Ancient China

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Ancient China. Rise of the Dynasties. Major Chinese Dynasties. Xia 2205-1818 BC Shang 1523-1027 BC Zhou 1027-256 BC Qin 221-207 BC Han 206 BC- 220 AD Tang 618-907 Song 960-1279 Yuan 1280-1367 Ming 1368-1644 Qing 1644-1911. Prehistory. China is the oldest continuous civilization - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Ancient China

Ancient China

Ancient ChinaRise of the DynastiesMajor Chinese DynastiesXia 2205-1818 BCShang 1523-1027 BCZhou 1027-256 BCQin 221-207 BCHan 206 BC- 220 ADTang 618-907Song 960-1279Yuan 1280-1367Ming 1368-1644Qing 1644-1911Ended when a cruel leader rose to the top causing his people to revolt against him. Weakened the civilization, allowed the Shang dynasty to move in and take over2

PrehistoryChina is the oldest continuous civilization1.7 million years agoPeking Man- Homo Erectus skeleton found5000 BCYangshou- earliest known civilizationEvidence of Agriculture3500-2000 BCLongsham- signs of animal domestication

4Xia and ShangEarliest dynastiesSettled around riversDeveloped irrigationUse of bronze for weaponsNot very unified which led to their demise

Chinese WritingHistoryDates back to the Shang Dynasty (1200 BC)Oracle BonesUsed to predict futuresHave also discovered various forms of writing on bronze and bambooQin Dynasty- 221 BCShi Huangdi calls for standardization of writing

Today47,035 characters in Chinese writingNo links between symbols and spoken languageTo be considered literate, must know 3-4 thousandMonosyllabic one symbol equals one basic meaningPolysyllabic two or more symbols to make one basic meaning

How to Read:

HorizontalVerticalDynastic CycleMandate of Heaven

Belief that authority came from heavenGood rulers kept their powerPoor rulers could lose theirsDynastic Cycle in China1. New dynasty claims Mandate of Heaven and restores peace2. Redistributes lands, appoints officers, rebuilds defense walls, roads, and canals3. Over time, dynasty ages and becomes corrupt4. Disasters occur: floods, famines, peasant revolts and invasions5. Dynasty loses Mandate of Heaven; rebellion justified6. Dynasty is overthrown and replaced by a new one of ThoughtConfucianism, Legalism, DaoismWhat is Philosophy? Investigation into the general causes and principles of things.

Personal attitudeConfucianism

Born during the Zhou dynastyWitnessed constant fighting and decay of imperial rule and human moralityDevoted himself to teaching the key to social harmonyDied thinking he was a failureFounded by ConfuciusEducationEssential to ones character and moralityCivil service exams ensured that leaders were well educatedUsed from the Han dynasty until abolishment in Qing dynasty

GovernmentPeople are inherently good, but need someone to show them how.Good leaders would set the example for others to follow.Established bureaucracy departments that ran the governmentGot jobs in government by taking the Civil Service Exams5 Basic RelationshipsSuperiorSubordinateRulerFatherHusbandOlder brotherFriend

SubjectSonWifeYounger brotherFriendBelieved one should always defer to the person in the superior position. This would help maintain social order and harmony.Filial Piety - respect to parents during life and honoring memory once deadVirtues of ManThese 5 virtues would make the perfect gentleman:Ritual, etiquetteHonestyTrustworthinessCompassionKnowledge of right and wrong


Ideas developed by Laozi during the Han DynastyDao universal force that guides all thingsMeans The WayEmphasized natural order and relationships among living things

One must achieve balance:

YIN:Earth PassiveNegativeFemaleYieldingWeak DarkYANG:HeavenActivePositiveMaleStrongLight

LegalismIdeas developed by Hanfiezi and Li SiDeveloped prior to Qin Dynasty during a period of civil unrestHighly efficient and powerful government was key to restoration of societyLaw will end civil disorderReward goodPunish bad

Legalism and the Qin DynastyShi Huangdi- first Chinese leader to call himself an EmperorLegalist policies:Book burningHard peasant laborDefeated invadersLimited power of noblesEstablished autocracy

Shi Huangdis Legacy:Early development of the Great Wall4000 highway milesIrrigation projects

Standardization of currency and writingStandard lawsExpanded trade

Shi Huangdis Tomb in Xian

In 1974, while digging a new well, farmers came across 7000 clay soldiers

There were over 7000 of them and each was intricately detailed.

It is believed that Shi Huangdi had them built by peasants to protect him in his death by Siddhartha Gautama in IndiaProphesized to be a great leader. Kept in his home for 29 yearsWent out and saw an old man, a dying man and a dead manSet out to find an understanding for these things

Four Noble TruthsSeeking enlightenment (wisdom) created the idea of the Four Noble Truths

1st: Life is filled with suffering and sorrow2nd: Cause is peoples desire for temporary pleasures3rd: To end suffering, must end desires4th: To do this, had to follow the Eightfold Path, called the Middle Way between desires and self-denial

Additional Beliefs

If one followed the Eightfold Path, they could reach nirvana (release from selfishness and pain)Karma- what goes around comes aroundReincarnation

This nirvana

Not this one

Requires one to become a monkClosely related to magical ritesHave compassion and seek personal enlightenmentWhats Up With Tibet?For many centuries Tibet was its own country.This is where the Dalai Lama had been located.However, after WWII, the Chinese came into Tibet and took over the government.The Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) fled to India where he has been ever since.Tibet is currently trying to free themselves from Chinese rule.

The Silk RoadThe Silk Road

What was it?A trade route from China to the MediterraneanBegan during the Han DynastyTraded goods like spices, silks, perfumes, gems, etcSpread cultural ideas as well. Ex. Buddhism

Riches of the Tang DynastyLed by Tang Taizong, the Tang Dynasty was the richest dynasty in Chinese historyExpanded Chinese territorySilk Road was at its peak during this timeWealthy ran the governmentHigh taxes led to the dynastys demiseFoot BindingDeveloped during the Tang Dynasty for wealthy women in order to signify their freedom from manual labor


In 1271, Italian teen who traveled the Silk Road with his uncle for 24 years.Recorded everything he saw and took the ideas back to Italy with himPaper MoneyBurning coal for fuelAttack of the Mongols

For years, nomadic invaders from Mongolia had been invading China, conquering border towns and settling on the landsSeparate tribes, no unificationTemujinSaid to have been born with a blood clot in his handThis meant he would become a great leader one dayUnites Mongols and sets sights on ChinaChanges name to

Genghis KhanCampaign of TerrorSeeks vengeance for the death of Mongol leadersSet out to conquer lands by slaughtering those who would not followConquered more land than anyone in historyHow did he do it?Gifted strategistGreat organizerCruelty as weaponPeople fled when they knew he was coming

Upon his death in 1227, Genghis had created the largest unified land empire in history

Pax Mongolica Mid 12-1300sTime of peace after Genghiss deathEmpire broken into four khanates, each headed by one of Khans descendantsPeriod of good trade with EuropeRulers let things run down, but people were happy

Plague starts here?Yuan DynastyCreated by Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis)Moves capital to from Mongolia to BeijingAttempts to conquer JapanTyphoon (kamikaze) prevents itMarco Polo worked for Kublai for 17 yearsDynasty dies when Kublai dies

The Ming DynastyNo More MongolsPeasants son, Hongwu, leads the rebellion against the Yuan DynastyFounds Ming DynastyCapital is moved to The Forbidden City in Beijing

Forbidden City- New capital in Beijing

The Adventures of Zheng HeSent by the Ming Dynasty to discover the worldTook 7 tripsGoal was to flex Chinese muscles and show their presence in the worldDistributed gifts to show Chinese superiority

Zheng Hes Voyages

The Great Wall

Attacks by the ManchusMongols havent given upGreat Wall

Helped to isolate China from outside influencesGreat Wall From Space

MythConstructing a World Wonder

Early method was called hangtu. A bamboo mold was built about five inches thick; earth poured in and pounded until solid.

WheelbarrowPulley SystemKiln- covered wall in bricksDrainage system to prevent freezing and crackingNew quarry techniques made stone cutting easierMing Dynasty Innovations