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Ancient China
Chinese History 101



Chinese History 101
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.91

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dubious, Huang, controversy, successor, dynasty, democracy, alliance, republic, historical, wage, warfare, unearth, existence, ruthless, revolution, brutal
     content words:    Chi You, Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, Yellow River, Though Yu, Sun Yat-sen, Modern China


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Chinese History 101
By Vickie Chao
  

1     All historians agree that China has a long history. But they cannot agree on how long that history is. Some say it is 5,000 years. Others say it is 3,000 years. Their difference in opinion results from a dispute over the actual existence of several mythical figures.
 
2     According to local legends, about 5,000 years ago, there was a brutal, ruthless tribal chief called Chi You. Chi You was said to look like a beast. He had an iron neck and a bronze head. He ate nothing but stones and pebbles. Chi You was very violent. He liked to wage wars against neighboring tribes. Since he was the first to use metal weapons in warfare, his troops had never suffered a loss. Chi You grew more and more aggressive over time; finally, Yellow Emperor (or "Huang Di" in Chinese), another tribal chief, decided to build an alliance and get rid of him once and for all. A big war broke out. Miraculously, Yellow Emperor won. He became the lord overseeing all tribes.
 
3     Under Yellow Emperor's command, people lived a peaceful and happy life. His wife was said to be the first to raise silk worms. She taught people how to retrieve silk from silk worms' cocoons. She taught them how to use silk to weave clothes. Because of Yellow Emperor's many great accomplishments, all Chinese consider themselves the descendants of Yellow Emperor.

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