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king and duke The Correlation Between Chines

The numerous cultures of Mainland China are both intricate with their systems of deities and traditions, and yet humble with their ways of life and survival. China is located in the midst of high lands, plateaus, canyons and numerous river systems. In coinciding with the difficult landscapes in which they live, the Chinese people have managed to generally abide by the natural protocols of the land. Throughout their approximately five thousand years of civilization the Chinese have concocted many traditions which are based upon their thriving in their environment. These traditions are what produce the intricate social structures of most of China. Every aspect of the Chinese culture is interrelated and therefore necessary for the continuance of the civilization. These qualities are what have confirmed China as not only a grand civilization but also one of great integrity.
The area in which China is contained is within the continent of Asia surrounded by the countries of Mongolia, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, and both North and South Korea. With these various surrounding civilizations China has been susceptible to multiple altercations with encroaching empires and inflictions from outside cultures. Most disputes were over jealousy fueled by the captivating land in which China is located. However, the Chinese people, in accordance with their cultural beliefs, felt it dishonorable to claim ownership of any parcel of land.  


The Chinese people carry much pride for their vast existence as a mainly undivided civilization. However, their earliest of history was not thoroughly documented until  the Qin dynasty (approximately 200 B.C.E.) Before that specific era Chinese history was preserved through stories by mouth rather than by quill. Though it is impossible to be assured of the validity of any oral tradition the Chinese people still regard them as written history. Many of the beliefs in current Chinese culture still heavily rely on the precepts of these stories as their basis.
The unwritten history of China began nearly five thousand years ago with two rulers of primordial Asia. The first of the rulers was known as Huang Di, also referred to as the Yellow Emperor, and ruled part of the Yellow River Valley of central Asia. The second of rulers was known as Yan Di, often referred to as the Fiery Emperor, to whom an unknown area of outer Asia had belonged. The importance of these two rulers is said to be in cause of their extensive attributes to early civilization in China. The invention of the cart, the boat, clothes, script and medicine is attributed to the genius of Huang Di. Whereas the necessity of cultivating the land through the use of a plow is attributed to Yan Di.
'Perhaps, hundreds of years thereafter the attributions of Huang Di and Yan Di, the leaders known as Yao, Shun and Yu had led the people one after another. Yu was a prestigious and popular leader who supposedly gained the respect of his followers by taming two flooding rivers by redirecting their currents towards the sea. Upon the death of Yu his son, Qi. had succeeded as ruler. With this first exchange in rule the first dynasty in Chinese history had been founded. It was called the Xia dynasty. With the establishment of its first dynasty China had been transformed from a primitive society, consisting of no family structure, private property, or class distinction, to a society based mainly on family and private ownership. Little is known about the Xia dynasty except for that it had lasted four hundred years and was ultimately overthrown by the Shang,a state that was east of the Chinese establishment.
All history before the Shang dynasty is largely legendary with very little or no material evidence of neither the Xia dynasty nor the rulers Yu, Huang Di or Yao Di. However, the Shang dynasty is assured to have existed in some manner as it is proven by numerous burial chambers and oracle bones unearthed one-hundred years ago in Anyang County, Henan Province. Anyang is believed to be one of the various capitals during the Shang Dynasty. The nearly one hundred thousand bones with nearly three thousand different ideograms on them concluded this assessment. The findings of the many scriptures on the bones represent the ... more

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Dan Rather

Before I begin, I'd like to thank the person who made it possible for me to be here with you all today. President Bill Clinton. By scheduling his trip to Moscow just so, I had enough of a pause between my trips to Japan and Oklahoma city and Russia that it was possible to make it to Hartford today.

I'd also like to thank John Boyer. Somehow he got it into his head that I like Twain -- which I do -- and that I might know something about him -- which I don't. At least I am honest about it.

However, you may want to consider that Mark Twain and I share certain unshakable philosphical similarities. We both lived in Connecticut for a while. We both like to fish. We both like to play hooky. We both like cigars. But Mark Twain's wife allowed him to light his cigars. (You can only imagine the sort of career I might've had if my wife let me light my cigars.owever, like the President, I am only permitted to chew mine.)

I'm not unaware that the giving of lectures on Mark Twain is more commonly the sphere of academics. To be enjoyed by other academics. Academics can ask questions such as, "Was Huck black?" To which the rest of us would merely reply, "No." Academics prefer debate over simple questions. Academics aren't like you and me. At least, they're not like me. Such things are way over my head. I am a proud graduate of Sam Houston State Teachers College Huntsville, Texas. While those of us who went there know it to be the Yale or UConn of our part of the world, we're perfectly well aware that most people this far north have never heard of the place. Sam Houston State has about as much ivy growing on it as your average Burger King or McDonald's. I say all these things to underscore one thing. There may be great experts on the work of Mark Twain -- perhaps there are several in this room. But very few if any such great experts are graduates of Sam Houston State Teachers College. And I am not such a one. It's with that understanding that I proceed today. I don't pretend any expertise in the works of Mark Twain. I tend not to interpret much. I enjoy.

In preparing for my visit I did a lot of reading and re-reading, and I did a lot of laughing out loud. I gulped with surprise when I'd be reminded that Mark Twain met the Tsar or read Italian or (published) the autobiography of Ulysses Grant or performed any of his other less celebrated miracles. I even found myself blinking back a few tears. I wondered how I could justify devoting my time and energy to anything other than Mark Twain.

I'm not alone in enjoying Mark Twain. People come up to you and talk to you when you're reading Mark Twain. They feel a warm affection almost as if they knew the old boy personally. And I daresay very few of the flight attendants on my trip from Saipan to the Sandwich Islands actually did know Mark Twain personally. I doubt more than two of them have even met Hal Holbrook.

So here we are, galloping toward the centennial of Twain's death. Mark Twain has become something like Benjamin Franklin to us, an almost huggable icon, a catch-all for national pride and school day memories. And Mark Twain has become something like an old relative. We still enjoy his company, and feel nostalgia for the times we've spent with him in the past. But we keep saying to ourselves that we just don't see enough of him.

He rewards the time spent. He is full of surprises. He is tricky. He is always springing things on you. He keeps you on your toes. This is good exercise. It is also good for the character. It teaches you something.

We may be surprised to realize that Mark Twain was a newspaperman -- a reporter -- something as conventional as that. After all, he was himself so singular that we feel he ought to have held singular jobs, ... more

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