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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

Dynasty

Period

Founder

Capital

 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 todays's Dengfeng, Zhengzhou, Henan); Yangdi (in todays'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 Xian, 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 Xian of Shaanxi)
 Han 202 BC - 220 AD Liu Bang
Western Han 202 BC - 9 AD Liu Bang Chang'an (today's Xian)
Xin Dynasty 9 - 23 AD Wang Mang Chang'an (today's Xian)
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
 Southern and Northern Dynasties 420 - 589 AD
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)
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 Xian)
 --- Northern Qi 550 - 577 Gao Yang Yecheng (in Linzhang, Handan, Hebei)
 --- Northern Zhou 557 - 581 Yuwen Jue Chang'an (today's Xian)
 Sui 581 - 618 AD Yang Jian Daxing (in today's Xian, Shaanxi); Luoyang
 Tang 618 - 907 AD Li Yuan Chang'an (today's Xian); 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 Nanjing (today's Shangqiu, Henan); 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