Ancient China Is Surrounded by Gobi Desert

Topics: China, Qin Shi Huang, Shang Dynasty Pages: 12 (4098 words) Published: May 29, 2001
China is located in East Asia. Ancient China is surrounded by Gobi Desert in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Himalayan Mountains in the southwest, and the Taklimakan desert in the west. This land has a wide variation of animals because of the different habitats provided for them. Most farming was done in the very fertile lands of the Yangtze valley. Present China is much bigger than Ancient China, which means that over time, the kings and different dynasties went gaining more and more land and wealth.

All of the major rivers go in a western to eastern direction, and end up in the Pacific Ocean. The two major rivers of China are the Yangtze and the Huan He. The major river of North China is the Huang He, or ¨yellow river¨. This river left loess when the banks were flooded; desert winds brought this to this area. The Huang He also gained the name of "China's Sorrow", because in the past, it has destroyed large areas by flooding them. People used these rivers mostly for irrigation and transportation. The plant life In China is very varied. The natural forests are in the far-off mountain areas, where you can find are oak, ginkgo, pine, azalea, and camellia. Also, a tree that would come to everyone's mind as they think of China, is the bamboo. China is far away from any other civilizations at this time, so the people that lived there had to make their own goods, instead of trading things with other civilizations. Trade did exist, for example through the Silk Road, but not so many as in present day. Some of the species of animals in Ancient China were the paddlefish, some species of alligators and salamanders, water deer, giant pandas, apes, bears, leopards, wild horses, and birds of all types. Ancient China did have mineral resources. The most common and used were tin and copper, to make bronze. Chinese worked very well with bronze. Also iron was very important. Jade was more precious than gold for the Chinese. GOVERNMENT

China's government was ruled by an emperor (king). The king had to do a very good job, and his people would have to like his work and effort, if not, they overthrew him and someone else came to rule. The mandate of heaven, or approval by the gods, was very important. For example, if the crops were good, and everything was moving along fine, it meant that the gods liked you. But if there were floods and natural disasters, and if the crops were lost, then the people thought that that was because the gods were not pleased with the king, and then the king might lose the right to be king.

China started having a government in the Shang dynasty. They ruled what would now be Henan, Hubei, Shandong and part of Anhui. The Shang were an aristocratic society, or a heredity ruling class. This dynasty was also the first to leave written records. The principal Shang city was Anyang, it was in a clearance deep inside the forest.

In 1027 BC, the Zhou overthrew the Shang and made their own dynasty. They were both very alike, and there was not much change in culture. But the Zhou brought up many fresh ideas, which would seem obvious because all people think in different ways, and have different solutions to their problems. As an excuse of overthrowing the Shang, they said that the last Shang king had done so badly, that the gods weren't satisfied, so they decided to let the Zhou rule. This is a part of the mandate of heaven, which meant that the ruler had approval from the gods. The Zhou dynasty also appointed lands to nobles and members of the king's family, these nobles were granted land, but the land wasn't theirs, because it all belonged to the king, this was called feudalism. These nobles had to provide protection to the people that lived there.

The social pyramid in this government are the following. At the top was the king, ruler of all. He appointed nobles, to manage some land and territory. The nobles were very close to the king, or members of...
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