Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 8: The Unification of China

Interactive Map Quiz


Map A. China Under the Qin Dynasty

This interactive map demonstrates the establishment of the Qin Dynasty as the primary empire in China by 221 B.C.E. For more than six hundred years, Chou China had been a collection of decentralized states under the rule of one king. By 480, the king had lost almost all of his power and the Period of the Warring States began. For more than two hundred years, the stronger Zhou states absorbed weaker ones and, eventually, only one was left. That state, under which all of China would be united, was Qin.

Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the First Emperor of Qin’s rule.


Why did the Han dynasty collapse?


What were the basic aims of Wang Mang’s reform efforts?


Compare and contrast the basic beliefs of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. How did each of them influence the practices of Chinese individuals, society, and governments?


Map B. The Silk Roads

The Silk Roads, a network of ancient trade routes across the formidable terrain of Central Asia, were the stage upon which classical societies encountered each other. Beginning in 500 BCE, the long military and economic reach of two powerful empires -- Rome in the west and Han Chinese in the East -- transformed these prehistoric trade routes into consequential conduits for an ever growing volume of goods, ideas, people, flora and fauna. Within these empires, however, the trade routes accelerated commercial, cultural, political, and biological development of their formerly more autonomous societies. They linked individuals from West to East into far reaching economic, imperial, and religious networks that thrived well into the 15th century. This map highlights the various empires that flourished along these routes, as well as the journeys traveled by some of the world's most famous early explorers.

The establishment of both overland and sea-routes of silk roads led to a great expansion of traded goods between the China and Mediterranean areas. What else did these regions exchange besides goods like silk and perfumes?


Of the many factors that explain the collapse of the Han and Roman empires, how important do you think the silk roads and their consequences were? In explaining the collapse of both empires, do you think internal or external problems were more important? Why?


What kinds of internal problems had greatly weakened the Roman Empire by the 3rd century C.E.?

Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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