Chinese Dynasties

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Qin Dynasty

221 BCE - 206 BCE

The First Chinese Dynasty founded by a prince of Qin who became the first Chinese emperor under the name Qin Shihuangdi. It was an imperial government.

Han Dynasty

206 BCE - 220 CE

During the Han Dynasty they tried to improve government by creating a civil service examination system. Candidates for government jobs had to pass tests based mostly on the Confucian style of learning.

Six Dynasties

220 CE - 581 CE

Its name, the six dynasties, comes from the six successful dynasties of South China that had their capitals at Jianye (present-day Nanjing) during:
The Wu (222–280)
The Dong (Eastern) Jin (317–420)
The Liu-Song (420–479)
The Nan (Southern) Qi (479–502)
The Nan Liang (502–557)
The Nan Chen (557–589).
At the same time, Northern China was being ruled by a succession of kingdoms founded by invaders from Central Asia.

Sui Dynasty

589 CE - 618 CE

The Sui Dynasty lasted for only 38 years and only had three emperors. This short-lived dynasty unified the country after four centuries in which North and South China had gone different ways. The Sui also got China ready for the beginning of an artistic culture that succeeded Tang dynasty. Its capital was at Daxing.

Tang Dynasty

618 CE - 907 CE

During the Tang Dynasty the civil service exams continued, but aristocrats filled most of the government jobs. Economic develop and growth followed by new inventions and discoveries.

Five Dynasties in the North

907 CE - 960 CE

Liang Dynasty (June 1, 907–923) Tang Dynasty (923–936) Jin Dynasty (936–947) Han Dynasty (947–951 or 979) Zhou Dynasty (951–960)
During this period, five dynasties quickly succeeded one another in the north. This period lasted for only 53 years. Most, if not all, the emperors did not try---or succeed in unifying China again.

Song Dynasty

960 CE - 1279 CE

Yuan Dynasty

1279 CE - 1368 CE

When the Mongols ruled China and placed foreigners in government positions.

Ming Dynasty

1368 CE - 1644 CE

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Ten Kingdoms in the South

907 CE - 970 CE