China Dynasties

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The Shang Dynasty

1766 bc - 1050 bc

The Shang Dynasty

Dates of existence: 1766-1050 B.C. (“The Shang”)

Important Contributions: The Shang’s Dynasty most significant contribution to history and culture was the creation of writing (“The Shang”). We learned about that writing by coming across oracle bones, which are bones with carved writing on them that were used to predict the future (“The Shang”). The rulers of the Shang Dynasty also commenced making bronze out of tin and copper (“Shang Dynasty China”). Finally, they also introduced to us the use of horse-drawn chariots, which were used for transportation (“Shang Dynasty China”).

The Zhou Dynasty

1027 bc - 221 bc

The Zhou Dynasty
Dates of existence: 1027-221 B.C. (“Zhou Dynasty”)
Important Contributions: The Zhou Dynasty introduced a very important religion, Confucianism. However, unlike most religions today, it doesn’t have a God or a standpoint on life and death (“The Zhou Dynasty”). Although, it did come up with the Golden Rule, “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others,” (“The Zhou Dynasty”). Another important contribution to history and culture from the Zhou Dynasty was field grid patterns, which advocated an effective use of the land (“The Zhou Dynasty”). Lastly, they also expanded agriculture by advancing animal-drawn plows. They assembled them with iron, which in exchange made plowing more beneficial (“The Zhou Dynasty”).

The Qin Dynasty

221 bc - 206 bc

The Qin Dynasty
Dates of existence: 221-206 B.C. (“Qin Dynasty”)
Important Contributions: A spectacular and grand contribution to history and culture by the Qin Dynasty was the Great Wall of China, which slowed down the invaders (“Qin Dynasty”). Furthermore, they made the language and writing of China consistent, which used to differ in distinct areas of China (“Qin Dynasty”). Ultimately, the Qin Dynasty systemized the currency. It became a circular coin made out of copper with a squared hole right in the middle (“Qin Dynasty”).

The Han Dynasty

206 bc - 220 ad

The Han Dynasty
Dates of existence: 206 B.C. – 220 A.D. (“Introduction to Han Dynasty”)
Important Contributions: The Han’s Dynasty most crucial contribution was the invention of paper. It was made from twine, cloth, and nets (“Invention of Paper in China”). In addition, they obtained power over the trade routes in the Taklimakan Desert (“Han Dynasty”). The invention of water clocks, sundials, and seismographs also occurred during the existence of the Han Dynasty in China (“Han Dynasty”).

The Sui Dynasty

581 ad - 618 ad

The Sui Dynasty
Dates of existence: 581 A.D. – 618 A.D. (“Sui Dynasty”)
Important contributions: The Sui Dynasty unified the whole nation after it defeated the Chen Dynasty (“Sui Dynasty”). Furthermore, it made further improved shipbuilding technology, attaining a new prominent position (“Sui Dynasty”). In addition, the Grand Canal was built; it was more than 2.5 miles long and served an important purpose in transportation (“Sui Dynasty”).

The Tang Dynasty

618 ad - 907 ad

The Tang Dynasty
Dates of existence: 618 A.D. – 907 A.D. (“The Tang Dynasty”)
Important contributions: The Tang Dynasty expanded the borders of China through, “Siberia in the north, Korea in the east, and Vietnam in the South,” (“Tang Dynasty”). Another major contribution that affects the world today was the invention of gunpowder (“Gunpowder”). Taoists that practiced alchemy developed it accidently (“Gunpowder”). Finally, another contribution was scroll painting; it became extremely popular because it was very easy to carry around and relish (“Scroll Painting”).

The Sung Dynasty

960 ad - 1279 ad

The Sung Dynasty
Dates of existence: 960 A.D. – 1279 A.D. (“The Later Empire: The Sung”)
Important Contributions: The Sung Dynasty increased foreign trade (“The Northern and Southern Song Dynasties”). Additionally, they made progress in medicine; the first autopsy, which is a thorough examination to find out what caused someone’s death, was performed in 1145 A.D. (“The Northern and Southern Song Dynasties”). There were also great breakthroughs in printing that increased the accessibility of books. Therefore, there was a rise in education (“The Northern and Southern Sung Dynasties”).

The Yuan Dynasty

1279 ad - 1368 ad

The Yuan Dynasty
Dates of existence: 1279 A.D. – 1368 A.D. (“Yuan Dynasty”)
Important Contributions: The Yuan Dynasty introduced landscape painting for “like-minded” human beings (“Yuan Landscape Painting”). In addition, Kublai Khan, an emperor, expanded the Grand Canal (“Yuan Dynasty”). Finally, they also introduced Shamanism and Totemism, two distinct types of religion (“Religion and Culture”).

The Ming Dynasty

1368 ad - 1644 ad

The Ming Dynasty
Dates of existence: 1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D. (“The Ming Dynasty”)
Important Contributions: One great contribution of the Ming Dynasty that is still seen today was the repairment of the Great Wall of China; they placed cannons along the walls (“The Ming Dynasty”). In addition, they created laws that improved the life of the peasants (“The Ming Dynasty”). Finally, they conserved the dikes on the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers; dikes prevent flooding (“The Ming Dynasty”).

The Qing Dynasty

1644 ad - 1911 ad

The Qing Dynasty
Dates of existence: 1644 A.D. – 1911 A.D. (“Qing Dynasty”)
Important Contributions: One of the emperors in the Qin Dynasty banned intermarriage, marriage between persons of distinct races (“The Qin Dynasty”). They also made Chinese men shave the hair on their heads and wear queues or a braid of hair worn right at the back of the head (“Qin Dynasty”). They also forced them to wear Manchu clothes instead of the outfits worn in the Ming Dynasty (“Qin Dynasty”).

The Republic of China Dynasty

1911 ad - 1949 ad

The Republic of China Dynasty
Dates of existence: 1911 A.D. - 1949 A.D. (“Chinese History – The Republic of China”).
Important Contributions: Scared political officers elected Yuan president of the Republic of China; he had various “pro-revolutionary generals” assassinated (“Republican China”). Additionally, he had the constitution changed. As an effect, it gave him the right to be president for life (“Republican China”). In attempt of recovering their lost province, China announced war on Germany in 1917 (“Republican China”).

Mao Zedong Dynasty

1949 ad - 1976 ad

Mao Zedong Dynasty
Dates of existence: 1949 A.D. – 1976 A.D. (“Mao Zedong”)
Important Contributions: Under the Mao Zedong Dynasty, China reestablished order and terminated foreign effects (Ahmad et al., page 352). Furthermore, they constructed more schools and extended fundamental health care facilities to the immense inhabitants (Ahmad et al., page 353). Finally, the production of food was promoted in order to reduce famines (Ahmad et al., page 353).

Deng Xiaoping Dynasty

1978 ad - 1997 ad

Deng Xiaoping Dynasty
Dates of existence: 1978 A.D. - 1997 A.D. (“Deng Xiaoping”)
Important Contributions: Deng Xiaoping urged to conserve China’s socialist structure (“Deng Xiaoping”). Furthermore, those that opposed Deng’s dictatorship and preferred a democratic government were imprisoned (“Deng Xiaoping”). Lastly, in 1986, protests by students were “shut down by the government,” (“Deng Xiaoping”).