Dynasties

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Shang Dynasty

1766 BCE - 1050 BCE

Thought to be a legend, but archeological evidence has been found. (Hooker, 1)
They were a bronze-working people; bronze entered China in 2000 BCE (Hooker, 1)
Invented a kind of writing (Hooker, 2)

Zhou Dynasty

1122 BCE - 256 BCE

Iron use entered China, the epitome of bronze working happened during this dynasty ("The Zhou Dynasty").
Intellectual movement swept through China due to instability; Confucian age. ("The Zhou Dynasty").
Improvements to agricultural methods were made, boosted population, trading, communication ("The Zhou Dynasty").

Qin Dynasty

221 BCE - 210 BCE

Conquered Warring states, unifying China for the first time, leader became emperor ("Qin Dynasty").
Standardized language and writing of China ("Qin Dynasty")
Currency and other measurements were standardized. ("Qin Dynasty")

Han Dynasty

206 BCE - 220 AD

China was reunited after the end of the Qin Dynasty; borders more or less the same as present day ("Han Dynasty").
Poetry, philosophy, and literature flourish in this period ("Han Dynasty").
The development of paper, water clocks, sundials, astronomical instruments, and a seismograph ("Han Dynasty").

Sui Dynasty

580 - 618

The Grand Canal was extended north ("Sui Dynasty")
Internal administration improved; fortified Great Wall, built granaries around capitals, rebuilt 2 capitals ("Sui Dynasty")
Expanded borders to the south. Not much success in the north ("Sui Dynasty")

Tang Dynasty

618 - 906

Secured overland trade routes all the way to Syria and Rome ("Tang Dynasty").
Classical period of Chinese art and literature ("Tang Dynasty")
Time of tremendous social change; educated people with no family connections could serve as government officials. ("Tang Dynasty").

Sung Dynasty

969 - 1126

Military now below civil government; every aspect of government/society was dominated by the civil government ("The Northern Sung Dynasty").
The military was not very powerful, used treaties to end confict ("The Northern Sung Dynasty").
Wang An-Shih realized that the government's wealth came from the people's wealth; tried to implement land reforms, but some were rejected. ("The Northern Sung Dynasty").

Yuan Dynasty

1279 - 1368

During this dynasty, the Mongols took over China completely -- for the first time ever ("Yuan Dynasty").
The Mongols gradually adopted Chinese political/cultural ideals ("Yuan Dynasty").
The literary people were ignored mostly; the few that got into gov't received minor posts, most dedicated to art ("Yuan Dynasty").

Ming Dynasty

1368 - 1644

A period of cultural restoration and expansion ("Ming Dynasty").
Built a huge army and navy ("Ming Dynasty").
Regarded as high point in Chinese civilization, dynasty in which early signs of capitalism emerged ("Ming Dynasty").

Qing Dynasty

1644 - 1911

Second time in which China was ruled by foreigners, in this case, the Manchu ("Qing Dynasty").
West was interested in trading with China, brought opium there. Proved devastating to China ("Qing Dynasty").
The borders of China were pushed to their maximum extent ever ("Qing Dynasty").

Republic

1911 - 1949

First and only democratic period of China (Ahmad et al. 346-347).
Sun Yat-sen became president, but quickly lost power to Yuan Shikai, who declared himself emperor, but was unpopular and left power in 1916 (Ahmad et al. 346-347).
Nationalist Party and Communist Party fought for many years, with the Communist Party taking over China and the nationalists Taiwan (Ahmad et al. 346-347).

Mao Zedong

1949 - 1976

Transformation to Communism under Mao begins; first goal is land reforms and land ownership overhauls ("History of the People's Republic of China").
Propaganda was spread, China suffered because of the reforms ("History of the People's Republic of China")
Both of Mao's great programs failed. (Ahmed et al. 353)

Deng Xiaoping

1976 - 1989

Deng introduces more moderate policies (Ahmed et al. 353).
Some of the more educated people start to rally for democracy, leaders crack down brutally after a while (Ahmed et al. 353)
Deng retires from public view, passes power, but still keeps ultimate power ("History of the People's Republic of China")