Ancient Times to the First Emperor.
It is significant that China has had over 5,000 years of history. China has one of the oldest civilizations in the world despite the large amount of information that is still relatively unknown. This guide is a brief historical overview of China over thousands of years.
Before the first dynasty of the Xia, in 2200 BC, primitive colonies lived on the coast of the Yangtze and Yellow River. It is a time in civilization during the Yangshao (5000 – 3000 BC) and the Longshan (3000–1700 BC) which were traced by archeologists using remains in the area.
China’s history traces back to Xia, which is where the first dynasty was. The following discusses important events in Chinese history.
|Dynasty||Events||In Western History|
|Xia|| 0-1700 before Christ
• First traces of the man in the loessial region of Shanxi
• mythical dynasty which would be at the origin of Chinese civilization 2,500 before Christ: Age of copper
|The first Greek speaking tribes, The Mycenaean. Pyramids of Giza built.|
|Shang||1700 before Christ: Iron age
• at the beginning of bronze age in China
• Kingdom aimed by a semi-divine sovereign 1600 before Christ
became pharaoh 1100-1200
(exact date unknown)
|Zhou||1100-220 before Christ
• feudal system founded on the upper class
• Period of the Springs and Autumns and from Combat Kingdoms
• Epoch of Laozi (father of the Taoism) then of Confucius
|The date of the first Olympic games in Greece 776BC|
|Qin||221-207 before Christ
Chinese territory: 3,55 million km², 25 million inhabitants
|End of the classical ancient Greek period. Death of Alexander the Great.|
The first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi was crucial in influencing the unification of China. He introduced a system of collective responsibility and implemented the foundations of the present-day legal system. Additionally, he introduced monetary, weights and measurements systems.
China was large at the time so it was difficult to represent the many small kingdoms in each territory. Below are the most important dynasties, as well as the Liao (907 – 1125) and Jin (1115 – 1234). Other dynasties can be divided into several periods, such as the Zhou of the west and the Zhou of the east, the Han of the west and then to the east, and the Song of the north and south.
|Dynasty||Events||In the west|
Chinese territory: 6,660,000 sq. km, 55 million
|Julius Caesar and
• Fall of the centralized state and the beginning of the Chinese Middle Ages
Chinese territory: 6.15 million km², 50 million people
|Eastern Roman Empire|
||End of the Roman Empire
||Clovis King of the Franks
Chinese territory: 4.8 million km², 46 million people
Middle Ages Carolingian
|5 dynasties||907-960 B.C.
• The north is separated into five dynasties and 10 kingdoms
|Middle Ages Carolingian|
|Song||960 – 1279 B.C.
||Middle age Capetian
First Hundred Years War
Chinese territory: 24 million km², 75 million people
|The Second Crusades|
• Marco Polo stayed in China with its capital, Dadu, the current Beijing
|Joan of Arc
Chinese territory: 13 million km ², population 340 million
China from 1911 to 1949
The end of the Middle Kingdom was marked by the capture of Peking by allied powers and the control of Forbidden City. The Emperor Puyi exercised illusory power in his palace and kept his title as emperor while Republicans already begun establishing their power. Puyi remained in the Forbidden City until 1924, for his abdication. Throughout this period, the country was divided between nationalism and communism.
|• The Republic of China was proclaimed on 1 January 1912 in Nanjing Sun Yat-Sen
• Back ephemeral dynasties with General Yuan Shikai between 1912 and 1916
• May 4th Movement of 1919 student uprising and boycott of Japanese goods
• Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang directs (Nationalist Party) in 1920
• The Chinese Communist Party was founded in 1921
• War with Japan invaded Mandchouriepuis the rest of China from 1931 to 1945, the Nationalists and Communists stand together
• Massacre Nanjing 1937 by Japanese soldiers
• Long March of Mao Zedong between 1934 and 1935, the Communists through 12,000 km refuge in Shaanxi
• Civil War between Kuomintang and the Communist Party in 1946 which results in the release of the Kuomintang in Taiwan
|Treaty of Versailles
World War 2
Chiang Kai Shek and his party were forced to flee to Taiwan after their defeat against Communists under the command of general Mao. The present-day PRC was then declared on October 1st, 1949 on the mainland while Chiang Kai-shek continued to lead the Republic of China in Taiwan. What followed was a lot of reform that changed the face of China.
|Modern Republic|| • 1950: “Peaceful Liberation of Tibet”
• 1957: Period of the Hundred Flowers, intellectuals are rehabilitated
• 1958-1962: Great Leap Forward, collectivization of land and creation of communes, famine (20 million people)
• 1966-1976: Cultural Revolution, Mao gets rid of his opponents capitalist ideas
• 1971: Entry to the UN (in place of the Republic of China)
• 1976: Death of Mao and fall of the Gang of Four, coming to power of Deng Xiaoping in 1978 (Four Modernizations)
• 1989: events of Tiananmen Square
• 1993: Jiang Zemin becomes president, socialist market economy
• Surrender of Hong Kong in 1997 and Macao in 1999
• 2001: China joins the WTO
• Beijing hosts the Olympics in 2008 and the Shanghai World Expo in 2010
• 2013: Xi Jinping was elected president
Nixion Visits China