ANCIENT CHINA 2000 BCE – 220 CE Ancient China

2000 BCE – 220 CE
Ancient China
-Great Wall
-Began 2000 B.C.
-Mandate of Heaven
-As in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and along the Indus River, Chinese civilization began within a major river
valley. Around 4000 BCE, this huge area contained a large number of ethnic groups and languages
This history, in which a huge area populated by many different ethnic groups became a single culture,
began in the yellow River Valley.
Yellow River Civilization
-Ancient China was formed around the Yellow River.
-The color yellow symbolized “centrality”, as in China is the center of the world.
-Along with the Yellow River, the Yangtze is the most important river in the history, culture and
economy of China.
Ancient China
-Developed independently of others because it was separated by deserts and distance.
-After 10,000 BC people in China lived by hunting and gathering plants.
-About 5000 BC, the Chinese began farming. Rice was grown in southern China and millet was
grown in the north.
-By 5,000 BC dogs and pigs were domesticated .By 3,000 BC sheep and cattle were domesticated.
Horses were introduced into China between 3,000 and 2,300 BC.
Ancient China
-By 5,000 BC Chinese farmers had learned to make pottery.
-The early Chinese farmers also made baskets and wove cloth.
-Also made ritual objects from jade such as knives, axes and rings.
-The wheel was invented in China about 2,500 BC.
Early Chinese Civilizations
These people probably learned how to make cloth and paper using silk from _______________.
Lived in _________ villages
Practiced _________________________
Silk was exotic and _______________, so it was good for trading
These people probably learned how to make cloth and paper using silk from silkworms.
Silk worm
-Silk was exotic and expensive, so it was good for trading with the rest of the world in the later
Bronze Age
-By 2,000 BC a more advanced society emerged in China. By then they had learned to make bronze_______________and _______________.
-At first bronze was only used for weapons. (probably too _______________for other things).
-Warfare was common. Walls of _______________, which was rammed till it was hard, surrounded
some settlements.
-Warfare probably became more common because these early societies were becoming
_______________. As wealth grew so did the temptation to attack your neighbors and steal their
-By 2000 BC there was also a growing gulf between the classes. Before then the Chinese practiced
_______________ agriculture. They only grew enough for themselves and their families.
-After about 2,000 BC they began to produce a _______________ (which their rulers could take off
Burial Practices
-People were _______________with their goods and some people were buried with far more than
-By 2000 BC human sacrifice was practiced in China. Bodies of the victims were buried under the
foundations of _______________.
-Fortune telling was carried out by _______________bones till they cracked then interpreting the
Shang Dynasty 1766 BCE – 1027 BCE
-Chinese civilization only really _______________ with the Shang Dynasty.
-Practice of _______________worship began.
– Belief that the _______________can intervene in the affairs of the _______________.
Offerings were made to them to keep them happy. Ancestor worship became part of Chinese
culture for thousands of years.
-Divination- fortune telling
-Bones were touched with a red-hot piece of bronze so they _______________. The cracks were
then interpreted and the _______________were written on them. The form of writing invented during
the Shang era remained unchanged for thousands of years.
-The Shang dynasty created a highly organized _______________. Though they ruled only a part of
China their cultural influence spread through most of it.
-Political organization: network of fortified cities, loyal to _______________
-Peasants support nobles, officials, bureaucracy by giving part of their _______________
The Shang Dynasty
-The Shang probably invented the Chinese _______________.
-Built the first real cities in China. First capital was at Zhengdou. Also built palaces and temples.
-During the Shang era _______________was more widely used. Tools such as sickles, plows and
spades were usually made of wood and stone.
-After 1200 BC _______________pulled by 2 or 4 horses were used in Chinese warfare.
The Evolution of Chinese Writing
-Writing was invented in China about _______________ BC. The earliest evidence of it comes from
bones used for fortune telling.
End of the Shang Dynasty
-_______________ was common. Prisoners of war were made into slaves so warfare was common.
-Human sacrifice was still practiced. When an emperor died his _______________ and slaves either
committed suicide or were killed to accompany him into afterlife.
-Their neighbors the Zhou overthrew the Shang about 1022 BC. So began the Zhou dynasty.
-Replaced one ruling class with another.
Zhou Dynasty
1027-256 BCE
-Because transport and communications were very _______________, it was difficult for a ruler to
control a wide area.
-Zhou kings solved this problem by creating a _______________ state. They gave their followers
land. In return the followers provided chariots and soldiers in time of war.
-Land was worked by _______________ who provided the food supply.
-Had to spend some of their time working on the _______________ land. Usually land was divided
into 9 sections. Individual families worked eight sections.
-Everybody had to work on the ninth section but the crops from it went to the _______________.
-After 600 BC coins were used in China and some peasants paid their Lord _______________ rather
than work on his land.
-Few slaves
Mandate of Heaven
-Chinese concept of _______________ emerged. Heaven was a kind of universal force. Heaven
chose the _______________ to rule but it was a moral force.
-If the king or emperor were evil heaven would send natural disasters as a warning. If the emperor
failed to heed the warnings heaven would withdraw its mandate. Social and political order would
break down and there would be a _______________.
-_______________ would choose somebody else to rule.
Zhou Contributions
-Most important invention was _______________ to make tools, weapons, and plows.
-Horse collar allowed horses to pull much heavier loads.
-Umbrella-Covered in oiled _______________ it sheltered the user from both sun and rain.
-Bound books
-Astronomers Study Planets & Eclipses
Chinese astronomy
• 2137 BC - Chinese book records the earliest known solar eclipse on October 22.
• ca. 2000 BC - Chinese determine that Jupiter needs 12 years to complete one revolution of its
• ca. 1400 BC - Chinese record the regularity of solar and lunar eclipses and the earliest known
solar variation.
• ca. 1200 BC - Chinese divide the sky into twenty eight regions for recognitions of the stars.
• ca. 1100 BC - Chinese first determine the spring equinox.
• 776 BC - Chinese make the earliest reliably record of solar eclipse.
-Agriculture was greatly improved by iron tools and by _______________, which became more
-As a result of more efficient agriculture the population of China grew rapidly in the Zhou period
-Traded and commerce grew
Zhou (Chou) Dynasty
-During the Zhou era parts of the Great _______________of China were built. There was not a single
wall, at first, but different states built their own walls to keep out ‘barbarians’.
-Later they were joined together.
Decline of the Zhou Dynasty
-Decentralized leadership style allows for building of _______________ powers
– Increasing local independence, refusal to pay Zhou taxes
-Iron metallurgy allows for widespread creation of _______________
-Northern invaders weaken Zhou dynasty, beginning 8th c BCE
-771 B.C. Zhou driven east
– Internal dissention: the Period of the Warring States (403-221 BCE)
Intellectual Development
-As a response to the crisis and uncertainty of warring states _______________and
_______________are developed
Confucius (ca. 551-479 B.C.)
-Confucius was in a class of officials who advised kings on the right way to _______________and
how to carry out rituals. Appalled by the state of affairs he tried to restore ancient _______________.
Organizing Principles
-Everybody should _______________their role in life and duties towards others.
-Rulers had a duty to be benevolent while subjects should be respectful and obedient.
-_______________should honor their parents
-Everybody should honor their ancestors
-Rulers should set a good example for their people.
-Said 'do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself'. (_______________rule)
5 Principle Relationships
1. Ruler
2. Father
3. Husband
4. Older
5. Older
Differences in Cultures
1. Brahmin
1. Scholar-Gentry
2. Kshatriyas
2. Peasants
3. Vaishyas
3. Artisans
4. Shudras
4. Merchants
Imperial Nobility
Domestic Slaves
Confucius (ca. 551-479 BC)
-He never wrote any _______________ but after his death his followers collected his sayings and
wrote them all down.
-In the centuries after his death his philosophy became _______________in China and profoundly
influenced its culture for more than 2,000 years.
The Analects
-The single most important Confucian work.
-In Chinese, it means “_______________.”
-Focus on practicalities of interpersonal relationships and the relationship of the role of rulers and
ministers to the conduct of government.
-Rejection of the idea of in-born nobility; proper training, education, and aptitude make a “gentleman”
not simply _______________ into a certain family
Important Confucian concepts
-Ren – innate _______________ in human beings
-Li – normal standard of conduct
-the TAO –what is appropriate
-no speculation on metaphysics
The “Dao” (Tao)
To escape the “social, political, & cultural traps” of life, one must escape by:
1. Rejecting formal knowledge and learning.
2. Relying on the _______________ and instincts.
3. Discovering the nature and “rhythm” of the universe.
4. _______________ political and social laws.
Taoism (Daoism)
-Taoism began during the Zhou era. Confucianism was a system of ethics. Taoism is a
-Believe in the Tao, which means the way. The Tao is an indescribable force behind nature and all
living things. Taoists believe in Wuwei or _______________, which means going with the natural flow
or way of things like a stick being carried along on a stream.
-Taoism also teaches humility and _______________.
-Taoists worship many of gods.
Ancient Chinese Beliefs
-The idea of _______________ appeared during the Zhou dynasty. The ancient Chinese believed
that all matter is made of 2 opposite and complimentary principles.
-The ancient Chinese also believed there were _______________ elements, wood, fire, earth, metal
and water.
-During the Zhou period the Chinese art of _______________ was invented.
The Universe of Opposites: Find the Balance!
* Feminine
* Masculine
* Passive
* Active
* Darkness
* Light
* Cold
* Warmth
* Weak
* Strong
* Earth;
* Heaven;
The End of the Zhou Dynasty
-In 771 a group from the _______________ invaded the Zhou. Afterwards the power of the Zhou
kings declined. The Zhou state broke up into separate states.
-The nobles under the Zhou king effectively became _______________ rulers. The different states
went to war and the stronger ones swallowed the weaker till there were only a few left.
-Finally one state, the Qin, conquered its rivals and its ruler became emperor of China. So began the
Qin _______________.
Qin Dynasty
221 BCE – 206 BCE
-China under the Qin dynasty, 221-207 B.C.E.
Emperor Shi Huangdi
-Means “First _______________”
-Ruled by the Legalist theory
-Legalists believed that rulers should be autocratic. The ruler’s word should be _______________.
Legalists believed that rulers should be fair but firm and unwavering.
-Standardization of Coins, Measurements, Writing
-Massive need for labor
His Necropolis
Great Wall of China Begun
Chinese pyramids
-Ancient mausoleums and burial mounds built to house the remains of several early
_______________ of China and their relatives.
-About 38
-Most famous is Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, near where _______________ Warriors were
-Also built during the Han and other dynasties.
-Have _______________ tops and are more similar in shape to the pyramids in Mexico than to the
pyramids in Giza, Egypt.
The Great Wall of China was built to keep the _______________ out.
Many died building it, and their bodies were used as filler for it.
Resistance to Qin Policies
-Emperor orders _______________ of all critics
-Orders burning of all ideological works
-Some 460 scholars buried alive
-Others exiled to work on Great Wall
-Massive cultural losses
Major Building projects
-The Qin emperors also built _______________ and irrigation canals.
-Parts of the Great Wall of China already existed but the first Qin emperor had them
_______________ together. The ordinary people were forced to work on his projects. Qin rule was
harsh and cruel punishments were common.
-When Qin Shuangdi died he was buried in a tomb with over 7,000 terracotta _______________. This
'army' was discovered in 1974.
The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians.
Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000
soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in
the pits.
Han Dynasty
206 BCE – 220 CE
Rise of the Han
-During this era China was one of the most brilliant civilizations in the world
-First Han emperor was called Gaozi. He was more _______________ than the Qin emperors and he
abolished many of their savage punishments.
-He kept some of the legalist policies of his predecessors but he also adopted some Confucian
Han Dynasty
-Ruled for _______________ years
-Ruled large area of land-Empire
-Agriculture continued to _______________ due to an increasing number of irrigation schemes,
increasing use of buffaloes to pull plows and crop rotation which was introduced into China about 100
Population Growth in the Han Dynasty
-General _______________
-Increased agricultural productivity
-Taxes small part of overall income
-Produce occasionally _______________ in state granaries
Han Achievements
-Civil Service Exam founded by Emperor Wudi
-Paper- not made from silk
-The Rudder
-Seismometer to measure strength of earthquakes
-Astronomers observe sunspots
-Silk Road
-_______________ first reached China in the 1st century AD but it took a long time to be accepted.
-Europe _______________ paper from China. The first paper appeared in China about 200 BC. Its
name is derived from papyrus.
-_______________ was transformed into paper by a process of pasting, but because silk was
expensive, wool and cotton came to be used instead.
-They steeped mulberry or bamboo bark in water, then kneaded it to produce a paste from which they
obtained smooth thin sheets of _______________.
The Silk Road in the 1st Century
-During the Han era large amounts of silk were _______________ to the west. It passed through
many hands to the Roman Empire. In return merchants brought gems, glass and vines to China.
Reasons for the Han Dynasty’s Fall
-After 168 AD the Han dynasty _______________. Internal fighting weakened it.
-Undermined by natural disasters and discontent.
-Two rebellions began in 84 AD. Both of these were crushed but the generals sent to defeat them
began to act independently of the emperor. They started to fight each other.
-The last Han emperor was _______________ in 220 AD. Afterwards China split into 3 parts each
ruled by a general.
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