Chinese History Early dynasties to 770BCE Spring and Autumn Period 770-476BCE Warring States Period 476-221BCE Qin dynasty 221-207BCE Han dynasty 206BCE-220CE Period of disunity 220-581 Sui dynasty 581-618 Tang dynasty 618-907 Five dynasties and Ten kingdoms 907-960 Song dynasty 960-1279 Yuan/Mongol dynasty 1271-1368 Ming dynasty 1368-1644 Qing/Manchu dynasty 1644-1911 Republic of China 1912-1949 Peoples Republic of China 1949-present

Chinese History lì shǐ

China motif
The building of China's railways

The building of China's railways

History

The building of railways became a competitive scramble between foreign powers in the late 19th and early 20th century. Railways were seen as the key first step in opening up inland China for trade. Britain, France, Germany, Japan and America all invested in the building of them only for the investment to be lost in the following years of turmoil.
Imperial officials

Imperial officials

History

The prized job in dynastic China was as an Imperial official. As well as prosperity and a life of relative leisure an official received respect from the community. As anyone who passed the Imperial examinations could hope for such an appointment the posts were potentially open to all men.
Epic and formative episode in the rise of the Communists

Epic and formative episode in the rise of the Communists

Modern History

The tales of the heroic struggle of thousands of soldiers over thousands of miles of challenging terrain were held up as the pivotal episode in the early days of the Communist party. It was during the Long March that Mao Zedong emerged as leader with his own vision for the future of China.

Most countries can look back at a few hundred years of continuous recorded history; China looks back at thousands of years. From earliest times an accurate account of events has been treasured by the Chinese, this is embodied in the character shǐhistory’ which also has the meaning ‘impartial’. Chinese people know their heritage well and have a long tradition of revering their ancestors. A good knowledge of Chinese history is essential to understanding and relating to its people.

We include pages on all the main dynasties as well as significant events in Chinese history, up to the foundation of the Republic in 1912, including the Taiping Rebellion; coming of railways; the Imperial system; and the Opium Wars. We will continue to add further topics.

Click on the time chart on the left to go to a particular time period. Hover the mouse over a dynasty to pop-up a list of key dates during each dynasty and then click on it to go to a more detailed page. You can also navigate between dynasties by clicking on the time bar at the top of each dynasty page.


money
Bu coins (spade money) of the Zhou Dynasty, China. Image by Zhou Yi, Dser available under a Creative Commons license

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