By “key concepts in Chinese thought and culture” we mean concepts and keywords or phrases the Chinese people have created or come to use that are fundamentally pertinent to Chinese philosophy, humanistic spirit, way of thinking, and values.
Under this system, ancient monarchs granted titles of nobility, land, and people to their relatives and officials of merit, allowing them to establish dukedoms. Each territory was smaller than that under the direct control of the monarch, and had its own military and administrative systems. All dukedoms checked each other while protecting the monarch together. As a political scheme, the feudal system is believed to have started in the era of the legendary Yellow Emperor, and became established in the Western Zhou Dynasty. In more than 2000 years from the Qin Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, centralized government or imperial autocracy was dominant, rendering the feudal system supplementary.
Feudal system survived the eras of all ancient sages, namely Yao, Shun, Yu the Great, Tang of Shang, King Wen of Zhou, and King Wu of Zhou. (Liu Zongyuan: On Feudal System)