Shang Dynasty


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Shang Dynasty

  1. 1. The Shang and Zhou Dynasties have helped China become a powerful and prosperous civilization.
  2. 2. <ul><li>The Shang Dynasty dominated the land mostly between the Huang He River (Yellow) in the north and the Yangtze River in the south </li></ul><ul><li>Natural barriers isolated ancient China from other civilizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to the east: Pacific Ocean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to the west: Taklimakan desert and the 14,000-ft Plateau of Tibet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to the southwest: Himalayan Mountains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to the north: Gobi Desert </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental Challenges: </li></ul><ul><li>The Huang He deposited huge amounts of dusty yellowish silt when it overflowed its banks. This silt is called loess that is blown from deserts to China. The floods from the Huang He River could destroy whole villages. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Believed that the spirits of family ancestors had the power to bring good or bad luck to living members of the family </li></ul><ul><li>These spirits were not regarded as mighty gods like other cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Every family paid respect to the father’s ancestors and made sacrifices in the spirits’ honor </li></ul><ul><li>Through the spirits of their ancestors, </li></ul><ul><li>the Shang consulted the gods </li></ul><ul><li>They worshiped the god Shang Di, and many </li></ul><ul><li>other gods as well </li></ul><ul><li>Kings consulted the gods through oracle bones </li></ul><ul><li>Oracle bones- animal bones and sometimes </li></ul><ul><li>tortoise shells on which priests would had </li></ul><ul><li>scratched questions for the gods </li></ul><ul><li>After inscribing a question a priest would a hot </li></ul><ul><li>poker to it, making the bones crack </li></ul><ul><li>They then interpreted the cracks to see how the </li></ul><ul><li>gods answered </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>The family was central to Chinese society </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for ones parents was the most important virtue </li></ul><ul><li>The oldest men in the family controlled the family’s property and made important decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Women were expected to obey their fathers, husbands, and their own sons. </li></ul><ul><li>When women were between the ages of 13 and 16 years old, her marriage was arranged. She then later moved into her husband’s house </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty to one’s family was the most important virtue. People also owed respect to the ruler of the Shang Dynasty </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Each character stands for an idea not a sound </li></ul><ul><li>No connection between the spoken language and the written language. Which meant that a person could read Chinese without being able to speak a word of it and vice versa </li></ul><ul><li>A person needed to know over a 1,000 characters in order to be barely literate </li></ul><ul><li>To be a scholar, one needed to know around 10,000 characters </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, Noble’s children learned to write, but peasant’s children didn’t. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>In Shang society craftsmen were a separate class from everyone else </li></ul><ul><li>They manufactured weapons, jewelry, and religious items for the king and city’s nobles. </li></ul><ul><li>Bronze working was the elite craft in the Shang Dynasty </li></ul><ul><li>Beautiful bronze items were used in religious rituals and were symbols of power. </li></ul><ul><li>The Shang also discovered how to make silk cloth </li></ul><ul><li>They used the fine threads from a silkworm’s cocoon to weave them into beautiful cloth </li></ul>
  7. 8. The Shang and Zhou Dynasties have helped China become a powerful and prosperous civilization .
  8. 9. <ul><li>During the Zhou Dynasty, some land ruled by the Shang Dynasty was lost, mainly areas below the Yangtze River. But new land was gained in the north and northwest further up the Huang He River and Wei River </li></ul><ul><li>Like the Shang Dynasty, the Zhou Dynasty faced major floods along many rivers and isolation from foreign civilizations </li></ul><ul><li>In response to the Zhou Dynasty’s vast area, the king gave control over different regions to members of the royal family and nobles. Gradually, this system fell apart as states fought for power and wealth which lead into the Warring States Period </li></ul>
  9. 10. New dynasty gains power and claims to have the Mandate of Heaven. The new dynasty establishes peace and is considered to have the mandate of Heaven. Gradually, the dynasty declines and power grows weak. Disasters occur and the dynasty grows weaker. Old dynasty is seen as having lost the Mandate of Heaven and rebellions break out. New dynasty emerges as old dynasty is overthrown . Dynastic Cycle Mandate of Heaven - the divine approval thought to be the basis of royal authority Dynastic Cycle - the historical pattern of the rise, decline, and replacement of dynasties
  10. 11. <ul><li>The Zhou Dynasty controlled lands as far and beyond the Huang He River in the north and the Yangtze in the south </li></ul><ul><li>To help govern this vast area, the king gave control over different regions to members of the royal family and or nobles </li></ul><ul><li>Feudalism – a political system in which nobles, or lords, are granted the use of lands that legally belong to the king </li></ul><ul><li>The nobles then owe loyalty and military service to the king and protection to the people living on the estate for being given the responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>As towns grew into cities, and regions expanded into surrounding territory, lords and or nobles gained power </li></ul><ul><li>They then fought amongst themselves for wealth and territory. </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>As cities grew larger, roads and canals were built to transport goods and materials </li></ul><ul><li>The Zhou also introduced the first form of money in China, the coin, which further improved trade </li></ul><ul><li>The most important technological advancement was the use of iron </li></ul><ul><li>To produce cast iron, the Zhou developed blast furnaces, which would not be used in Europe until medieval times. </li></ul><ul><li>The Zhou used iron to create tools for agriculture and weapons </li></ul><ul><li>These tools helped farmers grow more to meet the demands, and support a thriving city </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>For the first 300 years of the Zhou Dynasty, the empire was mainly peaceful </li></ul><ul><li>In 771 B.C., nomads from the north and west attacked and invaded the Zhou capital city of Hao </li></ul><ul><li>They murdered the king, but a few family members escaped and went eastward to the city of Luoyang. Here, the Zhou pretended to rule for 500 more years </li></ul><ul><li>The kings of this new age in the Zhou Dynasty had little or no power at all. Noble families, having most of the power, fought with each-other for land and wealth starting the Warring Sates period </li></ul><ul><li>War between the noble families waged on, and from these battles came new tactics: foot soldiers were used in place of chariots and crossbows were also used </li></ul>