The present course of studies has revealed a complex nature of the civilization formation process. A huge number of factors contribute to their profile and shape their image with the whole tremendous complexity of the political, cultural, religious, societal, and individual.
The history of China is intricately interwoven with the history of neighboring regions such as Korea and Japan, hence understanding the way religion, political order, culture, arts, international relations, and other aspects of the civilization’s functioning formed at that state is essential for acquiring awareness of the mechanisms that shape cultures and civilizations.
It is clear that such factors as the comparative isolation of China, the religious influences, the dynasty form of political order, and the peculiarities of trade relations and overlordship over the Silk Way contributed to the formation of the Chinese civilization. The impact these factors produced, once discovered in detail, may reveal in-depth mechanisms of evolution of a particular state.
The isolation of China and complexity for other people to get there due to the high mountains and high deserts played an essential role in its distinct formation, and the preservation of the unique culture, language, and arts that were left unaffected by comers from other regions that used to bring in some new elements to every society (McKay et al., 2008).
At the early stages of China’s development, no trade relations tied it with other regions, and no other contact with other cultures was held. This isolation secured the logographic writing system that is still retained in China, in which every separate symbol denotes a word (McKay et al., 2008).
The writing system proved to have profound impact on the history of China as well; the unique system influenced the nature of the ruling class in China, and shaped the unique Chinese literature (McKay et al., 2008). The way Chinese interacted with non-Chinese was also heavily influenced by the writing system, marking some distinct historical features of the interaction process that affected the future international relations and mutual influences.
The religious system fostered in China affected the way the social organization was sustained within the state. The earliest religious practices were sustained by the ruling class, the Shang Dynasty kings, who were not only state rulers but also intermediaries between the common people and the high god Di (McKay et al., 2008). The manipulation of divine will by kings allowed them to keep people in subordination and isolation.
The present religion gave roots for the Confucian tradition that helped sustain peace in China and ensure prosperity of China under the Han Dynasty in 221 BC. Trade with other countries and the influx of representatives of other cultures brought Buddhism to China, the well-developed religion with new philosophical principles and social roles, which contributed much to the fundamental changes in the Chinese society (McKay et al., 2008).
Finally, one cannot disregard such an important influence on the development of any civilization as the impact of relationships with other societies, and cultures.
The quick development and change in China began first with the overlordship over the Silk Way – as soon as the trade began to prosper in China, the merchants and religious missionaries began to come back and forth, disseminating the Chinese traditions and bringing in something from neighboring regions. Therefore, the cultural exchange influenced the Chinese evolution and ensured the spread of Chinese elements of culture throughout the Asian region (West, South, and East Asia).
Summing up everything that has been said regarding the mechanisms of evolution, one should note that the Asian region experienced the influence of a set of factors such as the unique geographical peculiarities, the distinct political order, the exceptional influence of religion, and the huge impact of trade as the source of cultural exchange.
These mechanisms are generally considered to be the strongest determinants of the evolution of any civilization, both in the ancient times and modernity. Hence, understanding the complex impact of mentioned factors in a certain region during a certain historical period enables the researcher to make more precise estimates of the historical path and evolutionary development of states, regions, and societies.
McKay, J.P., Hill, B.D., Buckler, J., Ebrey, P.B., Beck, R.B., Crowston, C.H., & Wiesner-Hanks, M.E. (2008). A History of World Societies, Volume A: From Antiquity to 1500. New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s