1. Traditional Chinese historians have long vilified the First emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huangdi. What were some his major achievements? How did Qin political institutions dramatically break with the past? Why did later historians treat him so harshly?
2. What was the concept of the Mandate of Heaven? How did the Zhou conquerors articulate it to justify their invasion of Shang? How did Mencius reinterpret this concept in his version of Confucianism?
3. Who is the author of the following quote? What Warring States School of Thought did he represent? On what grounds did he reject the use of history as a guide to the political problems of his times? What rival schools of thought was he directly criticizing?
Among the people of Song, there was a farmer who had a stump in the middle of his field. One day, a rabbit running across the field crashed into the stump, broke its neck, and died. Seeing this, the man put aside his plow and took up watch next to the stump, hoping that he would get another rabbit the same way Now if one wants to use the government of the former kings to bring order to the people of the current age, this is all just so much stump-watching.
4. The Shang dynasty has long been considered the first Chinese dynasty. What technologies and institutions distinguished the Shang from earlier communities? What elements of Shang civilization justify labeling the Shang as Chinese?
5. What were the main areas of contention between Mengzi and Xunzi? Why are Mengzi and Xunzi both considered Confucians despite their differences?
6. Emperor Han Wudi (140-86 BCE) was perhaps one of the most accomplished emperors in Chinese history. What were HanWudis outstanding achievements? How did he change Chinese foreign relations? How did he contribute to the establishment of Confucianism as an official ideology?