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Early China
1750 B.C. to A.D.
Chapter 7.1
The Land of China
• Ancient Chinese Civilization developed
along the Huang He River
Huang He River
• Huang He-means Yellow River
– 2,900 miles long
– Cuts through yellow soil called loess
Huang He-”China’s Sorrow”
• Huang He is sometimes called “China’s
Sorrow” in honor of people killed by flood
Chang Jiang or
Yangtze River
• Flows from west to east
• 3,915 miles long
• 3rd longest river in the world
• Himalaya, Kunlun Shan, and Tian Shan
mountains cover much of China
Tian Shan
Himalaya Mountains
Kunlun Shan
• Gobi Desert - cold, rocky
• Taklamakan Desert
Gobi Desert- hot in summertemperatures reach 122 degrees, cold in
winter-temperatures reach minus 40
Taklamakan Desert-second largest
shifting sand desert in the world
Tibetan Plateau
• Highest and largest plateau in the world
The First Chinese Dynasty
• According to Chinese myth, Yu the Great
built channels to control floods
• Chased away the dragon caused floods
• Dragons helped dig channels
• Took 13 years to complete the work
Yu the Great
• Legend says Yu the Great founded
China’s first dynasty named the Xia
• Archaeologist have not found any
historical evidence of the Xia
Shang Dynasty
Built the first cities in China
Ruled most of the Huang He Valley
Appointed warlords-military leaders
Most people were farmers
Shang Religion
Shang Ti-supreme god
Gods lived in mountains, rivers, and seas
Honored ancestors or long-dead family
Seeking Guidance from Ancestors
• Kings believed they received their power
to rule from gods and their wisdom from
• Asked for help from oracle bones
• Pictographs-characters that represent
• Ideographs-link two or more pictographs to
express an idea
Shang Arts
• Created objects made of bronze
• Silk-farmers raised silk worms to produce
• Weavers made the silk into clothing
• Kaolin-fine, white clay-made vases and
• Jade- a green stone
The Zhou: China’s Longest
• Wu Wang overthrew Shang government
• Declared a new dynasty called Zhou
• Ruled 800 years
How did the Zhou Rule China?
• King led the government
• Ruled with bureaucracy-officials who carry
out the task of the government
• Aristocrats governed territories
The Right to Rule
• Mandate of Heaven-belief that the
Chinese king’s right to rule came from the
• King must rule the proper “Way” known as
the Dao
Technology and Trade
• Zhou kings developed new ways to irrigate
the land
War Between the States
Aristocrats grew powerful
Aristocrats began to fight one another
Fought for 200 years
Known as “Period of the Warring States”
“Period of Warring States”
• Aristocrats forced farmers to serve as
• Soldiers used swords, spears, and
• Developed saddle and stirrups