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Ch 7: Early Chinese Civilizations & Empires

About This Chapter

Watch brief video lessons and learn about China's early civilizations and empires. Each lesson includes self-assessment quizzes that allow you to test your knowledge.

Early Chinese Civilizations and Empires - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Like today, China in ancient times was a major power, with economic and religious influence over a huge portions of the world's population. In this chapter, we'll learn about the first recorded rulers of China, their accomplishments and what society was like during their reigns. You'll learn about military and economic accomplishments and how China interacted with other counties. We'll also explore the teachings of Confucius. Some topics covered in these lessons include:

  • Why family relationships were important in Chinese society
  • Confucius's teachings and their influence
  • How trade along the Silk Roads changed the world
  • The significance of different dynasties in Chinese history

VideoObjective
Geography & Early Settlement of China Study how the geography of China influenced its early settlements.
Unification of Northern China under Shi Huangdi of the Qin Dynasty Identify the first emperor of China and his impact on the country.
Ancient China: Shang & Zhou DynastiesLearn about society as a patriarchy, Mandate of Heaven, Cheng Tang.
The Founding of Confucianism: Overview & Influence Review the basics of Confucianism.
Confucius' Ideas on Family & Society Understand Confucius' ideas in regards to society and familial interactions.
Taoism & Legalism in the Chinese Zhou Dynasty Study the various religions that impacted the history of China.
The Qin Dynasty in China: The Great Wall & LegalismGet an overview of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shihuangdi, the building of the Great Wall, legalism.
The Han Dynasty in China: Characteristics, Wu Ti & XiongnuSee an overview of the Han Dynasty, Liu Bang, conflict with the Huns, Wang Mang, peasant rebellion.
What Is the Silk Road? - Goods & Ideas Crossing China Address the importance of the Silk Road on the transmission of goods and ideas.

9 Lessons in Chapter 7: Early Chinese Civilizations & Empires
Geography & Early Settlement of China

1. Geography & Early Settlement of China

In this lesson, you will discover how the geography of China influenced early settlement and the creation of the first Chinese societies. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Unification of Northern China under Shi Huangdi of the Qin Dynasty

2. Unification of Northern China under Shi Huangdi of the Qin Dynasty

After several hundred years of strife and chaos, one man from the Qin state was able to unify China. This lesson details the life of Shi Huang Di, as well as the downfall of his Qin dynasty.

Ancient China: Shang & Zhou Dynasties

3. Ancient China: Shang & Zhou Dynasties

In this lesson, we will study the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. We will pay close attention to the founding, major accomplishments and characteristics, and decline of these dynasties.

The Founding of Confucianism: Overview & Influence

4. The Founding of Confucianism: Overview & Influence

This lesson will explain the origins of Confucianism by highlighting the life and times of Master Kung, known today as Confucius. In doing so, it will focus on feudalism in China as well as the principle of jen.

Confucius' Ideas on Family & Society

5. Confucius' Ideas on Family & Society

In this lesson, you will explore the foundational principles of the Chinese philosophy Confucianism and discover how family relationships influenced emperors. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Taoism & Legalism in the Chinese Zhou Dynasty

6. Taoism & Legalism in the Chinese Zhou Dynasty

While Confucianism remained the most dominant philosophy to emerge from China during the Zhou period, two other philosophies, Taoism and Legalism, offered different approaches to how to best live in the world.

The Qin Dynasty in China: The Great Wall & Legalism

7. The Qin Dynasty in China: The Great Wall & Legalism

In this lesson, we will explore the short-lived but powerful Qin Dynasty of China. We will examine the dynasty's founding, life under Qin rule, the Qin legacy, and the downfall of the Qin.

The Han Dynasty in China: Characteristics, Wu Ti & Xiongnu

8. The Han Dynasty in China: Characteristics, Wu Ti & Xiongnu

In this lesson, we will explore China's Han dynasty. We will discover the ups and downs of its history and learn about some of its major characteristics and accomplishments.

What Is the Silk Road? - Goods & Ideas Crossing China

9. What Is the Silk Road? - Goods & Ideas Crossing China

In this lesson, you will explore the history of the famous Silk Roads that connected civilizations as far apart as Persia, Greece, and China. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

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