Asian Governmental Style Of The Western Zhou Government Essay

Decent Essays

In this historical article analysis, Feng (2003) writes about the Eurocentric terms used to describe primarily Asian governmental styles in the Western Zhou government (1046–771 BC). The term “feudalism” is a generalized term used by European historians, which improperly attempts to define the Fenjian style of governance in Western Zhou. Certainly, the global dominance of European scholarship is unsuccessfully analyzing the critical differences between the feudalistic style and the Fenjian governments. Feng (2003) defines the ways in which the Zhou king never possessed a “vassalage” relationship in feudal governing, since he was considered separate from his “subjects” as a divine ruler. This approach is considered from the perspective of the king, regional rulers, regional states, military ranking, and the Fengjian mechanisms of a centralized government. This article analysis will present the major differences between the “feudal” depiction of Western Zhou and the more appropriate Fenjian method of Feng’s (2003) analysis of this style of government in ancient China. The first argument that Feng (2003) puts forth is related to the function of the king as a head of state, which implies a highly centralized state that reduced the intimacy between the king and his subjects. The “ritual” of the Zhou court is defined by Feng (2003) as part of a monolithic style of governance that does not involve a “vassal” relationship found in medieval feudalism. In feudalism, there are

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