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Chapter 2 Section 4
River Dynasties in China
The Geography of China
China somewhat
Yellow Sea
East China Sea
Pacific Ocean
Taklimakan (Talk
makan) Desert
Plateau of Tibet
Gobi Desert
Mongolian Plateau
River Systems
Huang (hwan) He
(Yellow River)
Chang (chon) Jiang (gang) (Yangtze)
Yellowish silt, or fertile
soil, called loess (loss)
Environmental Challenges
Geographic isolation
China’s Sorrow
Trading limited
Invasions from the west
and north
China’s Heartland
Farming land = 10%
Civilization Emerges in Shang Times
Fossils show ancestors
1.7 mya
Near Beijing, Homo
erectus, Peking man,
The First Dynasties
Before Sumerians,
settlements along
Huang He being built.
1st dynasty = Xia
Dynasty, led by Yu
When, Meso., Egypt
and Indus were falling
to invaders, the Shang
(short a sound) came to
power in China
First to leave written
Early Cities
Anyang, (on yawn) one
capital of the Shang
Built of mainly wood
Walls built for
The Development of Chinese Culture
People outside of
China were barbarians
Group more
important than the
Chief loyalty lies with
the family
Obedience and respect
owed to the ruler
Respect towards
parents, the most
important value
Eldest man in control,
women inferiors
Marriages were
Improve status by
giving birth to sons
Social Classes
Nobles and peasants
Religious Beliefs
Family linked to
Spirits brought good
or bad fortune
Shang worshiped
Shang Di and
consulted him through
oracle bones – how did
they do it?
Development of Writing
One character stands
for one syllable or unit
of language
Almost no links
between spoken and
written language
(2 + 2 = 4)
Development of Writing Continued
Advantage: could learn
same system of
language no matter
where they were from
Disadvantage: large
amount of characters
to remember
1,500 = literate
10,000 = scholar
50,000 Today
Zhou and the Dynastic Cycle
Zhou (jow) overthrew
the Shang
They brought new
ideas to the Chinese
Zhou Wen Wang 1131- 1115 BC
Mandate of Heaven
Zhou's justified their
conquest – what did
they say?
This developed into
the view that royal
authority came from
Mandate of Heaven Continued
 Just ruler had divine approval
 Non-just ruler lost the Mandate of
Heaven and right to rule
Mandate of Heaven Continued
This transferred to the
view of government
Natural disasters were
seen as what?
Pattern of rise, decline,
and replacement of
dynasties were called
the dynastic cycle
Control Through Feudalism
Zhou’s dynasty was
To govern, control was
given to royal families
and nobles
Feudalism developed
Control Through Feudalism
Local lords at first
submitted to Zhou
Lords grew stronger
and their dependency
on the king became
Rebellions developed
Improvements in Technology and Trade
Road and canals
Coined money
Blast furnaces to
produce cast iron
Used for weapons and
farming tools
A Period of Warring States
Empire generally
Zhou monarch
murdered by nomads
Some family members
New capital set at
Luoyang (lou-o-yan)
A Period of Warring States
Zhou kings were not
strong and couldn’t
control lords who
continued to fight each
Fighting brought an
end to traditional