As the Zhou dynasty power was declined, the view warfare in China changed radically in the Spring and Autumn Annals. Wars became more intensive, organized, and severe, fought by bigger states with more sophisticate technique and larger forces. After ...
As the Zhou dynasty power was declined, the view warfare in China changed radically in the Spring and Autumn Annals. Wars became more intensive, organized, and severe, fought by bigger states with more sophisticate technique and larger forces. After war was protracted, states needed a mass mobilization. Accordingly, the ideas of national prosperity and defense began to emerge in the Spring and Autumn Annals.
As the Sun-tzu makes plain, violence is only one part of warfare and not even the preferred part. The aim of war induce his compliance. The most economical means is the best. This stress on gaining victory without fighting is not a utopian fancy but part of the larger view that seeks maintain the established order without the use of violence. Although Sun-tzu presents the thoughts of ‘mougong(謀攻)’, ‘guidao(詭道)’, and ‘yongzhong(用衆)’, but it is still lack of explanations of justification for the war, attitude toward unification, and a measure to enrich and strengthen a country.
The Warring States Period of China had experienced an unprecedented change of the form of warfare. The main goal of warfare changed from taking land and castle to expanding territory. The complicated international situation which was called ‘he zong lian heng(合從連衡) appeared, as the annex of small countries had been almost completed. This change of the pattern of warfare in the Warring States Period had a great impact on the entire society. The Seven Warring Sates initiated their own reformative politics with the goal of achieving national prosperity and enhancing military power. The countries which continually and strongly executed their reformative politics had maintained their prosperity for a long time, while the others which did not had fallen into decline.
The ‘Wu-zi’ and ‘Sun Bin’s Art of War,’ the Warring States Period’s main art of war, reflected the pattern of warfare of the Warring States Period. The ‘Wu-zi’ tried to systematically classify the form of complicated warfare, and analyze the cause and nature of warfare. The ‘Sun Bin’s Art of War’ criticized anti-war activists and regarded warfare as the inevitable series of incidents to maintain social stability. In the excavated literatures ‘yin que shan zhu jian(銀雀山漢簡)’ and ‘ma wang dui han mu bo shu(馬王堆漢墓帛書)’, the warfare in the Warring States Period had already become the issue that was discussed not only in ‘bing shu(兵書),’ but also in political thought. The literatures not only encourage the active use of military power, but also writes that the form of ideal king is not confucian ‘wang-zhe(王者)’ but ‘bai-zhe(霸者)’ based on the use of armed force. In conclusion, the military thought of the Warring States Period also considers the national governing principle as a way to organize and develop the system of state for military victory beyond the simple military issue.
The pattern of the warfare in the latter period of the Warring States had made a big change compared to its former period in many aspects. As the scale of the warfare had been extremely expanded, each country conscripted peasants to make up the troops and appointed talented people to lead large army. In the way of conducting war, the main forces were made up of infantry and cavalry, particularly the appearance of calvary had brought a diversification of tactics such as the increase of fighting speed, and the interdiction of side and rear. The goal of each country was not just gaining territory but reached to annex other countries pursuing the management of the world.
The Qin dynasty merged six countries with the occupy of Han Dynasty as the first step in 230 B.C. The fundamental cause that made the Qin be able to annex six countries was political and military reform. The Shang Yang Reforms that was implemented following the principle of dispensation of justice both to services and crimes and the enforcement of server laws had a practical purpose of national prosperity and military power, and Qinlü(秦律) reflected the reformation spirit of Shang Yang. The Qinlü existed in the background of the Qin’s Army that radically developed its national power in short term and suddenly grew up to a military power. And the logic of legitimacy of military force to be seen in the Lu Shi Chun Qiu(呂氏春秋) had played a theoretical role to justify the war of aggression of Qin and to back up universe unification.