EARLY CHINA

Report
BELL WORK
HOMEWORK: Design a DO NOT TRESPASS sign
for one of the physical features of China. Need a
title, a picture, and 3 reasons to NOT live there.
TODAY’S TITLE: # Geography of China
WAR: Answer the following question: “What kind
of realistic geographic features would make you
NOT want to live in a certain place and why?”
EARLY CHINA
CHAPTER 7
OVERVIEW OF CHINA’S GEOGRAPHY
Modern China is the world’s 3rd largest country
at 3.7 million square miles
 It has the highest population of 1.2 billion people
 We will divide China into 2 main areas: Outer
China and Inner China to better understand the
geography
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OUTER CHINA

Includes the western and northern parts
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An area of great extremes
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Contains the following: Tibet-Qinghai Plateau,
the Northwestern Deserts, and the Northeastern
Plain
INNER CHINA
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Includes the southeastern part of China
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Contains rolling hills, river valleys, and plains

Includes the North China Plain and the Chang
Jiang Basins
THE TIBET-QINGHAI PLATEAU
Called the “Roof of the World”
 Rocky land with high mountains (the Himalayas
are part of it)
 The climate is very cold because the elevation is
so high
 It is also very dry here
 Some vegetation like scrubs and grasses
 Two major rivers begin in the area: Huang He
River and Chang Jiang River ( aka the Yellow
and Yangtze Rivers)
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TIBET-QINGHAI PLATEAU
TAKLIMAKAN
GOBI
NORTHWESTERN DESERTS:
TAKLIMAKAN DESERT
One of the most dangerous deserts in the world
 Filled with large sand dunes
 Sandstorms are common
 Very dry and hot
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GOBI DESERT
 One of the world’s largest deserts
 Has few sand dunes
 Very stony and little vegetation
NORTHEASTERN PLAIN
Located east of present-day Mongolia
 Low hills and plains
 Mostly filled with prairie grass
 2 major rivers flow through here: the Liao and
Sungari Rivers
 Has short, warm summers and dry, cold winters
 In the south, a coastal plain links this area to the
rest of China and invaders used this route to
invade China

NORTHEASTERN PLAIN
THE NORTH CHINA PLAIN
A flat region of grassland
 Temperatures range from very hot to very cold
 Called the “Land of the Yellow Earth” because
it’s covered with yellow silt, which blows in from
the Gobi Desert
 This where the Huang He River gets its
nickname (Yellow River). It is also the world’s
muddiest river! Ick!
 The silt fertilizes the land making it very fertile
 But the river floods A LOT!

NORTH CHINA PLAIN
MIDDLE AND LOWER CHANG JIANG
BASINS
Low, wet coastal plains located along the Chang
Jiang River
 The river has hundreds of tributaries (small
streams)
 Flows through 3 plains and then a rich, fertile
delta
 Floods less often than Huang He
 Climate is warm and wet
 At one time, there may have been rainforests
here
 Limited space for farming, but good for rice!

MIDDLE AND LOWER CHANG JIANG
BASINS
RATE THE PHYSICAL FEATURES!
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Let’s now rate these places on the following: Most
likely to produce a dependable food supply, Most
likely to contribute to Outstanding Trade, and
Most likely to be the site of China’s earliest
settlement.
Where do YOU think the first Chinese
civilization arose?
EARLY SETTLEMENT OF ANCIENT CHINA
Settled mostly on the North China Plain because
it had plenty of water, fertile soil, and a moderate
climate.
 Tibetan Plateau and Northeastern Plain were too
cold and dry
 Northwestern Deserts were too dry
 The Chang Jiang Basins were wet and fertile, but
heavy rains made farming difficult.
 Out of all of China’s land, only 1/10 is farmable.
The rest is covered by mountains and deserts.

BELL WORK
HOMEWORK:
TODAY’S TITLE
WAR:
SECTION 1: HOW DID CIVILIZATION IN
CHINA BEGIN?
Farming began along the Huang He and Chang
Jiang rivers
 Grew rice, millet, and wheat
 Also fished and hunted
 Had domesticated pigs and sheep
 Small villages grew into walled towns that
spread in both northern and southeastern China
 Burial sites indicate that early Chinese believed
in an afterlife similar to Egyptian beliefs
 Graves contained jewelry and other objects made
from jade, a hard gemstone

WHAT WAS THE XIA DYNASTY?
Kings ruled early China
 2200 BC: Yu the Great founded the Xia Dynasty
 Yu dug channels to control widespread flooding
and created major waterways of northern China
 Not much else is known about this dynasty
 Many stories are told about how the kings tried
to help people solve problems by working
together

WHAT WAS THE SHANG DYNASTY?
Established in the 1500s BC
 Shang family emerged as most powerful and
ruled northern China
 King was the center of political and religious life
 Nobles served him as advisors
 Organized Society: kings and their families
warlords and aristocrats traders, artisans 
farmers slaves

WHAT WERE SOME SHANG
ACHIEVEMENTS?
Created China’s first writing system, which used
more than 2000 symbols. This is what Chinese
writing is based on today!
 1st Shang writing was found on cattle bones and
turtle shells
 Used these bones as oracles, or predictions of the
future
 Made beautiful containers made of bronze for cooking
and religious ceremonies
 Made jade axes, knives, and ornaments from jade
 Developed war chariots, bows, and bonze body armor
 Developed a calendar based on the cycles of the moon
Pre-AP: hint, hint! You could use these as project
artifact ideas!! 

BELL WORK
WAR: Write in agenda
 1st, 4th, 6th period: Answer #1b on p. 171
 2nd, 3rd, 5th period: Answer #1c on p. 171
 Take out wkbk and Bronze Pot activity for
GRADING! These are your first two grades for
the THIRD NINE WEEKS! 
 WOW: Topic #4, Zhou Dynasty

SECTION 2: THE ZHOU DYNASTY AND NEW
IDEAS
The Zhou overthrew the Shang in the 1100s BC.
Shang kings were corrupt and selfish, governed badly,
and lost the loyalty of their soldiers
 This dynasty lasted longer than any other in Chinese
history
 Claimed to have a mandate of heaven, which means
that heaven gives power to the king
 Expanded territory

WHAT WAS THE ZHOU POLITICAL SYSTEM
LIKE?
Granted land to people in return for loyalty,
military support, other services.
 Lords, or people of high rank, received land in
return for payment of taxes and providing
soliders
 Peasants, or small farmers, would receive small
plots of land and had to farm other land for the
lords too
 These lords helped keep control of distant areas
and ensure loyalty

WHAT CAUSED THE FALL OF THE ZHOU
DYNASTY?
Local rulers became too powerful, stopped
obeying the kings even in times of invasion
 481 BC: Fighting breaks out between the lords
and continues for next 200 years. This is called
the “Period of the Warring States”.
 Fighting was brutal and cruel

WHAT WERE INTERNAL PROBLEMS DURING
THE ZHOU DYNASTY?
Bonds of loyalty within families began to weaken,
especially in upper classes
 Sons would fight each other over inheritance of
land
 Government lacked power to stop the fighting
 Chinese society fell into disorder

WHO WAS CONFUCIUS?
Wanted to improve China during the decline of
the Zhou
 Felt China was overrun by rude and dishonest
people
 Said people had to return to their ethics, or
moral values, and should know their role in
society

WHAT WERE THE BASIC IDEAS OF
CONFUCIANISM?
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Fathers should display high values to inspire families
Children need to respect their parents and ancestors
(filial piety)
All family members should be loyal to each other
Moral leadership brings order, not laws
A king should lead by example
Lower classes would learn by following superiors’
examples
Confucius’ ideas were compiled into a book called
Analects
Confucianism has influenced philosophy and religion!
WHAT IS DAOISM?
Wanted people to live in harmony with the Dao,
the guiding force of reality
 Unlike Confucianism, they believed government
should stay out of people’s lives
 Should not interfere with nature (“be like water”)
 The universe is a balance of opposites
 Worshipped nature
 Give up desires and concerns
 People should not gain wealth or power
 Most important Daoist teacher: Laozi

WHAT IS LEGALISM?
Founded by Han Fei Zi
 Taught that humans were naturally evil and
needed to be controlled
 No religious connection unlike Confucianism and
Daoism
 Believed there needed to be harsh laws and
punishments to force people to do their duty
 Relatives could be punished for another family
member’s crimes
 Wanted strong and efficient leaders to keep
order, not nobles
 Focused on expanded territory and always being
ready for war

Leader
Philosophy
Confucius
Confucianism People should
Laozi
Daoism
People should
give up worldly
desires in favor
of nature and
the Dao.
Han Feizi
Legalism
Society needs a Legalists developed laws that
system of
became an important part of
harsh laws and Chinese history.
strict
punishment.
Main idea
Influence on modern life
Many Chinese today accept his
put the needs idea of duty to family. His ideas
of their family helped open up government jobs
and community to people with talent.
first.
Daoism teaches the importance
of nature and encourages people
to treat nature with respect and
reverence.
BELL WORK
HOMEWORK:
TODAY’S TITLE:
SECTION 3: WHY WAS THE QIN EMPEROR’S
GOVERNMENT STRONG?
Shi Huangdi became ruler of China in 221 BC
and established the Qin dynasty
 Based his rule on the ideas of Legalism
 Made the central government stronger
 Unified China and conquered territory
 Created one currency for use of money
 Built roads and canals
 Began the building of the Great Wall to keep out
the Xiongnu (nomads from the Gobi Desert)

WHAT WERE SOME EXAMPLES OF SHI
HUANGDI’S CRUELTY?
Burned any books that did not support Legalism
 Buried 460 scholars alive who disapproved of the
book burning
 After a city was conquered, he tore down its walls
and took all the weapons
 Took land away from nobles and made them
move
 Forced commoners to work on government
projects where they faced danger and death

WHAT WAS CHINA LIKE UNDER THE QIN?
Shi Huangdi claimed all power
 Divided China into districts each with its own
governor
 Districts were subdivided into counties with an
appointed official
 This helped to enforce his tax system and a strict
chain of command

WHAT WERE SOME QIN POLICIES?
Shi Huangdi set up a uniform law system (all
rules and punishments are the same throughout
the empire)
 Standardized the written language (had to write
with the same exact system)
 Standardized money system
 Standardized weight and measure systems
 Trade became much easier with all this
consistency
 Any disobedience against these systems would
result in harsh punishments

WHAT WERE SOME QIN ACHIEVEMENTS?
Built a network of roads that connected the
capital to every part of the empire
 Helped the army move quickly and easily to put
down revolts
 Built canals to connect the rivers, which made it
easier to ship goods
 Improved irrigation system to aid farming
 Built the Great Wall to keep out northern
invaders (Pieces of the wall were actually started
in the 600s BC, but Qin connected smaller pieces
to each other to form one long wall)

PICTURES OF THE GREAT WALL
HOW DID THE QIN DYNASTY FALL?
Shi Huangdi kept China unified
 After his death, the government began to fall
apart
 Rebel groups formed all over the country and
each claimed to have a mandate from heaven to
replace the emperor
 One group attacked the capital and overthrew
the new emperor
 With no central government, China fell into
another period of civil war

WIO ACTIVITY –
SHI HUANGDI: HERO OR VILLAIN?
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Your poster must include:
-A sketch of what the person probably looks like.
-A reward amount listing the specific crime or
heroic action the person did.
-A made-up quote from a person living at the
time showing what people might have said about
this person.
-The approximate date this poster would have
been found.
-A written description of what the person has
done in their life.
HAPPY THURSDAY! 

WAR: ALL CLASSES: GLUE IN THE ISN
CHECKLIST – GRADING TOMORROW!
1st, 4th, 6th period: Read ch. 6, Section 4 pp. 178-180
and answer the following question: What were the
social classes in Han China?
- Take out homework for grading
- Turn in Filial Piety project (make sure your name is
on it!) if you are finished – DUE TOMORROW!!!
- 2nd, 3rd, 5th period:
Why were wealthy merchants in the lower class?
- Take out homework for grading!
SECTION 4: WHAT IS THE HAN DYNASTY’S
GOVERNMENT LIKE UNDER LIU BANG?
Founded in 202 BC by a peasant leader named
Liu Bang
 Earned the loyalty and trust of soldiers and
peasants
 Lowered taxes for farmers
 Made punishments less severe
 Gave land to supporters
 Relied on educated officials to advise him

WHAT WAS THE HAN DYNASTY’S
GOVERNMENT LIKE UNDER WUDI?
140 BC: Emperor Wudi takes the throne
 Created a stronger central government
 Took land from lords
 Raised taxes
 Took control of grain supply
 Confucianism became the official government
philosophy
 Founded a Confucian university
 Government officials had to pass an exam and
have a recommendation to earn their job (rich
families were mostly in control because of this
policy)
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Name
Period
Date
Fictional Character
Contact Info
Qualification (Experience & Characteristics
that make eligible)
(probably 5-10)
Education (where and when and how much,
or degrees received)
Family Connection (References)
HOW WAS SOCIETY ORGANIZED DURING
THE HAN DYNASTY?
Based on the Confucian system and was more
rigid
 4 classes:
- Emperor, his court, and scholars with
government positions
- Peasants (largest class)
- Artisans
- Merchants
Why did merchants fall in the lower class?
 Soldiers were not part of the system, but being in
the army could bring them an opportunity to rise
up in class

LIVES OF THE RICH
Classes only divided people by rank, not wealth!
 Emperor lived in a palace and his officials had
large houses and estates
 Filled homes with expensive decorations and
loved to entertain
 Even their tombs were filled with luxury items

LIVES OF THE POOR
Consisted of 90% of the population
 Worked long hours on farming or building
projects
 Had to pay heavy taxes, which may have forced
them to give up their land to wealthy landowners
 Wore simple clothing and ate simple diets
 Lived in small villages and wood-framed houses
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REVIVAL OF FAMILY
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Strong Confucian influence
Children MUST respect their parents…IT WAS THE
LAW!
Fathers had absolute power
Women and children had to be obedient to the father
Filial piety helped keep order because obedience had
been instilled in people since birth
Children were encourage to serve parents and had to
honor dead relatives with ceremonies
Boys were valued more highly than girls because they
would continue the family line and took care of the
parents later
Older women could become the head of family if
needed
HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! 
WAR:
1st, 4th, 6th period – take out your Filial Piety
project for grading!
- Read Ch. 6, Section 4 and answer the following
question, “How did Emperor Wudi create a strong
central government?
- 2nd, 3rd, 5th period – Answer the following
question, “Do you think that an exam system is
the best way to make sure that people are fairly
chosen for government jobs? Why/why not?
WIO – HAN ACHIEVEMENTS
List and rank the Han achievements in order of
importance, with 1 the most important and 11
being the least important
 Read p. 182-183 and choose one of the Han
achievements and describe what it is, how it
affected Han society and why it was important.
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WHAT WERE SOME HAN ACHIEVEMENTS?
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Figure painting
Wrote poetry (the fu and shi styles) and histories
Sundial
Seismograph
Waterwheels to grind grain
Iron drill bits to mine more salt
Steel
Paper
Medicine and disease prevention improved
Acupuncture
Rudders for ships and new kinds of sails allowed the
Chinese to trade with far off places like Southeast
Asia, the Indian Ocean, India, and the Mediterranean
Sea.
WIO: WRITING RESUMES
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Review Confucian beliefs – what’s important?
What qualities did government officials have during
the Han Dynasty?
You will be writing a resume for an imaginary person
seeking a job in the Han government. You must
provide details in the resume regarding the person’s
education, family connections, and other
qualifications
MAKE SURE YOU REVIEW WHAT
QUALIFICATIONS WERE NEEDED TO OBTAIN A
POSITION IN THE HAN GOVERNMENT
When you are finished, exchange your resume with
another student to determine whether they believe
that resume would earn them a job in the Han
government
SECTION 5: HOW DID FARMING AND
MANUFACTURING IMPROVE THE HAN
DYNASTY?
Became master ironworkers
 Made iron swords and armor that made the army
more powerful
 Made iron plows and the wheelbarrow to increase
farming productivity
 Silk- the method for making it was very hushhush and was expensive!

HOW DID TRADE IMPROVE?
People outside of China valued Chinese goods
such as silk and pottery
 Gaining more territory in Central Asia helped
trade because it presented more opportunities to
trade items such as silk
 In return, the Chinese received better horses
 The creation of the Silk Road also improved trade

THE SILK ROAD
Most silk trade went overland by the Silk Roadnetwork of trade routes that stretched 4000 miles
to the Mediterranean
 The Road began to be used b/w 200 and 100 BC
 China began to trade with the West and the
Roman Empire
 Silk, spices, tea, and porcelain were carried over
in return for gold, silver, precious stones, and
horses
 Travel was difficult because of the heavy loads,
geography, possibility of theft, and weather

MAP OF THE SILK ROAD
HOW DID BUDDHISM COME TO CHINA?
Ideas were exchanged along with trade items
 Buddhist ideas came to China around 100 BC
 Han dynasty became unstable at this time and
Buddhism offered hope (sound familiar?)
 Offered rebirth and relief from suffering
 Buddhists used Daoism to explain Buddhism
 By AD 200, the emperor’s own palace had a
Buddhist altar
 Buddhism in China is an example of diffusion,
the spread of ideas from one culture to another
 Some elements of Chinese culture changed as a
result of Buddhist beliefs


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