History of China


China is one of the world's oldest civilized nation, which dates back to more than 10,000 years. The 5,000 years period is commonly used as the date when China became unified under a large empire. China alternated between periods of political unity and disunity at intervals, and was occasionally conquered by external groups of people, some eventually being assimilated into the Chinese population.
  • Primitive age
  • The Xia Dynasty (late 22th century BC- early 16th century BC)
  • The Shang Dynasty (16th century BC-11th century BC)
  • The Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-771 BC)
  • The Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) & The Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC)
  • The Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC)
  • The Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)
  • The Wei and Jin Periods & The Northern and Southern Dynasties (220 AD-581 AD)
  • The Sui Dynasty (581 AD-618 AD)
  • The Tang Dynasty (618 AD-907 AD)
  • The Five Dynasties and Ten States Period (907 AD-979 AD)
  • The Song Dynasty (960 AD-1279 AD)
  • The Yuan Dynasty (1206 AD-1368 AD)
  • The Ming Dynasty (1368 AD-1644 AD)
  • The Qing Dynasty (1616 AD-1911 AD)
  • History of Modern China(1911 AD- )
  • Primitive age

    Ancient Ancestors of the Nation

    According to chinese legends and myths, all people were created by the original ancestor of mankind, the Great Mother, Nv Wa. Pan Gu separated heaven and earth, but he died alone. His body became the new world. Countless years passed, Nu Wa appeared. She created the first human beings after her own image: she took some loess and shaped some "mud dolls" in her form, and set them on the land. The mud instantly turned into humans, who scattered in all directions.
    Of course, according to research, the oldest direct ancestor of mankind was Ramapithecus. In 1956 and 1975, the fossils of ancient apes that lived at the same time as did Ramapithecus were found in Kaiyuan City and Lufen County of Yunnan Province. This means this land fostered the earliest ancestors of mankind. About two to three million years ago, a tool-making creature appeared. This ape was widely dispersed across China. From the fossils of these apes, Yuanmou Man, Lantian Man and Peking Man were identified.
    China's ancient legends have passed down interesting and cherished accounts of this era. Legend has it that several outstanding figures appeared in China's primitive clans: Youchao Shi, Suiren Shi, Fuxi Shi and Shennong Shi. Fuxi Shi, Shennong Shi and Nu Wa are together called the Three Sage Rulers.

    Primitive tribe and clan

    About five to six thousand years ago, peoples living in various parts of China evolved one after another into matrilineal societies. Approximately four to five thousand years ago those tribes and clans went on to organize themselves along patriarchal lines.
    The Yellow Emperor's tribe and the Red Emperor's tribe continually merged with surrounding tribes, forming the Yellow and Red Tribe. This tribe then combined with different tribes in the Central Plain and the middle reaches of the Yellow River to form the earliest Hua Xia nation.
    One of the best-known leaders of the tribal coalition after the Yellow and Red Emperors was Yao. During his reign, the mighty Yangtze River overflowed and inundated the plains. Yao designated Gun, leader of the Xia tribe, to oversee efforts to stem the floods. When Yao became too old to preside over things, he passed his title and authority as the head of the tribal coalition to Shun. Shun went on to assign Yu, son of Gun, to take up the task of taming the floods. Yu came to realize that Gun had failed beacause he had been trying to contain the water. He decided to abandon this approach in favor of letting the water flow and ebb in its natural course.
    Yu's contributions in harnessing the deluge and encouraging farming were well-recognized by his tribesmen. He was elected leader of the tribal coalition to succeed Shun. Since he was born in the Xia clan, he was also known as Xia Yu, and is venerated as Yu the Great.
    All the historical maps about China published here come from the internet.