Capital City: Beijing (1644 AD), after capture of City and suicide of (last) Emperor Chun Cheng (Chong Zhen) of the Ming Dynasty at Jingshan, DongCheng, Beijing.
Achievements: The Rule of the Qing Dynasty renewed the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural system of the Liao- and Yuan-Dynasties dividing its citizens by Law into Five Ethnic Groups (Jus Sanguis). Each ethnic group was equally included in the power-sharing structure finally allowing for political stability and unification of all groups. The result was an another economic, military and cultural boom in Chinese Society. The middle of the Qing Dynasty saw the development of new Trade Routes with Northern Territories and Russia resulting in what is know as the Tea Road. Already established as China's Tradesmen and Transporters, Shanxi Merchant Families monopolized the Tea Trade resulting through many other factors in the invention of the first Chinese Draft Bank in 1828 in Pingyao, Shanxi Province transforming the Chinese Financial System and the social position of merchants.
Below is a strict timeline of All Dynasties, naming the Capital Cities and their (former) Locations in China (where possible). Dates of Reign Periods as well as main events of the Rule are given.
A Time Line of All Chinese Dynasties
Early Hsia 2205 BC - Late Qing 1911 AD
Xia (Hsia) Dynasty 2205 to 1766 BC
Founder: Yu the Great. No additional information
Achievements: The first cities of China appeared during the Xia Dynasty. The Xia were not by far a Dynasty in any feudal sense of modernity. Life was primitive, the number of citizens modest. City size was small and agriculture still relatively primitive. Still however, during the Hsia Dynasty Period there was a culture of systematic agriculture, a settled life in which villages existed at least from around the years 3000 BC and where the people constructed a vast system of drainage canals in order to protect their lands and villages from the recurring flooding's that China is still prone to today.
Imperial Ming-styled Dragon Logo, symbolising the Emperor, his might, longevity of Reign and prosperity. During the early Ming Dynasty China was the most influential trade nation and most important military power in East and South-East Asia.
This page was last updated on: February 3, 2017
(Go to Tour of) The Palace Hall in which the humiliating Beijing Treaty was signed by XianFeng at Chengde Palace
Capital City: First Xi'an in Shaanxi Province , later moved to LuoYang, on the Yellow River in current day Henan Province.
Achievements: In the End the State of Shang was subjected by the neighboring Zhou State, a former client state of the Shang on it's North-Western Border. The Last Shang King, allegedly a cruel and wicked Ruler with a favorite concubine to match his character was beheaded at their Capital near Xi'An in current day Shaanxi Province. The Zhou would go on to expand their state eastwards to include territories in today's Hebei Province and south-ward to reach the Yangtze River Valley (Chang Jiang He). During the Rule of Chou the first round copper coins, with square holes in the middle for the use of putting them on a string to carry around, appeared.
Achievements: After conquering all other States, the last major opponent being Zhou, which was eliminated in 356 BC, the Warring State of Qin reigned supreme. After 35 years of mopping up around the vast territory and country,the King of Qin was crowned the First Emperor of China in 221 BC.
Chin Shi Huangdi was a brutal militarist and strong ruler. One of the features of his reign was a strong government dictate and censorship. During the tyranny of the reign of Chin Shi Huangdi, many historic writings and Confucian teachings were put to the Flame, as they contradicted with official government line of the Time.
Libraries were burnt. The strictly legalist line of the new Empire strengthened government and military organization, but at a high cost to intellectual life. Many Confucian scholars that resisted, or secretly hid their scrolls, were put to death on Imperial Orders.
The largest burning of the books took place in the year 213 BC.
Han Dynasty 206 BC to 221 AD
The last Han emperor had to get rid of the eunuchs with the help of a military dictator.
Achievements: Development of early Silk-Road under Cover of the Great Wall of China and its protective Garrisons. Simultaneous establishment (emperor Wu Di) of first "Maritime Silk-Road" to Eastern-Arabia and further to the Mediterranean Basin. First linking of eastern and western cultures, world leader in shipbuilding, 1st economic Golden Age.
Paper was invented. During the Eastern Han Dynasty Era a primitive seismograph was invented was invented by Chinese scientist Hang Heng. It was the first known such device in world history.
Anesthesia was reportedly used for the first time during medical operations in China. The invention of a first primitive form of (wood) Block Printing was invented, making the copying of Official Communications into written word available to the Imperial Administrations. Use still presumed the skill of Literacy, which was a privilige still enjoyed by few. In addition to wood-block print copying the Han widely made use to the system of reprography using carved stone steles to reproduce pages of text.
Three States Period (or Three Kindoms, the legendary era) 221 AD to 265 AD :
The three kingdoms were Wei, Shu (Shu of Han) and Wu.
In 184 A.D. the Daosit Sect of Huang Jin (Yellow Scarves) launches a rebellion against the Han Dynasty.
In 208 A.D. Sun Quan and Liu Bei defeat Cao Cao at the Battle of the Red Cliffs. In the aftermath Cao Cao is confered the King of Wei. In the same year Liu Bei conquers Hanzhong and declares himself King of Hanzhong, given the overall situation in effect creating the opposing three Kingdoms within the Chinese Realm.
In 220 A.D. King Cao Cao dies at his court in Luoyang (Henan Province), and is posthumously given the title of "Emperor Wu".
In 221 A.D. Cao Pi forces Empress Xian to abdicate and declares himself the King of Wei. In reaction Liu Bei declares himself the "Emperor of Shu".
265 A.D. the Sima Clan establishes the State of Jin under the Rule of Wei.
In 280 A.D. Sima Zhao's son, Sima Yan conquers the territory of Wu and reunites China.
During the Tang Dynasty, around 700 AD, Chang' An was the largest City on Earth, counting over
1 million citizens. This was larger than Parallel civilizations in the Indus Valley and
The Tang Dynasty was established by General Li Yuan, who with help of his formidable Sons defeated the armies of the declining Sui Dynasty. Capturing the Capital City of the Sui Dynasty in 618 AD, Li Yuan then established the Tang Dynasty, becoming Emperor Tang Goazu. During the Tang Dynasty Chang An' (current day Xian) would remain the Capital of Han Chinese Culture and Empire.
The Tang Dynasty saw the Reign of the First and Only Female Emperor of China and the introduction of the Imperial Examination System which lasted through all succesive Dynasties until 1905 AD.
The First years of the Tang Dynasty rule had to be spent consolidating the new Empire and mopping up remaining political opponents and rebels. After Li Shimin had usurped the Throne Emperor becoming Emperor Tang TaiZhong the Tang Dynasty armies marched for conquest, mainly against Turkic Tribes in the West.
Resulting Victories delivered a huge expansion of territory as well as an renewed opening of trade on what what would (much) later be dubbed the Silk Road.
The Five Dynasties (and Ten Kingdoms) 907 AD to 960 AD
Great influence of Court Eunuchs. The Song Dynasty scholar Ouyang Xiu wrote an essay about the influence of eunuchs during the Five Dynasties. No additional information available.
Achievements: More information soon...
Liao Dynasty 907 or 916 AD to 1125 AD - Unified Reign 960 AD onwards
The Khitans had their origins and Manchuria. The Liao Dynasty was a joint Chinese-Khitan Front against other Nations.
The original Khitan Tribes of Manchuria had a predominantly pastoral nomadic culture, however sedentery life and agriculture were comon and so were land and crop taxations. This made them far from primitive Tribes and enhanced their abilities to eventually onquer and reign large parts of the settled Han Chinese Territories.
Achievements: Invention of the Compass Needle in China - a magnetic needle floating on water.
In the Period between the 10Th and the 14Th Century AD, the Han Chinese State was repeatedly invaded from the North by a variety of Nomadic Tribes. After winning domination over rival Chinese Kingdoms in the period 907 AD to 960 AD, the Liao Dynasty was the first Dynasty in this period to deal with this renewed threat through a unified front.
The New States created by the invasions from the North into Chinese Territory were, just as the earlier Wei Dynasty State (386 AD-534 AD)(during Dynasties Period), by necessity a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural or multi-national states with their own power-sharing structure under a dominant conqueror.
During the Reign of the Liao Dynasty, the population was divided under Law into 2 distinct ethnic origins (Bloodline), who had their own separate rights and responsibilities. This was a break with the earlier Chinese Law System which divided population by its geographic location, which had the Empire divided into villages, districts, and King/Fiefdoms (jus Soli).
The two ethnic or cultural groups of the Liao Dynasty were first - the Han Chinese, then the Khitans and other Nomadic Tribes.
Under this new Law System ethnic groups were allowed their own rites,native traditions and traditional family laws and cultures, preserving the original identitities of the separate groups. Political tensions between ethnic groups were greatly reduced, allowing the Foreign Dominated States to survive and form a unified front against outside pressures.
This political system would (much) later be copied by the Manchu Ching Dynasty, who divided the Chinese State in 5 ethnic or cultural groups. First the Manchu, then following the Mongols, Khitans and the Tibetans, the Hui + Uygur (muslim) and other ethnic groups and last but not least the Han Chinese. The Ching Dynasty State attempted to balance the rights of all National Groups, however the Han Chinese would remain on the bottom end of rights and were politically discriminated against.
More information soon.
Song (Sung) Dynasty 960 AD to 1279 AD
No additional information
Achievements: Adaption of magnetic compass for Maritime Navigation. Bigger sea-going ships. "Invention"-development of Blue-and-White Porcelain. Invention of the movable type printing press in 1041 AD by Bi Sheng, the first such machine in the world. Sheng used a clay type of letterblock for his machine, which was easily produced but wore out or broke easily. Wang Zhen later developed the movable type printing further by using blocks carved from a durable type of wood. Eventually, invention of movable type metal printing press came about in 1234 during the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea by Chwe Yun-Ui.
The flamethrower was carefully documented and illustrated in the Chinese military manual known as the Wujing Zongyao, compiled in the year 1044 AD during the Song Dynasty. Among various descriptions of equipment and components of the device, the book also provided instructions for how to keep up maintenance and repair of double-piston flamethrowers.
A Foreign invasion of China by nomadic Mongol Tribes lead by the infamous Genghis Khan. Capturing Beijing and eventually establishing the Yuan Dynasty, a Mongol Ethnic Power-structure accepting Chinese Culture and ways.
Capital City: Kanbalik ( later Beijing ) , HQ Dhenghis at Jade Island and Rounded City, now Beihai Park, Dongcheng District, Beijing in Hebei Province.
Achievements: Impressive, if not stunning. Conquering largest world Empire in History, spanning the Eurasian Continent from Manchuria and Burma to Poland and Bulgaria, then part of the Roman Empire in Europe. Long Range maritime expeditions around "the world", including attempts to invade the Japanese main Islands and subdue them to Mongol-Chinese Rule. The invasions fail due to a Tropical Storms (Typhoons) that destroy the Mongol-Chinese Fleet in sight of Japan's shores and overwhelming numbers of Japanese Defenders. Chinese Trade blossoms and blue-and-white porcelain becomes famous throughout India, Asia, the Persian Gulf and North-East Africa.
Due to their own multi-ethnic origins as Nomads, the Rulers of the Yuan Dynasty knew a high level of religious tolerance unusual for Chinese Society. As a result Christianity, Islam as well as other foreign faiths were allowed to grow and blossom. Ethnic and Religious tolerance were strong contributors to social stability, however the Han were still discriminated against.
The Yuan Dynasty was the shortest of all Chinese Dynasties due to an inability to include Han Chinese into the power-structure of the Empire. After losing its strong Military Leaders that demanded loyalty of the army, the Empire went into its decline. Although a successful period for Chinese Trade, Culture and even Science and Art, the Dynasty was not to last because it could not command loyalty of the Han Chinese Populace. Corruption, intrigue and then demands from powerful aristocratic families sealed the fate of the Yuan, after which a powergroup under Zhu YuanZhang managed to evict the near impotent Emperor from power in Beijing in 1368 AD. The Ming Dynasty, a Han Chinese Dynasty, was established. The remnants of the Yuan retreated back to Mongolia to remain as the Northern Yuan (Dynasty).
Exploration (1368 AD - 1465 AD). During these voyages active trade-routes and
communications are established with more than 30 countries and city-states in Asia, Arabia and (East-) Africa. During the first half of the 15Th Century Chinese maritime explorers under Admiral Zheng He reached as far south as Mozambique (1433 AD) in south-east Africa on their Tribute Trading Missions. In their final 6th and 7 th journeys in the 2nd half of the 15Th Century Zheng He's Trade expeditions reached Cape Agulhas (southern most point of Africa) and rounded the Cape of Good Hope (before 1459 AD - Fra Mauro Map) , extending Chinese Exploration into the South-Atlantic Ocean. After 1430 however, all Chinese Maritime Explorations had been halted by Imperial Decree (Hai Jin Edict) and China's economy declined under increasing attacks from Mongol Tribes in the North during ZhengTong reign. With increasing attention claimed by invading Mongol Tribes and an Imperial Ban on official sea-going trade China's great maritime expeditions end.
In 1449 AD, 6Th Ming Emperor , Zheng Tong attacked and captured by Mongol Cavalry at day's march from Beijing. Political crisis and Civil War in China as (half-brother) declares himself JingTai Emperor. ZhengTong reign recovered in 1457 AD. After 1457 AD massive repairs and construction on the Great Wall of China. - No additional information, yet.
Achievements: The Ming Dynasty Empire was the Worlds largest Economy of its Age. Most Powerful and largest Military Power
The "Gugong" Palace Museum - Better known as the Forbidden City, the Imperial Palace during both Ming and Ching Dynasties. 24 Emperors lived and reigned from here. The Palace now a UN World Heritage site is open to the Public. Find a full and uniqueTour of The Palace and surrounding relics of the ancient Capital on this website.
Ming Dynasty Links -
* Chinese History - The Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 ) Online Sources
Dwell around the 40 square kilometer Ming Dynasty necropolis some 50 kilometers outside Beijing, a complex designed and built in the 15Th century Daoist-Confucianist style and home to the burial tombs of 13 of the total of 16 Ming Dynasty Emperors. Find out more about China's rich history, The Ming Dynasty and much more.
The Ming Tombs have been known as the Chinese Valley of the Kings. Short Introduction to the Ming Tombs available !
The Zhou Dynasty and Empire were established at the end of the 12Th Century B.C. by King Wu. According to books and writings, King Wu was pious Man, a strict but just ruler to his Peoples. The region around two rivers, the Wei and the Jing Rivers was at the center of Zhou civilization. The Zhou further had a secondary Capital City located near the LuoYi (now Luo He (He=River), on the western bank near what is today LuoYang in Henan Province. The Jing and Wei River plains are relatively fertile, and along with the Yi-Luo Rivers plain they formed the heartland of Zhou and it's agricultural Base.
Achievements: As can be deduced from the rich Literature left from this period the Zhou Empire knows a centrally organized, strictly hierarchicaly organized aristocracy that supports the King. The State of Zhou is highly religious, practicing ancestor worship.
As an agricultural society the far majority of the people still lived on the land and not in cities. Cave dwellings (as still found today in Shaanxi and Shanxi Provinces) were common. It was still an economy based on slavery rather than on Feudalism, which developed gradually during the Reign of the Zhou Dynasty.
The State of Zhou however knew many Cities. From these walled cities, home of the local lord who forms the apex of local aristocracy, the land is reigned. Underneath are large numbers of peasants that do most of the work. A tradition and system that would live on for millenia to come.
The Cities were the homes of the rich, prosperous and well to do. City homes, as well as the Imperial Court, were filled with crafted Bronzes, handicrafts and metal implements.
During the Zhou period Elite City Families, the aristocracy, further organized itself and the first law codes of Chinese History were written down.
Due to the success of walled cities, social organization and agricultural invention and reform, the population of cities and territories kept rising in number during the Zhou Dynasty, leading to new expansions of Territory. In the First centuries the Chou Empire expanded to the North and North-East leading to the inclusion of current day Hebei and Shandong Provinces. Later territories in today's Shanxi Province, Shaanxi Province and Anhui Province were conquered as well.
In the Beginning of the Zhou Era the Centrally Organized State was administered through subjugate heriditary rulers (The Zhuhou) who were all members of Families closely alligned with and through family ties associated with the Zhou Royal Family. There was a council of the 12 most important Feudal Rulers, who regularly met in conferences to discuss the current affairs and military situation of the Zhou Empire. Important decisions concerning the fate of the Zhou Empire were decided in this council, naturally with endorsements from the Zhou King.
In 771 BC the Capital City of the Zhou State was attacked, pillaged and nearly raised to the ground by attacking Tribes, the Di from the West, forcing the Capital City to be moved south and east to safer LuoYang in Henan Province, marking the beginning of the Eastern Zhou (period). In the Eastern Zhou Period the Central Zhou King saw a considerably decreased authority over his subjugate rulers, leading to an Era of Civil War and Nationwide disaster.
Achievements: It was during the Song Dynasty Rule in the Year 1088 AD that sources mention the first invention of the Magnetic Compass, finding the way to true South and North by attaching a magnetic needle to a silk string and hanging it free. The invention was recored by the geographer Shen Gua.
of its Time in East-Asia and South-East Asia. Science, economy and military strength early Ming Dynasty culminating in the greatest age of maritime exploration in Chinese History. Kangnido Map 1402 AD depicting Mediterranean sea and Europe. Discovery of the (South-) Atlantic Ocean. During his 6th and 7th Voyage Admiral Zheng He explores the East-African Coast and reaches Africas southern most point. Invention of the Rudder on ships, practical use of magnetic compass and other naviagtion techniques (stars and celestial bodies, triangulation). Fast development of very large wooden sea-going ships, culminating in the largest in chinese and world history (around 160 meters). Zheng He navigational charts among earliest trans-oceanic navigational charts in world history. Maturity of Blue-and-White Porcelain and highpoint of international trade in porcelain. Later Ming Dynasty - large reconstruction and extension of Great Wall of China reaching to far western China (North Xinjiang). More information see below Links.
Spring and Autumn Period 722 BC to 481 BC
The name Spring and Autumn derives from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the state of Lu between 722 BC and 481 BC.
Because the Zhou dynasties' kings still held nominal power over the Chinese Realm, the Spring and Autumn Period is considered a part of the Eastern Chou Dynasty Period. In reality however the Chou King only held control over a small Territory centered around the Capital of LuoYang in Henan Province. The rest of the Zhou Empire was divided into many small and larger fiefdoms ruled by near independent aristocratic families who, as distant descendants of the Royal Family, derived their ruling legitimacy from the Zhou King. This turned out to be a recipe for disaster, as strive among the States led to annexation of the small, more and more Wars and Political Intrigue. As the Spring and Autumn Period progressed, the smaller fiefdoms were conquered and subdued by more powerful larger ones, leading in the 6Th Century BC to a constelation of larger states, who then turned to war upon eachother.
Warring States Period 476 BC to 221 BC
The Warring States Period is often taken to directly follow upon the Spring and Autumn Period, the Great difference between the two being that in the Warring States Period larger States started annexing the smaller States surrounding them. In and around the 3rd Century BC only 7 States remained, These States were Qi (齊/齐), Chu (楚), Han (韓/韩), Wei (魏), Yan (燕), Zhao (趙/赵) and Ch'In (Qin (秦)). To mark the difference in attitude of the Rulers of these States, the ultimate sovereigns of these States beforehand considered as Dukes and subservient to the Zhou King, changed their Titles and became Kings of their own right.
The Warring States period is the Time of the military strategist Sun Tzu (Sun Zi) who -from his own experiences- wrote the legendary book "The Art of War", which would become one of the main literary classics of this Era.
Military tactics changed considerably in the Time of the Warring States. Unlike the Spring and Autumn Period, most armies in the Warring States Period made combined use of infantry and Cavalry. Meanwhile the use of chariots gradually fell into disfavor. Bronze Weapons quickly disappeared due to the fact that Iron Weapons are considerable stronger and thus by far superior. In response to the large scale use of Cavalry along with the massed infantry armed with bows and cross-bows, the Ch'In developed the Pike, a classic anti-cavalry defense weapon necessary to protect infantry from storming hordes of horses and riders.
The Zhou dynasty itself ended in 256 BC, 35 years earlier than the end of the Warring States period and the completion of Ch'In's unification of China.
Apart from making War on eachother, the area of Chinese Culture expanded Westward, adding the regions of Shu in current day Sichuan Province and Yue in current day Zhejiang Province.
Achievements: Bronze Age in China, starting around 1500 BC. Invention of script and beginning of first recorded history.
Bronze vessels from this age sometimes carry primitive signs understood as to name ownership of the item.
Near Anyang, the Capital of the Shang in North Henan Province, inscribed sea-shells and bones have been uncovered, further supporting evidence for the invention and development of script in the Shang Age. The earliest found oracle bones date from around 1300 BC, forming the earliest evidence of written Chinese language (script). After excavations and archeological research could began in earnest in 1928 AD many Oracle Bones were unearthed, yielding an early Chinese Vocabulary of no less than 2500 words. The 2500 words probably represent the oldest surviving language in the world, being modified and simplified, but still in use today.
View of a section of the Terracotta Warrior Army found very near the Tomb of China's First Emperor. The Famous 1970's find finally made Chin Shi the immortal he had craved to be.
On the upside, in accordance with the creation of a single Empire, a unified currency was introduced and the complicated early Chinese script was simplified and further standardized. As a result inter-territorial trade became much easier and the economy bloomed. Traders became a rich class of society.
Most importantly, the Chin embarked on large scale public works such as construction of roads and canals. Through efforts to contain the yellow river, which regularly flooded in erratic ways leading to disaster and famine, and the creation of large scale irrigation channels, the situation for agriculture was markedly improved. Population was growing again.
Legalist tendencies instead of a moral doctrine would guide the nation along its path into the future, resulting in an atmosphere of terror and punishment.
It was a bloody war, and it was a bloody peace.
During his lifetime Chin Shi Huangdi would command armies on expeditions as far as the Korean Peninsula and deep down into south-east Asian Burma and Vietnam. His last years were spent on many expeditions in search for the mythical Elixir of Life that would grant him Immortality.
Chin Shi Huangdi lives on inside his Tomb near Lintung center of Lintung District found due east of Xi'An in Shaanxi Province. The earthen mount Tomb, as yet undisturbed and unopened is legendary, as is the now unearthed army of terracotta warriors. It is said that the Ancient Tomb held many more secrets than have yet been exposed to the public. Among them, secret information encoded in the very uniforms of the over 2000 statues that have been found.
The Terracotta warrior army is much more than it seems. Not just an army, the entire set up of all soldiers (and horses) unites to create a message of immortality of the Emperor. Similar to Tombs in Egypt and South-America,the grave site of the emperor incorporates many symbols pointing to an immortal afterlife. As such, the find of the buried Statues in 1979 AD was one of the most important archeological finds ever made in the world.
The Chin Dynasty and Empire however, was tragically short-lived. As a result of the brutal dictate and the burning of both scholars and historic and important writings, the few remaining literate aristocracy and scholarly officials were not much inclined to cooperate with the wishes of the Emperor and his Government apparatus. As a result, with the demise of the Tyrannical Chin Shi Huangdi, the decay of his powerful Empire immediately set in. Having established his Dynasty in 221 BC, it fell after only 15 years. A short period that would leave its mark on Chinese civilization for all Time.
The Confucian classics, by the way, survived nearly complete, thanks to the devotion of China's Scholarly Elite.
Even today scrolls are unearthed or found hidden away in secret spaces.
The Succession to Chin Shi Huangdi, was deviously and dangerously manipulated by the leading advisors to the throne. who corruptly altered the will of the Great Emperor. As a result, the first son and natural Heir to the Throne Fu Su was ordered to commit suicide leaving the way free for the second son Huhai, who was the weaker leader but in alliance with the plotting officials.
As a further deed undermining the very fibre of the Empire, all titles and power were stripped of the supreme military commander Meng. Meng Tian was a faithful servant to the Throne of the true Emperor Fu Su, and had to be removed to give any chance to the survival of newly crowned Emperor Huhai. However, the move to remove Marshal Meng Tian would disintegrate the armies structure along lines of loyalty and rebellion and mutiny ensued. The Empire was doomed.
Selected by the court advisors for these very traits of weakness , Huhai proved to be utterly incompetent to meet the challenges. There were disenfranchised scholars, military rebellions and a large number of conquered aristocratic families who lost their power during the Qin Conquest. All now saw their chances and leaped for them. Chaos fell upon the huge new Empire.
There even was a third Emperor in the succession-line of the Qin Dynasty. Faced with the mortal peril of the Empire, the court plotters once more undertook action. On orders of the Court Eunuch Zhao Ghao, the worthless Emperor Huhai was forced to commit suicide. The way was clear for the enthronement of the son of dead 1st Heir to the Throne Fu Su. However, the late correctional move failed to reunify the army or the Nation. The Emperor of Qin was even demoted to be the King of Qin.
In further infighting and some considerable revenge the new Emperor Zhiyin, son of Fu Su, then proceeded to execute the Court Eunuch Zhao Ghao, one of the chief plotters responsible for the disintegration of the untied Empire.
Soon strongmen led their armies in the field and headed towards the Capital City. At the end of that year, 207 BC, the Emperor ZhiYing, was forced to surrender himself to the advancing troops of General Liu Bang, a Han Chinese.
Although in the protection of General Liu Bang, the Emperor was executed by others and the Imperial Palace put to the Torch as a clear signal to end the Qin Dynasty.
As commander of the victorious army to conquer the Capital Anyang, Liu Bang, eventually crowned himself Emperor of new China, creating the Han Dynasty in 206 BC.
Ch'in Shi Huangdi's Terracotta Army was raided by hateful armies that came to avenge themselves on the soul of dead tyrant. Perhaps they also feared the return of his Soul. Although statues and artifacts were smashed and attempt was made to burn out the tunneled site, most of the army survived to be discovered some 2000 years by a poor peasant digging a well in his fields.
During the Tang Dynasty the first maritime silk road paths are established, using the Indian and Persian Coast-lines as well as the Arabian Peninsula and Oceanic Islands.
The Tang Dynasty Era Maritime Silk Road reached across the Indian Ocean as far as Egypt in North-Africa. Ships shuttle between Arabia and China establishing and narrowing cultural and trade ties.
The Tang had a very prosperous reign considered to be among China's classical golden ages. Many cultural and scientific achievements were made. The Tang Dynasty created the first legal code in China to survive to this day (earlier ones existed but have been lost). Agricultural results from new contacts with far away area's include the introduction of rice into Chinese Territories with as we know today resounding results. During the prosperous reign of the Tang Dynasty rice cultivation is developed into a full scale section of the agricultural industry making rice a stable of the Chinese diet, especially in the warmer and wetter central & southern area's. Rice sustains a new population boom.
Achievements: Many. The Tang Dynasty is regarded as a High-Period in Chinese History establishing first contacts with the outside world through the emerging overland Silk Road through Central-Asia to the European West. The Tang Dynasty built on the achievements of the earlier Han Dynasty, which conquered the Far Western Taklamakan Desert and established Chinese Influence in what is today's Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region.
Tang Taizhong (Li Shimin) ruled Tang Dynasty China from 626 AD to 649 AD, a long and stable Reign Period.
During the Reign of Taizhong connections within the Empire were re-established providing for a booming in trade and the economy. As a result immediatly the population began to grow and expand.
The Reign of Emperor Tang Taizhong saw the Kingdom of the Koreans subjugated and made a Tributary State to Chinese Rule. Conquering lands Lost after the fall of the Han Dynasty, the Tang expanded Chinese Borders to the West starting with the Ordos desert (current day Ningxia and Inner-Mongolia), then reconquering the Taklamakan Desert and the Tarim River Basin, and subsequently establishing Tang Dynasty Military Power and Borders to Lake Balkash in current day Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. The Tang Military expeditions along the Silk Road path reached even further West.
The Western Conquests, by re-opening sections the Silk Road, brought a flourishing of international trade further extending the Post War economic boom. Influx of great wealth aquired through the Silk Road enabled the Tang Dynasty Court at Chang An and nobility throughout the Empire to spend widely on luxury items. Grand Palaces were built for important clans while Arts and Literature flourished once more in peace time.
The year 651 AD and the Reign of Tang Gaozhong saw the first Islamic
Both the Third and the Fourth Tang Dynasty Reign Periods were full of political Intrigue. The Third Emperor Gaozhong was weak and died after a short Reign.
The Fourth Emperor, Son of Gaozhong, ruled for only a brief period, enough for the Empress-Dowager Wu Zetian to secure her position. He was then discarded as Emperor altogether and replaced by none other than Wu Zetian herself. The Fifth Emperor of the Tang Dynasty was a woman. Wu Zetian was the First Woman to Supremely Rule China.
The Reign of Empress Wu Zetian lasted untill 704 AD, during which time the Imperial Examination System along Confucian Lines (an invention of the Sui) was revised and installed as a National Instrument of teaching, testing and recruiting of Government Workers (the Imperial Officials). The instalment of this system would make China the first true writing bureaucracy in the World, the only one of its Era to base promotions on literary skills and learning, rather than family ties, military achievements and corruption or bribes.
Eventually in 704 AD Wu Zetian was deposed, to make way for Emperor Tang Xuanzong.
Building upon the considerable achievements of his predecessors the Sixth Emperor saw his Empire further blooming. With the "Silk" Trading Route firmly established and stretching the entire continent to as far away as Western Europe trade was at an all time high making the State and Ruling families rich as never before.
Traders and Diplomatic Delegations came to Chang 'An from All over the World. The Tang Capital City reached the size of well over a million citizens creating the largest and most powerful City the World had ever seen.
During the long Reign of Tang Xuanzong Indo-China (Annam and Siam) were added to the Chinese Empire. In the West Kashgar, once Chinese under the Han Emperors, was made into a Chinese Protectorate State and the Chinese Border lay as far as the Pamir Mountains and Plateaux in current day Tajikistan. Beyond the Pamirs were more Tributary Kingdoms. Even the Japan were paying Tribute to the Han Chinese Court of Chang 'An.
Although a Prosperous Reign, the 6Th Reign of the Tang Dynasty was not a happy one entirely.
The new Emperor Tang Xuanzong's Reign a High Point for China, with well over 50 million citizens by the year 742 AD, with the decline of the Reign of Tang Xuanzong, a long decline of the Tang Dynasty and Rule set in.
As has been repeated through history eversince, after an economic, social and cultural highpoint come the burdens of corruption, taxation, misrule and disaster. Meanwhile, the advancing Muslim Conquest of Persia hampered the Silk Road Trade and even put and end to exports of Chinese Silks through land routes through the Western Nations beyond the Mediterranean Sea.
The Years following the Rule of Tang Xuanzong saw the recurrence of intrusions by Nomadic Tribes from the North (the 1000 year struggle with the Xiong-Nu, Huns or Mongolian Tribes). More Tang Rulers would be unable to turn around a steady decline of powers. In the large Empire, too many power-cliques competed.
Finally, in 906 AD and 907 AD, a mutanous General led his armies to an impoverished and powerless City of Chang 'An, to put a final end to the Tang Dynasty.
With the Fall of Tang Dynasty, the Han Chinese Empire disintegrated into seperate fiercely competing fiefdoms, leading to half a century of warring Kingdoms. The Kingdoms were ruled by Feudal Clan Families who survived the Empires' Demise and often helped in its ending, in order to start out as Sovereigns for themselves. This was the so called Five Dynasty Period (or 10 Kingdoms).
After the Zhou capital was pillaged by barbarian tribes originating from the West, the Zhou Crown Prince Ji Yijiu fled to the east towards Chengzhou (now LuoYang, Henan Province). During his flight to the east, the king relied on the nearby lords of Qi (齊), Zheng (鄭) and Jin (晉) for protection from barbarians and opportunistic rulers of the Chou Fiefdoms. Ji Yijiu moved the Zhou capital from Zongzhou (Hao) to Chengzhou (Luoyang) in the Yellow River valley. However, due to the resulting loss of Zhou Royal Territory and the bare necessity of calling upon the rulers of nearby subjugate states for protection, the Zhou King(s) lossed out significantly in Sovereignty over the States of the Empire. They would not be able to recover their Central Powers, leading to an Era of a constellation of States vying for ultimate power.
Achievements: Internal trade exploded leading for the first time to a rich merchant class.
Iron was found during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty leading to new developments in metallurgy. Iron working was invented, raising first and foremost military strength and power. Another use was found in agriculture. As ancient Chinese sources reveal, by the 6Th Century BC Chinese metallurgists had managed to create malleable cast iron that was hard enough to be used in a plow. A new Cast Iron Plow soon replaced the wooden plow or ard, increasing agricultural output and opening up more lands for agriculture.
During the Eastern Zhou period the aristocrats that ruled the growing walled cities became more independent from the central rule. As their importance increased, the local aristocrats and their powerful families came to see themselves as kings of their own. Soon, the resulting power-cliques would plunge the nations into war over the rights to territory and national power.
A Schematic Map of the Chou Dynasty Empire around the Year 350 BC of the Warring States Period, when it was already in decline after the Spring and Autumn Period.
The Eastern Zhou Dynasty Period that ended in 221 BC, includes the so called Spring and Autumn Period (722 BC - 421 BC) and the Warring States Period (475 BC - 221 BC). The Eastern Zhou Period started when, although successful, the Empire started to be weighed down by continuous attacks from "Barbarians" on the Zhou Border Cities and fortifications. Furthermore, the newfound commercial success had led to internal strife between the many rich aristocratic families within the walled cities. Unable to administer and control this "upper class" and drained in strength by military campaigns against rebelious power-cliques in the Provinces the Zhou Empire disintegrated and splintered into many rivaling territories giving Rise to a First Period of Internal War, the so called Spring and Autumn Period. Among the many States involved were the State of Zhou, Cao, Cai, Chu, Chen, Hua, Song, Yin, Yan, Wei (fallen in Spring & Autumn Period), Wu, Qi, Q'in, Lu, Zheng, Hue and Yue.
During the Spring and Autumn Period, a truly great National upheaval, the State of Zhou came under attack from the neighboring State of Qin (of the later Chin Dynasty that first united the Chinese giving its name to the country of China). The militarily strong Qin were victorious on many occasions, leading to the downfall of the Eastern Zhou, destruction of their State and ultimate victory of Qin at the end of the Warring States Period.
The Great upheavals of the times, political and cultural changes that swept a whole civilization, led to new Moral Philosophies and Social thinking. In the 6Th Century BC the teachings of Lao Tzu (Lao Zhi), led to the birth of Daoism (or Taoism), a guideline for moral behavior and social harmony that would later take the shape of a form of religion. In and around the same Time, the frequent wars, technical advances and accompanying rapid social changes had a scholar named Kong Fu-Zhi (551 BC - 479 BC) (better known as Confucius) thinking about social organization, the achievement of social harmony and a better life for all. Although failing to achieve much of his ideals in his lifetime , his thoughts, and those of his followers and students were to be handed down through Time as the works of Confucius (The Analects). Between 372 BC and 289 BC the further work of the Philosopher Meng Ke (Mencius) continued the spread of Confucianism and Confucianist idea's. They are still a main element of Chinese culture and social conscience today. Both Confucianism and Daoism remain among the main social philosophies of the Chinese Culture.
In roughly the same period, a third Philosophy was born, the Philosophy of Legalism, a strict and authoritarian work-centered view of Life which would mainly become associated with the Militarist State of Ch'In.
A Schematic Map of the (Eastern) Han Dynasty Empire around the Year 100 AD, when it was already in decline.
Due to the internal Wars and the Prolonged Period of Social unrest resulting from the Wars and Falling of States (mainly of Coastal Nations) large numbers of chinese people emigrate by sea between 400 BC and 300 BC after the State of Yue in current day coastal Jiangsu-, Zhejiang- and and Fujian Provinces is subjugated and conquered by the neighboring State of Hue. These Chinese emigrations spread Chinese culture and knowledge around the eastern pacific basin and Malaysia.
In the End, not much was left of the Supremacy of the Chou Kings. They were left powerless in their Capital with no authority over anyone of their former client States. The Feudal System and Central administration crumbled and the Warring States Period began.
At the end of the 6 Dynasty Period, around 550 AD, a group of Monks manages to smuggle silkworm egss out of China. They do so by hiding the egss inside a hollowed out wooden stick. They carry the eggs to the Byzantine Court at Constantinopel (now Istanbul, Turkey), laying the basis for a Byzantine Silk Industry that would break the Chinese
Monopoly on the production and export of Silks. The Chinese Products however remained the worlds
Around 300 BC the first copper coins (money) are created in China and become widely used as currency. However, the rapid spread of Iron Working techniques during the Warring States period would lead Iron to dominate production and Military Affairs. Another Militarily useful invention occurred around the same Time. Somewhere near the End of the Warring States Period, classical Chinese Sources and ancient depictions show the invention of breast-strap harnesses for Horses in China, a major advance over the in-efficient neck-strap.
The name Warring States Period was derived from the Record of the Warring States, a work compiled after the Warring States Period early in the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD).
As the Warring States Period was coming to a close with the Rise of the Qin, history records another great feat in Chines History. In the year 250 BC one Li Bing became the Governor of the State of Shu (now roughly Sichuan Province), undertaking huge public works on the Min River (that runs through Chengdu). At a small, remote, but very renowned site named DuJiangYan, Chinese engineers managed to carve through an entire mountain, creating a spillway for excess water in the Min River. The mechanism uses a adjustable diversion dam that is still in function today, some 2250 years later. It was the first of many succesful water-management projects created during the Qin Dynasty.
A Jade Burial Suit, a feature of Imperial Tombs unique to the Han Dynasty Era.
The Chinese Empire of the Tang Dynasty around the Year 700 AD.
Diplomatic Mission, which arrived through the re-emerging Silk Road. Only 20 years after the death of Muhammad, founder and Prophet, Islam was introduced in China, where due to the cosmopolitan nature of the Tang Era it was allowed to develop further. By the end of the Tang Dynasty, Islam was well established as one of the mayor religions of the Nation.
The Chinese Empire of the Song Dynasty at around the year 1000 AD.
Achievements: Successful assimilation of Chinese Culture by nomadic Toba. Combining Buddhism with Chinese philosophies of Taoism & Confucianism into Mahayana form of Buddhism, prevalent form of Buddhism in East-Asia today. Spreading Chinese culture south of Jiangtse River and early re-unification of China (494 AD - 589 AD). Construction of Yungang Grottoes at Datong, Shanxi and LongMen 1000 Buddha caves at Luoyang, Henan Province, Mogao Caves in Dunhuang. Gansu Province in western China's Gobi dessert along the Silk Road.
The Art & Theory of Acupuncture were first recorded in the Year 580 AD, at the very end the Six Dynasties' Period.
Includes Northern Wei (386 AD-534 AD) , descendants of the turcmenic Toba tribes of