Ancient India and China Section 4 - The Bronx High School of Science

Ancient India and China
Section 4
China’s First Dynasties
• Main Idea / Reading Focus
• China’s Geography
• The Shang Dynasty
• The Zhou Dynasty
• Map: Shang and Zhou Dynasties
• New Philosophies
• Faces of History: Chinese Philosophers
Ancient India and China
Section 4
China’s First Dynasties
Preview, continued
• Visual Study Guide / Quick Facts
• Video: The Impact of Hinduism as a World Religion
Ancient India and China
Section 4
China’s First Dynasties
Main Idea
China’s river valley civilizations built the foundations of a longshared Chinese culture. The achievements of the Shang and
Zhou dynasties can be felt to this day.
Reading Focus
• How did China’s geography affect its early civilization?
• What were the achievements of the Shang dynasty?
• How did China change during the Zhou dynasty?
• What new philosophies were introduced in China?
Section 4
Ancient India and China
China’s Geography
The development of civilization in early China was aided by features
like long rivers, fertile soils, temperate climates, and isolated valleys.
Rivers, Soils, Climates
• China’s first civilizations
developed in river valleys
• Annual floods deposited rich
soil, loess, on flood plains
• Two major rivers supplied
water for earliest civilizations
• Valley of Huang He particularly
fertile due to loess
– Chang Jiang, also called
– Huang He, or Yellow River
– Both flow east from Plateau of
Tibet to Yellow Sea
– Fine dusty soil
– Carried into China by desert
Ancient India and China
Section 4
• Most of eastern China covered with fertile soils; some regions better
suited than others for growing certain crops
• Southern China—warm, receives plenty of rainfall, excellent region
for growing rice
• Further north—climate cooler, drier; suitable for grains, wheat, millet
• Combination of rivers for irrigation, fertile soil for planting allowed
Chinese to thrive, as did China’s relative isolation
• Mountains, hills, desert protected China from invasion
• Himalaya Mountains separate southern China from India, rest of
southern Asia; vast Gobi Desert prevented reaching China from west
Section 4
Ancient India and China
China’s Geography
Beginnings of Civilization
• Archaeological
discoveries suggest
Chinese civilization began
in Huang He valley
• People started growing
crops there 9,000 years
• Legend says earliest
Chinese ruled by Xia
• No written, archaeological
evidence Xia dynasty
• Most historians date
beginning of Chinese
civilization to rise of Shang
Ancient India and China
Section 4
What geographic features influenced life in
early China?
Answer(s): Rivers deposited rich soil for farming;
mountains, hills, and desert isolated the area.
Section 4
Ancient India and China
The Shang Dynasty
According to ancient Chinese records, the Shang dynasty formed
around 1766 BC, although many archaeologists believe it actually
began somewhat later than that.
Government and
• China ruled by
strong monarchy
• At capital city,
Anyang, kings
surrounded by
• Rituals performed
to strengthen
kingdom, keep safe
• King’s governors
ruled distant parts
of kingdom
• King also had large
army at disposal
• Prevented
rebellions, fought
outside opponents
Agricultural Society
• Shang China
largely agricultural
• Most tended crops
in fields
• Farmers called on
to fight in army,
work on building
palaces, walls
Section 4
Ancient India and China
Shang Elite
• Ruling elite had free time to
pursue leisure activities, hunting
for sport
• Wealthy enjoyed collecting
expensive bronze, jade objects
• Tombs held remains of
sacrificed prisoners of war
• Believed in afterlife where ruler
would need riches, servants
• Much of what is known comes
from studying royal tombs
• Contained valuable items made
of bronze, jade
Ancestor Worship
• Shang offered gifts to deceased
ancestors to keep them happy
in afterlife
• Steam from ritual meals
nourished ancestors’ spirits
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Oracle Bones
As part of worship, Shang asked ancestors for
• Sought advice through use of oracle bones
– Inscribed bits of animal bone, turtle shell
– Living person asked question of ancestor
– Hot piece of metal applied to oracle bone resulting in cracks on
bone’s surface
– Specially trained priests interpreted meaning of cracks to learn
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Shang Achievements and Decline
• Development of Chinese writing closely tied to use of oracle bones
• Earliest examples of Chinese writing, questions written on bones themselves
• Early Shang texts used picture symbols to represent objects, ideas
• Shang religion led to great advances in working with bronze
• Highly decorative bronze vessels, objects created for religious rituals
• Also built huge structures like tombs; created calendar, first money systems
End of Dynasty
• Shang ruled for more than 600 years, until about 1100 BC
• Ruling China’s growing population proved too much for Shang
• Armies from nearby tribe, Zhou, invaded, established new ruling dynasty
Ancient India and China
Section 4
How did religion influence other aspects of
Shang culture?
Answer(s): ritual meals for ancestors; oracle
bones connected to early writing; bronze work for
rituals; built stable tombs
Section 4
Ancient India and China
The Zhou Dynasty
Beginning around 1100 BC, the Zhou rules China for several centuries.
The Zhou dynasty is divided into two periods. During the Western
Zhou, kings ruled from Xian in a peaceful period. Later conflict arose,
kings moved east to Luoyang, beginning the Eastern Zhou period.
• When Zhou conquered Shang,
leaders worried Chinese people
would not accept them
Dynastic Cycle
• Zhou said Shang overthrown
because they lost gods’ favor
• Introduced idea they ruled by
Mandate of Heaven
• Later rulers used Mandate of
Heaven to explain dynastic cycle,
rise and fall of dynasties in China
• Gods would support just ruler, not
allow anyone corrupt to hold power
• If dynasty lost power, it obviously
had become corrupt
In that case, they said, it was the will of the gods that that dynasty be
overthrown and a new one take power.
Section 4
Ancient India and China
Zhou Achievements
• Before Zhou, Chinese metalwork done almost exclusively in bronze
• Zhou learned to use iron, became backbone of economy
• Iron was strong, could be cast more cheaply, quickly than bronze
• Iron weapons strengthened Zhou army, as did new weapons like
catapult and creation of China’s first cavalry
• Population grew under Zhou
• Farmers learned new techniques,
increased size of harvest, created
food surpluses; cities also grew
• Roads, canals allowed better
transportation, communication
• Introduced coins, use of chopsticks
Decline of the Zhou
• Conflict arose during latter part of
Zhou dynasty
• Clan leaders within China rose up
against king
• As time passed, more and more
local leaders turned against Zhou,
further weakening rule
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Small States Fight
Result of rebellions was Warring States Period
• 403 BC to 221 BC, number of small states
fought each other for land, power
• Zhou still nominally in charge, but power almost
nonexistent by mid-200s BC
• Qin, new dynasty, arose to bring end to Warring
States Period, Zhou dynasty
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Section 4
Ancient India and China
How did China change under the Zhou?
Answer(s): iron technology, population grew, new
farm techniques, more food, cities grew, roads
and canals built, coins and chopsticks introduced
Section 4
Ancient India and China
New Philosophies
The conflicts of the late Zhou period led many Chinese thinkers to
question the nature of society and people’s roles in it.
Effort to make sense of chaos
led to creation of many new
Chinese philosophies, or ways
of looking at the world
Of many philosophies created
during late Zhou period, two
became influential in later
Chinese history:
• Confucianism
• Daoism
Ancient India and China
Section 4
• Confucianism based on teachings of scholar named Kongfuzi, better known
as Confucius, who thought people should treat one another humanely
• Should express love, respect for others, honor one’s ancestors
Love and Respect
• Believed that love, respect had disappeared and was responsible for
violence in society; restoring respect for tradition would make society stable
• Thoughts on how to improve society collected in book, Analects
• Ruler should treat subjects fairly; subjects reward ruler with respect, loyalty
• People should respect members of family, devote selves to public service
• Confucian ideas spread elsewhere in Asia, including Korea, Japan, Vietnam
Section 4
Ancient India and China
• Unlike Confucianism, which
focuses on improving society,
Daoism encourages people to
retreat from laws of society, yield to
law of nature
• Heart of Daoism is concept of the
dao, or the way
• Dao is the limitless force that is part
of all creation
• Through the dao, all things in
nature connected
• Finding one’s place in nature
allows person to achieve harmony
with universe
Yin and Yang
• Daoism embraced Chinese
concept of yin and yang,
representing balancing aspect of
nature—male, female; dark, light;
hot, cold
• Neither can exist without other
• Important for two to remain
balanced for perfect harmony
• Origins of Daoist teachings
attributed to philosopher named
• Wrote book called Dao De Jing
• Laozi worshipped by some as a
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Some Lasting Effects
Daoism eventually proved less influential than
Confucianism in Chinese history
Still played major role in later dynasties
Idea of balance key concept in China for centuries as
result of Daoist teaching
Daoist philosophy led many followers to work for
preservation, protection of natural environment
Ancient India and China
Section 4
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Ancient India and China
What is one difference between
Confucianism and Daoism?
Answer(s): Daoism—retreat from society and
commune with nature; Confucianism—improve
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Ancient India and China
Section 4
Section 4
Ancient India and China
The Impact of Hinduism as a World Religion
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