Chinese History Western Zhou 1100 to 770BCE Spring and Autumn Period 770-476BCE Warring States Period 476-221BCE Qin dynasty 221-207BCE Han dynasty 206BCE-220CE Period of disunity 220-581 Sui dynasty 581-618 Tang dynasty 618-907 Five dynasties and Ten kingdoms 907-960 Song dynasty 960-1279 Yuan/Mongol dynasty 1271-1368 Ming dynasty 1368-1644 Qing/Manchu dynasty 1644-1911 Republic of China 1912-1949 Peoples Republic of China 1949-present

Chinese History Lì shǐ

China motif

Most countries can look back at a few hundred years of continuous recorded history; China looks back at thousands of years. From earliest times an accurate account of events has been treasured by the Chinese, this is embodied in the character shǐ ‘history’ which also has the meaning ‘impartial’. Chinese people know their heritage well and have a long tradition of revering their ancestors. A good knowledge of Chinese history is essential to understanding and relating to its people.

We include pages on all the main dynasties (click on time chart) as well as significant events in Chinese history, up to the foundation of the Republic in 1912 (modern history is in a separate section), including the Taiping Rebellion, the coming of railways, the Imperial system, the Hanlin Academy, Imperial officials, the kowtow, , the Mandate of Heavenand the Opium Wars. There are also pages covering relations with foreign countries: Early contacts with Britain, 18th century UK-China contacts and the great the European sinophile Leibniz, the Treaty port system, Chinoiserie, the Lay-Osborn debacle, General Charles ‘Chinese’ Gordon, and the despicable trade in Chinese coolies as slaves. We will continue to add new topics.

Click on the time chart on the left to go to a particular time period.

Buddhism, temple, religion
Buddhist temple gate in Guangdong, China; including stone lions. Image by Chauchunyin available under a Creative Commons license .