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Ancient China

Loess

fertile soil deposited by the Huang He River

Oracle Bones

animal bones and tortoise shells on which priests scratched questions for gods; way to consult gods

Caligraphy

art of beautiful handwriting

Dynastic Cycle

the pattern of rise, decline & replacement of dynasties

Mandate of Heaven

royal authority came from heaven; central to government

Feudalism

a political system in which nobles or lords are granted the use of lands that legally belong to the king

Philosophy

a system of beliefs and values

Filial Piety

practice of children respecting parents & elders

Confucianism

500 BC: philosophy; founder = Confucius, human relationships to reform society, Filial Piety, bureaucracy, education is important to society & career advancement, people are good but need leadership examples, advice rulers on governance, one man ruler

Legalism

220 BC: philosophy; founders = Hanfeiz & LiSi, urged harsh rule, powerful government was key to restoring order, stressed punishment, people are bad and need strong laws and punishments to maintain order, one man ruler

Daoism

100 BC: philosophy; founder = Laozi, natural order more important than government & social order, Dao De Ching, Dao guides all things, the true way is above human understanding, Ying & Yang, Loa Tze: composite of many teachers, government = little impact on people's lives

I Ching

a book of oracles to answer ethical or practical problems; good advice & common sense = happy life

Civil Service

government jobs that civilians obtained by taking exams; the administrative departments of a government

Meritocracy

government made up of qualified people

Monopoly

occurs when a group has exclusive control over the production and distribution of certain goods

Assimilation

process of making conquered people part of Chinese culture; way to unify empire

Tributary State

a country that pays tribute in money or goods to a more powerful nation

Moveable type

a printer that could arrange blocks of individual characters in a frame to make a page for printing

Gentry

powerful people; education & civil service positions; landowners; highest class

Pagoda

tower with many stories built as a temple or memorial

Mongols

a large collection of nomadic tribes that lived north of china in the steppes who were later united by Genghis Khan

Manchus

people of Manchuria who invaded China & established the Qing Dynasty

The Forbidden City

a palace built in Beijing; a monument to China's isolation; all commoners and foreigners were forbidden to enter without special permission; only the emperor, his family and his court lived inside the palace; emperors conducted the bussiness of state and lived in luxury and isolation

Confucius

believed social order, harmony & a good government would reform society; born when Zhou Dynasty was torn apart by war lords

Laozi

thinker; believed natural order was more important to reforming society rather than social order and government

Hanfeizi

founder of Legalism

Shi Huangdi

first emperor of Qin Dynasty; unified China at the expense of human freedom; doubled China's size; Qin Chang (name before)

Liu Bang

rebelled against Xiang Yu and won; first emperor of Han Dynasty; lowered taxes, softened punishments, departed from Legalism, stability, peace; destroyed rival's power & won popular support

Empress Lu

appointed infants as emperors; made alliances & contacts with nobles; ruled as regent through son

Wudi

Han emperor; expanded thorough war; appointed qualified people to government jobs through a civil service test based on Confucianism

Genghis Khan

leader who united the Mongols and began invasion of China

Tang Taizong

begun Tang Empire's achievements, restored middle kingdom to glory; expansion, strengthened government, expanded roads & canals, lowered taxes & took land from wealthy, promoted foreign trade & improvements in agriculture

Wang Mang

overthrew Han Dynasty and started Xin Dynasty; restored order and brought country under control; printed more $ -> relieved debt; took land away from nobles and redistributed to poor

Wu Zhao

first women emperor in China, continued Taizong's work

Kublai Khan

first foreigner to rule all of China; established Yuan Dynasty -> united China & opened it to greater foreign contacts and trade; moved Mongol capital to Mongolia to China; tolerated culture; no change to government

Hongwu

commanded the rebel army that drove the Mongols out; first emperor of the Ming Dynasty; made reforms: restore agricultural lands destroyed by war, erase all trace of Mongol past & promote China's prosperity & power; returned to Confucian moral standards; restored civil service exam

Yonglo

emperor of Ming Dynasty; moved royal court to Beijing; launched exploration voyages

Marco Polo

trader from Venice; served in Mongol court; captured & imprisoned in a war against Venice's rival city -> fellow prisoner wrote a book about his stories about China (many did not believe him); described Khan to Europeans

Zheng He

lead exploration voyages; the voyages impressed the world with their power & expanded the tribute system; traveled to southeast Asia, India, Arabia & eastern Africa

Kangxi

emperor of Qing Dynasty; reduced government expenses & lowered taxes; offered intellectuals government positions; Jesuits at court -> informed about developments in science, math & medicine

Shang Dynasty

1532-1027 BC: first family to leave written records, built elaborate palaces & tombs, sharp division between nobles & peasants

Zhou Dynasty

1027-256 BC: controlled thorough Feudalism, improvements in technology & trade (silk, coined $, cast iron)

Qin Dynasty

221 BC: doubled China's size, program of centralization, The Great Wall of China was completed

Han Dynasty

202 BC - 220 AD: paper, silk, territorial expansion brings people of many cultures under Chinese rule, gap between rich and poor increases, civil service test

Tang Empire

618-907 AD: porcelain, gunpowder & magnetic compass, great art & poetry

Song Dynasty

960-1279 AD: moveable type, paper money & mechanical clock, greatest sea power, cultivation of rice, great art

Yuan Dynasty

1279-1368 AD: dynasty in China set up by the Mongols under the leadership of Kublai Khan, replaced the Song, kept separate identity from the Chinese

The Ming Dynasty

had become the dominant power, drove out Mongols, returned to Confucian moral standards, restored civil service exam, exploration voyages, isolation policy (only government could control trade), Christianity spread

The Qing Dynasty

1644-1911 AD: upheld traditional Confucian beliefs & social structure, made frontiers safe, restored prosperity, continued the policy of isolation

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