Ancient Chinese Society

Ancient Chinese Society

Ancient Chinese Society
I. Physical Geography
1. Barriers
1. Pacific Ocean on east
2. Himalayas
3. Gobi Desert to north and west

B. Basic realities
1. Isolated from non-derivative cultures, influence others
a. Japan
b. Korea
c. Southeast Asia

2. River valleys basis of existence
a. Yangzi
b. Hwange He, Loess soil

3. East, wet, warm, and rich
4. West, dry and cool

2. Basic Problems
1. Flooding and Famine
2. Earthquakes
3. Cyclones, Tsunamis
4. Overcrowding

II. Early China
A. Civilization based on agricfultural revolution
1. Centered in loess soil area of Huang He Valley
2. Farm village sytem

III. Shang Dynasty
A. Formed Ca. 1650 BCE
B. Government
1. Dynasty concept est.
2. Strong military
A. Peasant infantry
B. Shariot-based nobles

3. Irrigation and flood control projects
C. Religion
1. King as “son of heaven”
A. Rituals please gods
I. good harvests, etc.
II. timing important
III. Knowing gods wishes important
IV. Divination needs priests
A. “oracles” used for question/answers

D. Achievements
I. Writing systems
A. Based on pictographs and ideographs
I. Eventually LOK characters
A. rich kids literate
2. Calendar
3. Bronze-making
4. Silk
5. Pottery
IV. Ideas
A. Many formed during Zhou Dynasty (1027 BCE- Ca. 500)
B. Mandate of Heaven\
1. Gods Gave emperor right to rule
2. Absolute loyalty of people
3. X meant responsibilities
A. good government
b. Peace and harmony
4. Wars, floods, etc., show gods unhappy
5. Overthrow and execution of dynasties a religious duty

Important Contributions of the Ancient Chinese
1. Silk
2. Tea
3. Porcelain
4. Abacus
5. Sugar
6. Orange
7. Peach
8. Soy bean
9. Apricot

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