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Early Civilization in China Chapter 3 Sec. 3. Mr. Marsh Columbus North High School. Geography of China. Chinese called their land Zhonggua (JONG goo AW) or Middle Kingdom Very isolated which contributed to the Chinese belief that China was the center and sole source of the Earths civilization.

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Early civilization in china chapter 3 sec 3

Early Civilization in ChinaChapter 3 Sec. 3

Mr. Marsh

Columbus North High School

Geography of china
Geography of China

  • Chinese called their land Zhonggua (JONG goo AW) or Middle Kingdom

  • Very isolated which contributed to the Chinese belief that China was the center and sole source of the Earths civilization

River of sorrows
River of Sorrows

  • The yellow river was also known as the River of Sorrows

    • Major floods along the river destroyed many small farming communities

    • Chinese had to learn to control the Yellow River

    • Fear of floods can be seen in the written symbol for misfortune (see page 60)

The first dynasty
The First Dynasty

  • Shang about 1650 BC -1027 BC

    • Controlled the northern section of China along the Yellow River

  • Government

    • Archaeologists have uncovered large palaces of rich tombs of Shang rulers

    • Kings controlled small areas of land

      • Loyal princes and nobles governed most of the land

      • These local rulers were apart of Clans

        • Clans- groups of families who claimed a common ancestor

          • China was closer to the City-States of Sumer than to Egypt

Social class
Social Class

  • Shang society mirrored that of other ancient civilizations

  • Most people during the Shang dynasty were peasants

Religious beliefs
Religious Beliefs

  • Chief goddess was Shang Di (mother goddess who brought plants and animals to earth)

  • It was believed that god like Shang Di would not answer the call of a common mortal

    • So families would pray to there ancestors to talk to Shang Di

Yin and the yang
Yin and the Yang

  • The Universe is a delicate balance between two forces

    • Yin

      • Earth, darkness and female force

    • Yang

      • Heaven, light and male force

      • A well balanced universe required both Yin and Yang


  • Oldest forms of Chinese writing have been discovered on Animal bones and turtle shells

    • Oracle Bones- were believed to be apart of rituals by ancient priests

  • Very difficult language

    • Over 10,000 characters

Zhou dynasty
Zhou Dynasty

  • 1027BC came from the west and overthrew the Shang Dynasty

    • Claimed the “Mandate of Heaven”

      • Zhou families claimed that the Shang king had upset the gods and called for his removal

      • This claim brought forth what was to be known as the Dynastic Cycle (see page 64) THAT CHART NEEDS TO BE IN YOUR NOTES!!!!!!!!!!

Feudal state
Feudal State

  • A system known as Feudalism developed in China during the Zhou dynasty

    • Feudalism – a system of government in which local lords governed their own lands but paid taxes and military services to the King

Economic growth
Economic Growth

  • Ironworking reached China by 500 BC

    • Iron allowed farmers to be more productive and produce more food

    • China began to use coin money

      • Chinese money has a Hole in the center WHY?

      • Economic expansion lead to increase population and trade

Chinese achievements
Chinese Achievements

  • Astronomers studied the plants movement

    • Could predict lunar and solar eclipses

    • Development of a accurate 365 ¼ day calendar

  • Silk

    • By 1000 BC women in china learned to weave Silk from the cocoons of silkworms

    • Major demand for Silk lead to trade with India which became known as the “Silk Road”

Strong rulers unite china chapter 4 sec 5

Strong Rulers Unite ChinaChapter 4 sec. 5

Mr. Marsh

Columbus North High School

Shi huangdi and the qin dynasty
Shi Huangdi and the Qin Dynasty

  • 221 B.C. Zhen (JUHNG) united China and declared himself Shi Huangdi (SHEE hoo ahng DEE) or 1st Emperor

  • Legalism was used to control society in China

  • Shi Huangdi abolished feudalism and replaced the feudal states with 36 military districts

Unity imposed
Unity Imposed

  • Shi Huangdi forced nobles to move to the capital and the nobles lands were distributed to the peasants

  • Standardized weights and measures and created 1 coin instead of the 100s that existed before in the Zhou Dynasty

  • Workers repaired and extended roads

    • All cart axles had to be the same distance apart

Collapse of the qin
Collapse of the Qin

  • When Shi Huangdi died in 210 B.C. so did the Qin Dynasty

  • Liu Bang (LEE OO BAHNG)

    • An illiterate peasant lead his army and defeated many rival armies to become the new emperor and started the next dynasty

    • The Han Dynasty

      • 206 B.C. – 220 A.D.

The han dynasty
The Han Dynasty

  • Silk Road to the West Opened during the Han Dynasty

  • During Emperors Wudi’s reign many government monopolies were created to control supply of grains, silks and other products

  • Major expansion of territory

Scholar officials and civil service exams
Scholar-Officials and Civil Service Exams

  • Han emperors made Confucianism the official belief system of the state.

  • Han emperors adopted the idea that government officials should win positions by merit rather than family background.

    • System of exams given at the local, state and national levels

Achievements of the hans
Achievements of the Hans

  • Science

    • Great advancements in chemistry, zoology and botany. Han astronomers figured out a accurate calendar that could predict lunar and solar eclipses

  • Medicine

    • acupuncture

  • Technology

    • Most technologically advanced civilization.

      • Durable paper made from wood pulp, advanced ship building and invented the rudder, suspension bridges

Fall of the han
Fall of the Han

  • By 220 A.D. ambitious warlords overthrew the last Han emperor.

  • After 400 years of unity China was broken up once again into many small states