History of China

Emperor Throne
Emperor Throne
in Forbidden City, Beijing
China, one of the countries that can boast of an ancient civilization, has a long and mysterious history - almost 5,000 years of it! Like most other great civilizations of the world, China can trace her culture back to a blend of small original tribes which have expanded till they became the great country we have today.

It is recorded that Yuanmou man is the oldest hominoid in China and the oldest dynasty is Xia Dynasty. From the long history of China, there emerge many eminent people that have contributed a lot to the development of the whole country and to the enrichment of her history. Among them, there are emperors like Li Shimin (emperor Taizong of the Tang), philosophers like Confucius, great patriotic poets like Qu Yuan and so on.

Chinese society has progressed through five major stages - Primitive Society, Slave Society, Feudal Society, Semi-feudal and Semi-colonial Society, and Socialist Society. The rise and fall of the great dynasties forms a thread that runs through Chinese history, almost from the beginning. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1st, 1949, China has become a socialist society and become stronger and stronger.
Timeline of Chinese History (Click to enlarge)
Timeline of Chinese History

Chinese History Chronology





 Prehistoric Times 1.7 million years ago - the 21st century BC recorded leaders include Yellow Emperor, Yao, Shun... around the Yellow River and Yangtze River in central China
 Xia 21st - 17th century BC Yu the Great

Anyi ( in Yuncheng, Shanxi); Yangcheng (in today's Dengfeng, Zhengzhou, Henan); Yangdi (in today's Yuzhou, Henan); Zhenxun (in Luoyang, Henan)

 Shang 17th century BC - 1046 BC Tang Bo (in Shangqiu, Henan); Yin (in Anyang, Henan)
 Zhou 1046 - 256 BC
Western Zhou 1046 BC - 771 BC King Wu (Ji Fa) Fengjing and Haojing (in today's Xi'an, Shaanxi)
Eastern Zhou 770 - 256 BC King Ping (Ji Yijiu) Luoyi (today's Luoyang)
 --- Spring and Autumn Period 770 - 476 BC
 --- Warring States Period 475 - 221 BC
 Qin 221 - 207 BC Qin Shi Huang
(Ying Zheng / Zhao Zheng)
Xianyang (in today's Xianyang and Xi'an of Shaanxi)
 Han 202 BC - 220 AD Liu Bang
Western Han 202 BC - 9 AD Liu Bang Chang'an (today's Xi'an)
Xin Dynasty 9 - 23 AD Wang Mang Chang'an (today's Xi'an)
Eastern Han 25 - 220 AD Liu Xiu Luoyang
 Three Kingdoms 220 - 280 AD
Kingdom of Wei 220 - 265 AD Cao Pi Luoyang
Kingdom of Shu 221 - 263 AD Liu Bei Chengdu
Kingdom of Wu 222 - 280 AD Sun Quan Jianye (today's Nanjing, Jiangsu)
 Jin 265 - 420 AD Sima Yan
Western Jin 265 - 316 AD Sima Yan Luoyang
Eastern Jin 317 - 420 AD Sima Rui Jiankang (Nanjing, Jiangsu)
Five Hus and Sixteen States 304 - 439 AD
 Northern and Southern Dynasties 420 - 589 AD
Northern Dynasties 386 - 581 AD
 --- Northern Wei 386 - 534 Tuoba Gui Pingcheng (today's Datong, Shanxi); Luoyang
 --- Eastern Wei 534 - 550 Yuan Shanjian (actually controlled by Gao Huan) Yecheng (in Linzhang, Handan, Hebei)
 --- Western Wei 535 - 557 Yuan Baoju (actually controlled by Yuwen Tai) Chang'an (today's Xi'an)
 --- Northern Qi 550 - 577 Gao Yang Yecheng (in Linzhang, Handan, Hebei)
 --- Northern Zhou 557 - 581 Yuwen Jue Chang'an (today's Xi'an)
Southern Dynasties 420 - 589 AD
 --- Song 420 - 479 Liu Yu Jiankang (today's Nanjing)
 --- Qi 479 - 502 Xiao Daocheng Jiankang (Nanjing)
 --- Liang 502 - 557 Xiao Yan Jiankang (Nanjing)
 --- Chen 557 - 589 Chen Baxian Jiankang (Nanjing)
 Sui 581 - 618 AD Yang Jian Daxing (in today's Xi'an, Shaanxi); Luoyang
 Tang 618 - 907 AD Li Yuan Chang'an (today's Xi'an); Luoyang
 Five Dynasties and Ten States 907 - 960 AD Bianliang (Kaifeng, Henan); Luoyang
 --- Later Liang 907 - 923 AD Zhu Wen (Zhu Quanzhong / Zhu Huang) Bianliang (Kaifeng)
 --- Later Tang 923 - 936 AD Li Cunxu Luoyang
 --- Later Jin 936 - 946 AD Shi Jingtang Bianliang (Kaifeng)
 --- Later Han 947 - 950 AD Liu Zhiyuan Bianliang (Kaifeng)
 --- Later Zhou 951 - 960 AD Guo Wei Bianliang (Kaifeng)
Ten States 902 - 979 AD
 Song 960 - 1279 AD Zhao Kuangyin
Northern Song 960 - 1127 AD Zhao Kuangyin Bianjing (Kaifeng)
Southern Song 1127 - 1279 AD Zhao Gou Lin'an (Hangzhou)
 Liao 907 --- 1125 AD Yelü Abaoji Shangjing (Baarin Left Banner, Chifeng, Inner Mongolia)
Western Xia Dynasty 1038 - 1227 AD Li Yuanhao Xingqing (today's Yinchuan, Ningxia)
 Jin 1115 - 1234 AD Wan-yen A-ku-ta (Wanyan Aguda / Wanyan Min) Huining (Harbin, Heilongjiang); Zhongdu (today's Beijing); Bianjing (Kaifeng)
 Yuan 1271 - 1368 AD Kublai Khan Dadu (today's Beijing)
 Ming 1368 - 1644 AD Zhu Yuanzhang Yingtian (today's Nanjing, Jiangsu); Shuntian (today's Beijing)
 Qing 1644 - 1911 AD Aisin Gioro Nurhachi / Hong Taiji / Fulin (Emeror Shunzhi) Beijing
- Last updated on Jan. 25, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on History of China
Asked by Miley Potts from IOWA | Jan. 19, 2021 15:35Reply
I am interested in the great wall!
I like to learn more about the great wall but my teacher is teaching us about china and stuff like that but i still don't get why people built the great wall of china can you tell me why?
Answers (8)
Answered by Megan | Jan. 21, 2021 16:00

They basically built the Great Wall of China to protect themselves from intruders and people outside of China. It started being built during the Qin Dynasty because many people tried to kill the emperor at that time for his harsh rules. ( Fact-check my answer tho.)
Answered by Daniel | Jun. 16, 2021 04:35

Correction: It started during the Spring & Autumn period, Qin was the winner of that period and they connected the walls to defend against the nomadic tribes from modern day Mongolia. The great wall continued to be expanded throughout the history of China as the northern Nomadic tribes and federations kept intruding and attacking the border regions and China proper. The great wall you see today are generally built around the Ming Dynasty.
Answered by David Zhou | Aug. 29, 2021 10:49

I am Chinese,we built this huge monster only due to the invasion of Hun. Maybe you haven't heared yet, but they are really horrible
Answered by Danny | Aug. 09, 2022 15:31

Kind of interesting that your teacher is teaching about China and stuff like that but no elaboration and consideration exercise? When your teacher teach about western history they will ask and explain further of why an event occur etc but when it came to China they don't teach much...... I wonder. Was it that they themselves didn't know much about China or they are worry to provide too much information about China?
Answered by Duan | Oct. 05, 2022 02:17

In ancient times, China was not such a big country that included so many minorities. At that time, the minorities in north of China were nomadism and they always came to wealthy China to rob food, so people living in the central part of the country needed to build the Great Wall to protect themselves.
Answered by Someone | Nov. 27, 2022 03:56

It is to win the war. But it didn’t work……
Answered by Mulan | Nov. 27, 2022 03:57

You can see it at a movie 🎥 called,” Mulan”
Answered by Ian | Jan. 25, 2023 07:02

It was to keep invading tribes from getting into China and taking it down from the inside out
Asked by Riana from UK | Jun. 12, 2020 09:39Reply
I am interested in, when the Great wall of China was built and details
As I like general knowledge
Thank you
Answers (3)
Answered by Dan from USA | Jun. 14, 2020 00:55

The great wall was constructed during the Qin dynasty and construction began in 215 BC, although there would be renovations and additions made every time China's neighbors to the north were too powerful for China's armies to contain them. Renovation continued until the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644 AD, The Ming renovations were by far the largest and included the addition of cannon placements and massive towers.
Answered by David Zhou | Aug. 29, 2021 10:54

Almost two thousand years, in fact you need to know,we built it only for alerting sth but no relying on it to fight the enemy. emmm,yeah---from China
Answered by Danny | Aug. 09, 2022 15:37

Chinese are defensive and they don't attack to conquer other. You bet "I come, I see, I conquer" are not Chinese and don't mistaken the one that expanded the territory into Eurasia and Middle East is Gengkhis-Kublai Khan, they are Mongolian then admire Chinese system and culture that they assimilate into Chinese and established Yuan Dynasty. Until today Chinese are peaceful and defensive just like how they are trying to defend China as one and protecting Taiwan from they United Pirates. Learn Chinese language if you want to know the real China. Many English medium sources might not be accurate
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