5 Geography & Culture Setting the Stage: China’s first city walls were built 1000 years after the walls of Ur, the great pyramids, and the planned cities on the Indus River.Unlike most cultures on earth, the civilization that began in China 4000 years ago still thrives there today.
6 Geography & Culture The Geography of China Natural barriers isolated ancient ChinaEast: The Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and Pacific OceanWest: Taklimakan Desert and 15,000 ft Plateau of TibetSouthwest: HimalayasNorth: Gobi Desert and Mongolian PlateauMountain ranges and desert dominate 2/3 of China’s landmass
15 Geography & Culture The Development of Chinese Culture Fossils show that modern humans lived in SW China 1.7 million years agoAccording to legend, the first Chinese dynasty, The Xia Dynasty, started about 2000 B.C.Chinese viewed everyone outside of their culture as barbariansViewed themselves as center of civilized worldChinese name for China was Middle KingdomFamily is central to Chinese society; respect for one’s parentsWomen treated as inferiorsGirls were arranged to be married between 13 and 16
16 Geography & CultureReligion: Spirits of ancestors had power to bring good fortune; not seen as godsUse of Oracle Bones- priests scratch question on bones, apply hot poker, bone would split, interpret the cracks
17 Geography & Culture No links between spoken and written language One could read Chinese without being able to speak the languageAll parts of China learned the same system of writing even if spoke different language thus unifying parts of ChinaNeeded to know 1500 characters just to be considered literate; scholars knew 10,000 characters
20 Geography & Culture Zhou and the Dynastic Cycle 1027 B.C. a people called the Zhou overthrew the Shang, culturally similarZhou believed in Mandate of Heaven or divine approval to ruleMandate of Heaven became central to Chinese view of governmentThis helped explain the dynastic cycle: a pattern of rise, decline, and replacement of dynasties if the spirits did not approve of one king’s rule
23 Geography & Culture Zhou and the Dynastic Cycle The use of royal families controlling different regions was known as feudalismZhou Dynasty innovated roads/canals, coined money, blast furnacesThe Zhou were generally peacefulLater years of Zhou Dynasty known as warring states period due to weakened power of Zhou kings, attacking nomads and greedy lords
25 Geography & CultureResult: China’s culture has been shaped by the geography surrounding it’s people. A highly evolved culture that began with the Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynasties will become one of the world’s oldest. This unique people will be regularly disrupted by rise and fall of governments, that will later be known as the dynastic cycle. Our studies in this unit will focus on 5 of those dynasties: The Qin, The Han, The Tang, The Song, and the Yuan.
26 Constructive Response Question Describe China’s geography and give examples as to how the Chinese adapted to it?