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The Far East: Culture, Religion and Trade

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1 The Far East: Culture, Religion and Trade
Standard: Students will trace the development and impact of major civilizations, states, and empires in different regions of Asia from 1000 B.C.E. to 1500 C.E.

2 When China WAS the World
Objective: Trace the development and major achievements of Chinese civilization during various key dynasties, such as the Qin, Han, Tang, and Song.

3 China’s First Dynasties (4.4)
Xia Dynasty: According to legend, Fu Xi founded the Xia dynasty in 2800 BCE and was part god and part man. Archeological evidence from this time period is sketchy at best! During this time period, people settled in the area of Sumer and Sargon I created the world’s first empire. The Egyptian and Indus Valley civilizations were in full force, and Minoan civilizations was developing in Greece. Shang Dynasty (1700 to 1027 BCE): This bronze age civilization centered around the Yellow River in the Henan Valley and the capital was Anyang. This era is marked by ancestor worship, oracle bones, an agricultural society, the beginnings of Chinese writing, advanced bronze metallurgy, a structured court life and human sacrifices in the king’s tombs. Elsewhere in the world, Hammurabi was king of Babylon, Hatshepsut was pharaoh of Egypt and the Aryans ruled India. Zhou Dynasty (1027 to 221 BCE): The Zhou invaded the Shang Dynasty and introduced the Mandate of Heaven. The Zhou learned how to use iron and began using chopsticks! Due to invasions, the Zhou had to move their capital from Xian (Western Zhou) to Luoyang (Eastern Zhou). The Eastern Zhou is also known as the Warring States Era. During this time Confucius wrote his analects and Daoism flourished. Things were changing quickly all around the world! The Persian Empire had come and gone, as had the empire of Alexander the Great! Judaism and Buddhism (through the work of Ashoka and the Mauryan Empire) become established world religions, and the Roman Republic is giving way to the Roman Empire.

4 Imagined Journal: A Warrior’s Life

5 The Qin Dynasty (8.1) By 400 BCE, the Zhou Dynasty was in decline. This era is known as the Warring States Period because several smaller states were fighting for power. The Qin state arose as the most powerful of these warring states united all of China under one empire in 221 BCE. Shi Huangdi was the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Hanfeizi and Li Si were his two advisors. They founded legalism—a philosophy that justified harsh rule. While Confucian thinkers believed that leaders should set a good example and create a harmonious society, legalists contended that all people were bad at heart and that a leader needed keep society in line by using strict punishment. Through the use of harsh rule, the Qin were able to unify and strengthen China. He standardized laws, coins and weights and measures. He ordered irrigation systems to be built and improved roads and canals. Improved transportation led to increased trade; however, the peasants were heavily taxed and often forced to work on these projects. The Great Wall of China was built during this time. It’s purpose was to prevent invasion by nomads from the north. The Terra Cotta warriors in Xian were also created during this time. When Shi Huangdi died, the empire crumbled. Liu Bang lead a successful peasant uprising in 206 BCE that marks the beginning of the Han Dynasty.

6 The Han Dynasty (8.1) Liu Bang (Gaozu) led a peasant uprising and demonstrated that held the mandate of heaven and also the loyalty of the people. He lowered taxes, softened the Legalist policies and distributed land to military leaders. He allowed Confucian scholars to have positions in the government. After Liu Bang’s death, his young son inherited the throne. Empress Lu ruled until her son was old enough to take the throne, but she never gave up power. The entire Lu family was assassinated as one of many power plays at court. The emperor Wudi is considered the greatest of all Han rulers. Wudi promoted economic growth by improving infrastructure and redistributing land. He created state run monopolies on salt, iron and alcohol to fund his government and keep taxes low. He also promoted Confucianism in the government. Wudi was also able to expand the empire. In the north, he was able to push back the Xongnu, fierce nomad traders who raided and wanted tribute. Wudi also colonized Korea, Manchuria and Vietnam. He maintained stability in the west and was able to open up trade routes through the silk road. The Han Dynasty began to decline due to weak rulers, assassinations and a growing rich poor gap. In 184 AD, a Daoist group called the Yellow Turbans rebelled, leaving the region open to rule by warlords and invasion by nomads. This was called the Period of Disunion, and it lasted 350 years.

7 Han Culture/Silk Road (8.2) Yo-Yo Ma!
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8 Possible Sentences: Famous People
Although Shi Huangdi unified China under the Qin Dynasty, he also caused much suffering as taxes skyrocketed and peasants were drafted to work on massive projects. In 206 BCE, Liu Bang, a peasant rebel leader, defeated the Qin forces and founded the Han Dynasty. He surrounded himself with knowledgeable advisors and softened the harsh Qin laws. Empress Lu cunningly promoted her family’s interests as rules of the Han Dynasty and caused much intrigue at court. Wudi was a powerful Han emperor who improved the economy by building infrastructure and raising revenue through state monopolies on salt, iron and alcohol. Zhang Qian was a Han official who held captive by the Xiongnu; when he was released he reported his travels to emperor who was impressed with his tales of blood sweating horses. The Xiongnu were fierce nomads from the steppes north of China who launched raids that presented a major security threat to the Han Dynasty. The Yellow Turbans were Daoist monks who revolted against Han rule in 184 CE; this internal strife weakened the empire and left it open to invasion and power struggles.

9 Silk Road Geography Essential Question: What were the risks and rewards of caravan travel and oasis life? Traveling along the silk road, caravans played a dangerous game of chance with terrain, weather, wild animals, and bandits. A typical caravan included merchants, agents, guides, camel drivers, armed guards, baggage handlers, camp workers and others. The goods they carried were usually light weight luxury items that were easy to transport—silk, porcelain, tea and rhubarb from China and horses, spices, jade and metalwork from the west. Skills, such as papermaking, and ideas were also traded. Both Buddhism and Islam spread through the Silk Road. The journey took months through dangerous terrain—deserts, high mountain passes, fierce heat, bitter cold, bandits, packs of wolves, poisonous lizards and snakes, accidents and illnesses! Goods often passed through the hands of many merchants before reaching their final destination. Oasis towns were prosperous and provided services for travelers. What did you learn from playing the silk road game?

10 Foreign Relations between the Han and the Xiongnu
Essential Question: How did the Chinese and Xiongnu establish and maintain diplomatic relations during the Han Dynasty, and what impact did it have on both cultures? Cultural conflict Tribute system Nomad Dynasty Frontier Expansionism China means “middle kingdom”—the center of civilization and the source of all things civilized. The tribute system forced other cultures to recognize the power of the Chinese emperor by bringing token tribute gifts and even hostages to the Chinese court. In exchange for acknowledging the Chinese emperor’s authority, other cultures were given gifts and trading rights—and they were generally left alone to rule their lands. The Xiongnu were a powerful nomad tribe in the northern steppes who were equal rivals to the Han Chinese. They did not recognize the Han’s supremacy, but they really wanted Chinese goods! China wanted horses, cattle, and furs from the Xiongnu nomads of steppe. The nomads wanted textiles, clothing, utensils and certain types of food from the Chinese.

11 Foreign Relations, Slide 2!
Expansionism began when China was unified under the Qin Dynasty ( BCE). During the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE), there were Chinese colonies in Vietnam and Korea. China’s borders were expanding rapidly in the southeast, and there were military garrisons and towns set up in the north and northwest to protect trading interests. As the Han Dynasty expanding in all directions, the Xiongnu creating an extensive empire on the Mongolian steppe. Hostilities and military stand- offs between these two superpowers worsened as both cultures tried to expand and claim more land. The two sides established formal foreign relations through negotiation. The Xiongnu and the Han Dynasties were to be regarded as equal states, and the Han had to make yearly payments of silk and other commodities to the Xionnu. The Xiongnu were also granted formal trading rights at border markets. The Xiongnu were able to alternate war and peace in such a way that the Han people had to provide more goods and make more concessions to the people of the steppe. Why did the Xiongnu have so much power over China?

12 Foreign Relations, Slide 3!
Emperor Wu established the tribute system during the Han Dynasty. By paying tribute to China, other states could remain autonomous and avoid facing the Han military. The Xiongnu did not accept this system and fought to establish dominance in the north. Emperor Wu sought out alliances with other people to help fight the Xiongnu, but frontier warfare was expensive and dangerous. While attempting to gain allies and war horses for the Han Dynasty, the diplomat Zhan Qian was kidnapped by the Xiongnu for ten years. Constant warfare was bankrupting the Han Dynasty, so they made concessions to the Xiongnu. However, the Xiongnu were also having internal political problems, and they eventually accepted the China’s authority through the tribute system. The tribute system would not be challenged again until Japanese and European powers entered the stage in modern times. A clash of cultures: What is at stake when a sedentary, agricultural society such as the Han Chinese comes into conflict with a nomadic culture such as the Xiongnu? What are the benefits and risks of foreign policy on both sides? What is the price of peace? What is the cost of war? Can two cultures that are so different really ever understand each other? After reading the materials and answering some questions, your group will crate a dialogue between Han officials and Xiongnu officials. Your dialogue must have 10 or more exchanges and should synthesize everything that you have learned about this time period. Don’t forget to start with a paragraph that sets the scene! You will have a quiz on Friday. After that, you will share your dialogues with the class.

13 The Sui Dynasty (11.1) Xia, Shang, Zhou…
Qin Dynasty: 221 BCE to 206 BCE: Roman Republic, Second Punic War, End of Mauryan Empire Han Dynasty: 206 BCE to 220 CE: Pax Romana, Kushan Dynasty and Tamil Kingdoms Period of Disunion: 220 CE to 589 CE: Fall of the Western Roman Empire, Gupta Empire Sui Dynasty: 589 CE to 618 CE Wendi reunified China and became emperor of the Sui Dynasty. His son, Yang Di, was assassinated in 618 AD, and the empire collapsed. The greatest achievement of the Sui Dynasty was the completion of the Grand Canal.

14 The Tang Dynasty (11.1) Founded by a Sui general, the Tang Dynasty lasted from 618 to 907—almost 300 years. There were two capitals—Chang’an and Luoyang. Government officials were selected by civil service exam. Laws were flexible and trade was encouraged. The Tang Dynasty is known as a time of cultural exchange, and its influence can be seen in Korea and Japan. Emperor Taizong expanded the borders and invested in education. When he died, his son took charge, but he was not a good ruler. Wu Zhao was the wife of this son; she ruled through her husband and sons before becoming China’s only woman empress. She is known as Empress Wu. Buddhism was adopted during the Period of Disunion because it taught that people could escape suffering at a time when life was chaotic and the world was uncertain. Since many Tang rulers were Buddhist, they built temples and sent missionaries throughout Asia. The Age of Buddhism lasted from 400 to 845 CE. When the Buddhist monks became too powerful, the state launched a campaign to weaken the temples. The Tang Dynasty began to collapse from all sides as weak leaders failed to quell uprisings and rebellions.

15 The Song Dynasty (11.1) As the Tang Dynasty dissipated, China again split apart into smaller states. In 960 CE, the Song Dynasty united China and lasted until The Song capital was Kaifeng, and the state was run by scholar-officials. Because the civil service exam was now open to ordinary people, there were more opportunity to gain power and wealth by doing well on the test. The Song Dynasty was focused on the southern part of China. They were unable to gain control of the north and northwest due to nomadic invasions. In 1120, the Jurchen conquered the North and established the Jin empire; however, the Song continued to rule the south and to create new cultural achievements, including woodblock printing and movable type, gunpowder, the compass and paper money. The Song Dynasty was an era of great prosperity and cultural realization for China. Improved irrigation techniques and new varieties of rice meant that two or three crops could grow each year instead of just one. Increased food production led to increased population growth, and China was the most populous country in the world! Improved roads and canals meant that rural farmers could get their products to market. In addition to the silk road and other land routes, sea trade was also booming. Merchants gained social status and a banking industry began to emerge. Bustling city markets boasted goods from all over the world, and there were exciting entertainment districts. Although a strong gentry class of landowners and public officials had opportunities in society, women actually lost power in society. This was the time of feet binding and other oppressive customs.

16 The Yuan Dynasty (11.2) In 1279 CE, Kublai Khan overthrew the last of the Song emperors in southern China and declared himself emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. The new capital was near modern-day Beijing. We will study the Mongols soon, so we are skipping this dynasty for now Keep in mind, though, that the Chinese have always been at war with the nomads of the steppe and consider them uncivilized!

17 The Ming Dynasty (17.3) After Kublai Khan died in 1294, the Yuan Dynasty fell apart and a new dynasty arose. The Ming Dynasty lasted almost 300 years and included Mongolia, parts of central and southeast Asia and the Korean peninsula. Hongwu, the leader of a peasant revolt, was the founder of the dynasty. He stabilized the economy and tried to eliminate Mongol influences. Although he restored the civil service and Confucian ideals, he also maintained a large amount of power for himself. After his death, his son moved the capital to Beijing and built what is now referred to as the Forbidden City. During the early years of the dynasty, there was an abundance of foreign trade, especially by sea. Later, a decision was made to limit trade and contact with foreigners. By this time, European merchants and Christian missionaries had reached Asia, and the Ming attempted to keep their culture and traditions in a global economy. With the resurgence of Mongols in the north, the Ming committed to rebuilding the Great Wall and also put many resources into fending off the Europeans. Financial difficulties and poor leadership left the Ming Dynasty open to attack from the Manchus in 1644.

18 The Qing Dynasty (17.3) The Manchus overthrew the Ming Dynasty in 1644 and started a the Qing Dynasty—the last dynasty in China! Although the Manchus were not Chinese, they encouraged traditional Chinese values and customs. By this time, trade with Europe was inevitable, and tea was the most valued commodity. In 1793, a British general named Lord George Macartney attempted to negotiate trade agreements; however, he refused to kowtow to the emperor and was unsuccessful. Although Chinese society was the most advanced in the world, it became less competitive through this practice of isolation and began to decline. A series of Opium Wars, unequal treaties with the west and internal uprising such as the Taipei Rebellion and the Boxer Rebellion led to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. China became a republic in 1912 with an elected leader, but the democracy was short lived. International interference and domestic strife led to a century of turmoil. Today, China is a communist state and a world economic power. What will the future look like in China, and how does that relate to the USA?

19 Objective: Trace the origins and development of Japanese society and Korean societies, the imperial state in Japan, and the Koryo Dynasty in Korea.


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