China Timeline



7500 bce

The use of agriculture in China.

Settlements Develop Around Agriculture

5000 bce


1766 bce - 1122 bce

Bronze weapons were an integral part of Shang society and were probably the reason why the Shang were unified.


1122 bce - 256 bce

During the Zhou Dynasty, the use of iron was introduced to China. Zhou society was similar to European feudalism and land was divided into hereditary fiefs.


551 bce - 479 bce

Chinese philosopher that instilled a wealth of tradition to Chinese culture. Believe in the 5 constant relationships and created Confucianism.

Warring States

400 bce - 221 bce

A period in time were everyone was battling for the unification of China.


206 bce - 220 ce

The period of the Han Dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history. The Han Dynasty was an age of economic prosperity and saw a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou Dynasty.

Spread of Buddhism to China

200 bce


100 bce

Major trade network that connected Asia and Europe.

Grand Canal

589 ce - 618 ce

Connected the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.


589 ce - 618 ce

Founded by Emperor Wen of Sui, the Sui Dynasty capital was at Chang'an. His reign saw the reunification of Southern and Northern China and the construction of the Grand Canal.


618 ce - 907 ce

In this dynasty foot binding became a symbol of status.


960 ce - 1279 ce

It was the first government in world history to nationally issue banknotes or true paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. Also this dynasty is the first known use of gunpowder, as well as first discernment of true north using a compass.

Champa Rice

960 ce - 1279 ce

Major food source that augmented China's population greatly.


1271 ce - 1368 ce

The empire established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan, after he conquered Southern Song dynasties in China


1368 ce - 1644 ce

The Ming were very isolated and refused to interact with the outside world.

Voyages of Zheng He

1405 ce - 1423 ce

The Ming were capable of taking over Indian Ocean trade but the rulers wanted a more traditional China and withdrew Zheng He and his fleet.


1644 ce - 1911 ce

The Qing Dynasty was founded not by Han Chinese, who form the majority of the Chinese population, but by a semi-sedentary people known as the Jurchen.

Sepoy Rebellion

1857 ce

Long March

1935 ce

Long March was a military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China. The Communists, under the eventual command of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, escaped in a circling retreat to the west and north, which reportedly traversed some 12,500 kilometers (8,000 miles) in about 1 year.

Japan Invades China

1937 ce

Japan had become a industrialized powerhouse and decided to invade their rival neighbor.


1940 ce

Communist Takeover

1949 ce

Led by Mao, this takeover established communism in China.

Cultural Revolution

1966 ce - 1970 ce

Its stated goal was to enforce communism in the country by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society.

Trial of Gang Four

1980 ce

The Gang of Four was the name given to a political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes.

Tiananmen Square protests/Massacre

1989 ce

Chinese troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted thousands of casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military’s advance on Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing.

China Hosts Olympic Games