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Shang Dynasty. Shang Dynasty. Government and Society Strong Monarchy Order King ’ s governors ruled distant parts of kingdom King also had large army at disposal Prevented rebellions, fought outside opponents Agricultural Society Shang China largely agricultural

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shang dynasty1
Shang Dynasty
  • Government and Society
    • Strong Monarchy
  • Order
    • King’s governors ruled distant parts of kingdom
    • King also had large army at disposal
    • Prevented rebellions, fought outside opponents
  • Agricultural Society
    • Shang China largely agricultural
    • Most tended crops in fields
    • Farmers called on to fight in army, work on building projects—tombs, palaces, walls
shang elite
Shang Elite
  • Leisure
    • Ruling elite had free time to pursue leisure activities, hunting for sport
    • Wealthy enjoyed collecting expensive bronze, jade objects
  • Artifacts
    • Much of what is known comes from studying royal tombs
    • Contained valuable items made of bronze, jade
shang elite1
Shang Elite
  • Afterlife
    • Tombs held remains of sacrificed prisoners of war
    • Believed in afterlife where ruler would need riches, servants
  • Ancestor Worship
    • Shang offered gifts to deceased ancestors to keep them happy in afterlife
    • Steam from ritual meals nourished ancestors’ spirits
oracle bones
Oracle Bones
  • Inscribed bits of animal bone, turtle shell
  • Living person asked question of ancestor
  • Hot piece of metal applied to oracle bone resulting in cracks on bone’s surface
  • Specially trained priests interpreted meaning of cracks to learn answer
  • Development of Chinese writing closely tied to use of oracle bones
  • Earliest examples of Chinese writing, questions written on bones themselves
  • Early Shang texts used picture symbols to represent objects, ideas
zhou dynasty overview
Zhou Dynasty Overview
  • Overthrew the Shang
  • Lasted 800 years longer than any other Dynasty
  • Much of Chinese culture, philosophy, and government developed during Zhou
  • Confucianism and Daoism
zhou dynasty1
Zhou Dynasty
  • Before Zhou, Chinese metalwork done almost exclusively in bronze
  • Zhou learned to use iron, became backbone of economy
  • Iron weapons strengthened Zhou army, as did new weapons like catapult and creation of China’s first cavalry
  • Population grew under Zhou
  • Farmers learned new techniques, increased size of harvest, created food surpluses; cities also grew
  • Roads, canals allowed better transportation, communication
  • Introduced coins, use of chopsticks
life in ancient china
Life in Ancient China
  • Social classes- ppl who share a similar position in society 3 main social classes- rich land owners, poor farmers, merchants
life in china
Life in China



Shopkeepers, traders, and bankers

Lived in towns and provide goods and services

Very rich

Looked down on by other classes

  • Large houses
  • Beautiful gardens
  • Fine furniture
  • Relied on farmers to grow crops
life of a farmer
Life of a Farmer
  • 9/10 Chinese were farmers
  • Lived in simple homes
  • Farmers grew wheat, millet, and rice on aristocrat’s farmers
  • Farmers grew food for their family on a small plot of land
  • One month a year they helped with gov’t building projects
  • In war time farmers became soldiers