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Ancient China: Early Dynasties, Philosophies, and Religion.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient China: Early Dynasties, Philosophies, and Religion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient China: Early Dynasties, Philosophies, and Religion

2 Ancient China – Introduction  Geography  Civilization in China developed along the fertile Huang He (Yellow River) over 4,000 years ago.  Settlements began around 5000 BCE.

3  Rule  Early China was ruled by a series of dynasties  A series of rulers from the same family.  Many dynasties made influential contributions to China

4 Early Chinese Dynasties  Shang  Settled on the banks of the Huang He River on 1532 BCE to 1027 BCE.  First family of Chinese rulers to leave written records – first true Chinese civilization.  Remembered for their advancements in culture and technology:  Ideographic written script to keep track of taxes, rent, etc.  Bronze-metal casting  Expansion in the silk industry

5  Zhou  1045 – 256 BCE on the banks of the Huang He.  Stronger rulers due to a new ruling idea – Mandate of Heaven  If rulers were just, they had the authority to rule from heaven.  Military advancements: crossbow and cavalry  Technological advancements: iron plows, better irrigation, better roads for trade.

6  Qin  221 – 206 BCE – short lived dynasty.  Qin Shi Huangdi – only ruler of the Qin dynasty.  Put the government under his direct control – violent and demanding!

7  Mostly remembered for beginning the construction on the Great Wall of China  Conscripted tens of thousands of workers many of whom died and were buried into the wall itself.  Wall was built to keep Mongol and Turkic invaders out of China.  The wall was not completed under his rule (1400 miles long!).

8 Great Wall of China

9  In 1974, archeologists discovered Qin’s Burial Tomb.  6,000 unique life-sized terra cotta soldiers to protect him in the afterlife.

10  Han  206 BCE – 220 CE  Two major contributions to Chinese classical civilization:  Expansion of trade, created the Silk Road.  Trades goods such as paper, porcelain, silk.

11 Han Dynasty Creates The Silk Road

12  Civil service system  Civilians took exams/tests to get governmental jobs.  Tested on Confucian ideas, ritual, culture, and even physical skills.  Pass = job in government!

13 Chinese Philosophical and Religious Traditions  Confucianism  Established by Confucius in 551 BCE during the Zhou dynasty.  Ideas to help reform social order in China and society.

14  Beliefs:  In a society (country), the well being of the group is more important than the individual.  In order for society function, subjects must carry out duties (jobs) effectively.

15  Code of politeness: people are naturally good  Filial Piety: respect for parents and elders  Ancestor worship  Better education helps subjects and society

16  Daoism (Taoism)  Established by Laozi during the Zhou dynasty.  Beliefs:  Dao translates to “the way”  Seek order and harmony with nature  Reject social structures and renounce worldly ambitions – do not matter!  lead a simple life to achieve inner peace.

17  Yin and Yang  Natural relationship between two opposites.  To understand a concept/idea, one must understand it’s opposite.  One must know evil in order to fully understand good.  Natural cyclical balance and relationship.

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