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People‘s Republic of China 中华人民共和国 Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
• Shang Dynasty (1500 BCE – 1027 BCE)
• Zhou Dynasty (1027 BCE – 256 BCE)
• Qin Dynasty (221 BCE – 206 BCE)
• Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE)
• Six Dynasties (220 CE – 587 CE)
• Sui Dynasty (587 CE – 618 CE)
• Tang Dynasty (618 CE – 960 CE)
• Song Dynasty (960 CE – 1279 CE)
• Ming Dynasty (1279 CE – 1644 CE)
• Ching Dynasty (1644 CE – 1911 CE)
SHANG DYNASTY (Yellow River Civilization)
• The Shang Dynasty (c.1600-1046 BCE) was the second
dynasty of China which succeeded the Xia Dynasty (c. 2700-
1600 BCE) after the overthrow of the Xia. Since many
historians question whether the Xia Dynasty really existed, the
Shang Dynasty may have actually been the first in China and
the origin of what has come to be recognized as Chinese
• The stability of the country during the Shang Dynasty led to
numerous cultural advances such as industrialized bronze
casting, the calendar, religious rituals, and writing.
• The first king, Tang, instantly began to work for the people
of his country instead of for his own pleasure and luxury and
provided a role model for his successors. These men created a
stable government which would continue for 600 years but
eventually, according to the records of the Chinese historians,
they lost the mandate of heaven which allowed them to rule.
• The Shang Dynasty was a monarchy governed by a series of kings, 29 or 30 in total, over the
course of almost 600 years. The founder of Shang Dynasty was Cheng Tang.
• Zǔ Dīng
• Nán Gēng
• Yáng Jiǎ
• Pán Gēng
• Xiǎo Xīn
• Xiǎo Yǐ
• Wǔ Dīng
• Wò Jiǎ
• Wài Bǐng
Shang Dynasty - Social Hierarchy
• Head of political & religious lifeKing
• Advisors to King
• Government & religious officials
• Land Lords
• From the far regions
• Worked long hours
• Little pay
• Over taxed
• Lowest rank
• Important labor resourceSlaves
Shang Kings and Nobles
• Lived in large timber or stone houses
• Could afford to buy art, so artisans gathered
around the capital at Anyang
▪ Most people were farmers
▪ Grew millet and other crops in the Huang He
▪ Huang He valley loess was very fertile surplus
in food growth in population
▪ These peasants lived in small farming
▪ Homes=pits dug into the ground with thatched
▪ Worked very hard on farm & in public projects
like building dikes and as soldiers during war
• Top god was Shang Ti- the Founder of
the Shang Dynasty
• Ancestor worship began in this period,
as did the sacrifices to the gods
• When Kings died, thousands of slaves
were executed to serve him in the
• The kings tomb would be filled with
objects and food that he would need in
the afterlife- like Egyptians.
3 Religions / Philosophies of China
(introduced during the Han Dynasty)
Daoism (“The Way”) Philosophy on living emphasizing the relationship between humans and nature.
Also, it stresses the idea of the individual moving into harmony with “the way of the universe”
Confucianism Philosophies from scholar and teacher Confucius (born in 551 BCE). Confucianism
concerned with the human world and the attainment of peace. Social order and respect are central to this
way of life.
Buddhism spread to China from India on the “Silk Road”. The Chinese practice Mahayana Buddhism.
Chinese Writing System
• More than 2,000 symbols to express words or ideas.
• Today’s Chinese symbols are still based on the Shang
• Archeologist have found these symbols on cattle bones
and turtle shells.
• Priests carved questions about the future on the bones
& shells, heated them up till they cracked, and then
read the oracles or predictions from the cracks.
Shang Oracle Bones
• Before the discovery of Shang oracle bones scholars had
no firm proof that the Shang Dynasty existed.
• Shang dynasty used reptilian parts like turtles, not just
• They carved a record of the divination on the scapulas and
plastrons, establishing themselves as the first fully literate
civilization east of the Indus.
• 150,000 inscribed oracle bones are in collections around
• Use of pictographs and ideographs
• Rectlininear, simple shapes
• Little variation in line width
• Thousands of characters found from
• all the bone fragments
• Many characters remain undeciphered
• Diviner cracked bone, interpreted it, and engraver cut a record of the
interpretation into the scapula or plastron.
• Cyclical day of divination
• Name of diviner
• Sometimes the location
• Charge (the topic in question)
• The diviners interpretation
• Divination took place on every day of the ten-day Shang week.
Sacrifices Military campaigns
Hunting expeditions Outcome of the next day/night
Dreams Divine assistance or approval
• “Will the king have a son?”
• “Will it rain tomorrow?”
• “If we send 3,000 men into battle, will we succeed?”
• “Is the long drought caused by ancestor X?”
• The Shang Dynasty is generally known
as the Bronze Age of China.
• Bronze played an important role in the
material culture of the time.
Everyday Items made from bronze:
• Ceremonial vessels for food or wine
• Piece-mold casting
• Bronze-tipped halberd and spear
• Compound bow
• Horse-drawn chariots
Achievements in Bronze Metallurgy
• Tea likely originated in southwest China during the Shang dynasty as a medicinal drink.
• Tea was regularly imported from China to Russia via a caravan of hundreds of camels traveling
the year-long journey, making it a precious commodity at the time
Kings ruled, nobles advised
King at center of religion, priests
used oracle bones to make
Royal family/nobles at highest level.
Artisans at middle level, farmers,
slaves at lower levels
Writing system, use of bronze,
calendar, ear chariots, and bows
Shang Dynasty Government Structure
The fall of Shang Dynasty
● Shang ruled for more than 600 years, until about 1100 BC.
● Ruling China’s growing population proved too much for Shang.
● Shang kings constantly at war with surrounding kingdoms.
● Armies from nearby tribe, Zhou, invaded, established new ruling dynasty.
Other ways Qin (秦)is written
• The name
• Born as Ying Zheng in 259 BCE
• Unified warring states
• Declared himself “Qin Shi
Huangdai – Shi Huangdai means
“The First Emperor of China”
• United China
• Very Powerful and Cruel
• Became King at age 13
• Rejected Confucius teachings
The First Emperor
• Obey Rulers out of Fear
• People who
• People who
• Virtuous Government
would not work
• Buried protestors alive!
Execution of Confucian Scholars
• A history of China, written centuries after the Qin, depict the reported book burnings and burying of Confucian
• Autocracy – a government with unlimited
power (Established a centralized bureaucracy
of trained officials)
• Chose officials based on merit and talent
• Government jobs were no longer passed
down to sons
• Reduced the power of the nobles
• Anyone who can afford it may own land
• Empire divided into 36 provinces each
controlled by appointed officials
Military Power and Mass
• Qin defeated regional states by 221 B.C.E.
• Armed forces essential to Qin success
Accomplishments under Qin
• Standardization of money, weights, measurements.
• Universally agreed upon set of guidelines
• 4,000 Miles of New Roads to improve Communication throughout large
• Helped trade between Regions
• Better Communication
The Great Wall Of China
Built for :
• About 21,000km long.
• In Chinese, its name is Long wall or Long wall of 10,000 li
10,000 li = 6,508 km.
• In Chinese, 10,000 figuratively means "infinite“; the
number should not be interpreted literally but rather as
meaning the "infinitely long wall“.
• Watchtowers every few hundred meters communicated
with red/blue flags and fires.
• All messages were recorded on bamboo strips.
• Made up of
trenches and natural
features (such as
hills and ravines)
• Emperor Qin first to
link parts of wall
• Construction by
• Much of Qin’s wall
now in poor repair
• The arts did not exist in the Qin Dynasty
because Emperor Qin Shi huang ordered
musical instruments and art forms to be
burned. He considered them an
unnecessary item in China because it
taught people to have their own thoughts.
Terra Cotta Army-The First Emperor’s Mauseleum
• Shi Huang ordered Chinese craftsmen to build an
army of terra cotta soldiers.
• They were built in Shi Huang's tomb, along with an
• These soldiers were meant to protect Huang in the
• Every one of them is different.
End of the Qin Dynasty
• Qin Shi Haungdai died in 210BCE
• His son was a weak ruler
• End of the Qin Dynasty in 206BCE
• Han Dynasty was established
The Legend of Silk
• During Shang Dynasty a 14 year old queen of China supposedly saw a worm spin its cocoon. She then took the
cocoon, dropped it in hot water and watched it break up to threads. The thread was the used to sew and create
• During Qin Dynasty Silk route was built.
• In the 2nd Century CE, The Silk Route was the longest road in the world.
• It stretched from Luoyang on the Yellow River
to Rome (with different possible routes).
• Used by traders, travelers, explorers,
religious pilgrims, missionaries, conquerors,