The History of China

Along with Egypt, Babylon, and India, China is heralded as one of the Four Great Ancient Civilisations of the World. With written records dating back over 4,000 years, as far back the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 B.C.), it’s no wonder China earned its prestigious place among some of the oldest nations on earth. However, this long history was not always a peaceful one. It was frequently marred by turbulent and violent eras such as the Warring States Period (c. 476-221 BC) and the Northern and Southern Dynasties Period (420-589 AD).

Even the historic unification of China, which took place during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), was tarnished by the despotic rule of Qin Shi Huang. Yet, like every cloud, there was a historical silver lining. The Han (206 BC–220 AD) and Tang (618-907) dynasties were widely regarded as golden eras in Chinese history, while even tumultuous periods such as the Jin Dynasty (265-420) saw great advancements in culture and the arts. In short, complex though it may seem, the history of China is as fascinating as it is long.

 

Qin Dynasty (221 – 206BC)

Terracotta Army01This was the dynasty that unified China, established the Great Wall, and laid the basic foundation for all of the dynasties that followed…[find more]

Architectural Achievements

 

Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD)

Han-dynasty-MapWhen Liu Bang started the Han Dynasty, little did he know that he had just established the longest serving dynasty in Chinese history, one so illustrious that China’s largest ethnic group refers to themselves as the “Han people” to this day…[find more]

The Western Han Dynasty       The Eastern Han Dynasty

Political Reforms       Cultural Impact

 

The Three Kingdoms Period (220-280 AD)

the three kindom novelDuring the latter 50 years of the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), political corruption, schismatic warlords, and violent rebellions ran rife, which led to the end of the Han Dynasty and the fractured Three Kingdoms Period…[find more]

The Kingdom of Wei       The Kingdom of Shu-Han

The Kingdome of Wu

 

The Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD)

晋朝生活300The original Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD) was founded when Sima Yan, a powerful military general from the Wei Dynasty (220-265), forced the reigning Emperor Cao Huan to abdicate and took the throne for himself…[find more]

The Western Jin Dynasty       The Eastern Jin Dynasty       The Sixteen Kingdoms Period

Cultural Impact

 

The Northern and Southern Dynasties Period (420-589 AD)

南朝砖刻02During the preceding Northern and Southern Dynasties Period (420-589), the north and south of China were fractured by a series of rival dynasties…

The Northern Dynasties        The Southern Dynasties

Cultural Impact

 

The Sui Dynasty (581-618)

the-grand-canalIn just 37 years, the Sui emperors restructured the governmental system, restored order to the country’s farming dynamic, re-established the importance of Confucianism, constructed several integral edifices, and replaced by the next regime…[find more]

Political Reforms

 

The Tang Dynasty (618-907)

The Tang Dynasty 02As the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty, the Emperor Gaozu ushered in a golden age in Chinese history. The Li family effectively ruled a country as large as China for nearly 300 years…[find more]

Early Tang       The Wu Zhou Dynasty (690-705)       Later Tang