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Transcript of Xia Dynasty
By Maddog, Benita, Thomas and Savannah
Yu the Great was a hero in prehistoric times. Yu was most known for contolling the dreadful, horrendous, not so beautiful floods that attacked China during the reign of the Xia Dynasty. Because of his contribution, people call him 'Dayu' in Chinese, with 'Da' which means great.
Yu the Great was also nicknamed the
Legendary Yellow Emporer of China
because of his many achievements.
Yu the Great
The government in the Xia Dynasty was a monarchy government. Yu The Great was the first ruler. He and his father Gun controlled the floods for years. The people set up the dynasty under the Abdication system, which is
choosing the leader according to their ability
. After Yu died, his son, Qi, broke up the system and made himself ruler. Qi had 15 other children who succeeded after his death. The government helped the people by controlling the floods that happened. The floods were usually very destructive to the people or crops, which wasn't a good thing for the dynasty. The ruler would make the laws, like a death penalty or a penal law, which is a
punishment for something you did wrong
The power of being ruler was transferred by the children. After the rulers death, the children would take over rule and either keep the same laws or change and add different ones. For example, after Yu The Great died his son, Qi, took over and became ruler. Also after Qi died all his 15 children succeeded in becoming rulers.
Children of the Xia Dynasty
By Thomas Deck
Read the section on page 163 about the Xia Dynasty and answer the following questions in your journal.
1. Who was Yu the Great?
2. Why are stories of Xia rulers important?
3. Around what time did the Xia Dynasty begin?
1. Yu the Great was the founder of the Xia Dynasty. He is also remembered for his efforts and labor in creating channels to drain water to the ocean.
2. Stories of Xia rulers are important because they tell about kings who worked together to solve problems and explain how the land's geography impacted people's lives.
3. The Xia Dynasty began around 2200 BC.
By Benita Hasani
By Savannah Saylor
Overview of Xia Dynasty
Founder: Yu the Great
Population: 13.5 million people
Established: around 2200 BC and lasted until about 1700 BC
Location: along the fertile areas of land near the Huang He (Yellow) River
-First to irrigate
-Created major waterways in Northern China
-Invented China's first calendar, using the Big Dipper to determine months
-First slave dynasty in China
In what ways did the Xia Dynasty innovate and change the economic systems of China?
Because of the lack of written records form that time period, historians have still not gained a correct idea of how the people lived at that time.
However, we do know that the people of the Xia Dynasty were very inventive and innovative. While the majority of the population found work as farmers or craftsmen, they contributed many achievements to the world we live in today.
Farmers- mainly harvested rice, raised fish, ducks, and geese
Potters- created many objects from clay, such as pots, amd vessels used for rituals and other purposes
Artizans- a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand
Bronze/Jade Crafters- The Jade ware at that time was quite delicate and bronze vessels were well smelted. Craftwork made of bronze embedded with jade also appeared.
Some people did work as Lords/Nobles, but the occupations listed above were the main jobs at that time.
The Story of Yu the Great
The story of Yu is based on a king of the same name who ruled in Chinese legend from 2205 to 2197 BC. Yu, like all demigods, could change into different shapes whenever necessary! Unlike the demigods of ancient times, Yu is the first to pass on rulership to his descendants and to create a dynasty, a series of rulers from the same family. He named his dynasty the Xia Dynasty.
In prehistoric times, people suffered from torrential floods. The problem became worse while Shun was the ruler from 2233 B.C. - 2205 B.C. Under Shun, Gun (the father of Yu) got the situation under control. He created a method of building banks with soil and blocking the holes. However, after nine years of hard work, this traditional way stopped working well. Yu the Great was then ordered to succeed his father on the control of flooding. From his father's experiences, he found a way of digging channels to trail water to the sea. After 13 years of battling floods, he finally handled the problem.
The Beginnings of Agriculture and Farming
After controlling the floodwater, Dayu (Yu the Great) taught his people to fully utilize the water and fertile soil by developing agriculture. He let his son show people how to plant rice and other crops. They also bred fish, ducks and geese under Dayu's guidance. With his help, the people lived happy lives.
Since the ruler was usually chosen based on their ability at that time, Yu the Great was supported by his people and and was reccommended by Shun to succeed him. In about 2200 BC, Yu became ruler and established the Xia Dynasty, which opened a new era in Chinese history.
Yu the Great not only admired for his determination and fights against nature, but also for forgetting about his own interests in order to help other people.
Xia King -
often regarded as the "descendant of the heavenly king/emporer"
Located at the top of the social class system
job is to help the Xia King rule the dynasty
Usually composed of the royal family or a clan that contributed towards the dynasty
a poor farmer of low social status who usually farmed the governments land and payed high taxes
people who look after a herd of livestock or makes a living from keeping livestock
people whose work requires a skill with the hands, such as potters, artizans, bronze/jade crafters
Labor Workers -
Women mostly contributed indoor activities, such as cooking, cleaning, wine making, weaving, etc.
Men contributed outdoor activities, such as farming.
located at the bottom of the social class system.
Worked long, hard hours and received little to no pay.
Were usually massacred and used for sacrificial purposes.
Silk is one of the most important products China has ever created. Most historians agree that the Xia Dynasty was producing silk clothing, though silk production may have started much earlier.
Roles of Women and Children
Womens jobs included mostly indoor activities.
Ex- wine making, weaving and cultivation of silkworms
Women took care of the children and had less education than men.
Fun Fact: infants and women had a higher death rate than men.
Xia Dynasty Trading
An important trade route, Hexi Corridor, is located in the territory of the dynasty. The trade route was the way to trade between North China and the Central Asia region at that period of history.
The Xia Dynasty's economy was considered a nomad-based economy. There were large cattle herds in the grassland areas. Most of the agricultural lands were owned by the state, meaning that no farmer owned their own land.
What Goods Did People Buy and Sell?
Xia Dynasty Location
Huang He (Yellow) River
Jade was also an important product at that time. many people found jobs creating and selling Jade necklaces and other jewelry.
Innovation? New Technology?
There were many new technologies developed during the reign of the Xia Dynasty. Xia people were very supportive of one another, and often worked together to accomplish things.
Some of these accomplishments include:
-Building irrigation canals to fully utilize water resources.
-Creating the first calendar, using the Big Dipper to determine months.
-Building materials: baked bricks in oven to strengthen them
and used plaster flooring in their huts
They also used a potters wheel to create beautiful clay vases and pots.
Xia people traded with other settlements in Northern China and Central Asia, such as the Liao, Jin and Song people.
To supply their basic needs, they often traded commodities (raw materials/agriculture). Silk, gauze, medicine, rice, herbs, fabrics, jade, and salt are a few examples.
1. First to irrigate
2. Developed a calendar
3. Invented a wheeled vehicle
4. Built a strong army
5. First to invent alchohol
Since there are no known written records of the Xia Dynasty, we do not know for sure what goods people bought and sold. They are thought to have created their own currency, most likely buying essential goods needed to support their daily life.
Art & Technology
In the Xia Dynasty, they created many stone structures and specialized in cave paintings. They also made things from bronze.
Fall of the Xia Dynasty
The Xia Dynasty ended in around 1700 B.C., when Jie, the last Xia ruler, began to abuse his power and increase cruel treatment and control.
Jie was very selfish, exhausting the people's resources to build palaces and pavilions for himself.
The people of the Xia Dynasty, who were filled with a sense of hatred for Jie, could not stand his unjust way of ruling, and fled in large numbers.
This period of rebellion and confusion, Shang Tang gathered an army to overthrow the Xia Dynasty, and eventually founded the Shang Dynasty.