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Early China

Early China

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Early China

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  1. Early China World Civilizations

  2. Introduction • China called itself the “Middle Kingdom” – center of the world, the one supreme civilization • China has traditionally had a lack of outside contacts.

  3. Questions??? • What could be the positive affects of this isolation? • What could be the negative affects of this isolation? • Are there any countries like this today?

  4. The Shang Dynasty(1700 BC – 1027 BC) • First recorded dynasty in China • Kings had political and religious responsibilities. • Kings would pray and sacrifice for a good harvest or victory in battle. • Oracle bones were used to predict the future.

  5. The Shang Dynasty, cont. • Shang achievements include written script and bronze-casting. • The Shang dynasty expanded in northern China to most of the Huang He valley.

  6. More Questions? • Who do the Shang political leaders remind you of & why? • What can you tell about their religion?

  7. The Zhou Dynasty(1027-250 BC) • The Shang dynasty was overthrown by Wu, who began the Zhou dynasty. • Beginning of the notion of the Mandate of Heaven: a ruler received authority from heaven as long as just and effective.

  8. The Zhou Dynasty, cont. • The Zhou set up a feudal system where nobles owned the land and peasants worked it. • Lords had total authority and built their own armies to challenge the Zhou rulers. • Roads were built, foreign trade expanded, horses were introduced, the crossbow was invented, writing became more elaborate, and farming techniques became more advanced (iron plow, irrigation).

  9. The Zhou Dynasty

  10. What do you think? • What is the significance of the Mandate of Heaven? • Where else in history do we see the feudal system? • What steps are taken during this dynasty to help their empire grow culturally? • Why did they invent so many weapons if they were isolationists?

  11. The Qin Dynasty(221-207 BC) • Much of China became united for the first time. • Qin Shihuangdi became the first emperor. • Control was centralized through organization into military districts run by government officials. • The lords could less easily challenge the government.

  12. The Qin Dynasty, cont. • The Great Wall was begun to defend China’s northern border. • It took 300,000 workers, and was 2500 miles long. • Qin angered the nobles by taking land and taxing them.

  13. The Han Dynasty(207 BC – 220 AD) • The Han continued centralized power, but less harsh than the Qin. • Wudi (141-87 BC) conquered Korea, Manchuria, and parts of Southeast Asia and northern India.

  14. The Han Dynasty, cont. • The explorer Zhang Qian established contact between China and Rome. • The Silk Road was established as a trade route between China and the Middle East.

  15. The Han Dynasty, cont. • Economic controls sustained a growing population – the government stored extra food in case of shortages. • The civil service system was begun – government workers had to pass a test.