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Dynasties Of China
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Dynasties Of China

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  • 1. Dynasties of China Dynasties are a succession of rulers from the same family or line. These were a major part of the Chinese culture.
  • 2. Xia Dynasty
    • The Xia Dynasty was the first Chinese dynasty that rose around 2000 B.C.
    • The leader of this dynasty was an engineer and mathematician named Yu.
    • There are no written records from this period, so the actual events of this time are unknown.
    • During this period, farm surpluses permitted cities to grow.
  • 3. Shang Dynasty
    • This dynasty lasted from about 1532 to 1027 B.C.
    • This was the first family of rulers to leave written records behind.
    • The Shang kings built intricate palaces and tombs.
    • Anyang was one of the capitals of the Shang Dynasty that was among the oldest and most important Shang cities. This capital was built mainly out of wood and was located in a forest clearing.
    • Higher classes lived in timber-framed houses with walls of clay and straw inside of the city walls while peasants lived in hovels outside of the city.
    • The city walls were built for protection because they were continually engaging war.
    • The Shang society was divided between nobles and peasants.
    • Noble families owned the land and restrained the villages within the Shang lands.
    • Peasants tilled soil for overlords.
  • 4.
    • The Shang consulted gods. They worshipped an ultimate god, Shang Di, as well as other gods.
    • Kings consulted gods through the use of oracle bones.
    • Oracle bones are animal bones and tortoise shells on which priests had scratched questions for the gods.
    • The earliest evidence of Chinese writing came from oracle bones.
  • 5.
    • In this dynasty, people learned how to manufacture weapons, jewelry and religious items for the city’s nobles.
    • Artisans surpassed bronzeworking.
    • People also learned how to make silk.
  • 6. Zhou Dynasty
    • Around 1027 B.C., peoples called the Zhou overturned the Shang and established their own dynasty.
    • They adopted much from the Shang culture so the change in the dynasty didn’t bring a new culture, but brought new ideas to the Chinese civilization.
    • This dynasty took over lands that stretched far beyond the Huang He in the north to the Yangtze in the south.
    • As cities grew, the Zhou built roads and canals to supply them, these turned into stimulated trade and agriculture.
    • The Zhou dynasty introduced coin money, which further improved trade.
    • Iron was used to create weapons and tools.
    • This dynasty ruled from about 1027 to 256 B.C.
  • 7. Sui Dynasty
    • Sui Wendi declared himself the first empire of this dynasty, which lasted from 589 to 618 B.C.
    • The Sui emperors’ greatest accomplishment was the completion of the Grand Canal. The waterway linked the Huang He (Yellow River) and the Yangtze River. It provided an invigorating trade route.
    • The endless labor on state projects made the people rebel against the Sui Dynasty.
  • 8. Tang Dynasty
    • This dynasty ruled for approximately 300 years (618-907 B.C.).
    • The Tang emperor was Tang Taizong. His reign lasted from 627 to 649.
    • The empire expanded under the Tang rulers.
    • Taizong’s armies reconquered the northern and western lands that China had lost since the decline of the Han Dynasty.
    • In 690, Empress Wu assumed the title of emperor for herself. She was the only woman ever to do so in China.
    • Tang rulers strengthened the central government of China. He expanded the network of roads and canals begun by the Sui. This helped pull the empire together.
    • Taizong and his successors promoted foreign trade and improvements in agriculture.
    • By the mid-700s, the Tang Dynasty became weak.
    • In 907, Chinese rebels destroyed and burned the Tang capital of Chang’an and murdered the last Tang emperor, which was a child.
  • 9. Song Dynasty
    • In 960, Song Taizu reunited China. He was the first Song emperor.
    • This dynasty lasted for about three centuries (960-1279 B.C.).
    • The Song armies never regained the western lands lost after 751 nor did they regain the northern lands.
    • Song emperors tried to buy peace with their northern enemies. This policy failed.
    • In the early 1100s, a Manchurian people called the Jurchen took over northern China and established the Jin Empire. They forced the Song to retreat south across the Huang He.
    • After 1126, the Song emperors ruled only southern China. They established a grand new capital at Hangzhou, a city on the coast to the south of the Yangtze.
    • The south eventually became the economic heartland of China. Merchants in southern cities grew rich trades with the Chinese in the north, nomads of Central Asia, and people of western Europe.