Chapter 2 Summary

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CHAPTER SUMMARY Section 1: Early China CHINESE CIVILIZATION BEGINS Like other ancient peoples, people in China first settled along rivers. By 7000 BC farmers grew rice in the Chang Jiang Valley. Along the Huang He, they grew millet and wheat. Some villages along the Huang He grew into large towns. Many artifacts were left in these towns, including pottery and tools. As Chinese culture became more advanced, people started to use potter’s wheels and dig wells for water. Population continued to gr
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  CHAPTER SUMMARY Section 1: Early China CHINESE CIVILIZATION BEGINS Like other ancient peoples, people in China first settled along rivers. By 7000 BC farmers grewrice in the Chang Jiang Valley. Along the Huang He , they grew millet and wheat. Some villagesalong the Huang He grew into large towns. Many artifacts were left in these towns, includingpottery and tools. As Chinese culture became more advanced, people started to use potter’swheels and dig wells for water. Population continued to grow and villages spread into northernand southeastern China. SHANG DYNASTY Societies along the Huang He grew larger and more complex. The first dynasty for which we haveclear evidence is the Shang. It was firmly established by the 1500s BC. The Shang made manyadvances, including China’s first writing system. The Chinese symbols that are used today arebased on those of the Shang period.Shang artisans made beautiful bronze containers for cooking and religious ceremonies. They alsomade ornaments, knives, and axes from jade. Shang astrologers developed a calendar based onthe cycles of the moon. ZHOU AND QIN DYNASTIES The Zhou overthrew the Shang dynasty during the 1100s BC. The Zhou believed in the mandateof heaven , or the idea that they had been chosen by heaven to rule China. A new political orderwas established under the Zhou, with the emperor granting lands to lords in return for loyalty andmilitary assistance. Peasants were below the lords, and owned little land. In 771 BC, the emperorwas overthrown and China broke apart into many kingdoms, entering an era called the WarringStates period.The Warring States period ended when one state, the Qin, defeated the other states. In 221 BCthe Qin king was able to unify China. He gave himself the title Shi Huangdi, which means “firstemperor.”Shi Huangdi greatly expanded the size of China. He took land away from the lords and forcednoble families to move to his capital, present-day Xi’an . Qin rule brought other changes to China.Shi Huangdi set up a uniform system of law. He also standardized the written language, and anew monetary system. The completion of the Great Wall was a major Qin achievement. The Qinbuilt the wall to protect China from northern invaders.Although Shi Huangdi unified China, no strong rulers took his place. China began to break apartonce again within a few years of his death. Section 2: The Han Dynasty HAN DYNASTY GOVERNMENT Liu Bang (lee-OO bang), a peasant, led the army that won control of China after the collapse ofthe Qin dynasty. He earned the people’s loyalty and trust. He lowered taxes for farmers andmade punishments less severe. He set up a government that built on the foundation begun by theQin. Liu Bang’s successor, Wudi (WOO-dee), made Confucianism the official governmentphilosophy of China. To get a government job, a person had to pass a test based on Confucianteachings. However, wealthy and influential families still controlled the government.  FAMILY LIFE A firm social order took hold during Han rule. In the Confucian view, peasants made up thesecondhighest class. Merchants occupied the lowest class because they merely bought and soldwhat others had made. However, this social division did not indicate wealth or power. Peasantswere still poor and merchants were still rich.During Wudi’s reign, Confucian teachings about the family were also honored. Children weretaught from birth to respect their elders. Within the family, the father had absolute power. Hanofficials believed that if the family was strong and people obeyed the father, then people wouldobey the emperor, too. Chinese parents valued boys more highly than girls. Some women,however, still gained power. They could influence their sons’ families. An older widow could evenbecome the head of the family. HAN ACHIEVEMENTS The Han dynasty was a time of great accomplishments. Art and literature thrived, and inventorsdeveloped many useful devices. Han artists painted portraits and realistic scenes that showedeveryday life. Poets developed new styles of verse. Historian Sima Qian wrote a complete historyof China until the Han dynasty.The Han Chinese invented paper. They made it by grinding plant fibers into a paste and thenletting it dry in sheets. They made “books” by pasting sheets together into a long sheet that wasrolled into a scroll.Other Han innovations included the sundial and the seismograph . They developed thedistinctive Chinese medical practice of acupuncture (AKyoo- punk-cher). These and other Haninventions and advances are still used today. Section 3: The Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties DISORDER AND REUNIFICATION China broke apart into several kingdoms after the fall of the Han dynasty. This time period,sometimes known as the Period of Disunion, ended with the rise of the Sui dynasty in 589.Around this time, work was soon started on the Grand Canal , a system of waterways linkingnorthern and southern China. The Sui dynasty, which did not last long, was followed by the Tangdynasty, which lasted nearly 300 years. This period was considered a golden age for China, withmilitary reform, new law codes, and advances in art. The Song dynasty followed the Tangdynasty after a short period of disorder. The Song, like the Tang, ruled for about 300 years, andbrought about many great achievements. CITIES AND TRADE Chinese cities grew and flourished as the trade centers of the Tang and Song dynasties.Chang’an (chahng-AHN), with a population of more than a million people, was by far the largestcity in the world at the time. Several other cities, including Kaifeng , the Song capital, had about amillion people. Traders used the Grand Canal, a series of waterways that linked major cities, toship goods and agricultural products throughout China.Foreign trade used both land routes and sea routes. China’s Pacific ports were open to foreigntraders. Chinese exports included tea, rice, spices, and jade. Especially prized by foreigners,however, were silk and porcelain . The method of making silk was kept secret for centuries. ARTS AND INVENTIONS The Tang dynasty produced some of China’s greatest artists and writers, including the poets LiBo and Du Fu, and the Buddhist painter Wu Daozi (DOW-tzee). The Song dynasty produced LiQingzhao (ching-ZHOW), perhaps China’s greatest female poet. Artists of the Tang and Song  dynasties created exquisite objects in clay, particularly porcelain items with a pale green glazecalled celadon (SEL-uh-duhn).The Tang and Song dynasties produced some of the most remarkable—and important—inventions in human history. The world’s oldest-known printed book, using woodblock printing ,was printed in China in 868. Later, during the Song dynasty, the Chinese invented movable typefor printing. The Song dynasty also introduced the world’s first paper money. Two otherinventions include gunpowder and the compass . Section 4: Confucianism and Government CONFUCIANISM Confucianism is the name given to the ideas of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Confucius’steachings focused on ethics, or proper behavior, of individuals and governments. He argued thatsociety would function best if everyone followed two principles, ren  and li. Ren  means concern forothers, and li  means appropriate behavior. Order in society is maintained when people know theirplace and behave appropriately.For a thousand years after his death, Confucius’s ideas went in and out of favor several times.Early in the Song dynasty, however, a new version of Confucianism, known as Neo-Confucianism, was adopted as official government policy. In addition to teaching proper behavior,Neo-Confucian scholars and officials discussed spiritual questions like what made human beingsdo bad things even if their basic nature was good. SCHOLAR-OFFICIALS The Song dynasty took another major step that would affect the Chinese imperial state forcenturies to come. The Song improved the system by which people went to work for thegovernment. These workers formed a large bureaucracy by passing a series of written civilservice examinations.The tests covered both the traditional teachings of Confucius and related ideas. Because thetests were extremely difficult, students spent years preparing for them. Candidates had a strongincentive for studying hard. Passing the tests meant life as a scholar-official , whose benefitsincluded considerable respect and reduced penalties for breaking the law.The civil service examination system helped ensure that talented, intelligent people becamescholar-officials. This system was a major factor in the stability of the Song government. Section 5: The Yuan and Ming Dynasties THE MONGOL EMPIRE In 1206, a powerful Mongol leader known as Genghis Khan (jeng-uhs KAHN) led huge armiesthrough much of Asia and Eastern Europe. He first led his armies into northern China in 1211,then headed south. By the time of Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, all of northern China was underMongol control.Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan (KOObluh KAHN), completed the conquest of China anddeclared himself emperor in 1279. This began the Yuan dynasty, a period also known as theMongol Ascendancy.Kublai Khan did not force the Chinese to accept Mongol customs, but he did try to control them.One way was by having the Chinese pay heavy taxes, which were used to pay for buildingprojects. One such project was the building of a new capital, Dadu, near the present-day city of  Beijing .Kublai Khan’s regime preserved much of the structure of the Song dynasty, including the civilservice and trade routes. The Italian merchant Marco Polo, who traveled in China between 1271and 1295, wrote of his travels and sparked Europeans’ interest in China.Two failed campaigns against Japan and expensive public works projects weakened the Yuandynasty. Many Chinese groups rebelled, and Zhu Yuanzhang in 1368, (JOO yoo-ahn-JAHNG)took control and founded the Ming dynasty. THE MING DYNASTY The Ming dynasty lasted nearly 300 years, from 1368 to 1644. Ming China proved to be one ofthe most stable and prosperous times in Chinese history. Great Ming achievements include theremarkable ships and voyages of Zheng He (juhng HUH), the Great Wall of China, and the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Forbidden City was a massive palace of residences, temples, andgovernment buildings. Common people were not allowed to enter the Forbidden City. CHINA UNDER THE MING Emperors during the Ming dynasty worked to eliminate foreign influences from Chinese society.China entered a period of isolationism . Ironically, the consequences of this policy included aweakness that allowed opportunistic Westerners to seize considerable power in some parts ofChina as China’s imperial glory faded.
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