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The Rise of Civilization in China

The Rise of Civilization in China. Understanding the Origins of the People of the Far East. Standards. CA SS Standard: 6.6 – 1 and 2 CC LA Standard: RC 2.4 . Language of the Discipline . Dynasty- China’s ruling family Dike- Walls to hold back water Mandate of Heaven-

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The Rise of Civilization in China

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  1. The Rise of Civilization in China Understanding the Origins of the People of the Far East

  2. Standards • CA SS Standard: 6.6 – 1 and 2 • CC LA Standard: RC 2.4

  3. Language of the Discipline • Dynasty- • China’s ruling family • Dike- • Walls to hold back water • Mandate of Heaven- • Heaven was a supreme force of nature that gave dynasties the right to rule • Chaos- • Total disorder and confusion

  4. Geography of China • China is a country that is ISOLATED and INSULATED. • China has natural borders that have kept it removed from invaders and kept its great thinkers within the borders. • To the North lies the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian steppes. • To the East lies the Pacific Ocean • To the South are the Himalayas. • To the West lies the Taklimakan Desert

  5. Key Geographic Features of China • Deserts: The Gobi and the Taklimakan are vast spans of dry hot sand that keep foreigners from entering China. • Rivers: The Chang and the Huang He are China’s two most important water ways. • Both rivers run through this country and into the Yellow and East china Seas. • These rivers deposit loess onto the plains and helped create fertile regions where the early Chinese farmed. • Coastlines: China’s eastern boundary lies along the Pacific and were ideal places for settlement. • Here, travel and fishing became viable options for these people. • Mountains: The Himalayas serve as the southern boundary. This mountain range and its snow-capped peaks protect China from invaders and brings fresh water when the spring thaw occurs.

  6. Water is LIFE • The Chang and the Huang He rivers are the lifeblood of China. • The Chang River is China’s longest river and drains south-central China. • The Huang He, or Yellow, River begins in the mountains of western China and flows east to the Yellow Sea. • The Huang He runs through a flat area called the North China Plain, where Chinese Civilization began. • The Huang He River has flooded many t times throughout China’s history and is called “China’s Sorrow.”

  7. Early Chinese Civilization • 3500 B.C., farming villages emerge in the Huang He River Valley. • This early farming culture was known as the Yangshao. • These early people domesticated animals such as dogs and pigs, hunted game and farmed. • The village of Banpo has been a rich treasure trove of remains. • The people of this region fashioned tools, crafted pottery and made silk.

  8. Island of Civilization • Because of China’s isolation and lack of engagement with others, they were able to maintain a homogenous population where a distinct culture developed. • Here, the Chinese believe that they were an “Island of Civilization” amongst the savages and considered themselves the “Middle Kingdom” or the center of the world.

  9. China’s Dynastic System • China over time, grew and developed into a true civilization with social classes, an economy, and a distinct culture. • The 3 most important dynasties are the XIA, the SHANG and the ZHOU. • A DYNASTY is a ruling family that passes its rule onto successive generations. • Dynasties came and went throughout China’s history. • Conflict, battles and deceit led to the many changes in the Dynastic rule over the years.

  10. The XIA Dynasty • A strong ruler emerged around 2200 B.C. in the Huang He River Valley. Archaeological evidence supports this. • Legends states that an engineer named Yu saved the people from a series of floods. • Channels and dikes were used to tame the river. This early irrigation system brought control to this raging waterway. • This engineer was then referred to as “Yu the Great.” • The phrase “We would have been fish, except for Yu.”

  11. The XIA Dynasty (cont’d) • 17 kings ruled during the Xia Dynasty. • The Xia built cities and palaces spreading throughout the region. • They also built up a strong military force. Large armies were important and they used bronze weaponry to maintain order and conquer those who opposed them • Bronze is a blend of copper and tin. • The Xia artisans used bronze and jade to create objects of beauty. • The Xia kings ruled with a firm hand, even using human sacrifice to instill fear in their citizens. • Their rule lasted for roughly 400 years.

  12. The SHANG Dynasty • Around 1760 B.C., a people called the SHANG conquer the XIA. • They were a neighboring region where many artifacts and written records were found. Because of this fact, the SHANG are considered the first HISTORICAL dynasty. • The Shang adopt many of the Xia’s practices and culture, staying in power for 600 years. China under the Shang developed into a true civilization. • The Shang continued the Xia flood control methods and continued to farm. Growing grains such as millet and wheat. Agricultural surplus led to wealth.

  13. The SHANG Dynasty (cont’d) • The Shang created a strong government that launched a series of grand scale building projects such as large walled cities. Palaces and great houses of the upper classes were placed in the center of these cities. • The Shang also are credited with creating a system of writing. Originally using pictographs on oracle bones, the Shang perfected picture writing into ideographs. • The walls of Zhengzhou, a Shang capital, which served stretched for 4 miles and stood 27 feet high. This proved the power of the Shang rulers since they needed to organize labor and pull resources to get these projects done in a timely manner. • The Shang also relied on large armies which helped them to conquer rivals and expand their territory. • The Shang Dynasty was marked by craftsman and artisans also. • The Shang were expert bronze-workers, jade carvers and potters.

  14. The ZHOU Dynasty • Around 1050 B.C., the Zhou attacked the Shang from the west. • The first Emperor of the Zhou was KING WEN. • The Zhou overthrew the Shang because the Shang kings had become corrupt and abused their power. • The last Shang king was Di Xin. He raised taxes, spent foolishly. He did not value the citizenry and they abandoned him in his time of need. • The Zhou believed in the “Mandate of Heaven.” • Right to rule was granted by the spirits and gods. • Emperors were chosen and expected to be righteous and full of virtue. • The Zhou believed in a dual class system. Nobles vs. peasants. • Nobles were expected to serve the king and raise armies to support the king. • Peasants were responsible for farming, labor, and serving as soldiers in the noble’s army.

  15. The ZHOU Dynasty (cont’d) • Using their military might, the Zhou expand their territory. They push from the region of the Shang into new areas. Their territory stretched from the Mongolian steppes in the north to the Chang River in the south. • Once the Zhou grew, the problems began to rise. The large kingdom made ruling from the capital nearly impossible. • The emperor dispatches family members to help him rule. • Loyalty cannot be maintained and the Zhou begin to lose their hold on the far-flung regions. • In 771 B.C., a group of nobles overthrew the king, killed him and placed his son on the throne. The capital was then moved to Luoyang and this became known as the Eastern Zhou. • The Zhou dynasty falls because of weakness and the Warring States period begins. From 481 B.C. to 221 B.C. the battle for control of China is fought by numerous warlords.

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