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Chinese History

China is an old, beautiful and mysterious Eastern country that can not be ignored in the world.

China, one of the four oldest civilizations in the world, has a written history of 4,000 years. What a rich culture and historical heritage it boasts is that it is ancient inventor of compass, paper, gunpowder and printing, and that it has the Great Wall, the Grand Canal and the Karez irrigation systems -- three great ancient engineering projects built 2,000 years ago. China has gone over / through a long history of primitive society, slavery society, feudal society and semi-feudal semi-colonial society and the present socialist society.

Chinese Chronology
Dynasties Period
Xia (Hsia) 2205 B.C.-1766 B.C.
Shang 1766 B.C.-1122 B.C.
Zhou (Chow) 

Western Zhou (Chow)

1122 B.C.-770 B.C.
Eastern Zhou (Chow)  770 B.C.-256 B.C.
Spring & Autumn Annals 770 B.C.-476 B.C.
Warring States Period 475 B.C.-221 B.C.
Qin (Chin)  221 B.C.-207 B.C.
Han Western Han 206 B.C.- 24 A.D.
Eastern Han 25-220 A.D.
Three Kingdoms Period Wei 220-265 A.D.
Shu 221-263 A.D.
Wu 222-280 A.D.
Jin (Tsin) Western Jin (Tsin) 265-316 A.D.
Eastern Jin (Tsin) 317-420 A.D.
Southern and Northern Dynasties Southern Dynasty Song 420-479 A.D.
Qi 479-502 A.D.
Liang 502-557 A.D.
Chen 557-589 A.D.
Northern Dynasty Northern Wei 386-534 A.D.
Eastern Wei 534-550 A.D.
Northern Qi 550-577 A.D.
Western Wei 535-556 A.D.
Northern Zhou 557-580 A.D.
Sui 581-618 A.D.
Tang 618-907 A.D.
Five Dynasties Later Liang 907-923 A.D.
Later Tang 923-936 A.D.
Later Jin 936-947 A.D.
Later Han 947-950 A.D.
Later Zhou 951-960 A.D.
Song (Sung) Northern Song (Sung) 960-1127 A.D.
Southern Song (Sung) 1127-1280 A.D.
Liao 916-1125 A.D.
Jin 1115-1234 A.D.
Yuan 1271-1368 A.D.
Ming 1368-1644 A.D.
Qing (Ching) 1644-1911 A.D.
Republic of China (R. O. C) * 1911- 1949 (Separated Taiwan from 1949)
People's Republic of China (P. R. C) 1949- (Mainland China)


From the Year Dot The earliest Chinese history disappears into the shadows of folklore and legend. The Chinese have traditionally claimed a history of 5000 years, yet the legends tell of both celestial and mortal emperors who ruled China for tens of thousands of years before this. In this pantheon of rulers were the "Three Sovereigns" who were half being, half serpent with human heads and the bodies of snakes. Next came a mortal group known as the "Five Sovereigns' who were credited with inventing writing; establishing the institutions of marriage and family; teaching the people how to rear domestic animals, hunt and fish, till the soil and use herbal medicines.

One of these sovereigns, Yu, founded the Xia Dynasty, a dynasty which remained in power from the 21st to the 16th century BC. But the last Xia sovereign was so tyrannical that his subjects rose in rebellion against him. The leader of this revolt founded a new dynasty known as the Shang who ruled until the 11th century BC. The Shang dynasty was overthrown when one of their despotic rulers was conquered by the king of a subject people in the west known as the Zhou. The latter's successor became the first king in the Zhou Dynasty.

Whether the Xia actually existed is not certain but archaeological evidence has shown the Shang had fully-fledged urban societies which grew up on the sites of evolving rural villages. These in turn had developed on the sites of the even older settlements of prehistoric tribes.


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