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Chinese History

China, one of the world's oldest civilizations, boasts a chronicled history of more than 5,000 years. It representing one of the earliest civilizations in the world. It possesses rich historical documents as well as ancient relics. Like other nations, China, in its development, passed through the stages of primitive society, slave society, and feudal society.

In the 21st century BC China saw the end of long years of primitive society and the beginning of the slave society with the founding of the Xia Dynasty. The Xia was followed by the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties. Then came the Eastern Zhou, which encompassed the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. In 221 BC, Qinshihuang founded the Qin Dynasty, the first feudal autocracy in Chinese history that unveiled more than 2,000 years of feudalism which, until its demise in the Opium War of 1840, saw the rise and fall of a succession of dynasties like the Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing.

The Chinese civilization reached an apex early in ancient times. As early as the Shang 3,000 years ago, the Chinese had invented the art of bronze metallurgy and iron tools. A galaxy of distinguished thinkers, scientists, artists and writers emerged in the intervening years. The Chinese of ancient times were known for their brilliant achievements in mathematics, medical science, astronomy, agriculture, architecture, and many other fields. The world never looked the same after the Chinese came up with the four major inventions: papermaking, mobile block printing, powder and the compass.
 

Dates
Dynasty
 
ca. 2207-1500 B.C.
//2207-1766 B.C.
Xia
1700-1027 B.C.
1765-1122 B.C.
Shang
1027-771 B.C.
1121-771 B.C.
Western Zhou
770-221 B.C.
770-249 B.C.
Eastern Zhou 770-476 B.C. -- Spring and Autumn period
475-221 B.C. -- Warring States period
221-207 B.C. Qin
  West Chu
206 B.C.-A.D. 9 Western Han
A.D. 9-24 Xin (Wang Mang interregnum)
A.D. 25-220 Eastern Han
A.D. 220-280 Three Kingdoms 220-265 -- Wei
221-263 -- Shu
229-280 -- Wu
A.D. 265-316 Western Jin
A.D. 317-420 Eastern Jin
The Sixteen Kingdoms of the Five Barbarian Peoples
A.D. 420-588 Southern and Northern Dynasties
Southern Dynasties 420-478 -- Song
479-501 -- Qi
502-556 -- Liang
557-588 -- Chen
Northern Dynasties 386-533 -- Northern Wei
534-549 -- Eastern Wei
535-557 -- Western Wei
550-577 -- Northern Qi
557-588 -- Northern Zhou
A.D. 581-617 Sui
A.D. 618-907 Tang
A.D. 907-960 Five Dynasties 907-923 -- Later Liang
923-936 -- Later Tang
936-946 -- Later Jin
947-950 -- Later Han
951-960 -- Later Zhou
A.D. 907-979 Ten Kingdoms
A.D. 960-1279 Song 960-1127 -- Northern Song
1127-1279 -- Southern Song
A.D. 916-1125 Liao
A.D. 1038-1227 Western Xia
A.D. 1115-1234 Jin
A.D. 1279-1368 Yuan
A.D. 1368-1644 Ming
A.D. 1644-1911 Qing