Sam Krupski - World History w/ Mr. Masterson - September, 2010

Chapter 2 / Section #4

Key Terms/Vocabulary:

  • Loess - fertile soil that is blown and blustered by the strong winds from deserts to the west & north.
  • Oracle bones - means of communication between the gods and Shang kings.
  • Mandate of Heaven - the divine, honorable approval a just king had at that time.
  • Dynastic cycle - the cycle that historians described in a pattern of rising, declining, and replacement.
  • Feudalism - a political system in which nobles and/or lords are granted the complete use of land that belongs to a king. In return, they must owe/repay loyalty and military service(s) to the king and/or protection to the civilians who live on their estates.
  • Shang Times - the era and/or time period to which China was in a lot of control and thrived.
  • Huang He and/or Yellow River - the main source of nourishment for crops/farming to the Chinese.
  • Chang Jiang and/or Yangtze - a central body of water that flows east to the Yellow River.

Key Events/Happenings:

The Geography of China-
Geographical stuggles included:

The geography of China was challenged, as it was for the Egyptians and Sumerians. Many tough hardships setback the Chinese at that time, like:
  • Environmental Challenges -
    • Huang He's floods were and could be deadly. Devouring entire villages, the unpredictable river got coined the nickname China's Sorrow.
    • Due to China's isolation at that period of time, early/new-coming settlers had to supply their own goods and resources rather than the handy technique of trading with others.
    • China's useful, natural boundaries didn't fully protect them from outsiders. Invasions were common.
Civilization Emerges in Shang Times-
Only, as estimated by historians, 10% of China's land was farming-suitable.
Chine cultures starting forming even before the Sumerians settlements (in other words; exceedingly early).

The Development of Chinese Culture-

Chinese culture grew and grew.
One of the earliest and most important cities to the Chinese was Anyang, on of the capitals of the Shang dynasty.
Dynasties and family were sacred to the Chinese - then and now.
The most important and favorable virtue to the Chinese was respect to one's parents.

Zhou and the Dynastic Cycle (and other key points)-

Shang society was severely distributed into social classes - those consisted of nobles and peasants.
Religious beliefs were closely linked and formed by religion.
The development of Chinese writing was significant and, above all, unique. They created several characters representative to objects, activities, virtues, etc.
The Chinese had tight control due to feudalism. The Zhou Dynasty was in control, to say the least.
Technology improved, as did trading and beneficial components to the Chinese. Roads and canals were man-made and structured (to trade agriculture).
Coined money was introduced, and that greatly helped the Chinese in trading with other foreign people.
Blast furnaces were invented, which excelled the production of cast iron.
Warring slates was a period to the Chinese.