Dynasties

Main

Shang

1600 B.C - 1050 B.C.

-First era documented in ancient China
-Use of oracle bones
-Use of silk for cloth
-Finest weapons and ceremonial vessels
-Social classes: Nobles, Commoners, Slaves.
-Contributions: Use of bronze; system of writing; warriors (in bronze); horse drawn chariots; chopsticks

Chou

1050 B.C. - 221 B.C.

-Emperor Qin Shihuangdi
-Overthrew Shang
-Expanded China
-Established feudalism
-Decline was during the Warring States Period
-China's longest dynasty
-"Hundred Schools of Thought": Eastern Chou
-Contributions: irrigation and flood-control systems; farm tools (plow); silk (trade item); three major philosophies of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism.

Ch'in

221 B.C. - 207 B.C.

-Unified China
-Conquered invaders
-Centralized government
-Roads were built
-Weights and measures established
-Built the Great Wall
-Where China's name came from
-Abolished feudalism

Han

206 B.C. - 220

-Opened Silk Roads to most of Asia and all the way to Rome
-Buddhism took root (from India)
-First emperor: Liu Bang
-Civil service exams began due to Han Wudi
-Under Wudi, China's size doubled

Qing (Manchu)

168 - 1911

-Empire expanded to its biggest
-Opium was traded with Europe
-Opium Wars: China banned opium for the good of the people but Europe wanted to keep trading
-Boxer Rebellion: Righteous and Harmonious Fists/Boxers wanted to destroy dynasty; ended up massacring Christian missionaries and Chinese Christians; Empress Dowager ordered all foreigners killed in 1900
-Taiping Rebellion: revolt against the dyanasty; rebels captured Nanjing and made it their capital
-Treaty of Nanking: end to opium wars, gave Hong Kong to Britian for 99-years

T'ang

618 - 907

-Expanded the empire
-Promoted foreign trade
-Improved agriculture
-Restored bureacracy and civil service system

Sung

960 - 1279

-Education spread
-Literature, calligraphy, and painting became popular
-Inventions: movable type, paper money, magnetic compass
-Foreign trade expanded
-China became a major sea power
-Peak of urban culture

Ming

1368 - 1644

-Officials took exams
-Views of society: scholars ruled, peasants grew food, artisans made things, and merchants sold things but made nothing
-Ruled with a mixture of Confucian and Legalist principles
-Merchants raised their sons to be scholars (so they could achieve more than they did)
-Portuguese arrived in 1514 for the first time
-Since westerners came, progress and technology slowed down

Japanese Aggression

1894 - 1941

-Japan was a threat to China during this time
-In 1937, they invaded and took control of the north and areas along the coast
-Rape of Nanking

Warlord Era

1916 - 1928

-Civil war in China
-Peasants suffered
-Provincial armies were in control
-Foreign rule during World War I

Civil War

1927 - 1932

-War between Communists and Nationalists
-Communists lead by Mao Tse-tung
-Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek

Civil War (continued)

1933 - 1937

-Halted before in order to fight against Japanese
-Halted yet again after in order to fight Japanese again until 1945

Civil War--officially over

1949

-Communists came out victorious
-Nationalists went to Formosa/Taiwan
-Imperialism ended in China

First Five-Year Plan

1953 - 1957

-Mao attempted advances in agriculture
-Wanted to improve production and trade with coal, electricty, iron and steel

Second Five-Year Plan

1958 - 1962

-"Great Leap Forward"
-During this time, China ended up as a leading industrial country
-Famine caused at least 14,000,000 deaths

Hong Kong returned

1997

-Hong Kong was finally returned to China by the British