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TLWBAT- Evaluate and discuss the Early Chinese Dynasties. Warm-up What elements of Chinese culture are you familiar with?. Objectives and Warm-up. Ancient China. AMH UHS Mr. Moran. What you should focus on…. Pre-Dynastic Rulers Cultural Heroes 3 sage kings Xia Dynasty Shang Dynasty

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Objectives and warm up


Evaluate and discuss the Early Chinese Dynasties


What elements of Chinese culture are you familiar with?

Objectives and Warm-up

Ancient china

Ancient China



Mr. Moran

What you should focus on
What you should focus on…

  • Pre-Dynastic Rulers

    • Cultural Heroes

    • 3 sage kings

  • Xia Dynasty

  • Shang Dynasty

  • Zhou Dynasty

  • Characteristics of Chinese cultures

  • Development of Chinese and dynasties


Because of Geography, the Ancient Chinese Civilization developed free of external interference

Himalaya Mts. (southwest)

Takla Makan Desert (west)

Gobi Desert (north west)

Pacific Ocean (east)

Travel and communication was difficult because of geography

Mountains and deserts

4 Million square miles

About the same size of the US

The center of China has two major rivers

Yangzi River (Chiang Jiang)

Yellow River (Huang He)

Loess (yellow-brown dust)

The center river valley created the perfect place for a Civilization

Fertile Land

Communication and transportation with the river




Civilization begins

Farming emerged along the Chiang Jiang and Huang He developed free of external interference

Silt was deposited by the rivers

Grew rice, cereals (millet and wheat)

Other sources of food included


Beef and other hunted animals

Domesticated animals

Pigs and sheep

While little is know of early settlers, evidence found points to…

Towns and villages

With walls for defense from foreigners and floods

Tool and pottery


Animal pens

Cemeteries (with objects left behind)

Storage pits

Water wells

Jewelry (Jade)

Evidence of social class

Civilization Begins

Ancient china1

4 different cultures emerged developed free of external interference

Yang-shao (near yellow river)

Dapenkeng (near East China Sea)

Quinglian (Yangtze River)

Long-shan (Southern bend of Yellow River)

Each one was independent of each other

However each culture was still very limited.

According to Chinese Oral History 3 Great Kings emerged (3 Cultural Heroes)

Fu Xi (creator of writing)

Followed by Huai-nan (Farmer King)

Huangdi (The Yellow Emperor) first to conquer

Defeated his brother

The Three Sage Kings- each ruled with great wisdom and promoted the development of life



Yü (last sage king and first Dynasty: Xia

Ancient China

The three sage kings

They ruled with perfect wisdom, clarity, and virtue developed free of external interference

According to beliefs, virtues epochs are followed by chaos

Yao (c. 2350 BCE)

Shun (c. 2250 BCE)

Yu (c. 2205 BCE)

These kings ruled the most virtuous period in China

The Three Sage Kings

Xia dynasty ca 2200 1500 bce

The last Sage King – Y developed free of external interferenceü founded the dynasty of Kings (Xia)

The Xia Dynasty began full of virtue

cruel and materialist rulers brought about the down fall of the dynasty

Was considered mythical for many years

More evidence has emerged in the last 30 years

Evidence of organization

Dug Channels to control water

Terrible foods

People worked together to solve problems

Gov. organization

Lived in small villages

Xia Dynasty (ca 2200-1500 BCE)

The shang dynasty 1500 1045 bce

Identified as the developed free of external interferencefirst organized period

Originated in the Yellow River valley

Present day province of Henan

Autocratic Rule with decentralized Aristocratic leaders

Leaders served a “generals”

Very militaristic rule and control

Multiple military campaigns

Shang rulers were also high priests

traveled to maintain and promote their power

No true capital since different rulers used different cities.

Moved at least 7 times

Multiple cities emerged

Centers of religion and organizations

Walls protected the cities

Most cities focused on agriculture with some specialization

The Shang Dynasty 1500-1045 BCE

Objectives and warm up
Cont. developed free of external interference

  • The Shang period gets credit for creating the ideology of “kingship” in China

    • Rulers were Chieftains

    • The glorification of the king as an indispensable intermediary between the people and the celestial beings.

      • referred to as Shangdi, or "God above," and later as "Tian," or "Heaven");

    • Belief in the divination of the ancestors was an important element of their beliefs.

      • Divinations were use to bring about good fortune to families and people.

  • Trade with other civilizations existed and specialization provided source for trade

    • The silk and porcelain industry was the most sought out resource in China.

    • Shang silk found in an Egyptian tomb.


One of Shang’s advances was writing developed free of external interference

System of 2,000 symbols

Expressed ideas or words

Many changes have been made, modern writing is based on Shang style

Wrote on cattle bones, turtle shells

Oracle Bones


Specialization and villages

In Urban centers developed free of external interference

People worked on

Stones, bones, bronze, clay

To make

Hairpins, arrow heads, ritual vessels

Silk and mulberry farms were very prominent


Ritual vessels

Cauldrons, cups, goblets,

First to use molds

Villages were small and compact

Village surrounded by farm land

Millet was the basic grain

Wheat, sheep, cattle, pigs,

Specialization and Villages

The zhou dynasty 1045 771 bce

After defeating the Shang’s last ruler, the Zhou Period began.

Zhou was a dependent state in the Wei River Valley

Adopted Shang culture

Propaganda helped the change of rule

The idea of the “Mandate of Heaven” kept others from rebelling.

3 Kings get credit of success

King Wen (cultured or lettered)

King Wu (martial)

Duke of Zhou regent for Wu’s heir

The “mandate” established rule of emperor thanks to “Heaven”.

Emperor was the son of Heaven

The ruling class received powers from the priests solidifying rule.

All elements of civilization increase in the Zhou Period

Construction of cities

Population and Agricultural increase



The Zhou Dynasty 1045-771 BCE

Political social system

Rulers granted land to others in return for… began.


Military support

Other services

Social Class system is in place

Zhou King was at the highest level

Lords and Warriors received land

Paid taxes and provided soldiers

Peasants or farmers

Bottom of the political/social order

Provided all the work

Political/Social System


Lords and Warriors

Peasants or Farmers

Objectives and warm up

Royal courts were the scenes of elaborate ceremonies. began.

Music and dance

Political propaganda

The Glory of Zhou Rule

Bonds of obligation between rulers and ruled

Fire works and parades

Two periods of rule

Early Zhou Period

11-9th Centuries BCE

Also known as the Western Zhou Period (Capital cites found in the West)

Period where all were supposed to be models of morality, fairness, and focused on people’s welfare

Eastern Zhou era 8-2nd BCE

Relocated to eastern capitals


Decline of zhou
Decline of Zhou began.

  • Lords loyalty lessened

    • Refused to fight invaders

      • King who cried wolf

    • Lords wanted power for themselves

  • Internal Problems

    • Changes in Chinese family structure (large families fell apart)

      • Sons fought each other for inheritance

Eastern zhou

By 771 BCE competing powers cause disjunction in autocratic rule

Competition for power emerged

Constant Conflicts lead to the era of “Warring States” (480-221 BCE)

Iron replaced Bronze as tools

Increased in Bureaucratic control

Local leaders took power to collect taxes and write down laws

Standardize money

Oversaw public works

Legalism emerged to justify local rule

Hobbs any one

Eastern Zhou


In the mist of political flux, ruleKongfuzi (551-479 BCE) emerged to provide a new out look to rule

The teachings of Confucius include

Benevolence (kind, charitable)






Daoism/Taoism- was a second school of thought that emerged during the time of the Warring States

Laozi was the most famous Daoist teacher.

is believed to have written the book on Daoism

Many believe it is a collection of many authors


Confucius and daoism

Main ideas rule

People should be respectful and loyal to their family members

Leaders should be kind and lead by example

Learning is a process that never ends

Heaven expects people to behave well and act morally

Main idea

The focus is to follow “Dao” or path of nature.

They accept the world as it is

Do as little as possible with out fighting natural event

Avoid violence or struggle at any cost

Confucius and Daoism

The family structure

It is believed that early family structured focused on the Father, son, mother, daughter.

Later we add the grandson above the women.

Once written records are discovered, the women is subservient to males

Male and female roles

Confucius and the concept of Ying and Yang define the roles

Male has authority over females and family

Father arranged marriages and sold family members for labor

Male-toughness, active, initiative, leadership

Female-passive, subtle, reflective, endurance

The Family structure