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River Dynasties in China

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Presentation on theme: "River Dynasties in China"— Presentation transcript:

1 River Dynasties in China
Ch. 2, Sec. 4 (pp )

2 Geographic Features Many natural barriers River Systems
Pacific Ocean & Yellow Sea to east Himalaya Mountains to west Gobi Desert to north River Systems Huang He (Yellow River) Gets name from loess deposits Chiang Jiang (Yangtze River)



5 The Yellow River

6 Environmental Challenges
Unpredictable devastating floods Known as “China’s Sorrow” Isolation meant no trade Natural borders didn’t always protect from outsiders Only 10% of China is suitable for farming Known as “China’s Heartland”

7 China’s Heartland

8 Settlements Shang Dynasty (~1700 B.C. to 1027 B.C.) were first people to leave written records Anyang was a capital of Shang Dynasty Made mostly of wood Surrounded by giant earth wall


10 Anyang Ancient City Walls

11 Social Classes Society was sharply divided b/t nobles & peasants
King’s ruled (highest class) Warrior-nobles owned land, paid tribute & helped govern (middle class) Villagers labored in the fields (lower class)

12 Role of Family Family was central to society
Men made familial decisions & owned property Women were treated as inferior Respect for one’s parents was crucial

13 Filial Piety

14 Religious beliefs Families paid respect to ancestors
Shang kings consulted gods using scratched animal bones (oracle bones)

15 An Oracle Bone

16 Writing System All Chinese writing was the same, where as Chinese spoke different languages in different regions Think of it as: English, French & Spanish people can all understand when they read “2 + 2 = 4” whereas only English speakers can understand when they hear “two plus two equals four” There is an enormous amount of characters (more than 10,000)


18 Technological advances
Developed bronze tools/weapons Used war-chariots Silk textiles

19 Model of Shang Chariot

20 Artistry Bronze jars, pottery & plaques

21 The Zhou Dynasty Around 1027 B.C., the Zhou overthrew the Shang & established their own dynasty To justify their conquest, Zhou leaders said that the Shang king had been a poor king, so the gods had taken away his right to rule and given it to the Zhou Known as the Mandate of Heaven (the fact that god gives the ruler power to rule)

22 The Mandate of Heaven

23 The Chinese Dynastic Cycle Rise > Decline > Replacement

24 Feudalism Nobles (lords) were granted the use of the king’s land
In return, nobles (lords) had to give loyalty & military service to the king

25 Confucianism on Chinese Culture…Confucius says…
Confucius believed that social order, harmony, & good govt could be restored in China if society were organized around 5 relationships. 1. ruler & subject 2. father & son 3. husband & wife 4. older brother & younger brother 5. Friend & friend (3 of these 5 based on family)

26 Confucianism on Chinese Culture…Confucius says…
Confucius & the examination system Confucius said that education could transform a humbly (poor) person into a gentlemen. Before the Confucian Examination System, state officials were selected based on recommendations by prominent aristocrats or state officials. Theoretically, a person from any economical or social background had a chance to become a state official by passing the exam. The exam was used up until 1905 (fall of Qing dynasty), spanning over a course of 1300 years.

27 The Warring States Period
Zhou ruled a relatively stable empire from 1027 B.C. to ~500 B.C. By 771 B.C., Zhou kings began to lose their power to nomads & regional leaders China entered a major period of Civil War known as the “Warring States Period” in which Chinese warlords constantly fought for control of territory


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