The Zhou Dynasty originated from the Zhou clan whose existence stretches back into history. By the 11th Century BC, this clan had become increasingly powerful and had extended throughout the present Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces. The Clan's mightiness increasingly menaced the Shang Dynasty and the conflict between the two groups intensified.
At that time, the Shang was under the rule of King Zhou. He was atrocious to his people and doted on his imperial concubine, Daji. All he did caused great rage amongst his people. The chief of the Zhou Tribe,Wenwang thought it was the right time to attack the Shang and entrusted his son Ji Fa to fulfill his last wish. After Wenwang died, his son Ji Fa ( Wuwang) succeeded him. He made full preparations for the war and killed King Zhou. Thus the Shang Dynasty ended in 1046 BC.
The Zhou Dynasty is divided into two periods: the Western Zhou (11th century BC to 771 BC) and the Eastern Zhou (770 BC - 221 BC). It is so divided because the capital cities in the Western Zhou of Fengyi (presently in the southwest of Chang'an County, Shaanxi Province) and Haojing lie to the west of the Eastern Zhou's capital of Luoyi (present Luoyang, Henan Province). As to the Eastern Dynasty, it is divided into the Spring and Autumn Periods (770 BC-476 BC), and the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC). Each of the periods featured turbulent wars.
The achievements during the Zhou Dynasty in economy, politics, science and culture, were much more illustrious than any which occurred during the Shang Dynasty.
In the year 221 BC, Qin defeated the other six states which existed during the Warring States Period and unified China. Thus, history moved forward to a new age called the Qin Dynasty.