Ancient China Isolated by natural barriers…the Gobi… the Himalayas…the sea…. Watered by...

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Transcript of Ancient China Isolated by natural barriers…the Gobi… the Himalayas…the sea…. Watered by...

Ancient China

Ancient China

Isolated by natural barriersthe Gobithe Himalayasthe sea.Watered by riversthe Huang Hethe Chang Jiangthe Xi

The Huang He RivercalledChinas Sorrow due to many floods

Also called the Yellow River due to the fine silt called loess

1766 BCEthe Shang kingdom with Anyang as the capital

Rich silt from floods makes farming the basis of the economy for centuries.Oracle Bones carved with Chinas earliest writing, found near the river, proved the existence of the Shang Dynastybefore thought to be only legend.

Questions would be written on the bones, and the oracle, often a woman, would heat the bones and put a heated copper pin to them, causing cracks to appear. She would then answer the question according to how she read the cracks. Often human sacrifices were made to insure the ancestors and gods would be pleased.


and bronze

objects were found in tombs of the rich.

After 466 years of Shang rule, the Zhou Dynasty rose to powerfor the next 901 years!

c. 1050-400 BCEThe Mandate of Heaven

gave Zhou rulers the blessingsof the gods to rule.

The Zhou brought order to society.

In exchange for loyalty, military support and other servicesThe king

granted land to nobles

and people of high rank.

Peasants (people with small farms) were at the bottom of the social order. Each peasant family got a small plot of land and had to farm extra land for the noble.

Eventually the lords began to reject the authority of the Zhou kings, bringing about the Warring States Period200 years of civil war.

Confucius, who became the most influential teacher in Chinese history, lived during this time.He was upset by the chaos and peoples lack of morality and felt people needed to return to ethics, or moral values.The ideas of Confucius are known as Confucianism.A book called The Analects contain his teachings.

The AnalectsThe followers of Confucius placed their teachers sayings together in a work called in Chinese the Lun Y and in English The Analects. The word analects means writings that have been collected.

Yu, shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, say that you know it; when you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it. That is knowledge.

Is there any one word that can serve as a principle forlife? Perhaps the word is reciprocity [fairness]: Do not do to others what you would not want others to do to you.

I do not enlighten anyone who is not eager to learn, nor encourage anyone who is not anxious to put his ideas into words.Confucius, from The Analects

Confucius taught the importance of family.

People give thanks before their family shrine. Only the men participate.Competing for followers at the same time, Taoism takes its name from the Tao, which means the way.Taoism beliefs:People should live in harmony with the Tao, considered to be the guiding force of all reality.No one should interfere with nature or each other. Government should not interfere with peoples lives.The universe is a balance of opposites.

Taoism teaches that humans are just a part of nature

No better than an any other thing.Laozi, the most famous Taoist teacher, wrote the basic text of Taoism, The Way and Its Power.

And yet another belief system competed for followers: LEGALISM The belief that people are bad by nature and need to be controlled. Not only the guilty should be punished by their neighbors and relatives as well. Then everyone would obey the laws.

The Warring States period ends when the Qin kingdom

Defeats the other 7 kingdomsC. 221-206 BCE..And China is unified into an empire

Under the rule of Ying Zheng.Ying declared himself to be Shi Haungdifirst emperor

Following his legalistic beliefs, hecreated a strong government with strict laws. Hestandardized law, writing, money, weights, and axle widths throughout his empire.

Accomplishments under the 15-year reign of Qin Shi Haungdi:Unified ChinaBuilt a network of roads and canalsBuilt an irrigation system to improve farmingBuilt the Great Wall across northern China, which kept invaders out for over a thousand yearsTHE GREAT WALL

Click on slide for hyperlink to Great WallQin Shi Huangdi died in 210 BC

In 1974, after over 2,000 years, his tomb was discovered, surrounded by over 6,000 life-sized terra cotta warriors, as well as cavalry and chariots.The next dynasty, theHan. Would last more than 400 years

From 206BCE until 220 CE.Liu Bang, the first Han emperor, was the first peasant to rule China.Liked by peasants and soldiers, he came to power due to the Mandate of Heaven

When Wudi came to powerIn 140 BCEHe made Confucianism the official governmentPhilosophy of the Han kingdom.If a person could pass a test on Confucian teachings

He could get a good job working for the government. And peasants got promoted! Highest class: The emperor, his court and scholars Second class: The peasants, who produced the foodThird class: The artisans, who produced needed items for daily lifeFourth class: The merchants, who produced nothing!

Han Achievements

Figure painting

bronze art objects Seismograph


Silk Weaving

The Chinese kept the art of silk-making a secret for centuries. Revealing the secret was punishable by death.An ancient craft

In a modern world.Silk Worm Humor

The Silk Road

It wasnt easy!Traders with camels loaded down with valuable items such as jade and silk traveled together in caravans. Armed guards were hired for protection against thieves. An equally valuable item likely to be stolen if attacked was water! Weather was also a concern as the travelers endured icy blizzards, scorching heat and blinding sandstorms.

An ancient Silk Road map

Watchtower Taklimakan Desert Gobi sunsetBuddhism Comes to ChinaThe Silk brought more than trade to China. Buddhist Missionaries brought the religion there from India in the first century AD. This is a great example of cultural diffusion, (the spread of ideas from one culture to another.) The offer of rebirth and relief from suffering was the main reason the Chinese embraced Buddhism.

The Period of Disunion 220-589 CEThe fall of the Han Dynasty brought with it a period of disorder.Again there was cultural diffusion as nomadic people moved into north China, and Chinese people moved to escape their rule.New types of art and music developed and new styles of food and clothing became popular.

The Sui, Tang and SonDuring the Sui Dynasty (589-618 CE) the Grand Canal was begun, linking northern and southern China.

The only woman to rule China, Empress Wu, came to the thrown during the Tang Dynasty.

Chinese Inventions

gunpowdercompassPaper moneyporcelainThe Yuan Dynasty

Conquerors from the North

The Ming Dynasty

Improved shipbuilding aidsZheng He on seven greatSea voyages.The Forbidden City, a complex of over athousand buildings, is built in Chinas capital. Built for the royal family, his court and servants, ordinary people were forbidden to enter. Isolationism and the End of the DynastiesIn the 1430s a new Ming emperor forced Zheng He to return to China and dismantle his fleet of ships. He also ceased foreign trade, thus cutting off contact with other countries. Chinas doors closed to the outside world. The Ming Dynasty ended in 1644. The growth of European influence greatly expanded in China.Links History. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2008.

PowerPoint by Marty Masker

The End