Great Yu Controlled the Flood (B.C. 2205)
After Emperor Shun, Yu became the next Emperor (B.C. 2205). Yu was one of
descendants of the Yellow Emperor. Being
known for his kindness and talent, Yu was recommended by many ministers as the
most capable person to find ways to control flooding. He was then appointed by
Emperor Shun to take the responsibility of
Yu’s father Gun had
spent nine years building dikes and dams to prevent flooding in Yao’s reign, but
his work was in vain.
Yu’s approach was different from his father’s.
Noticing and taking advantage of the downward flowing nature of water, he
dredged canals according to the physical functions of the terrain to lead the
nine great rivers to the sea. After 13 years of hard work, the floods subsided.
Yu devoted himself to flood
control as he knew controlling flooding would save people’s lives. His devotion
was such that three times he passed his own house and did not go home. The first
time, he had just started the work onflood control and he did not visit his wife
although they were newly married. The second time, he was busy with flood
control and did not visit his family although his son was newly born. The third
time, he was so busy leading water to the sea that he did not stop, but just
waved back to his wife and his son.
After successfully developing flood
control, Yu taught people how to plant a
variety of crops in the fertile land. After that, people’s lives became happy
Due to Yu’s great contributions and compassion for people,
he was absolutely loved. Yu was so humble, benevolent, and reliable, and Emperor
Shun counted on him so much, that in 2205 B.C. Emperor Shun handed the throne to
Yu instead of to his son.
Yu has been remembered by the Chinese people as
Hereditary Sovereignty Begins
The Yellow Emperor, Yao, and Shun were respected and supported by each tribe
to become emperors because of their virtuous character. They ruled the ancient
Chinese society by moral principles and loose management. They elected
respective successors based on ability and virtuous character. They also
solicited the people’s opinion to make a final decision as to whom to pass the
throne on to.
Yu was the great-great-grandson of the Yellow Emperor. His
great-grandfather and father were not emperors but instead ministers to the
emperor. Yu handed the throne to a sage, but after three years of mourning Yu’s
death, the sage gave the throne back to Yu’s son. Since then the hereditary
system was established and the throne was handed to son or
Subsequent dynasties continued this hereditary system. Yu’s son
established China’s first dynasty-Xia. The establishment of the Xia Dynasty
marked the end of a primitive and loosely tribal society in China.
birth of the Xia Dynasty was an important milestone in the history of Chinese
civilization. It lasted 400 years and had a total of 17 generations (B.C. 2205 –
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