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Presentation on theme: "C HINA O VERVIEW : A B RIEF H ISTORY OF C HINESE D YNASTIES © Student Handouts, Inc."— Presentation transcript:





5 Maps of Ancient China china-maps/

6 GEOGRAPHY OF CHINA Almost as big as Canada Climate varies North Temperate and cold South Subtropical Floods and droughts Important rivers Hwang ho (Yellow River) – north Yangtze River – central China Protected by high mountains, hot deserts and oceans

7 A NCIENT H ISTORY By 4000 BCE Village settlements along Hwang ho River Farming, stone tools, weapons (bow and arrow), animal domestication, pottery Circa 1500 BCE Picture writing (oldest writing in existence) is developed Today there are almost 40,000 characters

8 WHAT ARE DYNASTIES? A dynasty is a series of rulers from the same family. Historically, royal rule was descended from father to son. The Chinese people supported their rulers because of what they called the Mandate of Heaven.

9 The MANDATE OF HEAVEN was the belief that the emperor was chosen by heaven to rule. The ancient Chinese believed their ancestors in heaven had chosen their leaders. The people would rebel against a weak leader because they believed he had lost the Mandate of Heaven and then a new dynasty would begin.

10 tories_of_Dynasties_in_China.gif Animated Map of dynasties nasties.html List of dynasties

11 XIA ( A. K. A. HSIA) DYNASTY ( CA. 2070- CA. 1600 BCE) China’s first dynasty Built roads and irrigation projects throughout the country


13 S HANG D YNASTY ( CA. 1600-1046 BCE) Writing began Bronze metal work, glazed pottery, and silk industries were all developed.


15 Z HOU ( A. K. A. C HOU ) D YNASTY (1045-256 BCE) Invaded China from the northwest Set up a loose central government Feudal power held by strong nobles Philosophers Confucius Mencius (his follower)


17 Q IN ( A. K. A. C HIN ) D YNASTY (221-206 BCE) Military dictatorship unified China Emperor Shih Huang Ti Destroyed nobles’ feudal power System of taxation Great Wall finished ( 8,851.8 kilometres ) The Great Wall Qin Army


19 The Ch'in rulers clearly explained and strictly enforced laws. They standardized weights and measures and carried out irrigation projects. They also gave peasant farmers the land they lived on. The West first learned of China during the Chi'in dynasty. It is from Ch'in that we get the word China.



22 H AN D YNASTY (206-220 CE) China grew into a powerful empire during the Han Dynasty, between 202BC and 220CE. The Empire – central Asia to China Sea, Indochina to Korea Trade Chinese fruits, silks, and spices in Rome (1 st century CE) Buddhism came from India Civil service/government system established First paper made


24 T ANG D YNASTY (618-906 CE) 400 years of warfare between Han and Tang dynasties Tang reunited China T’ai Tsung Emperor in 627 CE Education and government reforms Extended boundaries Alliances and peace treaties with neighbors Industry and trade Jade, porcelain, and silks to Arabia, India, Japan, and Persia


26 M ING D YNASTY (1368-1644) Encouraged trade with Europe Gave Europeans: Gunpowder Jade Playing cards Porcelain Silk Tea


28 Q ING D YNASTY (M ANCHU R ULE ) (1644-1912) Manchurians conquered China, Indochina, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, eastern Turkestan China prospered Western pressure brought about Manchu overthrow in 1912 Ended with birth of Chinese Republic

29 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION Late Zhou (Chou) period (1100-256 BCE) Suffering produced influential philosophers Lao-Tse (6 th century BCE) Men should be left alone to work out their own lives with the fewest possible laws of government Men should make their own lives simple and desire nothing, but should submit to all that comes in life Founded Taoism

30 S CIENCE 1000-1500 CE – civilization superior to that of medieval Europe Paper and ink “India” ink really Chinese ink Movable type Movable blocks with cut-out raised characters Compass Gunpowder Originally for firecrackers Silk manufacturing Irrigation and farming techniques

31 C ONFUCIUS (551-479 BCE) Considered China’s greatest philosopher Confucianism is a code of behavior and religion Education, good manners, right morals, respect for others, love of tradition, obedience to one’s parents People should be kind, tolerant, and love their elders and ancestors Golden rule: “Do not do to others what you would not have others do to you.” The most important concept was FILIAL PIETY.


33 F ILIAL PIETY 孝 孝 "Filial piety" is considered among the greatest of virtues and must be shown towards both the living and the dead (including even remote ancestors). The term "filial" (meaning "of a child") characterizes the respect that a child, originally a son, should show to his parents. This extended to the idea that young people must respect and obey all those older than themselves This relationship was extended by analogy to a series of five relationships Ruler to Ruled Father to Son Husband to Wife Elder Brother to Younger Brother Friend to Friend


35 F ILIAL PIETY 孝 孝 Specific duties were written down for each of these sets of relationships. Such duties were also extended to the dead, where the living stood as sons to their deceased family. This led to the veneration/worship of ancestors. The idea of Filial piety influenced the Chinese legal system: a criminal would be punished more harshly if the culprit had committed the crime against a parent, while fathers often exercised enormous power over their children.. Filial piety has continued to play a central role in Confucian thinking to the present day

36 DRAGONS The Dragon occupies a very important position in Chinese mythology The origin of Chinese dragons is unknown, but certainly pre-dates the written history.


38 DRAGONS The Celestial/Heavenly Chinese Dragon is comparable as the symbol of the Chinese race itself. Chinese around the world call themselves "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" (Descendents of the Dragon). The Chinese Dragon is look upon as the ultimate symbol of Good Fortune.

39 The Chinese Dragon, or Lung, symbolizes power and excellence, bravery and boldness, heroism and perseverance, nobility and divinity. A dragon overcomes obstacles until success is his. He is energetic, decisive, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious.

40 Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines were built to honor them, for they were believed to control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas. It is regarded as the Supreme Being amongst all creatures. It has the ability to live in the seas, fly up the heavens and coiled up in the land in the form of mountains.

41 CRICKETS Cricket Culture in China encompasses a 2000 year history of both singing insects and fighting crickets. Two millennium of tradition may be divided into three eras. From times prior to the Tang dynasty (500 B.C. – 618 A.D.), people only appreciated the cricket’s powerful tunes. During the Tang dynasty (618 – 906 A.D.), people started to keep crickets in cages and enjoy their songs while in captivity. Under the Song dynasty (960 – 1278 A.D.), cricket fighting flourished as a popular sport

42 “E R -YA” ( CA. 500-200 B.C.),

43 CRICKETS Cricket Symbolism: Success Crickets also are symbolic of success and family size in China. The insects lay hundreds of eggs before dying. Centuries ago, large families were very important to the Chinese, as they were equated with success. To wish someone to have a family like crickets was to wish them success, Jin says.families Cricket Culture: Music The Chinese believe the crickets make not noise, but beautiful music. Songs have been written around the chirping sounds made by male crickets

44 L ISTEN TO THE C RICKET BY B EI J U -Y I, T ANG DYNASTY The Singing cricket chirps throughout the long night, tolling in the cloudy autumn with its rain. Intent on disturbing the gloomy sleepless soul, the cricket moves towards the bed chirp by chirp.


46 Hua Mulan 花木蘭 is a legend from ancient China and was originally described in a poem known as the Ballad of Mulan ( 木蘭辭 ). 花木蘭 In the legend she fought for 12 years and merited 12 ranks of rewards, which she refused and retired back home instead. The historical setting of Hua Mulan is uncertain. The earliest accounts of the legend state that she lived during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534).Northern Wei

47 As a child, Mulan loved riding horses around her gaff and shooting arrows, as well as reading books about war, as she was from an area dedicated to practicing the arts of fighting. It is recorded that she was born around Hú Nán Shāng Chūi Shì, a province in northern ancient China that practiced the arts of the sword, as well as fighting and kung fu.

48 Mulan was around 18 when she joined an all-male army in place of her father, who was too old, and a younger brother who was still too young. During her war years, she fought against forces from the Middle East and the Mongolian/nomadic tribes, and was able to claim victory for China for a short period of time. She was then offered a title, but rejected it and went home. It is said that she died of old age, not from war.

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