You are here: Home China Guide Chinese History

Chinese History


Share |

User Rating: / 1

As you know, China is one of the four ancient countries in the world, Chinese civilization of one of the world’s oldest civilizations. The written history of China can date from Shang Dynasty over 4,000 years ago.


The Ancient Age


Do you know China’s earliest discovered hominid? It’s “Yuanmou Man”, (who lived approximately 1.7 million years ago) "Peking Man", who lived to the southwest of today’s Beijing 400,000 to 500,000 years ago, had the basic characteristics of Homosapiens. The history of man in Chinese can date back to primitive society to slave society in the 21st century B.C., with the founding of China's first dynasty, Xia Dynasty. Then, it comes to Shang (16th-11th century B.C.) and Western Zhou (11th century-770 B.C.), which saw further development of save society. The subsequent dynasties, the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods (770-221 B.C.). The transition from the slave society to feudal society happened in this period.



Qin Dynasty

There is a great talent and bold vision man in China history-Ying Zheng. He ended the rivalry among the independent principalities in the Warring States Period . Moreover, he  established the first centralized, unified, multi-ethnic state in Chinese history under the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.), and called himself  Shi Huang Di ( the First Emperor), historically known as Qin Shi Huang, or First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. He standardized the script, currencies, and weights and measures during his reign. He established the system of prefectures and counties, and the big construction were built in this time-Great Wall, as well as a large palace, mausoleum (the Terracotta Army) and temporary regal lodges respectively in Xianyang, Lishan and other places. It is a peasant leader and an aristocratic general -Liu Bang and Xiang Yu that overthrew the Qin regime. After a few years of war, Liu Bang defeated Xiang Yu, from then on, a new strong Dynasty-Han Dynasty, established in 206 B.C.



Han- Yuan Dynasty


Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) was a strong nation at that time because agriculture, handicrafts and commerce were well developed. The Emperor Wudi (Liu Che, 140-87 B.C.) is a great emperor in Chinese history. During the reign of his dynasty, the Han regime reached the period of its greatest prosperity: The emperor conquered the Xiongnu nomads, and sent Zhang Qian as envoy to the Western Regions (Central Asia), whose route known as the “Silk Roas” from the Han capital Chang' an through Xinjiang and to Europe. Wang Zhaojun, one of the Four Beauty in Ancient China, was married to Huhanxie, chieftain of the Xiongnu, leaving a moving story about marriage ties between the Han and the Xiongnu. Most of the country became more consolidated because of the strong nation. The total years of Han regime are about 426 years, and it was much longer than the Qin Dynasty. This era was followed by the Three Kingdoms Period (220-265) of Wei, Shu and Wu. From then on, the wars between them were never stopped.

After the Three Kingdoms Period, it is Jin (265-420), the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589), and the Sui Dynasty (581-618). In 618, the Jin Dynasty was followed by the Tang Dynasty (618-907) which was founded by the Li Yuan. Later, Li Shimin (626-649), son of Li Yuan, became the Emperor Taizong, who was one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history as well as Han wudi. After the strong Tang Dynasty, there came the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960). In 960, General Zhao Kuangyin founded the Song Dynasty (960-1279). As to the North of China, Genghis Khan unified all the tribes in Mongolia and founded the Mongol Khanate in 1206. About 55 years later, his grandson, Kublai Khan, conquered the Central Plain, founded the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and made Dadu (today's Beijing) the capital. In fact, the handicraft industry and domestic and foreign trade boomed during the Song and Yuan dynasties. There were many merchants and travelers came to China. Do you heard about ? Marco Polo came from Venice and traveled extensively in China, later describing the country's prosperity in his Travels. The "four great inventions" of the Chinese people in ancient times—paper making, printing, the compass and gunpowder—were further developed in the Song and Yuan dynasties, and introduced to foreign countries during this time. In a word, the society was really the economic and cultural center in the world at that time.



Ming Dynasty


The Yuan Dynasty was followed by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which is founded by Zhu Yuanzhang in 1368. The capital was Nanjing. After his death, there was a war between his son and grandson. Then his son, Zhu Di, ascended the throne. He started to build the palace, temples, city walls and moat in Beijing. The capital was changed to Beijing in 1421.

The Manchus in northeast China grew in strength, while the Ming Dynasty had gone to its late time. Under the leadships of Nurhachi the Manchus invaded the Central Plain for three generations in succession. As a result, the Qing Dynasty was founded in 1644. There are two emperors of the Qing Dynasty, they were: Emperor Kangxi (1661-1722) and Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796). The Kangxi and Qianlong reign periods were known as the "times of prosperity." You can learn the society is so prosperous at that time.



Democratic Revolution

The first Opium War in 1840 was a symbol, marking a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country of China. There was a revolution of 1911, a bourgeois-democratic revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, ended the rule of the Qing Dynasty. After overthrew Qing Dynasty, the monarchial system was discarded with the founding of the provisional government of the Republic of China. The revolution of 1911 is so meaningful that it is a symbol in modern Chinese history. It was really a pity that the fruits of victory were soon compromised by concessions on the part of the Chinese bourgeoisie, and the whole China was under control of Northern Warlords headed by Yuan Shikai. From then on, the people lived in an abyss of suffering extreme misery.

Finally, the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 marked that China has entered a new stage of prosperity.


Add me on

Find us on hot community and share travel information about China tours.