De Bary Chapter One

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East Asian Studies
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Graham Sanders

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Textbook Chapter oneChina in the Bronze Age The Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties ca 1500771 BCEChinas Bronze Age began soon after 2000 BCE and by 1200 BCE there were bronzebased civilizations in several regions of China Best known of these were centered Anyang in northcentral China where the Shang Dynasty developed a complex state with writing and large settlements 1045 BCE Shang Dynasty overthrown by an erstwhile ally vassal the state of ZhouEarly Zhou Dynasty known not only from archaeological evidence but fromtransmitted texts which provide them their righteous victory over the decadent Shang Zhou rulers sent out vassals to establish settlements in distant regions creating a feudallike system The Geography of the Chinese SubcontinentHistorical China China proper was smaller than presentday China and changed in size over timeContemporary Peoples Republic of China includes territories like Tibet Inner Mongolia Turkestan and Manchuria that were traditional homes of other peoples and were not incorportated into Chinese states until relatively late in their histories Geographical context in which Chinese civilization developed changed slowly over time rivers and coastlines have shifted forests have been cleared and climates have warmed and cooled thChina proper by 19 century about a thousand miles north to south and east to west occupies much of the temperate zone of East AsiaNorth drained by Yellow River colder flatter and more arid than the south Rainfall in many northern area is less than 20 inches a year making it best suited to crops wheatmillet Dominant soil is loessfertile and easy to work withends up as silt in the Yellow River causing the riverbed to rise over timePeople dike riverbecame flood prone since when dikes break huge floods resultDrought another perennial problem for farmers in the north Yangzi River is dominant feature of the warmer wetter and more lush south a region wellsuited to rice cultivation and to growing two crops a year Yangzi and many of its tributaries are navigable so boats were traditionally the preferred means of transportation in the south Mountains deserts and grasslands separated China proper from sites of other early civilizationsTibet inbetween China and India vast mountain ranges and high plateaus North are great expanses of desert where nothing grows except in rare oases north of them grasslands stretch from Ukraine to eastern The
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