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
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.
Qing dynasty

Qing dynasty

History

The end of the dynastic system in China came after a very promising and prosperous start under the wise rule of the first four Manchu Emperors. Years of decline followed, with the Opium Wars and Taiping Rebellion culminating in the sad tale of the Last Emperor Puyi
Chinese porcelain and china

Chinese porcelain and china

Culture

Together with tea and silk, porcelain from China is its most famous export. Prized the world over, high quality porcelain commands high prices at auction. Like silk the secret of its manufacture was a closely guarded secret for centuries.

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.

China's china

Jingdezhen in Jiangxi has been the center of Chinese porcelain manufacture for centuries. It is one of the first places where a production line technique was used to optimize production. Skilled craftsmen specialized in one particular part of the porcelain manufacture process, passing on the end result to the next stage. By 1433 over 500,000 pieces were being made a year. Much of the ‘china’ was sent for export to Europe over the mountains via the port of Guangzhou (Canton).
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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.


Qufu, Shandong, grave
Gravestones of Confucian family and scholars, Qufu, Shandong

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