The Huang He is the world's sixth-longest river at 3,395 miles. Its source is the Kunlun Mountains, in western China. Its mouth is the Gulf of Bohai. The river is called the Yellow River, named for the color of the silts that are carried downstream in its flow. The earliest civilization in China settled on the banks of the Huang He. Ever since, the river has been a source of life and death (in the form of new soil and floods). The river has flooded so often that is has become known as the River of Sorrow. Possibly the worst flood in written history occurred in 1931. Between July and November of that year, the river overflowed its banks, flooding about 34,000 square miles of land completely and about 8,000 square miles partially. Entire villages and huge amounts of agriculture and farmland were washed away. About 80 million people were left homeless. Nearly 1 million people died in the flood itself and in the famines and epidemics that resulted from the flooding.The river is also a bringer of commerce. Ships of many sizes still sail up and down the river, just as they have done for centuries.The river has changed course in a major way at least five times that we know of, the last one taking place in 1897.
Shang: Also called Yin, dynasty that was China's earliest historically verifiable state 1766 B.C. to 1122 B.C. A. Reason's for Rise: Unlike the early accounts of history by the Chinese, there is archaeological evidence of the Shang, who built their cities in northern China around the eastern parts of the Yellow River. For this reason they are called the Yellow River civilization. They were a bronze age people; bronze-working seems to have entered China around 2000 BC (about one thousand years after its invention in Mesopotamia).B. Territorial Location & size at height of power (map): The Shang ruled the area from the North China Plain northward into present-day Shantung Province and westward to the tip of Honan Province. C. System of government & rule & names of noted rulers and their accomplishments: A city-state confederation with a three-fold structure of king, officials, commoners. D. Major Religious beliefs & practices: The Shang worshiped the earth and other nature deities to whom they offered human sacrifices.