Chapter 15- china

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World Regional Studies


Chapter 15- China

I. The Shape of the Land

A. Six Regions of China

1. Heartland (two regions)

a. North + South China- makes up the eastern third of the country

b. farming - very fertile land

c. high population (b/c of the arable land)

2. Manchuria

a. northeast

b. rich in mineral resources

3. Mongolia

a. Gobi Desert

b. Mongols come from here

4. Xinjiang

a. northwest

b. also has mineral resources

5. Xizang

a. southwest

b. also called Tibet

c. mountainous- Himalayas are near

B. Three Main Rivers

1. Huang He

a. also called yellow river b/c of the loess that’s deposited there

b. called river of sorrow b/c of frequent floods

c. northernmost river

2. Chang River

a. also called Yangzi

b. the port city of Shanghai is at its mouth

c. the middle river

3. Xi River

a. called West River

b. Guanghzou (or Canton) is located at its mouth

c. southernmost river

d. has a delta region at mouth- Xi Delta, very fertile

e. close to southeast Asia, helps w/ trade

C. People

1. traditional ethnic Chinese people- 95% of pop.

2. the official language is Mandarin Chinese, but it isn’t spoken in all of China

3. in South, they speak Cantonese

II. Enduring Traditions

A. Early Civilizations

1. You + Xian dynasties- 2000 B.C.

a. only heard of through stories, folklore

b. no evidence they existed

2. Shang (1650 BC-1027 BC)


  1. government- capital at Anyang; had tombs, palaces, and chariot, large scale irrigation; people were organized w/ leaders

b. religion- polytheistic; Shang Di- main God, king was in charge of rituals- seen as link b/w heaven and earth

c. achievements- developed a form of writing based on ideographs; only rich could learn

3. Zhou Dynasty (1027-127 B.C.)

a. first dynasty to overthrow another dynasty by claiming the Mandate of Heaven

b. longest dynasty (900 years)

4. Mandate of Heaven

a. belief that gods give emperor the right to rule

b. people must give ruler loyalty and obedience or gods wouldn’t like them

c. if ruler rules bad, the people have right to rebel

d. signs of trouble: famine, constant warfare, or losses in war, floods, bad weather

e. dynastic cycle- ruler claimed Mandate of Heaven, set up dynasty, dynasty was successful at first, but then declines and weakens, another ruler rebels and claims Mandate of Heaven, and starts another dynasty

B. Schools of Thought

1. Periods of chaos after 700 B.C.

2. Confucianism

a. Confucius

i. born 551 B.C.- during chaotic period

ii. main concern is how to restore peace and harmony

b. Analects

i. collection of Confucius’ teachings put together by his followers after his death

ii. teachings are based on 5 relationships

c. 5 relationships

i. friend-friend

ii. ruler-ruled

iii. father-son

iv. husband-wife

v. older brother-younger brother

vi. all of them are superior/inferior

vii. superior is supposed to take care of the inferior, and the inferior is loyal and obedient

d. Filial Piety

i. children owing loyalty and obedience to parents

ii. family is the key to order

iii. sacrifice themselves for greater needs

e. good of society- family is more important than individual

f. emphasis on education- key to order

i. educated individuals can solve problems

ii. learning and practice sets men apart

3. Daoism

a. Lao Zi- wrote “The Ways of Virtue”

b. emphasizes link b/w man and nature

c. “Dao” means “the Way”

i. the natural way- less is more

ii. quiet people

d. contributions to science

i. astronomy- mapped the stars

ii. chemists- discovered gunpowder

iii. biology

e. artwork- reflected nature

4. Legalism- wanted to establish an orderly society

a. Han Feizi- wrote a book called “Han Feizi”

b. behavior- people act out of self-interest; rewards + punishments (severe)

c. still have harsh laws in modern times

d. Shi Huangdi

i. unites China using Legalism

ii. united Great Wall

5. Buddhism

a. came from India through trade

b. appeal- life after death, gives the people some hope for life

III. Patterns of Life

A. Social Classes

1. age, sex, education, all affected your place in society

a. young respected elders

b. women were inferior to men

c. scholars had the highest position

2. Chinese society consisted of many classes

a. Gentry- nobles, wealthy landowners, produced scholars and govt. officials, supported arts

b. peasants- majority of people, few owned land, separated from govt., but paid taxes

c. artisans and merchants- very low status, produced goods demanded by wealthy

d. social movement did exist; indiv. must become educated to become govt. official

B. Family Life

1. joint family

a. the ideal in China

b. included many generations

c. the oldest male has authority

2. filial piety

a. Children are taught to put the family before their own wishes

b. parents expected to complete obedience and respect

c. folktales tell these ideals

3. respect for ancestors

a. part of filial piety included respect for ancestors

b. rituals included giving food and clothes to ancestors

c. ancestors were considered part of an extended family

4. marriage

a. most marriages were arranged by parents

b. gentry strengthened their position through marriage

c. families would consult for approval

C. Role of Women

1. Chinese believed women to be inferior to men

2. women were valued for their work and the children they would bear

3. a women became part of the husband’s family when she married

4. mother-in-law ruled over the wife

I. Powerful Empires

A. The Qin Dynasty

1. Shi Huangdi- emperor

a. leader of the Qin state

b. the first emperor

2. conquered the Zhou dynasty and its neighbors in 221 BC

3. believed in legalism

a. emperor used harsh means to centralize power in his own hands

b. persecutes Confucian scholars, burned books of Confucian teachings

c. created single law code, uniform weights and measures, and currency regulations

d. created good road systems- united China

4. built Great Wall

a. extended 1,500 miles

b. defended against nomadic invaders

c. hundreds of thousands of peasants labored under brutal conditions to build wall

d. became a symbol to the chinese- that they were united

B. Han Dynasty

1. formed by Liu Bang

a. peasant leader

b. overthrew Qin officials eight years after the death of Shi Huangdi

c. called new dynasty the Han dynasty

2. ruled from 202 BC to 220 AD

a. China expanded throughout Asia

3. built many roads

a. silk road

i. carried Chinese Jade, bronzes and silks westward

ii. brought home goods from India and the Mediterranean world

iii. brought home alfalfa and grape

iv. tea growing spread throughout China

v. travelers and merchants introduced Buddhism into China

4. had civil service system

a. set up examination system to choose civil servants or government officials

b. candidates had to know Confucian teachings, Chinese law, history, and traditions

c. candidates also had to know more than 400,000 characters of Confucian texts by heart

d. lasted until the early 1900s

5. Achievements of the Han

a. astronomers improved the calendar

b. invented seismograph

c. medical colleges flourished

i. doctors made advances in medical treatment

ii. doctors began to time a pulse to diagnose illness

iii. developed acupuncture

iv. wrote about typhoid and the use of anesthetics

d. farming advanced

i. used complex flood control systems

ii. fertilized the soil

iii. planted drought-resistant rice

iv. developed practical tools such as the wheelbarrow, mill wheel, water clock and sundial

e. developed the stirrup

f. learned to use paper

C. Tang Dynasty

1. ruled from 618 AD to 906 AD

a. one of China’s golden ages

b. economy prospered and art flourished

c. ideas traveled to India and Persia

d. poet Li Bo wrote many famous Chinese poems

D. Song Dynasty (960-1279)

1. one of China’s golden ages

2. enjoyed long period of peace

3. built great navy to protect trading ships

4. invented sternpost rudder and magnetic compass

5. China conquered Vietnam

6. invented printing

7. poetry and very very popular

E. Mongol Conquest

1. Genghiz Khan conquered a vast empire

a. divided among his sons and grandsons when he died

2. Kubilai Khan, Genghiz’s grandson extended Mongol power over all China

a. Marco Polo visited during his reign

b. tried to resist Chinese influences, but eventually named the dynasty the Yuan, a Chinese name

c. built efficient transportation system

d. invented mechanical clock and gunpowder

F. Ming Dynasty

1. Ming Hung Wu- leader; poor peasant farmer

a. led revolt against the Mongols and drove them out in 1368

b. claimed the Mandate of Heaven

2. started dynasty, at first it was not isolated

3. between 1405 and 1433, sent several huge fleets to restore Chinese authority at sea and renew trading ties

a. Ming ships explored Southeast Asia, India, and the coast of East Africa

b. stopped traveling suddenly- no one sure why- became isolated

G. Qing Dynasty

1. from Manchuria, took control of China in 1644

2. also took control of Burma, Thailand, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam, and Korea

3. passed laws forbidding Manchus to marry Chinese people or wear Chinese clothing

4. kept Confucian ideas and accepted that the Chinese did not wish to make contact

with foreigners

V. Roots of Revolution

A. Positions of Strength

1. Ming emperors put limits on foreign trade

a. only the ports of Macao + Guangzhou were open to foreign trade

b. foreigners could sell only to select merchants

2. by the late 1700s now developments occured

a. Ming Dynasty declined

i. high taxes + little land for peasants

ii. floods + famine caused peasant revolts

b. Industrial Revolution

i. modern fleets could reach China

ii. increased military power aided the Europeans in opening trade w/ China

B. European Imperialism

1. by the late 1700s- European influence

a. the Europeans refused to kowtow (bow low) to the Chinese emperor; had been a symbol of Chinese superiority

2. Opium War (1839-1842)

a. Britain + other European nations sold opium from India to China

i. caused addictions

ii. drained the silver supply

b. China passed harsh laws to stop the trade including executions

c. Chinese destroyed a British opium shipment in 1839 and war broke out

d. British easily defeated China w/ its modern ships and technology

3. Treaty of Nanjing

a. ended war; China accepts British terms

b. China had to:

i. pay for destroyed opium

ii. give Britain Hong Kong

iii. open other ports to trade

iv. extraterritoriality- westerners accused of a crime could be tried in their own courts

c. Treaty showed China couldn’t set the rules in negotiations + other countries follow

4. Increase in foreign influence

a. spheres of influence- an area in which a foreign nation has special economic privileges

b. Japan extended into China by defeating them in the Sino-Japanese War

5. Open-door policy

a. began by the US b/c they feared colonization of China by the Europeans

b. the US encouraged the open-door for equal access to trade in China

C. Revolution

1. peasant rebellions erupted at the same time as the Qing were losing power to foreigners

2. The Taiping Rebellion (1851-1865)- 20 million die

a. largest of the uprisings

b. unsuccessful but further weakened dynasty + encouraged reform

i. reforms wanted modern technology

ii. preserve Confucian culture

3. Govt. began reforms under pressure

a. factories created to produce weapons

b. young men studied abroad

c. Emperor Guang Xi supported 100 Days of Reform

i. laws to update civil service exam

ii. organize western style schools

iii. economic changes

4. Conservative opposed reforms

a. led by Empress Ci Xi; conservative, thought change threatened traditional Confucian order

b. Ci Xi seized power + ended the influence of reformers

c. radical reformers increased their demands for an end to the Qing dynasty

5. Boxer Rebellion

a. resentment to the influence of foreign missionaries + businessmen caused a reaction

b. anti-foreign Chinese start the Fists of Righteous Harmony, or Boxers, to expel foreigners

i. in 1900 Boxers killed Chinese Christians and foreigners

ii. Westerners responded quickly + send an international army

iii. Boxers are defeated; Chinese are forced to allow foreign soldiers + warships in China

iv. Ci Xi secretly supported Boxers

v. Ci Xi dies and dynasty ends

6. Revolution in 1911

a. the Qing dynasty collapsed after Ci Xi’s death and China declared itself a republic

b. 1911-1928, civil war raged in China

D. Republic Era

1. Sun Yat-Sen founded the Guomingdang or Nationalist party which fought the Qing + gains control of China in 1911

a. Three Principles of the People

i. Nationalism- to unify China and expel foreigners

ii. supported democracy

iii. ensuring a decent living for every Chinese

b. General Yuan Shikai forced Sun Yat-Sen from power in 1917 and starts a civil war

2. Sun Yat-Sen rallied his followers and set up a base in Guangzhou

3. Sun dies in 1925

a. General Chiang Kai-Shek- leader of the Nat. army became party leader

b. controlled China by 1928

4. Nationalists faced many problems

a. little loyalty to the new state

b. little experience w/ democracy

c. depressed economy

d. Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

i. originally aided the Nationalists to expel foreigners and fight warlords

ii. Chiang suspects CCP of starting rebellions

iii. in 1927 Chiang began persecution of CCP + expelled them from the Guomingdang

5. Mao Zedong

a. the leader of the communists in the 1920s

b. believed they needed the support of the peasants

i. treated them fairly and politely; promises of land reform or redistribution

ii. numbers of the CCP increase

c. the “Long March” of 1934; CCP flees the Nationalists and treks north for 6000 miles

i. end up in the far north, only 6,0o0 of 90,000 survive

ii. becomes a symbol of unity for CCP

6. Japanese invasion

a. Japan seized Manchuria in 1931

b. all out war began in 1937

c. Nationalists and CCP fight together vs. Japanese + in WWII

d. after Japan was defeated in 1945, Mao + CCP controlled most of Northern China + the Guomingdang controlled the south

i. non-stop fighting occurred 1945-1949




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