Rise of Civilization in China. Geography Our last River Valley Civilization! China was separated from the other civilizations and other settlements of.
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Presentation on theme: "Rise of Civilization in China. Geography Our last River Valley Civilization! China was separated from the other civilizations and other settlements of."— Presentation transcript:
Geography Our last River Valley Civilization! China was separated from the other civilizations and other settlements of the time from long distances and physical barriers – Mountains (Tian Shan and the Himalayas) – Rainforests (very thick to the Southeast) – Deserts (Gobi Desert to the North) – Oceans/Seas (Eastern border) Chinese belief formed that China was the center of the earth and the sole source of civilization They did have some contact with the outside world – Through trade – China easily absorbed these outsiders into their civilization
Rivers and Regions Just like with the other River Valleys, the ancient Chinese people had to learn to control the flooding and flow of the river to farm The required organization led to a strong government for the Yellow River Civilization The original civilization spread out from the river valley and eventually included many different regions, including Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, and Manchuria
Did you wonder why it was called the Yellow River?
The Yellow River The loess in the Yellow River is a sediment that makes it yellow, but it also can make it flood more heavily Chinese peasants worked constantly to maintain proper water levels and to repair dikes to prevent overflows “In very ancient times,” relates a Chinese legend, “floodwaters rose to the top of the highest hills. Yu, a hard-working official, labored for a decade to drain the waters, not going home once to see his family. As a reward for his selfless efforts, the emperor appointed Yu the next ruler of China.”
Shang Dynasty The first Chinese dynasty (or ruling family) Why these dynasties matter: – Established traditions/culture and ways of thinking about government that lasted for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of years in China When: 1766 BC-1122 BC (that’s like 600 years!) Social Classes: – Royal family at the top – Noble warriors – Artisans and merchants – Peasants
Zhou Dynasty Overthrew the Shang in 1122 BC and lasted until it was overthrown in 256 BC – Large, wealthy, and developed Feudalism: local lords governed land but owed military service/support to the ruler; peasants worked but usually did not own land Mandate of Heaven: said their kings had divine right to rule (good excuse for overthrowing the old ruler and maintaining power!) Dynastic Cycle: Cycle that used the idea of the Mandate of Heaven to explain the rise and fall of dynasties – If a government was good, it had the Mandate of Heaven – If the ruler was weak or corrupt, heaven would stop supporting it and floods, famine, attacks, and other catastrophes would weaken it – A new leader would come into power with a new Mandate of Heaven – The cycle starts over
-Floods, famines, earthquakes -Invasions -Peasant revolts -Restores Peace -Appoints loyal officials -Builds canals and roads -Repairs defensive walls -Neglects government duties -Corrupt officials -Heavy taxes to pay for fun -Allows walls to decay -Loses control
Two Major Belief Systems Confucianism: – Philosophy (way of thinking) established by the teacher Confucius – Believed and taught: people had a duty to help establish good government and social order Harmony resulted when people accepted their place in society; except in friendship, relationships aren’t equal… wife is inferior to husband; younger people are inferior to older; children are inferior to parents Everyone has duties and responsibilities – Superiors should care for their inferiors and set a good example – Inferiors should show loyalty and obedience to their superiors – Correct behavior would bring order and stability
Daoism: – Believers wanted to live in harmony with nature – “Dao” = “way” of the universe – To know the Dao, one should reject conflict and strife… yield to pressure rather than fight – What does this look like practically? Many Daoists became hermits (lived alone and withdrawn from society), artists, or poets Many viewed government as unnatural and the cause of most problems
Yin Yang: Used in Confucianism AND Daoism to show harmony
Achievements in Early China Silk-Making – By 2640 BC, Chinese learned how to make silk using silk worms, which was used to make expensive clothing – Trading throughout the world on a path to Europe later known as the Silk Road Writing – Earliest examples are around 4,000 years old on oracle bones – Oracle bones= Animal bones or turtle shells on which Shang priests wrote questions to the gods or the spirit of an ancestor – Bones/shells were heated until they cracked and then the cracks were “read” (interpreted) for their answers – The system of writing that developed included tens of thousands of unique characters (written symbols) that each represent a whole word or idea (it has been simplified some in recent times)