The Chinese Dynasty Timeline


Shang Dynasty

1766 BCE - 1050 BCE

The Shang dynasty made great contributions to the Chinese civilization and marked the middle of China’s Bronze Age.(Spice Stanford; The Shang Dynasty) Starting with the writing, the Shang developed their own form of writing.(World Cultures: A Global mosaic, pg. 328) Starting with a system of 3,000 characters, their writing system increased along with the civilization.(World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, pg. 329) Shang priests also were able to develop an accurate calendar by recording their observations of the heavens.(World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, pg. 329). Last, but not least most important contribution is the art of bronze making. (World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, pg. 329). Weapons, vessels for religious rituals and everyday objects were created out of bronze. (World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, pg. 329).

The Zhou Dynasty

1046 BC - 256 BC

After the fall of the Shang, came the rise of the Zhou. Unlike the Shang, the Zhou greatly influenced Chinese religion. (HyperHistory; The Zhou Dynasty) The Zhou introduced the ideas of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. This, later on developed into the religion of Confucianism, which was a guide to morality. (HyperHistory; The Zhou Dynasty). Also, the Zhou introduced a feudal government, being very similar to the European feudal government. (HyperHistory; The Zhou Dynasty). When it came to agriculture, it was most of the times directed by the government. In this dynasty, agricultural techniques were improved, making agricultural food products the main source for the Chinese. (Wikipedia-Zhou Dynasty) This also caused the Chinese population to increase in big amounts. (Zhou Dynasty-Emuseum)

Qin Dynasty

221 BC - 207 BC

The Qin dynasty had various advances. The Qin needed to look for a way to communicate across the country, so one of their advances was standardizing writing and language.(China Culture; Qin Dynasty) Also, currency became standardized, making it a circular copper coin with a square in the middle, along with the standardizing measurements and axle lengths, making them consistent. (China Culture; Qin Dynasty). Another great advance was The Great Wall of China, which was built to protect China from foreign invaders. (Qin Dynasty-Emuseum)

Han Dynasty

206 B.C. - 220 A.D.

Ruling China for over 400 years, the Han dynasty was considered as a period of peace and prosperity. (TravelChinaGuide;Han Dynasty).In agriculture, irrigation and water conservation projects were made.(Han Dynasty Achievements). Also, the borders into Vietnam and Korea were expanded, expanding greatly the military. (Han Dynasty- Emuseum) This expansion led to the creation of the Silk Road, which made a great impact on trade by connecting China and the Mediterranean. (TRavelChinaGuide;Silk Road). Last, but not least, a new gentry class was introduced, making education more important. This was the result of the compilation of a variety of books and encyclopedias. (Han Dynasty- Emuseum)

Sui Dynasty

580 AD - 618 AD

The Sui came to rescue China and unite it after the Han. Despite the cruelty in this dynasty, great achievements were made. For example, the Grand Canal was built, with the purpose to help promote economic development and unify the country. (China Culture). Following the creation of the Silk Road, the Sui introduced porcelain, which began to accelerate and before long the artworks were introduced westward. (Travel China Guide) Also in art, this dynasty invented block printing that is generally conceded to be one of the crucial inventions for the advancement of civilization. (History of Chinese Inventions)

Tang Dyansty

618 AD - 907 AD

The Tang Dynasty can be described in three words: gunpowder, scroll painting and tea. (Emuseum) As a period of great stability, the Chinese came with the tea that was greatly promoted because of the development of the feudal economy and the increase in social productivity.(Eastern Tea) In the other hand, gunpowder is one of the four most important Chinese inventions. (Think Quest-Gunpowder) This inventions was started by the Daoists, who were used to mixing different materials for refinery. (Think Quest) Also, scroll painting influenced greatly the arts. This was, a kind of artistic painting on paper or silk. (China Culture)

Sung Dynasty

960 AD - 1279 AD

The Sung dynasty benefitted China greatly. First of all, it introduced movable type printing. (China Culture) Bi Sheng, the creator, carved individual characters on identical pieces of fine clay. Movable type printing spread really fast. It then went to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Europe.Two great inventions in science and were made as well. (China Culture)These were typography and the compass, along with the application of gunpowder. (Travel China Guide)

Yuan Dynasty

1279 A.D. - 1368 AD

With 98 emperors in 11 years, the Yuan Dynasty had more than 3 important contributions we could take out. Paper money, being one of the most importants, came out of block printing. It had two advantages over money made out of any metal: it was easier to be carried around and copper and iron could be saved for other uses. (Silk Road Foundation) Also, the magnetic compass was brought to life. This gadget would be vital for regulations and navigations and other uses.(Maritime Asia) In the field of arts, people started using landscape painting. The political interruption of the Mongol rule did not have an intensive impact on arts in China. Painters drew what they saw, and most liked to depict scenes of the ruling elite's life like horse racing. (China Knowledge;Yuan Dynasty)

Ming Dynasty

1368 AD - 1644 AD

Arts, architecture, and literature, the Ming Dynasty had it all. By introducing the novel, they were written in everyday language, not the language of the nobility.(Emuseum-Ming) Some of these novels are still read today. Dictionaries and encyclopedias were also written, containing important information on different fields such as geograpy, music and medicine.(Emuseum- Ming) If you see the great wall today, it was made longer and fixed by the Ming, (Emuseum-Ming)In government, laws that improved the peasant life were created. (Emuseum)

Qing Dynasty

1644 AD - 1911 AD

Second time China was ruled by foreigners, the Manchu created the Qing Dynasty. This was a time of peace and prosperity for China, since rulers provided strong leadership. (Emuseum) They came up with acupunture, which is a very ancient healing form based on philosophy.(Acupuncture History- China) This time was also a time of culture sophistication, and its people started becoming prosperous and creative. (emuseum) This period of peace allowed growth in all areas, meaning expansion to its extent.Though, this later on created internal problems, they ruled with the greatest prosperity. (Emuseum-Qing) Also, the Qing insituted changes in the dress of the Chinese. Men should wear Manchu clothes, while women were not required to change their dress, yet they couldn't bind their feet.(Emuseum-Qing).

Republic of China


For this time, China was seen in a doom and no achievements were made. Since 1911 when China declared its independence, they were left without a stable or well-organized government after the Qing dynasty. (World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, pg 346)This ended the sequence of dynasties for China. Civil War raged, and country seemed to fall into pieces. Dr. Sun Yatsen who had helped China organize the Nationalist Party and bring down the Qing was now the first president of the new republic. (World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, pg 346)Anyhow, his purpose was to achieve three goals: he called for nationalism, and make China one whole nation and ending with foreign domination, supported democracy, and he used to ensure the people a decent life. (World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, pg 346)Parliament was suspended during this time, and so were provincial assemblies.

Mao Zedong

1911 - 1976

When China seemed to be falling apart, Mao Zedong came to unify the nation. (Pacemakers&breakers;Mao Zedong) Seen as a dictator and mass murderer for some and a hero to other, Mao made three great achievements. (Pacemakers&breakers;Mao Zedong) Mao Zedong rose to power of during the 1930’s, when communism was brought to China. (World Cultures, A Global Mosaic) Unifying the nation when it was falling apart, created a unified Republic and became leader of the greatest social revolution in history. (Think Quest) Besides all this, Mao also tried to increase agricultural and industrial production. (Spartacus Educationa)

Deng Ziaopeng

1954 - 1966

During his life, Deng Ziaopeng served an outstanding service to the chinese people. In what Deng Ziapeng succeeded the most was at leading the country into socialist modernization.(People Daily) He attempted to incorporate free-enterprise system into the economy, but failed in the process. Deng also found a way to make changes in some areas, like the education whihc needed help, professionalize military, universities and institutes, lawyers had to be able to have cases and heard in a judicial system between others.