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Ancient China Outcome: Geography & Culture Constructive Response Question 1. Describe China’s geography and give examples as to how the Chinese adapted to it? What will we learn? 1. Geography of China 2. The earliest dynasties (Xia, Zhou, Shang) 3. Development of Chinese culture Satellite Image Geography & Culture 1. Setting the Stage: a. b. China’s first city walls were built 1000 years after the walls of Ur, the great pyramids, and the planned cities on the Indus River. Unlike most cultures on earth, the civilization that began in China 4000 years ago still thrives there today. Geography & Culture 2. The Geography of China a. Natural barriers isolated ancient China b. East: The Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and Pacific Ocean c. West: Taklimakan Desert and 15,000 ft Plateau of Tibet d. Southwest: Himalayas e. North: Gobi Desert and Mongolian Plateau f. Mountain ranges and desert dominate 2/3 of China’s landmass Geography & Culture g. River Systems i. Huang He (Yellow River) in the north 1. Deposits large amounts of yellowish silt called loess. 2. Loess is blown by winds from deserts into the river Huang He (Yellow River) Geography & Culture i. Chang Jiang (Yangtze) in central China 1. Flows east from the Yellow Sea 2. At 3,988 miles long, it is the longest river in Asia Geography & Culture h. Environmental Challenges i. Disastrous floods from the Huang He ii. Trade was difficult so settlers became self-dependent iii. Geography did not make invasion impossible Geography & Culture i. Only 10% of China’s land is suitable for farming j. Most of farmable land is on North China Plain between Yellow River and Yangtze Earliest Dynasties Zhou & Shang Culture Geography & Culture 3. The Development of Chinese Culture a. b. Fossils show that modern humans lived in SW China 1.7 million years ago According to legend, the first Chinese dynasty, The Xia Dynasty, started about 2000 B.C. c. d. e. f. g. h. Chinese viewed everyone outside of their culture as barbarians Viewed themselves as center of civilized world Chinese name for China was Middle Kingdom Family is central to Chinese society; respect for one’s parents Women treated as inferiors Girls were arranged to be married between 13 and 16 Geography & Culture i. Religion: Spirits of ancestors had power to bring good fortune; not seen as gods j. Use of Oracle Bones- priests scratch question on bones, apply hot poker, bone would split, interpret the cracks Geography & Culture k. No links between spoken and written language l. One could read Chinese without being able to speak the language m. All parts of China learned the same system of writing even if spoke different language thus unifying parts of China n. Needed to know 1500 characters just to be considered literate; scholars knew 10,000 characters Chinese alphabet Zhou dynasty contributions Geography & Culture 4. Zhou and the Dynastic Cycle a. 1027 B.C. a people called the Zhou overthrew the Shang, culturally similar b. Zhou believed in Mandate of Heaven or divine approval to rule c. Mandate of Heaven became central to Chinese view of government d. This helped explain the dynastic cycle: a pattern of rise, decline, and replacement of dynasties if the spirits did not approve of one king’s rule Mandate of Heaven Dynastic Cycle Geography & Culture 4. Zhou and the Dynastic Cycle e. The use of royal families controlling different regions was known as feudalism f. Zhou Dynasty innovated roads/canals, coined money, blast furnaces g. The Zhou were generally peaceful h. Later years of Zhou Dynasty known as warring states period due to weakened power of Zhou kings, attacking nomads and greedy lords Warring States period Geography & Culture • Result: China’s culture has been shaped by the geography surrounding it’s people. A highly evolved culture that began with the Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynasties will become one of the world’s oldest. This unique people will be regularly disrupted by rise and fall of governments, that will later be known as the dynastic cycle. Our studies in this unit will focus on 5 of those dynasties: The Qin, The Han, The Tang, The Song, and the Yuan. Constructive Response Question 1. Describe China’s geography and give examples as to how the Chinese adapted to it?