Presentation on theme: "The Geography of China Chapter 7. The Himalayas The Himalayas separate the Indian subcontinent from the rest of Asia Within those mountains is a huge."— Presentation transcript:
The Himalayas The Himalayas separate the Indian subcontinent from the rest of Asia Within those mountains is a huge plateau, or raised plain that forms most of Tibet This plateau sits higher than most mountaintops in the U.S. The Indus and many of Asia’s largest rivers begin on this plateau.
“Whoever controls the Huang River controls China.” According to Chinese tradition a powerful ruler spoke these words almost 4,000 years ago.
The Huang River The River starts its 3,000 mile long trip in Northern China The Huang starts as a clear stream but grows and picks up silt along its winding journey. During summer floods the Huang spreads silt on the North China Plain to create one of the largest deltas. The river also creates miles of fertile marshland
Farming along the Huang About 4000B.C. farming communities developed along the lower part of the Huang River. China’s oldest civilization grew from these farming communities This civilization later spread to include many regions and groups of people.
The Huang River Valley The Huang makes a giant curve around the edge of the Ordos Desert As is turns, the Huang cuts through a hilly region The hills are made almost entirely of loess (a dusty, yellow soil that is deposited by in this region by wind)
Working with the Huang River During Summer rains, huge amounts of loess are washed into the Huang River causing it to be the World’s muddiest river. The Loess soil is both a blessing and a curse to farmers because while it provides fertile soil, its lightness makes it easy for storms to carry that kind of soil away. The river floods are both helpful and harmful to Chinese farmers because they bring loess but can also wash it away and destroy everything in their path.
Controlling the River About 3,000 years ago, farmers began building levees to hold back the Huang (a wall that keeps a river within its bank) Like the Sumerians, ancient Chinese farmers also built canals to bring water to their fields. Loess clogged the canals and had to be cleared away.
Growing Crops Farmers grew many kinds of plants Farmers grew rice, millet (a type of grain), wheat, green onion, and ginger They harvested grapes, peaches, plums, and wild chestnuts RICE MILLET GINGER CHESTNUTS
More Farming… Farmers were successful, and the population grew More farmable land was needed to feed people so farmers had to clear trees from rich loess-lands to plant crops One result was erosion (wearing away of soil by wind or water. Erosion of fertile soil sometimes makes it difficult for farmers to grow successful crops If too much soil washes away, and crops fail, a famine (little food and starvation) may happen
Other regions of Ancient China To the North of The Huang Valley are windswept steppes. (a dry, treeless plain) People in this area do not plant crops. They herd sheep on horseback People ate more meat in this area instead of grains.
China’s Sorrow The Huang River is called China’s Sorrow because it has cost millions of lives throughout China’s history. Famine as much as drowning has also been a cause of these deaths. When it washes away crops, it leaves people with nothing to eat Chinese generals also used the power of the river as a deadly weapon. One general blew up a levee during flood season to stop the Japanese army. His plan worked- but it also took the lives of one million farmers and more died during the famine.