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Chinese Dynasties and Major Events Under Them

Updated on April 5, 2011
Dynasty
Period of Rule
Major Events
Hsia
1994-1523 B.C.
Agriculture, bronze, first writing
Shang or Yin
1523-1027
First major dynasty; first Chinese calendar
Chou
1027-255
Developed society using money, iron, written laws, age of Confucius.
Qin
255-206
Unification after period of Warring States, building of Great Wall begun, roads built.
Han
AD 206-220
First centralized and effectively administered empire; introduction of Buddhism
San Kuo (3 Kingdoms)
220-265
Division into three parts, prolonged fighting and eventual victory of Wei over Chu and Wu;Cunfuciusm superseded by Buddhism and Taoism.
Tsin
265-420
Beginning of Hun invasions stopped; Great Wall refortified.
Tang
618-906
Centralized government; empire greatly extended; period of excellence in sculpture, painting and poetry.
Wu Tai (5 Dynasties)
907-960
Economic depression and loss of territory in Northern China, central Asia and Korea; first use of paper money
Sung
960-1279
Period of calm and creativity; printing developed (movable type); central government restored; Northern ad Western frontiers neglected and Mongol incursions begun.
Y√ľan
1260-1368
Beginning of Mongol rule in China, under Kublai Khan; Marco Polo visited China; dynasty brought to an end by widespread revolts, centred in Mongolia.
Ming
1368-1644
Mongols driven out by native Chinese, Mongolia captured by 2nd Ming emperor; period of architectural development; Beijing flourished as new capital.

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    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      8 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Thank you for the very good explanation.

    • Csanad profile imageAUTHOR

      Csanad 

      8 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

      The Ching (also called Quing) dynasty were ruling the Manchu State (which was formed in the first half of the 1600s) By this time China was ruled by the Mongols, and the Han rulers were only puppet emperors. The Manchu state was a separate country from China. Due to political alliances, the Quing were allowed to rule China. Technically speaking, China was conquered by the Manchu state, and they both were conquered by the Mongols.

      The Manchus are a minority in China, and pretty much totally assimilated into the language, culture, and customs of China (by the early Han emperors). Manchus are similar to the Welsh and Scottish to England.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      8 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Good list, but have you forgotten The Ching,or do they not count because they were Manchus?

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