Social Studies - 2019-20

WHI.4e, f - China & Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism

The student will apply social science skills to understand the civilizations of Persia, India, and China in terms of chronology, geography, social structures, government, economy, religion, and contributions to later civilizations by

e) locating China in time and place, including the development of an empire and the construction of the Great Wall; and

f) describing the impact of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Adopted: 2015


  • How did civilizations gain, consolidate, maintain, and lose their power?
  • Do the benefits of innovation outweigh the costs?
  • How do ideas and beliefs shape our lives and the world around us?


Classical China was centered on the Huang He (Yellow River) and was geographically isolated. Invaders entered China from the north. The Great Wall was built for China’s protection.

Confucianism and Taoism are among the major products of Chinese civilization.


Migratory invaders raided Chinese settlements from the north. Qin Shi Huangdi built the Great Wall as a line of defense against invasions. China was governed by a succession of ruling families called dynasties. Chinese rulers were considered divine, but they served under a Mandate of Heaven only as long as their rule was just.

The Silk Road facilitated trade and contact between China and other cultures as far away as Rome.

Products of classical China

 Civil service system

 Paper

 Porcelain

 Silk

Impact of Confucianism in forming the social order in China

 Belief that humans are essentially good, not bad

 Respect for elders

 Code of harmony (still used in Chinese society today)

 Emphasis on learning

 Ancestor worship

Impact of Taoism in forming Chinese culture and values

 Humility

 Simple life and inner peace

 Harmony with nature

Yin and yang represented opposites for Confucianism and Taoism.

Chinese forms of Buddhism spread throughout Asia.



Persian Empire (4a)

Zoroastrianism (4a)

Tolerance (4a)

Imperial Bureaucracy (4a)

Indigenous (4b)

Caste System (4b)

Mauryan Empire (4b)

Gupta Empire (4b)

Golden Age of Classical India (4b)

Hinduism (4c)

Vedas (4c)

Upanishads (4c)

Reincarnation (4c)

Karma (4c)

Buddhism (4d, e)

Four Noble Truths (4d)

Eightfold Path (4d)

Enlightenment (4d)

Isolation (4e)

Mandate of Heaven (4e)

Porcelain (4e)

Civil service system (4e)

Silk Road (4e)

Bureaucracy (4e)

Confucianism (4f)

Ancestor worship (4f)

Taoism (4f)

Humility (4f)

Yin/Yang (4f)


Indo-Aryans (4b)

Asoka (4b,d)

Siddhartha Gautama (4d)

Buddha (4d)

Qin Shi Huangdi (4e)


Persia (4a)

India (4b-d)

Himalayas (4b)

Hindu Kush (4b)

Ganges River (4b)

Harrapa (4b)

Mohenjo Daro (4b)

Nepal (4d)

China (4d-e)

Great Wall of China (4e)

Updated: May 21, 2018