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Transcript of Ancient China
Note TakingStep One: Listen to the teacher for emphases on important points in power point. Copy down the key words, phrases or dates on your loose-leaf in point form.
Step Two: Re write your notes adding more detail from what you can remember from the power point.
Step Three: Read over your new notes making sure they make sense to you.
China is a vast country located on the continent of Asia.
It is the third largest country and is the most populous.
Most of China's millions of people live in the eastern portion of the country
China borders the Pacific Ocean on the east. For many years, China's geography has helped isolate it from the rest of the world. Most of China's largest cities are along the east coast of China, where the land is low and flat. Most of China's millions of people live in the eastern portion of the country
There are two major river systems in China.
Huang He known as the Yellow River
Yangtze Also known as the Chang
Most of Chinas history has been impacted by its geography. Early settlements evolved around the eastern lowlands and river valleys where farming took place.
The Himalayan mountains protected China from invasion from the west (India)
The cold Gobi desert protected China in the north west.
A Dynasty is.
A succession of rulers from the same family.
Chinas first dynasty was the Xia (shah) dynasty (2000-1500 BCE)
Little is known about this dynasty except they were overthrown by the Shang family of rulers.
The Shang dynasty is marked by cruel rulers who amused themselves with vicious games and torture.
The Shang rulers were in power for several hundred years.
During this dynasty the arts flourished.
Early Chinese writing was developed during this time.
Beautiful figures, religious objects and weapons made from bronze were featured in this period.
There were huge differences between the life of a noble and those of a peasant.
The Shang Dynasty was overthrown by the Zhou rulers.
This dynasty was centered around western China.
This dynasty lasted longer than any other in Ancient Chinese history.
The dynasty included land from the seacoast to the Chang River Valley.
A famous fighter from this region was Duke Fa, he latter took the name Wu Wang. He became the first ruler of the Zhou dynasty in 1100 BCE.
A feudal system emerged under these rulers. The ruler would give small kingdoms to trusted military leaders in exchange for loyalty. The problem with this system was the military leaders became more powerful than the rulers.
War was a big part of this period in Chinas history.
Much of the lives of the nobles of this time centered around war: war games, weapons, banners tournaments & practice for war were featured.
War did not deter learning during this time. Many new ideas were born during this time.
Three great teachers emerged at this time: Laozi, Confucius & Mencius
Each had great influence at this time. Each outlined a set of rules to create an ideal society. The big question: How to make people happy ?
One must live the right way or Tao (Dow)
To be happy, one must allow themselves to be in harmony with the natural world. A serene life was ideal.
Except life as you find it. Do not encourage change.
Laozi, depicted as a Taoist god. According to legends, Laozi leaves China on his water buffalo.
Confucius (551-479BCE)Was an advisor to rulers for many years. When not working he attempted to answer questions of the suffering of Chinese people.
Set up strict rules of behavior, each person must know their place and act according to the established rules. ie: Ruler & subject, teacher & student, father & son, husband & wife
Rulers must set good examples and subjects must honour the ruler.
All people are basically good so an ideal society is possible.
Confucianism Do not do unto others what you would not have others do unto you
Honor family ancestors was further emphasized.
Ideas were written down in the Analects.
Confucius ideas spread to other countries.
Mencius 373-288 BCELived 200 years after Confucius. Asked the question: What can be done if rulers are not good as Confucius expected them to be?
He Liked having a king or Queen but they must be effective.
He said that the people could rebel if the ruler was not doing a good job.
This idea was very progressive for the time.
Qin Dynasty Over time the military leaders gained so much power they were able to overthrow the Zhou kings.
One of the most powerful kingdoms was the Qin (Chin) By 221 BCE the leaders of the Qin kingdom took power from the weak Zhou kings.
The Qin leader who took power from the Zhou was a man by the name of Shi Huangdi. He worked very hard to unite all regions of China under one leader. He eventually became known as Chinas First Emperor
A Strong Emperor United ChinaShi Huangdi:The First Emperor
Shi Huangdis RuleAlso known as the First Emperor. He united all of China, which remains united to this day.
After unifying ancient China, Shi Huangdi suppressed freedom of speech and initiated a massive burning of all Confucius books.
He wanted to consolidate his rule and ensure his stability as ruler, which would bring change to ancient China. Therefore, he had to do away with the Confucius books because they contained a philosophy that did not want change.
Shi Huangdis RuleHe did not trust military leaders. He forced all leaders to live near him so he could watch them. Did away with all smaller kingdoms and created districts.
He became very paranoid of people around him and withdrew from people over his lifetime.
Due to his fear of death, he hired an alchemist to create a potion to extend his life.
Shi Huangdis RuleHis reign is known for gigantic building projects.
He needed protection from Chinas enemies. Ordered the construction of the Great Wall in the North west. (1500 miles long).
He feared death. Had a huge moratorium built to protect him in the afterlife.
Clay soldiers were created to protect him in the afterlife.
Reaction to Emperors RulePeople were not happy under his rule. They paid heavy taxes (Great Wall)
Many longed to return to the ways of Confucius.
Many were happy when he died in 207 BCE his strict rule had ended.
He was buried with 1000s of clay soldiers.
The Great Wall of China
Terra Cotta Soldiers
Han Dynasty 202-220 BCE Revolts broke out across Shi Huangdis Empire shortly after his death. Five years late the Han Dynasty had established itself as the ruling family.
Liu Bang became the emperor of the Han dynasty. They ruled for four hundred years.
Confucius teachings returned under Han rule. Formal traditions and customs were returned.
The act Kow Tow (a deep bow) started at this time as a demonstration of deep respect.
Han Rule and EducationNeeded educated people to run government offices.
People had to write government exams before they could get employment. Studying laws of Confucius was encouraged. More converted to Confucius than ever before, it became the state religion.
Government structure was well organized and efficient.
Han Code, a system of laws were established.
Silk RoadTrade in silk and spices between Asia and Europe began. The silk road, the worlds first intercontinental road was built.
http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/7249-china-silk-road-video.htmFirst two minutes
Forbidden CityForbidden City (palace of the emperor) was built during this dynasty.
Han DeclineBarbarian tribes invaded the borders of China. Weak rulers had no luck in driving the tribes out.
High taxes led to unrest within the empire. Gap between the rich & poor increased.
Last Han ruler abdicated in 220BCE.
Golden Age of
Fall of the Han Dynasty (589-616 CE)Years of chaos and confusion followed this dynasty. Barbarian invasions in the north over the Gobi desert led to unrest for many years.
Around 589 CE the Sui (swee) Dynast