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Chapter 03 - China Antiquity

World History

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CHAPTER 3: CHINA ANTIQUITY I. THE DAWN OF CHINESE CIVILIZATION i. 5000 years ago, “three sovereigns” established Chinese civilization 1.Fu Xi (Fu His), the ox-tamer, hunted, fished, domesticated animals, and introduced family life 2.Shen Nong (Shen Nung), the divine farmer, used plows and hewed wood for plowshares a.Taught the techniques of agriculture 3.Huang Di (Huang Ti), the Yellow Emperor, created the Chinese writing system, and invented the bow and arrows a.Inaccurate, but emphasizes peoples’ desire understand the world around them i. However, they do reveal the themes of Chinese civilization 1.The interaction between nomadic and agricultural peoples 2.Importance of the family as the basic unit of Chinese life 3.The development of a unique system of writing b. THE LAND AND PEOPLE OF CHINA i. 8000 B.C.E., N Chinese mastered cultivation of crops on the riverbanks 1. In the area of the Yellow River two Neolithic societies: Yangshao and Longshan cultures 2.Similar settlements found in Yangtze valley in central China and along the coast of the south a.S settlers based on rice b.N based on dry crops such as millet, barley, and wheat i. In China, agriculture and other elements of civilization developed spontaneously in several areas ii. As inhabitants mastered agriculture, gave rise to more sophisticated and complex societies 1.Settlements spread from the river valleys to other lowland areas of E and central China iii. 12% of China’s land is arable the rest consists of mountains and deserts in the N and W 1.Physical barriers isolated China from advanced agrarian societies of Asia a.Frontier region of the Gobi Desert, Central Asia, and the Tibetan plateau were populated by Mongolians, Indo-Europeans, and Turks i. Pastoral societies hostility and mistrust with the Chinese ii. Possessed war skills and aggression in the desire for wealth and territory S of Gobi Desert iv. N frontier was a fault line in conflict in Asia as Chinese attempted to protect farmlands from invaders 1.When China was unified with capable leaders, nomadic intruders could be kept at bay and sometimes ruled under a lose Chinese administration 2. During times of weakness, China was vulnerable from attack a.Sometimes, nomadic peoples conquered China
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v. E is China Sea pirates and typhoons vi. S of Yangtze River was a hilly region with a diverse population lived by farming, fishing, and food gathering 1.Would be absorbed into the Chinese Empire c. THE SHANG DYNASTY 1. Chinese civilization started with the establishment of the Xia (Hsia) dynasty 4000 years ago a.Yu, who introduced irrigation and drainage of floodwaters that threatened the N, founded the dynasty i. Xia would be replaced by the Shang Dynasty around 1600 B.C.E. 1. Capital at Anyang N of the Yellow River in north-central China 2.
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