Ancient china:. Part One: China ’ s First Civilizations Mrs. Rand University Preparatory School. China ’ s first civilizations. Physical Geography plays a role in how civilizations develop and decline. China ’ s Geography: Rivers, mountains, and deserts helped shape China ’ s civilizations.
Ancient china: Part One: China’s First Civilizations Mrs. Rand University Preparatory School
China’s first civilizations Physical Geography plays a role in how civilizations develop and decline. • China’s Geography: • Rivers, mountains, and deserts helped shape China’s civilizations. • Why do you think so many cities and towns were built beside rivers?
Huang He (Yellow) River • The Huang He (HWAHNG HUH) River flows across China for 2,900 miles. • It gets its name from the rich yellow soil it carries from Mongolia to the Pacific Ocean. • Like rivers in early Mesopotamia and Egypt, China’s Huang He regularly flooded the land. • These floods destroyed homes and drowned many people • Despite this destruction, it leaves behind rich silt in the valley. The soil is so rich that farmers can grow large amounts of food on very small farms. chinareport1.spaces.live.com
Chiang jiang river (yangtze river) This river flows for about 3,400 miles east across central China where it empties into the Yellow Sea. Like the Huang He valley, the Chiang Jiang valley also has rich soil for farming. Even though China has rich soil along its rivers, only a little more than 1/10 of its land can be farmed. Why?
Why is there so little land to farm? Mountains: Himalayas Mountains close off China to the southwest. Kunlun Shan and Tian Shan are mountain ranges on the western border of China. Deserts: The Gobi desert, a vast, cold, rocky desert spreads east from the mountains. http://www.marcmanley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Chinese-mountains-498x250.jpg http://www.whatjamiefound.com/2007/09/14/chinese-desert-problems-and-unique-hay-solutions/
The shang dynasty Rulers known as the Shang became powerful because they controlled land and had strong armies. A dynasty is a line of rulers who belong to the same family.
Who were the shang? • Archaeologists have discovered pottery in the Huang He valley dating back thousands of years. • These artifacts show that the Huang He valley was the site of the first center of Chinese civilizations • Archaeologists think that people stayed in the valley and farmed the land because of rich soil. • As their numbers expanded, they began building towns, and soon after, the first Chinese civilization began. • The FIRST rulers of China were probably part of the Xia (SYAH) dynasty, but little is known about them. • The Shang followed the Xia and ruled China from about 1750 BCE to 1045 BCE.
How do we know about the shang? • Huge walls, royal palaces, and royal tombs from the time of the Shang have been found. • Remains show that the Shang may have built the first cities. One of these cities was Anyang, in northern China. • Shang kings ruled the early Chinese people. People of the Shang were divided into groups:
Shang dynasty Spirits and Ancestors Telling the Future Shang kings believed they received power and wisdom from the gods, the spirits, and their ancestors. Shang religion and government were closely linked, just as in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Ancestors were consulted before making any important decisions. • People in Shang China worshiped gods and spirits. • Spirits were believed to live in the mountains, rivers, and seas. • To keeps the gods and spirits happy, people believed they had to give offerings of food and other goods. • They believed the gods/spirits would be angry if not treated well. • People also honored their ancestors with offerings. These offerings were hoped to be rewarded in times of need and bring good luck.
Earliest form of Chinese writing Oracle Bones • The kings asked for the gods help by using oracle bones. • They had priests scratch questions on the bones – once the bones cracked, they believed the patterns of the cracks could be interpreted as answers from the gods. • The answers were written down for the kings so they could make their decisions while being ‘guided’ by the gods and their ancestors. http://www.ibiblio.org/chinesehistory/contents/02cul/c03s03i01.jpg
Chinese character writing The Chinese Language Shang Artists Shang artists are best known for creating works made from BRONZE. Bronze objects included sculptures, vases, drinking cups, and containers called urns. These urns were used to prepare and serve food for rituals honoring ancestors. • Pictographs are characters that stand for/represent objects. • Ideographs are another kind of character used in Chinese writing. They join two or more pictographs to form an idea.
Shang dynasty replaced by the zhou • During the Shang dynasty, a great gap existed between the rich and the poor. • Shang kings lived in luxury and began to treat the people cruelly. • As a result, they lost the support of the people in their kingdom. • In 1045 BCE an aristocrat named Wu Wang led a rebellion against the Shang. • After defeating the Shang, Wu began an new dynasty called the Zhou (JOH).
Zhou dynasty Chinese rulers claimed that the Mandate of Heaven gave them the right to rule. The Mandate of Heaven was a ‘heavenly law’ that gives a person or group the right to rule.
Zhou Government • The Zhou dynasty lasted for more than 800 years • Zhou kings ruled much like Shang rulers in the way that the government was organized. • The king was responsible for defending the country and under his leadership was a large bureaucracy (made up of appointed officials who are responsible for different areas of the government). • The kingdom was divided into smaller territories.
Zhou kings put aristocrats they trusted in charge of each territory. The positions given to aristocrats became hereditary, passing from father to son, or to another relative who would take over as ruler of that territory. The Chinese considered the king their link between heaven and earth. The king’s chief role was to carry out religious rituals. The Chinese believed these rituals strengthened the link between them and the gods…. Leading to the concept of the Mandate of Heaven.
Mandate of heaven According to this theory, the king is chosen by heavenly order because of his talent and virtue. Therefore, he would rule the people with goodness and wisdom. The Mandate of Heaven works in two ways: ONE The people expected the king to rule according to the proper way, or Dao in order to keep the gods happy. A natural disaster or a bad harvest was a sign that he had failed in his duty. http://www.east-asian-history.net/textbooks/PM-China/graphics/Ch2/05.jpg
Mandate of heaven TWO: The Mandate gave the people, as well as the king, important rights. -- people had the right to overthrow a dishonest or evil ruler -- it also made clear that the king was not a god himself. Each new dynasty claimed that it had the mandate, and therefore the right to rule. http://www.east-asian-history.net/textbooks/PM-China/graphics/Ch2/05.jpg
New Tools Trade Trade and manufacturing grew along with farming. Silk was an important trade item. It was traded throughout central Asia and as far away as Greece. • During the Zhou dynasty the Chinese developed irrigation and flood-control systems. • This resulted in growing more crops than ever before. • Improvements in farming tools also helped farmers produce more crops. • RESULT: population increased to about 50 million.
Zhou Empire Falls • Over time the local leaders grew more powerful • They stopped obeying the kings and set up their own states. • In 403 BCE fighting broke out between the states for control of China. • This starts the Warring States Period and signals the end of the Zhou Dynasty.
Summary • China’s first civilization formed in river valleys. • The Chinese were isolated from other people by mountains and deserts. • The rulers of the Shang dynasty controlled the area around the Huang He valley. • The Zhou dynasty replaced the Shang and claimed to rule with the Mandate of Heaven. • During the Zhou dynasty, farming and trade increased.