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Geography of China
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Geography of China

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  1. Geography of China • Long distances and physical barriers separated China from other civilizations • Isolated • This isolation led to their belief that China was the center of the Earth and source of all civilization

  2. Important Chinese Rivers • Huang (Yellow) River

  3. Rise of Civilization in China Chapter 3: Section 4

  4. “River of Sorrows” • The Huang, or Yellow River got its name from the loess fine windblown yellow soil • Was often referred to as the “river of sorrows” • This loess would settle into the bottom of the river and that caused the water levels to rise

  5. Loess Effects • Chinese peasants labored constantly to control the flooding • Often times they were not able to control it and deadly flooding occurred

  6. Shang Dynasty • Capital city was Anyang • Large palaces; tombs

  7. CLans • Princes and nobles governed most of the land • Groups of families who claim a common ancestor

  8. Fu Hao • Wife of a Shang king • Artifacts show that she owned land and helped to lead an army against invaders

  9. Importance of this? • The discovery of her tomb implies that women were held in a higher status during the Shang period

  10. Social Classes Develop • Top level of society included warriors and the royal family • The majority of the population were peasants • Peasants led very hard lives, constantly working in the fields or to repair the floodwalls • If war broke out, they were required to fight for their noblemen

  11. The Zhou Dynasty

  12. Zhou Dynasty • Rebelled against the Shang Dynasty and were able to defeat them • Believed that they received a “Mandate of Heaven” • Used this to justify their actions against the Shang

  13. Mandate of Heaven • Divine right to rule • Claimed that the last Shang King was so cruel that he had outraged the gods • It was their duty to overthrow the Shang and therefore please the gods

  14. Dynastic Cycle • The rise and fall of dynasties • As long as a dynasty provided good government, it enjoyed the Mandate of Heaven • If the rulers were weak or corrupt, the Chinese believed that heaven would withdraw their support

  15. Other Signs • Natural disasters (floods, famine) were believed to be signs that the Heaven was angry • Leaders would try to step up and overthrow the failing government • The whole cycle would begin once again

  16. Feudalism • The Zhou instituted Feudalism in their lands • Gave local lords power to govern their own lands but they owed military service and other forms of support to their ruler

  17. Economic Growth • The economy grew during the Zhou Dynasty • Ironworking replaced stone and wood tools • More food and new crops • Money was introduced

  18. Early Religious Beliefs

  19. Shang Di • Supreme god • The King was a link between the people and Shang Di

  20. Shang Di • Believed that ordinary citizens could not pray to Shang Di • Only the ancestors of the King could • The prayers of the rulers and Kings were to serve the whole community

  21. Confucius

  22. Life Story…The Short Version • Born to a poor, but noble family • Wanted to become an advisor to a local ruler • Wandered from court to court talking with rulers about how to lead • Eventually became a teacher (Like all smart and intelligent people do)

  23. Confucianism • Confucius never wrote down his ideas and teachings • His students collected his sayings and teachings in the Analects

  24. Philosophy • Confucius was not interested in spiritual matters such as salvation • Chose to develop a philosophy instead

  25. Five Relationships Shape Behavior • Ruler to subject, parent to child, husband to wife, elder brother to younger brother, and friend to friend • These relationships were not meant to be equal, with the exception of friendship

  26. Filial Piety • Respect for parents, above all other duties • “Do not to do others what you do not wish for yourself”…sound familiar?

  27. Rulers Responsibility • Single biggest responsibility of a ruler was to provide good government • In return, the people are to be respectful • The best ruler was a virtuous one who led by example

  28. Influence of Confucianism • The universe reflected a delicate balance between two forces, yin and yang • Yin was linked to earth, darkness, and female forces • Yang was stood for heaven, light, and male forces

  29. Daoism • The other major Chinese religion • Started by Laozi • Wrote, The Way of Virtue

  30. Live in Harmony with Nature • Daoism did not care about bringing order to human affairs • Wanted to learn how to live in harmony with nature • “Those who know the Dao do not speak of it. Those who speak of it do not know it”

  31. Daoists • Daoists turned to the unnatural ways of society and became hermits, artists, or poets • Viewed government as unnatural and the cause of problems

  32. Blending of the Two • People took beliefs and practices from each • Confucianism showed them how to behave and Daoism influenced their view of the natural world

  33. Quick-Write • Compare what you consider to be the main goals of Confucianism and Daoism. What did each religion instructs its followers to focus on in life? Which religion do you feel gave the best message to people? • Be specific in your responses. 10 sentence minimum (2 paragraphs). Points are awarded for successful response to each part of the question.

  34. Chinese Achievements

  35. Silk • Learned how to make silk thread from the cocoons of silkworms • Women did the hard work of processing the cocoons into thread and then wove them into a smooth cloth that was colored with dyes • Only royalty and nobles could afford these robes

  36. Kept Process A Secret • Silk became China’s most valuable export • To protect it, they kept the process of silk making a secret for many hundreds of years

  37. Oracle Bones • animal bones or turtle shells on which Shang priests wrote questions addressed to the gods or to the spirit of the ancestor • Priests then heated the bones until they cracked, believed that they could interpret the patterns of the cracks to provide answers

  38. Writing Characters • Writing symbols • Very difficult still to this day • Each character required a number of different penstrokes

  39. Chinese Characters

  40. Brought People Together • Fostered unity, could sometimes not understand everyone’s spoken language but could understand writing system