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Overview of Ancient China

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  1. 1. Ancient China History Alive
  2. 2. Lesson: Geography &Early Settlement of China
  3. 3. China’s Geography• For thousands of years, the ancient Chinese thought they were pretty much alone on the planet Earth. Chinas natural barriers to the west, south, and east helped to protect these early people from invasion.• Chinas natural barriers include seas - the China Sea and the Yellow Sea, both located in the Pacific Ocean. These seas provide a huge coastline, which provided trade routes and easy access to food.
  4. 4. Why did most early people settle on the North China Plain?1. The Tibet-Qinghai Plateau and Northeastern Plain are too cold and dry for agriculture2. The Northwestern Deserts are too dry for agriculture3. The heavy rains of the Chang Jiang Basins may have made farming difficult4. The North China Plain was ideal because it has water, fertile soil, and a moderate climate
  5. 5. • Chinas natural barriers also include mountains, deserts, and rivers.• Huang He, or the Yellow River, flows for more than 2,900 miles across China. – This flooding was considered a gift and a curse. The flooding left rich, fertile soil to farm on but many people drowned. – The river was nicknamed “China’s Sorrow”• Each year during the flood season, all homes along the Huang He River were destroyed. Each year, the ancient Chinese had to rebuild their homes and their lives.• Over time, people learned the techniques of flood control. The rich began to build their homes high above the river.
  6. 6. What did the North China Plain offer to the early people that settled there?• Huang He (Yellow River) was a source of water for farming• Silt from the flooding of the river helped to fertilize the land
  7. 7. • The Gobi Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world. In the Gobi, there is at least the hope of water, although an oasis is rare.• The Taklamakan Desert, Chinas other desert, is nicknamed the Sea of Death. It offers poisonous snakes, frequent sand storms, boiling days, freezing nights, and intense water shortages. The Sea of Death is not a small desert. In fact, it is the second largest desert in the world.
  8. 8. How was China isolated from other civilizations because of it’s geography?• The high Tibet-Qinghai Plateau made contact with lands to the southwest of China difficult• The dry Gobi & Taklimakan Deserts made contact with lands to the northwest of China difficult
  9. 9. • China has very little farm land because much of the country is either mountains or deserts.• Only 1/10 of the land can be farmed. The mountains and deserts affected China by keeping it separated from most other peoples.
  10. 10. What other geographic factors helped to keep China isolated from other civilizations?• Towering mountains, rocky plateau, and cold climate in the southwest• Large deserts in the northwest formed natural barriers
  11. 11. – Chang Jiang, or the Yangtze River, is the 3rd longest river in the world. It’s about 3,400 miles long and flows across central China. It also provides the farmers with a rich soil along the river’s coast.• It also floods each year and leaves fertile soil along the banks. The Yangtze River has high banks, which keeps homes safe from the annual flooding.
  12. 12. • There are many mountainous areas in the southern portion of China. In ancient times, China was composed of pockets of civilization. Different pockets were ruled by different kings.• These early people were protected from the rest of the world by many natural barriers. One of the most impressive barriers was the Himalayan Mountains.• The Himalayan Mountains are not located in modern day China. They run along the border to the south. The Himalayan Mountains to the south are very rugged. In ancient times, these mountains helped to protect the early Chinese people from invasion.
  13. 13. What ways of life developed in China due to its geography?1. On the Tibetan Plateau, people raised yaks2. In the Northwestern Deserts, people living on the oases raised crops and animals3. On the Northeastern Plain, people raised horses, sheep, and other animals4. On the North China Plain, people grew crops5. In the Chang Jiang Basins, people grew rice
  14. 14. Lesson: The Shang Dynasty
  15. 15. Key Terms…. A Dynasty is a line of rulers that come from the same family An aristocrat is a noble, or upper class person, whose wealth comes from their land
  16. 16. • Archaeologists believe the Huang He valley was the center of Chinese civilization.• The Shang kings were part of a dynasty that may have build the 1st Chinese cities. They ruled from about 1750 B.C. to 1122 B.C.• The Shang Dynasty built the city of Anyang which was China’s first capital.
  17. 17. • People of the Shang dynasty were divided into groups…• THE NOBLES: The king and his family were the most powerful of this group. Warlords and other royal officials were also in the class. They were aristocrats, nobles whose wealth came from the land they owned.• THE COMMONERS: Traders and artisans were below the nobles. The commoners did most of the specialized work including farming.• THE SLAVES: Slaves captured during wars were the lowest class of people.
  18. 18. Decoding the Shang Tomb… Secret Section Important Facts Artifact Word Reveals Vessel Produced bronzes with geometric designs Produced jade objectsCeremony King led government & brothers & nephews ruled smaller kingdoms Helmet Bronze was important technology & crafts people made bronze weapons Shells Society was divided into six classes…name them!!!
  19. 19. • People in the Shang dynasty believed in many spirits and gods and honored ancestors with offerings.• Shang kings believed they received wisdom and power from the gods, spirits, and ancestors. Early Chinese Dynasty Gods… The river god, rain god, earth god. They believed in many gods, but the most powerful was the sky god, Tien, the king of gods. To the peasants, Tien was more brilliant and more powerful than any earthbound king.
  20. 20. • Early Chinese writing used pictographs, or characters that stand for objects.• Ideographs are two or more pictographs joined to represent an idea. – The Chinese language differs from the American alphabet system because in the American alphabet, each letter represents a sound. The letters, or sounds, are put together to make words. In the Chinese language, each marking, or symbol, represents a whole word.
  21. 21. Secret Section Important Facts ArtifactWord RevealsChariot Kings depended upon strong armies kings fought to keep other clans under their control & expand empiresTools Farmers were the largest social class & worked land that belonged to nobles or kingBone Chinese writing appeared on oracle bones Chinese characters stand for objects or ideasVictim Religion centered on ancestor worship & King used oracle bones to ask ancestors for advice
  22. 22. Lesson: Three Chinese Philosophies
  23. 23. • Zhou kings were thought to be the link between the gods and people. The Mandate of Heaven was a heavenly law that gave Zhou kings the power to rule. The Mandate of Heaven also gave people rights.• The Dao was the proper way kings were to rule their people. A mandate is a formal command to rule or do something important
  24. 24. • Wu Wang and his followers rebelled against the Shang dynasty and created the Zhou dynasty.• The Zhou dynasty ruled longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history. Wu Wang
  25. 25. • Kings in the Zhou dynasty served at the head of the government. In a bureaucracy, officials are responsible for different areas of government that all serve under the king.• The Zhou kingdom was divided into smaller territories. Each territory was led by an aristocrat.
  26. 26. Contributions of the Shang & Zhou Dynasties• Two of the most important contributions of the Shang Dynasty are the use of bronze and a system of writing. – Warriors… were knights in bronze armor who went to battle in horse-drawn chariots made of wood and bronze. They wore bronze helmets, and carried daggers, spears, and axes• Chopsticks were invented, which changed the way people ate their food.• Irrigation and flood-control systems were developed during the Zhou dynasty. Farm tools, such as the plow, were developed.• Silk was an important trade item during the Zhou dynasty.
  27. 27. • Fighting lasted for almost 200 years during the “Period of the Warring States.” Things invented during this conflict1. Saddle & Stirrup2. Crossbows
  28. 28. Three major Chinese theories1. Confucianism2. Daoism3. Legalism• These theories were developed to reinstate peace after the Period of the Warring States.
  29. 29. The Zhou Dynasty• What was the Mandate of Heaven? – It was a divine right given to the king to rule as long as he ruled well. If he ruled poorly, others had the right to overthrow him!• What is feudalism? – System of government where the king owns all the land. He gives land to loyal supporters & in exchange they have to provide soldiers to fight for the king. Peasants, called serfs, work the land for the king.
  30. 30. • Three major theories—Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism—were developed to reinstate peace after the Period of the Warring States.• Confucianism isn’t properly speaking a religion; it’s a way of behaving so you’ll do the right things.• Confucius was a great thinker and teacher, who believed that people needed a sense of duty to be good. 30
  31. 31. • Confucianism taught that all men with a talent for government should take part in government.• This idea opened government up to the lower classes. This caused him to be disliked by the aristocrats. How dare Confucius think the peasants are as good as us!
  32. 32. Excerpt from The Analects of Confucius, c.400 BCE “Do not do unto others, what you would not want others to do to you” “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake”
  33. 33. • Confucianism was a social code of behavior, a very set and rigid code of behavior, that honored ancestors and ancient rituals.• Everything had to be done a certain way. One of his rules, for example, was that gentlemen could only display their skill as archers on three hunts a year, in the spring, autumn, and winter.• Theres a saying about Confucius: "If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit." You might think to yourself: "Wow. What a fussy." But think about it. In English, if you write a sentence, the first word must start with a capital letter and the last word must end with a period, an exclamation point, or a question mark. Otherwise, its not a sentence. "If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit.“• Today, the Chinese celebrate Confucius Birthday (Teachers Day), in honor of their ancestor, the teacher, Confucius.
  34. 34. • Daoism teaches that people should give up worldly desires and encourages the importance of nature. Daoism was created by the scholar and teacher
  35. 35. • Legalism is the belief that society needs a system of harsh laws and punishments. The scholar Hanfeizi developed Legalism. 35
  36. 36. • Aristocrats liked the philosophy of Legalism because it favored force and power and did not require rulers to show kindness or understanding• China’s aristocratic families owned large estates in early China. They lived in large houses with tile roofs, courtyards, and gardens. Fine furniture and silk hangings filled their rooms, and their houses were surrounded by walls to keep out bandits.
  37. 37. Confucianism• Who was Confucius? – A philosopher whose teachings deeply influenced Chinese government & culture• What was China like during his life? – It was in chaos• What are the 5 basic relationships? 1.Ruler & Subject 2.Husband & Wife 3.Father & Son 4.Older Sibling & Younger Sibling 5.Friend & Friend
  38. 38. • Who should people act in the basic relationships? – People must obey & respect those above them… and in return, those with authority need to set a good example• What influence did Confucius have on the Chinese government? – Civil servants had to take a test on Confucian teachings before they were awarded jobs – Government jobs were no longer given only to sons of the rich
  39. 39. Daoism• Who was Laoizi – He was a great wise man and an advisor to the Zhou court• According to Daoism, how should people discover to behave? – People discover how to behave by learning to live in harmony with the way of nature• What are yin & yang? – Opposite forces of nature• According to Daoists, how should rulers behave? – Rulers should rule as little as possible
  40. 40. • Who was Hanfeizi? – He was a prince Legalism• According to Hanfeizi, what was the only way to create a strong society? – The only way to create a strong society was to establish strict laws enforced by rewards for good behavior & punishments for poor behavior• How did Hanfeizi believe a ruler should govern? – Ruler should have absolute power backed by military rights• How did the Qin dynasty apply the teachings of Hanfeizi? – They applied his teachings by passing strict laws and harshly punishing people that didn’t obey them
  41. 41. Lesson: 1 Emperor of China st
  42. 42. A.Qin was a ruler of a local state during the Zhoudynasty. He gradually took over neighboring statesand declared himself Qin Shihuangdi, or First QinEmperor.B. Qin’s rule was based on legalism.C. Qin abolished the officials’ authority to pass theirposts on to their sons. He became the only personauthorized to fill empty posts.
  43. 43. D. Qin united China, created one type of currency, ordered the building of roads and buildings, and connected the Chang Jiang to central China by canal.E. The Great Wall of China was built to protect the Chinese from the Xiongnu, a nomadic people living north of China. Qin forced the farmers to build the wall.F. Chinese people believed Qin Shihuangdi was a harsh ruler, and they overthrew his dynasty after his death.
  44. 44. Creating an Empire• Do you think Shihuangdi’s strategy of conquest helped or hurt China? – Increased China’s size…helped – Cost many lives & used harsh measures to maintain power… hurt• How di Qin Shihuangdi end feudalism? Why did he do this? – Replaced feudalism with a government he controlled – So that powerful lords wouldn’t be a threat to him
  45. 45. Standardizing the Culture• Why did the Emperor of Qin standardize money, weights, & measures? – To make trade easier on the people• How did Emperor Qin change the written language? – He simplified it by eliminating some of the characters
  46. 46. • The Chinese worked on the Great Wall for over 1700 years. In turn, each emperor who came to power added pieces of the wall to protect their dynasties. But the wall was not a solid wall. It was a line of disconnected barricades.• First Emperor Qin wanted a much better barricade to protect his people from the Mongol invaders to the north. He wanted a strong wall 30 feet wide and 50 feet high.
  47. 47. • Emperor Qin used peasants, captured enemies, criminals, scholars, and anyone else who irritated him, & put them all to work building the Great Wall. Laborers were not paid for their work. It was slave labor. About 3,000 people worked on the wall during the Qin Dynasty. Rocks fell on people & walls caved in. Workers died of exhaustion and disease. Laborers were fed only enough food to keep them alive. There’s an old Chinese saying, "Each stone in the wall represents a life lost in the walls construction.• This project continued long after Emperor Qin’s death. Building the wall was a project that continued for many hundreds of years until the wall was over 3700 miles long. Most emperors used the same system that Qin used, forced labor. Today, the Great Wall still stands. It can be seen from space, it’s that big!
  48. 48. Protecting the Northern Border• How did the emperor protect China’s northern border? – Building the Great Wall• What difficulties did workers who constructed the Great Wall face? – Wall was built across high mountains, deserts, swamps, and quicksand – Cold winters & hot summers – Northern invaders attacking workers – Workers were forced to work and many died
  49. 49. Ending Opposition• Why was there a conflict between Confucian scholars & the emperor? – Scholars believed in proper behavior & good examples…not harsh laws• What did the emperor do to prevent people from learning about Confucianism? – He ordered all Confucian books burned – Anyone who discussed Confucian teachings to criticize the government would be put to death
  50. 50. • The exquisite terracotta army of the first Qin Dynasty ruler Shihuangdi represents the emperor’s ability to control the resources of the newly unified China, and his attempt to recreate and maintain that empire in the afterlife.• The soldiers are part of Shihuangdis tomb, located near the modern town of Xian, Shaanxi province in China. Close up of soldier in Emperor Qins terra cotta army, Qin Dynasty, China
  51. 51. End of the Qin Dynasty• List three things that were buried in the Emperor of Qin’s tomb 1. Huge terra-cotta army 2. Tools 3. Precious jewels• What happened to the Qin dynasty after the death of Qin Shihuangdi? – It was overthrown shortly after the death of the Emperor of Qin
  52. 52. Lesson: The Han Dynasty
  53. 53. A. Liu Bang founded the Han dynasty in 202 B.C.B. Civil service examinations began when Han Wudi started testing potential government employees. Students prepared for many years to take the exams.C. The population tripled during the Han dynasty. Farmers had to divide their land among more and more sons, which left them with very little land. Farmers sold their land to aristocrats and became tenant farmers to survive.
  54. 54. D. The Chinese invented many new products during the Han dynasty, such as the waterwheel, the rudder, drill bits, steel, and paper.E. Chinese doctors began practicing acupuncture, the practice of easing pain by sticking needles into patients’ skin.
  55. 55. Warfare Government• How far did the Han • What is a empire extend? bureaucracy? – The empire reached – A form of government west into central Asia, where a few people in east to present-day charge at the top and Korea, & south to many at the bottom that present-day Vietnam follow the orders• What weapons made • How did Han the Han army strong? emperors decide who – Improved armor, swords, would receive crossbows, and kites government jobs? – Civil service exams
  56. 56. • The Chinese invented many new products during the Han dynasty, such as the waterwheel, the rudder, drill bits, steel, and paper.• With the invention of the rudder, the Chinese could move ships sails differently. Ships could now sail into the wind rather than with it.• This meant Chinese ships could travel to the islands of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.
  57. 57. Agriculture Industry• What problems did farmers • Who was the production face during the Han period? of silk made easier during – Had to grow food, make their the Han period? clothing, build their homes – Pay one month unpaid labor – Foot-powered machine to government that wound fibers onto – Floods & drought often large reels destroyed crops • How did the Chinese• How did the tools that were make it easier to get salt developed during the Han during the Han period? period helpful to the farmers? – Chain pump moved water – Iron-tipped bamboo drills from irrigation ditches & helped get brine from canals to fields underground…then – Iron plow made it easier to evaporated leaving salt prepare & plant crops – Wheelbarrow allowed famers to move heavy loads
  58. 58. E. Chinese doctors began practicing acupuncture, the practice of easing pain by sticking needles into patients’ skin.
  59. 59. Art Medicine• What type of writing • What is moxibustion? materials did the Chinese – Placing a cone of use before the invention powder on the skin & of paper? lighting it to relieve pain – They wrote with brush & & promote healing ink on bamboo & silk • What did the Chinese• Why was paper an discover about blood? improvement over other writing materials? – It circulates from the heart through the body – It was inexpensive and and back to the heart easier to bind together – Absorbed ink well
  60. 60. Science• What did Chinese astronomers discover? – They discovered that the moon shines because it reflects the light of the sun – Solar eclipses happen when the moon blocks the view of the sun• For what purpose were the first compasses used? – Determine where to build temples, graves, and homes
  61. 61. Lesson: The Silk Road
  62. 62. A. Silk was the most valuable trade product.B. The Silk Road was an overland trade route extended from western China to southwest Asia. It was an expensive way to export Chinese products because it was difficult to travel and was dangerous.
  63. 63. • The Silk Road was not actually a road. It was not paved. It was not even a single route. The Silk Road was a name given to any route that led across China to Rome. It was a 4000-mile trip. At one end was China. At the other end was Rome.• Each had something the other wanted. Rome had gold and silver and precious gems. China had silk and spices and ivory. Ideas also traveled along the Silk Road, ideas that affected everyone.
  64. 64. • The Romans were not surprised to find another civilization hidden over the mountains. They had been looking for “the Silk People” for a long time. They discovered pieces of silk from the people they conquered. Silk quickly became popular in Rome.• But the Romans did not know who was making this wonderful material. The people they conquered did not know who was making silk either. They simply traded for it.
  65. 65. Rome Trades Western Silk Road Glassware for Silk• How did the Romans • List two dangers of traveling the western part of the Silk Road first learn about silk? – Narrow & difficult passes – During a battle near the – Lack of oxygen high in Euphrates River mountains – Threat of animals & insects in• What product could the desert they trade that was • List two products from Egypt, unknown to the Arabia, & Persia traded on the Silk Road Chinese? – Perfumes, cosmetics, & – Glassware carpets • Why did the Roman emperor stop men from wearing silk? – He wanted to reduce the amount of gold that was flowing out of his empire
  66. 66. Eastern Silk Road• List two dangers of traveling the eastern part of the Silk Road – Bandits, sandstorms, & mirages• List two products China sent to the West – Silk, dishware, jewelry, cast-iron products, & decorative boxes• List three products Central Asia traded on the Silk Road – Horses, jade, furs, and gold• List three products from India that were traded on the Silk Road – Cotton, spices, pearls, & ivory
  67. 67. Buddha makes you happy!A. Indian merchants and teachers brought Buddhism from India to China.B. The Han dynasty fell after wars, rebellions, and plots against the emperor. Civil war began, and nomads invaded the country before the government collapsed.C. During the unrest of the fall of the Han dynasty, people found comfort in the teachings of Buddhism, and more people began practice the Buddhist religion. Buddhism helped people cope with the chaotic times.
  68. 68. Cultural Exchanges Along Opening of the Silk Road the Silk Road• List three things Zhang • List three plants that China learned about as a result of Quian brought back to trade on the Silk Road China after his journey to – Grapes, alfalfa, cucumbers, Central Asia figs, pomegranates, walnuts, – More powerful horses chives, sesame, & coriander – Grapes • List three plants the West – Stories about Persia, learned about on the Silk Road – Roses, azaleas, chrysanthemums, Syria, India & Rome peonies, camellias, oranges, pears, & peaches• What product could china • What new religion entered trade that was unknown China by way of the Silk Road? to the West? – Buddhism – Silk