THE GEOGRAPHY OF CHINA

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ENVIRONMENTAL
DETERMINISM AND CHINESE
CULTURE
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Isolation
Middle Kingdom
Climate
Land
Rivers
Population
Philosophies
The Great Wall
Quiz
Resources
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China is surrounded by natural boundaries.
To the North is the Gobi Desert, To the West is the
Taklimakan Desert, To the South are the Himalaya
Mountains, To the East is the Pacific Ocean.
Isolation has had dramatic impacts on Chinese culture
and history.
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The Chinese call their
land Zhong Guo or The
Middle Kingdom.
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The belief was that
China was the center of
the world.
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China’s latitude ranges from 19°N to 54°N, crossing the Tropic
of Cancer.
Climates include: Humid Sub-tropical, Continental Hot summer,
Tropical Rain forest, and Alpine climates in the mountainous
regions.
This diversity leads to different staple crops in the North and
South. Wheat is grown in the North, Rice in the South.
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Because of China’s limited arable land (which is
concentrated in the East on the North China Plain) the
Chinese developed farming techniques such as
Terracing to maximize land use.
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China has the most pigs, goats, and chickens in the
world, but relatively few cattle. Because of limited
grazing area, smaller animals are necessary.
Stir Frying is a cooking method developed to maximize
fuel (use less trees). Food is cut into small pieces that
cook quickly in a hot Wok, thereby reducing the amount
of wood needed.
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China’s 2 greatest rivers are the Huang He (Yellow River) and
the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River).
The Yellow River gets its name from the yellow colored loess
that blows in from the Steppes of central Asia.
The Yellow River is also known as “China’s Sorrow” due to
the destruction it has caused from frequent flooding.
These 2 Rivers laid the foundation of Chinese civilization,
providing silt and rich, fertile soil for agriculture.
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China has the world’s
largest population: over 1.3
Billion people!
Due to the topography of
China, most of the
population is concentrated
on the East coast, leading to
some of the largest, most
densely populated cities on
Earth - like Shanghai,
Beijing, Hong Kong, and
Guangzhou.
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Confucianism
developed as a result of
China’s dense
populations - People
needed to learn to live
and work together in
harmony.
Daoism emphasizes
living in harmony with
nature.
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Because of internal
isolation (due to natural
barriers) many dialects
developed in China.
Qin Shi Huangdi
(China’s first emperor)
mandated a standardized
script to unify the
country. The name
CHINA is taken from
his name.
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Despite China’s natural geographic isolation,
many dynasties devoted enormous time, money,
and lives to build The Great Wall in an effort to
maintain that isolation.
WHAT DOES PEKING RAVIOLI
HAVE TO DO WITH GEOGRAPHY??
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Peking is the former name of China’s capital Beijing.
Beijing is a northern city, where wheat is a
staple crop. The dumpling is a Northern food.
The Peking ravioli contains pork not beef - a
result of China’s limited grazing area.
It is cooked by stir frying - the cooking
method developed to maximize fuel.
Resources
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https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ch.html
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/china/
http://k12east.mrdonn.org/China.html
http://www.ancientchina.co.uk/geography/home_set.html
http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/geo/geo.htm
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