What Was Feudalism in Ancient China?


Quick Answer

Feudalism in ancient China refers to the allocation of a certain area or region to a specific individual who becomes the established leader of that region. The term also refers to the shared power system between regional leaders.

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Full Answer

The concept of feudalism in ancient China dates back to the 11th century B.C. to the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Despite the fact that feudalism is typically marked by military takeovers, 20th century historians suggest that Chinese systems differ from European feudal governments in that Chinese lords owed allegiance to the king due to kinship rather than by law. Further, Chinese peasants were not legally bound to the land like European peasants in similar situations.

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