Chapter 6 Sec 2 China’s People
People • China’s population is at about 1.54 billion people. • About 92% of the population is Han Chinese.
History • China’s civilization is more than 4,000 years old. • They were ruled by emperors or empresses until the 1900s. Many lived in the imperial palace in Beijing. • They were ruled by a dynasty- or line of rulers from a single family. • They would hold power until they were overthrown by another leader and that new dynasty would take over.
They would try to keep out foreign invaders and natural barrier helped them do it. • To defend the north they built the Great wall of China about 2,200 years ago. • Over centuries they rebuilt and added to it. • It is over 4,000 miles long and stretches from the yellow sea in the east to the deserts in the west.
Culture • The Chinese believe that learning was the key to good behavior. • A Chinese philosopher named Confucius, or Kongfuzi, taught that people should be polite, honest, brave, and wise. Children were to obey their parents and everyone was to respect the elderly and the country’s rules.
Another thinker named Laozi created Daoism and said that people should live in harmony with nature. • Buddhism came to China from south Asia in 100 AD • Over time the Chinese have mixed the three and they still influence the people to this day.
They also invented many things. They were using paper and ink for writing before most of the world. • They also invented silk, the clock, the magnetic compass, printed books, gunpowder, and fireworks. • For hundreds of years they were the most advanced civilization in the world.
Communist China • In 1911 China became a republic. • This went on until the 1940s. • The nationalists led by General Chiang Kai-shek and the communists led by Mao Zedong fought a civil war in the late 1940s. • In 1949 the communists won and set up China as it is today. The nationalists fled to Taiwan and set up their own government.
The communists took over all of China. • The communists violated peoples human rights- the basic freedoms and rights. • The Chinese also took over Tibet in 1950. • The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s leader, was forced in to exile- when someone is unable to live in his or her own country because of political beliefs.
Life in China • About 70% of the people live in rural areas. • They often use hand tools because modern equipment is to expensive. • Village life is improving though and many have better housing and enough food now. • 360 million Chinese live in cities. The cities are rapidly growing because of urbanization.
China is famous for its traditional art. • They have poems written in calligraphy- the art of beautiful writing. • Their language uses pictures instead of words. • There are over 50,000 characters in their alphabet. • They also have pagodas- Buddhists temples with many-storied towers.