Ancient China and Ancient India Review Sheet

  1. What was Loess?
    Fertile soil that is blown by the winds from deserts to the west and north.
  2. What were Oracle bones?
    Animal bones or tortoise shells that priests scratched questions for the gods on.
  3. What did the Mandate of Heaven say?
    That a good ruler had the approval from heaven.
  4. What was the Dynastic Cycle?
    The pattern of rise, decline, and replacement of dynasties.
  5. What was Feudalism?
    A political system in which nobles are granted the use of lands that legally belong to the king. The nobles then owe loyalty and military service to the king and protection to the people who live on their estates.
  6. What did the Shang Dynasty do?
    The first family of Chinese rulers to leave written records. They built elaborate palaces and tombs. The capital was Anyang, which was built mainly out of wood. The Shang had walls surrounding their cities for protection, because they were constantly in war.
  7. Who was the Zhou Dynasty?
    They overthrew the Shang, but they adopted much of the Shang culture. Created the Mandate of Heaven, and established feudalism.
  8. Who was the Xia Dynasty?
    The first Chinese dynasty. The leader was Yu, an engineer and mathematician.
  9. What was the Period of Warring States?
    As the Zhou Dynasty weakened, nomads from the north and west sacked the Zhou capital and murdered the Zhou monarch. A few members of the royal family escaped and set up a new capital at Luoyang. But, these kings at Luoyang were almost powerless, and they could not control the noble families. The lords were constantly fighting with neighboring lords. As their power grew, these lords claimed to be kings in their own territory.
  10. Who was Confucius?
    A scholar that lived while the Zhou Dynasty was in decline. He wanted to restore the order and moral living of earlier times to his society. He believed that social order, harmony, and good government could be restored if society were organized around five basic relationships, which were based upon the family. He wanted to reform Chinese society by showing rulers how to govern wisely. He said education was important and could make someone a gentleman. He was the basis of Confucianism which was an ethical system.
  11. What was Filial Piety?
    Respect for parents and ancestors. Confucius thought that children should practice this.
  12. What was a bureaucracy?
    A system of departments and agencies formed to carry out the work of government.
  13. What was Daoism?
    A philosophy based on the ideas of the Chinese thinker Laozi who taught that people should be guided by a universal force called the Dao.
  14. What was Legalism?
    A political philosophy based on the idea that a highly efficient and powerful government is the key to social order.
  15. What was Yin and Yang?
    Two powers that together represent the natural rhythms of life. Yin represents all that is cold, dark, soft, and mysterious. Yang is warm, bright, hard, and clear.
  16. What did the Qin Dynasty do?
    It replaced the Zhou Dynasty, used Legalist ideas. The first ruler was Shi Huangdi. During this time the Great Wall was built; and autocracy was established; standards were set for writing, law, currency, and weights and measures.
  17. Who was Shi Huangdi?
    The first ruler of the Qin Dynasty. He used legalist ideas to unify China. He brought all the nobles to live in the capital so he could watch them. Shi Huangdi then took their land and created 36 administrative districts. To stop criticism, he had Confucian scholars killed. He also had books burned that were written by Confucian thinkers and poets. He established an autocracy. Also he set the same standards throughout China for writing, law, currency, and weights and measures. He also had the Great Wall built.
  18. What is an autocracy?
    A government that has unlimited power and uses it in an arbitrary manner.
  19. What is a Subcontinent?
    A large landmass that forms a distinct part of a continent.
  20. What is a monsoon?
    A wind that shifts in direction at certain times of each year.
  21. What was Harappan civilization?
    The Indus Valley civilization that arose along the Indus River; characterized by sophisticated city planning.
  22. What was Mohenjo-Daro?
    One of the largest cities along the Indus Valley. Had very sophisticated city planning, very organized streets and buildings. Mohenjo-Daro had a private bathroom and toilet in almost every house.
  23. What was the Indus Valley?
    Tall mountains to the north and a large desert to the east helped protect the Indus Valley from invasion. The mountains guard a large flat and fertile plain formed by the Indus and Ganges rivers. Much of the lower Indus Valley is occupied by the Thar Desert.
  24. Who were the Aryans?
    Indo-European people who passed into the Indus River Valley. Lighter skinned, had no writing system, and counted their wealth in cows. They were first divided into three social classes, and these classes determined the person’s role in society. This social system became known as castes.
  25. What were the Vedas?
    Four collections of prayers, magical spells, and instructions for performing rituals for the Aryans.
  26. What were Brahmins?
    Aryan priests.
  27. What was the Caste?
    The Aryan social system. The classes were divided into priests, warriors, peasants or traders, and non-Aryan laborers or craftsmen.
Card Set
Ancient China and Ancient India Review Sheet
Ancient China and Ancient India Review Sheet