Presentation on theme: "Ancient China China’s Past. Picturing Chinese History China’s past began about 4000 years ago Early people in China made their homes in the Huang River."— Presentation transcript:
Picturing Chinese History China’s past began about 4000 years ago Early people in China made their homes in the Huang River Valley. In China, writing, art and artifacts, and archaeological remains reveal a culture that remained mostly unified over centuries. Writing is a key part of this evidence
Ancient Voices Acccording to Chinese legend, Pangu was the creator of the universe. Stories of “superheroes” that invented useful things or taught people how to survive by finding food emerged later. These stories date to a time know as the Xia legendary period about 2000-1700 B.C. The tales of Xia formed a bridge between prehistory and the time when Chinese history began to be formally recorded.
Shang Dynasty It was the first dynasty and began between 1760 and 1500 B.C. Bronze was used for many tools, cups, and weapons, as well as trade goods Oracle bones were important to the people
The Longest Dynasty Zhou people came from the west of the Huang’s great river bend in 1027 B.C. a Zhou leader’s army conquered the army of the last Shang ruler and the Zhou dynasty began Longest dynasty lasting more than 800 years Most people were farmers who grew rice, wheat, beans, and fruit Silk was an important product of the Zhou economy.
Eastern Zhou Dynasties Second part of the Zhou dynasty began around 770 B.C and lasted until 221 B.C. This period is often referred to as the “golden age” in China A new system of money encouraged trade, and the economy thrived. Iron was used to make farm tools and weapons New philosophies emerged
The First Emperor In 221 B.C. the king of the strongest state, Qin became Shi Huangdi or “first emperor” under the Qin dynasty Qin was divided into 36 provinces Shi Huangdi made the government more centralized by forming new states to bring all areas under his rule Systems of money, weights, and measures were standardized, helping trade between regions
More on Shi Huangdi Started one of the biggest engineering projects in world history, the Great Wall of China The Great Wall was built to protect the empire from northern invaders Took centuries to complete The Qin dynasty lasted on 20 years ending in 206 B.C. after Shi Huangdi’s death
Han Dynasty Began in 206 B.C. and lasted until A.D. 220 and eventually stretched as far south as what is now Vietnam and Cambodia First Han ruler was Gaozu meaning “High Ancestor” He lifted a ban on books imposed by Shi Huangdi More improvements were made under Wu Di who ruled from 141-87 B.C. Advancements in trade and transportation helped unite Chinese culture during the Han dynasty
Wu Di’s changes Divided lands owned by princes and lords Took away power from those people who challenged him Taxed imported and exported trade goods Built new roads to improve transportation Valued the contributions of scholars and teachers
Historian named Sima Qian wrote the first complete history book on China, it recorded 3,000 years of Chinese history Another improvement under Wu Di was civil service –For the first time officials had to take civil service exams to work for the government –This helped ensure that government officials were trained for their positions
Inventions New ways of trading –Use of middlemen who went between buyers and sellers Porcelain, paper, and ink were created –Books were now available to more people