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‎BEFORE YOU WATCH: 2,000 Years of Chinese History! The Mandate of Heaven and Confucius

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the [transcript](transcript link here) first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What evidence does John Green give to illustrate that China was the first modern state?
  2. What reasons does John Green give to explain the dynastic cycle (rise and fall of different Chinese dynasties)?
  3. What was the Mandate of Heaven?
  4. How does the Mandate of Heaven reinforce Confucian philosophy?
  5. Why was the Qin so important to Chinese history?
  6. Why might the brutality of the Qin have been exaggerated?
  7. Who was Confucius and what was his philosophy based upon?
  8. What are ren and li?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. John Green states that the Mandate of Heaven “is a remarkably flexible explanation of historical causation.” What does he mean by this?
  2. This video pays a lot of attention to the sources from which we get our information about two millennia of Chinese dynasties. Who wrote these sources? Does John Green trust these sources? What kinds of information from these sources do you trust? Why?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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