Powstanie i rozwój cywilizacji chińskiej
The rise and development of the Chinese Civilization
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The Chinese civilization, apart from being acknowledged as one of the oldest, is still perceived in the West from the Europocentric perspective. This is visible in the discussions about the specifics of the Asian develop ment, which has its roots in the Greek philosophy of history and in the then developed idea of the Oriental despotism, A more updated demon stration of similar views is K. Wittfogel's conception of the hydraulic civ ilizations or that of F. Braudel's social immobility. Conceptions of this type or conviction of the historic determinism of civilizations such as the Chinese, Indian or Persian will make the fast development possible, but then leads to stagnation, which makes the further development, which occurred in Europe, impossible. These theses were presented in a comparative analysis. The condi tions indispensable for civilizations to emerge were studied, in particular the significance of the neolithic revolution in the Middle East where the oldest proof of transformation to the agricultural economy comes from. It was compared with the origins of the Chinese agriculture. Contempo rary archeological excavations allow to distinguish two centers of neolith ic revolution in China: one in the North, connected with growing of mil let, another in the South based on rice cultivation. Thanks to marking the dates by using the radiocarbon method it is possible to discover that the agriculture in China appeared 8000 years ago. Growing local species of plants, unknown in the Western Asia demonstrate that there had been independent neolithic centers there. The development of those societies corresponds with changes seen in the Middle East which had also con tributed to the origin of first states and local writing. In author's opinion the birth of the Chinese civilization was a special process, indeed, but social mechanisms to have led to that (food surplus, increase of social stratification, appearance of elites) fully matched with models of evolution of agricultural societies in other cultures.
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