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									Ancient Chinese Civilization
    Even
   though
  much of
  China is
  covered
    with
 mountains
  much of
the land is
inhabited.
   China’s
   dense
 population
 is a large
  problem
 for their
government
   today.
These 2
  maps
show the
 relative
 size of
 China &
   the
  USA.
          Ancient China
  The Chinese called their land
Zhongguo, or the ‘Middle Kingdom’.
 • They felt they were the center
 of the universe ~ understandable
  as they had no contact with any
 other large civilization for a long
               time.
 • Oldest Continuous Civilization ~
 China’s ancient civilization was
      centered around the
 Huang He River (Yellow River)
                &
Chang Jiang River (Yangtze River)
•Loess ( fine yellow silt,
very fertile ) was deposited
along the shores of these
rivers.
•The Huang He was
unpredictable & experienced
destructive floods which
earned it the nickname
‘River of Sorrows’
                  The rivers in
                 China flooded
                unpredictably &
                  disastrously.


Lives & crops
 were lost in
    great
  numbers.
All the loess ends up being deposited
along and in the lower reaches of the
                rivers.
  Levees line
  both shores
  of the river
along its lower
    reaches.
 Thousands of
   people are
 mobilized to
combat floods
   each year
 between July
  and August.
In 1994, the Chinese government
began building the world’s largest
dam to control these problems.
The Three Gorges Dam is complete
now..
One of the Three Gorges on the
 Chang Jiang River (Yangtze).
      China’s ancient
civilization began record
keeping early & this has
given us a large amount
  of information about
       their history.
The beginning of
writing in China
was on
Oracle
Bones
(turtle
shells)
Pictographs
eventually    Sun   Moon   Water
developed
into…
•Ideographs,
which, in turn,
developed into
modern Chinese characters, seen here
 in the form of Calligraphy (artistic
              writing)
    China’s history is usually
divided into time periods based on
the rule of different dynasties.
A ‘dynasty’ is a ruling family that
passes the power to rule down
through the generations. These
rulers were thought to be ‘divine’,
or actual gods, and thus were
obeyed without question.
Shang Dynasty 1500 – 1100 BCE
         Shang Dynasty
        1500 – 1100 BCE
•Used irrigation
•Spoke many variations of language,
or dialects
•Developed writing w/ Chinese
characters
•Conquered by Zhou
• respect, or
veneration for
ancestors
•Horse-drawn chariots
• Leather & bronze
armor
• Lacked strong
leaders
• The Shang were polytheistic,
believing that there were many
spirits in nature.
• They built the first cities of
China.
• They had a deep respect for
their elders and their dead
ancestors.
• They made Silk.
Silk is made from the
cocoons of silk worms.
 Silk worms live solely
 on the leaves of the
  mulberry bush. The
  cocoons are boiled
 and the silk strands
   are separated by
  hand (ow!) into the
        threads.
Silk Worms
• Pottery
• Jade & Ivory
statues & jewelry
•(this brooch is
colored blue with
tiny bits of
kingfisher
feathers!)
Zhou Dynasty 1100 – 256 BCE
       Zhou (Chou) Dynasty
         1100 – 256 BCE
•Longest-lasting dynasty
•Strong conquerors, but weak
rulers
•Feudal system
    Local Lords / Princes have most
of the authority, but owe loyalty
to the emperor.
•2 teacher-philosophers
influenced people: Laozi,
Confucius




• Mandate of Heaven
(Dynastic Cycle)
  Mandate of Heaven
  The Zhou invented a new
 system of authority which
 they called t'ien ming, or
 the "Mandate of Heaven."
   The Zhou defined the
kingship as an intermediary
position between heaven and
           earth.
    The Chinese
   character for
 emperor or lord,
"ti," demonstrates
  this eloquently.
   The ideograph
 consists of three
  horizontal lines
     joined by a
    vertical line.
See the connection
  between heaven
 (at the top) and
      the earth
 (at the bottom).
This relationship is
 mediated by the
  lord or emperor
     (the center
  horizontal line).
 If the emperor rules in a selfish or
  corrupt way, heaven withdraws its
   mandate and gives it to another.


   The only way to know that the
mandate has passed is if the emperor
     is successfully overthrown.
Indications that a king had lost the
   Mandate of Heaven included:
            -Crop failures
        -Catastrophic floods
          -Losses in battle
        -Corrupt government
Qin Dynasty   221 – 202 BCE
Qin (Ch’in) Dynasty 221 – 202 BCE
•Only one ruler – Qin Shi Huangdi
•United China by force
•Ended feudal system, built roads
& canals, & connected defensive
walls to create the Great Wall
•Standardized weights & measures,
& simplified writing system
    The Chinese people have
constructed walls to keep their
culture, cities & towns, &
homes safe from outside
threats.
    The Great Wall is an
example, built to stop the
migratory invaders from the
North.
Ancient Chinese cities also have
massive walls surrounding them
        for protection.




Xi’an,
China
  Chinese neighborhoods, or
‘hutongs’, are enclosed within
          walls also.
   Traditional
 Chinese homes
are also designed
 to face inward
onto courtyards,
 with solid walls
    facing out
towards the rest
  of the world.
Emperor Qin
Shi Huangdi
Qin Dynasty 221 to 210 BCE

 Ruled by the Emperor
 Qin Shi Huangdi
 Short-lived, but with
 long-lasting changes and
 influence.
 Emperor Qin Shi
    Huangdi
He was responsible
for the building of
 the Great Wall,
     and the
  construction of
 the Terra Cotta
      Army.
 A view of the
Great Wall from
     space
 (and no, you
 cannot see it
   from the
    Moon…)
The Great Wall
Built upon unbelievable terrain!
Emperor Qin
Shihuangdi’s
Terra Cotta
Army – from
  the Qin
 Dynasty.
Horses of the Terra Cotta Army
Over 6,000 statues uncovered
          so far.
Amazing
 detail!
Han Dynasty 202 – 500 CE
    Han Dynasty        202 - 500
•Civil service exams based on
Confucius’ ideas
•Silk trade w/ Europe
•Unified writing & legal system
•Built more roads & canals
•Buddhism introduced
The ‘Silk Road’ facilitated trade
between China and the Middle
East, and even parts of Europe.
Confucius introduced the idea of
government officials coming from
an educated group of men who
took an examination to work for
the government. This became
known as the ‘civil service’ and
the system was in place for a
very long time in China.
Han Dynasty 202 BCE – 500 CE

    Begun by the Emperor Liu
    Bang who overthrew the
    Qin government after Qin
    Shi Huangdi’s death.
    Considered China’s golden
    age
 Emperor
  Gao Zu
(Liu Bang)
Chinese Philosophies

 Three Schools of Thought
         Confucianism
Confucius
 born during decline of Zhou
 dynasty
 believed order would return to
 China if people lived ethically
 wrote Analects
Confucius
         Confucianism
formal social order
 filial piety = respect for elders
 code of politeness according
 to your relationship with
 others
            Confucianism
formal social order
   5 relationships
     ruler / subject
     parent / child

     husband / wife

     old / young

     friend / friend
        Legalism
Practiced during Qin Dynasty
people are naturally evil and
greedy
order comes through strict laws,
enforcement
rulers should be strong
           Daoism
taught by Laozi
 about 50 years
 older than
 Confucius
 wrote Tao Te Ching:
 “the way and its
 power”
Laozi
          Daoism
the way
 Basic unity behind the universe
 is the Tao
 Life is the greatest of all
 possessions
 Life should be lived simply

 practice humility

 seek harmony with nature
  Personal Philosophy
Think about…
  What is your moral philosophy?

  Would it be useful for governing a nation?

  What or who has influenced your belief?

Ponder one of the following and decide if any closely
resembles your philosophy or belief:
  “What I do not wish others to do to me, that also I
   wish not to do to them”
  “The man of noble mind seeks to achieve the
   good in others and not their evil”
  “The higher type of man is modest in what he
   says, but surpasses in what he does”

								
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