As to govern such lands. At around


As we know it today, China has
been one of the most successful countries in the world, early China is much
different from what we know to be the Republic of China. Before becoming one massive
country, China was divided into many kingdoms between two very significant
rivers, the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. Today, historians conclude that they have
been able to uncover facts about the Chinese dynasties to as early as 1700
B.C.  Artifacts, bronze weapons, and
written records show the successes of an era known as the Shang and Zhou

The Shang Dynasty, known to be the
longest dynasty in the history of China, was ruled by 31 Emperors and Kings.
Every king was portrayed as more than just a ceremonial official, but rather a
religious icon, they served as a connection between their people and to the
spirit world.  The people created the idea of the mandate of heaven which
would also be adopted by many dynasties. The mandate of heaven explains that
the heavens give the power to the kings to keep successful rule over the society if it is done in the way of pleasing
the gods and protecting the interests of the nation and its people. This
Dynasty was largely agricultural, most of the population had participated in
farming, people often were called upon to participate in wars or to construct large-scale projects. This meant that landlords were very influential, however, to avoid any conflicts of interests
among the landlords with the government, the king himself appointed only
family or close relatives to govern such lands. At around 1500 BC, the people
had been known for their large-scale production of bronze weapons and vessels,
with the increase in bronze production, the military was well equipped with
sufficient weaponry.

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Dynasty had many contributions to Chinese civilization, but three define this
dynasty: the introduction of bronze technology,
the development of a hierarchy government, and the development of writing,

This Dynasty existed during China’s bronze age, throughout this time, bronze signified
authority and capital. Only individuals with any influence within the kingdom
had access to bronze.  The Shang perfected the skill of designing,
forging, and mastered complicated practices
that involved creating specialized weaponry and vessels, the innovation of bronze technology and the manufacture
of bronze weapons provided the Shang forces a prestigious
advantage over their adversaries and entirely changed the methods of warfare.
They had also designed a newly-sophisticated
weapon, the horse-drawn chariots. Chariots enabled superiors to oversee their
troops across great distances and making them mobile. Since many wars had occurred,
these new technologies had contributed the longest-lasting

Secondly, the Shang political system was prearranged into a
hierarchy system, meaning that it had many levels of jobs and social class. The
invention of writing had a profound effect on the Shang government and its capability
to rule. It amplified the government’s ability to organize on a substantial
level, whether it be organizing the mining of large quantities of bronze,
construct city walls, or to wage large military campaigns.

Historians have demonstrated that this Dynasty
has already developed the principles of
modern writing techniques. In fact, Chinese literature has undergone relatively
limited amounts of change since it was first developed. Documents were initially
noted on strips of silk and bamboo that have since been decomposed.


 After numerous years of ruling, the Shang
dynasty was overthrown by an influential power known as the Zhou dynasty. The
Zhou Dynasty incorporated the same system of the previous dynasties, however, changes were made. It continued to
practice the Shang’s scheme of dividing the kingdom into sub-states.  But
if the gods were dissatisfied with the king, the mandate would be taken away
from him, thus having him overthrown and replaced by a new ruler. The concept
of the mandate had definitively become the structure of Chinese tradition. The Zhou had
constructed numerous laws for its society
to keep a strong government. This enabled them to begin agricultural production
and the use of iron. Over time, the Zhou
Dynasty become corrupt and avaricious. Governs and Landlords were appointed, and not chosen, all of which were only
relatives or loyal friends of the state, to minimize any suggestion of a
rebellion. However, taxes had been drastically increased. During this time,
large factions began to speak up and exhibited rebellions.


 The decline
of the Shang dynasty had commenced, as the power of the central government
began to weaken, and conflicts between different principalities began to
escalate due to the influx of rising taxes
and corruption. Many principalities had believed
that the king was no longer competent, this created many rebellions. Now the Zhou Dynasty had successfully toppled the Shang. Due to the
increase of wars, many military
commanders had gained much influence, especially the most renown, Sun Tzu.
He is
known as a philosopher, military tactician,
and military commander in the 6th century, he is
commonly recognized for his work of the book “The Art of War”, a 2,500-year-old
book on military strategy. Even today, most
of his teachings are still relevant. The 13-chapter book is regarded as one of
the finest documentation of ancient military
strategy.  The book mainly deals with the
objective of winning battles with minimum conflict, effort, losses and maximum
operational efficiency. The book has become a handbook for military leadership.
The solid qualities of a leader determine the success achieved on the
battlefield, whereas his weaknesses will lead his army to defeat. This very statement is relevant in conferring the role
of military leaders in modern-day combat. The book describes four major traits/qualities
of an effective leader: sternness, trust, and

to succeed in the mission/objective,
superiors must be strict. They must be willing to do what others may hesitate to
do, it is vital for a superior to discipline those who do not obey an order. A
famous example was when he had ordered a group of women to perform a simple drill, However, when he ordered them to perform the drill, the women burst out into laughter, he ordered the two soldiers to be beheaded as an example for the
rest of the army.

“If words of command are not clear and distinct, if
orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. But, if
orders are clear and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of
their officers.” ? Sun Tzu

Trust, if a leader fails, to
be honest, he may lose the respect of
those who he leads and the overall mission integrity is put at great risk. A leader must develop mutual
trust among his troops, Tzu emphasized the importance of rewards and
punishments, to avoid discouraging troops of

“If troops are punished before their loyalty is secured they will be disobedient. If
not obedient, it is difficult to employ
them. If troops are loyal, but punishments are not enforced, you cannot employ

Intelligence, the ability
to collect and effectively use the information against the enemy to your
advantage, is a significant characteristic of
a General. To can comprehend the information, the spymaster is required to
control the spy. The general must use spies, but should never reveal their identity
to each other, mainly to maintain the structural
integrity. Sun Tzu organizes his intelligence sources into five categories:


Local Spies: Recruited
from the general population of the enemy state.


Internal Spies: Corrupt officials
from the government of the enemy state (the ambitious, miserable, suppressed, punished and the reckless).


Reverse Spies (Double Agents): They are
enemy agents who have been turned (with bribes and promises), and they now spy
against their former master or send back false information.


Dead Spies (Counter Intelligence): They are agents who spread
unactionable intelligence to enemy agents to manipulate
them (doing strategic planning openly for the purpose of deception and allowing
our spies to know of enemy spies) and having them executed.


Surviving Spies: Spies who
return with actionable intelligence from
the enemy’s camp, and operate effectively
in enemy territory.

“The Supreme
Art of War is to subdue the enemy without fighting” – Sun Tzu


In conclusion, The Shang and Zhou Dynasties
created a time of warfare and corruption,
however, it was the longest and most successful of its time. The conflicts that had
led up to “The Art of War” has considerably influenced modern day warfare. Ever since The Art of War was
published, military leaders have been following its advice, executives and
lawyers use the teachings of “The Art of War” to get the advantage in
negotiations. The Art of War
presents the basic principles of warfare. Its 13 chapters offer specific battle
strategies, but they also offer more
general advice about conflicts and their resolution. Plainly, this 2,500-year-old book still resonates
with a 21st-century audience.

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