The Zhou adopted much of the Shang lifestyle; they often "imported" Shang families or communities to new towns they built to utilize the knowledge of the Shang artisans. The Zhou also adopted much of the Shang writing system, their rituals, and administration techniques. The Zhou however,
began a different form of governing and tax collection, which was based on delegating political power through land distribution. Land was given to people in elaborate ceremonies. The landowners became vassals to the king. Descent became patriarchal, from father to son. The Zhou territory was too vast to be governed directly, and was divided into fiefs where vassals were delegated to rule. Thus, the government structure was a series of interconnected familial and political alliances. This is similar to feudalism in Europe during the Middle Ages, in that it is a system that connects political power and wealth to control over agricultural lands. However, at the height of Zhou control, taxation and political power were more centralized than in Medieval Europe. Although Zhou landlords were not paid a salary, as in a highly centralized government system, they were given regular gifts by the Zhou king. The Zhou also brought their religion with them. They banned human sacrifice and practiced the cult of Heaven. Some of the popular Shang gods became incorporated into this system, but they were lesser gods, and served as feudal lords to the Zhou god of Heaven."