2 The Impact of Geography China has the largest population of any nation and is made up of more than 50 ethnic groups, speaking several languages and many dialects.Rivers and MountainsThe Huang He, or the Yellow River, stretches across China for more than 2,900 miles.The Chang Jiang, or Yangtze River, is even longer, flowing for about 3,400 miles across central China before emptyin into the Yellow Sea
3 China, is not just a land of fertile fields China, is not just a land of fertile fields. Only 10% of the total land areas is suitable for farming.Much of the rest of the land in China consists of mountains and deserts that ring the country on its northern and western frontiers.This forbidding landscape is a dominant feature of Chinese life and has played an important role in Chinese history. Geographical barriers – mountains and deserts – isolated the Chinese people from other parts of Asia
4 ClimateChina’s climates vary from region to region based on elevation and the monsoons.The dry season alternating with wet monsoons creates significant temperature differences in winder and summer.The Chang Jiang serves as a dividing line between the northern region and the southern region of the country.
5 The Shang Dynasty China’s second dynasty! 1750 BC – 1045 BC Aristocracy – an upper class whose wealth is based on large land and whose power is passed from one generation to another.
6 Political and Social Structure The Shang king ruled in the capital city Anyang.Divided into territories, governed by aristocratic military leaders called warlords.Rulers were buried in royal tombs accompanied by the corpses of their faithful servants.
7 Aristocrats (chief landowners) Royal FamilyAristocrats (chief landowners)Peasants
8 Religion and CultureThe Chinese believe in supernatural forces that could help the rulers in worldly affairs.To communicate with the gods, the priests made oracle bones – bones on which priests scratched questions asked by the rulers. Heated metal rods were stuck into the bones, causing them to crack, the priests would then interpret the shapes of the cracks as answers from the gods.Remains of human sacrifices found in royal tombs are evidence of human efforts to win the favor of the Gods.
9 Religion and CultureThe early Chinese believed in life after death.“Ancestor Worship”Practice of burning replicas of physical objects to accompany the dead on their journey to the next world, still continues in many Chinese communities.The Shang are best remembered for the mastery of bronze casting.
10 The Zhou Dynasty Political Structure The longest lasting dynasty in Chinese history, ruled for almost 800 years. (1045 BC – 256 BC)Political StructureZhou King, served by an increasingly large and complex bureaucracy.The Zhou dynasty continued the Shang practice of dividing the kingdom into territories governed by officials.
11 The Mandate of HeavenThe Zhou Dynasty claimed that it ruled China because it possessed the Mandate of Heaven.The King was the link between Heaven and Earth.The concept of the heavenly mandate became a basic principle of Chinese government.The King was expected to rule according to the proper “Way” called the Dao.It was the King’s duty to keep the God’s pleased.If the king failed to rule effectively, he could be overthrown and replaced by a new ruler.The Mandate of Heaven was closely tied to the pattern of dynastic cycles.
12 New Dynasty: Claims Mandate of Heaven Restores Order, Protects People, Rebuilds infrastructureAging Dynasty: stops providing good governmentLooses control of officials, overtaxes, allows infrastructure to decline, treats people unfairlyOld Dynasty: Loses Mandate of heavenDispleases Heaven – resulting in flood or famine, allows lawlessness and corruption, unable to defend against invaders or revolts.
13 The Fall of the Zhou Dynasty After almost 800 years, the Zhou dynasty collapsed.The kingdom had been divided into several small territories, some of which evolved into powerful states that challenged the Zhou Ruler.In 403 BC, civil war broke out, beginning an age known in Chinese history as the Period of the Warring States.
14 Social Accomplishments By the 6th century BC, irrigation was in wide use.The use of iron led to the development of iron plowshares to plow land that had not been farmed previously.Pictographs are picture symbols, or characters, which represent an object.Ideographs are characters that combine two or more pictographs to represent an idea.
15 Chinese PhilosophyConfucianism: the system of political and ethical ideas formulated by the Chinese philosopher Confucius toward the end of the Zhou dynasty; it was intended to help restore order to a society that was in a state of confusion.Daoism: a system of ideas based on the teachings of Laozi; teaches that the will of Heaven is best followed through inaction so that nature is allowed to take its course.Legalism: a popular philosophy developed in China toward the end of the Zhou Dynasty; it proposes that human beings are evil by nature and can only be brought to the correct path by harsh laws.