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• 10/23 Focus
– The Chinese Civilization developed in the
Huang He and Yangtze river valleys
– Geography isolated the Chinese culture
more than it did other civilizations
• Important Terms:
• Isolation, Ethnocentrism
• Do Now
– What was the Neolithic Revolution?
– Why did people settle in river valleys?
River Valley Civilizations
China
•
Neolithic Revolution in China
• Farming in China
first appears in
the Huang He
River Valley
• Favorable
geographic
conditions allowed
for the
development of
civilization
Geography
• Major
Geographic
Influences
–
–
–
–
Mountains
Deserts
River Valleys
Plains
Mountains
• High mountains
served a
barrier to the
movement of
people
• Himalayas in
the West
– separate China
from India
Deserts
• Gobi Desert
– Large desert in the
North
– Forms a barrier
between China and
Mongolia
– Very Rocky; few
sand dunes
Deserts
• Taklamakan Desert
– Western China
– Very difficult to cross
• Taklamakan meant
“Go in and you won’t
come out”
• “Sea of Death”
•
Effect of Natural Barriers
• Mountains and deserts in China:
– protection from invasions in the west
– Isolation
• Chinese civilizations developed without outside
influences
• Limited cultural diffusion
– Ethnocentrism
• The belief in the superiority of one’s race or
ethnic group
• Chinese believed that people outside of their
world were inferior
• Chinese viewed outsiders as barbarians
River Valleys
• The Huang He (Yellow River)
– Flows to the east from Tibetan
Plateau
– Located in Northern China
– Loess
• Fine, dusty desert soil
• Carried by winds and deposited
in the river
• Deposited by annual flooding
• Created fertile flood plains
– Flooding was unpredictable and
could be very destructive
River Valleys
• Yangtze (Chang
Jiang)
– Flows east from
Tibetan Plateau
– Located in
southern China
– Warm climate
with abundant
rainfall
Plains
• Importance of fertile
plains
– Only 11% of land in
China can be farmed
– 90% of farming occurs
on plains between
Huang He and Yangtze
rivers
– Most people live near
the plains and in
eastern China (along
coast)
Closure
• Identify the two major natural
barriers that influenced the
development of Chinese civilization.
• How did these barriers influence the
Chinese view of themselves and other
groups?
Review
• China is isolated by its geography.
• This leads to Ethnocentrism – they
thought that they were better than
other people
• This is why they called themselves the
Middle Kingdom and considered others
to be barbarians.
The Shang Dynasty
• 1650 B.C.
• Shang gain
control of N.
China
• Government
– Ruled by Kings
– Establish first
dynasty
• A ruling family
The Shang Dynasty
• Religion
– Polytheistic
– Worshiped ancestors
– Used oracle bones to try
to communicate with them
• Bones inscribed with
pictographs
• Priests could read them for
messages from ancestors
– Offered ancestors gifts
for the afterlife
The Shang Dynasty
• written language
– used pictograms
• symbols that represent
pictures
– Ideograms
• symbols that represent
ideas.
• used on the Oracle
Bones, but only few
people learned how to
read and write
The Shang Dynasty
• Early class systems
• small warrior class ruling over the peasants
• Patriarchal Society
• Male dominated
The Shang Dynasty
• Technology/Achievements/Developments:
– Bronze production for weapons and ceremonial
vessels (not tools)
– Army had horse drawn chariots
– Silk production
– Irrigation systems