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Classical China.

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Presentation on theme: "Classical China."— Presentation transcript:

1 Classical China

2 Review: What was the first Chinese dynasty to leave written records On what river did the first Chinese civilizations develp What were the religious beliefs of the ancient chinese How did dynasties end and new ones begin? What type of decentralized political system developed during the Zhou dynasty? Shang Huang He (Yellow) Ancestor Worship, Shang Di Mandate of Heaven Feudalism

3 Dynasties of China Classical Period 1532 BCE Shang Dynasty
1027 BCE Zhou Dynasty Era of the Warring States - Feudal System 256 BCE Qin Dynasty Classical Period 202 BCE Han Dynasty 220 CE – End of Han Dynasty

4 During the last 500 years of Zhou rule, regional rulers were constantly at war with each other. This period is called the Era of Warring States. One of these warring regional rulers, Qin, began to unite the regions by eliminating adversaries and defeating outside invaders. He was only thirteen! This began the Qin dynasty for which China is named. Qin became known as Qin Shi Huangdi which means “First Emperor.”

5 Qin Shi Huangdi’s government:
Implemented a philosophy of legalism which was very harsh. Shi Huangdi was autocratic. Forced nobles to live within the royal compound to prevent a takeover. Seized their land and appointed administrators to govern creating an efficient bureaucracy. Rejected Confucianism and burned books that conflicted with his philosophy. Ordered the murder of Confucian scholars.

6 To end invasions from the north, Qin Shi Huangdi ordered one of the most ambitious building projects in history: The Great Wall of China.


8 The Great Wall of China The wall was built using forced
labor. Many peasants died of exhaustion and were buried inside the wall. Construction of the wall continued until the 17th century. It is 3,700 miles long.

9 Other Qin Dynasty Achievements
Built highways which expanded trade Standardized currency, weights and measures. Built irrigation systems To pay for his building projects, Qin Shi Huangdi raised taxes.

10 When Qin Shi Huangdi died,
few people were sad. He had many enemies. His son ruled for three years and then was overthrown by Han rulers. Qin Shi Huangdi was buried in a compound along with nearly 8,000 life-sized terra cotta soldiers and horses.


12 The Han Dynasty 202 BCE to 220 CE

13 The Han Dynasty lasted over 400 years, from 202 BCE to 220 CE
The Han Dynasty lasted over 400 years, from 202 BCE to 220 CE. Its legacy: Politically- Centralized power Ended legalism, softened punishments lowered taxes Brought peace and stability back to China which means that the Han rulers had….. THE MANDATE OF HEAVEN Liu Bang, first Han emperor who was a peasant

14 What is a civil service? Political legacy under Wudi
Conquered and colonized Manchuria, Korea, expanded South into present-day Vietnam Strengthened and structured bureaucracy Adopted Confucianism replacing legalism Assimilated newly conquered peoples Implemented a civil service Emperor Wudi’s Tomb What is a civil service?

15 A civil service is a system
of hiring government workers. During the Han Dynasty, government officials were hired based on their knowledge of Confucian principles. Students were required to study and pass a rigorous exam. What was the effect of the civil service exam? Government jobs based on merit rather than wealth or loyalty to the emperor, the establishment of the first university based on Confucian principles.

16 Han Achievements invention of paper Agricultural tools, wheelbarrow collar harness Watermills Han China’s economy was primarily agricultural – the population exploded to 60 million people! Trade and industry were important too but were secondary Han government had monopolies on salt mining, forging Of iron, minting of coins.

17 Economy In the Classical period, China it would become a manufacturer to the world, trading along the Silk Road and Indian Ocean routes. Silk, Porcelain and Paper were traded along the silk roads. Porcelain

18 Silk

19 Socially, Women devoted themselves to their families.
Confucian principles established that the role for women was to obey husbands and the husband’s families. Women were to be pure, obedient and faithful. Some upper class women were educated and lived independently.

20 Three primary social classes comprised Classical china
Landowning aristocracy including educated bureaucrats --they paid no taxes on their land. Peasants, laborers and artisans who manufactured goods. The “Mean” people – those without meaningful skills including performing artists. *Slaves were not widespread and did not produce goods. *Merchants were looked down upon because they didn’t work hard and were thought to be greedy.

21 Although Buddhism had arrived in China along the silk roads through traders and monks, it was not widely spread during this time. Buddhism’s principles were not well accepted because they conflicted with Confucian ideals of filial piety. The Han period was a time of prosperity while Buddhism’s monastic lifestyle and rejection of materialism stifled its spread until the end of the Han dynasty. Buddhism

22 The Decline of the Han Dynasty
The widening gap between rich and poor caused political instability in the later Han period. The Yellow Turban Rebellion was a revolt by desperate peasants to redistribute land from the wealthy to the peasant class. As small landowners died, their land was divided equally among their sons. The lots became too small to produce. Also, large landowners paid no taxes on their lands. The Decline of the Han Dynasty Social unrest led to the assassination of the last Han Ruler and the dynasty disintegrated into 3 rival kingdoms.

23 Photo credits

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