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Ancient China Notes


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Ancient China Notes

  1. 1. China’s Geography and Climate CLIMATE North: - Receives less rain - Temps. More extreme - Shorter growing season -Grow WHEAT South: - more rain - Grow RICE MOUNTAINS -Himalayas - Kunlun Shan – Run East to West and Cuts China into North and South - Tibetan Plateau – in the West
  2. 2. RIVERS China Proper – East Coast and Inland has 3 wide soil carrying rivers, Fertile Soil, and irrigation (1) Huang He River – 2900 miles. Empties into Yellow Sea (Yellow River) - Valley has fertile yellow silt called Loess - devastating floods -> build dikes/walls to hold back water. Silt deposits on River bottom and floods again (2) Yangtze River – 3434 miles. Cuts large channel into valley (Chang) - Seagoing ships could travel upstream - small ships could go 1700 miles upstream (3) Xi River – 1200 miles long, transportation, large ships can navigate 1/3 of its length
  3. 3. CHINA’S ISOLATION -Great distances, Mountains, and the Gobi Desert isolate China from India and the West. -This allows China to develop a distinctive culture. -Some, but little outside influence/ cultural diffusion NOMADIC PEOPLES - N and NW borders had (semi) Nomadic people who spoke their own languages - Trade and attacks occurred between Nomads and Chinese Civilization - Chinese considered them inferior called them barbarians -Later Chinese will build a wall to protect themselves Traditional Mongolian Dress
  4. 4. SUPERIORITY - isolation caused strong identity and superiority complex - Chinese believed China was at the center of the world so they called it the “middle kingdom” - Believed others must learn Chinese language and adopt customs in order become “civilized” - Invaders  eventually loose identity and are absorbed into China’s population
  5. 5. Chinese Dynasties XIA (Shi-ah)– line of kings who ruled during the late Neolithic Era - Huang He Valley in ~2200 BCE - YU The Great – 1st Xia Ruler, engineer and mathematician - developed and improved agriculture with irrigation and helped control floods - Began writing in symbols
  6. 6. SHANG – 1750-1500BCE - simple irrigation and flood control -establish 1st historic dynasty -Shang leader asks the Xia people to reject their leader and follow him Government  capital near Anyang: City w/large walls surrounding it for protection against waging wars. Bureaucracy – government organized into different level and tasks -chariots and bronze weapons to defend and increase the empire. Economy - agriculture (rice and millet) -Domestic animals (pigs, chicken, horse) -Silk Worms spun silk thread from cocoons -Artisans  bone, ivory, jade, Kaolin (white clay, glaze it, more durable)
  7. 7. Calendar – lunar and solar - priests and astronomers – very important as they added day to the calendar. - Rulers success based on harvest. Religion – Ancestor worship and Animism – the belief that spirits inhabit everything. (ROCK + CAT) Dragon – all powerful, lives in sea, goes to the sky, symbol of Chinese Rulers -Gods – wind, sun, clouds, moon (festivals and sacrifices) Shangdi – god who controlled human destiny - Oracle Bones – priests carved questions in bones and heated up them up, priests would read the cracks for answers
  8. 8. Oracle Bones
  9. 9. Language and Writing many dialects - 1st in China to have a written language - Pictographs  ideographs (idea sign + phonetic sign) - eventually called calligraphy - only specialists learned to read/write -1500 characters = barely literate, 10,000=true scholar
  10. 10. ZHOU (Joe)– conquest in ~1050 BCE alliance w/ warlike tribes to N. - longest lasting dynasty – end in 256BCE - Zhou rulers gave territory to members of royal family/allies -each new generation had to pledge loyalty to Zhou king -Believed God in Heaven determined who should rule China Royal Authority came from Heaven= “Mandate of Heaven” -~700BCE local leaders are fighting each other=internal strife - Dynastic Cycles – strong dynasty emerges, dynasty declines, natural disasters + rebellions, loss of mandate of heaven, dynasty overthrown, new dynasty emerges -Confucius – most influential scholar during time of crisis and violence -Feudalism - political system in which nobles or lords are granted use of land that legally belong to the King (Japan+Eur.) Technology and Trade : -Roads, canals, coined money, blast furnaces for iron sickles, knives and spades.
  11. 11. Writings we have learned…
  12. 12. QIN (Chin = “CHINA”)– ~20 years - 221 BCE take over by military might - Cheng – est. new dynasty and calls himself Shi Huangdi  “The 1st Emperor” - The name China comes from Qin Dynasty - Autocracy- Emperor has full power. -Qin Shi Huangdi – The Great Wall of China, starts building wall for defense. People are made to work on walls.  During Qin dynasty it reaches 1500 miles long. Legalism- strict rule of people through harsh rules and punishments. Burned books disagreeing with legalist ideas. - People become more angry as separation between Emperor and mass of people becomes larger. (money) -206 BCE rebel army revolts.
  13. 13. Shi Huangdi’s Terra Cotta Army
  14. 14. HAN – Liu Bang is a commoner who became a General and overthrows Qin and creates new dynasty “King of Han” - Han rule for 400yrs. -Capital at Xi’an (Chang-an) -Empire extends very large. Uses centralized government= central authority control the running of the state. Civil Service System – people recommended to help run gov’t. Eventually people must take tests to hold office. Leveling – price controls on agriculture to balance economic effects (surplus/shortage). Lowered taxes and softened harsh punishments of the Qin. Trade – Silk Road – Stretches from China to the Mediterranean Sea. Camel caravans carried jade, silk, valuable goods. Returned with gold silver, wool. (Dangerous and long) Inventions traded on silk Road – Paper, silk, civil service system, porcelain, gun powder, kites, compass, block printing, embroidery
  15. 15. -Liu Bang dies in 195bc, his son takes over, but really Liu Bang’s wife Empress Lii ruled. -In 180BC when Lii dies, Liu Bang’s family kills off Lii’s family. -Liu Bang’s great-grandson Emperor Wudi took over in 141bc. -He expands the empire with warfare. -Nomads called the Xiongnu, known for archery skills on horseback attack Han. Han tried to buy off Xiongnu for peace, but eventually they took bribes and continued raiding. -Emperor Wudi sought out allies in order to defeat them.
  16. 16. SUI – (Sway) -Grand Canal – connects Huang He and Yangtze together. -1000miles, created in 5yrs. by peasants - forced labor causes people to turn against dynasty.
  17. 17. TANG – 300 years, Empire expanded by reconquering lost lands. -Empress Wu Zhao/ Wu Zentian  only woman to hold complete power and title of Emperor. -Takes control of Korea -Strengthens central government -Promotes foreign trade and improves agriculture - Guarded Silk Road with armies to keep trade safe Mid700s – start heavily taxing people and vast empire begins to fall apart (Do we see a trend? Dynastic Cycle) -Muslim armies win battles and land -907 Chinese rebels attack and burn the Tang Capital
  18. 18. SONG – lasted about 300 years -Attempted to buy peace with nomads -Failed -Population in China doubles during dynasty Inventions during TANG and SONG: Movable Type – block printing Explosive/Gun powder Porcelain Clock Paper money Compass Golden age for poetry and art Acupuncture – inserting slender needles in specific points of body, depending on the nature of the problem.
  19. 19. Chinese Philosophies – look to restore harmony of nature, which has two sides-Opposite forces in balance -Yin and Yang. Yin – female, dark, and passive Yang – in male, bright, and active. Confucianism – (Zhou) Confucius 551-479 BCE wrote the Analects – collection of his teachings Most influential of Chinese Philosophies 3 main ideas: importance of family (filial piety), respect for elders, and respect for ancestors Confucius wanted to solve problems or ethical/moral leadership leaders must accept role/duty in society, have high virtue, be moral and educated  then people will follow them. Mencius 372-389 BCE adopted his teachings. He taught that people contained “much goodness”. Believed people had a right to rebel against harsh rules. -became part of classical Chinese traditions
  20. 20. * Feminine * Masculine * Passive * Active * Darkness * Light * Cold * Warmth * Weak * Strong * Earth; Moon * Heaven; Sun
  21. 21. 1. Ruler Subject 2. Father Son 3. Husband Wife 4. Older Brother Younger Brother 5. Older Friend Younger Friend
  22. 22. Daoism (Taoism) – (Zhou) Laozi – founded Daoism. Dao  “the way”, indescribable force that governed the universe and nature. -Believed people should withdraw from the world and contemplate nature. -People should live in harmony with the world. Have no material wealth. Shunned politics, don’t seek power, be humble, quiet, thoughtful. - Dao DeJing (“The way of virture”)– compilation of Laozi’s Daoism teachings. - Daoism -2nd to Confucianism in importance in Chinese life -Confucianism and Daoism were like Yin and Yang to Chinese culture, each supplied what the other lacked.
  23. 23. Legalism – (Qin dynasty – Cheng) -concerned with politics, power was not a virtue. -strict law. - people are selfish by nature, untrustworthy -peace and prosperity only achieved by threatening - punishments if people did not obey laws Cheng followed legalism. Qin dynasty lasted only 15 years. Failed because of cruel methods. Han – had balance between Legalism and Confucianism
  24. 24. Buddhism – Missionaries from India spread Buddhism to China. ASOKA. Wars threatened the family centered security -During the Han dynasty/ when it fell Buddhism was adopted -People wanted peace and safety during turbulent times -Universal charity and compassion -In China, Korea, and Japan Mahayan Buddhism was accepted  worshiped Buddha as a savior and god