Social Structure Chinese often lived in clans which were groups of families who claimed a common ancestor. BASIC CLASS STRUCTURE rulers nobles merchants/artisans peasants (the majority of the population)
Religion Chinese were polytheistic (believed in many gods and nature spirits) They prayed to their ancestors because they were links to the gods
Religion Believed in two forces of nature called Yin(female) and Yang (male) that needed to be in harmony. People often did things to destroy this harmony.
Religion Used Oracle Bones to tell the future (interpreted by priests).
Language Mandarin is a difficult language to learn because there are over 10,000 characters. Used pictograms and ideographs. Chinese known for calligraphy- elegant handwriting. Chinese couldn’t understand each other’s spoken language but all used the same written language.
Government China was ruled by a series of dynasties – a line of rulers from the same family. The large government was organized into a bureaucracy – a government with many levels. Chinese believed in the concept called the Mandate of Heaven which says that a ruler will stay in power as long as he rules well and strongly but will lose power if he becomes weak and corrupt. Then another dynasty will start. The rise and fall of dynasties is called the Dynastic Cycle.