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Ancient China


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Ancient China

  1. 1. Ancient China
  2. 2. <ul><li>When you read, focus on: </li></ul><ul><li>How did China’s geography affect its early civilization? </li></ul><ul><li>What were the achievements of the Shang dynasty? </li></ul><ul><li>How did China change during the Zhou dynasty? </li></ul><ul><li>What new philosophies were introduced in China? </li></ul>Main Idea China’s river valley civilizations built the foundations of a long-shared Chinese culture. The achievements of the Shang and Zhou dynasties can be felt to this day. China’s First Dynasties
  3. 3. Chinese Physical Geography
  4. 4. The development of civilization in early China was aided by features like long rivers, fertile soils, temperate climates, and isolated valleys. China’s Geography <ul><li>China’s first civilizations developed in river valleys </li></ul><ul><li>Two major rivers supplied water for earliest civilizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chang Jiang, also called Yangzi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huang He, or Yellow River </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both flow east from Plateau of Tibet to Yellow Sea </li></ul></ul>Rivers, Soils, Climates <ul><li>Annual floods deposited rich soil, loess , on flood plains </li></ul><ul><li>Valley of Huang He particularly fertile due to loess </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fine dusty soil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carried into China by desert winds </li></ul></ul>Loess
  5. 5. <ul><li>Isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of rivers for irrigation, fertile soil for planting allowed Chinese to thrive, as did China’s relative isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Mountains, hills, desert protected China from invasion </li></ul><ul><li>Himalaya Mountains separate southern China from India, rest of southern Asia; vast Gobi Desert prevented reaching China from west </li></ul><ul><li>Crops </li></ul><ul><li>Most of eastern China covered with fertile soils; some regions better suited than others for growing certain crops </li></ul><ul><li>Southern China—warm, receives plenty of rainfall, excellent region for growing rice </li></ul><ul><li>Further north—climate cooler, drier; suitable for grains, wheat, millet </li></ul>
  6. 6. China’s Physical Geography
  7. 7. Focus Question: What elements of geographic luck influenced life in early China? Answer(s): Rivers deposited rich soil for farming; mountains, hills, and desert isolated the area.
  8. 8. Early Chinese Civilization <ul><li>Legend says earliest Chinese ruled by Xia dynasty </li></ul><ul><li>No written, archaeological evidence Xia dynasty existed </li></ul><ul><li>Most historians date beginning of Chinese civilization to rise of Shang dynasty </li></ul>Xia <ul><li>Archaeological discoveries suggest Chinese civilization began in Huang He valley </li></ul><ul><li>People started growing crops there 9,000 years ago </li></ul>Beginnings of Civilization
  9. 9. According to ancient Chinese records, the Shang dynasty formed around 1766 BC, although many archaeologists believe it actually began somewhat later than that. It began with the reign of Tang and ended with the fall of Zhou, lasting for approximate 600 years, from 16 century BCE to 11 century BCE. The Shang Dynasty <ul><li>China ruled by strong monarchy </li></ul><ul><li>At capital city, Anyang, kings surrounded by court </li></ul><ul><li>Rituals performed to strengthen kingdom, keep safe </li></ul>Government and Society <ul><li>King’s governors ruled distant parts of kingdom </li></ul><ul><li>King also had large army at disposal </li></ul><ul><li>Prevented rebellions, fought outside opponents </li></ul>Order <ul><li>Shang China largely agricultural </li></ul><ul><li>Most tended crops in fields </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers called on to fight in army, work on building projects—tombs, palaces, walls </li></ul>Agricultural Society
  10. 10. Shang Dynasty Map
  11. 11. <ul><li>Leisure </li></ul><ul><li>Ruling elite had free time to pursue leisure activities, hunting for sport </li></ul><ul><li>Wealthy enjoyed collecting expensive bronze, jade objects </li></ul><ul><li>Afterlife </li></ul><ul><li>Tombs held remains of sacrificed prisoners of war </li></ul><ul><li>Believed in afterlife where ruler would need riches, servants </li></ul><ul><li>Artifacts </li></ul><ul><li>Much of what is known comes from studying royal tombs </li></ul><ul><li>Contained valuable items made of bronze, jade </li></ul><ul><li>Ancestor Worship </li></ul><ul><li>Shang offered gifts to deceased ancestors to keep them happy in afterlife </li></ul><ul><li>Steam from ritual meals nourished ancestors’ spirits </li></ul>Shang Elite
  12. 12. <ul><li>As part of worship, Shang asked ancestors for advice </li></ul><ul><li>Sought advice through use of oracle bones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inscribed bits of animal bone, turtle shell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Living person asked question of ancestor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hot piece of metal applied to oracle bone resulting in cracks on bone’s surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specially trained priests interpreted meaning of cracks to learn answer </li></ul></ul>Oracle Bones
  13. 13. <ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Development of Chinese writing closely tied to use of oracle bones </li></ul><ul><li>Earliest examples of Chinese writing, questions written on bones themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Early Shang texts used picture symbols to represent objects, ideas </li></ul><ul><li>End of Dynasty </li></ul><ul><li>Shang ruled for more than 600 years, until about 1100 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Ruling China’s growing population proved too much for Shang </li></ul><ul><li>Armies from nearby tribe, Zhou, invaded, established new ruling dynasty </li></ul><ul><li>Bronze </li></ul><ul><li>Shang religion led to great advances in working with bronze </li></ul><ul><li>Highly decorative bronze vessels, objects created for religious rituals </li></ul><ul><li>Also built huge structures like tombs; created calendar, first money systems </li></ul>Shang Achievements and Decline
  14. 14. Shang Dynasty Art
  15. 15. Shang Dynasty Architecture Timber House Ruins of Shang Dynasty City Temple to Heavens
  16. 16. Summarize How did religion influence other aspects of Shang culture? Answer: ritual meals for ancestors; oracle bones connected to early writing; bronze work for rituals; built stable tombs
  17. 17. In that case, they said, it was the will of the gods that that dynasty be overthrown and a new one take power. Beginning around 1100 BC, the Zhou rules China for several centuries. The Zhou dynasty is divided into two periods. During the Western Zhou, kings ruled from Xian in a peaceful period. Later conflict arose, kings moved east to Luoyang, beginning the Eastern Zhou period. The Zhou Dynasty <ul><li>When Zhou conquered Shang, leaders worried Chinese people would not accept them </li></ul><ul><li>Introduced idea they ruled by Mandate of Heaven </li></ul><ul><li>Gods would support just ruler, not allow anyone corrupt to hold power </li></ul>Government <ul><li>Zhou said Shang overthrown because they lost gods’ favor </li></ul><ul><li>Later rulers used Mandate of Heaven to explain dynastic cycle , rise and fall of dynasties in China </li></ul><ul><li>If dynasty lost power, it obviously had become corrupt </li></ul>Dynastic Cycle
  18. 18. <ul><li>Before Zhou, Chinese metalwork done almost exclusively in bronze </li></ul><ul><li>Zhou learned to use iron, became backbone of economy </li></ul><ul><li>Iron was strong, could be cast more cheaply, quickly than bronze </li></ul><ul><li>Iron weapons strengthened Zhou army, as did new weapons like catapult and creation of China’s first cavalry </li></ul>Zhou Achievements <ul><li>Population grew under Zhou </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers learned new techniques, increased size of harvest, created food surpluses; cities also grew </li></ul><ul><li>Roads, canals allowed better transportation, communication </li></ul><ul><li>Introduced coins, use of chopsticks </li></ul>Growth <ul><li>Conflict arose during latter part of Zhou dynasty </li></ul><ul><li>Clan leaders within China rose up against king </li></ul><ul><li>As time passed, more and more local leaders turned against Zhou, further weakening rule </li></ul>Decline of the Zhou
  19. 19. <ul><li>Result of rebellions was Warring States Period </li></ul><ul><li>403 BC to 221 BC, number of small states fought each other for land, power </li></ul><ul><li>Zhou still nominally in charge, but power almost nonexistent by mid-200s BC </li></ul><ul><li>Qin, new dynasty, arose to bring end to Warring States Period, Zhou dynasty </li></ul>Small States Fight
  20. 21. Analyze How did China change under the Zhou? Answer(s): iron technology, population grew, new farm techniques, more food, cities grew, roads and canals built, coins and chopsticks introduced
  21. 22. The conflicts of the late Zhou period led many Chinese thinkers to question the nature of society and people’s roles in it. New Philosophies Effort to make sense of chaos led to creation of many new Chinese philosophies, or ways of looking at the world <ul><li>Of many philosophies created during late Zhou period, two became influential in later Chinese history: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confucianism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daoism </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Confucius </li></ul><ul><li>Confucianism based on teachings of scholar named Kongfuzi, better known as Confucius, who thought people should treat one another humanely </li></ul><ul><li>Should express love, respect for others, honor one’s ancestors </li></ul><ul><li>Analects </li></ul><ul><li>Ruler should treat subjects fairly; subjects reward ruler with respect, loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>People should respect members of family, devote selves to public service </li></ul><ul><li>Confucian ideas spread elsewhere in Asia, including Korea, Japan, Vietnam </li></ul><ul><li>Love and Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that love, respect had disappeared and was responsible for violence in society; restoring respect for tradition would make society stable </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts on how to improve society collected in book, Analects </li></ul>Confucianism
  23. 24. Daoism <ul><li>Daoism embraced Chinese concept of yin and yang, representing balancing aspect of nature—male, female; dark, light; hot, cold </li></ul><ul><li>Neither can exist without other </li></ul><ul><li>Important for two to remain balanced for perfect harmony </li></ul><ul><li>Origins of Daoist teachings attributed to philosopher named Laozi </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote book called Dao De Jing </li></ul><ul><li>Laozi worshipped by some as a god </li></ul>Yin and Yang <ul><li>Unlike Confucianism, which focuses on improving society, Daoism encourages people to retreat from laws of society, yield to law of nature </li></ul><ul><li>Heart of Daoism is concept of the dao, or the way </li></ul><ul><li>Dao is the limitless force that is part of all creation </li></ul><ul><li>Through the dao, all things in nature connected </li></ul><ul><li>Finding one’s place in nature allows person to achieve harmony with universe </li></ul>Definition
  24. 25. <ul><li>Daoism eventually proved less influential than Confucianism in Chinese history </li></ul><ul><li>Still played major role in later dynasties </li></ul><ul><li>Idea of balance key concept in China for centuries as result of Daoist teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Daoist philosophy led many followers to work for preservation, protection of natural environment </li></ul>Some Lasting Effects
  25. 27. Contrast What is one difference between Confucianism and Daoism? Answer(s): Daoism—retreat from society and commune with nature; Confucianism—improve society
  26. 30. Video The Impact of Hinduism as a World Religion Click above to play the video.