ANCIENT CHINA GUIDED NOTES. 1. The climate in the north of China is cold and dry, while in the south,

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1 ANCIENT CHINA GUIDED NOTES Name: The Geography of China s River Valleys 1. The climate in the north of China is cold and dry, while in the south, monsoons bring rain from the oceans so the climate is warm and wet. 2. Like India, China was cut off from other civilizations by mountains and rivers. 3. The ancient Chinese called their land the Middle Kingdom because they believed it was in the center of the world. 4. The earliest civilizations in China grew up along the Huang He River and the Chang Jiang River. 5. Loess is a yellow-brown soil deposited when the Huang He River floods; for this reason, this river is also called the Yellow River. This river is also called China s Sorrow because the periodic flooding can be destructive. 6. A dike is a protective wall that holds back floodwaters. The ancient Chinese built these to help protect people against flooding.

2 7. The Shang dynasty was the first known civilization in China. 8. The family was the center of early Chinese society. It was common for a number of close relatives in different generations to live together. These people made up an extended family. The oldest male was the center of authority. 9. The ancient Chinese were the first people to use two names. The first name was for the family, the second was for the individual person. The difference between the ancient Chinese system and our modern system is that the family name came first in ancient China. Additional Notes:

3 ANCIENT CHINA GUIDED NOTES Name: Confucius and His Teachings 1. Confucius is one of the most important and best-known Chinese thinkers. 2. Confucius was probably China s first professional teacher. He loved learning for its own sake, and took on students even if they were poor. 3. The main focus of Confucius teachings was to convince rulers to reform and govern better. 4. The teachings of Confucius evolved into a philosophy, or system of beliefs, known as Confucianism. 5. Because he lived during a time known as Time of the Warring States where rulers were fighting one another for control of the land, Confucius goal was order in society.

4 6. Confucius believed people should treat each other with respect and behave according to their proper place in society. His ideas about relationships can be summed up in this way: Do not do to others what you would not done to yourself.. 7. The civil service is a group of people who carry out the work of the government. Any male regardless of social status could take an examination based on Confucius teachings to become a part of this organization. Additional Notes:

5 ANCIENT CHINA GUIDED NOTES Name: Strong Rulers Unite Warring Kingdoms 1. By 221 BCE, a warlord named Zheng had made himself the sole ruler of most of China. He took the name Shi Huangdi, which means First Emperor. 2. Shi Huangdi s people were known as the Qin. The name China comes from this tribe. 3. Shi Huangdi built the Great Wall of China to defend his northern border against tribal raiding. He also built roads so his armies could respond quickly to unrest. These projects were built by farmers and merchants who were ordered to leave their other workplaces to do this work.. 4. A common currency, or type of money, was introduced by Shi Huangdi, as well as a commom system of weights and measures, an improved system of writing, and a legal code. However, Shi Huangdi also banned the teachings of Confucius and killed anyone who protested.

6 5. Shi Huangdi divided China into districts that were governed by officials loyal to him. 6. Liu Bang overthrew the Qin dynasty and became the first emperor of the Han Dynasty. 7. Under this dynasty, the civil service based on the teachings of Confucius were established. 8. Wudi, Liu Bang s grandson, gained more territory for his dynasty and improved the army. His name means Warrior Emperor. After his death, the Han dynasty began to fall apart and warlords, leaders of small local armies, gained power.

7 Additional Notes:

8 ANCIENT CHINA GUIDED NOTES Name: Achievements of Ancient China 1. When the emperor Wudi gained new territory in the west, he opened up contact with people in Central Asia, which led to a trade route known as the Silk Road. 2. This route extended from northern China to Antioch, a city on the Mediterranean Sea. It was 4,000 miles long and a very dangerous route to travel. 3. Silk is a valuable cloth made from threads gathered from the cocoons of silkworms. This cloth gave its name to the Silk Road because it was highly valued and expensive. Women were in charge of caring for the silkworms and weaving the silk. (hint: read from right to left!)

9 4. Buddhism came to China through Indian missionaries who also traveled on the Silk Road. By the end of the Han dynasty, it was becoming an important religion in China. 5. The first dictionary of the Chinese language was written during the Han dynasty. The scholar Sima Qian wrote the first history of China. 6. Because the government was stable, the Chinese were able to improve their society. Farming became more productive with the development of iron plows and improved systems of irrigation. 7. Paper is one of ancient China s most important inventions. It was a big improvement over previous methods of record-keeping, including clay tablets and papyrus. It was made of tree bark, hemp, and old rags, then coated with gelatin. 8. Other important inventions of the ancient Chinese were the wheelbarrow, the fishing reel, the boat rudder, and the padded horse collar.

10 Additional Notes:

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