China's Flourishing Civilization

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China’s Flourishing Civilization

China’s Geography

Map of China

What topographical features are present and not-present on this map would influence China’s development?

Major River Systems
Ancient China had two major river systems: • Huang He which is also known as the Yellow River • Yangtze which is also known as the Chang Jiang .

Major River Systems
• The Huang He River system 3,000 miles long • Empties into the Yellow Sea • Ancient Chinese civilization began along this river • Provides fertile soil and an abundance food • Formerly known as the “river of sorrow”

Why did it get such a name?

Major River Systems
The Yangtze River System • Longest in China and the third longest river in the world - 3, 964 miles long. • The river passes through some of China's best farmland and many of its towns and villages.

Ancient China’s Topography
Topographical features that lead to isolation: - Gobi Desert: one of the driest in the world enter and you shall never return! - - Plains: Only about 12% of China's land is plains; most of that is in the eastern part of China.

China’s Topographical Features
Tibetan Plateau

- Himalayas: 43% of China’s land is mountainous! -Tibetan Plateau: very isolated region even today!

Impact of China’s Geography
How would isolation help a country? What other great ancient civilizations were isolated?

Impact of China’s Geography
1. Long distances and physical barriers isolated China, blocking cultural diffusion 2. Protecting China from invasion 3. Isolation contributed to the Chinese belief that China was the center of the earth and the only civilization.

Timeline of China’s Earliest Dynasties

The Mystery Dynasty: Xia

For many years, the Xia (shee-uh) Dynasty was thought to be a part of a myth that the Chinese tell as part of their history. The Xia Dynasty was in oral histories, but no archaeological evidence was found of it until 1959.

Xia Dynasty (2205-1806 B.C.)

Evidence finally uncovered…
• Despite this new archaeological evidence of the Xia, they are not universally accepted as a true dynasty.

Xia Dynasty (2205-1806 B.C.)

Evidence finally uncovered…
• The founding of the Xia dynasty (2200-1766 BCE), according to Chinese tradition, reveals the value the Chinese have put on leadership… • Xia Yu, the founder of the Xia dynasty, was selected as the heir to the throne because he was able to control the Great Flood that had afflicted the Chinese for several years. Reading: Yu the Great

Selected By Achievement…
• Xia Yu was selected as the heir to the throne because he was able to control the Great Flood that had afflicted the Chinese for several years. • …Even though he was not the son of the Emperor and even though his own father had been executed because he could not control the flood.

Daily Life
1.The Xia were agrarian people 2.The ruling families used elaborate and dramatic rituals to confirm their power to govern. 3.The rulers often acted as shamans, communicating with spirits for help and guidance.

Was He the Last Emperor???
• Xia Jie was the last emperor of the Xia Dynasty. As a hedonist & a notorious tyrant, the people under his reign were driven into great disaster. • He ordered 3,000 to their deaths by demanding they jump into a lake of wine, just for entertainment!

Xia Dynasty Banished!
At last, a fuedal lord named Shang Tang led the people against this tyrant and banished him from the capital.

Shang Tang

Chinese civilization took shape under the…
Shang Dynasty 1650 B.C.–1027 B.C.
What is needed to have a civilization?

Oracle Inscriptions Writing had begun…

The Shang Dynasty
• First writing system: The first dynasty in China according to written records is the Shang – complete writing system! • However, few in China would learn to read and write! Writing of the Shang on a tortoise shell.

Chinese Writing

Chinese Civilization took shape under The Shang Dynasty
• Many Chinese...
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