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Ancient China History Alive: Unit 4 * * * * * * * * Eastern


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Title: Ancient China History Alive: Unit 4 * * * * * * * * Eastern

Ancient China History Alive Unit 4
Lesson 19 Geography the Early Settlement of
Chinas Geography
  • For thousands of years, the ancient Chinese
    thought they were pretty much alone on the planet
    Earth. China's natural barriers to the west,
    south, and east helped to protect these early
    people from invasion.
  • China's natural barriers include seas - the China
    Sea and the  Yellow Sea, both located in the
    Pacific Ocean. These seas provide a huge
    coastline, which provided trade routes and easy
    access to food.

Why did most early people settle on the North
China Plain?
  • The Tibet-Qinghai Plateau and Northeastern Plain
    are too cold and dry for agriculture
  • The Northwestern Deserts are too dry for
  • The heavy rains of the Chang Jiang Basins may
    have made farming difficult
  • The North China Plain was ideal because it has
    water, fertile soil, and a moderate climate

  • China's natural barriers also include mountains,
    deserts, and rivers.  
  • Huang He, or the Yellow River, flows for more
    than 2,900 miles across China.
  • This flooding was considered a gift and a curse.
    The flooding left rich, fertile soil to farm on
    but many people drowned.
  • The river was nicknamed Chinas Sorrow
  • Each year during the flood season, all homes
    along the Huang He River were destroyed. Each
    year, the ancient Chinese had to rebuild their
    homes and their lives. 
  • Over time, people learned the techniques of flood
    control. The rich began to build their homes high
    above the river.

What did the North China Plain offer to the early
people that settled there?
  • Huang He (Yellow River) was a source of water for
  • Silt from the flooding of the river helped to
    fertilize the land

  • The Gobi Desert is one of the driest deserts in
    the world. In the Gobi, there is at least the
    hope of water, although an oasis is rare.
  • The Taklamakan Desert, China's other desert, is
    nicknamed the Sea of Death. It offers poisonous
    snakes, frequent sand storms, boiling days,
    freezing nights, and intense water shortages. The
    Sea of Death is not a small desert. In fact, it
    is the second largest desert in the world.

How was China isolated from other civilizations
because of its geography?
  • The high Tibet-Qinghai Plateau made contact with
    lands to the southwest of China difficult
  • The dry Gobi Taklimakan Deserts made contact
    with lands to the northwest of China difficult

  • China has very little farm land because much of
    the country is either mountains or deserts.
  • Only 1/10 of the land can be farmed. The
    mountains and deserts affected China by keeping
    it separated from most other peoples.

What other geographic factors helped to keep
China isolated from other civilizations?
  • Towering mountains, rocky plateau, and cold
    climate in the southwest
  • Large deserts in the northwest formed natural

  • Chang Jiang, or the Yangtze River, is the 3rd
    longest river in the world. Its about 3,400
    miles long and flows across central China. It
    also provides the farmers with a rich soil along
    the rivers coast.
  • It also floods each year and leaves fertile soil
    along the banks. The Yangtze River has high
    banks, which keeps homes safe from the annual

  • There are many mountainous areas in the southern
    portion of China.  In ancient times, China was
    composed of pockets of civilization. Different
    pockets were ruled by different kings.  
  • These early people were protected from the rest
    of the world by many natural barriers. One of the
    most impressive barriers was the Himalayan
  • The Himalayan Mountains are not located in modern
    day China. They run along the border to the
    south. The Himalayan Mountains to the south are
    very rugged. In ancient times, these mountains
    helped to protect the early Chinese people from

What ways of life developed in China due to its
  • On the Tibetan Plateau, people raised yaks
  • In the Northwestern Deserts, people living on the
    oases raised crops and animals
  • On the Northeastern Plain, people raised horses,
    sheep, and other animals
  • On the North China Plain, people grew crops
  • In the Chang Jiang Basins, people grew rice

Lesson 20 The Shang Dynasty
Key Terms.
  • A Dynasty is a line of rulers that come from the
    same family
  • An aristocrat is a noble, or upper class person,
    whose wealth comes from their land

  • Archaeologists believe the Huang He valley was
    the center of Chinese civilization.
  • The Shang kings were part of a dynasty that may
    have build the 1st Chinese cities. They ruled
    from about 1750 B.C. to 1122 B.C.
  • The Shang Dynasty built the city of Anyang which
    was Chinas first capital.

Shang Dynasty
  • People of the Shang dynasty were divided into
  • THE NOBLES The king and his family were the most
    powerful of this group. Warlords and other royal
    officials were also in the class. They were
    aristocrats, nobles whose wealth came from the
    land they owned.
  • THE COMMONERS Traders and artisans were below
    the nobles. The commoners did most of the
    specialized work including farming.
  • THE SLAVES Slaves captured during wars were the
    lowest class of people.

Decoding the Shang Tomb
  • People in the Shang dynasty believed in many
    spirits and gods and honored ancestors with
  • Shang kings believed they received wisdom and
    power from the gods, spirits, and ancestors.

Early Chinese Dynasty Gods The river god, rain
god, earth god. They believed in many gods, but
the most powerful was the sky god, T'ien, the
king of gods. To the peasants, T'ien was more
brilliant and more powerful than any earthbound
  • Early Chinese writing used pictographs, or
    characters that stand for objects.
  • Ideographs are two or more pictographs joined to
    represent an idea.
  • The Chinese language differs from the American
    alphabet system because in the American alphabet,
    each letter represents a sound. The letters, or
    sounds, are put together to make words. In the
    Chinese language, each marking, or symbol,
    represents a whole word.

(No Transcript)
Lesson 21 Three Chinese Philosophies
  • Zhou kings were thought to be the link between
    the gods and people. The Mandate of Heaven was a
    heavenly law that gave Zhou kings the power to
    rule. The Mandate of Heaven also gave people
  • The Dao was the proper way kings were to rule
    their people.

A mandate is a formal command to rule or do
something important
  • Wu Wang and his followers rebelled against the
    Shang dynasty and created the Zhou dynasty.
  • The Zhou dynasty ruled longer than any other
    dynasty in Chinese history.

Zhou Dynasty
Wu Wang
  • Kings in the Zhou dynasty served at the head of
    the government. In a bureaucracy, officials are
    responsible for different areas of government
    that all serve under the king.
  • The Zhou kingdom was divided into smaller
    territories. Each territory was led by an

Contributions of the Shang Zhou Dynasties
  • Two of the most important contributions of the
    Shang Dynasty are the use of bronze and a system
    of writing.
  • Warriors were knights in bronze armor who went
    to battle in horse-drawn chariots made of wood
    and bronze. They wore bronze helmets, and carried
    daggers, spears, and axes
  • Chopsticks were invented, which changed the way
    people ate their food.
  • Irrigation and flood-control systems were
    developed during the Zhou dynasty. Farm tools,
    such as the plow, were developed.
  • Silk was an important trade item during the Zhou

  • Fighting lasted for almost 200 years during the
    Period of the Warring States.
  • Things invented during this conflict
  • Saddle Stirrup
  • Crossbows

  • Three major Chinese theories
  • Confucianism
  • Daoism
  • Legalism
  • These theories were developed to reinstate peace
    after the Period of the Warring States.

The Zhou Dynasty
  • What was the Mandate of Heaven?
  • It was a divine right given to the king to rule
    as long as he ruled well. If he ruled poorly,
    others had the right to overthrow him!
  • What is feudalism?
  • System of government where the king owns all the
    land. He gives land to loyal supporters in
    exchange they have to provide soldiers to fight
    for the king. Peasants, called serfs, work the
    land for the king.

  • Three major theoriesConfucianism, Daoism, and
    Legalismwere developed to reinstate peace after
    the Period of the Warring States.
  • Confucianism isnt properly speaking a religion
    its a way of behaving so youll do the right
  • Confucius was a great thinker and teacher, who
    believed that people needed a sense of duty to be

  • Confucianism taught that all men with a talent
    for government should take part in government.
  • This idea opened government up to the lower
    classes. This caused him to be disliked by the

How dare Confucius think the peasants are as good
as us!
  • Excerpt from The Analects of Confucius, c.400 BCE
  • Do not do unto others,  what you would not want
    others to do to you
  • If you make a mistake
  • and do not correct it,  this is called a mistake

  • Confucianism was a social code of behavior, a
    very set and rigid code of behavior, that honored
    ancestors and ancient rituals. 
  • Everything had to be done a certain way. One of
    his rules, for example, was that gentlemen could
    only display their skill as archers on three
    hunts a year, in the spring, autumn, and winter. 
  • There's a saying about Confucius "If the mat was
    not straight, the Master would not sit." You
    might think to yourself "Wow. What a fussy." But
    think about it. In English, if you write a
    sentence, the first word must start with a
    capital letter and the last word must end with a
    period, an exclamation point, or a question mark.
    Otherwise, it's not a sentence. "If the mat was
    not straight, the Master would not sit.
  • Today, the Chinese celebrate Confucius Birthday
    (Teacher's Day), in honor of their ancestor, the
    teacher, Confucius.

  • Daoism teaches that people should give up worldly
    desires and encourages the importance of nature.
    Daoism was created by the scholar and teacher

  • Legalism is the belief that society needs a
    system of harsh laws and punishments. The scholar
    Hanfeizi developed Legalism.

  • Aristocrats liked the philosophy of Legalism
    because it favored force and power and did not
    require rulers to show kindness or understanding
  • Chinas aristocratic families owned large estates
    in early China. They lived in large houses with
    tile roofs, courtyards, and gardens. Fine
    furniture and silk hangings filled their rooms,
    and their houses were surrounded by walls to keep
    out bandits.

  • Who was Confucius?
  • A philosopher whose teachings deeply influenced
    Chinese government culture
  • What was China like during his life?
  • It was in chaos
  • What are the 5 basic relationships?
  • Ruler Subject
  • Husband Wife
  • Father Son
  • Older Sibling Younger Sibling
  • Friend Friend

  • Who should people act in the basic relationships?
  • People must obey respect those above them and
    in return, those with authority need to set a
    good example
  • What influence did Confucius have on the Chinese
  • Civil servants had to take a test on Confucian
    teachings before they were awarded jobs
  • Government jobs were no longer given only to sons
    of the rich

  • Who was Laoizi
  • He was a great wise man and an advisor to the
    Zhou court
  • According to Daoism, how should people discover
    to behave?
  • People discover how to behave by learning to live
    in harmony with the way of nature
  • What are yin yang?
  • Opposite forces of nature
  • According to Daoists, how should rulers behave?
  • Rulers should rule as little as possible

  • Who was Hanfeizi?
  • He was a prince
  • According to Hanfeizi, what was the only way to
    create a strong society?
  • The only way to create a strong society was to
    establish strict laws enforced by rewards for
    good behavior punishments for poor behavior
  • How did Hanfeizi believe a ruler should govern?
  • Ruler should have absolute power backed by
    military rights
  • How did the Qin dynasty apply the teachings of
  • They applied his teachings by passing strict laws
    and harshly punishing people that didnt obey them

Lesson 22 1st Emperor of China
  • Qin was a ruler of a local state during the Zhou
    dynasty. He gradually took over neighboring
    states and declared himself Qin Shihuangdi, or
    First Qin Emperor.
  • B. Qins rule was based on legalism.
  • C. Qin abolished the officials authority to pass
    their posts on to their sons. He became the only
    person authorized to fill empty posts.

  • D. Qin united China, created one type of
    currency, ordered the building of roads and
    buildings, and connected the Chang Jiang to
    central China by canal.
  • E. The Great Wall of China was built to protect
    the Chinese from the Xiongnu, a nomadic people
    living north of China. Qin forced the farmers to
    build the wall.
  • F. Chinese people believed Qin Shihuangdi was a
    harsh ruler, and they overthrew his dynasty after
    his death.

Creating an Empire
  • Do you think Shihuangdis strategy of conquest
    helped or hurt China?
  • Increased Chinas sizehelped
  • Cost many lives used harsh measures to maintain
    power hurt
  • How di Qin Shihuangdi end feudalism? Why did he
    do this?
  • Replaced feudalism with a government he
  • So that powerful lords wouldnt be a threat to

Standardizing the Culture
  • Why did the Emperor of Qin standardize money,
    weights, measures?
  • To make trade easier on the people
  • How did Emperor Qin change the written language?
  • He simplified it by eliminating some of the

  • The Chinese worked on the Great Wall for over
    1700 years. In turn, each emperor who came to
    power added pieces of the wall to protect their
    dynasties. But the wall was not a solid wall. It
    was  a line of disconnected barricades.   
  • First Emperor Qin wanted a much better barricade
    to protect his people from the Mongol invaders to
    the north. He wanted a strong wall 30 feet wide
    and 50 feet high. 

  • Emperor Qin used peasants, captured enemies,
    criminals, scholars, and anyone else who
    irritated him, put them all to work building
    the Great Wall. Laborers were not paid for their
    work. It was slave labor. About 3,000 people
    worked on the wall during the Qin Dynasty. Rocks
    fell on people walls caved in. Workers died of
    exhaustion and disease. Laborers were fed only
    enough food to keep them alive. Theres an old
    Chinese saying, "Each stone in the wall
    represents a life lost in the wall's
  • This project continued long after Emperor Qins
    death. Building the wall was a project that
    continued for many hundreds of years until the
    wall was over 3700 miles long. Most emperors used
    the same system that Qin used, forced labor.  
    Today, the Great Wall still stands. It can be
    seen from space, its that big! 

Protecting the Northern Border
  • How did the emperor protect Chinas northern
  • Building the Great Wall
  • What difficulties did workers who constructed the
    Great Wall face?
  • Wall was built across high mountains, deserts,
    swamps, and quicksand
  • Cold winters hot summers
  • Northern invaders attacking workers
  • Workers were forced to work and many died

Ending Opposition
  • Why was there a conflict between Confucian
    scholars the emperor?
  • Scholars believed in proper behavior good
    examplesnot harsh laws
  • What did the emperor do to prevent people from
    learning about Confucianism?
  • He ordered all Confucian books burned
  • Anyone who discussed Confucian teachings to
    criticize the government would be put to death

  • The exquisite terracotta army of the first Qin
    Dynasty ruler Shihuangdi represents the emperors
    ability to control the resources of the newly
    unified China, and his attempt to recreate and
    maintain that empire in the afterlife.
  • The soldiers are part of Shihuangdi's tomb,
    located near the modern town of Xi'an, Shaanxi
    province in China.

Close up of soldier in Emperor Qin's terra cotta
army, Qin Dynasty, China
End of the Qin Dynasty
  • List three things that were buried in the Emperor
    of Qins tomb
  • Huge terra-cotta army
  • Tools
  • Precious jewels
  • What happened to the Qin dynasty after the death
    of Qin Shihuangdi?
  • It was overthrown shortly after the death of the
    Emperor of Qin

Lesson 23 The Han Dynasty
  • Liu Bang founded the Han dynasty in 202 B.C.
  • B. Civil service examinations began when Han Wudi
    started testing potential government employees.
    Students prepared for many years to take the
  • C. The population tripled during the Han dynasty.
    Farmers had to divide their land among more and
    more sons, which left them with very little land.
    Farmers sold their land to aristocrats and became
    tenant farmers to survive.

  • D. The Chinese invented many new products during
    the Han dynasty, such as the waterwheel, the
    rudder, drill bits, steel, and paper.
  • E. Chinese doctors began practicing acupuncture,
    the practice of easing pain by sticking needles
    into patients skin.

  • How far did the Han empire extend?
  • The empire reached west into central Asia, east
    to present-day Korea, south to present-day
  • What weapons made the Han army strong?
  • Improved armor, swords, crossbows, and kites
  • What is a bureaucracy?
  • A form of government where a few people in charge
    at the top and many at the bottom that follow the
  • How did Han emperors decide who would receive
    government jobs?
  • Civil service exams

  • The Chinese invented many new products during the
    Han dynasty, such as the waterwheel, the rudder,
    drill bits, steel, and paper.
  • With the invention of the rudder, the Chinese
    could move ships' sails differently. Ships could
    now sail into the wind rather than with it.
  • This meant Chinese ships could travel to the
    islands of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

  • What problems did farmers face during the Han
  • Had to grow food, make their clothing, build
    their homes
  • Pay one month unpaid labor to government
  • Floods drought often destroyed crops
  • How did the tools that were developed during the
    Han period helpful to the farmers?
  • Chain pump moved water from irrigation ditches
    canals to fields
  • Iron plow made it easier to prepare plant crops
  • Wheelbarrow allowed famers to move heavy loads
  • Who was the production of silk made easier during
    the Han period?
  • Foot-powered machine that wound fibers onto large
  • How did the Chinese make it easier to get salt
    during the Han period?
  • Iron-tipped bamboo drills helped get brine from
    undergroundthen evaporated leaving salt

  • E. Chinese doctors began practicing acupuncture,
    the practice of easing pain by sticking needles
    into patients skin.

  • What type of writing materials did the Chinese
    use before the invention of paper?
  • They wrote with brush ink on bamboo silk
  • Why was paper an improvement over other writing
  • It was inexpensive and easier to bind together
  • Absorbed ink well
  • What is moxibustion?
  • Placing a cone of powder on the skin lighting
    it to relieve pain promote healing
  • What did the Chinese discover about blood?
  • It circulates from the heart through the body and
    back to the heart

  • What did Chinese astronomers discover?
  • They discovered that the moon shines because it
    reflects the light of the sun
  • Solar eclipses happen when the moon blocks the
    view of the sun
  • For what purpose were the first compasses used?
  • Determine where to build temples, graves, and

Lesson 24The Silk Road
  • Silk was the most valuable trade product.
  • B. The Silk Road was an overland trade route
    extended from western China to southwest Asia. It
    was an expensive way to export Chinese products
    because it was difficult to travel and was

  • The Silk Road was not actually a road. It was not
    paved. It was not even a single route.  The Silk
    Road was a name given to any route that led
    across China to Rome. It was a 4000-mile trip. At
    one end was China. At the other end was Rome.
  • Each had something the other wanted. Rome had
    gold and silver and precious gems. China had silk
    and spices and ivory. Ideas also traveled along
    the Silk Road, ideas that affected everyone.

  • The Romans were not surprised to find another
    civilization hidden over the mountains. They had
    been looking for the Silk People for a long
    time. They discovered pieces of silk from the
    people they conquered. Silk quickly became
    popular in Rome.
  • But the Romans did not know who was making this
    wonderful material. The people they conquered did
    not know who was making silk either. They simply
    traded for it. 

Rome Trades Glassware for Silk
Western Silk Road
  • How did the Romans first learn about silk?
  • During a battle near the Euphrates River
  • What product could they trade that was unknown to
    the Chinese?
  • Glassware
  • List two dangers of traveling the western part of
    the Silk Road
  • Narrow difficult passes
  • Lack of oxygen high in mountains
  • Threat of animals insects in the desert
  • List two products from Egypt, Arabia, Persia
    traded on the Silk Road
  • Perfumes, cosmetics, carpets
  • Why did the Roman emperor stop men from wearing
  • He wanted to reduce the amount of gold that was
    flowing out of his empire

Eastern Silk Road
  • List two dangers of traveling the eastern part of
    the Silk Road
  • Bandits, sandstorms, mirages
  • List two products China sent to the West
  • Silk, dishware, jewelry, cast-iron products,
    decorative boxes
  • List three products Central Asia traded on the
    Silk Road
  • Horses, jade, furs, and gold
  • List three products from India that were traded
    on the Silk Road
  • Cotton, spices, pearls, ivory

Buddha makes you happy!
  • Indian merchants and teachers brought Buddhism
    from India to China.
  • B. The Han dynasty fell after wars, rebellions,
    and plots against the emperor. Civil war began,
    and nomads invaded the country before the
    government collapsed.
  • C. During the unrest of the fall of the Han
    dynasty, people found comfort in the teachings of
    Buddhism, and more people began practice the
    Buddhist religion. Buddhism helped people cope
    with the chaotic times.

Cultural Exchanges Along the Silk Road
Opening of the Silk Road
  • List three plants that China learned about as a
    result of trade on the Silk Road
  • Grapes, alfalfa, cucumbers, figs, pomegranates,
    walnuts, chives, sesame, coriander
  • List three plants the West learned about on the
    Silk Road
  • Roses, azaleas, chrysanthemums, peonies,
    camellias, oranges, pears, peaches
  • What new religion entered China by way of the
    Silk Road?
  • Buddhism
  • List three things Zhang Quian brought back to
    China after his journey to Central Asia
  • More powerful horses
  • Grapes
  • Stories about Persia, Syria, India Rome
  • What product could china trade that was unknown
    to the West?
  • Silk