The Golden Age of Wuding did not continue for very
long after his death. In the subsequent reigns, especially when Diyi and Dixin
were in power, internal social conflicts became more serious and neighboring
states began to rebel. The last Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC) monarch,
Dixin, more commonly known as King Zhou, was a despot just like King Jie of the
Xia Dynasty (21st-17th century BC). Regardless of the instability of the state,
Dixin ordered the construction of splendid palaces and gardens. He also used
large numbers of armies to attack the Eastern Yi Tribe. As he devised and used
cruel tortures to repress those who disobeyed him, social unrest soon became
|Changxin bronze serial bells (8.5 to 48
In the 11th century BC, a frontier state
called Zhou gained prominence. Under the reign of King Wen, the kingdom of Zhou
soon became powerful. When King Wen died, his son Jifa, known as King Wu,
succeeded him. In 1122BC, assisted by Jiangshang and Zhoudan, King Wu launched a
punitive attack against King Zhou of the Shang. Having suffered much during the
reign of King Zhou, the Shang army led the Zhou army to the Shang capital. King
Zhou committed suicide and the Shang Dynasty collapsed.
The Shang was followed by a new dynasty
named Zhou. The Zhou Dynasty is traditionally divided into two periods: the
Western Zhou (11th century-711BC) with Haojing as its capital, and the Eastern
Zhou (770-221BC), when the capital was moved east to the present-day Luoyang.
The Zhou reigned over 800 years and was the
longest-ruling dynasty in Chinese history. It was especially noted for its
brilliant achievements in culture.