AP World History: China – Flashcards

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1. Describe the stages in Chinese dynastic cycle. (dynasty)
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family that passed imperial title from generation to generation. When dynasty grew weaker & tax revenues declined>social divisions>internal rebellions &sometimes invasions. As ruling dynasty declined, another emerged, usually from family of a successful general, invader, or peasant rebel & pattern would repeat. Many Chinese view history in terms of cycles, in contrast to Western view of steady progress from past to present.
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2. Describe the political structure of the Zhou dynasty (1029-258 B.C.E.) that displaced the Shang rulers.
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The Zhou didn't establish a powerful government; ruled through alliances with regional princes /noble families. Rulers couldn't control territories directly>gave regional estates to members of their families & other supporters who were to provide central government with troops & tax revenues. = China's feudal period:rulers depending on network of loyalties & obligations to & from their landlord-vassals.
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3. What caused the decline of the Zhou?
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regional land-owning aristocrats increased their power base/disre¬garded central govt.
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4. Identify/significance: Middle Kingdom
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Zhou extended territory of China- took Yangtze River valley from Huanghe R. to Yangtze R. =China's core‚ÄĒ the "Middle Kingdom." >wheat-growing in north, rice-grow¬¨ing in south>pop. growth. Communication/transport from capital to out-lying regions difficult>>Zhou relied so heavily on loyalty of regional supporters.
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5. Identify/significance: Mandate of Heaven (Sons of Heaven)
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Zhou rulers claimed direct links to Shang rulers & asserted heaven had transferred its mandate to rule China to Zhou emperors =key justification for Chinese imperial rule from Zhou onward. These "Sons of Heaven" lived in world of awe-inspiring pomp/ceremony.
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6. How did the Zhou provide greater cultural unity in their empire?
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promoted linguistic unity>> standard spoken language (Mandarin Chinese) in Middle Kingdom =largest single group of people speaking same language in world at this time. Regional dialects/languages remained; educated officials began to rely on Mandarin. Oral epics/stories in Chi¬nese> gradually recorded in written form>development of common culture.
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7. Identify/significance: Confucius
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During late 6th/early 5th centuries B.C.E., Confucius wrote statement on political ethics= core of China's distinctive philo¬sophical heritage. Other writers/religious leaders participated in this great period of cultural creativity>>which later =set of central beliefs throughout Middle Kingdom.
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8. Identify/significance: Era of the Warring States
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Regional rulers formed independent armies reduc¬ing emperors to little more than figureheads. Between 402 -201 B.C.E. (Era of the Warring States) the Zhou system disintegrated.
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9. Identify/significance: Shih Huangdi (Qin)
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regional ruler who deposed last Zhou emperor & made himself ruler of China. He took the title Qin Shi Huangdi, or First Emperor. The dynastic name, Qin >conferred on whole country=China.
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10. Describe the policies and achievements of Shih Huangdi in the Qin Dynasty. (Great Wall)
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Shi Huangdi =brutal,effective ruler amid internal disorder. China's problem= regional power of aristocrats. He ordered nobles to leave their regions & appear at his court>he took control of their estates. China was organized into large provinces ruled by bureaucrats appointed by emperor Shi Huangdi. He chose officials from nonaristocratic groups so they would owe their power to & not develop independent bases. His power¬ful armies crushed regional resistance. To guard against barbarian invasions, Shi Huangdi built a Great Wall, extending over 3000 miles & wide enough for chariots= largest construction project in human history; built by forced labor from the peasantry.
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11. Describe the innovations in Chinese politics and culture during the Qin dynasty.
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Shi Huangdi ordered national census= calculation of tax revenues/labor service. Govt. standardized coinage, weights, mea¬sures: length of cart axles regulated to=road planning. Made Chinese written script uniform=basic language for all educated Chinese. Qin sponsored new irrigation pro¬jects; promoted manufacturing, especially silk. Qin burned many books because thinking=subversive to Shi Huangdi's autocratic rule.
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12. Explain why the Qin dynasty ended.
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Shi Huangdi's attacks on intellectuals, high taxes to support military expansion, construction of Great Wall, made him unpopular. On his death in 210 B.C.E. massive revolts organized by peasants broke out. One peasant leader defeated other opponents; in 202 B.C.E. established the Han dynasty.
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13. Describe the characteristics and achievements of Han Dynasty (202 B.C.E.-202 C.E.)
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Han rulers kept cen¬tralized administration of Qin but reduced brutal repression. Early Han rulers expanded Chinese territory, pushing into Korea, Indochina, central Asia. Expansion >direct contact with India & contact with Parthian Empire Middle East, through which trade with Roman Empire around Mediterranean was conducted.
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14. Identify/significance: Wu Ti
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Han ruler, Wu Ti (140‚ÄĒ87 B.C.E.), enforced peace throughout much of Asia, similar the peace Roman Empire would bring to Mediterranean region a hundred years later, but including even more terri¬¨tory & far larger population. Peace brought great prosperity to China.
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15. Describe the state bureaucracy and government under the Han Dynasty.
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state bureaucracy improved & government linked to formal training that emphasized values of Confucian philosophy. Reversing Qin dynasty's policies, Wu Ti urged support for Confucianism= vital supplement to formal measures by government.
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16. Explain why Han rule declined.
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Han rule declined after two centuries. Central control weakened, invasions from central Asia, led by a nomadic people called the Huns, who had long threatened China's northern borders, overturned dynasty entirely. Between 220-589 C.E., China=state of chaos. Order/stability finally restored, but classical/formative period of Chinese civilization had ended. Well before But, China had established distinctive political structures & cultural values that would allow it to survive three centuries of confusion.
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II. Political Institutions
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17. Describe the distinctive and successful kind of government established by the Qin and Han governments.
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Qin stressed central authority; Han expanded bureaucracy. Structure of this govt.= how vast territory could be ruled ( largest polit¬ical system in classical world). This structure would change after classical period in terms of streamlining/expanding bureaucratic systems but it never required fun¬damental overhaul.
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18. Describe the key elements of the political framework that emerged in China's classical period.
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One difference between classical civilizations & river-valley civilizations was that in classical civilizations political organizations were more complex, but strong local units never disap¬peared. China relied on tightly knit patriarchal fami¬lies linked to other relatives in extended family networks- brothers, uncles & any living grandparents. In wealthy land-owning groups, family authority enhanced by practice of ancestor worship; it was less common among ordinary peasants. Village authority surpassed family rule; village leaders helped farming families regulate property, coordinate planting/harvesting. During Zhou dynasty(& in later periods when dynasties weakened)regional power of great landlords played an important role at the village level; landed nobles pro¬vided courts of justice & organized military troops
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19. How did Shih Huangdi strengthen central government?
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Shi Huangdi attacked local rulers & provided single law code & uni¬form tax system. He appointed governors to each district to exercise military & legal powers in name of emperor. They, in turn, named officials responsible for smaller regions=classic model of centralized government that other societies would copy in later times:establishment of centralized codes & appointment of officials directly by a central authority, rather than reliance on many existing local governments. Also appointed ministers to deal with finance, jus¬tice, military affair etc. .
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20. Explain how the Han Dynasty created a strong bureaucracy.
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Rulers of Han also attacked local warrior-landlords; created large, skilled bureaucracy to carry out duties of state. By end of Han period, China = 130,000 bureaucrats=0.2% of pop. Wu Ti established examinations for bureaucrats=first example of civil service tests=covered classics of Chinese liter¬ature & law> model of scholar-bureaucrat that would later become important element of China's political tradition. Wu Ti established school to train men of tal-ent/ability for national examinations; most drawn from landed upper classes,who alone had time to learn complex system of Chinese characters; individu¬als from lower ranks of society were sometimes recruited under this system> slight check on complete upper-class rule; tended to limit arbitrary power by emperor. Trained /experienced bureaucrats could often control whims of single ruler. Chinese bureaucracy lasted from Han period until 20th century. .
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21. List the functions of government that emerged in the classical period in China.
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Gov¬t.ran military & judicial systems. Mil¬itary activity fluctuated-China didn't depend on steady expansion. Judi¬cial matters commanded more attention by local government authorities. Govt. organized research in astronomy & mainte¬nance of historical records. Under Han rulers govt. played major role in promoting Confu¬cian philosophy as official statement of Chinese val¬ues & in encouraging worship of Confucius himself. The Han developed a sense of mission as primary keeper of Chinese beliefs. Imperial government also active in economy>directly organized production of iron & salt. Its standardization of currency, weights, measures facilitated trade throughout empire. The government sponsored public works: complex irrigation & canal sys¬tems. Han rulers tried to regulate agricultural supplies by storing grain/rice in good times to control price increases & potential popular unrest when harvests were bad.
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22. Explain how far the power of the Chinese government was able to reach.
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Its system of courts was backed by strict law code; torture & execution widely used to supplement preaching of obedience & civic virtue. Cen¬tral government taxed its subjects & required annual labor on part of every male peas¬ant in building canals, roads, palaces. No other government had organization/staff to reach ordinary people so directly until modern times, except in much smaller political units such as city-states.
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23. Why was the structure of Chinese government able to endure?
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power & authority it commanded in eyes of ordi¬nary Chinese people help explain why its structure survived decline, invasion & even rebellion for so many centuries. Invaders like Huns might topple a dynasty, but couldn't devise a better system to run the country, so the system & its bureau¬cratic administrators endured.
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III. Religion and Culture
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24. Describe the Chinese way of viewing the world that developed during the classical period.
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Upper-class cultural values emphasized good life on earth & virtues of obedience to the state, more than speculations about God & mysteries of heaven. Chinese tolerated/ combined various beliefs, so long as they did not contradict basic political loyalties.
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25. What beliefs did the Zhou rulers stress?
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maintained belief in a god/ gods, but little attentio given to nature of a deity. Leaders stressed a harmonious earthly life, which would maintain balance between earth & heaven.
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26. In what ways did the Chinese upper class seek and express harmony?
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rituals to unify society & prevent individual excess. Upper class people trained in elaborate exercises & military skills;ceremonies venerating ancestors; use of chopsticks began at end of Zhou dynasty=encouraged politeness at meals. Soon, tea introduced, but most elaborate tea-drinking rituals developed later.
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27. Describe the ideas and teachings of Confucius. (Analects)
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If people could be taught to emphasize personal virtue (including reverence for tradi¬¨tion) a solid political life would naturally result. Confucian virtues stressed respect for one's social superiors‚ÄĒ fathers/husbands as leaders of family; emphasis on proper hierar¬¨chy balanced by insistence that society's leaders behave modestly & shun abusive powers & treat people who were in their charge courteousl. Moderation in behavior, veneration of custom/ritual, love of wisdom should characterize leaders of society at all levels."In an age of good government, men in high stations give preference to men of ability and give opportunity to those who are below them..."
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28. According to Confucius, how should rulers and subordinates act?
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emphasized virtuous behavior by ruler & ruled. Only a man who demonstrated proper family virtues, including respect for parents & compassion for children should be considered for political service. He emphasized personal restraint & socialization of children. Subordinates show obedience & respect; people should know their place, even under bad rulers. He urged political system to make education accessible to all tal¬ented/intelligent people. Rulers should be humble/sincere; people will grow rebellious under hypocrisy/arrogance. He warned against greed in leadership.
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29. Describe Legalism.
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rejected Confu¬cian virtues in favor of authoritarian state that ruled by force. Human nature =evil & required restraint /discipline. The army should control & people should labor. Legalism never won widespread approval, but it entered political tradi¬tions of China, where a Confucian veneer was often combined with strong-arm tactics.
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30. Explain the effects of Confucianism on peasants.
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Most peasants needed more than civic virtue to understand/survive their harsh life. During most of the classical period, polytheistic beliefs, focusing on spirits of nature, persisted. Many tried to attract blessing of spirits by creating statues, emblems, household decorations honoring spirits,& holding parades/ family ceremonies. A belief in symbolic power of dragons came from a popular religion= combined fear of these creatures with more playful sense of their activities in its courtship of divine forces of nature. Gradually, ongoing rites among ordinary masses integrated Confucian values urged by upper classes.
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31. Describe Daoism. (Laozi)
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It embraced tradi¬tional Chinese beliefs in nature's harmony & added sense of nature's mystery=spiritual alternative to Confucianism. Daoism= vital for Chinese civilization but not exported. 5th century B.C.E. Laozi said nature contains divine impulse that directs all life. Human understanding comes in withdrawing from world & contemplating life force. Dao= "the way of nature" Along with secret rituals, Daoism promoted its own set of ethics. Daoist harmony with nature best resulted through humility/frugal living. Political activity& learning were irrelevant to a good life, & general conditions in world=little importance.
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32. Why was Daoism able to co-exist with Confucianism?
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Daoism would join with strong Bud¬dhist influence from India during chaos that fol¬lowed collapse of Han dynasty; guaranteed China's people would not be united by a single religious or philosophical system. Individuals embraced elements from both Daoism &Confucianism; many emperors favored Daoism& accepted its spread because some found solace in Daoist belief & because its otherworldly emphasis posed no real political threat. Confucian scholars disagreed vigorously with Daoist thinking (myster¬ies/magic), but saw little reason to challenge its influence. Daoism provided many Chinese with ceremonies to promote harmony with mysterious life force. Chinese govt from Han dynasty onward was able to persuade Daoist priests to include expressions of loyalty to emperor in temple services>heightened Daoism's political compatibility with Confucianism
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33. Identify/significance: Five Classics
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written in early Zhou dynasty; edited in time of Confucius= important tradition; used as basis for civil ser¬vice examinations; included historical treatises, speeches, discussion of etiquette/ceremonies. The Classic of Songs =300 poems dealing with love, joy, politics, fam¬ily life. Chinese literary tradition devel¬oped on basis of mastering these early works, plus Confucian writing; each generation of writers found new meanings in the classical literature= expressed new ideas in a familiar framework.
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34. Describe the characteristics of Chinese literature in the classical period.
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Poetry=particular attention because Chinese language featured melodic speech & vari¬ant pronunciations of the same basic soun. From classical period onward, ability to learn/recite poetry= mark of educated Chinese. Literary tradition in classical China reinforced Confucian emphasis on human life, but subjects included romance& sorrow as well as political values.
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35. Describe the characteristics of Chinese art in the classical period.
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stressed careful detail/craftsmanship;reflected precision of symbols of Chinese writing. Calligraphy >art form. Artists painted, worked in bronze & pottery, carved jade & ivory & wove silk screens. Classical China=no monumental buildings-except for Great Wall & imperial palaces/tombs- because of absence of a single reli-gion; & entire tone of upper-class Confu¬cianism discouraged notion of temples soaring to heavens.
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36. Describe Chinese achievements in science and math during the classical period.
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science stressed the practical not theoretical. Astronomers developed accurate calendar by 444 B.C.E., based on a year of 365.5 days. Later astronomers calculated movement Saturn&Jupiter; observed sunspots‚ÄĒmore than 1500 years before Europe. Purpose of Chinese astronomy=make celestial events pre-dictable as part of ensuring har¬¨mony between heaven /earth. Scientists invented seismograph to register earthquakes in Han dynasty. Medical research> anatomical knowledge &studying principles of hygiene. Mathematics stressed practical. Daoism encouraged exploration of orderly processes of nature but more research focused on how things worked. This focus for science and mathematics contrasted with more abstract definition of science in clas¬¨sical Greece.
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IV. Economy and Society
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37. Describe the social structure in classical China.
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By time of Zhou, main social division was between land-owning gentry (2% of pop.) & peasants, who provided dues/service to these lords while also controlling some of their own land. About the only thing the Chinses nobleman and peasant had in common was dependence on land as the basic economic resource. Chinese peas¬antry depended on intensive cooperation, in southern rice region; property usually owned/regulated by village or extended family. Beneath peasantry social structure included "mean" people who performed unskilled jobs & suffered from lowest status. Social sta¬tus passed from one generation to next through inheritance, but talented person from peasant background might be given access to education & rise in bureaucracy. Officially-3 main social groups:1. landowning aristocracy/educated bureau¬crats 2. laboring masses of peasants/urban artisans=much poorer & condemned to life of hard manual labor, sometimes worked directly on large estates but in other cases had some economic independence. 3. The "mean people"-those without meaningful skills. (Performing artists in this group despite upper classes enjoyment of plays/entertainment). Mean people punished for crime more harshly & required to wear green scarves. Household slaves also in class structure, but relatively few&China did not depend on slaves fo production.
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38. Explain why trade became increasingly important during the Zhou and particularly the Han dynasties.
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Much trade focused on luxury items for upper class, produced by skilled artisans in cities‚ÄĒsilks, jewelry, leather goods, furniture; food exchange between wheat&rice regions. Copper coins facilitated trade; merchants sponsored commercial visits to India. Trade/merchant class didn't =focal points of Chinese society;Confucian emphasis on learning/ political service= scorn for lives devoted to moneymaking. Gap between real importance & wealth of merchants & their officially low prestige= enduring legacy in Confucian China.
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39. Describe Chinese technological advances during the classical period.
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Agricultural implements improved. Ox-drawn plows introduced 300 B.C.E.>greatly increased productivity. Under Han, new collar >draft animals pull plows/ wagons without chok¬ing (available to other parts of world many centuries later). Chinese iron mining=pulleys/winding gears. Iron tools & lamps widely used. Production methods in textiles&pottery =highly developed. Under Han 1st water-pow¬ered mills > gains in manufacturing. During Han, paper invented= boon to a system of gov¬ernment that emphasized bureaucracy. Classical China= far higher levels of technical expertise than Europe or western Asia in same period, a lead that it would long maintain.
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40. Explain the role of agriculture in classical China.
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Farming technology> increase size of pop¬. in countryside; smaller land>support more families. China's agricultural base also >expansion of cities/manufacturing. Goods produced by arti¬sans in small shops/homes. Only minority of workforce involved manual methods>>output of tools, porcelain, textiles increased considerably, aided by interest in improving techniques.
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41. Describe the structure of family life in Chinese society.
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resembled families in other agricultural civi¬lizations = importance of unity/ power of husbands/fathers. Stressed authority to unusual extremes: law courts didn't prosecute parents who injured/killed disobedient son; would severely punish child who scolded/attacked a parent. Emphasis on obedience to parents& wives' obedience to hus¬bands didn't>great friction. Pop¬ular culture stressed control of one's emotions; family seen as center of orderly hierarchy. Family= training ground for principles of author¬ity/restraint applied to larger social/ political world. Women=clearly defined roles&could sometimes gain power through sons & as mothers-in-law of younger women brought into household. Mother of Confucian philosopher, Mencius, said she had exerted considerable influence over him. Hier¬archical order for children: boys superior to girls & oldest son= most enviable position. Inheritance=pri¬mogeniture:oldest male child> inherit property & position.
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V. How Chinese Civilization Fits Together
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42. Why did Classical Chinese technology, religion, philosophy, and political structure evolve with very little outside contact?
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Trade routes led to India & Middle East; most Chinese saw China as island of civilization sur¬rounded by barbarians with nothing to offer except threat of invasion. Proud of cul¬ture & its durability, Chinese had no need /desire to learn from other societies. Spread of Buddhism from India during/after Han decline= notable instance of cultural diffusion that altered China's religious map & artistic styles; but theme of unusual isolation developed in formative period of Chinese civilization>persistent in later world history.
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43. In what ways were the systems of government, belief, economy, and social structure closely meshed in classical China?
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Centralized government/bureaucracy=clearest unity/focus to Chinese society; Confucianism=vital sup¬plement>> bureaucracy =trained corps with common ideals. Appreciation of distinctive artistic styles, poetry & literary tradition added to common culture. Political stability aided eco. growth & govt.= direct role in encouraging agriculture&industry> strong eco.> tax revenues. Eco. interests related to pragmatic Chinese view of science. Social relationships reinforced all; vision of stable hierar¬chy & tight family structure +strong impulse toward orderly politics instilled virtues of obedience/respect important to larger political system.
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VI. Global Connections
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44. Describe the Silk Roads and explain how it connected China and other regions.
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China's silk >>valued in India, Middle East & Mediterranean. Trade in silk/luxury products> road network through central Asia =Silk Roads. During Han, Chinese govt. encouraged trade. Improved roads in China & Middle East, >>trade. Chinese emissary Zhang Qian traveled to western India. Most trade on Silk Roads carried by nomadic merchants; until well after the classical period no one trav¬eled all way between China & Mediterranean, but trade lively>attention to sea routes in Indian Ocean. Volume of Silk Road trade unknown, but gained attention in upper-class/government circles; it= initial framework on which global trad¬ing patterns would later elaborate.
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