History of China

China boasts for more than 5,000 years of history which begins with the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1550BCE - ca. 1046 BCE). History of China has progressed through five major stages - Primitive Society, Slave Society, Feudal Society, Semi-feudal and Semi-colonial Society, and Socialist Society. During the ancient era society, there were more than 5 dynasties in history of China, including Xia dynasty, Shang dynasty, Zhou dynasty, Spring and Autumn Period, Warring States Period. After tha, China went into the Imperial Era including Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty, Wei and Jin Period, Wu Hu Period, Southern and Northern Dynasties, Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, Song Dynasty and Liao, Jin, Western Xia, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. In modern era, there are two period, including People's Republic of China and 1949 to Present. Chinese civilization originated in and along the Yellow River (China's mother River) in the Neolithic era.

Prehistory Era of China History (1.7 million years - the 21st century BC)

Paleolithic

One million years ago, China was inhabited by Homo erectus. It was said that the earliest human being in China was known as Yuanmou Man who lived lived 1,700,000 years ago. Yuanmou Man's Heritage sites were found in Yunnan Province in Southern and Western China. Besides Yuanmou Man, There were two kinds of Human being living in China. They were Lantian Man and Peking Man. The earliest man used the simple tools in their life in the whole Paleolithic Age. China is a great cradle of Human being civilization. In recent years, many new ancient human being sites were found in mainland China. Read More

Neolithic

After Paleolithic Age , China come into the Neolithic Age, which can be dated back to 10,000 BCE. People in this age learned how to use advanced tools to keep living and getting more food and resources. They learned how to carve and spin. Life became easy with the growing knowldege. People in Neolithic age could built their simple house and making simple clothes. The Yellow River, China's mother river become the civilization cradle for the 5000 years of history. The famous Banpo Culture which was discovered in Banpo, Xian became the earliest culture. Read More

 

Ancient Era of History of China (21st BC - 221 BC)

Xia Dynasty (21st - 16th century BC)

It was said that Xia Dynasty was the first dynasty of China. Xia Dynasty was lasted from from ca. 2,100 BCE to 1,600 BCE. Xia Dynasty played an important role in history of China. It's establishment put an end to the Chinese primitive society and began to come into the Class society. Until now, there are many people douted about the existence of Xia Dynasty. But more and more evidence foud in recent years proved that Xia Dynasty existenced in history of China. Xia Dynasty's people mainly live around Henan Province, China. Read More

Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC)

After the Xia Dynasty, China came into the second dynasty, Shang Dynasty which was also called Yin Period. Because the capital of Shang Dynaty was located in Yin, a village in Xiaotun, in Anyang City of Henan Province. It was said that Xia Dynasty's last emperor, whose name is Jie, was a tyrannical. Jie was a rude emperor who served his people badly and finally overthrowed by a a tribe living in the lower regions of the Yellow River . The leader of the tribe was Kng Tang, who established Shang Dynasty. Read More

Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC - 771 BC)

The last emper of Shang Dynasty was King Zhou, who was very cruel to his people. King Zhou was also a cosher to his imperial concubine, whose name in Chinese was Daji. At the same age, there was a strong tribe in the Yellow River Valley, whose learder is Zhou Wenwang. He was too old to overthrowed the Shang Dynasty. He asked his son Ji Fa to attact Shang Dynasty and became the King of Zhou Dynasty. Zhou Dynasty lasted from from 1045 to approximately 221 B.C.E. It may be one of the longest dynasty in history of China. Read More

Spring and Autumn Periods (770 BC - 476 BC)

Spring and Autumn Periods was belong to Western Zhou Dynasty. Zhou Dynasty was divided into two parts, Western Zhou and Eastern Zhou Dynasty. The capital city of Western Zhou Dynaty was located in Fengyi which was near to today's Xian City, Shaanxi Province. The most famous activity in Spring and Autumn Periods maybe the Hundred Schools of Thoughts, including Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism and Mohism. They are the most read and know ancient Chinese philosophy in the 5000 years of History of China. Read More

Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC)

In Eastern Zhou, there were many states in and around the Yellow River. At this time, Zhou was always invaded by the north people like Qin to force Zhou moving their capital from Xian to Luoyang, Henan Province. After several years of battling, there were seven strong states remained by the end of 5th century BCE. These few states continued to fight each other. These period was call the Warring States Period. These states including Qi, Chu, Yan, Han, Zhao, Wei, Qin states. Among them, Qin was the most strong states. Its leader, Ying Zheng made great effort to unify the other six states, which enabled him to proclaim himself the First Emperor. So the Qin Dynasty was found at this stage. Read More

Imperial Era of History of China (221 BC - 1911 AD )

Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC)

After Ying Zheng, the first emperor in Chinese history, established his States, Qin Dynasty, He unified the whole China's use of money and Character. His political action made China become the first power centralized state. It was also the first Chinese imperial dynasty. Qin Dynaty lasted from 221 BC to 206 BC. There were only two emperors in this dynasty including Ying Zheng and his son Hu Hai. Although not a long dynasty, it played a very important role in history of China. It also leaved the most valuable historical sites for people to day, including the famous Great Wall of China and Terra Cotta Warriors. Read More

Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)

Qin Dynasty's brutal political system made its people unbearing for living. Two people's uprising buring the Qin's palace Epang Palace. The army leaders Liu Bang and Xiang Yu conquered most troops of Qin Dynaty. Finally, Liu Bang sized Xian Yang, capital city of Qin Dynasty and overthrewed the first imperial dynasty. After several years of war with Xiang Yu, another strong and famous genral, Liu Bang finally won the whole war and established his own state, Han Dynasty, making Changan (Today's Xian, Shaanxi Province) its capital city. It was also the first dynasty embraced the philosophy of Confucianism. Read More

Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280)

In the end of Eastern Han, there were three states in China. They were Wei States, leaded by Cao Cao, Shu States, leaded by Liu Bei, and Wu States, leaded by Sun Quan. Cacao's reign was in Noth of China and Shu state located in Western China and Wu states seized the eastern of China. There many big wars between these three states which leaded to its name Three Kingdoms. Each state made great effort to develop the economy and improve its army power. Among them, Cao Cao was the most strong states leader who want to unify the whole country. Read More

Wei and Jin Period (265 - 316)

Each state of the three kingdoms anounced its emperor and their own dynasty. After Cao Cao died, his son Cao Pi proclaimed himself the emperor of Wei States, making Luoyang as its capital city. At the end of Wei dynasty, a chancellor whose name is Sima Yan forced last emperor of Wei to turn over his throne and become the emperor of Jin Dynasty which can be seprated into two parts the Western Jin Dynasty (265 -316) and the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420). Being based on the strong economy and army power, Sima Yan lead its troops to attract the other two States and unify the whole Country. Read More

Wu Hu Period (317 - 420)

During the Jin Dynasty, there were also many wars between each states. At the same time, the normandic ethnic grops in western and northern China took the chance to invade the south China, including Chengdu, and most western Yangtze River area and the central plains of China. They set up many states which was call sixteen Kingdoms. At this period, China came into a process of assimilation for Han-Chinese with other ethnic groups people. Because the continued warring made people's living misery, Buddism developed quickly in this period. It was also the most popular religion in the following dynasties. Read More

Southern and Northern Dynasties (386 - 589)

In the end of Eastern Jin Dynaty, China went into the Southern and Northern Dynasties. In the north of China, most territories were controled by the normandic ethnic groups, including Xianbei ethnic group. Xianbei ethnic groups leader Tuoba conqured the other states and unified the north of China. These ethnic grops's civilization continue to develop and grew faster in economic. In the south of China, there were four states, including Song, Qi, Liang and Chen. Among them, Song was the largest states and lasted for the longest period. Read More

Sui DynastySui Dynasty (581 - 618)

Sui Dynasty was set up in 581 and finally collapsed in 618 by Tang Emperor. Althou it only lasted for 38 years, it played a very important role in history of China. Many institutions established in Sui Dynasty were adopted by the following dynasties and emperors. Sui Dynasty brought the fragment Chinese people together and reunited the whole country. The economy and political system developed quickly at this time. Hower, Emperors of Sui Dynasty were not wise enough to keep this long. Three of its emperors, especially Emperor Yang, were another tyrannical like the Qin Shi Huang in Qin dynasty. Overuse of the political power lead to the collapse of Sui Dynasty. Read More

Tang DynastyTang Dynasty (618-907)

Tang Dynasty was established in 618 by Tang Gaozu, who took the throne on June 18. Tang Dynasty was the most important dynasty in history of China. It may be the most prosperous and innovative age of China ancient history. Tang Dynasty made a great achievement in economic, political, culture, military strenth and technology. Many of Tang's emperors were known by modern Chinese people such as Tang Taizong, whose name is Li Shimin. Many operors today showed this great dynasty. It's capital city Changan, today's Xian City was the largest and also the most prosperous international city at that time. But Tang Dynasty was finally declined in 907. Read More

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-979)

After the decline of Tang Dynasty, China came into a disunity period which lasted for more than 50 years from 907 to 960. During this time, another military learder Zhu Quanzhong estalished his own dynasty which was called later Liang, following by Later Tang, Later Jin, Later Han and Later Zhou. These dynasties were so called Five Dynasty. In the same time, China's west and south were controled by the military departments of Tang dynasty. They called themself the kingdoms. There were ten kingdoms at that time, which was called Ten Kingdoms in history of China. They were Southern Wu, Southern Tang, Wuyue, Souther Chu and Southern Han, Former Su, Later Su, SoutherN Ping and Min. Read More

Song DynastySong Dynasty (960-1234)

Song Dynasty was established in 960 and collapsed in 1234. There were two dynasty in Song including Northern Song Dynasty and Southern Song Dynasty. Song Dynasty made a great success in economy and political development. So Song Dynasty was also called a porperous age after Tang Dynasty. The first emperor of Song Dynasty was Zhao Kuangyin, who was a military general of Later Zhou in Five Dynasties. Song Dynasty set up its capital city in Kaifeng, Henan Porvince. Hower in late Nother Song Dynasty, the political class was fell into the corruption seriously which lead to the decline of Song Dynasty. At this time, Jin dynasty was tried its best to overthrewed the Norther Song. So the Nothern Song collapsed. Read More

Liao Dynasty (1271-1368)

During the Nothern Song Dynasty, another kingdom in Notheast of China was ruled by an ethnic minoriy fo China Qidan(Khitan) whose emperor was Yelu Abaoji. Abaoji made the Qidan kingdom into Liao Dynasty, setting its capital in Balin Left Banner, today's Inner Mongolia. Qidan people belong to Nomandic nation and has the habit of animal husbandry and hunting and fisery. Influenced by the Han people, Qidan learned the technoloy and methods of production including construction, ceramics, mining, texttile and other Han's production modes. Trade between Qidan people and other nationality was oftenly. Read More

Jin Dynasty (1271-1368)

During the era of Liao Dynasty, there were a ethnic minority in North China rised and became a unity. This ethnic minority was called Nuzhen by Chinese people and its leader whose name was Wanyan Aguda established the Jin Dynasty in Heilongjiang Province, setting the capital in Yanjing (ancient name for Beijing) and finally moved to Bianjing, today's Kaifeng in Henan province. After the establishment of Jin Dynasty, Nuzhen group attacted Liao dynasty for many times and captured many important cities of Liao Dynasty. Jin Dynasty finally ended the rule of Nothern Song after they seized its capital, Kaifeng. After the Nothern Song Dynasty, the royal family moved to the south China to establish Southern Song. Read More

Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)

In late Southern Song Dynasty, there were three minorities in the north China, Nuzhen, Mongolian, and Xixia. Among them, Mogolian is the strongest tribe. Its leader Tiemuzhen had great ambition to unify the whole country and control the whole world. He ended the internal conflicts between the tribes of nothern Mongolian tribes and established a strong and rich Mongolian empire. After several wars to the Xixia and Jin Dynasty, he captured both of the areas and attempt to captured the Southern Song Dynasty. In 1260, son of Tiemuzhen, Kublai Khan took the throne and became the emperor of Yuan Dynasty, making its capital in Beijing. Several years later, Kublai Khan lead its army to conquered Southern Song dynasty and unified the whole country. More

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Ming Dynasty was established by a peasant's uprising leader, Zhu Yuanzhang, a farmer's son. He joined the peasants army in 1352 when the peasants army captured Haozhou, today's Fengyang in Anhui Province. After he joined the army, Zhu Yuanzhang did a great job in leading his army and became a leader of the army. Several years later, he established his army base in Yingtian, today's Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. Zhu and his army developed quicly in economy and military strenth. They captured Yuan Dynasty's capital City Dadu, today's Beijing and Zhu proclaimed himself emperor. Thus the Ming Dynasty was began in 1368. During the reign of Zhu Yuanzhang, Ming dynasty became a prosperous country and achieved development in culture. Read More

Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

In the late of Ming Dynasty, peasants rebles occured in many places of China. An army leader of them, Li Zicheng, firstly captured Beijing and overthrown the Ming Dynasty. In the same time, The Manchus, a minority ethnic in Notheast China allied with Wu Sangui who was a general of Ming Dynasty to fight with Li Zicheng's army and controled Beijing, which became the capital city of Qing Dynasty. After Qing Dynasty set capital in Beijing, the court government carried out several policies to revive the economy and social development. The rulers of the dynasty continued to strenthen the centralized system in government. After several years of development, Qing Dynasty became very prosperous and strong in economy and army, appearing emperors like Kangxi, Qianlong. More

Modern Era of History of China (1911 - 1949 )

People's Republic of China (1911-1949)

In the late Qing Dynasty, great change happend in the world. Many foreign western countries became industrial country and have more goods to sell to the eatern country and China. In order to protect the domestic development, Qing dynasty closed its connection with the foreign country. But the western tried every efforts to open the market of China. The Britan continued to push its opium in to China and many Chinese people became drug addictive. In order to prhibit the drug come into China, the Opium War erupted in 1840. Because Qing governments weekness, Britain seized Hong Kong as its colony. In order to overthrow the outdated imperial Dynasty, many young Chinese who influenced by revolutionary leader, Sun Yat-sen began to join. Read More

 

1949 to Present (1949-present)

After three years of domestic wars with KTM (Kuomingtang, Nationalist Party of KTM), Communist Party of China established the New China, prolcaimed as People's Republic of China. Kuomingtang's leader Chiang Kai-shek who was a protégés of Sun Yat-sen moved to Taiwan and make Taiwan as their base. Since the founding of People's Republic of China, great development in economc and political was achieved by the great efforts of Chinese people. Especially the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China come into a modern and developing country. People's life have been improved greatly and now China has become the most important country in the world economy and political development. Great development in education, public transport, high-end technology achieved every day. Read More about Modern China.