The Chou first coexisted and then fought with the earlier Shang Dynasty, living to the west of them in what is now Shensi Province, with a capital originally in Hao (Zongzhou).
In 722 B.C., the Chou dynasty capital moved east to Luoyang (in modern Henan Province). Its empire was a proto-feudal one with at least 20 "feudal" lords [see feudalism article] maintained by an extended family network. By 771 B.C., the power had shifted, and so the earlier period is now referred to as the Western Chou (Hsi Chou) dynasty and the later period, the Eastern Chou (Tung Chou), which is itself divided into a Spring and Autumn period and a Warring States period.
By the Spring and Autumn period, the power of the king had waned and was split among five hegemons, with the king more a figure head in charge of ancestor worship than an administrator.
During the Chou dynasty in China, ox-drawn ploughs, iron, horseback riding, coinage, chopsticks, and the crossbow were introduced. Roads, canals, and major irrigation projects were developed. The philosophies of Confucianism and Taoism also emerged.
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- "Periodization of Chinese History," by Meribeth E. Cameron. The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun., 1946), pp. 171-177.
- "Ancient China - The Yellow River Culture" www.wsu.edu:8001/~dee/ANCCHINA/YELLOW.HTM
- "Timetable of Chinese History" www.yutopian.com/history/
- More on the Chou