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Ancient China. What you need to know. The Geography of China. located in South Asia. The capital of China is Beijing. About twelve million people living in Beijing. Declared was King Wu. beijing is located in the northeastern part of China. I . Physical Geography.

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ancient china

Ancient China

What you need to know

the geography of china
The Geography of China.

located in South Asia.

The capital of China is Beijing.

About twelve million people living in Beijing.

Declared was King Wu.

beijing is located in the northeastern part of China.

i physical geography
I. Physical Geography
  • What physical features make up most of China?
    • Mountains
    • Rivers
    • Plains
    • Plateaus
    • Deserts
a china s mountains
A. China’s Mountains
  • The highest mountains are in the west.
  • Himalayas run along China’s southwestern border, dividing China from Nepal.
  • The highest peak of the Himalayas (and in the world) is
    • Mount Everest—29, 035 feet.
a mountains cont
A. Mountains, Cont.
  • Plateau of Tibet
    • Spreads across ¼ of China’s land
    • Highest plateau on Earth
    • Nicknamed “Roof of the World.”
b china s great rivers
B. China’s Great Rivers
  • Three Great Rivers are located in China
    • Huang He (hwahng huh)
    • Chang Jian (chahngjyahng)
    • Xi Jian (sheejyahng)
  • They all start in the highlands and flow east.
b china s great rivers cont
B. China’s Great Rivers, cont.
  • Xi Jiang is the southernmost.
  • The Chang Jiang is north of Xi Jiang and winds across China.
    • It is China’s longest river at over 3,400 miles.
3 huang he river
3. Huang He River
  • The Huang He is the most northern river in China.
  • Nicknamed “Yellow River” because of the fine silt that covers the plains along parts of the river.
    • The muddiest river in the world!
3 huang he river cont
3. Huang He River, cont.
  • It begins in the Plateau of Tibet.
  • Runs east through the North China Plain, and often overflows.
  • Also nicknamed “China’s Sorrow” because of the thousands of lives lost in its floods.
c china s deserts
C. China’s Deserts
  • There are two large deserts spread across China.

1.Taklimakan (Tah-kluh-muh-KAHN)

    • Covers northwestern China
    • It has an east-west length of about 600 miles
    • One of the world’s largest sandy deserts
    • In the spring it experiences dust storms with the strength of hurricanes, lifting thedust as high as 13,000 feet in the air!
c china s deserts cont
C. China’s Deserts, cont.

2. The Gobi (GOH-bee) desert is in northern China.

  • In Mongolian “Gobi” means waterless place.
  • This desert’s dryness and temperatures are very harsh.
    • Summer—113 F
    • Winter -40 F
  • It is approximately 1,423 miles from end to end.

Hsia Dynasty

2205-1027 BCE


“Huangdi” – Emperor

  • The “Yellow Emperor.”
  • Legend has it that he ruled for over 100 years.
  • Associated with the invention of wheeled vehicles, ships, armor, pottery, and silk-making.

Emperor Fuxi

  • Mythical Hsia ruler.
  • Taught the Chinese how to read and write, according to legend.
ii ancient china overview
II. Ancient China--Overview

A. Foundations of Chinese Civilization

  • The Chinese are known for many great inventions.
  • Over the course of thousands of years, the Chinese have built the longest-lasting culture in the world.
  • As early as 5,000 b.c., Chinese people lived in the fertile river valley of the Huang He.
  • In the 1700’s b.c., their lives changed drastically when different groups of people invaded their land.

Shang Dynasty

1766-1027 BCE

what is the shang dynasty
What is the Shang Dynasty?

The Shang Dynasty is known to be the first dynasty. The Shang Dynasty is a dynasty that lasted from 1760 B.C. to 1500 B.C.

People grew grains like millet and rice.

People from the Shang Dynasty also raised animals.

During this time people used silk and flax to make clothes.

A lot of bronze was used during this period of time. The people used bronze to make many kinds of tools, cups, and weapons, as well as trade goods.

Thousands of years ago the capital of a shang settlement was anyang.

During the Shang Dynasty some kind of bones were used to predict the future, they were called oracle bones.

Rituals were important to the shang people . They usually wrote questions on turtle, oxen, and deer. They ask questions like what type of crops to plant or when to travel or hunt. Next they heated the shells or bones. after that they looked for any cracks. This helped the shang people make predictions about the future.

ii ancient china overview cont
II. Ancient China—Overview, cont.

1. Shang

  • First invaders to Huang He river valley @1700 b.c.
  • Established China’s first permanent, organized civilization
  • Took over rule for most of China’s history, and ruled by dynasties
    • Definition—family of rulers
    • Some reigns last 15, some 100 years
    • Examples of dynasty names?
ii ancient china overview cont1
II. Ancient China—Overview, cont.

2. Mongol Rule

  • A.D. 1200’s China’s greatest fear came true!
    • Foreign invaders conquered China
    • Mongols invaded China in 1211
    • Led by Genghis Khan and later his grandson, Kublai Khan
    • 1279, Kublai Khan conquered China’s Song (sung) dynasty
      • Founded the Yuan dynasty in its place
    • Established China’s capital city at Ta-tu
what is the bronze age
What is the Bronze Age?

period in which tools and weapons were made of bronze.Not only was bronze used for tools and weapons it was also used for making cups as well as trade goods.

Bronze was made by melting together copper and a small amount of tin.

The Bronze Age started during the Shang Dynasty.The Shang Dynasty also used bronze to make bronze vessels to cook their food,


Axe Scepter – 1100 BCE - jade

Ceremonial Dagger – 1028 BCE


Zhou Dynasty

1027 - 256 BCE

what is the zhou dynasty
what is the zhou dynasty?

from west of the huang's great river bend.

In 1027 b.c., a zhou leader’s army conquered the armies of the last shang ruler.

Lasting for 800+ years the zhou dynasty was the longest dynasty in ancient china.

The earlier period was called western zhou. In western zhou most people were farmers that grew rice, beans, and fruit.

Some were slaves . Most of the time women harvested the crops.

Silk was very important to the economy.


“T’ien Ming”

The Mandate of Heaven

  • The leader must lead by ability and virtue.
  • The dynasty's leadership must be justified by succeeding generations.
  • The mandate could be revoked by negligence and abuse; the will of the people was important.
ii ancient china overview cont2
II. Ancient China—Overview, cont.

3. The Ming Dynasty

  • War broke out among the leaders of the Yuan dynasty
    • Why do you think this happened?
  • This weakened the dynasty to the point that another dynasty (Ming) was able to take over
3 the ming dynasty cont
3. The Ming Dynasty, cont.
  • Ming founder, Zhu Yuanzhang (jooyoo-ahn-jang) was called the Hongwu emperor (which means “vast military power”), because of his strong military success.
  • During battles, he won the Yunnan province from the Mongols
  • This unified the region that is China today.
3 the ming dynasty cont1
3. The Ming Dynasty, cont.
  • Upon Hongwu’s death, one of his grandson’s took over rule.
    • He is best known for rebuilding the Yuan capital and naming it Beijing.
    • He had a huge palace constructed in the city which was known as the Forbidden City
      • This was because only the emperor, his family, and select officials could enter it.
  • Ming Dynasty ended in 1644 when the Manchu’s attacked and established China’s last dynasty, the Qing who ruled until A.D. 1911!
what is the han dynasty
What is the Han dynasty?

The Han Dynasty started in 206b.c. and lasted to a.d.220.

The first ruler of the hand dynasty called himself Han Gaozu which means high ancestor.

After Han Gaozu ruled a man named wudi became emperor. he ruled about 141 to 87b.c. Wu Di was a powerful ruler,. He took away power from that challenged him .he also built many roads to improve transportation .

The first complete history book on china was written by a historian named SimaQian.

the ch in or quin dynasty
The Ch’in or Quin Dynasty
  • The Quin Dynasty lasted for about 20 yrs, ending in 206b.c.
  • The 1st emperor was Shi Haungdi.
    • became ruler in 238B.C.
    • Stated his dynasty would rule for 10,000 generations.
    • was a great builder, ordered for the Great Wall to be built. The Great Wall is one of the largest engineering projects in world history.
  • Quin was divided into 36 provinces which means political division.
  • People felt persecuted because the government to control what people talked about and studied. The people wanted freedom.
terra cotta warriors
terra cotta warriors

The terra cotta warriors are known to be monuments of actual warriors.

Terra cotta warriors were built to guard the tomb of Shi Gaungdi which was carved into the side of a mountain.

The army contained more than 6,000 life-sized warrior statue

None of the warriors were alike.The terra cotta are very important to Chin because they protect the tomb of Shi Gaungdi. Terra cotta warriors keep robbers and other people away from the tomb.There are also arrows on the walls ready to attack if anybody dared to go inside.

inventions of ancient china
Inventions of Ancient China.
  • There were many inventions during this period. Some inventions were porcelain,ink,and paper. This were very important inventions, but they also invented things like glass, gold, and silk.
  • The chinese also started exporting and importing goods.During this period of time the chinese also started using middlemen which are people who go between buyers and sellers.
  • The Han Dynasty marked atime of great advancements in China.
  • One of the most important inventions in Ancient China is the Silk Road.
the great wall of china
The Great Wall of China.

The great wall is a wall in China originally built for protection from northern invaders.The Great Wall was built by a guy named Shi Gaundi.

The Great Wall has stood up for over centuries.

The Great Wall of China is one of the biggest engineering projects in world history. It took hundreds of thousands of laborers many years to finish building the Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall was built by connecting existing defensive walls that had been built earlier. Rulers of later dynasties added to the Great Wall of China and had to rebuilt parts of it. During the Han Dynasty Wu Di rebuilt and extended the Great Wall. The Ming Dynasty also made the wall a lot stronger and adds to the Great Wall for about 200 years. Later under Mao Zedong parts of the Great Wall are torn down. After that when a guy named Deng Xiaoping groups begin to restore the Great Wall.

b religion and philosophy
B. Religion and Philosophy
  • Confucianism
    • Founded during the Zhou Dynasty by a man named Kongfuzi
      • Renamed “Confucius” by Europeans
    • Teachings include:
      • Importance of Moral Character
      • Individuals taking responsibility for the state of their society
      • Rulers should be like a “good father” and take care of and be kind to his people.
b religion and philosophy cont
B. Religion and Philosophy, cont.
  • The Impact of Confucianism
    • 1211 B.C., Confucianism was established as China’s official philosophy.
    • This guided the Chinese bureaucracy
      • Define—administering government through departments, called bureaus.
      • Staffed officials of these departments are called “bureaucrats.”
    • Bureaucracy was called Civil Service, and gave the government capable officials, helping stabilize their culture.
who is confucius
Who is Confucius?

Confucius is known as Kung Fuzi or master kung.He was born in 551 B.C. in the state Lu Province. Because his family was of some nobility, or high-ranking social class, confucius was able to be educated as scholar. He gradually gathered around a group of fellow scholars in diciples or followers. He set off one day in search of a ruler who would welcome him as an advisor. He lived in the later years of the Zhou Dynasty. Confucius found a place in the court of a king. One of Confucius’s anelects is everything has it’s beauty but not everyone see’s it.

what is confusianism
What is Confusianism?

Confusianism is the way of thinking and living based on the teachings of confucius. This way of thinking and living continued to develop centuries after confucius died. Confusianism teaches the middle way, which means that people should make balanced decisions. Confusianism teaches that each person should accept his or her role in socciety.

b religion and philosophy cont1
B. Religion and Philosophy, cont.
  • 3. Taoism (DOW-ism)
    • Philosophy developed in 500 B.C. by Lao Tzu
      • Wrote the main Taoist book called TaoteChing.
    • Main ideas are:
      • There is a force that guides the universe, though it is not seen or named.
      • Force is called “Tao” (means way of nature)
      • Believes that the greatest achievement a person can make is to find harmony with the “Tao,” or nature.
what is daoism
What is Daoism?
  • Daoism is the belief in finding the way or the dao of the universe. Daoism had almost as many influence on chinese culture as did confucianism ,but it did not focus on order like confucianismdid.Laozi was the first great teacher of Daoism.He and other daoists believed that people should live in harmony with nature, not apart from it.
b religion and philosophy cont2
B. Religion and Philosophy, cont.

4. Buddhism in China

  • Buddhism came to China around A.D. 200.
    • It was brought to China by traders from India and other areas of Asia.
  • Many of its teachings focus on how to escape suffering.
  • It did not replace Confucianism or Taoism, rather the Chinese belief system incorporated pieces of all three philosophies.
c achievements of the dynasties
C. Achievements of the Dynasties
  • There were many inventions created by the Chinese, which helped them in every day life, and eventually spread to Europe through trade.
    • Examples: silk cloth, writing system, compass, paper, and porcelain.
    • A few of these held more importance than others for how it affected China’s people, culture, and economy.
what is the silk road
What is the Silk Road?

The Silk Road is a trading route that connected Europe and lands of the former Roman Empire.The Silk Road has a length of about 4,000 miles.The Silk Road has several different routes and branches, each passing through different settlements. All of the routes reached Dunhuang. At Dunhuang the road branchedThe northern route led to Baghdad.The Silk Road was physically difficult for travel.Bandits made travel dangerous.Forts and defensive walls were constructed along the way to protect the caravans.When the Silk road came under the protection of the Mongols, it became safe for travel.

c achievements cont
C. Achievements, cont.
  • Silk
    • Kept manufacturing process a secret for centuries.
      • Why? Because if no one else knew, China earned all the profits from selling the precious cloth.
    • Silk was carried for thousands of miles to be traded in Southwest Asia and as far as Europe.
    • The trade route for silk became known as The Silk Road.
c achievements cont1
C. Achievements, cont.
  • The Silk Road
    • First records of travel and trade on the Silk Road date to around 114 B.C.
    • The route was as long as 4,000 miles!
    • Goods other than silk were also traded:
      • porcelain, tea, incense, spices, etc.
    • Many natural hazards along the way
      • Extreme heat, no water, sandstorms, blizzards, altitude sickness, etc.
    • Crime was also an issue.
    • Why was the Silk Road eventually not used anymore?
c achievements cont2
C. Achievements, cont.

3. Porcelain

  • Is what is now often referred to as “the Good China.”
  • It is a delicate, fine type of ceramic made from clay called kaolin.
    • When fired it changes into a hard, glassy substance.
  • The method for making porcelain was also kept a secret for many centuries.
c achievements cont3
C. Achievements, cont.

4. Writing

  • Chinese culture developed a written language during the Shang dynasty.
  • At first, it used pictures for words (like cuneiform).
  • Later it was reformed to shapes, called characters, which don’t look exactly like what they represent.
  • There are over 50,000 characters!
c achievements cont4
C. Achievements, cont.
  • The Great Builders
    • Built large construction projects—the most famous would be the Great Wall.
    • Many emperors ordered that canals be built.
      • Most important canal was the Grand Canal because it allowed grain from fertile areas to be carried more easily to the cities.
      • The canals extend for over 1,000 miles, connecting the city of Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in the south.

A new dynasty comes to power.

The emperorreforms the govt.& makes it moreefficient.

Start here

Emperor isdefeated !!

Lives of common people improved;taxes reduced;farming encouraged.


Rebel bands findstrong leader whounites them.Attack the emperor.

Problems begin(extensive wars,invasions, etc.)

Poor loserespect for govt.They join rebels& attack landlords.

Taxes increase;men forced towork for army.Farming neglected.

Droughts,floods,famines occur.

Govt. increasesspending; corruption.