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loess

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a fine, yellow soil that is easily carried by wind and rain, found in China

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levee

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a wall built along a river bank to prevent flooding

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erosion

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the slow wearing away of soil and rock by wind, glaciers or water

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famine

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a widespread lack of food resulting in hunger and starvation

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steppe

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a dry, grassy, treeless plain found in Asia and eastern Europe

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Huang River

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a river that flows from the Tibetian plateau, across northern China and into the Yellow Sea

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North China Plain

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a large, lowland region of eastern China that is watered my the Huang River; birthplace of Chinese civilization
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dynasty

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a line of rulers who belong to the same family

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nobles

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a member of a ruling family or one of high rank

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oracle bones

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in ancient, a cattle or sheep bone used to predict the future

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Fu Hao

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a Chinese king's wife who led troops to war

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Anyang

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the ancient Chinese capital of the Shang dynasty

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emperor

Ch. 7 Sec. 3

the supreme ruler of an empire
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province

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political divisions of land


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Shihuangdi

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"First Grand Emperor" of the Qin dynasty

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Qin

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an ancient province in northern China that rose to power under Emperor Shihuangdi in 221 B.C.

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Qinling Mountains

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a mountain range in north-central China

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Xianyang

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capital city of the Qin dynasty during the rule of the emperor Shihuangdi

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Great Wall of China

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a long defensive wall extending 1500 miles through northern China

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Confucianism

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a system in China of beliefs and behavior based on the teachings of Confucius, who said that people should lead good lives by studying ancient traditions

Mandate of Heaven

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the belief that the Chinese emperor's right to rule came from the gods

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Grand School

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a school begun by Confucian scholars in China that trained students for government jobs
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seismograph

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an instrument that can detect earthquakes hundreds of miles away; invented during the Han dynasty
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Han Gaozu

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a farmer-turned-general who conquered the Qin dynasty; he started the Han dynasty

Confucius

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Chinese philosopher who stressed the need to respect tradition; his teachings discussed the right and wrong uses of power Ch. 7/Sec. 4

Wudi

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Han emperor who ruled China from 140 BC to 87 BC; he set up a system of schools that prepared students for government jobs
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