during European colonization, but as far as I am aware, there was not nearly as much state-sponsored colonization. This is the beginning of the very first era of globalization.
As you konw, the ancient china is only 5 to 10 provinces than now China.
Some many nationality nearby china invade china and !!!!
Sucessfully Invade china and gover people.
But, they often to be one of chinese now. Because Calture! Chinese ancient calture can make any people conquested!
This is the super power of china from ancient to now I belive.
The concept of “Super Power” is a relatively recent one in history As others have pointed out, China certainly was a great “regional” power during much of her history. To the extent that modes of transportation in ancient time limited the extend of reach, I do not think global power existed anywhere in the ancient world.
About 300–400 years before Industrial Revolution, General Zheng He of Chinese Ming Dynasty led an expeditionary journey of what was then the largest armada in the world with his largest ship stretching 120 meters (more than 390 feet) in length. He reached S Asia, SE Asia, through (modern names) Strait of Malacca, Sri Lanka, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, back down to sail the east coast of Africa. In his journey, he did not take any land for his Emperor.
China had never been a consistently and outwardly aggressive invader throughout much of her history. It was more a wall-building (to wit - The Great Wall of China) sovereignty-defender, rather than an aggressive territory-taker. Its aggression were mostly for defensive needs to prevent bothersome intrusions from one of its many neighbors, such as Vietnam from the south.
China had, indeed, been invaded, and occupied, by foreigners. However, all of these foreigners were unable to rule over a Chinese people united by their culture for long. It is a culture that emphasis benevolence (仁), doing the right thing (義) and morality (道德). The Mongolians lasted for less than 100 years. The Manchurian did better, but was ultimately driven out also.
The idea of a “Super-Power” globally never existed in Chinese history.
America, from early days of its history, was intent on being dominant. Its doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” was the philosophical foundation to justify the killings of North American natives and the robbing of their lands. When its own country was strong enough, it came up with a “Monroe Doctrine”.When Cold War ended, and most Americans were expecting prosperity from “peace dividends”, its military-industrial complex, with collusion of its government, came up with the idea of “Exceptionalism with Missionary Obligation”.
The resistances from those who do not want to be dominated are truly the causes of the chaos we see in the world today.
I, like most residents of this world, would prefer to live in a world of harmonious existence wherein all are EQUAL. American needs to learn that acceptances of differences among cultures and respect of human rights have to be universally applied, not only in America.
Before the industrial era there was no superpower. The most powerful empire only attained the level of regional power.
take example Roman Empire or Tang dynasty, their action only affected their surrounding civilization. Since we are talking about China, we’ll talk about Tang Dynasty.
If we count superpower by the power of destruction that empire has, Tang dynasty most deadly weapon is crossbow, spear, bow. These weapon has a relative small destruction power compare to later weapon. In this respect no Tang dynasty can not be compare with the current destruction power weapon.
Also during Tang Dynasty, the Japan, Korean did learn and adopt many things from it. A lot of middle east trader did trade in Tang dynasty capital Chang an, But Tang dynasty influence has not reach the entire globe. The Maya or Aztec civilization probably never heard of Tang dynasty. Europe only seen China through it’s silk and porcelain.
The Tang dynasty even lost war with the Arab, in central Asia, this means the stretch of military power is limited to the sorrounding region.
In this respect Tang Dynasty was not a world power let alone superpower. The next dynasty is quite similar with Tang Dynasty.
So no…. China has never been a superpower.