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Transcript of Ancient China
1. Yangtze--Chang Jiang--Third longest in the world; most important river in the history, economy, and culture of China.
2. Huang He--Yellow River--Principal river of Northern China; called the cradle of civilization; country's second largest river.
Two Greatest Rivers of China:
1. Geographically--mountain ranges, valleys, rivers.
2. Agriculturally--wheat in the north; rice in the south
3. Politically--along the seacoast is China Proper (heart of China); sections surrounding China Proper include Tibet, Xinjian, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea.
China is divided three different ways:
Because of two different patterns of Chinese history:
1. Dynastic Cycles
2. Cultural Evolution
Why do differences exist between Chinese civilization and other civilizations?
Yellow River Civilization
The 4 Old-World River Valley Cultures
Until early 1900, China was ruled by a succession of dynasties. Some held power for hundreds of years, and others for just a few years. They all went through the same stages.
1. Founding of the dynasty by military defeat and gaining control of China. A new dynasty of power emerges. (Right to rule is hereditary)
2. Period of internal peace, expansion, and power. Period of wealth and improvement, education, and architecture and arts.
3. Period of regression marked by decline. Rulers thought more of themselves and less of the people. People were struck with hardship.
4. Lowest point: Chaos and Rebellion. The dynasty collapses and a new cycle begins.
The emperor reforms the govt. & makes it more efficient.
Emperor is defeated !!
Rebel bands find strong leader who unites them. Attack the emperor.
Poor lose respect for govt. They join rebels & attack landlords.
Droughts, floods, famines occur.
Govt. increases spending; corruption.
Taxes increase; men forced to work for army. Farming neglected.
Problems begin (extensive wars, invasions, etc.)
Lives of common people improved; taxes reduced; farming encouraged.
A new dynasty comes to power.
The legend of ancient China says the very first man, Pan Gu, worked for 18,000 years to create the universe. There were many "hero-kings" who ruled for more than hundred of years each. The legends tell of the Xia Dynasty. There are not many proven facts to back up these legends, but they did make small advancements rather than the large ones told in the legends.
The beginning of the SHANG dynasty marked the beginning of the historical period in Chinese history.
The first historic dynasty along the Huang He river. Legend tells us that they were immigrants, and before this dynasty, the people had no government to regulate irrigation, drainage, or flood control. They introduced simple irrigation and flood control and kept people from starving.
Handicrafts were works in clay, bronze, bone, leather, stone, jade, wood, silk and wool.
The first Shang king was T'Ang, a virtuous nobleman who was called upon by Heaven to overthrow the corrupt dynasty before him.
It is believed that human sacrifice was common during this period.
Mythical Creator of the Universe
Yu, the Great – Founder of the Hsia
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.
“Huangdi” – Emperor
Mythical Hsia ruler.
Taught the Chinese how to read and write, according to legend.
Bronze Age Empires
Shang: 1523-1028 BCE
The Evolution of Chinese Writing during the Shang Dynasty
Ritual Wine Vessel – bronze, 13c BCE
The conquest of China by the Zhou or Chou marked the beginning of a dynamic era in Chinese history.
The next three successive dynasties, the Zhou, the Quin, and the Han, held great technological and economic growth for the Chinese.
This was the first IMPERIAL age, or Age of an Empire.
The Zhou Dynasty was the longest and most enduring of all the dynasties lasting almost 800 years.
Western Zhou: 1027-771 BCE
Eastern Zhou: 771-256 BCE
Ritual Food Vessel, bronze 11c BCE (Western Zhou)
Pendant of a Dancer - jade 3c BCE (Eastern Zhou)
Zhou Coins - bronze
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.
The Mandate of Heaven
Zhou dynasty 1100-256 B.C.
1. Internal expansion of trade
2. Use of copper coins as money
3. Introduction of iron--transformed Chinese agriculture by using it for farm tools and plows.
4. Built canals and dikes, reservoirs for irrigation
5. Steady population growth
Accomplishments of Zhou Rule
1. Shih--lesser nobility, knights, gentry, and scholars usually of state or a noble family.
2. Nung--peasant farmers--highly regarded and over-worked.
3. Kung--artisans--worked in foundries and workshops close to the cities.
4. Shang--merchants--traded the products they made and were less fixed in their place of habitiation; "traveling salesmen"
Merchants had the lowest social position.
The Great Estates
The Qin came to power in 221 B.C. By using cavalry armed with bows and arrows--a new method to the Chinese. Shi Huangdi--"First Emperor" founded this dynasty with the capital at Xianyan. The Qin ruled a dynasty bigger than ever before. The western name CHINA comes from this dynasty. It unified China under a strong central government.
221 B.C.-207 B.C.
**551 – 479 B.C.E.
**Born in the feudal state of Liu.
**Became a teacher and editor of books.
--> Rite, rules, ritual decorum (Binding force of an enduring stable society)
--> humaneness, benevolence, Humanity
--> Reciprocity, empathy
"Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you."
--> Filial Piety (Respect your elders!)
5. Older Friend
4. Older Brother
**Knowing what he knows and knowing what he doesn’t know, is characteristics of the person who knows.
**Making a mistake and not correcting it, is making another mistake.
**The superior man blames himself; the inferior man blames others.
**To go too far is as wrong as to fall short.
1. Human nature is naturally selfish.
2. Intellectualism and literacy is discouraged.
3. Law is the supreme authority and replaces morality.
4. The ruler must rule with a strong, punishing hand.
5. War is the means of strengthening a ruler’s power.
280? - 233 B.C.
Han Fe Zi.
Lived during the late Warring States period.
Founder of Legalism;
Legalism became the political philosophy of the Qin [Ch’in] Dynasty.
Not sure when he died.
[604 B.C.E. - ?]
His name means “Old Master”
Was he Confucius’ teacher?
1. Dao [Tao] is the first-cause of the universe. It is a force that flows through all life.
2. A believer’s goal is to become one with Dao; one with nature.
3. Wu wei --> “Let nature take its course.” --> “The art of doing nothing.” --> “Go with the flow!”
4. Man is unhappy because he lives according to man-made laws, customs, & traditions that are contrary to the ways of nature.
To escape the “social, political, & cultural traps” of life, one must escape by:
1. Rejecting formal knowledge and learning.
2. Relying on the senses and instincts.
3. Discovering the nature and “rhythm” of the universe.
4. Ignoring political and social laws.
Out of conflict, new social classes formed:
Tomb of Master Kung
China under the Qin dynasty, 221-207 B.C.E.
*Emperor orders execution of all critics
*Orders burning of all ideological works
*Some 460 scholars buried alive
*Massive cultural losses
Resistance to Qin Policies
Tomb of Shi Huangdi
The Great Canal
The Great Canal
Reasons for the rise of the Han:
1. Rebellion of peasants
2. Peasant General Lui Bang led a revolt and formed the Han.
3. The Chin Dynasty was considered "a successful failure"
Ruled for 400 years, created a new bureaucracy, with an emphasis on centralization. Aristocracy was weakended and imperial expansion occurred. There was destruction of the Legalists that had flourished during the Chin.
87 B.C.-589 A.D.
The Han Dynasty
Had Confucian educated elite
Improvement in women's’ status
Beginnings of “secret societies”
1. Created first empire
2. Standardized weights and measures
3. Coined Money
4. Established a writing system
5. Uniform system of Laws
6. Single tax system--ending taxing chaos
7. Completed the Great Wall of China
8. Built a canal from the Ching river to the Lo river; created a key economic area.
Accomplishments of the Chin/Qin
East Asia and central Asia at the time of Han Wudi, Ca. 87 B.C.E.
Expeditions consumed the empire's surplus
Raised taxes and confiscated land of some wealthy individuals
Much of defense consumed on defending against nomads
Social tensions, stratification between the poor and rich
Problems of land distribution
Early Han supported land redistribution
Lands accumulated in the hands of a few