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Ancient China

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Objectives and Warm-up
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TLWBAT– Evaluate and discuss
the Early Chinese
Dynasties
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Warm-up
– What elements of
Chinese culture are
you familiar with?
Ancient China
AMH
UHS
Mr. Moran
What you should focus on…
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Pre-Dynastic Rulers
– Cultural Heroes
– 3 sage kings
Xia Dynasty
пЃ® Shang Dynasty
пЃ® Zhou Dynasty
пЃ® Characteristics of Chinese cultures
пЃ® Development of Chinese and dynasties
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Isolation
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Because of Geography,
the Ancient Chinese
Civilization developed free
of external interference
–
–
–
–
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Himalaya Mts. (southwest)
Takla Makan Desert (west)
Gobi Desert (north west)
Pacific Ocean (east)
Travel and communication
was difficult because of
geography
– Mountains and deserts
– 4 Million square miles
 About the same size of the
US
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The center of China has two
major rivers
– Yangzi River (Chiang Jiang)
– Yellow River (Huang He)
 Loess (yellow-brown dust)
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The center river valley created
the perfect place for a
Civilization
– Fertile Land
– Communication and
transportation with the river
– Population
– Agriculture
Civilization Begins
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Farming emerged along the
Chiang Jiang and Huang He
– Silt was deposited by the
rivers
– Grew rice, cereals (millet and
wheat)
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Other sources of food
included
– Fish
– Beef and other hunted
animals
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Domesticated animals
– Pigs and sheep
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While little is know of early
settlers, evidence found
points to…
– Towns and villages
 With walls for defense from
foreigners and floods
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Tool and pottery
Cloth
Animal pens
Cemeteries (with objects left
behind)
Storage pits
Water wells
Jewelry (Jade)
Evidence of social class
Ancient China
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4 different cultures
emerged
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– Yang-shao (near yellow
river)
– Dapenkeng (near East
China Sea)
– Quinglian (Yangtze River)
– Long-shan (Southern
bend of Yellow River)
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Each one was
independent of each
other
– However each culture was
still very limited.
According to Chinese Oral History
3 Great Kings emerged (3
Cultural Heroes)
– Fu Xi (creator of writing)
– Followed by Huai-nan (Farmer King)
– Huangdi (The Yellow Emperor) first
to conquer
 Defeated his brother
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The Three Sage Kings- each ruled
with great wisdom and promoted
the development of life
– Yao
– Shun
– Yü (last sage king and first Dynasty:
Xia
The Three Sage Kings
They ruled with
perfect wisdom,
clarity, and virtue
пЃ® According to beliefs,
virtues epochs are
followed by chaos
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Yao (c. 2350 BCE)
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Shun (c. 2250 BCE)
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Yu (c. 2205 BCE)
– These kings ruled the
most virtuous period in
China
Xia Dynasty (ca 2200-1500 BCE)
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The last Sage King – Yü
founded the dynasty of
Kings (Xia)
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– Dug Channels to control
water
– Terrible foods
– People worked together
to solve problems
– The Xia Dynasty began
full of virtue
– cruel and materialist
rulers brought about the
down fall of the dynasty
– Was considered mythical
for many years
 More evidence has emerged
in the last 30 years
Evidence of
organization
 Gov. organization
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Lived in small villages
The Shang Dynasty 1500-1045 BCE
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Identified as the first
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Originated in the Yellow
River valley
organized period
– Present day province of
Henan
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Autocratic Rule with
decentralized Aristocratic
leaders
– Leaders served a
“generals”
– Very militaristic rule and
control
– Multiple military
campaigns
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Shang rulers were also high
priests
– traveled to maintain and
promote their power
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No true capital since
different rulers used different
cities.
– Moved at least 7 times
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Multiple cities emerged
– Centers of religion and
organizations
– Walls protected the cities
– Most cities focused on
agriculture with some
specialization
Cont.
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The Shang period gets credit for creating the ideology
of “kingship” in China
– Rulers were Chieftains
– The glorification of the king as an indispensable intermediary
between the people and the celestial beings.
 referred to as Shangdi, or "God above," and later as "Tian," or
"Heaven");
– Belief in the divination of the ancestors was an important
element of their beliefs.
 Divinations were use to bring about good fortune to families and
people.
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Trade with other civilizations existed and specialization
provided source for trade
– The silk and porcelain industry was the most sought out
resource in China.
– Shang silk found in an Egyptian tomb.
Writing
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One of Shang’s advances
was writing
– System of 2,000 symbols
– Expressed ideas or words
 Many changes have been
made, modern writing is
based on Shang style
– Wrote on cattle bones,
turtle shells
 Oracle Bones
Specialization and Villages
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In Urban centers
– People worked on
 Stones, bones, bronze, clay
– To make
 Hairpins, arrow heads, ritual
vessels
– Silk and mulberry farms
were very prominent
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Metallurgy
– Ritual vessels
 Cauldrons, cups, goblets,
– First to use molds
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Villages were small
and compact
– Village surrounded by
farm land
– Millet was the basic
grain
– Wheat, sheep, cattle,
pigs,
The Zhou Dynasty 1045-771 BCE
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After defeating the Shang’s
last ruler, the Zhou Period
began.
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– Emperor was the son of
Heaven
– The ruling class received
powers from the priests
solidifying rule.
– Zhou was a dependent state in
the Wei River Valley
– Adopted Shang culture
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Propaganda helped the
change of rule
– The idea of the “Mandate of
Heaven” kept others from
rebelling.
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3 Kings get credit of success
– King Wen (cultured or
lettered)
– King Wu (martial)
– Duke of Zhou regent for
Wu’s heir
The “mandate” established
rule of emperor thanks to
“Heaven”.
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All elements of civilization
increase in the Zhou Period
– Construction of cities
– Population and Agricultural
increase
– Trade
– Prosperity
Political/Social System
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Rulers granted land to
others in return for…
– Loyalty
– Military support
– Other services
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Social Class system is
in place
Kings
Lords and Warriors
Peasants or Farmers
Zhou King was at the
highest level
пЃ® Lords and Warriors
received land
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– Paid taxes and
provided soldiers
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Peasants or farmers
– Bottom of the
political/social order
– Provided all the work
Relatives
Relative
Relative
Zhou King
Relative
Relative
Relative
Cont.
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Royal courts were the пЃ® Two periods of rule
scenes of elaborate
– Early Zhou Period
 11-9th Centuries BCE
ceremonies.
– Music and dance
– Political propaganda
 The Glory of Zhou Rule
 Bonds of obligation
between rulers and ruled
– Fire works and parades
– Also known as the Western
Zhou Period (Capital cites
found in the West)
 Period where all were supposed
to be models of morality,
fairness, and focused on
people’s welfare
– Eastern Zhou era 8-2nd BCE
 Relocated to eastern capitals
Decline of Zhou
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Lords loyalty lessened
– Refused to fight invaders
 King who cried wolf
– Lords wanted power for themselves
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Internal Problems
– Changes in Chinese family structure (large
families fell apart)
 Sons fought each other for inheritance
Eastern Zhou
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By 771 BCE competing пЃ® Iron replaced Bronze as
powers cause
tools
disjunction in autocratic пЃ® Increased in
rule
Bureaucratic control
– Competition for power
emerged
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– Local leaders took power
to collect taxes and write
down laws
– Standardize money
– Oversaw public works
Constant Conflicts lead
to the era of “Warring
States” (480-221 BCE)
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Legalism emerged to
justify local rule
– Hobbs any one
Society
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In the mist of political flux, пЃ®
Kongfuzi (551-479 BCE)
emerged to provide a new
out look to rule
– The teachings of
Confucius include
 Benevolence (kind,
charitable)
 Non-violence
 Justice
 Rationalism
 Loyalty
 Dignity
Daoism/Taoism- was a
second school of thought
that emerged during the
time of the Warring States
– Laozi was the most famous
Daoist teacher.
 is believed to have written the
book on Daoism
 Many believe it is a collection of
many authors
Confucius and Daoism
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Main ideas
– People should be
respectful and loyal to
their family members
– Leaders should be kind
and lead by example
– Learning is a process
that never ends
– Heaven expects people
to behave well and act
morally
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Main idea
– The focus is to follow
“Dao” or path of nature.
– They accept the world as
it is
– Do as little as possible
with out fighting natural
event
– Avoid violence or struggle
at any cost
The Family structure
It is believed that early
пЃ® Male and female roles
family structured focused
– Confucius and the concept
of Ying and Yang define
on the Father, son,
the roles
mother, daughter.
 Male has authority over
пЃ® Later we add the
females and family
grandson above the
 Father arranged marriages
and sold family members
women.
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– Once written records are
discovered, the women is
subservient to males
for labor
 Male-toughness, active,
initiative, leadership
 Female-passive, subtle,
reflective, endurance
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