Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

River Dynasties in China

Similar presentations

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

1 River Dynasties in China
A.P. World History Mr. Schabo Crestwood High School

2 Geography of China Natural barriers isolated China
Mountains (Himalaya) Deserts Plateau of Tibet Water on East Coast

3 Geography of China (continued)
Rivers Yellow River (Huang He) – Flows from central N. China to Pacific ocean. Named for the fine, yellowish/brown soil called loess blown by the wind into the river. When it flooded in early times, was disastrous. Yangtze – Flows from central south China to Yellow Sea. It is the third longest river in the world. It is about 4000 miles long. It floods each year and leaves fertile soil along the banks. The Yangtze River has high banks, which keeps homes safe from the annual flooding. 

4 Geography of China (continued)
Challenges Isolated – Early people had to procure own goods instead of trading Isolated, not protected. Attacks from the west and north occurred throughout history. Heartland – About 10% of China’s land is suitable for farming! It’s on the land between the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. This area is called the North China Plain, and it’s the center of Chinese civilization.

5 Civilization Emerges in Shang Times
People lived in China 1.7 million years ago! They migrated to the river valleys 500,000 years ago. 2000 B.C. – Settlements grew to cities; gave way to China’s first dynasty, Xia Dynasty. Lead by Yu, a skilled engineer, who initiated flood control projects along the Yangtze so settlements could grow.

6 The Shang 1700 B.C. – Shang Dynasty rises in China. Lasts from B.C. First family to leave written records Built elaborate palaces and tombs Anyang – capital city of Shang. Built of wood People housed by class Surrounded by walls for protection

7 Development of Chinese Culture
Main values: Outsiders were considered barbarians. The group is more important than the individual. Family – Center of Chinese society. Respect for parents was #1 virtue. Patriarchal society Social Classes – Society divided between nobles and peasants. Society governed by class of warrior-nobles, who paid Shang ruler for local control. Religious Beliefs – Believed spirits of deceased ancestors could help/hurt their lives. They paid respect to ancestors’ spirits and made sacrifices to them. Shang rulers consulted the gods using oracle bones. Worshipped supreme god Shang Di and many lesser gods.

8 Writing A character (ideogram) stands for one syllable, idea, or unit of language. However, there is no link between written and spoken language. Therefore, someone could read/write the language without being able to speak it! Pros: People in all parts of China could learn the writing system, even though they had a different spoken language! Cons: Lots of ideograms to memorize! Needed to know 1500 ideograms to be barely literate…10,000 to be considered educated!

9 The Zhou, the Mandate of Heaven, and the Dynastic Cycle
1027 B.C. – The Zhou overthrow the Shang and establish a new dynasty. To justify their coup, the Zhou claimed the Shang king was so terrible a ruler that he had lost the favor of the gods. Mandate of Heaven – The idea that a ruler had divine approval. If a ruler was just, he would continue to have the gods’ favor. If he was unjust, he would lose favor of the gods, bad things would happen, he would be overthrown, and a new dynasty would come to power.


11 Control through Feudalism
The Zhou controlled vast amounts of land and established a system called feudalism to help govern their land. Feudalism: Political system in which nobles or lords control lands belonging to a king in return for pledges of loyalty and support. Lords/Nobles lived in small walled towns but grew rich and powerful as cities in their territories grew. Lords became less dependent on the king.

12 Improvements in Technology and Trade
Roads and canals encourage trade and agriculture, and unite the ends of Zhou territory. Money was coined, improving trade. Learned to produce cast iron.

13 The Zhou Fall In 721 B.C., Nomads attack the Zhou capital and murder the Zhou ruler. Royal family members flee and attempt to establish a new capital, but fail. Without a strong government, lords/nobles claim their territories a their own independent states. China becomes a bunch of independent states, each at war with the other. Traditional values collapse. Chinese civilization, based on love of order, harmony , respect for authority is replaced with a culture of chaos, arrogance and defiance.

Download ppt "River Dynasties in China"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google