Early China Unit Review Sheet

Early China Unit Review Sheet
Around 3,000 B.C., the people settled by the HuangHe and Yangtze Rivers in
modern day China. The HuangHe river flooded and brought silt (the silt was yellow, so
people called this “The Yellow River”) which helped people farm, but also brought
devastating floods (people also therefore called it, “The River of Sorrow”). Chinese
geography (Himalayan Mountains, Gobi Desert) also isolated them. This led the Chinese
to become ethnocentrist, believing they were superior and the people around them
“barbarians.” In order to manage the rivers and the barbarians to the North, the Chinese
developed a government. The Chinese government was known as Dynasties. An
Emperor ruled the land, and when he died, his son took over. The first dynasty was the
mythical Xia (there is very limited evidence they existed). The Shang Dynasty ruled
China for hundreds of years, but was defeated by the Zhou. The Zhou created the
concept of the Mandate of Heaven and Dynastic Cycle to explain why dynasties rise
and fall. They also used the culture and religion of the Chinese, especially ancestor
veneration to stress that ancestors also supported the changing dynasties. The Zhou
ruled for over 800 years, but became weak and then fell apart. China then fell into
constant civil war, known as The Warring States Period. Eventually, Chin ShiHuandi
rose to power and conquered China, creating the Qin Dynasty. The Qin Dynasty ruled
China using the theory of Legalism – great rewards but strict punishments. Their strict
rule led them to be overthrown, and the new Han Dynasty came to power. Many
consider the Han Dynasty a golden age golden age – a time of great peace, prosperity,
stability and cultural achievements. Perhaps the Han’s greatest achievement was
creating an extensive trade network that stretched from China, across Asia to Europe and
Africa. This was known as The Silk Road. This brought trade and cultural diffusion
from all over. Due to all of the trade in the Silk Road, many people and religions came to
China and today Buddhism (religion from India), Catholicism (religion from the Middle
East and Europe), and Islam (religion from the Middle East) are practiced in China.
China, unlike many places, had two main religions and people could practice both
at the same time! The Chinese practiced Daoism and Confucianism. Daoism, written
by Lao Tzu in the Dao de Jing, believed in respect for nature and its laws, meditation,
and little government interference. Confucianism, written by the philosopher and
political theorist, Confucius stressed education, ancestor veneration, rule of
reciprocity, filial piety and harmony by following the five relationships. It believed in
order and a strong government. Even though there are some differences, people say “at
work, I am a Confucius, but at home, I am a Daoist!” This is because Taoism focused on
the spirit and spiritual questions while Confucianism focused on philosophy and
government. The Han heavily incorporated (used) Confucianism into their government
to help bring stability and civic virtue (people care about the government).
Unit 3 Vocabulary Words
copy the words and definitions into your Homework Book
1) HuangHe River Valley – The HuangHe brought yellow silt which helped
farming (Yellow River) but also brought dangerous floods (River of Sorrows)
2) Ethnocentrism – Belief a nation and its people and culture are superior to others
3) Middle Kingdom – What the Chinese called themselves. They believed they
were the center of the world.
4) Dynasty – form of government where a leader passes rule down to his family
5) Mandate of Heaven – Belief that the gods choose a leader and give him
permission to rule
6) Dynastic Cycle – System of how dynasties fall, then a new one gains the
Mandate of Heaven and takes power.
7) Shang Dynasty – First Dynasty of China
8) Zhou Dynasty – Takes power from the Shang. Create the ideas of the Mandate
of Heaven and the Dynastic Cycle to control the Chinese.
9) Qin Dynasty- First Imperial Dynasty. Unites China. Starts the Great Wall of
China. Very harsh laws
10) Han Dynasty – One of China’s Golden Ages. Create the Silk Road, add to the
Great Wall and lots of stability and wealth.
11) Chin Shi Huandi – Very strict ruler. Leader of the Qin Dynasty.
12) Legalism – Political system that uses great rewards but harsh punishments to
keep order.
13) Golden Age – When a country has social, political and economic stability. Great
wealth and many cultural accomplishments.
14) Silk Road – Trade Network created by the Han Dynasty that stretched through
Asia, Europe and Africa. Creates lots of cultural diffusion.
15) Daoism – Religion that believes in nature, spirits of nature, laws of nature.
16) Confucianism – Philosophy/religion that stresses education, ancestor veneration,
filial piety and the five relationships to keep order and harmony in society
17) Ancestor Veneration – worshipping ancestors
18) Filial Piety – respecting your father
19) Five Relationships- series of relationships that people must follow to keep order
in society.
20) Application – based off of the word apply – to take a concept and use it in
another situation or for something else.
21) Development – growth of
22) Prosperity – wealth
23) Stability – time of peace and calmness
Unit 3 Study Questions
Write the question and answer for each question in your notebook. Your answers
should be a full paragraph (4-7 sentences, with a Statement, Proof – details – and
Analysis. Make sure to use at least 3 specific details from the HW or classwork)
1) How did China’s geography affect its development?
2) How did Dynasties use the Mandate of Heaven and Dynastic Cycle to gain
and hold power?
3) How did the religions of China help bring stability to China?