National History Day

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National History Day

Unread postby Xia Yue » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:54 pm

I'm not sure if anyone here has heard of it, but my school participates in a competition called National History day where students create exhibits, skits, documentaries, websites, and reports on the theme (which could be anything; it's different every year).

Traditionally, me and my friends form a group of five and create a skit. (It must be below 15 minutes). The only issue is that this year, the theme seems to be quite difficult. It is: Debate and Diplomacy in History. We haven't really begun National History Day yet, but I want to get a head-start and look for a topic.

Is there anything in Ancient China that dealt with diplomacy and/or peace/diplomatic struggles? Are there any times where a battle was solved with peace rather than an actual fight?

Thank you!
"To see what others do not is called Brilliance. To know what others do not is called Genius."
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Re: National History Day

Unread postby Rick Shaw » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:00 am

Xia Yue wrote:Is there anything in Ancient China that dealt with diplomacy and/or peace/diplomatic struggles? Are there any times where a battle was solved with peace rather than an actual fight?

Thank you!


The debate between Zhuge Liang and...hrmm, I'm not coming up with his opponent at the moment. Where Zhuge Liang argued with the man until the guy collapsed and died. That'd be an interesting one, of course.

Another one would be the story of the Lord of Qi, circa 500 BCE. Qi was neighbored by Jin who's lord has designed to invade Qi. As such the Lord of Jin sent an emissary to Qi. The Lord of Qi, welcomed the emissary and treated him to a luxurious banquet.
After a while the Jin emissary requested to drink from the Lord of Qi's cup. This was a show of familiarity and the act of a foreign emissary making such a request would have been a grave insult to the Lord of Qi. But because Jin was a stronger state than that of Qi at the moment, the Lord of Qi agreed and exclaimed, "I offer my cup to my guest."
After the Jin emissary had drank from the Lord of Qi's cup a noble from Qi came and removed the cup, personally serving the emissary wine from another goblet.
After another while the emisary, pretending to be intoxicated, rose to his feet in displeasure and demanded entertainment. He looked to one of the high minister of the Qi court and said, "I desire the music of the Duke of Zhou. If you can play it, I will dance it for you."
As is known, the King of Zhou was the founder of the Zhou Dynasty...whom was in official (if not technical) control of the country at this time. It would be like an Irish emissary going to the House of Parliament and asking that God Save the King be played for him when he entered.
The minister feigned ignorance and stated, "I am afraid I have not practiced it."
With that, the Jin emissary left the banquet and returned home, mortified by his treatment.
After the Jin emissary had left the Duke of Qi brought his counselors together and admonished them for their actions saying, "Jin is a powerful state. Now you have angered the emissary of that great state, who had come to observe our government. What shall we do?"
First the court noble rose and spoke up, "I could see the emissary was not ignorant of etiquette, so I would not go along with him when he tried to shame our state."
Then the high minister rose to his feet and also spoke, "The music of the King of Zhou is the music of the nation's leader. Only a ruler such as yourself dances it. That emissary was the servant of another, yet he wished to dance the music of leaders--that is why I didn't perform."
The Jin emissary returned to his own lord and stated in council, "Qi cannot be attacked at this time. I tried to insult their lord and a court noble knew it; I tried to violate their etiquette and their highest official percieved it."
Apparently Kong Fu Tzu (aka Confucius), spoke of the court noble from Qi stating that he was able to, "stop a thrust from a thousand miles away, without even leaving the table."

That'd be an interesting skit, I feel. You would need at least 4-5 people:
Duke of Qi
Court Noble
High Minister
Jin Emissary
Duke of Jin
Interested in (Pseudo)Historical Fiction stories? Want to read about Ancient Chinese Heroes, Tragic Valkyries, Rambunctious Squires, and Frenetic Mercenaries? Just interested in the real-life travails of a police detective?
~Rick Shaw: Redefining History
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Re: National History Day

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:19 pm

Rick Shaw wrote:
The debate between Zhuge Liang and...hrmm, I'm not coming up with his opponent at the moment. Where Zhuge Liang argued with the man until the guy collapsed and died. That'd be an interesting one, of course.


The novel Wang Lang I think? Though technically, the battle still happened anyway, just a day afterwards if my memory serves me right
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
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