Chapter 06: Ancient China to 221 BCE Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 06: Ancient China to 221 BCE Deck (17)
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Describe Paleolithic China

China most isolated from outside influences of all ancient civilizations
Developed agriculture & metalworking independently
Yet shared characteristics of others
Agrarian Foundation
Long series of dynastic monarchies
Bordered by desert & steppe lands, it endured frequent invasions
By nomads, Turco-Mongolian
Political unification to manage floods and labor for levee construction
Chinese religion: worship of ancestors and nature spirits


Describe the Shang Dynasty

Two important innovations: bronze casting and writing
Strictly hierarchical society
Powerful king with warrior court
Skilled artisans, small traders in towns
Peasants (majority)
Believed in deities and ancestor spirits who controlled natural forces
Public cult of the royal ancestors
Oracle bones used to discern divine wishes


Describe the fundamental aspect of Chinese life:

Supreme importance of family
Ruler & his household responsible for prosperity
Emphasis on this world
Importance of education, literacy


Describe the Zhou Dynasty:

Nomadic invaders from borderlands to the west
Over 700 years of rule, Zhou extended China’s borders
Extensive literature survived: history, records of all kinds


Beginnings date to about 1500 BCE
Originally pictographic, then developed a huge vocabulary of signs called _________



Single logographs may represent several words
Students had to memorize about 5000 logographs to be literate
Richest vocabulary, refinement of all ancient languages
Earliest writing found on _________

oracle bones


Immensely important in unifying groups which came to call themselves __________ and they used oracle bones



There was a _________ demand for metal, jade wares, salt, and silk and Traded goods for ______



Earliest surviving books date to ______
Professional historians wrote chronicles of rulers

800 BCE


Shang, Zhou, Qin monopolized warfare and public religion controlled access to ________ and ritual objects

bronze weapons


____________ raised agricultural yield resulting in 400% population growth

Iron plowshare


Government had ________ to create tax revenue for armies – 50-80% tax from salt

salt monopoly


What does the following describe?
Practical interests centered on ethical, political relations
Chinese family is the model
Yin & Yang (Females passive, males active)
The state should be like a harmonious family
Headed by males
Each person has rights and duties

Confucious philosophy


What does the following describe?
Rulers judged according to his guidelines
Educated officials (mandarins, shi) were the governing class for the next 2000 years
had a low opinion of traders

Confucious Impact on China


What philosophy/religion is described below?
Concentrated on nature, following the “Way”
based on Lao Zi’s “The Way of the Dao” (Dao de Jing)
Best government is least government
Way of Nature is perceived through meditation, observation
Man must seek harmony of parts of the whole - avoid all extremes
Eventually degenerated into peasant superstition



What philosophy/religion is described below?
Philosophy of government rather than private life
Popularized during Era of the Warring States
Justification for applying force when persuasion fails
Sees people as inclined to evil selfishness, so government must restrain them
Strict censorship – crush independent thought



What philosophy/religion is described below?
Mozi, philosopher
Doctrine of universal love during the Warring States period
Intellectual repudiation of Confucianism regarding the primacy of family
Mozi thought this undermined social equality
His own idea: treat others as you wish to be treated
Followers emphasized defensive tactics to end the chronic war
Lost appeal with rising of Qin, Shi Huangdi