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China A (VERY) brief introduction. History China is one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Neolithic settlements, some of which date.

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Presentation on theme: "China A (VERY) brief introduction. History China is one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Neolithic settlements, some of which date."— Presentation transcript:

1 China A (VERY) brief introduction

2 History

3 China is one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Neolithic settlements, some of which date back almost 10,000 years ago, have been excavated in areas around the Yellow ( ) and Yangtze ( ) rivers.

4 History Geographic locations of Neolithic cultures from approximately 8500-1500 BC Yangtze River Yellow River

5 History Excavations of Chinas Neolithic sites reveal societies with developed agriculture, animal husbandry, ceramic, jade and textile production, and elaborate burial rituals. In the north millet was the main grain crop, whereas rice was cultivated in the south. Evidence of dogs and pigs appear in sites dating as early as 5000 BC, while the domestication of sheep, cattle and water buffalo was practiced by 3000 BC.

6 History To place this in perspective: the great pyramids in Egypt were built between 2575-2150 BC Stonehenge was constructed between 3000- 1500 BC Cuneiform was used by the Sumerians as early as 5000 BC.

7 History State-level or complex societies in China began about 3,500 years ago This is also referred to as the start of the dynastic phase of Chinas history, when the vast geographic region was ruled by a series of powerful kings and emperors.

8 History Dynastic ChinaPre-Unification: Xia c.2100-1600 BC Shang c.1600-1100 BC Zhou c. 1100-256 BC Western Zhou c. 1100-771 BC Eastern Zhou c. 770-256 BC Spring and Autumn 770-476 BC Warring States 475-221 BC Confucius lived during the turbulent times of the Zhou (pronounced Joe) Dynasty, during the Spring and Autumn period.

9 History Dynastic China After unification under Qin Shi Huangdi : Qin 221-207 BC Han 206 BC-220 AD Three Kingdoms 220-265 AD Western Jin 265-316 AD Eastern Jin 317-420 AD Southern and Northern Dynasties 420-589 AD Sui Dynasty 581-618 AD Qin Shi Huangdis Terracotta Army

10 History Dynastic ChinaContinued Tang 618-907 Five Dynasties 907-960 Liao 916-1125 Song 960-1279 Western Xia 1038-1227 Jin 1115-1234 Yuan 1271-1368 Ming 1368-1644 Qing 1644-1911 Tang Dynasty Sancai horse Kublai Khan founded the great Yuan Dynasty in 1271. This Mongolian- ruled empire was one of the largest the world has ever known.

11 History In 1911 the Qing Dynasty collapsed following years of corruption and foreign exploitation. After the fall of the Qing, China struggled to become a modern nation-state. The Republic of China was established in 1912, but the new country dissolved into warring factions, with various geographic areas controlled by ruthless warlords from roughly 1915-1928.

12 History In 1928 China was reunified under Chiang Kaishek, but was soon invaded by the Japanese in 1931; it struggled through the war until 1945 when the Japanese surrendered. During this time, the Communists grew in power and influence. They believed China was capable of achieving greater equality for its citizens through a peoples government free of corruption. After the surrender of the Japanese in 1945, China dissolved into civil war, with the Guomindangthe Nationalist government led by Chiang Kaishekfighting the Communists led by charismatic leaders such as Mao Zedong.

13 History In 1949 the Communists triumphed, and the Peoples Republic of China was established under the leadership of Chairman Mao. The Nationalist (Republican) government and its supporters fled to Taiwan, which is still called the Republic of China today. The next thirty years of Communist rule would prove turbulent, with famines, political purges and factional fighting afflicting new China. Yet, the Communists ultimately managed to pull millions of people out of poverty in a relatively short period of time.

14 History After Maos death in 1976, China entered a period of Reform and Opening Up under Deng Xiaoping. Finally, under policies such as socialism with Chinese characteristics, China began truly to prosper. Now its economy is second only to the US in size.

15 Language

16 Language 1.3 billion people live in China, making up just under a fourth of the worlds population. Mandarin, which is based on the Beijing dialect, is the official language of the Peoples Republic of China. However, many other dialectssuch as Cantonese, Hakka, Dungan, and Hunaneseare also spoken by a substantial percentage of the population.

17 Language Mandarin Chinese belongs to the Sino-Tibetan group of languages. It is tonal in nature, with four main tones and one neutral tone. The written language consists of thousands of characters. Characters often have both semantic and phonetic elements. Well-educated Chinese people have a working knowledge of 6,000-7,000 characters.

18 Language The earliest developed form of writing in China can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty (c.1600-1100 BC). These writings were engraved on bone or shells and are now referred to as oracle bones because they were originally used in divination rituals.

19 Language Development of Chinese characters: horse Oracle Bone Seal Script Clerical Script Semi-Cursive Cursive Traditional Simplified

20 Language Traditional vs. Simplified Characters In 1949 after the Communist Party founded the Peoples Republic, they began simplifying the number of strokes needed to write each character in order to improve literacy levels among the populace. However, the governments of Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong continued to use traditional characters as their official writing systems. As Chinese language learners, we will focus on learning to read and write simplified characters, but we will also learn to recognize traditional characters.

21 Geography

22 Chinas landmass is roughly equivalent to that of the US, but has at least four times the population living within its borders.

23 Geography The Yellow River is a slow moving river that starts in Chinas northwest and flows east to the Yellow Sea. Its yellow color comes from a sediment called loess, a common soil found along its banks.

24 Geography The Yangtze River is a fast flowing river, running east from Chinas Tibetan Plateau and emptying into the East China Sea. It is the third longest river in the world. Recently, this river was controversially dammed at the scenic Three Gorges.

25 Geography China has extremely arid areas, such as the Gobi Desert...

26 Geography... and lush, fertile plains, which have fostered thousands of years of rice cultivation.

27 Geography Mt. Everest, the tallest peak in the world, borders China and Nepal.

28 Geography Huang Shan, or Yellow Mountain, has inspired poets, painters and philosophers for centuries.

29 Geography China has mega- cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, with populations all exceeding that of New York Citys.

30 Geography It also has very rural areas. Just under 50% of the population lives in the countryside.

31 Geography The bulk of Chinas population lives along the Eastern coast. The West is sparsely populated, with vast largely inhospitable areas. While 92% of the population are Han Chinese, 8% belong to one of Chinas 55 officially recognized ethnic minority groups such as the Hui, Li, Naxi, Uighurs, Tibetans, Mongolians, etc. Li women

32 Geography Over the next month, well be exploring the geography of China through a group research project. Within your group, you will be expected to write a research paper, produce a large thematic map on poster board, and give a brief oral presentation using some sort of multimedia application (e.g. Powerpoint, Prezi, video, Mp3 sound files, etc.) In October, once Ms. Burakowski returns from her maternity leave, we will immerse ourselves fully in Chinese language learning!

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