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Chinese Dynasties | Warring States Period

Updated on December 10, 2011

Warring States Period Was Chaos in Chinese History

This was a period of time when people were very disturbed about what was going on in the world around them. The Warring States Period was in the second half of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, when the stronger states were waging war on the weaker, and consolidating their power. Even though there were battles raging throughout China, it was also a time of "The Hundred Schools of Thought".

Intellectual and cultural expansion flourished throughout China, and the period became known as the "Golden Age of Chinese Philosophy". Scholars were retained by the rulers to advise on diplomacy, administration and the strategy and tactics of warfare. Famous people from this period include Confucius, Lao Zi, Sun Tzu and Qu Yuan .

Image: Public Domain | Lens Updated: December 11th, 2011 @ 9:42 am Beijing time.

Warring States Period

... encompassed the timeline

circa 475 to 221 BCE

Warring States Period Map Circa 300 BCE! - Showing locations of 7 main contenders for superiority...

Warring States Period Map, circa 300 BCE
Warring States Period Map, circa 300 BCE

The seven most powerful kingdoms during this period of Chinese history. They include:

  1. State of Chu - lasted from 1030 to 223 BCE. Ruled by aristocrats with close ties to Zhou dynasty emperors. Historical figure from this period - Qu Yuan.
  2. State of Han - lasted from 403 to 230 BCE. Famous person from Han kingdom is the legalist philosopher Han Fei.
  3. State of Qi - lasted from 1046 to 221 BCE. Was a Zhou dynasty state.
  4. State of Qin - lasted from 778 to 207 BCE. Emerged as one of the dominant superpowers during this period and eventually took control and unified China. Evolved into the Qin Dynasty, under Qin Shi Huang Di
  5. State of Wei (aka State of Liang) - lasted from 445 to 225 BCE. Was involved in almost continuous warfare with the Qin State, which weakened and eventually destroyed it.
  6. State of Yan - lasted from 11th century to 221 BCE. Defended itself from the Qi and Zhao states. Tried to assassinate Qin Shi Huang Di but were unsuccessful and were overrun by him in 221 BCE.
  7. State of Zhao - lasted from 403 to 222 BCE. At the start of this period was one of the weaker states, but became more powerful under King Wuling of Zhao. By the end of this period, they were the only state powerful enough to challenge the Qin.

Warring States Period Stone Chimes!
Warring States Period Stone Chimes!

The Warring States Period on Wikipedia!

Read what the online reference source has to say...

The Warring States Period, also known as the Era of Warring States, covers the period from 475 BC to the unification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC. It is nominally considered to be the second part of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, following the Spring and Autumn Period, although the Zhou Dynasty ended in 256 BC, 35 years earlier than the end of the Warring States period. During these periods, the Chinese sovereign (king of the Zhou Dynasty) was merely a figurehead.

The name Warring States Period was derived from the Record of the Warring States, a work historically compiled early in the Han Dynasty. The date for the beginning of the Warring States Period is disputed. While it is frequently cited as 475 BC (following the Spring and Autumn Period), 403 BC, the date of the tripartite Partition of Jin, is also considered as the beginning of the period.

The Warring States Period was an era when regional warlords annexed smaller states around them and consolidated their power.

...read the rest of the Wikipedia article

Qu Yuan in The Warring States Period! - The poet politician who made dragon boat racing popular...

Read more about this famous Chinese poet, statesman and ideologist in another lens about Qu Yuan!

Sun Tzu in the Warring States Period! - "The Art of War" was written during this period...

Read more about this famous Chinese military strategist who wrote "The Art of War" in another lens about Sun Tzu!

"Hero", a 2004 Movie About Warring States Period! - ... starring Jet Li, Tony Leung and Chiu Wai

This is one of the most popular modern movies released in China. It is set at the end of the Warring States Period and deals with the unification of China under Qin Shi Huang Di. I highly recommend it to you as a great spectacle and a wonderful piece of movie making. IMDb rating: 8.0

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Your Comments About The Warring States Period! - Don't forget to have your say and make a comment on this lens...

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      Edutopia 5 years ago

      A fascinating period in Chinese history. Well made lens, good job!

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      Cynthia Arre 6 years ago from Quezon City

      Fantastic info about the warring states period in Chinese history. We only skimmed through this in school so I appreciate learning more about it and I'm sure others will as well. ~Blessed~

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      David Schroeter 6 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      @julieannbrady: Thank you, Julie. I'm happy you visited and enjoyed it.

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      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      My dear, this is quite a remarkable page -- a part of history I knew nothing about.